Carpstar – blue-gray tom
Shadefrost – black she-cat
Watersplash – tortoiseshell tom
Warriors (in order of most senior to least senior)Edit
Spottedstripe – tortoiseshell she-cat with tabby markings
Marshfeather – black tom
Thrushstrike – brown she-cat with paler muzzle and chest
Oakpelt – dark brown she-cat
Smokeclaw – smoky gray tom
Toadspots – black-and-white tom
Snowflight – tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat
Owltail – light brown she-cat with short tail
Ripplefang – silver tabby tom with markings that look like ripples
Fishleap – gray she-cat
Ivypaw – silver-and-white she-cat
Rushpaw – plump light brown tabby she-cat with glossy fur
Olivepaw – orange tabby she-cat
Vixenpaw – light brown tom with dark brown legs
Sandpaw – cream she-cat with feathered ears
Queens: Dapplefoot – speckled queen (mother to Oatkit, dappled golden she-kit, Splashkit, gray tom, and Pinekit, russet she-kit)
Clawheart – tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes (mother to Snowkit, white she-kit, Cloudkit, white, gray, and black she-kit, Blossomkit, brown tabby tom, and Sunkit, ginger she-kit)
Elders: Kinkfoot – black she-cat with twisted front paw
Brackenscar – brown tom with scars all over
Flashstar – white tom
Marshpelt – greenish-brown she-cat with ragged fur
Petalfoot – gray she-cat with black paws
Rabbitfoot – brown tabby tom with white muzzle, belly, and front paws
Rainsplash – dappled blue-gray she-cat
Mudthroat – brown tom
Thrushwing – light brown she-cat with cream markings
Pondfur – night black she-cat (mother to Batkit, Stormkit, and Rockkit)
Brackenstar – golden-brown she-cat
Hollowpuddle – gray tom
Vixenstar – gray she-cat with red tail
Mintfur – gray she-cat with white chest
Beechstar – brown tabby tom with milky blue eyes
Rattail – spiky-furred tabby she-cat with a stump for a tail
"Come on, Rushpaw, let’s get this squirrel over to Kinkfoot!" pestered Sandpaw. Rushpaw sighed. It made no sense for elders to be fed first, just because they were old and needed help. If they needed help--pshh! Big deal. We warriors actually help the Clan by feeding them and protecting them! she thought angrily. We don't sit around being lazy and doting over kits!
"Hey, Rushpaw, you coming?" Sandpaw blinked up at her with her big green eyes.
"Fine," sighed Rushpaw. She bounded over to where the elders were. "Hey," she said in a monotone voice. "Here's your squirrel. You're welcome." When she turned around, she saw her mentor, Spottedstripe, towering over her with a glare.
"What did I tell you? We don't treat elders like that!"
Rushpaw hissed. Everything was respect elders, respect authority, respect queens, feed the queens and kits and elders first, don't have close friendships with other Clan cats, don't do this, don't do that, don't kill just for victory, blah blah blah. It made no sense!
She sighed and nodded. Why is the warrior code so complicated? Rushpaw thought angrily.
Olivepaw and Ivypaw were confronting Rushpaw. "Did you stick that thorn into our mother's nest?" growled Ivypaw.
Rushpaw rolled her eyes. "It was a joke! Besides, Fishleap deserved it." It was true. The other day, Fishleap had pushed her into the river that passed Sunningrocks--and onto ThunderClan territory "for fun."
Olivepaw stuck her face in front of the light brown tabby. "We'll see how you like it when we stick a thorn into Thrushstrike's nest." She turned away and strutted only for her to bump into none other than Carpstar. "Oh . . . uh, I . . . hello, Carpstar."
The tom's eyes were unforgiving as he told her to search the elders for ticks. "We do not take revenge on others for simple pranks. Also, Rushpaw's crossing was deemed an accident. Your mother should be ashamed of herself. She's no older than you are, anyways."
Rushpaw sent a silent prayer of thanks to StarClan, then walked over to where Spottedstripe was for a battle training session. "What kept you?" asked the tortoiseshell.
"Olivepaw and Ivypaw are being jerks," grumbled Rushpaw in reply.
"Fair enough," sighed Spottedstripe. "Now, let's learn a new trick, the back kick. Now, let's see . . . Hey, Smokeclaw, can you come over here?" The tom nodded and padded over with his apprentice, Sandpaw.
"Watch what I do. Smokeclaw, come at me from behind. Also don't blame me for any head injuries."
"Gee, thanks," muttered the muscled tom as he ran towards the tortoiseshell's behind. She kept glancing back, then suddenly, lashed out with her back legs and sent him backwards into a tree. He got up and winced.
Spottedstripe turned towards the apprentices. She fixed her eyes on both of them. "This is all about timing. If they come too close, you will have a very hard chance of throwing them. Do it too early, and they will what you are doing and avoid it. Alternatively, if someone was coming at you from behind then you could just spin around, but that would leave you vulnerable, so, concentrate on one cat at a time, and if possible, fight with a partner. Now why don't we try partner fighting? Use at least one of every move you learned so far."
"Ready? Go!" yelled Smokeclaw. He ran towards Rushpaw, but before he could leap onto her, she rolled away and got up, swift as a hawk, and backed up against Sandpaw. They used the back kick, and covered each other's back. Eventually, they fell into a pattern, with Sandpaw attacking and Rushpaw covering her, then switching positions. However, the two older cats still managed to pin them."
"We win, I think," meowed a smug Spottedstripe. Seeing their expressions, she softened her tone. "Ah, don't worry. Older cats with more experience are harder to fight, but you did a good job with this." They picked up some prey to keep them going, then trained some more.
Soon, Ivypaw poked her head out of the medicine cat den. "We need some help collecting herbs. Wanna come?"
"Nope," said Rushpaw the same time Sandpaw said "Sure!" They turned around to glare at each other. Sandpaw, please don't ruin this for me.
"Just do it," snarled the she-cat. "Also Rushpaw, you need to skinny up a little. You're fat."
"Girls," sighed Spottedstripe and Smokeclaw.
"Smokeclaw, Spottedstripe, Thrushstrike, Rushpaw, Sandpaw, Vixenpaw, Watersplash, Brackenscar and Clawheart are all going to the Gathering, along with me and Shadefrost," Carpstar listed off. "Please get some rest and maybe a snack, because we set off at moonrise.
Rushpaw yawned. "It'll be nice to see who's a new apprentice, and who's still there."
Vixenpaw nodded. "And we can see if any--" He cut off as Spottedstripe strode towards them.
"I hope you three are not planning to attack the new apprentices as a way of initiating them," she growled. "Last time, poor Thrushpaw nearly died!"
Rushpaw snorted. Spottedstripe was always thinking the worst of them. Why did they always have to follow the rules? Don't start fights, stop staring excessively at the other Clans, dont' do this, don't do that, sit up straight, cheer for your Clanmates--ugh! It was all too much. Whatever. The warrior code is no fun, thought the tabby.
"Race you to Fourtrees!" squealed Sandpaw. "Last one there is a kittypet!"
Rushpaw ran as fast as her paws could carry her. She was the second to arrive, after Vixenpaw, but soon Olivepaw was huffing as she ran into the clearing. "Drat . . . Now I'm the kittypet!"
"Yes!" yowled Sandpaw. "I'm not the kittypet! I'm not the kittypet!"
"Shut up," grumbled Olivepaw.
Rushpaw longed to jump onto the Great Rock and announce her Clan's recent events. "What I would give to become Clan leader," she whispered. She closed her eyes and imagined herself leaping onto the Great Rock, her eyes gleaming and her pelt as shiny as could be.
"Rushpaw . . . RiverClan to Rushpaw . . ." sighed Shadefrost. Rushpaw whipped around to see the deputy glaring at her. "W-What?" she demanded.
"You are halfway up the Great Rock, and Beechstar needs to get on."
"Oh, sorry." She backed down and let the tabby leap onto the boulder. "Let the Gathering begin!" he yowled. "SkyClan will start. We have two new apprentices, three new warriors, and five new kits! Two apprentices, Mothpaw and Robinpaw, have now started their training. They have been entrusted to Heatherwing and Rattail." He paused as the clearing cheered the respective names, then continued. "We also welcome three new warriors. Maplewhisker, Ashfeather, and Prickleheart. And Squirrelkit, Spiderkit, Hollykit, Flamekit and Treekit have all been born." The tom nodded at Vixenstar to continue.
She cleared her throat. "Mintfur has died of greencough, and Willowcloud has taken her place. Also, we need to discuss something with Brackenstar." She narrowed her eyes at the ThunderClan leader. "One of your cats has murdered a helpless kit!"
Brackenstar drew back, shocked. "Never!" she snarled. "Not one of my cats has hurt a single hair on your Clan's pelt!"
"Songkit was found lying on the top of the Windiest Hill, all alone, with slash marks on her throat, and blood pooling around her."
"How do you know it wasn't a fox, or a badger, or even a dog?"
Vixenstar snorted. "We would've scented those long before they even came! No, it was a cat, and it came from your Clan, Brackenstar. It had ThunderClan scent all over, and you cannot deny this."
Rushpaw didn't seem bothered by the fact that a WindClan kit had been found dead. They'll never know who the killer is, she thought. I know who it is. But they never will.
Brackenstar pushed her way past the other leaders. She leaned into the gray she-cat's face. "No cat has ever been on your territory or mauling a kit!" Vixenstar seemed at a loss for words, until a tortoiseshell stood up.
"Hello, Brackenstar," she growled. "I am Moorsplash, mother to Songkit. She was the love of our lives, and one of your cats killed her!"
Sandpaw rolled her eyes. "Clan talk!" she sighed. "Always gossiping about random stuff. Come on, let's see if there are any new apprentices."
She, Rushpaw, and Vixenpaw ran over to the ShadowClan side of things, where they were mingling with SkyClan. The tree-climbing, bird-hunting Clan seemed to have tons of diversity. A tortoiseshell she-cat was chatting with a brown tabby tom. Two apprentices were play fighting, their gray pelts blending together. A group of apprentices were glancing around nervously, as if they were scared of everyone attacking them. Rushpaw walked up to them. "Hi," she meowed. Simple.
"Hey . . ." one of them replied. He was a black-and-white tom. "I'm Batpaw. And . . ." He swished his tail nervously. "These are my sisters."
"Hello," they mewed in unison. "I'm Rockpaw," said the silver she-cat, and the dark gray tabby said, "I'm Stormpaw."
Vixenpaw grinned excitedly. "Well, I'm Vixenpaw!" he crowed. "And these are my sisters, Rushpaw and Sandpaw."
Rushpaw didn't say hello. She was too busy thinking about how perfectly her perfect plan went. They'll never know. Her death will forever be a secret, and Clan will plot against Clan. It'll be glorious, and soon I'll be standing on Riverrock. I'll be leader of the forest. No one will dare go against me.
"Hey!" Sandpaw was right in her face. "RiverClan to Rushpaw! RiverClan to Rushpaw!" She bounced around the brown tabby. "You haven't said hello to Stormpaw and Rockpaw! Come on! Say hello!"
The apprentice scowled at her sister. She turned away, for now the leaders had stopped arguing and were now at an uneasy peace. ShadowClan was the next to go. "We welcome three new apprentices," boomed Flashstar, his red tail swishing nervously. "Batpaw, Stormpaw, and Rockpaw!"
"Batpaw! Stormpaw! Rockpaw!"
Rushpaw didn't call out. She was too busy licking her paws, and couldn't care less about the Gathering. Stupid Gathering. What's the point of sharing news? It just leads to us being stupid and playing with other Clans. Whatever.
Finally the Gathering came to an end. Sandpaw and Vixenpaw ran out the clearing, clearly trying to pounce on the other's tail. Rushpaw didn't follow them. The tabby was too busy lost in her own thoughts that she didn't see the black-and-white tom coming. "Gotcha!" squealed Batpaw. He was on top of her, and before any cat could say "mouse," Rushpaw flipped him underneath her, and they tussled until Watersplash looked on them with disapproval.
"Get up, both of you. This is no time for nonsense." He crept towards the crouching apprentice. You can't hurt me! thought Rushpaw gleefully. You'll never be a match for me.
"I know what you did," Watersplash growled. "I know what you plotted. I know what you want."
He knows, Rushpaw thought warily. He knows.
"Yes, I do know. And you'll never be able to escape from my grasp."
Rushpaw turned away. "Get away from me, freak!" She ran into the forest after her siblings, and never looked back.
Yes, I do know. Watersplash's words still echoed in her mind. But it's impossible, she countered. It's impossible for him to know what I'm thinking.
A flashback started. She stood on top of the hill. A windy gust picked up, and her comrade sighed. "The winds blowing away from us. They'll know we're coming. "Silence," snarled the she-cat. "We always have a plan, my comrade." They snuck down through the grasses to the lush forests of ThunderClan. "Will this work?" the comrade asked. The she-cat sighed. "Yes, it will. Here, a ThunderClan scent mark. See if you can cover yourself in it." She slunk off to find another ThunderClan scent." They wound back up on the Windiest Hill. "Now find a victim. Kits are best."
The small kit, a lean tortoiseshell, was five moons. "Welcome to your doom," laughed the comrade. "You'll never escape this alive.
Claws plunged through her throat. Teeth ripped through her body, savage as dogs. The cats cackled as they left the poor kit on the hillside and tromped back to RiverClan.
No. He couldn't have known that.
Rushpaw ran back to RiverClan panting. She curled up in her den and went to sleep, hoping Watersplash wouldn't reveal this to the Clan.
"I name you Rushtooth," meowed Carpstar. "We honor your intelligence and strength, and we welcome you as a warrior of RiverClan." Now I have a bigger influence over the apprentices. Take that, Ivypaw and Olivepaw!
Her siblings, Sandfeather and Vixenstripe, ran over to her. "Wow," Vixenstripe breathed. "Warriors. Now we start our plans for—"
"Shut up!" Rushtooth growled. "Not now." But soon world domination will be ours!
The light brown tabby she-cat signaled for them to join her in the little brook where prey would always go, but was too dangerous for most cats to maneuver. Except them. No one would overhear them. "Remember, I'm the leader, and the planner. You, Vixenstripe, are the enforcer. When we take over the Clans, you will be head of punishment.
"And as for you, Sandeh, you will be announcer. You will announce the rules and the punishments for breaking them. Also you get to appoint cats as high ranks." Her siblings, full of joy, laughed and set off on their regular duties, while Rushtooth comtemplated her plans for world domination.
She crept along the banks of the river, until she spotted a group of trout. Pausing only to get her aim right, she swiped her paw through the water and snagged a fat fish, until a blur of black-and-white tumbled into her. They rolled around on the grass for a while until they reached the top of a small hill by the river, then they rolled down—straight into the river. "Gah!" Rushtooth spat. "Come on! We eat fish, we don't become fish!"
"Oh sorry," meowed a voice. She stared at the newcomer. His fur was dripping, but she could make out the blue eyes that reminded her of somebody . . .
"Batpaw!" She tackled him and licked him playfully. "You came!" Beckoning him over to the dangerous brookside, she sat down to listen to him. "What brings you here?"
The tom shrugged. "I figured you'd be hunting for RiverClan. What else?" He sighed. Dragging his paws through the water, he continued. "I think . . . I think there could be something between us. Or maybe nothing. Remember the last Gathering? When it was my second and your . . . fifth? Sixth?"
Rushtooth was taken aback. "I . . . me . . . you . . . between us? How . . . oh." She felt a certain connection to this tom. Their personalities were far from the same. They were ever so different. How was it possible? "I'll . . . have to decide over things . . ."
Batpaw looked at her dejectedly. Then he brightened. "Well, it's still possible, right?"
"Yeah . . ." Rushtooth slunk away from the reeds, and into the heart of her territory.
Her heart was racing. She pelted into camp and almost bowled over Watersplash. The tom shook himself, then stalked away, growling. Everyone in RiverClan stared at her, wondering what made her so excited. The tabby she-cat backed away, laughing nervously, then sought out Vixenstripe and Sandfeather. "Come with me!" she mouthed, then pelted out of camp.
"What now?" sighed Vixenstripe as they reached the outer edges of RiverClan territory. "What now? Tell us!"
The tabby drew herself up haughtily. "I think we may have a ally in ShadowClan."
Sandfeather backed away. "Uh-oh."
"So you want us to WHAT NOW?" growled Vixenstripe. "Make an alliance with him?" Batpaw only looked mildly offended as he broke off in his rhythmic grooming. The two toms glared at each other before each turned away haughtily.
Rushtooth curled her tail around herself. Honestly she never thought it would be this bad! She stepped forward. "It's not as bad as it seems!" she meowed impulsively, then slapped her tail over her mouth. "I-I mean, maybe you should give it a try?" She felt her face grow hot. Maybe I'm only doing this so I can spend time with Batpaw, she panicked. It's just all about me, isn't it? The tabby shook her head. No! This is for me and my siblings. We just need to find a way to let Batpaw in on the secret.
Batpaw sauntered forward, his pose graceful, his pawsteps neat. Then, with all the force of a current, with all the speed of wind, he lashed out at Vixenstripe. The two cats went wild, flailing, kicking, biting, scratching. Fur flying, tooth and claw, every tom for himself. Sandfeather and Rushtooth backed away, stumbling over rocks until they banged into each other. The toms were still fighting, and it was only getting worse. Batpaw had the upper hand, his face etched with rage. Vixenstripe was on they bottom, yet, he reached up and hooked the apprentice's face. The black-and-white tom yowled in anger and dug his claws in the tabby's shoulders. Suddenly, Batpaw's ears pricked up, and he stopped fighting. Running towards the forest, he left a trail of blood behind.
"Did you see that! I shredded him!" cheered Vixenstripe. "Victory dance!"
Sandfeather glared at her brother, a growl forming in her throat. Rushtooth just stood there in shock. If ShadowClan finds out about this . . . they'll declare war on RiverClan. My brother will be the first of many to die—and it'll be all my fault!
She padded in between her siblings. "Stop that," she snarled. The tabby beckoned them both back to RiverClan territory. "Don't say a word about this to Carpstar." Vixenstripe merely nodded, while Sandfeather murmured her agreement. The three of them silently trekked back to their camp.
"Say it again!" Rushtooth growled, her paws digging into Ivypaw's shoulders. "Say it again!" Ivypaw had been badmouthing her and her fighting abilities, until she couldn't stand it anymore. The sandy tabby was sorely tempted to just rip out the apprentice's throat but she managed to restrain herself. She lowered her face until it was inches away from the scared she-cat's. "Say-that-again!" Ivypaw whimpered and shook her head, and Rushtooth roared and sliced deep into the silver apprentice's shoulder, kicking at the howling she-cat as the warrior left. "She'll be left for dead," she muttered, then went back to camp like it was no big deal.
Carpstar and Shadefrost were waiting for her, and they told her that Watersplash needed help since his apprentice was out collecting herbs. Crap! she thought, cursing at her bad luck. That crazy medicine cat already suspected her of some idiotic crime she never did. And as for Ivypaw . . . Well, she hoped no one would find out.