the great flood [clan meeting/group event – OPEN]

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    It had been raining for… Ages now, it seemed. The ground had been thoroughly saturated sometime again, leaving the water to start forming puddles and finding the lowest places to gather. Sadly, ShadowClan camp had been one of those places. The tunnels they called home had always seemed so well protected before, not only from predators but weather. Now though, going back into those tunnels meant certain death. Luckily they hadn’t been flooded out all in one day, but the water had slowly rose, giving the Clan time to gather what they needed and make their way outside the tunnel system. Hornetstar had decided camping out by the Stream, to hopefully wait things out, would be a good idea, but he was being proven wrong. The water had reached the edge of the tunnels, threatening to spill out where his Clan was currently camped.

    “Smokewisp,” he called to his new deputy over the noise of everybody else gathered. Calling her name instead of Tawnypainter’s still brought an ache to his chest, but it was certainly easier to ignore in times like these. “Saplingskies, Harepaw.” The leader added as an almost after thought, waiting for the three other high ranks to gather before him. “I think it’s time we consider moving to even higher ground. The rain clearly isn’t going to let up anytime soon. Perhaps we should head towards the mountains?” He wasn’t keeping his voice down, so any cat nearby could easily here his words, but he wasn’t worried. If his Clan was going to panic, they would have done it by now. They had been spending the last few days soaking wet, unable to find a single dry spot, with prey scarce as a result. Though they had slowly emptying bellies, spirits still seemed to remain well.


    It keeps falling … “ Smokewisp thought wearily. Shimmering droplets clung to her pelt and whiskers. In all her years, she had never seen such rain. The rising swell had claimed their camp, flooding the tunnels with murky water. Thankfully, Hornetstar began evacuations early. They’d been able to keep most of the camp’s valuables. Yet, there was still a sour feeling within her belly. She felt helpless. The weather was an invincible enemy, which could be swayed by no cat. ‘We’re powerless before the storm,’ she growled, digging her claws into the boggy ground.

    Smokewisp quickly snapped back to reality as Hornetstar called her name. She shook the droplets from her pelt before joining the group. She listened quietly, nodding in agreement. “I agree, we should go.” Her amber gaze roamed to the nearby stream, which had grown precariously high. It lapped against its banks, as if hungry. “The sooner we leave, the safer the trip.” Her inquisitive eyes returned to the others. “Shall I organize a group to assist the queens and elders?” She pointedly flicked her tail towards a mix of nearby warriors and apprentices. Others seemed to have already taken interest in heir conversation. “We’ll want to move quickly. The wind and rain will make traveling harsh.

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by Lux.

    Saplingskies looked up as his name was called. He murmured an apology to the elder he was speaking to, then made his way over to his fellow ranks. His thick fur was thoroughly saturated , there was an obscene amount of mud coating his paws, he was exhausted, and on top of all that, his heart was still heavy from the loss of Tawnypainter and Dawncloud. He sat down once he got to the group, listening intently as Hornetstar questioned whether or not they should leave.

    “I think it would be in the clan’s best interest,” He began, gaze flickering over his soaked, hungry clanmates. The young tom’s voice was a bit raspy, permanently damaged by a mysterious illness that forced him into solitude for over a moon. “I’m beginning to see signs of illness in the kits and elders. If they don’t get proper shelter soon, I fear that it could turn into something very serious. The last thing we need is an epidemic. I’ve also noticed some of the newer apprentices going without food to make sure everyone else gets fed. That is the responsibility of a warrior, not a young cat fresh out of the nursery.” A few looks of guilt from some of the warriors overhearing the conversation was all Saplingskies needed to back his observation up. “We need to make sure all of our young are being fed, even if that means us older cats must go hungry.”

    The medicine cat gazed toward the stream, an ear flicking nervously. It was more like a river now. “If illness or hunger doesn’t start claiming lives soon, that surely will. It’s not safe for the kits, elders, or young apprentices. If we don’t leave today, we should at least start building a wall around the bank to keep the water at bay until we do leave. Maybe it’ll buy us some more time to get a plan of action together.”

    As he finished, his eyes fell to his apprentice. “Any thoughts or observations, Harepaw?” He prompted gently, tilting his head a bit. It was quite obvious that he held great respect and pride for his apprentice, something most mentors from ShadowClan didn’t show very often.

    Hareflight [Mel]

    The rain just kept on falling, and as the water levels rose, it seemed that panic was beginning too as well. However, Harepaw felt an eerie calmness. For now, at least, she had a job to do and she could focus on that. Check up on the Clan, particularly kits, queens, and elders. Now, she was moving with a purpose rather than sitting in her den rearranging herbs. Of course, Saplingskies being back certainly helped to ease some of her anxieties as well. She had grown and learned a lot in the time he had been absent, but things still felt more manageable when her mentor was around – even the non-stop rain and the flooding that threatened to overwhelm their make-shift camp.

    The smaller feline perked up at the sound of her name, and her eyes fell on Hornetstar. Quickly, she approached the other three, ears swivelling to listen as each began to speak. She listened, silently and patiently, nodding along in agreement as Saplingskies spoke. As he prompted her, she glanced over in surprise at him. She had hardly spoken to the leader and his deputy at all, nevermind being asked for her opinion on something of this magnitude. Her surprised look quickly turned to one of gratitude as she looked at Saplingskies, before turning her attention to the others. “I agree. W-We should get out of here as soon as we can. We brought as many herbs as we could carry, but if an epi-epidemic takes over, who knows how long our store will last. And with all the rain there’s no guarantee that we’ll find any more healthy herbs in the territory.” She paused for a minute to collect her thoughts, resisting the urge to shuffle her paws nervously. “We- We have to go somewhere. Even if we’re still facing many o-of the same issues in the mountains, at least we won’t be beside a stream about to overflow.” Her ears pressed back against her skull and she ducked her head, signifying that she was finished, and just hoping that what she had said wasn’t foolish.


    Mudsoaked and weary, Finchtail nodded goodbye to Hornetstar as the other tom excused himself to consult with the other high ranks. Slinking over to take cover on the raised roots of a nearby tree, he did his best to fluff out his sodden fur as he listened in on whatever fate was decided upon for the clan. Something had to be done, there was no doubt in that, but in this moment he was glad that the responsibility didn’t fall on his own shoulders. His trust in the Shadowclan leader was unwavering, and despite the rain and the necessity to move camp Finchtail didn’t find himself particularly worried. Yet.

    Annoyed, certainly. Everyone was miserable, shivering, and hungry. This was no way to prepare for leafbare. However, their territory was vast, and it’s far edges– such as the mountains, like Hornetstar was suggesting– had the potential for undiscovered blessings the clan might be able to unearth. A small part in the back of his mind wondered if the opposite might be true, but he argued to himself that whatever they would be facing, it would be nothing against the determination of the clan. Blearily, he wondered if they would be leaving tonight. It was hard to keep track of the days with the constant clouds covering the moon’s cycle.

    Manna Moth

    Pinewillow trotted carefully into their makeshift “camp”, a scrawny wet mouse hanging from her jaws as she crept carefully over to the area the queens had been sheltering. “I’m sorry it’s not more, this rain seems to have kept every piece of prey in their burrows” she meowed apologetically after placing the mouse before the queens. She dipped her head respectfully and left them to eat, backing away into a small clearing where the warriors were gathered.

    This rain had not been good to them and nervousness spread throughout the camp though none of them wanted to admit it. Prey was scarce and the forest along with everything in it seemed to be constantly wet. She’d even noticed the apprentices looking thin recently and realized how battered they really were. Thankfully spirits were still relatively high due to the faith they all had in Hornetstar. They were lucky to have such a reliable leader.

    She spotted an open spot next to Finchtail and realized the Shadowclan leader was discussing with their deputy and medicine cat while the surrounding cats listened in. Her ears pricked in interest as she turned to Finchtail. “What’s going on?”


    He listened as his deputy and medicine cat spoke, even giving Harepaw a chance to air her thoughts as her mentor asked her about them. Though she wasn’t a full-fledged medicine cat yet, she had done well handling the Clan while Saplingskies had been in isolation out of the camp due to his strange illness. She had earned Hornetstar’s respect, if anything. She had a much a right to speak as the rest of the ShadowClan high ranks.

    The golden tom hummed as they all three agreed with him, turning green eyes upon his Clanmates that he could see. Lingering here much longer than necessary was as good as a death sentence for some of them, but could they handle a move to the mountains now? That was the opposite side of the territory, after all. “Leaving as soon as possible is top priority. We won’t waste anytime on building a flimsy wall around the stream,” he decided at last. Able to handle it or not, they at least had to give the move a shot. He wasn’t about to sit back and do nothing. If he had to work himself to death to save every last Clanmates’ life, so be it. He already couldn’t recall the last time he ate. Perhaps that was why he was feeling light-headed.

    “Smokewisp, find our strongest warriors and take them to help the queens, kits, and elders. Saplingskies, Harepaw, find some apprentices to help carry what herbs you will. We depart as soon as possible,” he stated, a ball of dread and anxiety now threatening to choke him. He tried to have absolute confidence in his decisions, but he had yet to lead his Clan through such serious times as these. Though an older tom, he had only been leading for a few moons now.

    He closed his eyes for a moment, focusing on his breathing to recenter himself, before rising. “I’ll go speak with any warriors or apprentices not selected for these tasks and make certain they’re ready for the move.”


    If she never saw another droplet of water, heard another booming of thunder, or felt the electric pulses within the air again, it would be too soon for Pepperpatch. Soaked through her heavy coat, and down all the way to her bones it seemed, Pepperpatch loomed over some kits and young apprentices. Using her body as a shield for them, standing mighty against the storm.

    Despite her prickly and blunt demeanor, she carried a heart of gold within her guarded chest. She curled her long tail around a tiny kit, whom was shivering violently, and brought them closer. She had taken it upon herself, without instructions, to assist the Queens with their kits and to aid the young apprentices who had forgone food.

    “Sweet Starclan’s endless forest of stars, never before have I seen such a downpour! All these young ones soaked to the bone, and with bellies so empty, it’s just dreadful.” She huffed lowly, displeasure coursing through each syllable.

    She cast her gaze over to their unshakable leader, Hornetstar, “I’m uncertain if some of our kits, and young apprentices, can move another pawstep. We may just have to organize an effort to carry them. Also I’m certain I’ve heard some coughs and sneezes from a few of them already.”

    Her orange orbs shifted back to the kits she was sheltering, one of them buried so deeply onto her side, she could hardly see them against her fur. “Don’t worry young ones, we’ll get you someplace warm and dry, get your bellies filled up and then we’ll have the medicine cats look you over and fix your colds.”



    Smokewisp flexed her claws, feeling the boggy ground squelch between them. “I’ll post a fresh-kill guard until the prey situation resolves, Saplingskies.” Her soaked tail lashed with frustration, slinging a spray of droplets behind her. She felt partly to blame. Amidst the chaos she hadn’t noticed warriors taking fresh-kill out of turn. I’ll investigate the matter once we’re all safe. I’ll notify you when the party is ready,” she mewed.  The smokey grey she-cat dipped her head before turning to leave

    As she turned, Pepperpatch’s displeasured tone caught her ear. “Looks like you have your paws full, Pepperpatch. I’ll send help your way.” Her gaze rested upon the kits, snuggled deeply into the she-cat’s fur. “They’ll be warm and dry soon.” She trotted away, feeling a new sense of urgency. Leaf-bare was just around the corner, they couldn’t afford sickness now.

    Smokewisp scanned the makeshift camp, making silent mental notes. Most of her clanmates were exhausted and chilled to the bone. ‘This will be tough,’ she thought, dreading the journey ahead. If they were all healthy and well-fed the evacuation would be easy. But given their circumstances it would likely take most of the day.

    She managed to gather a reasonably sized group. She imagined they’d still struggle with moving the clan, but at least they’d be safe. She spotted Pinewillow and FInchtail conversing further away. ‘Pinewillow would be perfect,’ she thought, trotting over to join them. “Hey, we’ll be heading to the mountains shortly. This place won’t be safe for much longer,” she mewed, gesturing towards the nearby stream. It roared ominously, lapping hungrily at its banks. “I’ve got a group of able-bodied warriors together. But, I have a couple of  special tasks,” she mewed. “Pinewillow, would you be willing to help Pepperpatch? She’s looking after a particularly weak and ill group of kits and apprentices. She’ll be needing a helping paw.

    Her gaze shifted to Finchtail, who appeared to be almost at his limit. She wouldn’t ask much of him physically, but his experience was valuable. “Finchtail, would you mind accompanying the apprentices? Most are healthy enough to manage the journey alone. But, they’re scared. This is our first evacuation in many moons, and I think your presence might reassure them.” She leaned in a bit closer, lowering her voice. “And, if you see Skunkpaw tell him to help the medicine cats move their herbs. I’m sure that’d brighten up his day,” she chuckled softly, knowing the young cat’s fondness towards Harepaw.

    Hareflight [Mel]

    Harepaw – Medicine Cat Apprentice

    Harepaw nodded her head at Hornetstar’s words, glancing to Saplingskies. “I-I’m sure Skunkpaw will want to help. I’ll go and find him.” She said softly. The calico paused for a moment, eyes scanning over her mentor for a moment. She had been worried about him recently – there was a lot for him to handle after being gone for a moon, and they had no idea if his disease would leave any further symptoms that they didn’t know about. After seemingly convincing herself that he would be alright until she got back, Harepaw made her way across their makeshift camp to where Skunkpaw was.

    “Skunk-Skunkpaw!” She called, slowing in front of him. “Saplingskies and I were- were wondering if you could help us,” then, she paused, remembering she needed to explain a bit more than that. “Hornetstar has decided we’re going- going to try to move to the mountains. We need your help tr-transporting some of the herbs. We’ll need them.” Her brows furrowed slightly, and her wide eyes fixed somewhere past the other as she fell into her own thoughts.

    Scarletflood – ShadowClan Warrior

    Golden eyes were fixed upon the gathered high ranks, and ears were perked as Scarletflood listened quietly to what they were saying. She couldn’t argue – it was necessary at this point to move otherwise they’d all be doomed. Was that really all it would take? The storm could take down the mighty ShadowClan? Scarletflood couldn’t believe it. No, her brother was smart and strong, and if anything would apply himself too much to his Clan and work himself to the bone. However, with him at their lead, it was certain that ShadowClan would be alright. As the ranks disbanded, the scarlet tabby rose to her feet, stalking towards Hornetstar.

    She stopped in front of him, looking much smaller than usual due to her thick fur being weighed down by the constant rain. “Hornetstar,” she said, dipping her head, worried eyes fixing on her sibling. “You made the right choice. By moving us, you’re giving us a chance to live.” She paused, almost looking like she was at a loss for words. Slowly, she took a deep breath, ears pressing back against her head before she refocused, yellow eyes focusing on the other. “What can I do to help, Hornet?”


    The young toms eyes followed his mentor as she left their conversation to join Hornetstar and the other high ranks, The joys of being deputy. Skunkpaw knew the toll the rains were taking on his mentor with her new responsibilities he tried his best to stay calm and help out wherever he was needed. Being Smokewisps apprentice he felt like he had a duty to be more responsible just like her. Skunkpaw was never the most level headed feline often sneaking out and enjoyed joking around even he knew this was no time to act like a kit.

    His body ached from the extra weight his water filled pelt created, his chest stung from the constant coughing, but the tom carried on just like any Shadowclan Warrior would. His large ears flicked as Harepaw voice reached them, “Harepaw” his voice was low and raspy from coughing; a soft smile finding its way onto his muzzle. Relief flooded over the tom cat at the sight of the multi colored she cat, working with Harepaw would help distract the tom from every thing else going on around him. His eyes glanced towards his mentor who was off trying to keep everyone else in order, it seems she doesn’t need me, “I’m all yours Harepaw” A small subtle purr followed his words, giving the She cat a small shoulder bump as he noticed her eyes fixed elsewhere, his raspy voice speaking up, “What’s on your mind?” 


    Briarfeather was in the makeshift nursery, trying to shelter her kits from the rain that was leaking through the roof. They were much too little to be getting wet like this. The five little bodies curled up under her tail looked so pitiful, shivering in the cold and mewing tiredly. Briarfeather wasn’t the type of cat to admit when she was worried, but she was getting very nervous.  She didn’t want her little ones getting sick, she couldn’t bear to lose any more kits. Illness and flooding didn’t care about her feelings, though. They could take the kits at any time. She sighed and wiped away some stress tears that were beginning to form in her eyes.

    Snappingfox stalked into the makeshift camp, carrying a scrawny mouse, a frog, and a squirrel. He had been out for hours, practically all day, and that was all he had to show for it. His tail flicked agitatedly as he scanned the clearing before heading towards a group of young apprentices. He had overheard one of them mention that she hadn’t eaten in a few days. The  large red warrior was known to be ornery and volatile, but he knew that six moon olds should not have to go hungry. As he approached, the little apprentices looked as if they were being approached by a monster. He paid no mind to their faces and dropped the prey into the middle of the group. “The queens and elders have been fed. Eat.” He instructed bluntly. “You’ll have to share but its better than nothing.” With that, he turned and stalked off to see if he could find any of his family members. It seemed that something had happened while he was gone, so he figured Hollowflame or Cloudedmoon would be able to fill him in.


    CloudedMoon ~ ShadowClan Warrior 

    Moist moss water was finding its way into the young warriors mouth as she carried the clean moss through the rain, although while trying her best to keep her head low and out of the rain, she knew the moss would be wet anyways. Fox dung. She snarled to herself, pale lilypad green eyes flashed with irritation as she padded into the makeshift camp, their original camp already flooding. Looking around, she spotted her Littermate, Snappingfox as he dropped pieces of prey for the apprentices to chew on. Just the sight of food was enough to make her stomach growl. However, she ignored the feeling and drive to eat as she walked towards her brother, gently rubbing her head affectionately against his shoulder blade. Her brother had never been the most affectionate but she knew him in ways others would be envy. 

    She smiled at him for a moment, teeth still clinging to the moss in her mouth. Snappingfox was taller than herself, even though she had hit a rather surprising growth spurt. He was muscular just like their father… in fact.. if one did not notice the eye color and slight facial difference they almost appeared to be the same cat. Just as heroic and stubborn as well. Snappingfox had turned into an outstanding warrior, with their mother and father to guide them, it wasn’t a surprise. The tip of her tail gently flicked his chest as she walked by, her eyes plastered on the nursery. CloudedMoon had very small and young siblings that were in need of some extra love and attention, especially with all this rain and the cool winds, she knew Briarfeather could use the help. 

    CloudedMoon slipped through the narrow entrance into the makeshift nursery, eyes immediately finding the chocolate calico pelt of her mother as she hovered over her latest litter with worry. Giving out a small purr to announce her arrival, she moved behind her mothers nest, standing up on her hind legs as she placed the moss into the open cracks where the rain was leaking through. “Little chilly in here from the rain.. but that should help.” She muttered, gathering mud from the ground below with her paw and pressing it against the moss to help it stay in place and seal the crack the best she could manage. Lowering herself down on all four paws, she watched the very slow drip come from the leak, but she was more so satisfied. “Need any help?” She questioned her mother, moving towards the she-cat as she gently licked her mother’s shoulder blade, the scent of fear and stress coming off of Briarfeather in waves. 


    HollowFlame ~ ShadowClan Warrior 

    Large paws were sinking into the mud below him, causing his walk up the slope to the makeshift camp to be a tad bit difficult, grunting through the two small lizards he had managed to find. Really they were the only thing he found in weather like this, rabbits and small chipmunks had drowned in the flooding. Crow food. He thought silently to himself, soft pink nostrils flaring as he breathed in the scent of rain and storm, water trickling down his chin and chest. Emerald green eyes flashed around the clearing of the camp, spotting warriors and apprentices help with making the new living quarters more comfortable. Pupils narrowed as he caught sight of his son, Snappingfox standing in the clearing. Tail tip twitching in thought, the large tomcat moved toward his kit, muscles flexing under his dark red and black spotted pelt. 

    “Have you eaten?” HollowFlame questioned Snappingfox, speaking easily around the two lizard tails without having to open his mouth fully. Lowering his big head he placed the lizards at his sons paws before he grunted and stretched. HollowFlame wasn’t necessarily an old Tom, but the rain and cool winds weren’t helping his achy bones and sore muscles. Sighing softly in pain, he straightened out his body and looked towards the nursery, he could barely just spot CloudedMoons brown and grey spotted pelt through the entrance, calming his nerves a bit to know his eldest daughter was helping Briarfeather. 


    Giving a minute tail flick in greeting when Pinewillow came over to share some space that was at least half-dry where he was perched, Finchtail realized he was in a bit of a daze as the words of the molly’s question settled only slowly into something coherent. “It seem like we’ll be moving,” he said dryly. “Up to the mountains, from the sounds of it.” His tone remained impartial as he relayed the news that the clan would likely be leaving the heart of the territory for an unforeseeable amount of time– not out of a lack of care. It simply seemed as though the old tom no longer had the energy to be properly agitated.

    The group they were watching shortly dismissed, and Smokewisp seemed to make a beeline straight for the pair once she caught sight of them. Realizing that when Hornetstar had said they were going now he meant right now, Finchtail assumed that the deputy must be about to get to work organizing each cat’s responsibilities for their journey. His thought was confirmed as Pinewillow was thankfully assigned to helping the queens and kits instead of him, and that he in turn would be helping the apprentices.

    At the mention of having Skunkpaw in particular help with the medicine cats’ herb stockpile, the black warrior’s whiskers twitched in amusement. The budding romance between the young would-be couple was certainly one of the worst kept secrets in the clan at the moment. Yellow gaze drifting over the grey she-cat’s shoulder, he chuffed quietly and willed his sore muscles into a standing positoin. “I think Harepaw’s beaten me to it, but I’ll go and round up the apprentices.”

    With the surety she was displaying, it was only as an afterthought that Finchtail slowed for a moment from his start towards a group of apprentices sharing a catch Snappingfox must have just brought in between them. “You’re doing well, Smokewisp,” he meowed lowly. “I imagine this is hard for you so soon into your deputyship, but the clan is lucky to have your level head in times like these.”


    As soon as the rest of the ranks started dispersing, he rose to go start mingling among the rest of his Clan, to let them know of the decision made and make certain they were prepared for the move. However, he hesitated for just a millisecond, light-headed and on the brink of drowning in panic and worries. He was fighting to keep his composure, taking a few steps on legs he felt were far too unstable, when his sister was suddenly by his side.

    Though he hated feeling weak in front of anyone, especially his Clanmates, the relief he felt at just the sound of her voice was almost palpable in the air. He looked as strong as ever to everyone else, but he was certain she could see right through that act. For once, he was glad she could. Hornetstar would be as stubborn as ever when it came to accepting help, but at least someone would be aware he was actually struggling“Scarlet,” he almost sighed, managing a small smile. “There’s just so…” His green eyes took in all of the makeshift camp, from the hubub at the pathetic makeshift nursery to the rest of the Clan now rallying into action.

    “So much,” he mumbled, voice a rough rasp with emotion. Again he sighed, eyes fluttering closed as a new wave of light-headeness hit him. The smell of fresh prey assaulted his nose, and he forced his eyes back open to focus on Scarletflood’s face. He had lives to spare, no one else did. If anybody was going to die of prey shortage, he would take that burden upon his own shoulders. “Will you travel with the apprentices? I know we have plenty of other capable warriors, but I want as many of them as possible helping with the queens and kits, and elders. I want someone I can trust with the apprentices.” They were as much the future of the Clan as kits were, and he wanted to ensure ShadowClan had a future after this. The rain showed no promise of letting up anytime soon, and who know how much worse the situation could get once they started moving. Blazemoon was still fresh in his mind, a sharp reminder of how easily a young cat’s life could be ended.

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