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Lux

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  • #13251
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Smokestar dipped her head politely, greeting Heatherpetal as she drew near. “More wanderers?” Smokestar mewed, the dismay palpable in her voice. The larger their group grew, the more likely a panic. Their future was uncertain, and she had to maintain control. “Thank you, I’m sure having some structure will help ease their worries. Being trapped together is better than being trapped alone, I think.

    They were interrupted as a new white-pelted spirit stood nearby, looking confused. ‘They all do,‘ she thought, feeling sorrowful. “So many of us believed Starclan is just a kits’ bedtime story. But here we are, realizing just how real all of this is,” she muttered under her breath. She let Heatherpetal greet the newcomer, knowing the lithe Windclan warrior was far more charismatic and warm.

    She startled as Snowyowl approached, realizing the Skyclan she-cat may have heard her private ramblings. “I haven’t communicated to Wasppaw in a few days,” she replied, knowing her frequent trips to Shadowclan weren’t secret. However, exposing Wasppaws’ ability to the clans made her uneasy, and she kept the nature of their communications secret. Instead, she had fabricated a story about how they communicated via bones and bits of prey. ‘Very cryptic and weird,‘ she admitted. But, it seemed likely enough it stopped arguments.

    Smokestar gave Snowyowl a weak smile as she spoke quietly, “All of our clanmates are doing their best, searching desperately for a cure. Our medicine cats are doing their best, sharing knowledge and cooperating to keep us alive as long as possible.” She sighed, visibly deflating as the weight of the situation bore down upon her shoulders. Smokestar felt so weak and tired. ‘I just want to curl up with Ravenwatcher, feeling his warmth,‘ she silently whined.

    We’re doing what we can by keeping everyone calm and safe while we wait. Hurrying about, stressing in our final moments, would only rush us towards an untimely end,” she spoke the words stiffly, quiet enough only Snowyowl could hear. “Giving everyone structure and a sense of security is the most important thing right now. We have to trust our clanmates in these dire times, as Starclan has wrenched all control from our paws.

    Of course,” she added quickly as she tried to lighten the mood. “You’re welcome return to your your clan, visit your family. But, as you said we’re somewhere between our mortal selves and Starclan. As we exist now, we have no home.


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    #12916
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Good idea,” Smokestar nodded. “Leave it to me, I’ll search for everyone. I believe the two of you have more critical affairs to handle.” She glanced over at her comatose form once again, feeling anxious. Her body seemed in fair health, but it wouldn’t last. “We can’t stay like this forever. Eventually, our bodies will waste away,” she mewed stiffly, fur prickling as she voiced the horrid truth.

    Everything is hanging in a balance,” she continued. “In one paw, we need medicine cats such as yourselves caring for the ill and unconscious. On the other, we need to figure out what Starclan needs us to do. Focus on those two goals and I’ll handle the others’ spirits. When we all come together, we’ll aid you however we can.

    She turned to Wasppaw, giving the tom a weary smile. “Juncoberry must act as leader, for now. He will listen to you. That tom adores you, and respects you. He’ll make sure your and Hareflight’s needs are met. Consider visiting the other clans with an escort. We’re all in the same cursed situation, and it’s time we worked together.” She gave him a reassuring brush with her tail, “I trust you, Wasppaw. I know you’ll do everything you can to see us to safety.

    Her amber gaze rested on Cherrypaw for a moment, wanting to offer her some encouragement as well. “I’m glad you’re with us, Cherrypaw. Though I haven’t know you long, your heart shines like the sun. If anyone could hear Starclan’s pleas for help it’d be you.


    Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant Art
    #12784
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Smokestar watched silently as Ravenwatcher entered the medicine den. ‘Oh Raven,‘ her heart ached. She padded to her nest, taking grief-stricken seat beside her. ‘He’ll have to care for the kits alone while I’m gone.‘ Panic struck her heart, quickening its pace. Her return wasn’t guaranteed. If this was the end, her biggest regret would be missing her childrens’ Warrior Ceremony.

    We have wakeup, somehow.

    Blinking tears from her eyes, Smokestar replied to Cherrypaw. “Given the circumstances, I’d guess it’s our ancestors whispering. Out of everyone in the clans, Wasppaw is probably the only soul who can help determine it with certainty.

    Wasppaw’s startled mew interjected into their conversation. “Wasppaw!” she mewed. “Thank Starclan you can see us. Cherrypaw is with me, and I believe she has sense similar to your own.” She took a seat, paws shaking with relief. “We have to figure out what’s happening, quickly. Things can’t stay like this. I believe the clans may be in danger if we don’t help Starclan. Else, more of our clanmates may end up like this,” she gestured towards her unconscious form. “Whatever is happening can’t be ignored. We’re all in danger until it’s fixed.

    Honestly, I’m not really much help with these sorts of things. But, I was hoping you and Cherrypaw could work together. I’m here to help, however I can. But I’m not … well …” she trailed off. “I never really made heads or tails of Starclan.


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    #12623
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    By Starclan, I hope we’re the only ones,” Smokestar swore. She felt her ears redden in embarrassment. Swearing by Starclan at the Moonpool, and in front of a medicine apprentice, seemed atrocious. “Er, no offense meant. I’m sorry,” she spared a glance towards the Moonpool itself.

    Wasppaw is very talented. But, from time to time I believe he wishes he didn’t bear such ‘gifts’ from Starclan. Honestly, I’m not certain if he can help us. After All, we’re not dead.” Smokestar gestured towards Cherrypaw’s limp form. “We’re something in between, I think.

    She spared a final glance towards Wasppaw, feeling some trepidation. His eyes gazed through her, unable to perceive her ghostly form. If he couldn’t see them, she and Cherrypaw may be stuck as spirits forever. ‘We’d surely waste away…‘ she thought, a chill creeping up her spine. Horrible possibilities raced through her mind, quickening her pulse. ‘We can’t let this happen. We have to return, somehow.

    Let’s not waste any time, let’s survey above. If there are others affected like us, we’ll bring them along. If not, we’ll leave and meet Wasppaw when he returns to Shadowclan.

    Taking the lead, she started up the smooth stone slope. It felt good to take ‘control’ of their uncontrollable situation. For now, she could keep leading.


    Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant Art
    #12537
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Greetings,” Smokestar said, warm and friendly despite the alarming situation. The Riverclan apprentices’ composure was impressive, despite the fear that shook her paws.

    I’m scared as well,‘ she acknowledged, blood pounding in her ears. ‘Never really been comfortable with all of this Starclan stuff.

    Well, I don’t hear anything,” she replied quietly, straining to hear anything beyond the rhythmic dripping of water. “But, I trust you. After all, not the first time an apprentice has noticed something I cannot,” she mewed, alluding to Wasppaw. If he could see spirits, there was no reason Cherrypaw couldn’t hear … other things.

    She hesitantly stepped forward, finding herself unable to interact with her unconscious body. “It looks like I’m okay,” she confirmed. “You’re also fine, already checked,” she purred reassuringly. “However, that doesn’t answer why we’re here or what Starclan wants.

    She took a seat, the chilly stone causing her to shiver. “Well, I may know someone who can help us. But, I don’t think he can see us here,” she mewed, flicking an ear towards Wasppaw. “He can see Starclan. Like, really see Starclan. I don’t fully understand it.” She felt some guilty for exposing the young tom’s secret, but she and Cherrypaw were in danger and she needed to be transparent. “Let’s follow Shadowclan home, we’ll meet Wasppaw there and try to figure out what’s happening together. Sound good?


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    #12474
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Of course,” she snapped, nose scrunching in annoyance as Juncoberry chimed in. Of course, her deputy was just showing support. But, this was a decision larger than a cross-border romance.

    She took a deep breath, weighing her words carefully before responding to Tigershadow. “You’re welcome in Shadowclan, but you must send word to Wildstar if you wish to stay here. I’d prefer if you travel in person to deliver the news. But, a message sent across the border will suffice.” Her eyes grew soft, trying to offer the weary toms some comfort. “In time, you may find your own family here who accepts and loves you unconditionally. I hope you do, it’s what you deserve.

    She stood, stepping towards the den’s exit. “In one moon’s time I expect you to send a message to Thunderclan, Tigershadow. But, in the meantime let’s make your presence known to the clan. Then get some rest, both of you.


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    #12269
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Smokestar’s fur stood on end, alarmed as Cherrypaw collapsed to the stone floor. She stepped forward, pushing past Rainysky and Darkstar. She nuzzled the young apprentice’s shoulder, feeling the rise and fall of her breath. It was if she’d suddenly fallen into a deep sleep. “She’s okay,” she mewed quietly. “Just unconscious, it seems. Perhaps this was a too much excitement for her.” Despite the firmness of her words, doubt prickled at her paws. This oily goo was infecting Starclan and interfering with her clanmates. Something had to happen, and soon. ‘If we don’t do something everything we know about Starclan, our ancestors, may change.

    We should get out of here, regroup and consider how to handle this,” she announced, voice echoing through the cavern. “We need to fix whatever is tainting the pool, but standing around and staring won’t do anything. I’d rather not continue risking Shadowclan’s medicine cats while we don’t understand if it’s toxic.

    She stepped back, taking initiative to lead Hareflight and Wasppaw towards the surface. With her first pawstep the oil’s scent grew overwhelming. ‘We have to go, this isn’t safe!’ Thoughts of Ravenwatcher and their kits tugged at her mind, pulling her onward. She struggled to breathe beneath the oppressive fumes, which clouded her senses and dragged at her paws. The quartz stone beneath her glittered like stars in silverpelt. For a moment, it seemed as if dozens of eyes were peering back at her through its dark surface. The slick stone rose to meet her as she collapsed, the corners of her vision fading to black as she fell unconscious.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Lux.

    Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant Art
    #12268
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Juncoberry,” she mewed, giving him a withering look. “Please, you know he’s as slippery as a fox despite his injuries.” She paused, considering for a moment whether forcing the tom into retirement was ethical. “No, we can’t,” she sighed. “He needs this choice. I don’t want him to curl up in the Elder’s den, waiting for his final days to end. He can still serve the clan, which I tried to impress upon him. But, I suppose emotions were too heightened for that to break through.

    It’ll be over with soon. Tawnypainter is a rational tom, most of the time. I’m sure he’ll understand, he just needed time to process,” she restated firmly. ‘Plus, someone to push the blame onto. I’ll take that, if necessary.

    She got to her paws, stretching as bits of moss dropped from her pelt. “I’d best get a meal before patrol. Don’t fret, his trial will be soon, and this will all be over.” She gave her deputy an affectionate nudge as she passed by. “We’ll keep your dad safe, even if he’s a stubborn old turtle about it.


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    #12267
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Is that what you would like, Tigershadow?” Smokestar mewed, encouraging the tom to speak for himself. He seemed hesitant, uncomfortable and nervous. ‘Afraid of rejection, perhaps,‘ she silently mulled. She wanted to ask, to figure out why Thunderclan wasn’t safe for the tom. It seemed a private matter, better left to quiet discussion rather than forceful prying. Regardless, she doubted Tigershadow was a Thunderclan spy sent by Wildstar. Relations between the clans remained strained, but there was little to gain from a spy at this time. Additionally, she trusted Juncoberry’s judgement, despite his lack of transparency.

    Juncoberry,” she addressed her deputy, her tone reprimanding. “Instead of dragging a stressed and exhausted tom into our camp, perhaps come privately discuss your plans with me first? I’m honest with you, and I appreciate it if you’d reciprocate.” She sighed, swatting his shoulder with her wispy tail. ‘I need you to trust me,‘ her eyes plead.

    Of course, you’re welcome to join us Tigershadow,” she mewed, amber gaze meeting his own. “But, have you left Thunderclan without bidding farewell? Have you considered that Wildstar and your clanmates may believe you were captured, or worse?


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    #12109
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Hey now,” she mewed, suppressing a chuckle. Although she knew her deputy was right, she wanted to preserve some of Tawnypainter’s dignity. “Show some respect for the old man! His pride is valuable, and retiring to the Elder’s den with a broken spirit won’t help anyone. I’ll be firm, when the time comes. But until then, I promised to give Tawnypainter a fighting chance.” She sighed, shaking her head. Juncoberry’s relations with his father had always seemed strained. For good reason, she silently admitted. It was true that Tawnypainter’s ego was a common stumbling block. She just wanted this transition to be easy, for Tawnypainter’s sake as well as the clan. Retiring a warrior was much harder than she’d expected.

    I dunno Juncoberry, I promised him I wouldn’t allow any spectators,” she mewed. “I’ll give you the best recount I can, promise. But, unless Starclan performs a miracle, I doubt it’ll be much of a fight. You probably won’t miss much.


    Courtesy of Mairu Doggy, Deviant Art
    #12107
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Smokestar jolted, wide-eyed with alarm as the distinctive scent of Thunderclan drifted through the low-hanging pine branches. “Juncoberry, what’s happening?” she mewed, needles rattling as she exited the den. Her claws dug into stone as she came to an abrupt stop. “Thunderclanner, greetings,” she mewed tersely. The two toms were close, their scent intermingled. Her eyes widened, realizing the implication. “Oh,” she mewed quietly. She noticed the prying eyes of their clanmates, their uneased murmuring. “Come in,” she mewed. “That way you may speak freely, privately.

    She retreated within, welcoming Juncoberry and the stranger. The moss lined cave was comforting, isolated from the chastising eyes beyond. “Apologies for the cold greeting,” she mewed. “As you know, there’s still some hard feelings towards Thunderclan. The clans’ anxiety is related to the scent on your pelt, not who you are. Please, explain why you’ve brought this tom to us, Juncoberry.” She had a hunch, but she wanted to confirm from her own deputy. Later, she’d discuss how he’d hidden this from her.


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    #12106
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Come in Juncoberry,” Smokestar called, getting to her paws. She’d been resting, getting some reprieve before joining the evening patrol. She snorted, imagining the young apprentice’s tumble. “Well, I’m glad the den was long abandoned for Pricklepaw’s sake. Thank you, knowing you were with them was a weight off my mind.

    She took a seat, gesturing for him to do likewise. “Actually, could you stay for a moment? I need to speak with you. We need to discuss your father, Tawnypainter.” Her tail curled about her paws, tip twitching anxiously. “I spoke with him and we came to an agreement. He and I will spar for his warriorhood within a moon.” She averted her gaze, feeling some guilt. Fighting the senior warrior brought her no pleasure. But, it seemed the best way to get through to the tom. “You know he doesn’t want to retire. I doubt he can best me in his current condition, so he’ll be going to the Elder’s den either way.” She gave a remorseful sigh, “I’m sorry I didn’t discuss this with you. But, I caught him sneaking out of camp and wanted to personally assess his condition. Between age and injury, it’s time.


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    #11808
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Guilt gnawed at Smokestar’s belly. This needed to be done. Tawnypainter couldn’t defend himself, not in his current state. Letting him continue to serve as a warrior was risk to himself and others.

    But, this should be on his terms,‘ she thought, frowning. Although she was giving him a chance, the odds were undoubtedly not in his favor.

    Of course, it’ll be just the two of us.” A wry smile curved her lips. At least his ego was still in-tact. “You’re welcome to prepare how you would like. However, until then you’re not allowed to join patrols. I know it’s frustrating, but I’m supporting your son’s decision.

    She turned away, facing camp. “You know Tawnypainter,” she mewed. “We all want to see you succeed, whether it’s as a warrior or as a retiree,” she purposefully omitted the word ‘elder’. That was a stream they’d cross later. “I’m heading back to camp, but I’m available if you need me later.


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    #11760
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Smokestar’s nose scrunched at Firestar’s words, annoyed with the Skyclan leader’s soured mood. Biting her tongue she followed along behind Desertstar, not wanting to add to the already tense atmosphere. They’d delve into the depths of the Mooncave and get to the bottom of this. Glancing behind she checked to make sure Hareflight and Wasppaw were in tow. They, along with the other medicine cats, would be better at assessing the situation.

    The path downwards was dark, accompanied by a choking smell. “Something isn’t right,” she hissed. As Desertstar reeled she slipped by, eyes adjusting to the darkness. Before them was something unnatural, like nothing she’d ever seen. She peered into the inky water, feeling ill as the fumes overwhelmed her senses.”Wasppaw,” she whispered, voice unintentionally loud against the echoing stone. “Is this familiar?


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    #11757
    Lux
    Participant

     Smokestar – Shadowclan Leader 

    Tail tucked tightly around her paws, Smokestar listened as Tawnypainter protested. His desperate argument twisted her stomach with guilt. Perhaps retiring him would be premature. Her amber gaze drifted to his paws, one twisted while the other rested awkwardly, devoid of feeling.

    Please, listen to me,” she mewed softly. “Your last accident could’ve been so much worse, and I’m thankful to Starclan that you’re still with us.” Her eyes narrowed, taking a serious but firm tone. “I believe you’ve pushed your body to its limits, Tawnypainter. You’re not soft and spry anymore. Injuries no longer heal as they used to.” She gestured with a paw towards camp, indicating her next point. “I want you in camp, working alongside your clanmates in an appropriate space. I swear on my lives, you will not be useless.

    Smokestar’s ears swiveled, considering his proposition. She could give him more time. Perhaps something miraculous could happen, although she sincerely doubted it would happen. ‘Well, he already returned from the ‘dead’ once,’ she noted, remembering the tom’s disappearance. Perhaps he could overcome this. “Fine,” she sighed. “I’ll give you more time. You have one moon, then we’ll spar. If you best me I’ll let you continue to serve the clan as a warrior.” Her eyes narrowed, lips curving in a faint smile. “Tawnypainter, I really hope you can do it, genuinely. I don’t want you to retire. But, I also want to make the best and safest decision for you and your loved ones. Consider what I’ve said, please. I want you to be happy, but I also want you to be safe.


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