The Outsider [OPEN]

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  • #5136
    Wolfstar
    Participant

    The sun was finally settling just above the horizon line, casting a golden glow across the moors as if they were on fire. Wolfstar stood at the top of the hill that towered over their camp, the wind brushing his long gray-and-white fur, making his muscular build more visible. The day had been a short one for the WindClan leader. His journey through every Clan’s territory had made him tired, and not just from the physicality of it. Speaking about an omen his daughter, Nettlenose, had experienced wasn’t so hard until one had to do it four times with four different cats. Each leader had responded differently, which he expected. Now, he was back home. 

    At times, he had wondered what it would be like to live underneath a canopy of trees. But his journey only proved that his love for the wide open moors were stronger than anything. He could smell everything the hills provided: heather and gorse bushes, shrews, grouse birds, even foxes. He was able to see everything from afar, making it hard for predators and enemies to sneak up on them. While he was underneath the pine tree canopy of ShadowClan, he couldn’t smell anything but pine and damp earth. The wind he was smelling now carried the scent of everything in their territory, and his blue eyes closed with content. 

    Wolfstar turned away from the top of the hill and joined his Clanmates in their camp, about to head straight to the nursery where his mate and kits were. 

    #5138
    Shy
    Participant

    It was a small, dark shape that appeared on the horizon as the sun sunk closer to the darkening tree line. Night had spent the past several days roaming around, resting wherever she could, and constantly worrying about how she was going to introduce herself into the clans. Better yet, would they even allow her to stay? Getting accepted into something she hardly knew anything about would be difficult, maybe even impossible, but first she’s got to find them.

    Night crept quietly through the moorland, her sharp ears alert and twitching at every sound. She could smell the scent of cats getting stronger as she neared what she assumed to be the heart of their territory. With every pawstep, her anticipation and anxiety grew. What would she be walking into? Clan cats weren’t exactly known for being friendly, but it was a risk she was willing to take. This was what she wanted, after all.

    The moor was quiet with the exception of Night’s paws softly touching the earth. Despite the racing of her heart, the gentle cadence of the wind was almost enough to make her forget where she was, yet she is all too aware of everything she must face when she finally comes face to face with the clan cats. As much as she wanted to relax, she can’t lose her edge with so much hanging over her head. The small she-cat continued on, staring above the blades of grass when she saw the telltale silhouette of another feline. This was her chance. Without hesitation, she called out to the figure in the distance in the hopes that making her presence known would eliminate any potential hostility. ”Hello!” she shouted, “I-I was hoping to speak with someone in charge.”

    #5148
    Wolfstar
    Participant

    With each step, the snow beneath Wolfstar’s pads melted just slightly, indicating the beginning of the end for leafbare. A soft purr escaped from the back of his throat as he ventured closer to the nursery, but an unfamiliar voice made him freeze in his tracks. The gray fur along the back of his spine pricked up as his muscles tensed, his ears straining to hear what it was saying. He knew for a fact all of his Clanmates were inside camp, settling down for the night with the last meal of the day. He looked around and noticed everyone else were straining their ears to catch the strange voice as well, their tails lashing. “Stumpystep, Tinyflame, come with me to check that out. Brookflower,” he looked towards his daughter. “Find Owlbelly and guard the camp while I’m gone. Everyone else, keep your eyes open and ears alert.” He nodded to the two warriors he called up, his tail flicking as an order for them to follow.

    Wolfstar pushed his way through the gorse barrier they made as their border around camp. Thankfully, their home was very well hidden from outsiders, covering the sight of their dens, fresh-kill pile, and the cats that resided there. But once they were out of the gorse protection, Wolfstar was able to see everything from where they stood. It didn’t take long to spot the shape of a small feline padding quickly towards them, her tail straight in the air and her paws making marks on the snow behind her. She stuck out like a thorn in the snow. A growl rumbled in his chest, and he continued forward. It was easy to see no one else was with the she-cat, and she looked too young to be any sort of threat against three Clan cats, but it was still unsettling whenever a stranger came through. 

    Once they got closer, he stopped a couple of tail-lengths away from her, his claws unsheathing into the snow-covered ground. “Who are you, and why are you on our territory? Did you not smell our markers?” he demanded, scanning the black cat and noticing how raggedy her coat was. However, her eyes weren’t as harsh as her looks, which made him feel a little more at ease. You could tell a lot about someone just by looking into their eyes.

    #5155
    Bandit (Sonic)
    Participant

    The rather shaggy and lazy seeming brown tom lay bathing in the warmth of the sun at the edge of the camp clearing when upon hearing Wolfstar summon him, he jumped to his paws. Head whipping to and fro as if he were expecting an attack.

    Stumpystep dipped his head, following Wolfstar through the camp entrance and frowned as their group approached a small black (?) molly. Like ash in snow, she stood out against the harsh brightness of the sunlit snow that canopied the ground in its embrace.

    What’s this? He thought. A trespasser? She hardly seems like a threat. I wonder what she wants. Stumpystep eyed the Molly with curious intrest. Curiosity was one of his traits. Glancing st the ever watching Wolfstar, Stumpystep dipped his head slightly to the Molly in greeting, hopeful Wolfstar hadn’t seen for fear his friendliness would be reproached with a scold.

    Stumpystep wasn’t an aggressively hostile tom. He was more happy go lucky, though obedient. He preferred peace to needless bloodshed, but if Wolfstar gave an order, well, his mama told him to always obey his Leader since it was the will of StarClan.

    #5156
    Shy
    Participant

    The snow crunched before her under the sounds of heavy footfall as distant shapes came into view. Her amber eyes locked on the tall shadows stiffly pushing through the trembling fronds and leftover ice. She could feel the riffle of unease coming from them as they neared her; their bodies rigid with tension, and confusion crossing their features.

    A loud, masculine voice caused her ears to twitch, and a feeling of apprehension flooded through her tired body when she caught the glimpse of claws unsheathing into the cold ground; spiking her frayed nerves and accelerating her racing heart. The tiny muscles beneath her straggly pelt stiffened at the sight. Conflict had not been something the young she-cat was familiar with. However, this was not the time to back down now. The journey here had been difficult and cold. There had been few meals and many obstacles along the road, but now she was here, and this was what she came for.

    Night took a deep breath, clearing her mind of all her anxious thoughts. The small cat dipped into a graceful bow to signify respect and gratitude; her limbs shook with exhaustion and excitement as she lowered. It was important to her to make a decent impression, and she would do so by showing high regard for the clan cats. “My name is Night,” she introduced herself, doing well to keep her voice from trembling from both her own anxiety and the cold. There were no trees to stop the wind, and it cut right through her tiny frame with little effort.

    “Forgive me for crossing your borders. I meant no harm,” she explained to them, “I only wish to join your clan and I knew no other way than to come here.” The words she chose were straight to the point but there was no point in beating around the bush. Night kept her eyes on the ground a moment longer before tilting her head up to finally meet the gaze of the tom that spoke to her. His eyes were nothing short from intimidating. She wanted to look away, yet she could not afford to break eye contact. It was a desperate attempt to encourage his confidence in her and to convince him that she would be a valuable asset. Her voice quavered slightly when she continued, “When I was a kit, I wanted to live a different life.. and when I heard stories about the clan cats, I wanted to be a part of that!” for a moment, within her, glimmered a deep and unmistakable conviction.

    Contrary to her weathered frame, her eyes shone with confidence and the eager desire to belong. Coming here had been something she had long dreamt about. “If you decline, I will leave immediately and you will never see me on your territory again, but I wanted to at least try.”

    #5158
    Wolfstar
    Participant

    As the bedraggled she-cat lowered herself into a bow, the fur along Wolfstar’s spine settled and his muscles loosened. He was impressed with her bravery and confronting him and his warrior’s, but he was still wary of her. His blue eyes narrowed into slits when she spoke her name. Night. She was trying hard to stay upright against the harsh wind that blew over the hills, flinging up dust clouds of snow and dead leaves. As she continued to speak, he tried to listen for signs of hesitation or wariness, but she was blunt and direct which impressed him. He could tell she had been on her own for a while, but he had a feeling she was born a kittypet. No rogue or loner stays in one place for too long, and if she had heard about the Clans since she was a kit then that meant she lived close by. And the only Twoleg Place nearby was on the other side of SkyClan, the exact opposite side of the Clan territories. She’s traveled a long ways to get here, which means she chose WindClan specifically.

    Deciding to hear her out, his eyebrows lifted curiously, holding her gaze. “Life on the moor is hard. We don’t have a canopy of trees to protect us from the weather. We are always on the lookout for enemies since we live in the open, and you have to be quick and lithe in order to hunt our prey properly. Why haven’t you chosen one of the Clans underneath the protection of leaves? Why do you think you would be a good addition to WindClan?” He could tell his two warriors behind him hadn’t spoken which meant they didn’t object to him questioning the young she-cat. 

    What kind of leader would he be if he turned away cats with potential? Unlike the ThunderClan deputy, Night was young enough to still be influenced by the warrior code and to train the kittypet or loner out of her. No doubt Kass will throw this in my face if I let her in though. Never mind that. He kept his eyes locked with her, waiting for a sliver of doubt to gloss over her.

    #5159
    Tori
    Participant

    – T I N Y F L A M E – 

    The small ginger warrior had been enjoying the rest of her evening lazing about in the clearing, after a long day of patrols and aiding her clanmates in watching the camp while their leader, Wolfstar, was out on his journey to the other clans for the day, she had to admit that she was a little bit tired. But alas, the time for relaxation was not yet here, for Wolfstar was returning to camp and, as well, a strange scent she had not recognized caught her by surprise. Tinyflame immediately hopped to her paws at his call for her and she joined him as well as Stumpystep to go find the source of the intruder in their territory. However, instead of another cat of their rival clans to greet them, before them stood a small black loner, one of which they had never seen before on WindClan territory. Tinyflame sympathized with the young feline as she spoke of her hard life and the things she had been through to get here but it was not her place to make the decision, as that would be up to Wolfstar. The tiny warrior kept her mouth shut and listened obediently as a part of the patrol as the WindClan leader questioned the strange loner.

    #5163
    Shy
    Participant

    It was true that Night had specifically sought out Windclan; a place of tall grass and uneven ground, of treeless plains and mist filled hollows. A place that, when the moon touched it, the rolling hills were bathed in a whimsical silver, and all you could see for miles were endless stars. She was bewitched by it, intoxicated on the strange yearning that it brought her; to be out in the open with nothing between her and the stars. Their true clan name was unbeknownst by her as she only knew them from stories. No one had known what the long legged cats on the moor were called. The first time she had heard of them, she was only a kit. The memory itself was gauzy like a dream yet she remembered it with outmost clarity.

    Night had spent most of her kithood in a warm bed. Her loner mother wanted little to do with her and her brother, and once arrangements were made with their father, Night and her brother moved into a lovely twoleg home. She didn’t mind it as a youngster, in fact, she had enjoyed all the nice toys and the comforts of her kittypet upbringing, but eventually she began to yearn for something beyond napping all day and the confines of her twoleg backyard. Most of her time in her backyard had been spent staring out into the unknown, daydreaming about what her life might have been like if she had been born a wild cat. That is, until she made the decision to end her senseless daydreaming and seek out the life she wanted for herself.

    At this point, she had gathered that she had been speaking to the clan’s leader. The weight of his scrutiny felt unbelievably heavy, but to Night’s relief, the tom relaxed. Was he actually considering allowing her to join? Though she had traveled all this way with the intention of joining, she had doubted the possibility of it happening altogether, and now that it might be happening, she was in slight disbelief.

    Night did her best to contain her excitement at the possibility, but she couldn’t hide the impish glee that shone in her eyes even if she tried. Despite feeling worn and weary from the journey, she felt more alive in this moment than she had ever thought possible. All the troubles she had undergone no longer mattered. This was the moment she’d been waiting for.

    “This is what I have chosen and where I wish to be,” she responded quickly and confidently, knowing exactly what to say as she had rehearsed everything in her head during her trip here. Of course, she had seen the other territories in passing and heard of the other clans, but none peeked her interest more than this one. “I might not look like much now, but when I regain my strength, I can prove myself to be something of value,” she stated, “I’m willing to learn anything you’ll teach me.”

    Night felt like every fiber of her being was vibrating with anticipation; adrenaline coursing through her veins. She tingled from the tips of her ears to her very cold toes. The facial expression she now wore reflected her true age. It was the look of a young cat; a pair of soft, innocent eyes brimming with excitement. She sat patiently for the tom’s answer.

    #5208
    Wolfstar
    Participant

    After Night’s response, Wolfstar remained silent, keeping his blue eyes connected with hers to keep reading her expressions. He didn’t know how he was able to, but he saw she was telling the truth. Her round eyes were innocent, searching for something or someone to belong to. The WindClan leader hadn’t accepted a rogue or a loner in a long time, chasing away several who asked to join, believing he could pick the good ones out from the bad. Night, thankfully, looked to be true. “If I allow you in our Clan, you will not be allowed to come and go as you please. As a Clan, we take care of each other. The young look after the old, we hunt for our Clanmates before we eat ourselves, and we fight others to keep our way of life. If you truly understand that and still wish to be a part of our Clan, then I will accept you. But know that I’m not one to give second chances, and I won’t be afraid to force you out if I have just the slightest notion that you aren’t loyal.

    He was glad she was looking him in his blue eyes to see exactly how serious he was being. He hoped she knew this wasn’t something he did normally, and didn’t take advantage of his sudden kindness. With a nod, he turned his head to look at Tinyflame and Stumpystep, his gaze flickering back and forth between the two. Both were due to have apprentice’s of their own, but who would he assign Night to? “Stumpystep,” he meowed to the tom. “I will assign Night to you. Challenge her and train her well.” He looked back to the young, black-furred she-cat. “By the looks of you, you will need a day or two of rest to get your strength up. Nettlenose and Startledcrow, our medicine cat’s, will look after you until they release you to start training. Your name will remain Night until I deem you fit to truly become part of the Clan.

    And with that, he turned and flicked his tail for Night to follow. He stopped by Tinyflame’s side, and put his head close to hers, murmuring, “Don’t worry. You will have an apprentice soon.” He knew she would understand that he chose her to mentor one of his kits considering they were the only ones to become apprentices soon. Wolfstar padded back towards camp, knowing he would have to explain the arrival of the newcomer to the whole Clan.

    #5263
    Shy
    Participant

    Moments passed as they held each other’s gaze, both searching and unwilling to look away. Amber eyes remained locked with the leader’s unrelenting and yet thoughtful gaze. Then, after what felt like hours, even though it had only been a few seconds, his hold on her eased. She felt herself relax once more. That is, until he spoke in a voice more authoritative than she expected to hear with the foreboding tone of consequence if she failed to meet his expectations.

    Once he had finished speaking, she nodded, absolutely content with his response. “I truly understand, and I am grateful for your kindness,” she responded truthfully, softly dipping her head in appreciation. She knew that this was not a decision made lightly. Making the right choices was an important part of being leader. They were responsible for everything that went on in the clan, so the choices made by them are everything. He was putting a lot of faith in her right now, and she would be sure to show him that his trust in her had not been misplaced. “I’ll be sure that you don’t regret this.”

    Night’s ears flicked at the sound of a name being spoken. Stumpystep. This is the first name she had come to know, and the name of her newly assigned mentor. She felt giddy with excitement at the prospect of having a mentor; eyes alight with wonder as she momentarily trailed off into her thoughts about what this cat would have to teach her. The young feline offered him a friendly smile before turning her attention back to their leader. She nodded again at his words, admittedly feeling a little disheartened that she wouldn’t receive her name just yet. However, it was something she completely understood. The wait did not bother her. After all, she had waited this long already, how bad would it be to wait a while longer? Night was patient and knew in her heart that she would gain the leader’s approval eventually.

    A sheepish smile tugged at her lips at the mention of her needing rest. She knew she must have looked terrible; unkept fur covering a malnourished frame, tired eyes, and clumps of snow and mud gathering around her feet. She was eager to wash up, tend to her straggly pelt and get a decent night of rest. She waited for the large tom to signal for her before she quietly followed in behind him.

    When they reached camp, the first stars began to glitter overhead; lighting up the darkening sky. The stars were so crisp and bright above them, and while the view from her twoleg home had always been breathtaking, they were truly a sight to behold standing in the heart of Windclan territory. She was in awe. Night could hardly believe that her own paws, albeit cold and sore, were touching the earth she had longed to feel beneath her pads. The entrance was tucked away in a grassy niche, and a gorse barrier was all that stood between Night and her new home. Her worn paws carried her forward, tired from her travels but feeling exceptionally pleased with herself. She had managed to find Windclan completely on her own and gain passage within— and she’d done so without a scratch.

    Today had been an important milestone and the true beginning of her story, and tomorrow held even more excitement. She watched as the two warriors and their leader entered the camp where the rest of the clan was. Night inhaled deeply, taking in the scents of different cats. She quietly wondered how they would react to her and preparing herself for every possibility.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Shy.
    #5309
    Chris
    Participant

    Bearheart glanced up from her spot of respite just beside the Warrior’s den. Gone were the days of her youth when she passed the nights without seldom an ache or haunting dream. Such were the artifacts of old age, she supposed. But wakefulness at night had it’s other benefits. Such as being up when exciting things were happening and thus becoming the prime source of news when the dawn tongue-sharing began the the gossip started up. Not that Bearheart was the type to spread such dribble.

    The muscular tabby sat up, her striped fur flat on the side she’d been sleeping her olive eyes still half-closed fixing on the newcomer. Her scent was immediately new and noticeable. She’d picked a good time though, with most of the Clan asleep there were fewer eyes to oogle her.

    Always tender to newcomers, having been once herself long ago, she stood and trotted over to them a slight limp in her step as her joints awoke realizing it was time to do their damn job again. Dipping her head to Wolfstar, she kept her gaze on Night a smile on her graying torn muzzle.

    “Well! Who’s this fresh meat?” Rasped the husky old she-cat, warmth in her tone.

    #5311
    Wolfstar
    Participant

    Wildpaw ~WindClan apprentice~

    The WindClan camp had been silent since the sun disappeared over the hills of the moors; even the birds kept their beaks shut. But the sound of an unfamiliar voice calling through the silent barrier had stirred the cats left in the middle of the clearing, and Wildpaw was one of them. While his siblings were asleep in the apprentices den, the black tomcat had stayed wide awake, staring at the entrance to wait for his father, Wolfstar, to come back after his investigation. What Wildpaw hadn’t expected was Wolfstar’s patrol’s accompanied return. A black she-cat, young like he, was padding after him with her head down. Wildpaw narrowed his eyes with curiosity, gazing at her to see if he recognized her, but she was a stranger, and a bedraggled-looking one at that.

    After Wolfstar dipped his head to Bearheart, the only elder awake, he returned to his den where Goldenrose was. But Wildpaw stayed up, taking this opportunity to question this stranger. “Who are you?” He asked suddenly, padding up to the she-cat and standing next to Bearheart. He made sure his voice was quiet in case he woke anyone up. It was almost exciting that he would be one of the first to know of a stranger in camp. “I’m Wildpaw. What’s your name?

    Wildpaw made a mental note to brag to his litter mates that he was the first apprentice to meet the young she-cat. They seemed to be about the same age. The black tom kept his mouth shut to give the she-cat a chance to speak.

    #5314
    Tori
    Participant

    – T I N Y F L A M E –

    Tinyflame stood quietly from an observer’s perspective, watching Wolfstar and this loner named Night conversed back and forth of her joining in WindClan. She personally didn’t have any objections of her joining their Clan and she believed Wolfstar’s decision was fair. The young black she-cat would indeed have to prove herself as a Clan cat in order to truly be one of them. Night didn’t appear to be meek, though. She stood her ground and claimed her worth before the WindClan leader, which was something she found admirable. 

    When Wolfstar had announced that Stumpystep was to be responsible for the young black cat, the ginger warrior had not felt anything resembling bitterness or sadness that the duty had not been bestowed upon herself– if anything, she was somewhat surprised when the grey and white tom had quietly confided in her that she would be receiving an apprentice of her own shortly. It was here that she realized that the WindClan leader was communicating with her that she would be mentoring one of his own kits and something akin to excitement and anxiety bubbled inside of her. She nodded quietly in understanding to him and then followed the patrol on their path back home.

    Once they had returned to the camp, Tinyflame realized that she had not yet introduced herself to their new member. Nodding in Night’s direction, the tiny warrior said to her, “My name is Tinyflame. Welcome to WindClan.” And with a brief, welcoming smile, the ginger feline chose to return to the warrior’s den and her mate’s side.

    #5318
    Shy
    Participant

    Night followed quietly behind, her eyes downcast as white toes softly touched the earth. She had no idea how the others would feel about her, and a little voice in her head kept telling her that they wouldn’t be as friendly as she’d hoped. Try as she might, she wasn’t as brave as she wanted to be all the time, and she was feeling very apprehensive at the moment.

    The few cats around her had been mostly still, yet their eyes closed in on her all the same. With each tense breath, she forced herself not to hyperventilate on the cold night air and decidedly raised her head in defiance. Even if she felt nervous, she wouldn’t show an inlet of weakness for any ill intent to surge through. Nothing upon her face betrayed her anxiety; her demeanor remained full of grace and repose, and eyes as steady as if she were on the hunt— though, admittedly, she wasn’t the best hunter yet as no one had taught her how. She would learn eventually.

    Now that she had regained composure by choosing to focus on the brighter side of things, a feeling of giddiness coiled through her at the realization that this would be her home. She pressed the pads of her paws against the earth to ground herself and, for a moment, closed her eyes. The air smelled of grassy fields and wheat, and there was a hint of rabbit on the breeze. She was home.

    Well! Who’s this fresh meat?

    Night’s eyes fluttered open, momentarily stunned by the warm, honeyed voice that gently pulled her back to reality. There was movement to her side and she quickly turned to find herself face-to-face with an older tabby warrior and a young apprentice. Night stiffened. She had been so wrapped up in curbing her anxiety that she did not hear them approach. Despite the older warrior’s wolfish size and intimidating appearance, her eyes told a different story; one of warm laughter, a tender soul and a loving heart. The map of scars and silver hairs that now adorned her muzzle told of the most incredible journey that Night would only hope to one day hear about. The young tom with the wild, dark pelt sat nearest to her, and he appeared to be around the same age as her. He had eyes that seemed to glisten with curiosity.

    My name is Tinyflame. Welcome to WindClan.

    Another voice chimed in. Tinyflame. Night repeated the name in her mind to remember it. She gave the ginger feline a friendly smile before watching her disappear into the warrior’s den. To her surprise, her first few encounters had thankfully been friendly. She took a deep, steadying breath before turning her attention back to the two that had approached her.

    “My name is Night,” she answered, a friendly smile gracing her soft features. “It’s nice to meet you, Wildpaw, and you?” she asked, knowing the older warrior had not yet introduced herself.

    #5345
    Chris
    Participant

    Bearheart felt a prick of pity for the little one as many a cat crowded for a chance to glimpse the novelty of a newcomer. StarClan’s nethers, you think they’d never seen a rogue before. Thought the senior Warrior gruffly, though given how young some of them were it was indeed possible some of them may not have. She herself had never encountered one so young all alone.

    “I’m Bearheart! Nice to meet you, Night. You’ll fit in just fine around here I bet.” Purred the matriarch. Though she was curious of her origins, it would be unseemly to press her about them now. She had learned better than most that the past was at times best left unfettered. Whoever she’d been before, she’d shed it when her paws crossed their borders.

    Perhaps it was the free-spirited nature of these cats, or an honor only nursed under the open fields of stars above, but WindClan had a way of wiping away the past, almost like the winds were carrying it away.

    You’ve chosen your new home well. And I’ll claw any cat who tries to make you doubt that choice.

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