Some color palette shenanigans....... @forgotten-elegy
Some color palette shenanigans....... @forgotten-elegy
She deserved more screentime :-(
What if I was a Bone cosplayer and you were a Scorge cosplay
Bluestar: I hope you didn't do anything stupid
Fireheart: I hope you're not hoping too hard
Sandstorm: is something burning?
Firestar: just my love for you.
Sandstorm: Firestar, the toaster’s on fire.
(prologue) (chapter one) (chapter two)
Although WindClan was the closest of all the Clans to it, the road to Fourtrees had never seemed longer.
The thick-barked trees seemed to stare down at Antstar as he led WindClan towards the hollow. On one side of him was Whitetooth, always looking ahead and always alert; on the other side was Russetfoot, who Antstar had decided to make his deputy almost as soon as he had returned from the Moonstone when he had received his nine lives.
A shiver scattered down his spine as he remembered the events that had happened after the last gathering. Rainleap gone, in an instant; a Clan suddenly left midair after being thrown off the cliff. And yet in all the turmoil, he had risen triumphant.
Or at least that was the impression he had gotten. He was supposed to feel triumphant, wasn’t he?
It had been a long ladder for Antstar to climb from Clanless kit to leader of all of WindClan, but he was beginning to realize at the top that he had a fear of heights.
Eventually, Fourtrees began to come into view, and Antstar could identify the four feline figures who sat at the Great Rock. All of them- even Currantstar, although he had only been leader for about twelve moons- seemed so used to it all, not even reacting to the leagues of chatter that surrounded them. It was as if their paws had melded with the granite below them.
“And I thought ShadowClan was bad with being late…” Pigeonstar’s coarse tone rang out above the crowd. The blue-gray tom was sporting a new scar that framed his left cheekbone.
“WindClan will be here soon enough,” said Tulipstar reassuringly. She had a tangy quality to her voice- not hostile, but not exactly warm either, like a mentor about to take their apprentice to a rigorous day of battle training. “I’ve heard rumors that something’s happened to them. Surely Shalestar will tell us.”
Shalestar. That was another thing. How was Antstar going to explain all that? Rainleap and Shalestar, both dead in the span of a month.
Part of him worried the others would think he killed him.
WindClan dispersed into the clearing, blending into the crowds. Spiderpaw was, very clearly, trying her best to not brag about her mentor now being the Clan leader. Toadpool and Webwhisker were striking a pleasant conversation with a dark red tabby tom from RiverClan with tufted ears. Adderthorn, a rather reclusive WindClan cat, kept to herself, although her gaze seemed to be fixed on a small dark brown tom from ShadowClan who had a marbled coat.
“Come, Antstar.” Whitetooth, with Marblepaw by their side, led Antstar through the gathering crowd, weaving in and out of the clouds of conversation. Eventually, they reached the medicine cats, who were having a friendly debate about whether yellow or orange marigold was more effective.
“I leave you here.” They pointed their tail at the top of the rock, where an empty spot sat between Tulipstar and Currantstar. “Best of luck. May StarClan look upon your first gathering with smiling faces.”
With a bit of effort, Antstep leapt onto the rock. He was surprised at how smooth the summit was- as if generations of pawsteps had carved it.
“Greetings, Antstep.” Tulipstar bowed her head.
Currantstar, however, looked a tad more confused. “Have Shalestar and Rainleap taken ill? I wouldn’t expect Shalestar to skip a Gathering. That old workhorse would go even in downpour…”
Antstep stammered. “I…”
He looked to Whitetooth for a second, who gave him an encouraging nod. He then looked to the other leaders. Their eyes felt like hot coals launching towards him.
But he would have to say it now.
“…Shalestar and Rainleap both passed away this prior moon.”
A sudden commotion hit the Gathering. Cats of the other Clans looked to their WindClan acquaintances in shock; WindClan simply nodded their heads and sighed.
“Both of them? How?” Pigeonstar’s eyes narrowed as his face twisted itself from comprehension into a scowl.
“On the way back from the last Gathering, there was an accident involving a monster. Shalestar appointed me as deputy in his stead-“ -he shot a quick glance into the crowd, seeking approval- “-and he passed away of illness not long after. We in WindClan mourn them both greatly, and have spent the past moon grieving for them.”
Pigeonstar, however, looked unconvinced. “How do we know you didn’t kill them?”
Antstar felt ill, unsheathing his claws to keep himself from falling off the Great Rock from dizziness. But the SkyClan leader continued, fashioning himself the great detective. “For all we know, you could have killed Rainleap, made it look like an accident, have Shalestar elect you as deputy, and then kill him, too!” He drew his lips in a snarl. “And it doesn’t help that cats of your kind don’t become WindClan leader so easy.”
But then, Currantstar stepped forward. “Many of us in ShadowClan are not Clan-born, like Antstar here. One of my medicine cats, Rosettepelt, is among them, and she is one of the most gifted healers we know.” He advanced forward towards Pigeonstar, his gaze steady and stern. “So if you want to remain on positive terms with us, I suggest you watch it.”
Pigeonstar seemed as if he were about to say something, but reason got the better of him.
“Furthermore, my friends,” started Whitetooth from the medicine cat crowd, “I can assure you that Antstar speaks truth. I prepared both bodies and aided Shalestar in his final hours. As he lay dying, he was content with his choice in Antstep.”
There was a low murmur throughout the Gathering discussing the death of the old leader. Even though Antstep tried not to, he bent his ears towards the crowd to get a better listen.
“Well,” said Pigeonstar, “we have no proof he didn’t kill Shalestar, now, do we?”
Currantstar and Tulipstar looked unconvinced as they looked over the Burmese tom in front of them. “You realize Antstar was Shalestar’s own apprentice, Pigeonstar,” added Tulipstar dryly. “And Shalestar took quite the liking to him.”
Tatteredstar of ThunderClan, however, was studying him, very very deeply, like she was inspecting the double barrel of a rifle she was about to stuff with gunpowder. Finally, she stepped back. The massive molly sat down, her expression unchanged as always.
“I don’t think the boy killed Shalestar.” She spoke in a thick ThunderClan drawl. “But we shouldn’t underestimate him.” She paused, as if she was taking the moment to rehearse her thoughts to herself. “He’s got killer between his eyes.”
Killer in his eyes. Antstar felt unsettled. Killer? What does she mean? And why-
But the other leaders simply seemed to nod, as if a silent agreement had been reached that they shouldn’t further push Antstar.
Perhaps they all had killers dancing in their eyes.
Pigeonstar seemed to back off, although he didn’t look pleased.
“Is there any other news in WindClan to report?” asked Tulipstar.
“…There is nothing else to report.”
Antstar stepped back, and Tatteredstar began to prepare herself to speak. Tatteredstar’s mere presence alone made Antstar feel weaker. Tatteredstar was an almighty oak; massive, muscular, battle-scarred and a pillar of her Clan, he was a mere dandelion, who bent over and crumpled in the slightest breeze, beside her. Having a good look at her didn’t help. He saw more scars on her now than he ever had before- across her face, across her flank, even down her legs. Her claws were off-white and long, jutting out from the tufts of fur betwixt her toes, and while her fur was generally well-groomed, a mat or two seemed just under the surface in the ruff of fur around her neck. She had two bottom fangs that stuck out; they had yellowed in their years of exposure and her bottom lip seemed to have shaped itself around them. Her tail was short, compared to her body, and it would not surprise Antstar if she had lost part of it in the throes of battle. Her big, yellow eyes, which were surrounded by oily discharge that discolored her fur, seemed to both stare into the horizon and at whatever was in front of her at once.
“ThunderClan has been doing well this past moon. We extend our condolences to WindClan for their loss of Shalestar,” she began. “He was leader alongside me for many years. We had our disagreements, but I held the tom in high regard, as I am sure all of us do.”
Shalestar and Tatteredstar had been the two oldest leaders, Antstar recalled. She had been leader for about twelve seasons by the time Shalestar ascended, and while the two didn’t interact much and had their differences, there was an air of respect between the two.
Antstar recalled how hollow-looking and feeble Shalestar had appeared in death. Tatteredstar, however, had no sign of slowing down. He wondered how she managed to do it.
“We have been lucky to have had two healthy litters of kits born into our Clan. Sleetwhisker has given birth to two mollies, Vinekit and Shrikekit; and Sootspots has given birth to four toms and a molly, Mothkit, Fogkit, Stumpkit, Cedarkit, and Clawkit. In addition, Foxbriar is set to give birth to her kits within the next quarter-moon. We will have our paws very full… and it will also mean we will have more mouths to feed.” She shot a pointed glance at Tulipstar.
“Also- in addition- there was an attempted uprising by a ThunderClan cat named Rosefire.” The Gathering crowds pricked their ears- Rosefire was a cat who had been known by many for his friendly nature and how he disliked Tatteredstar and her deputy, Eelwhisker. He was a very vocal cat, and would often joke about starting genuine rebellion against them in order to pursue a dream of all five clans being united. Many thought he was a tad extreme, of course, but he was generally well-liked.
But Tatteredstar never minced words. “The so-called uprising was over as soon as it began. I dealt with Rosefire. You will not be seeing him again.”
There was a stunned silence.
It was only then that it really struck Antstar what cat he was dealing with. The matter of Rosefire, to Tatteredstar, was not a personal matter, and there was not a look of cruelty, resentment, or even annoyance in the ThunderClan leader’s yellow eyes. Rosefire had intruded on ThunderClan’s safety, and Tatteredstar had dispatched him. It began and ended there.
And then, Tatteredstar stepped back. “ThunderClan has nothing more to report.”
After what seemed like forever, Currantstar stepped up to speak. “ShadowClan has spent the moon recuperating after the fire we reported at the last Gathering. We are, again, very lucky that it did not affect us too harshly. Besides that, we have no new news to report; we are deeply sorry for WindClan’s loss of Shalestar and Rainleap.”
As soon as he had begun, he had ended. Antstar admired his charisma, his charm, the way he looked like a sculpture; Currantstar was a perfect leader.
And he had become leader so young, too. He and Antstar were about the same age, after all.
If he can do it, and be a perfect leader, I can do it, too…
“We have been experiencing difficulties with rogues on SkyClan territory,” Pigeonstar announced. “I suspect this is the same group that has been bothering RiverClan territory. However, we have fought them off successfully,” he said. He was very pointed with his words. “In addition, two of our apprentices became warriors- Bumbleshade and Silverskip.”
There was a round of cheer for the two freshly-graduated warriors. Pigeonstar then backed away, and Tulipstar, the very small white molly with ginger splotches, at long last took the stage.
“We are continuing to deal with the rogues on our territory. We have started to drive them off, but it’s a tough process. Just this moon alone we have had to deal with the untimely deaths of Yellowstripe and Sleekwater, and our resources are running dry. However, there is hope. Oatwhisker became a warrior this month, and one of our mollies gave birth to two fine young kits, Magpiekit and Frondkit.”
The little white-and-orange molly kept a steady eye on Tatteredstar- giving a clear implication about how much she wanted Sunningrocks. Their agreement would run out by the next Gathering- and, by the looks of it, Tulipstar had every intention to keep the territory.
Slowly, the gathering would down like a spring-powered toy. SkyClan was the first to leave; then ThunderClan, and then ShadowClan, until only WindClan and RiverClan were left. Antstar would have left earlier, but he still felt dizzy and his head felt sore from sheer mental pressure.
“Are you alright?”
He turned and looked down to see Tulipstar. She looked… genuinely concerned, or at least as genuinely as Antstar could convince himself another leader could be.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he said, as reluctance tried to keep his lips locked together.
“…You sounded nervous. I get it. Don’t fear the other leaders; they’re really not as scary as they like to make themselves out to be.” She thought on her words for a moment. “Well, except for Tatteredstar.”
“…What is it to you?” Antstar backed away slowly. Did she want something out of him? Then he doubled back in his mind- what if that sounded too rude, and now she was mad with him?
“Antstar, relax. I was especially close with your mentor and predecessor, Shalestar. We were very good friends, and under our allyship our two Clans were very close. I would like to continue that partnership with you.”
RiverClan had been friendly with WindClan for at least as long as Shalestar and Tulipstar had led them both. Slowly, Antstar let his guard down, correcting his posture so he didn’t look so hunched over.
“I would like to continue it, as well.”
“Great,” she said. She smiled, and Antstar could see how middle age had made her face look bony and her dimples more noticeable. “Besides- I was in a very similar scenario to where you are now, when I became leader.”
Antstar sat up in disbelief. Perhaps he wasn’t alone! Perhaps someone, somewhere out there… someone might just understand! “You… you became leader the same way?”
“Similarly. I mean- there weren’t as many accusations as you had to face from Pigeonstar, that joyless rat, because both my parents were RiverClan and the previous leader’s death wasn’t exactly a private occasion.” She leaned in, her jade eyes wide. “Did you hear about how I came to be leader, Antstar?”
Antstar shook his head.
“I feel you will find it very similar to your situation. The leader before me was a tom named Boarstar.”
Antstar remembered hearing of a Boarstar in nursery tales when he was a kit. Everyone knew him as a leader who had died in a battle he himself had started, but Antstar had not heard much of what he was like beyond that.
“Boarstar was very, very young when he rose to power, younger than you by a few seasons. He was a mean thing. Always picking fights with ThunderClan and WindClan, always on the attack. He was a serial womanizer and deeply narcissistic. Not many of us liked him much. He placed his brother, Oakbelly- who shared every ideal with him- as his deputy, and the two wreaked havoc on RiverClan. Boarstar lost his lives quite quickly because of all the battles he started…”
“So how did he choose you?”
“I honestly don’t think he did. We were in the midst of a battle with ThunderClan in their camp, and Oakbelly was fighting some ThunderClan cat while trying to get to the nursery. As he was taunting them, he made a miscalculation- and the ThunderClan cat shredded his belly open. And now, you know I and ThunderClan do not get along, but…” She smirked.
“Boarstar was filled with more rage than his namesake as he saw his brother bleed out… So he ran right to Tatteredstar herself and attacked her. She and him went one-on-one. It was a quick battle. I didn’t see much of it, but in the glimpse of his death that I got from the other side of their camp, she was clamping down on his head with her paws, crushing his skull.”
“The next thing I knew, the medicine cat rushed up to me and asked if I could take the mantle of leadership, telling me it was what Boarstar wanted in his last moments. In hindsight, it was probably the last thing he wanted, and the medicine cat was the one who made the decision. But it was my duty to my Clan, and so, I became leader. I cannot say the road of leadership has been an easy one, or a gentle one. But I want to be the cat for you who I wished was there for me.”
Antstar stepped towards her. “You mean, you’re going to help me?”
“I can’t lead for you, Antstar. Only you know your people. But I will be here as your mentor in leadership. Our Clans will be close. Feel free to ask me if you need help, and I will do my best to be there. It’s what Shalestar would have wanted.”
Antstep’s shoulders felt lighter. Someone out there was on his side!
“Trufflepelt, organize RiverClan so we can leave.” A tall, gaunt cinnamon tabby tom, twice the height of his leader, stood at the end of the hollow as the trademark plump bodies and shimmering pelts of RiverClan surrounded him. Pebblesky, RiverClan’s medicine cat, receded into the crowd, leaving Whitetooth and Marblepaw alone. They disappeared into the forests, southward; towards the faint smell of freshwater that beckoned from their territory.
Antstar stood alone on the rock for a moment. It was smooth, cold; almost calming now that the other Clans had left. He looked above and saw the leaves of the great oaks shiver above him; and a sky full of stars, who all blinked and winked as they stared upon him.
He heard pawsteps behind him, and turned to see the familiar face of Whitetooth, staring him in that inquisitive way they always did. “Are you alright, my leader?”
“…Yeah.” Antstar didn’t break eye contact as he stared at the stars above him.
“...You’ll get used to it,” Whitetooth added.
And then, after a further moment, Antstar left the Great Rock, where Russetfoot was already organizing WindClan to go home. Whitetooth followed, and then Marblepaw, and away they went, into the night.
“He did terribly,” said Sparkthistle dismissively as soon as the Gathering group got back.
“It couldn’t be that bad,” said Houndnose, a tortoiseshell tabby-and-white permaqueen, who emerged from the nursery with two of Cherrycloud’s kits clamping themselves onto her fur like a pair of bread clips.
“Oh, he made the biggest ass of himself- which is saying something because Pigeonstar was there.” The ginger molly rolled her eyes. “You really hate to see it. I’m astonished Rainleap hasn’t unearthed himself with all the spinning he must be doing in that grave!”
“Don’t talk that way about my brother!” growled Stripedwing, who was just outside the nursery. The gray tabby molly, who was visibly pregnant, had been inspecting the nursery while the gathering group was gone.
But Sparkthistle simply groaned and sauntered off, as if she was annoyed at Stripedwing for not liking the joke.
Antstar passed by the nursery, and something bit his foot. He looked down to see Brindlekit, a little tortoiseshell, gnawing at his toes. “Got you now, ThunderClan rat!” she squeaked.
“Brindlekit, that’s our leader!” said a ginger tabby tom-kit, panicked- but with a slight edge of authority. But Brindlekit, pugnacious as ever, simply pounced onto her brother, and the two began to wrestle. Eventually, Cherrycloud- her ginger coat near identical to the one of the little tom-kit- pried them apart. “Brindlekit, be nice to Antstar. Rosekit, it’s my job to parent her, not you.”
“Antstar! Antstar!” cried another ginger kit, who pushed her way out of the nursery between Houndnose and Cherrycloud. “Didja see Tatteredstar?”
“Is she really the size of a dog? That’s’ what Amberkit told me!” added a tiny solid black tom next to her. “…She’s big. Definitely one of the biggest cats I’ve seen. But not that big.”
The black tom-kit looked smugly at Amberkit, who seemed flustered that her descriptions weren’t accurate. But they had more questions to ask.
“Do the RiverClan cats really smell like fish?” “I heard ShadowClan eats frogs!” “Can Tatteredstar really kill a rat just by looking at them?” “Is the RiverClan medicine cat really secretly from ThunderClan?”
Antstar felt bombarded, but he still tried to answer each question. “They kind of do… they do eat frogs, but they seem fine with it… I don’t know, but she is scary… She is, and it’s not much of a secret, both Clans agreed to it…”
Cherrycloud gave a motion to the two kits, and they silenced themselves. “I’m sorry if they’re being a bother to you, Antstar,” she said apologetically.
“Oh, it’s no bother,” Antstar said. “They’re the next generation of warriors, after all.”
“Patchkit, would you like to say hi?” Cherrycloud asked to a little tortoiseshell, similar in shape and appearance to Brindlekit, who clung next to her. Patchkit gave Antstar a small glance and then buried herself further into her mother’s fur.
“She’s very shy and anxious,” Cherrycloud said. “We hope she’ll step out of her shell a little more soon.”
Antstar recalled he had been a similar way, as a kit. He recalled the permaqueen who had nursed him- a kind, pleasant molly who had passed away a few seasons ago from a wound infection- had a conversation with him about how he was then.
“You were a shy little thing. Very quiet, very meek. But when we were alone, you’d do these little tricks- kneading the ground, cuddling up to clumps of moss and cotton. It was cute, but… it was weird. It was like you were putting on a show for approval. And maybe it was coincidence- but sometimes it felt like you knew what you were trying to do.”
Antstar had thought about that a lot, since he had became leader.
“Oh,” Cherrycloud added, “and I’m sorry for how my sister, Sparkthistle, has been acting recently. We don’t talk much anymore. I will never understand why she has such a bug up her tail about everything... She should mellow down soon, I hope.”
She picked up Patchkit and went back into the nursery, with Houndnose alongside her and her other kits soon following. Antstar soon found himself alone again outside the nursery, the pale moon giving everything a glow. He saw Sparkthistle from across the clearing. The ginger tabby, her teeth in a permanent scowl, made brief eye contact with him before turning away into the warriors’ den.
Antstar worried. What if they began to believe her? What if she’s not an outlier- but an early critic? What if she turns the Clan on him? What if-
Something white caught his eye, and he turned to see Whitetooth, watching him from the edge of the medicine cat on the far side of camp.
He couldn’t fully read their face, but they had the glint in their eye of someone with an answer.
i started reading in 2013,, i dont like how far the series has come
blackstar, falling for sol’s manipulation:
fun fact ive been 2 a psychiatrist b4 but not 4 my whole suicidal ideation issue n other related shit it was when i was a kid (4th grade iirc?) n iirc it was for animalistic behavior n prob aggression or behavioral issues in relation to said behavior ghsnd
OwO wip time! It’s Briarlight in the med. den, just looking sad. This is the sketch, I’ll get back to it after posting this.
I have updated my information for Art, Music, and Writing commissions! Please check out the link below for more details and contact me to discuss pricing.
Check out my Redbubble!
Please support me on Ko-Fi!
frogpaw & mintyfang! hazeclan’s two braincells.
me as whichever background cat said mousewhisker would be a better leader than lionblaze
I really like the idea that some names have more significance to certain Clans. Like maybe the suffix -sky has more meaning to WindClan cats because of their closeness to StarClan and being "closest to the sky." So that suffix to WindClan could mean a cat who has a close relationship to StarClan?
Or maybe the suffix -heart is meaningful to ThunderClan, making Brightheart's warrior name all the more special.
I just think it'd be a neat idea
♥ Doodle Delivery!
Firepaw from Warriors, with a scarred left ear and dark red tabby markings ; for anon!