Thistlestripe led her Clan in retreat, back away from the EastClan camp and the open fields that NorthClan had claimed for themselves. She was bitter about the defeat, and bitter about the death of their clan's leader. It wasn't supposed to be like this, EastClan shouldn't have been beaten in their own territory. It seemed like StarClan had completely abandoned all of them.
"NorthClan shouldn't have won that battle," she said to her clanmates. "But EastClan will raise out of the ashes, and we'll drive them out again in time."
Snowfall flittered from one EastClan cat to the next, checking and re-checking injuries and ailments. Though exhausted from the fight like the rest of them, she was still riding on a lot of adrenaline and her nit-picking, worrisome personality forced her to tend to her Clanmates. Her behavior was probably bordering on bothersome—her brother Hawkpaw had shooed her away in her repeated attempts to help him, so she gave him some herbs to carry for her (slipping in a few poppy seeds of course, to ease the pain she knew he was in)—but Snowfall couldn’t help herself. If she stopped, then she her thoughts would only return to everything that she—and her Clan—had lost.
Their home. Her den. All of Kestrelclaw’s herbs. So many good Warriors. Kestrelclaw. Ripplestar.
Squeezing her eyes shut, the gray-and-white she-cat pressed ahead of the others and finally approached Thistlestripe. Thistlestripe was a strong and proud Warrior. Their defeat under the paws of a treacherous NorthClan likely hurt her more than most.
“We will come back from this,” she meowed quietly. “How are your injuries, Thistlestripe?”
Hawkpaw set his mouthful of fowl tasting herbs down as his sister padded away to speak to their new leader. He turned and rasped his tongue over his thick pelt, cleaning off more blood and dirt from the battle. Everything around the apprentice had been moving in slow motion since the end of the battle when he was chased off. His clan was in pieces, and his home gone completely.
How could starclan let this happen? Were all the stories as a kit nothing but lies? He shook his head slightly, the pain in his body numbing a little. No doubt thanks to Snowfall. Hawkpaw was young and sturdy. He didn't need any help from his skilled sister until the other were taken care of.
Hawkpaw picked himself up and made his way over to his leader. His broad russet shoulders still held bits of gritty dirty from fighting with the Northclan cats. Hawkpaw lowered his head to his new leader. Even in this hard time she deserved respect.
"What are we going to do?" He asked with a sharpness in his eyes. What he wanted to ask was How long until we're fighting fit to take back our home? Should I go hunt? Tend to Elders and Queens? Guard the cave? Hawkpaw's feet ached as he thought of all the work he needed to do. His cuts and scratches burned against his sides, but there were others worse off then he was.
~Redstep x Nighteye x Lightningfur x Flint x Hawkfang X Sledder X Alaska x Foxkit X Moro x Crowkit~
Ashcloud couldn't help but wonder if perhaps it was his fault that NorthClan had been successful against EastClan. After all he had traitorously spoken to NorthClan warriors, but he wasn't sure if the information he'd betrayed had helped them in any regard. If it had he felt terrible for it. He just wanted the extra prey, not to have his entire Clan forced away from their home.
He looked over to Thistlestripe, the deputy and soon to be leader. She looked determined to take back EastClan's lands, and he would be there with her. "Will you be going to receive your name soon?" he asked of her.
Windsky limped up to Snowfall, bleeding from wounds on her foreleg and shoulder. "I need some treatment," she meowed. "Some NorthClan foxdung tore me up, but I showed him the fury of EastClan." She was still wound up from the battle. She wanted to get her teeth into another NorthClan warrior and could hardly believe they'd won. They would have to grieve the death of their leader that night.
"Why do you think Ripplestar went down so easily? Surely the NorthClan cats couldn't have tore all his nine lives out at once?" she commented. There had to be an explanation for that, and surely the medicine cat would know.
SIBIACLAW SCANNED THROUGH THE surviving cats to see if he could see his apprentice, but she wasn't among them. His ears went down against his head. Something wasn't right, she should have come back with them. He looked around through the cats, starting to panic. "Has anyone seen Dawnpaw?" he meowed. He thought like it was his responsibility if something had happened to her, but she wasn't anywhere to be seen.
SHE STILL WASN'T FOUND by the time he had gone past all of the cats and his heart sunk. What had happened to his apprentice? Was she another causality, lost to the cruelty of NorthClan? Those cold-hearted snakes, I'll get them for this.
Thistlestripe slowly accepted the fact that she now had a new name: Thistlestar. She would travel to the Standing Stones in due time, after she made sure her Clan was safe where they were. She saw Sibiaclaw panicking over the loss of his apprentice, Thistlestar had seen the she-cat die in battle. She shook her head. "I'm sorry, Sibiaclaw. Dawnpaw was lost in the combat. Several good warriors were. Rainclaw, Dreamclaw, Junipersnow," she paused to look around. "Wrensong and Brightstream, too. Silentpaw... Kestrelclaw..."
She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. "And Ripplestar, of course. EastClan will not let NorthClan get away with this treachery." She slowly began to realize that her doubt in StarClan must have been founded, Ripplestar never received nine lives. She wanted to go to the Standing Stones to make sure, one last time before she abandoned her faith entirely. If StarClan does not answer me, then my Clan will not follow StarClan any longer."They'll pay for what they've done."
When Windsky approached, Snowfall was happy to help. If her paws were busy, then her mind was kept from returning to troubling thoughts. The gray-and-white medicine cat sniffed the injuries carefully, noting with satisfaction that the wounds were clean and would heal with rest. Rest that she hoped they would find soon.
Snowfall removed some of the cobwebs she had been gathering on the end of her tail as they traveled. She took off what she could spare and gingerly applied it to the wounds on Windsky’s shoulder and forearm. It wasn’t enough, she knew. The injuries were far from “minor,” but they weren’t too serious. “Try to stay off that leg,” she meowed, “and come back to me when it has stopped bleeding.” Snowfall smiled at Windsky, though the expression was forced. “You’ll definitely have some impressive battle scars.”
At Windsky’s question, Snowfall froze. She felt like her heart had jumped straight into her throat. The medicine cats knew that StarClan hadn’t been around to give leaders their nine lives in some time. And, while she may have held on to some faith during her apprenticeship, she realized waiting for StarClan was just folly. She would always hold out on the hope that their Warrior ancestors would speak to them again, but holding out for answers was just a waste of time.
So what was she supposed to say to Windsky? “I—… I’m not sure,” Snowfall finally meowed. “Ripplestar was a young and strong cat, but so was NorthClan. They overwhelmed him.”
Feeling flustered and trying to avoid any more pressing questions, Snowfall turned to Thistlestripe—or Thistlestar now, as she should be called. “You’ll have to go to Standing Stones soon, if you wish,” the medicine cat meowed quietly to their new leader. “Regardless of your decision to follow that tradition or not, you are already a worthy leader in EastClan’s eyes.” Her tone became serious. “But you will need to name a new deputy. We need to find a place to camp, and hunting patrols need to be organized, and I need as much help as can be spared to find herbs for the injured.” With a sidelong glance at her brother Hawkpaw, Snowfall added, “And we’ll need more Warriors.”
Mossfire was lucky to have gotten away with her life. She had foolishly charged into battle and the damage done to her had certainly made her miscarry. She could tell even without the medicine cat taking a look at her. Her eyes were swollen with sorry, she would no longer be having kits to help regrow the Clan because of her foolishness.
She walked up to Snowfall nevertheless. "I... I think I've lost my kits," she meowed sadly. "I can tell. There's blood and... I just know." She looked down at her paws. "It was my fault. I should never have battled while carrying them. I just wanted to help my Clan so much..."
Graydawn limped along, blood still dripping from his reinforced claws. He cursed NorthClan under his breath. EastClan was far too proud to be defeated by them, and they were going to have their vengeance sooner or later. "NorthClan crowfood!" he yowled. He turned around to lick one of his very large open wounds, the one on his shoulder was the worst. "Snowpaw, would you come and take a look at this?" He didn't acknowledge the medicine cat by her full name yet.
He didn't care that she probably had a lot of work to attend to, fixing up all the rest of the cats. He growled, still thinking about how those pieces of foxdung in NorthClan tore his pelt. He had laid a couple of them to waste, sent them to their graves, but he wished he could have killed more for his own glory.
Thistlestar overheard Mossfire's confession, and shut her eyes. Now without more kits they wouldn't have enough warriors. She had to do something about it, make some kind of initiative. She went up to a slightly higher point in the cave, eyes burning as she thought of what she needed to do to have her Clan straightened. "All cats who can traverse the open fields alone, gather in front of me. Those of you who don't have mates, you will be required to have one by the time I return from the Standing Stones."
She hated to do what she was doing but she knew that it was the only way her Clan could grow to a size that could retake their lands and defeat NorthClan. "Desperate times call for desperate measure, and the Clan needs more warriors. In addition to this we will... regretfully be allowing outsiders to join our Clan if they wish to." With her faith in StarClan gone she had no qualms about making up the rules as she went along. She expected backlash and didn't know if she could stop it.
Hawkpaw's head spun around faster then a rabbit on the run when he heard Mossfire. Her kits? Gone?
Hawkpaw's ears pricked forward at his leaders call. "All cats who can traverse the open fields alone, gather in front of me." He looked away from her, feeling guilty he didn't try harder to stop her from fighting. Hawkpaw picked himself up and padded over to hear in time to hear Thistlestar declare cats to have mates? His ears pricked forward in shock as his gaze drifted to the young female warriors in the clan, how would they feel about being forced to bear kits?
He turned his eyes back to his leader to hear her next statement. "Outsiders!?" He exclaimed before he could think to stop himself. Hawkpaw bit down on his tongue tasting blood and cursing himself for his outburst, he was still an apprentice and not a senior warrior. He had to accept what she said.
He knew that Eastclan had suffered a lot, but where they really so desperate? Kits wouldn't be warriors until around twelve moons! Apprentices need a lot of training, and kits need a lot of feeding. He shuffled his paws, pressing them into the ground in rhythmic motions. No, She was right. Eastclan needs more warriors as soon as possible. He looked to her and nodded, showing he supported the difficult choice she made.
Hawkpaw turned away and took a few steps back until he stood beside Mossfire and lowered his head. "I..I'm sorry. I should of stayed by your side so you didn't have to fight. Please forgive me."
~Redstep x Nighteye x Lightningfur x Flint x Hawkfang X Sledder X Alaska x Foxkit X Moro x Crowkit~
It was with great sadness that Snowfall carefully went over Mossfire’s body, despite already knowing there was nothing she could do. The medicine cat, with sorrow in her heart, dutifully sniffed along Mossfire’s flanks. The queen was right. Her kits were gone. Snowfall just wasn’t sure if Mossfire would have to give birth to stillborn kits and if it would seriously risk her health. Mossfire was a strong she-cat, but Snowfall didn’t know any cat that could—emotionally—make it through that. She hoped the queen would heal to mother another litter.
“I am very sorry,” Snowfall meowed, inclining her head. “Do not regret what you had to do. All of us were forced to fight, and no cat would doubt your bravery in defending our Clan.”
She turned to Graydawn next, hardly noticing that he referred to her by her apprentice name. By all accounts, she was still just an apprentice. Her self-proclamation as medicine cat was against all tradition, but what good was tradition without StarClan? “Let me see.” Snowfall plucked off the last of the cobwebs she’d collected since the relocation and pressed them to the wound on the Warrior’s shoulder. “That’s going to be just fine, so long as you keep it clean. Come back when it stops bleeding.” Thistlestar made her announcement while she was still applying the cobwebs.
Snowfall stiffed in shock before relaxing quickly. It really shouldn’t have come to a surprise, considering the desperate situation they were all in. And it didn’t exactly apply to her as medicine cat… right? Snowfall glanced at Hawkpaw with a sly look. She could only imagine her awkward brother trying to win over a she-cat.
“Will you be going to Standing Stones alone?” Snowfall asked their leader.
Post by sunrisethevulpix on Jun 23, 2012 21:52:12 GMT -5
Whitepaw viewed the casualties, sadness in his eyes. He shakily stood up and slowly made his way into the fray of the gathered cats. He did a small check, and noted Thistlestripe - no, Thistlestar's announcement concerning mates with little care. He didn't count...right? Medicine Cats were forbidden to have mates. Even Thistlestar had to obey that rule.
Creeping through the cats to his mentor, Snowfall, Whitepaw tried to stay unnoticed. He had barely any experience in looking after cats, and he didn't want anyone calling on him. He looked at Snowfall worriedly. "What should I do?" He asked quietly. (OOC: Sorry if this seems a little bad. It's four am here and I'm on my iPod x3)
The announcement made Ashcloud let out a hiss. To make the entire Clan have to pick mates was ridiculous. He looked over to the medicine cats. Are they included too? He remembered learning that the warrior code mentioned nothing about medicine cats taking mates, but it was generally considered taboo anyway. Of course Thistlestar might be abandoning the warrior code, which meant that taboos might be broken.
"Thistlestar, are you certain of this?" he questioned. "What happens if we defeat NorthClan, what then? Our Clan will be overpopulated, we may not have enough prey to go around." He was mostly concerned about his own belly being full but it was true. If EastClan grew too large, their territory might not be able to hold them. They could be the cause of their own starvation.