September 30, 2020 at 3:59 am #8204
Warrior of Riverclan
A shadow flitted across the dark warrior’s face upon hearing his name being called during a ceremony. “I’m being given.. an apprentice?” he spoke to himself, the sentence much closer to a laugh than an actual question. The word ‘apprentice’ felt heavy and uncomfortable in his mouth, and he wondered if Wisteriastar had finally lost her mind. Certainly there had to be a mistake. Of all the warriors she could have given this apprentice to, she chose him.
The tall warrior stared blankly as he silently strode ahead, feeling the damp rock beneath his paws with every step. Flicking his tail irritably, he said nothing as he bent down to touch noses with the scrawny thing that was now his apprentice. Even if he wanted to object to such a thing, he knew that he couldn’t. As long as he lived in Riverclan he was bound by the warrior code and the orders of Wisteriastar. For now he would have to play along.
Once the yowls of approval died down and the crowd had dispersed, he looked down at the young cat, briefly allowing a disgusted look to cross his face before he turned away with a sigh. “I suppose I could show you the territories,” he gave her a sidelong glance, and took up an easy, steady pace that they could keep until dusk if necessary. “Do try to watch your step. The floor is slippery the closer we get to the waterfall.”September 30, 2020 at 10:02 am #8205
A petite bundle of gray and white fur made her way through the crowd of her clan towards Wisteriastar. On a loop in her head was the concentration of “You’re becoming an apprentice, you’re becoming an apprentice! Don’t trip!” As if on cue, she stumbled but quickly recovered and rather than dwelling, pushed forward still.
While Wisteriastar spoke, she distractedly skimmed the cats before her. Her nervous, blue gaze landed on Sleekfeather, who seemed to be sulking. Her ear twitched before snapping back to attention as her new mentor approached her. Touching noses with him, the newly named Pebblepaw smiled excitedly as everyone had cheered for the new pair.
She looked up at him as he spoke, practically beaming, even as he gave her a strange look. “That would be great! It will be so cool to get out of the camp and explore!” Pebblepaw squeaked. She did not struggle with keeping up with him in her bouncing gait, however as he spoke about not slipping, she tripped again. Sheepishly, she gave him a side glance to see if he noticed and chuckled softly under her breath.
“So…Sleekfeather,” the apprentice started, “What is your favorite thing about being a warrior? What was your proudest moment? Will you show me your favorite place to visit?” It was not long before her whiskers twitched before her attention was grasped by a bug nearby. The small, spotted she-cat shook her head from the desire to chase after it. “Focus,” she thought to herself.October 2, 2020 at 8:07 am #8229
Warrior of Riverclan
From camp the waterfall had been a faint sound cascading over the rocky outcrops, but as they drew closer, it grew louder in volume until it was a deafening roar. As loud as it was, though, Sleekfeather still managed to notice his apprentice stumble and fall. The dark warrior stopped immediately, his turquoise gaze sweeping over her with sudden concern. “What did I just say about being careful? You wouldn’t want to spend your first day outside of camp in the medicine cat’s den, would you?” he asked, soon dragging his gaze away from the giddy apprentice with a roll of his eyes. Though, now that he thought about it, he wouldn’t have to take her anywhere if she did fall and injure herself.
Tendrils of fog curled beneath their paws as Sleekfeather and Pebblepaw made their way down the slick path, the sound of the waterfall growing quieter with each step into the sunlight. The momentary peace he had found in the song of birds and swaying of reeds was quickly interrupted by Pebblepaw’s inquisitive voice, and he inwardly groaned. Had she not been practically bouncing with excitement and so innocent looking, he probably wouldn’t have held back.
But as much as he didn’t want to be a mentor, a part of him didn’t want to crush her spirit either. Sleekfeather closed his eyes with a sigh, deciding to entertain her young and curious mind with sugarcoated answers. “My favorite part of being a warrior is protecting the ones I love, and as for my proudest moment—“ he leapt from one rock to another, easily crossing them with his long legs, “I don’t really have one.”
The sky was just beginning to shift from yellow to a brilliant blue, the sun steadily rising over the trees as they traveled downstream. “My favorite place to be is the waterfall. I sit there at night to gather my thoughts when everyone else is busy dreaming, but I do enjoy the willow grove when I want some peace and quiet,” he told her, finally meeting her wide gaze with his own once the landscape had become jagged with stones. “Seeing as you’re clumsy, I’ll only be showing you the rapids from a safe distance,” he gestured towards the deep, frothing water ahead of them before he gave her a stern look. “The current here is strong and dangerous, and only experienced warriors are permitted to fish here,” his tone was serious as he explained, but then he gave her a sly smile, “You’d easily get swept away if you fell in, so stay close unless you want to relieve me of my mentorship early.”October 2, 2020 at 10:43 pm #8233
Pebblepaw’s ears pressed to her head in shame as her mentor scolded her for trip. “I-I’m sorry…” she stammered, lowering her gaze to her paws, “I promise to do better!” This was a promise she made to him as well as herself – she did not want to be known as the new apprentice who did something silly like slip on a rock, especially being from RiverClan.
The small she-cat followed in Sleekfeather’s steps carefully, trying to take in all of her surroundings and take mental notes of how to get from camp to the waterfall, and beyond. As he spoke, her ears perked and flicked, demonstrating she was listening and hanging on to every word. It was not until he had taken a breath to jump from rock to rock did she realize she would have to follow him and risk not falling in. Closing her eyes, she thought to herself, “Breathe, you can do this. Don’t fall.”
Pebblepaw crouched low, her tail waving high in preparation. She jumped to the first rock, her back paw slipped slightly, however she regained her footing. Each leap became easier for her as the practice continued. Once she landed on the same side as Sleekfeather, she unintentionally bumped into his leg. She quickly gave him an apologetic look before glancing back at where they came from and began beaming, completely proud that she did not fall in or embarrass herself too much.
As he spoke of his favorite place to sit and think, she could not imagine the waterfall being a great place, especially when she could barely hear him talk with the roar of the water. “Are we going to visit the willow grove? Do a lot of cats from our clan go there too?” She chirped. When he called her clumsy, the apprentice opened her mouth as if to protest and thought better on it while continuing to listen to his warnings. Her eyes widened when she thought of falling in to rapid water and never being found again. A shiver went down her spine at the thought of it. Gulping, she asked, “Do you know anyone who fell in and got swept away?”October 12, 2020 at 12:55 pm #8325
Warrior of Riverclan
Sleekfeather nodded. “During the day they do, and yes, we’ll be going there,” he answered, twitching his tail at how curious she was. It reminded him of when he was an apprentice. As hard as it was to believe, he had been just as curious and excited to begin training with Tallreed. “I’ll be showing you all of Riverclan’s territory today, and then tomorrow I’ll teach you how to fish,” he told her, making a quick mental note of it in his head. It was oddly refreshing, in a way, to be able to pass on his skills and knowledge to another. If he had to be a mentor, he might as well try to enjoy it.
Sleekfeather shrugged. “Not that I know of,” he answered her with uncertainty, looking towards the churning waters where leaves and debris regularly crashed into each other before glancing back at Pebblepaw. The young she-cat was staring with round, frightened eyes, and Sleekfeather felt a stab of sympathy. In noticing how uncomfortable she was, he softened. “But I wouldn’t fret over it,” he went on, continuing to stand between the small apprentice and the dark, foamy swirls. “We’ll be fishing at the fishing stones, which is much safer.”
With one last glance, Sleekfeather turned to leave, lightly touching her shoulder with his tailtip to draw her attention away from the treacherous terrain of the rapids and back to their small journey. “Come on,” he urged, padding down a frequently traveled path that led them to a gently flowing stream. Aside from the occasional chirping of birds and water rippling softly around smooth stones, it was much quieter here. “This is where we’ll be tomorrow. There are plenty of rocks to hop across and fish from, and the water is much safer for apprentices.”October 30, 2020 at 10:21 pm #8573
Pebblepaw shuffled her paws excitedly at the thought of going to the willow grove and exploring more of the territory. “Do you think a lot of our clan will be there today? Is the willow grove where most of them hang out? Is that where we will do most of our training?” The she-cat questioned, “Is fish your favorite prey to hunt?” The questions could not come out fast enough, but she could not help it. Her first day and there was so much to learn, see, and do!
The many questions may have formed from her nerves, which relaxed slightly when Sleekfeather mentioned a safer area to fish. She followed her mentor’s gaze back to the rapids and flinched as he touched her shoulder with his tail, as she had become rather fixated on the sound and sight. Her stride sped quickly to keep up with his steps as he spoke of the stream, to which she responded with a curt nod in acknowledgement.
“Are we going to learn any skills today besides the territory?” She started, “Not that I don’t want to continue seeing the territory – I do, I just…I was just wondering if we were going to anything else?” These questions were not coming from a place of boredom, but rather the desire to continue with her first day, she wanted to fit as much as she could into one day. Her tail twitched in anticipation of his response. “Are we going to practice with other apprentices and mentors too?”November 4, 2020 at 9:01 am #8796
Warrior of Riverclan
The tom groaned inwardly at the prospect of running into anyone, or even worse, having to deal with meaningless small talk. “It’s likely that we may run into a few clan members. It’s where a lot of mentors take their apprentices to practice battle moves,” he explained, trying not to sound vaguely disgusted as he silently hoped the grove would be empty by some strike of luck. Knowing his, it would be bustling with activity.
However, Pebblepaw’s voice brought him back to the moment, and he gave her a rare smile. “Fish is my favorite, though water voles aren’t too bad either,” he told her, glancing over at the softly flowing stream with consideration. “If you want, I can show you the basics before we continue touring Riverclan’s territory, but we’ll save the actual fishing for tomorrow. We need to be back before sundown,” the dark warrior glanced up to check the position of the sun, which was now overhead. If they were to train more tomorrow they would both need rest.
Sleekfeather shrugged and leapt onto one of the river stones with grace. His long legs making it look much easier than it was. “First of all, fishing requires patience,” the warrior instructed, and when he did, he carefully and quickly got into a comfortable position, a single paw raised above the water.
“You’ll start by sitting on a rock or at the edge of the shore— and try not to cast your shadow into the water when you do. Sit very still, and wait until you see a fish come close enough to plunge your paw below the surface and scoop it out,” though he made a motion with his paw, he was careful not to disturb the surface of the water. They weren’t actually hunting, and he didn’t want to make the fish wary of anyone else that might pass through later in the day. Once he was done, he looked over at his apprentice to make sure she was paying attention, and then jumped back to the shore. “Be sure to kill it quickly. They tend to flop back into the water if you don’t,” he advised, taking a seat beside her before grooming his shoulder.
“Hm,” he mulled over her question. As much as he hated the idea of having to be social, he knew deep down it was a good idea for Pebblepaw. “I suppose it would be beneficial to train with others. You might even make a few friends that way,” he said finally, surprised with himself that he even cared about that.November 4, 2020 at 7:01 pm #8810
The young apprentice followed her mentor, flicking her tail with excitement as he spoke and completely oblivious to the distaste in his voice when it came to seeing others. “I hope we get to see some apprentices on the way, I’d love to make some friends! Not that I don’t think you’re not my friend…I just meant someone in my rank!” Pebblepaw stumbled on her words, she wasn’t even sure if she had made sense. Hanging her head she thought, “He must think I’m such a mouse-brain.”
However, when Sleekfeather smiled, her blue saucers went wide and she beamed back at him. As he jumped to the river stones, she sat along the bank, not wanting to fall in. Carefully observing his movements and hanging on his every word, she took mental notes as he went through the movements of a successful catch. She tried to hide her disappointment when he didn’t follow through, but was excited to learn as much as she could.
She nodded as he completed the lesson to let him know she was listening. As he began grooming his shoulder, she lifted her paw to give it a swift lick – unintentionally copying him without realizing it as she was beginning to look up to her mentor. She paused mid-lick as he mentioned training with others and she jumped to her paws excitedly. “That would be so much fun! Do you have anyone in mind? Do you have a best friend who has an apprentice?” she rambled, “What if you had a best friend with an apprentice and then I became best friends with your best friend’s apprentice?!” Her excitement soon turned into embarrassment as she realized how much she had rambled and fell silent in apology, returning to a calm sitting position.November 10, 2020 at 5:19 am #9835
Warrior of Riverclan
Sleekfeather stiffened at that. “Well, I—“ he swallowed hard, staring at his eager-eyed apprentice for a moment; silent and calculating. While young, she probably would understand his distaste for their fellow clanmates, but it was far too personal of a detail for him to willingly share. Instead he smirked and said, “I suppose you could consider Swanpath my best friend. She’s my mother, and if I’m not mistaken, I think she has an apprentice of her own that we could train with.”
Truthfully it was difficult for him to remember if she had an apprentice or not. He didn’t keep up with that kind of information, but he was almost certain that she had an annoying little furball still following her around. “I think his name is Bark.. paw? Sharppaw,” he thought out loud, momentarily looking up with a lifted paw against his lower lip, as if the name he was looking for would suddenly appear in the clouds. As one would expect, it did not.
It didn’t take long for him to give up, shrugging as he looked back down at Pebblepaw. The name wasn’t entirely important. They’d figure it out later. “Did you make any friends as a kit, or have any siblings you were close to? We could potentially train with them and their mentors,” he suggested, soon pushing himself to his paws so that they could continue their stroll through the territory.
As they traveled, he couldn’t help but notice that it took much longer than usual to get there. Which made sense as he normally traveled there alone. This time he had a tiny companion with him, and Sleekfeather had found himself slowing down so that Pebblepaw didn’t struggle to keep up. Being half Windclan, his legs were long and spindly, making him both fast and nimble. Truthfully, even if Pebblepaw were a full grown warrior and not a young apprentice, he still probably would have had to slow down for her. Regardless, it didn’t really bother him.
As they approached the grove, it was mostly weeping willows, their drooping branches swaying gently in the breeze. The disheveled ground was more moss than grass, over shadowed by the huge trees flowing down onto the dank and squishy ground. It was a quiet and beautiful place, despite being more crowded during the day.
Sleekfeather stopped and turned around to look at Pebblepaw. “This is The Willow Grove,” he told her, stepping carefully over some upturned roots that knotted their pathway.November 10, 2020 at 9:04 pm #9841PheebsParticipant
“Or the Grove of Ghosts, if my father’s ramblings are to be trusted.” A voice carried across the field, accompanied by a smirking feline with pale, pink scars crossing over her left eye. Green eyes spotted with gold took in the little fluff of grey and white, the vague hint of a smile curling into a much clearer, more obvious grin. With a twitch of her tail, the older Riverclanner darted forward before halting in front of the duo.
“Well, now I know fish are flying if my little boy has an apprentice of his own.” The white molly nudged her son, playful in her gestures. The scarred Riverclnner tilted her head downward, eyeing the young apprentice with a cold, analytical gaze. “What’s your name, wee one? My name is Swanpath.”
As they spoke, Swanpath led the small group to the edges of the orchard, where the trees grew thick enough to better obscure light. She hadn’t realized how much pain she’d been in until the sun’s insistent light no longer plagued her. Try as she might, Swanpath couldn’t deny that her partial blindness and badly injured eye greatly affected her. It was because of her injury that she only hunted and worked during dawn and dusk when she was less likely to hurt.
“I’m guessing you two are touring the territory, hmm?” She grinned, “I remember doing the same thing moons ago with my apprentice.” Sharkpaw had been frightened by many things, but he had been more fearful of failing in some way. Swanpath still worried about the youth’s anxiety and nerves, but she had hopes that he would blossom into the promising warrior she knew he could be.November 12, 2020 at 9:34 pm #9843
The small, grey-spotted she-cat listened intently as he spoke of his mother, beaming as he smirked. She kneaded the ground in excitement when he mentioned that his mother also had an apprentice. When he asked about her mother and siblings, her nose scrunched up as she thought of how to explain her situation. “My mom and brother are in StarClan, at least…that’s what I was told. I don’t remember much of either of them…” she said solemnly, “But I kept myself busy, I wasn’t able to make a lot of friends though…yet!”
With that, she smiled, looking forward towards the future and less on what had left her behind. She pranced after her mentor before getting distracted by a beetle. Crouching down, she flicked her tail and pounced a little too late – the beetle flew just in time. Her ear twitched in annoyance and she quickly realized that Sleekfeather had gotten a head a bit, so she picked up her pace.
Her blue eyes widened at the sight of the Willow Grove. “WOAH! It is so pretty!” she squeaked loudly. Even though she was loud, she was still surprised to hear a new voice. Studying the new cat, she glanced at the scars on the warriors face before blinking to remind herself not to stare. “Her smile is so nice,” The apprentice thought.
“I’m Pebblepaw,” she introduced herself before speaking in a hushed tone, “You’ve seen a flying fish…?” In disbelief, Pebblepaw sat and pondered that idea. “How can you even catch them if they’re flying?”
Once again, she had to snap herself out of her thoughts and nodded in response to Swanpath’s question. “Yes! Sleekfeather has been great! He showed me the water fall, and how to catch a fish without catching a fish, and now we are here! Is your apprentice with you?” She asked, not fulling realizing how much her excitement had caused her to talk so fast. The she-cat moved to peer around the female warrior to look for a smaller cat but was disappointed when there was not one with her.November 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm #9941
Warrior of Riverclan
Sleekfeather’s smile faded into something more empathetic, his eyes softening as an old, familiar pain reentered his heart. For someone so lighthearted and carefree, he did not expect Pebblepaw to have come from such a tragedy. A lump began to form in his throat thinking of how lonely she must have been growing up.
Clearing his throat, he turned away, not wanting her to see the hurt in his eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know my parents, either,” he told her, deciding to share something he normally wouldn’t in an attempt to show her that he understood, and that she wasn’t alone. “My actual mother didn’t want me, and I never knew my father,” he continued, feeling a bit of anger at even mentioning his father. Sleekfeather took a deep breath, swallowing his rage and forcing himself to smile.
Quickly, he changed the subject away from his father. “My eyes weren’t even open when Swanpath took me in, but I couldn’t have asked for a better mother. I’m more than grateful to have had her in my life,” he said, turning his attention back to Pebblepaw, a kind warmth in his eyes. “As your mentor, I’ll do my best to help you make friends of your own,” he reached over with his tail and allowed it to drape over her shoulder, giving her a gentle, reassuring squeeze before pulling away, “promise.”
Sleekfeather froze when he heard Swanpath’s familiar voice, truthfully not expecting to run into her, especially just after talking about her. It didn’t occur to him until then that she wasn’t present for the apprentice ceremony, and that she might be roaming the territories. With a smile, he heaved a dramatic sigh. “It would seem so,” he smirked, “I believe Wisteriastar must have lost her mind giving me an apprentice. Truthfully I’m half tempted to mention something to the medicine cat about it,” he replied jokingly, following the pure white she-cat to a more shaded part of the grove and sitting down beside her. Knowing how sensitive her eyes were, the tall warrior used his own shadow to further protect her gaze from the sun. After all, it was his partially his fault that it happened in the first place.
When his apprentice began to speak of him in such a positive way to his mother, he felt all the blood drain from his face, and he wondered if he might faint. Truthfully he hoped that would because then maybe he wouldn’t have to feel the embarrassment of being soft on his apprentice. It wasn’t his fault that she was so tiny and helpless.November 24, 2020 at 8:51 am #10003PheebsParticipant
The older feline noted Pebblepaw’s staring with a sad smile. “It’s alright to stare,” she murmured. Swanpath was attractive, but the scars littering her face deprived her of any satisfaction from the fact. A large cut tore its way from her jaw and through her left eye before stopping at her brow. At the corner of her left eye were two small, slowly disappearing scars. A prominent mark stood out across her nose, similar to the deep nicks and slashes on the back of the warrior’s head. Once upon a time, Pebblepaw’s staring would have peeved the she-cat. But after a couple of years spent healing, Swanpath was- Well, not comfortable with it, but used to it.
Swanpath snickered when her son shifted to protect her from the sun. She smiled appreciatively, though the twinkle in her eye betrayed amusement. The white Riverclanner turned back to Pebblepaw, another laugh bubbling past her lips. “Sharkpaw’s back at camp, hopefully spending some time with friends and enjoying the warmth of the day.” Swanpath bristled just thinking about her injury, but it was a constant hindrance to her. Before the battle, Swan would’ve gladly been hunting and training with her apprentice. Because of circumstance, however, she spent her day avoiding broad daylight and resorted to training in the evening and early night time. ‘At least you still get to train Sharkpaw.’
“You know-“ The former queen grinned, “You remind me of a little tom. He was such a sweet little furball, prettiest eyes and the sweetest smile.” The snow colored feline shifted so that she was laying down, her tail wrapping around and resting on her stomach. She could remember that fateful day clearly, the tumult of emotions that had been crashing through her. Only to be soothed when the sound of a kit’s mewling reached her. “He had the same spirit as you. Hopping about like a rabbit or a fish- considering how poor his coordination and balance was. Care to hear more?” Swanpath snuck a look at Sleekfeather, her face expressing the definition of mischief.November 24, 2020 at 8:26 pm #10008
The apprentice looked up at her mentor with an appreciative gaze. Yes, she was saddened that he had gone through a similarly rough beginning, yet she was also very grateful that he shared something with her. She smiled at him as he gave her the comfort of his tail. “It would be so nice to have friends and others to train with!” She said, trying to be positive. Pebblepaw did not like seeing her mentor with a melancholy look in his eyes.
It did not occur to her that she would be caught staring at Swanpath though and she flinched when she was. “I didn’t.. I mean I wasn’t… What I meant was…” The spotted she-cat stumbled before getting frustrated with herself as she struggled through her thoughts, “I wasn’t meaning to stare. I was just thinking that I really liked your smile. Honest!” Pebblepaw was not sure if anyone would believe her with that, even if it was the truth. The more she prattled on, the more embarrassed she became and the hotter her ears grew. “Fishbrains,” she insulted herself angrily.
As soon as the female warrior changed the subject, the apprentice welcomed it with a peaked interest. Her blue eyes shined intently as she sat down in front of both warriors and shuffled her paws excitedly. The apprentice was used to not having others to talk to but she always loved a good story. “Yes, please!” She responded while kneading the ground beneath her paws and flicking her ear. It never even occurred to her that the upcoming story would be about Sleekfeather.
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