December 29, 2020 at 8:44 pm #10485
Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join beneath the Driftwood Peak for a clan meeting!”
Smokestar perched atop the smooth driftwood as she waited for her clanmates to gather. She was positioned to one side, of the sprawling wooden limb, which towered above the camp’s center.
Although she still felt a prickle of anxiety when she called a clan meeting, she had begun to accustom herself to being the center of attention. ‘Wonder if I’ll ever grow comfortable with this,’ she silently wondered. Admittedly, her anxiety came for good reason. Today she would be discussing an important matter with the clan regarding their safety.
Once everyone gathered below, including her deputy Juncoberry who had escorted a pair of elders, she continued her announcement.
“Today, I would like to offer congratulations for Wasppaw. He has been appointed as Hareflight’s medicine apprentice. Starclan has chosen him, and may his gifts serve the clan well.” She paused, giving the young tom a reassuring smile as the clan yowled his name in congratulations. She sighed with relief, thankful he would be under Hareflight’s careful guidance.
“I would also like to announce that Ravenwatcher and I have named our kits,” she purred. Her mate was sitting outside the nursery as their kits tumbled clumsily about his paws. “They are Molekit, Peregrinekit, Blackberrykit, and Robinkit.”
Smokestar waited for the crowd to silence before continuing. “Finally, I have an important matter to discuss regarding our clan’s safety.” Her tongue stuck slightly to her palate. “Two days ago, a patrol spotted large animal tracks in the lower mountains. Last sunset I pursued those tracks and discovered a creature, larger than any I’d ever seen before. It pursued me, but I managed to escape. Since returning to camp I have consulted briefly with our elders and Juncoberry.”
She looked down at Softshimmer and Leafstorm, who waited beside Juncoberry. “Based on my description they have identified the creatures as a bear. It’s an immediate danger to our clan which needs to be handled.”
Smokestar clambered down from her perch, standing besides the elders. “We need to make an informed decision, so I have asked Softshimmer and Leafstorm to share their knowledge of bears with the clan. Then we will decide how to solve our bear problem.”
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant ArtDecember 29, 2020 at 9:26 pm #10487MissaParticipant
The brown elderly tom was very surprised when their new leader, Smokestar, came into the elders den asking about information about a creature that Leafstorm had encountered many seasons ago. It sent shivered down his spine when Smokestar had began describing the foul creature as many memories had came back to him about that dreaded day he went on that patrol.. How there were endless nightmares after because of the incident that occurred with the bear that found them.
Leafstorm coughed a bit before stepping forward, deciding to speak first as he looked around the clan, taking a deep breath before speaking in a croaked voice “I’ve encountered a bear many seasons ago, when I was a warrior.” Leafstorm began as he shook his head “I was on a patrol with four warriors and two apprentices, we were hunting” Leafstorm recalled the memory as if it was yesterday and he shivered a bit
“We’ve encountered a bear in our hunting patrol. One of the apprentices, Dustpaw, found the bear and he quietly alerted us.. I was sent back to the camp to alert our leader about what was happening.. We went with our patrol to help the hunting patrol and see if we could find a way to deal with the bear on the spot” Leafstorm said, his voice became shaky all of a sudden as he recalled the memory of the horrific scene in front of him and his eyes widened in fear
“By the time we came back to help.. The bear had found the patrol and attacked them and we were too late” Leafstorm said, his head hung low in sadness as he shook his head “Three of the warriors were dead, in the clearing.. Dustpaw..” Leafstorm said softly with such sadness in his voice and tears were forming in his eyes “Dustpaw was my brother, I was the one who found his body nearby the others.. It was horrific to see the bodies”
Leafstorm shallowed hard, as tears began to fall from his face and he looked up at the clan “The only survivor, Bluefang was brought back into camp in horrible condition.. But she survived but was horribly scared” Leafstorm said as he breathed in and had a small smile on his face as he looked at the sky “Bluefang and I had gotten close, I think mostly because we both had survivor’s guilt. We ended up having a family and I was grateful to have her by my side” He said, remembering his late mate who passed away moons ago from old age..
Looking around at the familiar faces he took a deep breath “You younins will have to be extremely careful when handling this bear.. One wrong move from even one cat and the rest of you are doomed. You will need to be quick and effective. When we discovered the bodies, the three warriors were bunched together so we assumed that when one went down.. The others still tried to fight, a mistake they did was not waiting for help because you’ll need to have all the help you can get” He said looking at Smokestar and bowed his head
“I hope you and your warriors will be able to take care of this situation, I don’t think I can take seeing something traumatic happening like that again” He said before stepping back and sitting downDecember 29, 2020 at 10:41 pm #10493ToriParticipant
– W A S P –
At the sound of Smokestar’s voice ringing off the hollow walls of the clearing, Wasppaw got to his paws from where he was within the medicine cat den with his mentor, Hareflight. His bi-colored eyes flickered to meet hers before she nodded, allowing him free of his herb sorting duties to join the Clan in the clearing as they gathered to hear what their leader had to say. The newly named apprentice sat close to his mentor from where she sat beneath the high nook where Smokestar stood. It felt somewhat awkward, admittedly… Most of the apprentices in the Clan sat in the back of the gathered cats, and after a quick peak, Wasppaw could see his siblings back there, smiling at him encouragingly. Their support helped him feel a little bit more at ease.
In a moment that seemed all too sudden, Smokestar was calling out his name and his promotion to medicine cat apprentice. Ah, well, if the whole Clan didn’t know before, they definitely do now. He thought, his head ducking in embarrassment. He did catch the leader’s encouraging smile, though and the Clan yowled his name in support. He was grateful for that. However, it wasn’t long before the celebratory section of the Clan meeting took a turn for a darker edge. Leafstorm, one of their Clan elders, was coming forward to tell them a story of an animal by a name he had never heard of before. A bear? What was that? By the sounds of it, it seemed like a rather ferocious beast. One he hoped never to have to cross paths with. Despite that, he knew that if his Clan had to be rid of the monster, he would have to play a part in keeping them safe… Even if it meant dressing their wounds from the worst…
Wasppaw bit the inside of his mouth as he listened to the story unfold. Unease began to flit between cats of the clearing as they took in the reality of what they were handling. He glanced up at Hareflight from where he sat next to her. They would be okay, right?December 30, 2020 at 9:10 am #10497snowParticipant
r a v e n p a w
Smokestar’s call made the young she-cats ears swivel to attention, blue eyes snapping open as she gazed at the entrance to the apprentice’s den. The clamor outside was enough to make the charcoal bengal rise to her paws, tail waving leisurely behind her as she strolled out into the clearing. Her clanmates had gathered anxiously, forming clusters beneath their leader as she began to speak. News of Wasppaw’s apprenticeship hadn’t surprised her in the slightest. Ravenpaw tended to be an observant feline, so changes within the clan seemed to always make their way into her ear.
Now, the bit about the bear caused the apprentice to go a bit rigid. A wave of anxiety warmed her paws before blasting through her pelt and burning her nose and tail tip. Badgers and foxes were bad enough, but a bear? She shuddered, her blue gaze turning onto Leafstorm as he began to speak. Normally a sob story from an elder would make her scoff and kick dirt at them, but with a bear in such close proximity made his story feel much more real than they used to.
Ravenpaw shook out her pelt, inhaling and exhaling deeply. She wasn’t going to let her clan know she was afraid. She was strong, confident, and an incredibly quick learner. Despite her lack of emotion or ambition, Ravenpaw was quite an impressive apprentice. She possessed all the great skills of a warrior, yet none of the heart. Sometimes she wished she shared the blind optimism that ran rampant around the camp, but other times she was grateful to be one of the only realistic thinkers.
“Are we going to attack it?” she blurted out suddenly, her blue irises fixed pointedly on Smokestar. It wasn’t a challenge, merely a question. The apprentice knew they would probably only take warriors if they did decide to follow the creature, so her chances of going were slim.December 30, 2020 at 10:35 am #10503JuncoberryParticipant
As Smokestar called the meeting, Juncoberry could feel the low-lying anxiety he’d felt for days now suddenly peak once more. He led Leafstorm and Softshimmer out to stand below their leader, taking his own place beside Hareflight and Wasppaw to face the Clan. He knew that every-cat’s lives were about to change at the reveal of what lay waiting in their territory. He was so distracted that he nearly missed the announcement of Wasppaw’s apprenticeship, and barely managed to collect himself enough to nudge the young tom in reassurance.
Then after announcing her kits’ names, Smokestar was recounting her experience with the bear, causing Juncoberry’s stomach to sink and blood to rush behind his ears. He turned his eyes to his paws as Leafstorm stepped forward to speak. Even he didn’t seem to have any jokes this time. He couldn’t imagine losing a sibling to this thing, especially in such a terrible way. He clenched his jaw at the thought of finding Freckleberry or, StarClan, even Tawnyshade in the manner Leafstorm had found Dustpaw. He shuddered, thankful for the slight distance between himself and his Clanmates that could possibly hide his reaction.
Then Ravenpaw spoke up, asking if they were going to fight it. His eyes widened in horror, and he finally spoke up. “StarClan, I should hope not,” he pressed, turning pleading eyes up to Smokestar. Surely she wouldn’t let them charge in trying to fight this thing that could take all of them out the way it had those warriors Leafstorm spoke of! He looked then in Softshimmer’s direction, praying silently that she could give some other idea on how to proceed from her own experience.January 3, 2021 at 7:14 pm #10611ChrisParticipant
Oxhead had just been returning from a sparring session with Nightstorm when the call for a Clan meeting went up. Exchanging a curious glance with his companion, they assented finding a seat among their fellow senior Warriors.
He cheered for the naming of their new ranks. Wasppaw looked nervous. Stars knew that Oxhead could relate to what it was like to grow up without the support of parents in a Clan. To have your origins whispered about and scrutinized like daily gossip. He did his best to meet the young tom’s eye and give him an encouraging smile.
His smile melted away however as Smokestar gave the report about the beast haunting their borders. His frown deepened as the Elder Leafstorm recounted his experience with such a threat. Oxhead himself was just a shade too young to have any direct experience himself, though he was no stranger to the way bears were regarded as apex predators. Second only to man in their might.
There was a reason his half-sister was named for one.
He glanced at Nightstorm’s profile and saw the gleam of excitement in his friend’s blind eye. He was wholly focused on Smokestar, like a kit waiting for a treat. Oxhead exhaled wearily.
“Don’t go getting any ideas.” He muttered under his breath. “You couldn’t take on a bear if you’d been fed performance-enhancing herbs. This might be a battle of brains this time, not brawn.”
“Killjoy.” Snorted Nightstorm.January 3, 2021 at 8:40 pm #10613
Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader
Smokestar nodded grimly at Leafstorm’s explanation. It seemed bears had incredibly destructive power, greater than either a fox or badger. The gruesome account made the clan burst into anxious murmuring. ‘They’re scared,‘ she thought, ears pinned flat against her head. ‘I … I am too. Starclan, this is too much, even for us.‘
“Confronting this issue head-on would be a grave error,” Smokestar confirmed as she addressed Ravenpaw’s outburst. “Clearly, bears have incredible destructive power.” She shifted her weight, leaning back on her haunches as she mulled over the problem. “However, I believe the bear encroaching on our territory is weaker than the one Leafstorm’s patrol encountered. I approached its den, which was littered with dusty, sun-bleached bones. Although it was still fast and strong, it seemed starved. Instead of being enraged as I approached its den, it seemed hungry. It saw me as its next meal, but not a threat.”
She shook her head, disturbed by the bluntness of her own words. This was shaping into an incredibly grim discussion. “Still, confronting it in a direct fight would be foolish. It could easily crush a warrior with one paw, despite its starved state.”
Smokestar stood, clearing her throat. “I believe our best course of action is chasing it away. It’ll be difficult, and we’d need to break into teams to avoid exhaustion. But leading it away towards another suitable den would be the safest course of action for all of us. Hopefully, once relocated, it’ll stay there.” She felt a knot form in her throat, knowing she was asking a difficult thing of her clanmates. “I feel horrible asking this of you all, but it cannot stay in its current location. It’s only a matter of time before it stumbles into the camp.“
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant ArtJanuary 7, 2021 at 1:36 am #10681pyroParticipant
He didn’t know what he had been expecting when Smokestar called a meeting, especially when she started off reintroducing Wasp-paw and stating the names she had given her kits. However, he knew he hadn’t been expecting to hear the whole Clan could very well be in danger. Maybe not quite yet, but soon, if they didn’t handle this creature called a bear. Fennelpaw had never seen one himself, let alone heard very much about them. One might have been mentioned once in a nursery story, if he was remembering correctly. For a second he wanted to jump up and proclaim that they, the mighty ShadowClan, could easily take on this creature. After Leafstorm’s story, though, he wasn’t feeling so… Blindly optimistic. Now, at the least, realistically optimistic.
Feeling sympathetic for the elder after he spoke his story, Fennelpaw rose and picked his way through the crowd to go over to lay a comforting tail upon the elder’s shoulders, briefly. Then he was turning his attention on Smokestar as she spoke again. He might have only been an apprentice, and a young one at that, but he felt resolve in his Clan being able to handle this situation.
“If any Clan can handle this problem, it’s ShadowClan!” He raised his voice as loud as he could, without it cracking embarrassingly, as he tried to reassure his Clanmates. Fennelpaw himself wasn’t necessarily scared, perhaps rather foolishly, but he could admit to feeling apprehensive. He could sense everyone else’s unease, if not fright. Feeling he had some eyes on himself, he cracked a lopsided grin. “Ain’t nothin’ to be worried about. We’ll get this handle with right away, so fast we won’t even remember it happened!”January 7, 2021 at 10:38 pm #10689JuncoberryParticipant
Smokestar’s suggestion seemed reasonable enough, and Juncoberry was prepared to follow this plan she was constructing. If they could lead it away, they’d likely come out of this whole mess with a few sprained paws and a cat or two stuck in a pricker patch. He was glad that they had a leader who wouldn’t lead them to certain death. But how would they manage to sneak up on the thing in order to lead it to a new den? And if they did manage such a thing, how could they be sure it wouldn’t just come back? He opened his mouth to ask just that, when suddenly Fennelpaw was coming forward, announcing that they’d have no problem dealing with this creature.
He began to laugh, a harsh contrast to the solemn atmosphere that had settled over every-cat in the clearing, including himself just moments before. “Oh, thank StarClan!” he choked out, “This kid has saved us!” He was aware of various stares he was getting, and it made his fur uncomfortably hot knowing it wasn’t in admiration, but rather in judgment. So naturally, he dug himself deeper. “We’re ShadowClan; no need to worry about certain death!” He was still laughing. Why was he laughing? Why couldn’t he stop?
Oh, StarClan, this was a mess. Why couldn’t he just be normal in these types of situations? He was going to be in trouble.January 8, 2021 at 1:00 am #10693HowlsParticipant
Rowanpaw – Shadowclan – Female
While Rowanpaw had plenty of expectations for her apprenticeship, another clan meeting so shortly into her new life as a ‘paw was not one of them. Now permitted to join these meetings officially (rather than sneaking out of the nursery to hear them, or more often, being shooed back into it by some buzzkill warrior), she quickly located Fennelpaw– his fur as unkempt as ever- and took a seat beside him, reaching over to try and smooth out his pelt a little before anyone noticed.
“You could at least try and keep your fur groomed, brother,” she grumbled quietly enough for only him to hear. She soon paused, looking up as she realized Wasppaw hadn’t joined them.
Oh. Right. He was a Medicine Cat Apprentice now, which meant he sat with his mentor rather than the ragtag bunch of apprentices. Her sharp amber eyes flicked through the crowd until she spotted him beneath the Driftwood Peak, and she offered him a supportive, if slightly wistful, smile. It was going to take some getting used to, no longer having him hovering over them.
Her thoughts were soon distracted by Smokestar as she moved from the topic of her kits’ names- which she’d missed cheering for, oops- to more pressing matters. A new enemy had been located near their territory.. One she’d never truly heard of before, though vague memories of Nursery tales involving giant beasts such as that came to mind.
Her first thought was to reject the claim that it was such a big deal. Their warriors chased off foxes and badgers easily enough, how much worse could this ‘bear’ truly be? But then, an elderly voice croaked out its story- of facing such a creature, of death and destruction it’d left in its wake. She wanted to scoff at the story of such a beast, but the old tom’s voice cracked with such emotion, and the sorrow that shone in his eyes.. she had little doubt in his story. She listened to Smokestar’s plan eargerly, and parted her jaws to ask if she might be able to join in on the patrol- as scary as such a beast was, she wanted to help face it- when Fennelpaw spoke up.
She cringed slightly as he drew the attention of the entire clan, and was glad she’d gotten at least a couple swipes of her tongue in on his ruffled pelt only moments ago. Not that it did much good. He eagerly piped up about how the clan clearly had it handled, nothing to worry about, and felt her muzzle flicker as she failed to suppress both a smile and a sigh. Her flea-brained, hyper, loveable brother was doing what he did best.
Her amusement was stopped short when laughter rang out, followed by incredulous, sarcastic words. Her head snapped around and she glared at the deputy as he openly mocked her brother. How dare he? Deputy or not, nobody picked on Fennelpaw- except maybe her and Wasp.
She quickly stepped forward to defend him, shouldering her way to the apprentice’s side. Her voice was sharp with anger, cutting through the tom’s derisive laughter. “At least he has faith that Smokestar and our clan will overcome this. Better than acting like we’re already doomed!”January 10, 2021 at 9:49 pm #10724ToriParticipant
– W A S P –
The Clan meeting continued on like he had expected it to, with the Clan leader directing the flow of the conversation and inquiries of startled clanmates interjecting their concerns upon her. Despite the initial jolt of shock he felt upon learning the identity of the beast in which the elders described, Wasppaw didn’t find himself feeling a degree of fear quite like they were exhibiting. Smokestar was a smart and capable warrior, surely she could lead them to success with as little causalities as possible? Besides, they had the medical abilities of Hareflight on their side as well. With this reasoning in mind, Wasppaw found himself becoming rather calm as opposed to fearful.
When Juncoberry nudged him in encouragement, the calico healer-in-training glanced up at the deputy and offered him a reassuring smile in return. He appreciated the support from the older tom, it was nice to know that he had friends in the Clan apart from his siblings and mentor. And then, Smokestar was continuing on with her plan, an idea to chase the bear away from ShadowClan territory as she did not want to risk allowing the creature to wander into their camp. She’s right, he thought to himself, who knows what a thing like that could do if it recklessly tramples over our dens. Wasppaw didn’t want to think about something so gruesome. They would have to chase it away before that could happen.
But before he knew it, his brother, Fennelpaw, was yowling out enthusiastically from the crowd. Wasppaw’s head whipped around and his bi-colored green and amber eyes found the honey tom from where he grinned innocently. He appeared either unaware of the several pairs of eyes that turned towards him or he simply didn’t care that they appeared to judge his cheerful youth from the distance. A frown wormed its way on his face for the sake of his brother. He meant well, he didn’t deserve to be judged by these warriors. And even more shocking to him, a laugh bubbled out next to him and he turned quickly to see Juncoberry scoffing at the display from his sibling.
The healer to-be parted his jaws to defend his brother, but his passionate sister, Rowanpaw, stepped in before he could say anything. She was glaring at the Clan deputy and speaking towards him unapologetically with her chin up. It took guts for a newly-named apprentice to talk like that to a Clan superior, but Wasppaw didn’t doubt her intensity. Meeting her amber eyes briefly in gratitude, Wasppaw returned his attention to Juncoberry, where he asked him in a polite voice, “Are you feeling alright? Should I fetch you some poppy seeds if you’re feeling uneasy, perhaps?”January 13, 2021 at 7:24 pm #10776
Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader
Smokestar hissed harshly, demanding her clanmates’ attention. The bickering wasn’t helpful.
“Enough of this,” she growled. “I appreciate your optimism and faith, but Juncoberry is right. In more eloquent words, this a very serious situation. Although this threat must be handled, we could lose clanmates to this monster.” Her eyes narrowed, trying to impress the gravity of the situation upon those gathered below. “Some of us may die for this victory. But, with every ounce of wisdom and ability in my paws I’ll try to ensure everyone’s safety.”
She stood, her claws digging into the driftwood perch. “We have much to plan, but we’ll make our move soon. Juncoberry and I will create a scouting party to locate a new den for the bear. Then, we will divide the most capable of our warriors into groups in order to chase it towards the new location.” Her eyes softened for a moment, despite the angered heat boiling beneath her fur. “Starclan help us all, we’re going to need them.”
She leapt down, dismissing the meeting as she indicated that Juncoberry, Hareflight, and Leafstorm should follow her for further discussions.
Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant Art
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