July 20, 2020 at 7:09 pm #7429
And just like that, Kass had an apprentice again. It seemed to happen almost over night, sending Hawkbite off into the world on his own before accepting someone new into the fold, someone decidedly clan-born and pure. Realistically, the she-cat knew that her mate had probably given her Silverpaw in an attempt to sway her prejudices, but she was looking forward to molding another young mind into one of her soldiers. Should all go to plan anyway. It was just sunrise when the ThunderClan deputy finished sending off the first patrol of the day, the slight chill in the morning air a welcome reprieve from the hot GreenLeaf sun that tended to bring oppressive heat waves to the clan cats. Quickly, she dipped her head into the Apprentices’ Den, “Silverpaw. Awaken and meet me outside.” She instructed to the tom, not bothering to nose him awake. If he didn’t wake when called then he would simply miss his training session. She wasn’t about to treat him like the kit he no longer was.
She waited impatiently outside the den, setting off into a quick trot once she sensed movement coming from the den. “Well come on then, I don’t train slackers!” she called with a toss of her head behind her shoulder to look at the young tom. She led the tom up and out of the camp, turning around to face him just as they left the clan’s earshot. “Today is your first trial, we’re going to walk the territory and I’m going to show you each individual area. At each area I’m going to give you three essential facts about the land and when we’re done you’re going to recite it back for me. You fail, and we find someone else to train you, its that simple. Deal?”
Without waiting for an answer she turned again to set off into a run, faster than the tom was likely used to having never been out of the clan’s camp. “Oh and one more thing- I don’t slow down for anyone so make sure you can keep up!” With that she set off in the direction of the Oak Forest, keeping an easy rhythm between her legs and each leap propelling her forward. They ran for several minutes, Kass tossing a look over her shoulder every few minutes to make sure the young apprentice was still there. With no warning she stopped completely, her strong muscles keeping her from sliding any when she decided to stop as the air had gotten saltier and the trees had started to change shape. “We’re on a border right now on the edge of the Oak Forest. Close your eyes and tell me what you can smell,” she requested once the tom-kit had finally caught up.July 21, 2020 at 12:46 am #7432
the little lion of thunderclan
Silverpaw awoke to the sound of a muffled voice calling in through the walls of the apprentices’ den. Or, rather, he stirred at the sound. The truth of the matter was that the little tom-cat had been lying awake in his new nest for the majority of the night, practically bristling with excitement. Knowing that his first day of training would be coming at sunrise had the tom anxiously fidgeting in his bed of moss all night, tossing and turning. He certainly received quite a few tongue-lashings from his new den-mates after waking a few of them up around moon-high with his twitching tail. While his first night in the den hadn’t found him any new friends, he was sure he would be able to win them all over in the moons of training to come. Rolling over quickly as Bluefire’s words continued, now harsher, he scrambled hastily and albeit, rather clumsily, to his paws. “Coming!” He called out in response, not even pausing to shake the scraps of moss from his pelt of fluffy silver kitten down as he hurried out of the den, mewing soft apologies to the senior apprentices still lounging in the den as he stepped on quite a few tails and paws in his haste to leave.
Seemingly unaffected by Bluefire’s harsh exterior, he bounced alongside his mentor, light on his toes from the euphoria that the thought of finally leaving camp to explore his clan’s territory brought to him. He trailed eagerly after her as they headed out through the camp entrance, most likely intruding in on the deputy’s personal space more than once in his eagerness. Just as his maw opened to ask about what the day would bring, Bluefire began speaking. His jaws shut abruptly with a sharp clack! of his teeth. Blue eyes widened in a mixture of both excitement and concern at the intensity of his mentor’s statement. He let loose a rather high pitched chuckle as he slowly nodded, tufted ears flickering this was and that. He studied her for any sign of humor, anything to help him relax, but before he could get a read on whether the molly was joking or not, she was off in a flash. With a squeak he careened after her, paws thudding heavily against the ground as he struggled to match her smooth, even stride. As youthful and energetic as Silverpaw was, his frame wasn’t built for speed, and he found himself trailing behind more than he would have liked. Even still, he managed to hang with her as they raced across the forest floor, never losing sight of his mentor amidst the trees and undergrowth.
By the time she finally slowed, his sides were heaving, mouth slightly parted as he panted for breath, his little pink tongue poking out. He stumbled to a halt beside her, narrowly avoiding crashing into her flank, his eyes wide as he took in the view. “Wow.” Silverpaw breathed once he had managed to catch his breath, the fur around his neck puffing up in delight. He turned to Bluefire, positively grinning from ear to ear. For a moment, the dread that had previously settled into a tight knot in his stomach began to loosen, and he nodded at her question. His jaws parted as he tasted the air, his eyes shutting tightly in concentration. “I smell…” His nose wrinkled. “Pine? And dirty water…like the warriors sometimes smell like when they come back from patrols on the Sh-Oh!” He practically bounced up and down at his revelation. “ShadowClan! I smell ShadowClan, right?” The little tom-cat squinted at the territory in front of him, head cocking ever so slightly to one side. “We won’t run into any ShadowClan warriors, will we?” Despite his mother’s affectionate nickname, the “little lion” could not suppress the slight bitterness of fear that crept into his heart, having seen the damages caused by the various other clans from the past battles.July 21, 2020 at 2:38 am #7435
She merely sidestepped the apprentice before he nearly hurtled into her, chuckling at the young apprentice’s clumsiness. It was the first sign of her defrosting, but with a flick of her whisker her game face was back as she introduced him to the area. “That’s right, we’re on the ShadowClan border. The large pines signal the beginning of the border, you can find the actual line using scent. In the future when asked to mark the border you’re going to try and spread your scent over a large area, like that tree over there for example.” She explained. At the tom’s question the ThunderClan deputy couldn’t help but roll her eyes, “Why? Scared they’ll try something? Nah. Those guys take being nocturnal to a whole new level,” she scoffed. “Silverpaw, it’s imperative to your training that you realize we have no quarrel with any clan unless we’re immediately engaged in battle. ShadowClan might be a little rough around the edges, but no one would dare start anything unprovoked.”
Without another word she turned away from the border and began to walk through the dense forest, not bothering to signal the apprentices’ attention again. “Alright, see how dense these trees are? We call this area the Oak Forest. It’s the largest part of our territory, and holds most of our richest prey populations like squirrels and many birds. It’s also where the majority of the thick undergrowth Thunder Clanners enjoys exists. This is one of our most poorly-hidden secret weapons, we’re known for being able to stealthily navigate this land to sneak up on enemies.” The ex-rogue was indifferent about that skill herself, but it did have its uses.
She led her young apprentice through the thick of trees until they met another scent border. “This one can be harder to scent out, SkyClan also shares an area of this land with us. Most of their attributes are the same as ours, despite being two separate clans but one distinct difference is the hint of tree sap. Near their camp I suppose their trees probably thin out. Thin trees create a lot of sap.” Sometimes when the deputy’s bank of knowledge seemed so full like this she wondered if somehow she was channeling her inner Sebastian, her brother. He was such a dork, knowing everything there is to know about the world, his knowledge seemingly passed onto her through osmosis.
“I’m going to run again,” she warned quickly before allowing her gait to speed up, more gradually than she had before but this time not bothering to look back. Slowly but surely the trees around them began to thin out and green bushes of an assorted color of berries began to surround them. When they finally reached the clearing she finally slowed down enough for them to stop safely. The ground beneath their feet was spongy and soft, perfect for training. “This is the Berry Flats, look around kid, this is going to be your new home for the next six or so moons. Sometimes I’m going to ask you to meet me out here, other times I’ll collect you and we will come here anyway as this is where most of your battle training will be. Any questions?”July 22, 2020 at 12:51 pm #7470
the little lion of thunderclan
The slight chuckle of his mentor at his near-mishap had sent a rush of both embarrassment and tentative happiness through the little tom at the slightest hint of warmth from his new mentor. As the molly elaborated on the details of his assessment, he continued tasting the air, focusing on the nearby border. It was strange to smell the scents of so many unfamiliar cats. By the smell of them, they must have come by recently, perhaps the other clans dawn patrol had made their rounds. The sharpness of Bluefire’s tone took him out of his thoughts, and he blinked curiously up at her, drinking in her words of wisdom. “Yes, Bluefire.” He nodded enthusiastically, doing his best to put her words to heart. It was hard to override the fantastical and scary tales of battle the elders had loved to tell him when he would visit, but he knew that peace was also an important part of life too. He trailed after her as he pondered this, although he couldn’t help but glance over his shoulder now and then to peer back at the border, as if expecting shadows to launch themselves across it at any moment. Once he had been led deeper into ThunderClan territory he was able to relax, scanning his surroundings with wide eyes as Bluefire talked about his clan’s unique ability to conceal themselves within the forest.
He bounced a little on his toes at the thought of one day knowing these trees like the back of his paw, and being able to sneak through them, quiet as a mouse. He tasted the air as she talked about prey, and was able to smell the overlapping scent trails of squirrels and mice alike, all with varied freshness that muddled so much he couldn’t tell what scent belonged to which animal. He wrinkled his nose in frustration, and mentally set a goal to practice tracking as much as he could. He’d never been much good at hide-and-seek either, so he supposed it made sense that finding prey wouldn’t be much different. As they approached another border, a new wave of smells washed over him. The scents carried traces of familiar notes to them, of trees and grass, but there was also a distinct sense of not-ThunderClan that presented itself to him. As his mentor explained the scent of sap, he smiled slightly, internally praising himself despite not having known exactly what distinguished the scent. Silverpaw found himself a little detached from the session as the molly began talking about the reason for the smell–herbs and plants had never been his thing–but still, he nodded along, listening intently, before asking: “Isn’t it kinda funny that we share a border with all of the other clans, but then they only have to worry about a couple other clans? We’re kinda surrounded by all of them.” He kneaded his paws into the earth, trying to create a mental picture of all of the borders despite having only visited two so far. It all seemed so overwhelmingly big.
Finally, he found himself bounding through the forest again, still lacking grace but this time sticking closer to his mentor’s side thanks to the warning. When they arrived at their destination, he was awestruck by the variety of colors surrounding them, and the springiness beneath his paws. He bounced a little to test the ground, relishing in the softness between his toes. His mentor continued to talk, and he was so distracted at first that he nearly missed what she was saying. His head shot up just in time to catch most of the sentence, and he nodded furiously, attempting to recall the path they had taken to get here in case he needed to return without her. Humming at her question, he tilted his head to one side after a moment of pondering and recalling tales he’d heard from other apprentices. “Will we ever get to train with the other apprentices and mentors?” He asked after a moment. He thought of Rookpaw, the snarky tom from the other day, and of Pinepaw, the plump and friendly apprentice who had seemed so kind to him. He thought about all of his new friends: Morningpaw, Moonpaw, Dandelionpaw, and his sister, Frostpaw. The thought of getting to train with other apprentices, maybe spar and hunt with them some day, was certainly pleasant.July 22, 2020 at 9:02 pm #7472
“Funny?” The deputy inquired with her voice high pitched and mocking, eyes glancing down at the apprentice as if he’d grown two heads. “I don’t know what’s so funny about such a huge tactical error on your own clan’s part. If we were ever driven out, where would we go? We’re vulnerable Silverpaw.” She warned, keeping her eyes on the apprentice to gauge his reaction to that kernel of information. With a rather abrupt, ‘Hmph!’ she launched into her explanation of the area. “The berry flats. If you walk in that direction you’ll hit RiverClan- oddly enough not on the river. They smell fishy and are very loyal to their clan so don’t mess with them. In the right season blueberries and blackberries can grow here. Now is actually the best season for them but we’ll explore that later.”
When her apprentice voiced his next question she cupped him over the ears with her tail, wondering if he would remember anything she told him at the end. She began to walk towards their next destination signaling him to follow. “Well I don’t know about other mentors, but if you had a friend or two in mind I wouldn’t mind bringing them out.” She shrugged, kicking out her hind legs in order to get ready to sprint. “But I don’t share my training methods with just anyone,” she added before kicking the dirt at her feet up at his face, starting another run throughout the forest. This time she leaped over thin fallen trees and swerved through the forest to try and see if she could shake the young apprentice, she was disappointed when she couldn’t quite manage to. Every time she turned he was still there, even if just a blur in the background.
‘Guess the cub’s earned a break then,’ Allowing her apprentice to catch up as they neared the riverbank, stopping just short of the lapping water. “Take it all in,” she breathed, eyes looking ahead of the stream into WindClan. “Across the way is WindClan. Far upstream is a two-leg farm. You can find water dwelling birds here, sometimes frogs but I wouldn’t recommend those they’re pretty chewy.” her face twisted up in vague disgust. She couldn’t imagine why any cat or being would ever want to eat a frog. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted a water vole feasting on a piece of grass and without any warning she turned and pounced, ending the rodent’s fight quickly and efficiently. She dropped the prey at Silverpaw’s feet, “So, do you have any questions? Comments? Concerns?”July 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm #7490
the little lion of thunderclan
The tom nodded at her criticism of the territory claim, his head having been filled with the same concerns. “Sorry, bad phrasing.” He murmured apologetically after she had finished. He was a little proud of his conclusions despite his bad wording, given his nonexistent battle experience. It seemed like, if they wanted to, the other clans could encircle ThunderClan entirely, preventing them from any kind of escape. He grimaced at the thought. ‘Thank StarClan for alliances.’ He followed her gaze toward where RiverClan’s territory would be, wrinkling his nose at her description of their rather distinctive scent. “Fish?” He repeated, tongue poking out a little and ears flickering close to his skull in disgust. “Blegh!” He couldn’t imagine eating anything that smelled so strongly, let alone trying to pick around their scales. He had played in the stream that ran through camp as a little kitten, and had once or twice chased the minnows that darted around within, but eating them was another story entirely.
When Bluefire agreed to future sessions with some of his friends, he positively beamed at her, before being promptly rewarded with a spray of dirt as she kicked off, the dust tickling his nose and causing him to sneeze. He rubbed furiously at his face with one downy silver paw before jolting after her. His paws thundered against the grass as he followed closely, this time determined to keep up with his mentor. He ducked under logs after she leaped, for once grateful for his small, still kitten-like stature. One day, perhaps, he would grow to be as large and intimidating as his father, but for now, he was merely a small puff of kitten down. His flanks heaved as he followed his mentor through the trees and up to the riverbank. Ahead, Bluefire seemed to pause here for longer than usual, and so as he slowed to a stop, he allowed his muscles to relax a little as he caught his breath.
He watched her hunt with practiced ease, gasping softly in delight at being able to witness such a polished kill. When the vole thudded at his paws, he blinked up at her for a minute before smiling brightly, thanking her, and ducking his head down to take a bite. “Much better than frogs.” He mewed jokingly after swallowing, whiskers twitching. At her inquiry, he nodded. “Yeah! Are there actually two-legs at the farm or is it abandoned? Have you ever seen one up close? Do they ever bother our warriors?” He was fascinated by the concept of the weird, fleshy creatures the elders had describe to him, with their strange vocalizations and fearsomely tall stature.July 29, 2020 at 2:18 pm #7595
There were two cats on the beach that morning, looking off across the river but to the ThunderClan deputy there was five. Silverpaw and Bluefire of course, but the added shadows of the her own broken body unconscious on the bank of the river, Hollystar giving her best to drag her body up onto the shore and then the added presence of Softbelly, the former medicine cat who’d been so weary to take her back to camp, but so willing to save her life. She could see the spot just there, in the corner of her eye. But that had been seasons and seasons ago. Silverpaw hadn’t even been born yet- she glanced at her apprentice who seemed very interested in the farm.
“There’s twolegs at the farm, sure. But there’s also a nasty gang of cats that live there too. One day I’ll tell you about them,” she shrugged, “But not today. That’s a story you have to earn.” She let an awkward silence fall upon them, playing in the sand with her paws awkwardly. She kicked a sea shell and it skipped in the water three times before sinking. “Y’know, being the deputy’s apprentice is a big deal right? I don’t train just anyone and I’m very demanding.” she started, air high and conversational. “There’s a lot of weight that will be put on your shoulders and a lot of it is going to be overwhelming at first but if this is going to work I need you to trust me completely.” The deputy turned to her apprentice then, “I’ll turn you into the best warrior ThunderClan has seen. But in order to do that you need to trust me or it will never work and I’ll have to give you to someone else. And in return I’ll trust you, somewhat.”
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