January 19, 2021 at 7:49 pm #10836
Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader
Smokestar stood quietly outside the cave, the deep snow chilling her toes and slowly soaking into her fur. Fortunately, the warm sun on her back drove away the chills. Bones laid outside the entrance, picked clean and bleached. Her ears swiveled forward, straining to hear any signs of movement. ‘It seems to be sleeping,‘ she thought. ‘It’s probably better that way.‘
Today was the day, for better or worse, and Shadowclan would drive the bear from their territory.
Harelfight, Waspaw, and some additional apprentices would be following the chase to provide medical care. Smokestar had reserved herself as backup, in case anything went wrong. It’d be grueling work to keep pace, running with both relay groups throughout the territory. But, she couldn’t let her clanmates face the threat alone. ‘If anyone dies, I’m responsible,‘ she thought. Her belly churned and for a brief moment and she felt ill. ‘Starclan protect us all. We’re really facing a bear, of all things.‘
Smokestar turned to Juncoberry and Roseshadow, giving each a slight nod. “I’ll keep pace with you,” she mewed. “If anything goes wrong, I’ll be there. Just be safe, please.” Her eyes and voice were soft with concern. “There’s a time and place for heroics, but today isn’t the day. I need all of you alive and well at the end of this.” She gave Juncoberry’s side a friendly bonk with her flank, “I know you’ll all do your best. Get going now, let’s not waste daylight.” She stared ahead, into the cave’s yawning maw as her heart began to quicken from fear and adrenaline.
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant ArtJanuary 21, 2021 at 5:15 pm #10853Hareflight [Mel]Participant
『 H A R E F L I G H T 』
Hareflight watched Smokestar speak to the warriors, nerves wracking in her paws for the warriors. They would be out there soon, risking their lives to make ShadowClan’s territory safer. And it was her job to keep them healthy and alive, no matter what happened today. Tearing her gaze away from her leader, Hareflight fixed her bi-coloured eyes on her apprentice and his siblings. “Okay, y-you three, listen close. B-Bears are dangerous. There’s a reason you’re here with me, and that’s to k-keep you safe.” She said, staring pointedly at Fennelpaw and Rowanpaw. “I k-know it’s probably tempting for you guys to rush out there t-to save the day, but I’m serious a-about this. Things could g-go wrong in an instant, and if it does we need warriors out there who are p-prepared to think on their paws.” Hareflight glanced over at the other cats, nerves worming in her stomach. Glancing back at the three apprentices, her gaze softened. She hated being so… strict, but this was a life or death matter and she could not handle unnecessary injuries right now. “Besides.. If anything d-does go wrong – and let’s hope it doesn’t – b-but if it does, I need you all here to help. U-Understood?” Her brows furrowed in concern as she stared at the three, meeting each of their gaze for a split second as she awaited their answers. Stars, keep everyone safe today. “We’ll be following behind, at a safe distance, to tend to any injuries and help transport injured cats away from the danger if need be. D-Do any of you have any questions?“ It was so much to ask, these three were still so young. She couldn’t help but feel this was a lot of pressure placed on the three siblings. Her expression softened into concern, and she glanced at them, and back at Smokestar, Juncoberry, and the rest of the warriors. This would go well. It had to.January 21, 2021 at 5:49 pm #10856
So this was it. They’d be chasing this bear from their territory today, and Juncoberry could hardly believe he’d worked up the courage to stand here at the opening of its cave. He could smell the stench of the thing, causing his nose to wrinkle as he fought to control his nerves. Facing off other cats, or, StarClan, even badgers or foxes never got to him this much. Something in the way Leafstorm had described these bears had stirred a deep fear in this tom; he would much rather be doing anything but this. He looked over to Smokestar as she ran over the plan briefly once more, warning them to be careful. He released a quiet giggle, doing his best to mask his terror.
“You should know me better by now, Smokestar,” he gently scolded her, “If any-cat is the least interested in being a hero, it’s definitely me. ‘Don’t know about any of you, but Junco’s good down here. I’m not joining them coots up in the stars anytime soon.” He leaned into the she-cat as she bumped his side with her own flank, his tail lashing in response to her order. He glanced over in Roseshadow’s direction, offering her a not-quite-reassuring smile. He wondered if he should go ahead and lie to help her feel better, or if he should just tell her the truth. This was going to be dangerous; this was going to be hard. There likely would be some casualties today, and some who lived through would be permanently scarred— both physically and psychologically.
Thank StarClan he wasn’t easily humbled. “Everything will be okay,” he lied seemlessly, “I won’t let it get you. If anything, feel free to push me down so you can get away.” He flashed a wink in her direction before turning once more to the mouth of the cave before them. He drew in a deep breath, steeling himself for what he must do now. He clenched his jaw, forcing down his fear as he took a step forward. He wasn’t ready to die today— of that, he was certain.January 21, 2021 at 6:21 pm #10857HowlsParticipant
Ears pricked, Rowanpaw sat quietly next to her siblings, gaze locked on Smokestar and the group of warriors she addressed. The envy and eagerness trickling through her veins was quite obvious, from the glint to her eyes to the tension in her body as she leaned forward, as if ready to dart off and join them.
Unfortunately for her, she was regulated to help the Medicine Cats with anything they might need. Something about her lack of training and youth. Typical. Of course the warriors got the exciting jobs, like luring the bear off to its new home. Instead of that, she and her brother had to play medic-helper. Releasing a frustrated sigh, she turned to nudge her brother, gesturing towards the group.
“That’ll be us someday, Fenn,” she murmured quietly, eyes flaring with determination. “Just you wait n see. We’ll be runnin with the best of em in no time, not stuck here on the sidelines.”
She withheld another sigh as Hareflight, a timid-looking calico female that she had little familiarity with, turned to address their little group. As the older she-cat droned on about temptations and dangers, she allowed her thoughts to wander. At least we’re together. This’d be much more disappointing- not to mention awkward- if her brothers weren’t her with her. She cast a fond glance towards Wasppaw, knowing he was likely much more relieved that they weren’t in the line of fire. Silly furball. As if I could be caught so easily. She’d prove that to him, eventually.
Her attention sharpened once more as Hareflight turned to them expectantly, and she met her gaze with a flick of the ear. “Help medics. No fighting. Got it,” she grumbled, gaze flicking longingly back towards the clustered warriors. She’d follow orders, for now. So long as she got to join them eventually. Maybe Roseshadow would give her some new lessons after this, in case a situation like it ever came up in the future.January 21, 2021 at 8:41 pm #10865ToriParticipant
– W A S P –
He didn’t stray too far from his mentor’s side. He knew that this journey was going to be a risky, if not dangerous one and he knew that in most cases, apprentices wouldn’t even be allowed to participate in something like this. Smokestar had been adamant about trying to keep the safety of her clanmates to the best of her ability and clearly that meant not bringing those who were unexperienced or a risk to themselves or their clanmates who might have to stop and protect them. But he was a medic in training and first hand experience was the best teacher. It made sense for him to be by Hareflight on the sidelines of the danger, here to participate in first aid and emergency treatment if necessary.
His siblings though… That was another story. Wasppaw risked a glance back at his littermates as they crept along side them. He knew they wanted to be involved and likely, in Fennelpaw’s case anyway, had begged for permission until it was granted. He wasn’t completely surprised. He figured that if he had been allowed to go, then his brother and sister would want to tag along as well. They probably thought that this was more exciting than he did. Hareflight stopped the trio of apprentices as they reached their target and gave them the instructions they would need. He had heard this already while they prepped their herbs for today’s mission, but he assumed that she would need to tell his siblings this as well.
But Rowanpaw didn’t seem to care too much. She dismissed his mentor with a quick reply, clearly not too interested in playing healer, as her amber eyes focused ahead on where the action would take place. “Hey now,” he scolded her softly, flicking the tip of his tail over her russet ears. The medicine apprentice’s bi-colored eyes flickered between his brother and sister. “I need you two safe, okay?” He murmured, “Don’t be too hasty to run into the life of a warrior.”January 21, 2021 at 10:43 pm #10868PheebsParticipant
“Lies get you killed,” Roseshadow snapped, a frown souring her expression. The molly was your average warrior, seldom noticed, and that was how she liked it- she was a normal Shadowclanner with an appearance that hinted at being beautiful but lacking the humor to attest it. “I’ll be sure to take you up on that offer anyway,” she added a second later, lips turned up in a half-smile.
“You,” she called, eyeing the kit that was, apparently, her apprentice. “You listen to Hareflight- stick away from the fight. If Wasppaw’s life is in danger, then I want you out of there, got it?” Roseshadow never had a brother or a sister, but she had her father. She knew how important it was in The City to stay together and protect each other. From her few years spent in Shadowclan, she observed it was much the same here as it was there. “If you can conduct yourself properly, and I’m still in one piece, I’ll make sure to get you sparring in no time.” Roseshadow nodded stiffly to the siblings. For all her casual confidence, she had no idea what to make of Rowanpaw. She knew, however, that she had spirit and potential that needed to be tempered and controlled. Stepping back, Rose felt almost lightheaded. She took in the snapshot of this moment: the suffocating tranquil moment and the picture of a band of three siblings about to walk into danger. Her own life on the line right next to Juncoberry’s and Smokestar’s.
Snap out of it. The sleek black molly reigned in her features, rearranging them into a familiar impenetrable mask. Dark green eyes swung back around to eye Smokestar’s head, disturbed by her stillness. Lies get you killed, and fear gets you slaughtered. With Dawn’s words nestled into the crevices of her mind, Roseshadow pushed past Juncoberry, nodding to Smokestar as she passed. “No better time to risk one’s life, I suppose.” She offered a rare smile, only half truthful.
January 23, 2021 at 1:58 am #10878
- This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by Pheebs.
Soft sounds stirred the bear from his slumber. Warm-blooded creatures were outside, carrying a variety of scents. He could smell their fear and excitement.
‘Hunger… So much hunger.‘
With a ragged huff he stood, feeling his deprived muscles tremble with fatigue. The long hard winter, which he should’ve slumbered peacefully through, was abruptly interrupted due to his dwindling reserves of strength. The summer’s feasting had been scanty, leaving him deprived of the nutrition needed for a healthy hibernation. Waking in the snowy world alone and starved had been terrifying. But now a feast had presented itself at his cave. He sniffed the air, licking his lips. It may not be his typical prey, but it carried warm blood.
He lumbered forward on unsteady paws, blinking as his eyes adjusted to the sunlight before focusing on the cats before him. They were small, innocent looking creatures which glared up at him with a mixture of fear and rage. His black-lipped maw opened as he roared loudly, nearly shaking the trees with it’s ferocity. He was satisfied as they scattered and he began to pursue. It was time to feast or die!
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant ArtJanuary 26, 2021 at 5:50 am #10909
By StarClan, what was Roseshadow doing, yelling across the forest like that? Juncoberry released a soft hiss, trying to shush her, but he was too late. His eyes widened as she pushed past him, and he was content to let her take the lead. But then the big creature within was climbing to its paws, towering over them with hatred and hunger in its eyes. He hesitated a moment too long before turning to run, and the bear was standing nearly directly over him as it parted its jaws to roar. He blinked, frozen in place just long enough to sputter, “Oh, StarClan, it speaks!” He turned, taking off away from the beast.
How was he going to keep its attention? He didn’t have to think long before he realized that one of his many talents happened to be drawing all sorts of attention to himself. He glanced over his shoulder, judging just how far this thing was from him. “Hey, thug!” he yowled, “Come on over this way!” He waved his tail in an attempt to keep the bear’s focus; if something were going to happen to any-cat, he’d rather it was himself than Roseshadow.February 3, 2021 at 8:09 pm #11060
Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader
Smokestar leapt back, hackles raising as the bear charged towards them. “Time to go! I’ll be with you,” she hissed through gritted teeth as she ducked for a nearby low-hanging pine. Despite its thick fur she could tell the bear was nothing more than skin, bones and weakening muscle. For a brief moment she felt pity for the monster. Under better circumstances it may not have been so aggressive. ‘Maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll actually help them,‘ she thought as she quietly observed from a distance.
The bear stumbled forward, paws churning the powdered snow. Its attention locked onto Juncoberry. A mad dash across the plateau ensued, the bear trying desperately to catch its nimble quarry. For a moment the bear doubted whether the chase was worth the effort. He was running out of time. If this hunt didn’t bring a meal he’d surely perish. A dark, dangerous growl slipped from his throat as he lunged forward, snapping at Juncoberry’s tail. He just needed to catch hold– even if briefly. It’d be enough to finish off the small creature. He swatted at the snow, showering Juncoberry with a slush of snow before lunging forward with a crushing jaw full of sharp teeth.
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant ArtFebruary 4, 2021 at 12:18 pm #11067
Already, Juncoberry could feel his legs begin to ache. How long had it been since the last time he’d run like this? He was in fairly good shape, muscle padding his frame even despite the current season; unfortunately for him, a sprint wasn’t included in his normal routine. StarClan, how could he keep this up? He could feel his chest burning even before he was halfway to the next set of warriors. He was determined, however, to push through it and keep ahead of this beast. He refused to become its next meal. Jaws clamped just behind his tail, and he was drawn out of his thoughts as a spray of snow fell over him. He’d gotten distracted, his pace slowing enough for this thing to catch up to him.
He looked back just in time to see what was happening; he barely had a chance to duck out of the way as the bear once again lunged at him, his right forepaw jerking uncomfortably with the act. He yelped at the sudden pain that spread to his toes, falling behind yet again and the distance between himself and the bear closing dangerously. “Smokestar!” he cried, panic lighting in his eyes. He shouldn’t have broken his focus; he was barely managing to keep himself ahead of this thing, even without having to run through a sprain.February 8, 2021 at 1:26 am #11105PheebsParticipant
Roseshadow bolted, lean limbs making the task easy. Dark green eyes darted towards where Juncoberry and Smokestar ran. After traveling for some time, the she-cat twisted and dashed back towards the others. From where she was, the tortoiseshell had a good view of the others. She stood on a rise, a thick cluster of ferns and undergrowth shrouding her already dark form. She had to time it perfectly, “it” being her jump.
“Look out!” Roseshadow cried, her paws brushing ferns as she lunged. The distance wasn’t terribly far, but it felt daunting. Her goal was the land on the bear, and by the grace of Starclan she managed just that. Sharp claws dug in, and she clamped down on the beast’s neck with a snap of her jaws.
Roseshadow held fast to the beast. She prayed to distract it, and she cursed her stupidity. This was by far the most ridiculous thing she had done since her City days. Dawn, my father, help me- help me for stars know a mother is my stranger.February 8, 2021 at 1:27 am #11106HowlsParticipant
A sigh bubbled from the young she-cat’s lips as Wasppaw easily took notice of her attitude. Her ears tilted backwards at his reprimand, and she reluctantly turned away from the clustered warriors to meet his mismatched gaze. “I know, I know,” she grumbled, amber eyes flicking back towards the adults. “I just.. I wanna be out there. Doing something. Sitting on the sidelines while everyone else goes to fight, being cooped up in a den all day sniffing herbs while someone else hunts for your dinner and patrols your borders…“ She trailed off, struggling to explain. Her nose crinkled in frustration. She didn’t want to outright judge her brother’s chosen path, but she struggled to understand the appeal. After a long pause, she finally muttered, “I don’t understand how you deal with it.”
Her brooding contemplation was interrupted, however, by a sharp voice from the direction of the grouped warriors. She lifted her head in response to her mentor, stifling a snort at the terse words. I have a name, she thought, lip lifting slightly to snarl the words- then dropping quickly at the offer of new training, so long as she behaved. Wisely, she kept her mouth shut and simply nodded, leaning back on her haunches once more. I’ll definitely hold you to that.
A hush settled around the pine forest as the warriors slipped away into their positions. Rowanpaw tensed beside her companions, weight shifting from paw to paw. She hated this tension, nerves nipping at her paws as the forest seemed to hold its breath. Brow furrowing, she turned to her companions, jaws parting to ask what they thought-
And a roar crashed through the trees, louder than thunder, snarling and vicious and desperate. She lurched to her paws at the sound, then lowered into a rough crouch, tail swishing in clear agitation. She wanted to get closer, wanted to help, but her brothers’ wide eyes and her superior’s stiff words held her where she was.
All she could do now was wait. And oh, how she hated it.February 8, 2021 at 7:08 pm #11112
The bear raised a paw, glowering down upon the stumbling warrior. The overwhelming scent of fear filled his nostrils, causing his lips to curl as he salivated. He struck down, scouring Juncoberry’s shoulder. Blood welled out of the wound and clung to his claws. He prepared to strike again, certain this would be the last.
But, his concentration was broken as something collided with his back. He roared, partially in confusion and pain as Roseshadow clambered across him. His deep and tangled fur functioned as an anchor for her claws. Enraged and confused he lurched forward, trying to throw the warrior from his back. Her jaws soon met his neck sending him into a panic. He rushed forward, blinded by his own terror and rage as he rushed across the plateau and towards their next destination– the meadow where the second half of the relay awaited.
Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader
Smokestar’s stomach lurched as the bear struck juncoberry. It was a glancing blow but it still drew gouged flesh and drew blood. Before she could lead into action Roseshadow took initiative. Brave, but somewhat reckless, she clung stubbornly to the bear’s back and clamped down upon its neck. She couldn’t decided if she was horrified or proud of Roseshadow’s actions. The bear dashed forward in terror. Thankfully, he was on track to their next destination. Smokestar jumped forward, reaching Juncoberry’s side as she helped nudge him from danger. “Come on now,” she mewed quietly, voice brimming with concern. “Didn’t tell me you had a lame paw, mousebrain! Nearly made me lose a life from the shock,” she chuckled slightly. “Well done though, come on. Let’s have Hareflight and Wasppaw take a look at you. Then I need to catch up with the others.“
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant ArtFebruary 10, 2021 at 3:35 pm #11143
By some stroke of luck, it seemed Juncoberry might get out of this with his life. The bear struck, its claws tearing through his shoulder; thank StarClan he’d been just enough out of reach that the wound wasn’t deep enough to kill. Even so, he took a tumble from the impact. He rolled to the edge of the path they’d been on, certain that this was it– he was going to die, and it would be his own fault for getting disracted. Just then, Roseshadow, stupid as it may have been, jumped in– literally– and saved his hide. Perhaps he wouldn’t b scolding her for her show earlier, after all; he couldn’t very well tie in a thanks for saving his life with some kind of punishment. Blinking dumbly, he watched as the pair was off toward the second group of warriors.
Smokestar was at his side then, nudging him to his paws. He stood, paws shaky as he turned his eyes on his leader with a goofy grin. “I don’t,” he informed her, “I’m just not a lucky guy.” He walked alongside her toward the medicine cats and the apprentices who had accompanied them, a slight limp slowing his step as blood poured from the deep scratches he’d received from the beast. It might have been a shock, seeing the tom who normally put on a show about simple things like thorns in his paws seem so calm about a real injury; he had always managed serious situations much better than the small stuff, though. There was no place for theatrics when there was real danger.
As he reached the others, he turned amber eyes on the chase he’d left. His brows furrowed, his paws itching to rejoin them. He couldn’t; he wouldn’t be able to see this through now. He had to admit he was pretty disappointed. He had been hoping to just run straight through, along with the second group, but he’d gone and ruined that for himself. He blew a harsh breath through his lips, his tail dragging behind him to show his upset, despite a lazy grin still plastered on his lips. He turned his gaze now to Hareflight, cocking his head to the right as his eyes glittered. “Think this one’ll scar?” he teased, referencing their little encounter about his thorn recently.February 11, 2021 at 8:57 pm #11168
Confused and pained the bear hurdled down the trail, reeling as Roseshadow clung to his back. He panted from exertion as he tried to fling the she-cat. She clung stubbornly, claws and teeth prickling like a dozen angry hornets. It was as excruciating as it was frustrating. He bellowed loudly, rushing ahead into an open meadow. His angered cry echoed loudly off the iced over snow.
‘Escape, I must escape!‘
He stood on his hindlegs, forepaws flailing before he crashed to the earth. He rolled wildly, attempting to dislodge the prickly feline. Once free he stood, backing away warily and baring his teeth in a threatening snarl. He wouldn’t be tricked so easily again. His eyes darted towards the treeline, contemplating whether to flee or attack. He snuffled, pink tongue licking his frosty nose. She seemed to be alone.
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant Art
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