Progressing Forward

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  • #4467
    Tori
    Participant

    Time had passed significantly since the last gathering. Since the storm had settled and the floodwaters had left their territory, RiverClan had been hosting their home temporarily with ShadowClan, as their home was set in the tunnels and the underground system had kept the water that had forced them out of the location they knew as their birthplace. Wisteriastar held an immense amount of sympathy for them, no one deserved to lose their home like that, especially not one in which the majority of them had been raised in. The sun set and the moon rose several times over by now and from the reports she had overheard from the ShadowClan warriors staying with her, it would seem that the flooded tunnels were not ever going to return to their previous levels. ShadowClan would have to find a new camp. The RiverClan leader felt that she owed a lot to the ShadowClan warriors. Saplingskies in particular had been incredibly helpful to her, for he helped her find a new Medicine Cat for her Clan and he was there to support her when she needed him. He had truly become a good friend to her. Not to mention Hornetstar, who she had been getting closer to lately, working on understanding one another. He wasn’t nearly as difficult as the other Clans claimed he was, just stubborn and perhaps a bit misunderstood. 

     Heaving herself to her paws, the calico feline exited her den and stepped nimbly down the stones of the waterfall that cascaded through RiverClan camp to join the cluster of ShadowClan ranks that temporarily nested themselves in the far walls of her camp. She dipped her head respectfully to Saplingskies, Hareflight, and Smokewisp in turn before she turned her attention to their leader, Hornetstar. “Forgive me if I’m imposing,” She started, “but I overheard your discussion earlier about the state of your camp. I’d like to offer my help in the search for a new place for you to stay. I feel like I still owe you that much, your medicine cat helped me more than I feel like I can properly repay.” 

    #4550
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    Thanks to a patrol Smokewisp had sent back to ShadowClan territory, it had become apparent to the high ranks that they would need to find a new camp. Even a few moonrises after the flooding, even after the Gathering, their camp was still flooded. Not as bad as it had been in the early days of the storm, but still too much for them to return home. Something needed to be done, and soon. Wisteriastar and RiverClan had already done so much for them, to the point they were starting to feel more like a burden than welcomed guests. He had called the other ShadowClan high ranks together for a meeting, knowing if they all put their heads together, something would be thought up.

    Hornetstar stopped short on what he had been saying, ear flicking as he looked towards the RiverClan leader. For a moment the surprise was obvious on his face, though he quickly replaced it with a more neutral expression. “Surely there’s no need for that, even if the help would be greatly appreciated,” he mumbled, glancing back at his medicine cats and deputy. Then he glanced at the few Clanmates he could see, mentally frowning at himself. “You and your Clan have already done so much.” The golden tom quickly elaborated further, not wanting to appear ungrateful or stuck up. They had had a good conversation the other night, the two leaders that was, but he was still worried she’d side with everyone else. That she would think him a piece of fox dung, prickly and downright stinky at that. He didn’t purposefully try to be difficult, StarClan knew that, but he just wasn’t the best at socializing sometimes. Especially if his Clan was in question.

    #4572
    Lux
    Participant

    Smokewisp – Shadowclan Deputy

    Smokewisp sighed, unamused at the prospect of moving their camp. ‘New patrol routes, new hunting grounds, new training locations…’ she prattled on in her mind. It would change everything, even if they were only moving a short distance. On top of that, there were still several clanmates with questionable health. The storm had taken a toll on them, exhausting the whole clan mentally and physically. A familiar calico pelt caught her eye as Wisteriastar approached them. She politely dipped her head to the Riverclan leader, listening in silence.

    Hornetstar,” she quietly addressed her leader. “I think working together might be for the best. The more paws we have the faster we’ll be out of their fur. Of course I appreciate Riverclan letting us stay here, but …” Her gaze drifted away, watching some of her  clanmates mill about. They seemed woefully out of place. “Everyone is ready to go home, wherever that may be.” She was unsure of where to begin in their search. There were a few areas of interest, of course. But, wherever they moved they’d no longer feel the safety and comfort of the stony tunnels above their heads.

    #4718
    Roach
    Participant

    Roachpaw ~ Shadowclan Apprentice 

    Quietly as he could, the tall lanky obsidian apprentice slips into Riverclan camp. The scent of fish and fresh water clings to the air, not that it truly bothered the young tom anymore. Spending weeks upon weeks within Riverclan had taught him to grow accustomed to the strange smell. Biting his lip slightly as he tries his best to act normal to avoid suspicion from unwanted eyes. So far, the Shadowclan Apprentice had managed to stay out of Hornetstar’s grasp in regards to a certain patrol that he may have…crashed. He was even starting to believe that Smokewisp had forgotten or maybe even decided to give him a solid in not mentioning his transgressions. Though he was curious to know the answer, he wasn’t dumb enough to find out. Best option; stay clear from his mentor/leader and deputy, not such an easy task.

    Yet, the cunning feline was always up for the challenge. Letting his dark sunflower yellow gaze sweep over the bodies within the clearing. Squinting as he studies each figure before spotting a small group of the ranks huddled together in the far corner. Furrowing his brows as his curiosity quickly spiked, the unknown gnawing within him, begging to be discovered. Roachpaw quickly glanced away, having to remind himself that he needed to stay clear from them. He; for once, did not want any attention or trouble brought upon him. ‘Where is Skunkpaw?’ He wondered with an inaudible sigh escaping his lips. Even though he had been here for a while, he still wasn’t familiar with many of the felines around him. He tended to blame that on being terrible at remembering names, though he knew that the true answer was; he never payed attention.

    ‘I’m just going to go in the opposite direction from where they are’ Roachpaw smirks at the thought. Looking away from Hornetstar, Wisteriastar, and Smokewisp, concentrating on maneuvering through the crowded clearing. Holding his breath at the sudden feeling of claustrophobia setting in, trying his best to avoid brushing pelts with other around him and ignoring the slight anxiety within him. Wrinkling his nose in distaste as he failed in steering clear from bumping others, the dark tom didn’t even bother to stop to mutter apologies as he kept moving through. Relief washed over him as he finds a gap, slipping through two large warriors, the air becoming less thick as he escaped to the outer rim of the clearing. “Finally” he huffed, shaking his slightly ruffled pelt before looking around once more to make sure he remained unknown.

    #4764
    SoliloquySilver
    Participant

    It was time. Hickoryroot had proven himself capable of handling RiverClan on his own, and Saplingskies was confident that the clan that had so kindly sheltered his own would be in good paws. However, there was a part of him that wanted to stay longer, perhaps even for the rest of his life. He had adapted well to the life of a RiverClan cat, he had even found himself enjoying the whole catching and eating fish thing. But this was not his home. He belonged under the pine trees of ShadowClan’s territory, creeping through the shadows with marshland under his paws. He listened quietly as Hornetstar and Smokewisp discussed their next move, absently wondering where the clan would end up. It was clear that they would never be returning to the tunnels. Even if the water ever cleared out, the tunnels were obviously unsafe. No one had ever thought about that until it was too late, it seemed. When he caught movement out of the corner of his eye, his ears perked and he looked towards it.

    Upon recognizing the calico pelt of the RiverClan leader, the medicine dipped his head in a respectful response to her greeting. “Good morning, Wisteriastar,” He mewed, offering to let her take a seat beside him. He looked up at her, unable to hold back the small purr that escaped him due to her kind words. He looked between Hornetstar and Smokewisp before looking back at the RiverClan leader “I don’t need repayment, any healer worth their weight in fresh-kill would readily offer their assistance no matter where it’s needed. However…” His attention turned back to the ranks of his clan, dipping his head to his deputy. “I have to agree with Smokewisp. More paws means more ground covered. The quicker we find a suitable location, the quicker we can get settled in…” He thought for a moment, tail flicking gently. “Perhaps we could start near the base of the mountains?” He suggested, tilting his head to the side.

    #4783
    Tori
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R –

    With a satisfied flick of her plumy tail, the calico feline gratefully took a seat next to Saplingskies. The small tom’s company was always more than welcome to her. She blinked warmly at the ShadowClan healer before her attention was redirected to the other ShadowClan ranks present. Wisteriastar nodded in agreement to Smokewisp’s input. “Of course, I’m sure you’re all restless to have your own space again,” she sympathized, pausing for a moment to listen to Saplingskies’s words of reason. “The base of the mountains sounds like a good idea to me,” she agreed easily. Her amber eyes moved to glance over once more at Hornetstar as she gave him a small, teasing smirk. “It would appear to me that your clanmates are in a consensus that my company may not be a bad idea after all.” Although, it would seem now that even if she didn’t have the ShadowClan leader’s direct blessing to accompany the departing patrol, she had more than invited herself anyway. 

    #4891
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    Ignored and ignored and then, oh, ignored! Did his say as leader not mean fox dung anymore? Saplingskies’ disagreement didn’t even surprise him, but being completely sided against by Smokewisp… By the way they all responded, it was like his words had been outright ignored too. What utter rat droppings. He would have pouted, if it was unbecoming of him. And even he knew throwing a fit over this matter wasn’t worth it.

    “Mhm, that it would,” he grumbled back at Wisteriastar, wishing to wipe that smirk right off her face. Hopefully one of these days she knew what it felt like to be sided against so completely, by his fellow ShadowClan ranks no less. “Just remember where ShadowClan starts and RiverClan ends, yeah? We appreciate all of this but once our new camp is found and we’re out of your pelts, we’re out of your pelts and you’re out of ours.”

    With a sigh the ShadowClan leader rose, glancing at where the majority of his Clanmates sat. Spying a familiar pelt among the group, he couldn’t help but smirk viciously. “Ah, Roachpaw! You’ll be coming with to help find the new camp. Think of it as… A pre-assessment,” he chuckled, jumping on the opportunity to relentlessly pick on his apprentice. StarClan knew the pawful deserved. “Anyone is welcome, so long as they’re in fit shape! The more we have along, the easier this task will hopefully be.”

    #4916
    Roach
    Participant

    Roachpaw ~Shadowclan Apprentice 

    Boredom was sinking in, his yellow gaze flickering around mindlessly, not really taking anything in. His gaze always seemed to fall back to his leader and other Shadowclan ranks along with the leader of Riverclan. Narrowing his eyes in curiosity as he was tempted to move closer. Biting his lower lip as he tried to ignore the feeling within him that begged him to ease drop. Tail flicking side to side in anticipation before thinking; ‘screw it! If he sees me, he sees me’ a soft huff escapes him before he rises from his position across the clearing.

    Glancing at a few felines as he brushes past them, giving a sheepish grin here and there as a silent sorry. His silky obsidian pelt glistening as the sun’s rays filtered through the clearing, warming his pelt during the cold weather. Ears flattening against his skull slightly as he gets closer towards the ranks discussing something of importance. Roachpaw just couldn’t help his curious nature, always having or wanting to know what is going on around him. A terrible flaw of his; something that never ceased to cause the poor tom to get into trouble.

    Pausing a few feet away, settling near a group of felines that he truly didn’t know or cared to remember. All he needed to do was blend in, to not make it obvious that he was listening in. Though his tall lanky form leaning in their direction as well as his ears flicking in their general direction. His sunflower yellow gaze locked on his paws as he concentrates, smirking as he hears bits and pieces of what sounds like Saplingskies and Smokewisp going against what Hornetstar believed was best in terms to finding a new camp.

    It would seem he was the only one that didn’t want Wisteriastar to join, even if she had already wormed her way into the patrol. His eyes lighting up at the thought of Hornetstar being gone for several hours; it would give him breathing room as he was not in the mood to hear Hornetstar lecture him or even threaten him on his ‘childish and reckless’ behavior; whatever that meant. Hearing and seeing movement in the corner of his peripheral vision caused him to stiffen as he pretended to be busy with something. He even tried to shrink his tall form, but sadly Starclan was not on his side today. Wincing as his name projected through the clearing.

    Ears pinned, a sheepish grin on his lips as he slowly turns to already see Hornetstar’s piercing gaze on his pelt. ‘Why me?’ He thought dramatically as he rises fully. Flashing a charming grin at his mentor as he swiftly makes his way over. Easily hiding the slight nerves that courses through his body. “Ah can’t get enough of me? It will truly be a dark day when I am no longer your apprentice” Roachpaw hums with a long sigh as he glances over at the others around him. “Hellooo” he drawls out with a cheerful tone, though deep inside he was dreading it; it was time to prove himself as a warrior.

    #4921
    Lux
    Participant

    Smokewisp – Shadowclan Deputy

    Smokewisp wrinkled her nose, feeling Hornetstar’s fuming irritating radiating like hot stones. ‘Mm, he knows we don’t really have a choice,‘ she thought, grimacing. He’d surely settle in once they got moving. She sighed, shaking her head. “I’m not really sure where to start looking,” she mewed. “Though, I do have some potential ideas. Either way, we need something easily defensible, from weather or otherwise. Rather not have to go through another flood.” She stood, gesturing towards some of the eavesdropping Shadowclan warriors. “Agreed, the more the merrier.” Although, she had to admit she didn’t particularly desire for Roachpaw’s company. He was always such trouble.

    #4934
    SoliloquySilver
    Participant

    Saplingskies didn’t acknowledge Hornetstar’s irritation. He had been ShadowClan’s medicine cat for a good few moons now, and he was entirely used to his oh so charming leader’s attitude. ‘A badger with brambles stuck up its rear would be much more pleasant to deal with,’ He thought to himself, struggling not to roll his eyes at the indignant air coming off the other tom. ‘For the love of StarClan, get over yourself and accept help without whining for once.’ His sky-colored gaze drifted from Hornetstar back over to Smokewisp, silently taking in her words. He had to admit, he respected her much more than he did Hornetstar. Smokewisp had never been aggressive towards him or made him feel invalid. Sure, she was no social butterfly, but at least she was mostly pleasant. “I think we should look to higher ground. Not as high as we were in the cave, of course, but high enough so we don’t have to worry about drowning in another storm.”

    He looked around, blinking as Hornetstar called Roachpaw forward. He sensed that Smokewisp wasn’t keen on the idea, but he didn’t mind. Roachpaw had never really caused him any trouble that he could recall. He somewhat pitied the apprentice, in fact. He couldn’t imagine the hell Hornetstar must put the tom through. He regarded the apprentice with a dip of his head, waving his tail as a ‘hello’. “Greetings, Roachpaw. I trust you’re as eager to get back to ShadowClan territory as everyone else, hm?” He asked, offering him a small smile. This patrol was definitely going to be something, alright.

    #4995
    Hornetstar
    Participant

    HORNETSTAR.

    Oh how he wished to sometimes reach over and just give Saplingskies a firm cuff to the head. A medicine cat had never irritated him so, and it annoyed him even further that it was ShadowClan’s medicine cat at that. They were supposed to work together, yet all they could ever seem to manage to do was butt heads. Well, Hornetstar didn’t care so long as they kept ShadowClan thriving. Besides, at least he could tolerate Smokewisp and Hareflight – well, more than tolerate. Part of him hoped Saplingskies retired soon, so he could work directly with Hareflight.

    He waited a moment to see if anyone else would join, then determining they would be all, whirled about. “Alright, we’re off then. Hopefully we can make it back tonight,” he commented, glancing at the sun above. It would be a trek, through ThunderClan territory and some rivers no less, but he was confident they could get this done in record time. They had chosen the base of the mountains as a starting point, so they already had an idea of where and what they would be looking for.

    The golden tom set a brisk, almost unrelenting pace, though he kept it steady as they headed for ShadowClan territory. The mountains seemed to call to him, and he was even more eager to find his Clan a new home. Staying with RiverClan had been pleasant, he supposed, and he was grateful to them… Okay, maybe he had enjoyed the visit for certain reasons, but he wasn’t about to admit that. They needed to get out of RiverClan, before both Clans got too comfortable with each other.

    #5000
    Tori
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R – 

    “Oh, of course,” Wisteriastar replied soothingly in response to the ShadowClan leader’s snippy response to the fact that she was indeed coming along, as the other ShadowClan ranks present seemed to favor her company more than he did. The tip of her tail flicked irritably at this fact, though it was so subtle that one would have to know her relatively well to realize that this bothered her. She of course appreciated Saplingskies’s warming company as well as Smokewisp’s logical agreement. Roachpaw’s approach to their group didn’t seem to be acknowledged much by Wisteriastar other than a flick of her tattered ears– the young tom didn’t seem as though he really wanted to be here right now, even if he were chosen to join due to his eavesdropping. It seemed that coming along on the patrol was more of a punishment than a privilege. 

    She did, however, notice Hornetstar’s usual ire and how he tended to direct a sour attitude towards his medicine cat, Saplingskies. The RiverClan leader wasn’t a fan of this particular treatment for several reasons, partly because she highly respected her ranks personally and she believed that their dignity was just as important as her own and partly because she felt a little bit stung about how the golden tom had reacted towards her coming along with the patrol. She went along silently, for now, as they journeyed on together as a patrol towards ShadowClan territory, which they reached shortly since the trek between their territories truly was not that far away. They ventured deeper into ShadowClan territory, and the calico-furred RiverClanner had kept close to Saplingskies’s side, as he was the only one present here that she had considered an actual friend and his company was comforting to her. As the patrol walked, Wisteriastar decided that she had been having quite enough of the attitude she had been receiving from the ShadowClan leader, and she was sure that she wasn’t the only one that wanted to see his usual scowl wiped right off his face. 

    While she walked side-by-side with him, Wisteriastar allowed her flank to brush Saplingskies’s softly, “I hope that his rude attitude doesn’t get to you too much,” she murmured to the medicine cat, referring to Hornetstar, who walked at the head of the patrol, keeping her voice and head low for only the small brown tom to hear when she spoke with him. “It must be tiring to be spoken to like that every day, if you had decided to stay in RiverClan, we surely would have valued you.” She meant what she had said just now, even if part of her actions were done just to ruffle the fur of the golden tom ahead of them, at the end of the day, Saplingskies was a friend she treasured and she hoped that perhaps one day soon his relationship with his leader would stabilize. Maybe not any time soon, but she would do whatever she could to influence Hornetstar’s barriers. He needed to learn to rely on others, that’s what she thought. 

    #5004
    Roach
    Participant

    Roachpaw ~Shadowclan Apprentice 

    Clicking his tongue loudly against the roof of his mouth as he watches Hornetstar blandly ignore his words. Huffing as he rolls his eyes in slight irritation, though he made sure none of the others noticed his attitude. Shrugging his slim shoulders as he follows along, deciding he would try to be on his best behavior—for now. Paper thin ears perking up at hearing his name from Saplingskies. Turning his wedged cranium slightly in the brown Tom’s direction. Pale yellow eyes staring into blue as he regards him silently. He could tell that there was no ill intent in his words, that Saplingskies was genuinely starting a conversation. A small smile appears on Roachpaw’s lips as he responds; “I’m glad that we won’t be here in this fishy clan much longer. Tends to feel crowded” he responds, not caring that Wisteriastar was near by.

    He could easily sense that many did not want him on the patrol, but he could give two shits as Hornetstar had decided. There was no denying Hornetstar; he always gets what he wants. Glancing briefly at Wisteriastar before turning away, if she wasn’t going to properly acknowledge him then why should he to her? Spotting her making her way towards Saplingskies causes Roachpaw to huff. Giving Saplingskies a soft smile before bounding after Hornetstar and Smokewisp. Eyeing both of the stoic forms before him, wondering how he should go about starting a conversation with them. Muttering quietly under his breath before calming his racing heart. Even though he was the apprentice to Hornetstar there had always been a sturdy wall between them. Hornet loved to keep his distance, well at least emotionally.

    It irked Roach that after moons of training under him, he wasn’t anywhere close enough to feel comfortable with Hornetstar. In a way it was the reason why Roachpaw goofed off or always had a cheeky rebuttal to everything, he tries to have a carefree attitude to compensate with Hornetstar’s constant brooding personality. Pursing his lips as his mind was blank, he had nothing to say. Nothing came to mind to start a conversation to end the silence that was swarming him. “So are we staying in Shadowclan territory and just finding a new camping ground or…are we finding an entirely new place?” He questioned, mentally wincing at how weak his conversation starter sounded. At least he tried to break the ice, hearing Wisteriastar mumbling to Saplingskies was the only sound he could hear.

    #5067
    Lux
    Participant

    Smokewisp – Shadowclan Deputy

    Smokewisp padded along, her long legs keeping stride with Hornetstar’s hurried pace. Her amber gaze shifted, briefly meeting his green gaze. “You seem excited,” she mewed, raising an inquisitive eyebrow. “Already have something in mind?” She gestured forward with her ears, towards the mountain. He seemed to be making a bee-line for them.

    She glanced momentarily over her shoulder, noticing how Wisteriastar and Saplingskies were huddled together, speaking in hushed tones. ‘What are they talking about,’ she silently wondered. Hornetstar had been particularly rough on Saplingskies lately. Perhaps it was stress, which caused him to lash out at inopportune times. Or, perhaps there was something more. She frowned, shaking her head slightly. Someone had to disagree with Hornetstar. And, unfortunately it seemed that job often fell to their medicine cat.

    Roachpaw’s voice caught her ears, as he spoke  up just behind them. “Somewhere entirely new,” she answered the apprentice. “No more camps in tunnels for us. The floods worsen each year, and I doubt our old camp will dry until new-leaf. As kind as Riverclan has been, I doubt any of us would like to spend the winter with them.” She glanced back at Wisteriastar, eyes glinting with amusement.

    #5078
    SoliloquySilver
    Participant

    Saplingskies had been lost in thought, silently observing the damage the storm had caused in their territory. Hopefully all the destroyed herbs would regrow in newleaf. It seemed that the harsh winds and flooding had completely decimated many of his favorite herb gathering spots. It was disheartening, but that was life, he supposed. Then, suddenly, Wisteriastar’s flank brushed against his own, causing the little tom to jump slightly in surprise. He looked up at her with a confused face, which slowly turned to realization as she spoke, her words for his ears only.

    “It is very frustrating…” He began slowly, matching her hushed town. As she continued, he felt his stomach drop. He wanted nothing more than to feel valued by the clan he served. To him it didn’t seem like that was too much to ask, but he often found himself on the receiving end of aggression and disrespect. Wisteriastar was like a siren, beckoning him to drown in the sea. “I would be lying if I said I’ve never considered leaving ShadowClan to seek other opportunities…” He admitted softly, whiskers twitching. “But it would break my mother’s heart if I left, and I’m sure Hareflight, Skunkpaw, and my younger siblings would never forgive me…”

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