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Remnant Clan (A warrior cats challenge playthrough)


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Turtlemist's Secret Moon 12

"You will not have to father my kits," Fernstar told Turtlemist, hope mixed with distrust in his eyes. That mix of emotions made Fernstar feel a bit sorry for what she was about to say, but he had hurt her deeply by rejecting her the way he had, so she continued. "You will still have to pass on Swamp Clan's lineage, however, with Shiningsun instead."

Turtlemist was a bit shocked, but mostly enraged, "I didn't think you would stoop so low!" he hissed, "Using Shiningsun like that?"

"I'm not using her!" growled Fernstar, "She volunteered!"

"Sure," spat Turtlemist, "she'd do anything for you!"

"Do you think I'm a bad leader?" growled Fernstar, "one who would use my clanmates loyalty for my own gain? That's what you accuse me of! Don't forget, the same Star Clan which you have devoted your life to, not only chose me to be leader, they are the ones who say all 5 clans must be represented in the remnant!"

"This isn't about Star Clan," he growled, "this is about you getting revenge for me not loving you!"

"And was that because you cannot feel that way about any she-cat?" Fernstar pressed.

"Yes!" he hissed.

"I think not!" Fernstar triumphantly exclaimed, "You have been gazing at Snowpaw. I see how you treat her. You like her. And that's a horrible thing considering how much older you are! And a odd thing considering you want no kits."

"You don't understand!" he yowled, "When I look at her I see..." his eyes had a distant and desparing look in them, but soon they turned cold again as Turtlemist prevented himself from saying another sylable. He turned and left the den without another word.

-

Turtlemist was in a clearing. He had been in clearings like this many times. The air had a chill in it, and his heart quickened. He was being visited by a Mountain Clan cat. It had been many moons since he had been...save Lightwatcher's appearance at Bugpaw's apprentice ceremony when Star Clan had wanted someone Bugpaw had known in life to be there.

He heard someone behind him, and turned. The cat that stood there took his breath away.

"Turtlemist," she said, "it's been some time." Her fur was as radiant as he remembered it, sparkling like the snow.

"Petalstorm!" he exclaimed, "It's been so long. I haven't seen you since just after your death..."

"You needed me then to point you in the right direction," she purred, "and you didn't need me to do so again, until now."

He nodded, "You've been on my mind recently. And how stupid it was. How foolish we were. If we had only pinned away for this long...it would have seemed like an eternity. But if we had, we could now be together! Cats of seperate clans are no longer kept apart, for we are all the same clan now."

"Do not think such things. If we had waited, I would've died in the disasters. We would've never been together. And you would've been a bumbling warrior, a drain on Remnant Clan, instead of a talented medicine cat. You have walked with Star Clan for moons, you know as well as I do that things happen for a reason."

Before he could protest he heard someone else off to the side. He turned his head, a scent drifting to his nostrils. Mountainclan! He tensed. Before him were three Mountainclan warriors.

He knew they couldn't hurt Petalstorm now...but just them being here! "How dare you intrude upon us! Isn't it enough that-"

"Turtlemist," Petalstorm strongly said, "these are no ordinary Mountainclan cats. They are not at all responsible for my death...except that they alerted Mountainclan leaders to our relationship. These are our kits."

"Kits?" stammered Turtlemist. "Surely I would've been told!"

"Both Swamp Clan and Mountain Clan thought it better if you were not," Petalstorm said measuredly.

Turtlemist's head was spinning. He felt as if the ground had been taken out from under him. He had always thought Swamp Clan had been especially gracious upon discovering the affair. Thus he loved his clan greatly...figuring they had no part in the cruel and unfair punishment Mountainclan had dished out to Petalstorm. Now he found that they had conspired with that very same Clan to hide from him his own flesh and blood. He never thought he had any kin, pouring his life into his calling as a medicine cat...and now?

"Why-why has Star Clan revealed this to me now? After all these moons?" Turtlemist said, looking back up at Petalstorm.

"They have a reason," she replied back with mystery. He was irratated by her secrecy, but she was a Star Clan cat after all, she couldn't just tell him everything she knew.

"Hi," said one of the warriors, a cream-colored tom.

"Hello..." said Turtlemist slowly, "are you alive?"

The tom shook his head. And Turtlemist now noticed that his pelt glistened like his mother's, "All of us died in the disasters. I came to joim Star Clan when the great earthquake shook the mountain where our camp is, causing rocks and stones to fall down into the camp." Turtlemist remembered hearing of it. Cats had been crushed by the boulders and rubble had blocked the camp entrance, making it imposible for many Mountain Clan cats to escape. Turtlemist remembered feeling a sense of justice when it happened...avenged...maybe even glad. Now he learned that one of the kits he'd never known about died in that very disaster. He felt guilt tearing at his heart.

"But Foxclaw, our sister, is still alive, somewhere," mewed a she-cat, perhaps seeing the distraught look on Turtlemist's face.

He felt a bit of hope, but also uncertainty, it wasn't likely they would find his child before they died out there all on their own, not on this island. They wouldn't be used to the swamp, and besides that there were the rogues and the terrible creature that had attacked the clan's first camp...

"What are your names?" he asked them, wanting to get his mind away from the thought of the one child of Petalstorm still alive suffering a gruesome death.

"Peachpelt," said the tom.

"Adderfur," said the she-cat.

The third cat, a pink tom said, "Pinkscout." He seemed like he would rather avoid conversation.

For a while longer Turtlemist talked with his kits. They shared stories of their lives as warriors in Mountain Clan, and he shared his experiances as medicine cat of Swamp Clan. They had been good warriors, hororable and serving their clan well. In their younger years they had been bullied, but they overcame it and proved themselves. And then they had to leave. But Petalstorm stayed for a bit longer.

"Do you think Remnant Clan will find Foxclaw?" asked Turtlemist.

"I will do everything in my power to put her in your path, though it may not occur until after you have died," she replied.

Turtlemist nodded. He realized that this should make him feel relieved, but instead he latched onto the part that meant he may never know them. Why should I care? That they're safe is what matters. My life is simple without kits, I've always wanted to keep it that way.

"I never loved another she-cat," he murmered to her, "I devoted my life to Star Clan. I took the path of a medicine cat and never looked back. I knew if I did, I could keep my promise to you."

"And you have," she purred, "but now...our kits had a hard life. They grew up without a father and a mother. They knew nothing about us, they were raised by Mountain Clan. They suffered for it. And you were robbed of the chance to be a father. Don't let that chance slip you by again, Turtlemist. I won't blame you for it. But I will fault you if you let another batch of kits suffer like ours did." Her blue eyes burned into his soul.

He knew that beneath the gentle exterior was a fierce passion. She loved with it, and she fought with it. She always stood up for what she believed. And as always, she was right. It occurred to him as the clearing around him faded, and the face faded so that only the image of it in his mind remained, that she had made the most of a her own death. She had influenced more in Star Clan than she ever could've in life. Things happen for a reason, you know that. And you were robbed of the chance to be a father. Don't let that slip by you again, Turtlemist.

 

(No pictures again! Just story filler. I hope this didn't turn the story around on its head too much for you all to bear!)

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23 hours ago, Chiyanna said:

Advice on Love Moon 12

Dispite the altercation with Taman, Fernstar carried to term one mainly healthy kit. The rest of the clan thought his deformed paw was a result of that, but Fernstar realized that it likely wasn't. She blamed herself for the loss of their littermates, jumping at Taman had been a foolish thing to do on some levels. But she had to put her clan first, something she didn't always do.

She looked away from Stonekit and over to where Shiningsun was sleeping with her kit. She also, had just one kit. Probably due to her being sick early on in the pregnancy. Lightkit was named after his father, and Turtlemist had pronounced him healthy. 

Movement distracted Fernstar from her thoughts, "Fernstar!" whispered somebody.

Fernstar felt her hackles raising. It was possible it could be one of her clanmates who needed her, but it was also possible it could be Taman or another rogue trying to fool her. On full alert, she slowly walked toward the shape in the darkness, ready to spring on them if neccesary.

"Fernstar! Are you awake?" the voice had a high pitch, she couldn't tell if it was uncertainty, excitement, or concern. But she recognized the voice, and soon her eyes adjusted to the dark.

"Rootclaw!" she exclaimed, "you scared me half to death!"

"I'm so sorry! Wouldn't want you to loose one of your lives, you have precious few of them," he didn't sound mocking, rather sincere and caring were beneath his usual jesting.

She couldn't stiffle a laugh, if she wasn't clan leader she would've given him a friendly shove.

"I...want to talk to you alone," it was hard to read the look in his eyes in the dark.

Fernstar straightened, it must be important, "Of course, we'll talk just outside camp." It might be odd for a leader to see a clan member alone, but Remnant Clan had few members and Fernstar trusted them all. Turtlemist flashed through her mind...well, not all of them liked her, but she was sure they wouldn't betray her. The only one she had ever thought might try and overthrow her was Lightwatcher, and he was in Star Clan now.

Outside of camp, Rootclaw said, "I saw you talking with Turtlemist today."

Fernstar was baffled, why was this so important? "So?"

"It didn't look like he was happy, I assume it was about him fathering your kits?"

Fernstar was a bit shocked, but not much, her shoulders drooped, "It was that easy to guess?"

"When you announced the change in the code, the way you two interacted was enough to give it away then and there. I've supported it with my observations of your interactions since," his voice was calm, not accusing.

"Well then, is that all?" Fernstar said curtly.

"No," said Rootclaw firmly, "it isn't."

"Go on," said Fernstar, her words carrying an unexpected edge.

"I think it's a mistake," Rootclaw replied.

"Have you and Turtlemist conspired against me? Did he think you could convince me to spare him fatherhood?" she hissed.

She could hear the surprise in Rootclaw's voice, "No, nothing like that!" Then he barreled on ahead with his words, "I couldn't give a mouse-turd about Turtlemist. It's you that concerns me. He doesn't love you. He wouldn't be a good father to your kits!"

"I know all this already," said Fernstar, a tear slipping down her cheek, "and it doesn't change a thing. There must be decendants of Swamp Clan in this clan, or it would no longer be the remnant of the clans lost in the disasters, and Star Clan would be angered. Even if they weren't, they could not help us escape the disaster that would befall us."

"Why doesn't Shiningsun have his kits, then?" Rootclaw suggested.

"Shiningsun is my friend. And she has suffered enough already. She has done her service, it is time for me to do mine," Fernstar said the words with a certain detatchment. She had already made up her mind before. She had to be strong.

"But Shiningsun won't be happy. She is in love with no-one here and no-one is in love with her. You'll both be miserable! She'd do it for you, and the sight of your happiness would bring joy to her," insisted Rootclaw.

"There has to be someone in this clan who can be with her..." Fernstar interrupted herself, "and besides, who would be with me?"

"Does it matter? As long as you're with someone who loves you! I can't bear to see you with someone who merely tolerates your existance! Or worse who ignores you completely so your kits grow up fatherless," Rootclaw spoke with such sincerity...such emotion. He cares about me...being happy? It was hard to believe, and if it was true it was even harder not to listen.

"Just talk to Shiningsun about it," pleaded Rootclaw.

She stood there...frozen by a mix of emotions swirling within. She began to shake. Someone licked her shoulder. She looked up to see Rootclaw, his eyes compassionate and concerned. It nearly melted her heart...but she had to put her clan first. There was no room for love, was there?

"I..." it took her a minute to speak further, "I will...speak with Shiningsun." The words came out quickly, as if they had been merely damed up.

-

It was dawn when Fernstar came to her, asking for a word outside of camp. Shiningsun knew it must be terribly important, "but what about the kits?"

"We won't be gone long. Rootclaw will guard the nursery," she said. Shiningsun could tell she was unfocused.

When they were outside camp, Fernstar suddenly wailed, "Oh Shiningsun! I don't know what to do! Part of me wants not to lay this upon your shoulders..."

"I can take it," she replied.

"It's about Turtlemist," groaned Fernstar, "he doesn't want to have kits. Star Clan only knows why since it is no longer forbidden! It seems he wants to have them with me least of all. I'd given up hope on love...but now..."

"Turtlemist is a down-right fool. Any tom would be lucky to have you," Shiningsun purred.

"I know he's a fool, that much is sure. But I...I must be loyal to my clan," a flash of guilt passed in Fernstar's eyes.

"Is this about Stonekit? I don't mean to pry...but everyone knows his father wasn't a clan cat," Shiningsun tried to be as gentle as possible, but she saw anger kindle in Fernstar's gaze.

"I don't want to talk about it," she spat.

"I think you should. It will feel good to get it off your chest. I won't tell anyone what you say to me in confidence," Shiningsun coaxed.

Fernstar sat still for some time, staring out at nothing. Finally, she spoke, her voice filled with sadness, "Remember that loner we encountered on our way back from the old camp after fetching you and Bugkit from it?"

"Yes," Shiningsun said.

"Well, he approached me that evening and said he wanted to talk alone," Fernstar continued.

Shiningsun grew hot with rage, had he taken advantage of Shiningsun the way Taman did her?

"I asked again if he wanted to join the clan, and he said no. We talked for a bit about the island. I tried to glean any information I could about him and the inhabitants. He's an odd sort named Pinky, who thinks cats should live alone. He was somewhat charming.

"And then he confessed that he loved me. I was reeling from Turtlemist's initial rejection at the time. I fell for him. And before you know it I was expecting his child..."

So that's why Fernstar's so guilty. She hadn't been assaulted by a rogue. She fell in love with him. So she couldn't tell such a thing to the clan or they might rebel against her or remove her from leadership or worse. "I understand. Just because someone is born outside the clan...that doesn't make them fundamentally different or unlovable."

"But I betrayed my clan," Fernstar said strongly, "and now I must serve them in any way I can. I must regain the trust Star Clan has put in me. Even if it means I am unhappy, and a fling with a loner is the closest to love I ever get."

"No," said Shiningsun, "I could not bear to see you unhappy for all your days. I will bear the responsibility myself."

"You have already saved my life. I could not let myself be indebted to your further. Let me in some small way repay the debt, let you be the one who is happy," Fernstar's eyes shone with tears.

"And let you out of my debt?" said Shiningsun jokingly, "I quite enjoy being owed."

Fernstar chuckled, but her eyes still were pools of sadness.

"Besides, who shall I become the mate of? Redfish only has eyes for Snowpaw-"

"That poor apprentice!" burst out Fernstar, her tail swishing, "I've seen even Turtlemist looking at her! A young she-cat surrounded by old toms!"

"And neither of which would attempt anything," reminded Shiningsun, "Turtlemist's unwillingness to take a mate is the cause of our sorrow. Redfish is too honorable and has his reputation as deputy to keep up."

Fernstar nodded, "Why don't you ask Rootclaw to be your mate? He's a fine hunter...has a good sense of humor...fiercely loyal..."

"Why don't you? Can't you tell he loves you?" Shiningsun ventured.

"That's ridiculou-" Fernstar stopped mid-sentence, she was thinking. After a minute she said, "It makes sense, doesn't it?"

"And do you love him back?" asked Shiningsun.

"I...I don't know..." but Shiningsun saw the sheepish look in her eyes.

"If you do, you two should become mates. Let me worry about Turtlemist. Who knows? Perhaps we'll find another female that he won't dispise quite so much," Shiningsun said with a playful glint in her eye.

Fernstar nodded. And for the first time in months she was brimming with hope and joy. There was a spring in her step as they entered back into camp.

 

phhhsttt I still ship redfish and fernstar—

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2 minutes ago, Hydropuff said:

Omg please I now feel so bad for Turtlemist. Dang it Chiyanna your making me go through a rollercoaster 😧

(I honestly don't know if that's a good or bad thing....

45 minutes ago, Sky said:

phhhsttt I still ship redfish and fernstar—

I'll keep that in mind if Rootclaw dies. I mean hey, it's possible. Though I don't imagine Redfish challenging Rootclaw for her or Rootclaw sharing Fernstar... I mean it would be interesting if they fought over her...and IDK why Refish is attracted to Snowpaw tbh. But it's already in the script so idk what to do about it

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14 hours ago, Chiyanna said:

(yeah I know...this is literally just cause of dice rolls?? Though Snowpaw was actually only a few days (or moons) off from being an adult nicheling when I found her and has actually grown to an adult in the game. Once we travel to the new island she will be given her warrior name.

I want to pass on her genes but Bugpaw is the only one her age and he isn't interested? I think medicine cats will still be reluctant to have kits, even after Turtlemist because it will take them away from their duties so I guess that makes sense. Snowpaw is attracted to Rootclaw but he's her mentor so for mw that's just weirder

Maybe Bugpaw could be uninterested because he doesn't want to bring more "rouges" into the world (kind of like Jon Snow)

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(Here comes the next update! I promise the one after this one will have pictures...)

Dreams of Another Land Moon 13

"I'm sick and tired of sickness!" Fernstar heard, approaching Turtlemist's den.

"I'm sick and tired period," rasped another she-cat, misery could be heard in her comment.

Fernstar knew how they felt. She herself had the Sleeping Sickness for many moons. It sapped your energy, made your head hurt, made your stomach churn so much that throwing up was inevitable...and that robbed you of the rest of your strength.

"Ever since we washed up on this island...we've had trouble. Problem after problem. The island is infested with rogues and sickness! And I haven't been able to eat a single bite of rabbit or squirrel, all we have to eat are fish, frogs, water voles, and the occasional bird!" ranted Shiningsun.

Normally the female kept her thoughts to herself, she was gentle and wise, only speaking when it would soothe others. But ever since she had gotten the sickness about a moon ago, she had been ranting. It probably reminds her of Lightwatcher's decline and death, Fernstar realized sympathetically. And she had to admit...Shiningsun's complaints had gone through her mind too! She knew that building a clan from the remnant was no easy task, she always knew that, but it didn't help when you had none of the comforts of home and sickness kept weakening and killing your members, not to mention the rogues!

Taman hadn't said much since they captured him. Aparently he didn't mind getting his paws wet. And they couldn't kill him without learning what he knew... The rogue was a major annoyance, though. There always had to be at least one cat guarding him, which cut down on the potential hunters.

Fernstar realized the other she-cat was Snowpaw, who had also fallen ill with the sickness soon after, attacked by a group of bugs on the shore, she had been talking while Fernstar was thinking, "...but I have to admit the bugs get to me too. Not to mention the rogues! Just think, if our whole clan got the sleeping sickness...Taman could easily escape or even kill us! And there are other rogues on this island too. I wish my grandparents had never left for this cursed island. The island where they grew up was so cold, all the bugs died! And most the rogues for that matter too. If you didn't have friends and family you'd freeze or starve, so everyone banded up into these huge groups! My grandparents were apart of one. They weren't really clans, but they were close."

Fernstar walked through the entrance. Snowpaw tried her best to straighten. Shiningsun gave Fernstar a warm glance that was clouded by pain, "Fernstar! What are you doing here?" asked Shiningsun.

"Just checking in on you two," Fernstar purred. 

"Well you don't need to" rasped Shiningsun, "we're as miserable as ever. Besides, what if it's contagious?"

"You know as well as I do that it isn't," said Fernstar, padding over to her friend, to prove her point she gave Shiningsun's head a lick.

"Hey!" Shiningsun said annoyance, "Now you'll catch it for sure!"

"No I won't," said Fernstar confidently.

"We'll see," muttered Shiningsun, but a playful glint was in her eyes.

Fernstar turned to Snowpaw, "I heard you talking about your ancestral island. You seem to speak of it a lot. If you could, would you like to go back there?" She was mainly asking to understand the she-cat more.

Snowpaw's eyes went wide, "I-I mean, I could. Anyone could. That port still works. You could jump all the way across the ocean to the island on those rocks."

Fernstar was surprised, "Then why haven't you?"

"Well-I like the clan of course. I would protect it with my life. I want to be a warrior. I wouldn't abandon all that for anything," her eyes clouded with a wistful mist, "but...if I wasn't apart of the clan, if I had no responsibilities, maybe I would. I'd sure love even just to see it."

"Why didn't you before you joined the clan?" asked Fernstar curiously.

"Well, there was my parents and grandparents. My family. I had to stay for them. And then later...I guess I just wanted to survive. And then I saw Taman kill that tom, and I had to stay and do something...and then when you I met Turtlemist and Rootclaw on the beach I saw my chance to do that."

Fernstar nodded, "And do you think it would be a better place then here?"

"Well there would for sure be no bugs carrying sicknesses. And probably no rogues either. No Brown Beasts. No thorns," said Snowpaw thoughtfully.

"Sounds safer to me," commented Shiningsun.

"But there's the cold. Another invisible enemy just as deadly as sickness. You can defeat it by staying in groups to keep eachother warm. There are things not so easily defeated, however..." Snowpaw trailed off.

"Go on," said Fernstar.

"I don't know how much is true," said Snowpaw hesitantly.

"Tell me anyway," said Fernstar.

"My grandparents told stories of these bears, the reason why they left," Snowpaw replied.

"Bears?" said Shiningsun anxiously, "Did they go after the kits?" That's mainly what bears did, hunted kits. They were highly dangerous, but usually easy to deter if a group of cats attacked them.

"Perhaps..." said Snowpaw, "but they went after adult cats too!"

"A bear hunting an adult cat?" echoed Fernstar in disbelief, "That's unheard of! Are you sure it wasn't just attacking them after they defended their kits?"

"Who knows," said Snowpaw, her tail flicking, "like I said, all I know is I heard stories. I don't know how much is true."

Bears hunting full grown cats? That's the stuff of elder's stories! And that's what they were too, elders telling stories. And yet, does any cat leave their home lightly? And traveling across the ocean no less! One has to be desperate in order to do that... Still, just the thought of no more of this energy draining sickness makes me want to take a chance... But it's a risky chance. There's no telling what could be on that island since Snowpaw's only heard of it second-hand. And what about crossing the ocean to get to it? Fernstar shivered as she remembered the last time she had been in the ocean...she had died...she had drowned. She didn't want to experiance that again. And she certainly didn't want it to happen to any of her clanmates.

-

Turtlemist was on a beach somewhere. Before him stretched an ocean. He felt compelled to walk along the beach a-ways. So he did.

Soon, he looked to his right to see a bridge. It was beautiful, constructed out of fine trees and sparkling smooth stone. It looked as if a two-leg had made it, but it gave off none of the usual fear associated with twolegs. It stretched far out across the ocean, as far as Turtlemist could see. He was confused, however, for he didn't know what it meant, or if he should cross it.

Suddenly, a cat brushed his side. He jumped, turning to see...

"Petalstorm!" 

"Turtlemist," she purred, rubbing her cheek against his, "watch and see." She walked past him, and stepped onto the bridge. He longed to follow her, but he knew he couldn't.

One by one, other cats emerged around him. He counted 4. He recognized one imediately. It was Frogstar, leader of Swamp Clan.

"Good to see you again, Turtlemist," said Frogstar.

"You have joined Star Clan," Turtlemist realized.

"Yes," said Frogstar sadly, "All the leaders have."

Turtlemist had suspected this, but now it was confirmed. "I'm sorry to hear..."

Frogstar looked into Turtlemist's eyes, "You are all that's left of Swamp Clan."

"What about my kit?" snapped Turtlemist, surprising himself, "The only survivor of the ones you didn't tell me about?"

Frogstar bristled, "It seemed best at the time. I am your leader and now a member of Star Clan-"

"Fernstar is my leader now," interupted Turtlemist cooly, "and now that all the clans are one in the same, you refuse to recognize my kit's Swamp Clan heritage?"

The tom narrowed his eyes, "I was just trying to-"

"Frogstar!" called a vaguely familiar voice, "Come on!"

"I know the point you were trying to make," Turtlemist said, "it is the same one Fernstar was trying to make. The same point my dear Petalstorm was trying to make. I just want you to know, she was the only one who made it effectively."

Turtlemist's former leader bristled, "I assume that you never got to berate me in life bothers you."

"Not at all," answered Turtlemist.

The tom nodded and ran to join the others. They were all on the bridge now. Petalstorm pointed to each of them in turn, "Swamp Clan," pointing to Frogstar, "Green Clan," suddenly Turtlemist recognized Brindlestar, who was known for his wisdom and gentle spirit. "Jungle Clan," she pointed to a red she-cat with brown spots, who Turtlemist realized he had seen at gatherings before, she was named Spottedstar. "Savanna Clan," she pointed to a thin yellow tom with black stripes, Lionstar. "And I am here to represent Mountain Clan." Turtlemist was glad for that, he didn't want to see Talonstar, the cold-hearted tom who had ordered Petalstorm to be put to death. If he did he feared he might attack a Star Clan cat for the first time...

"And what are all you here for?" asked Turtlemist.

"To cross the bridge," said Brindlestar simply, and the others nodded in agreement.

Then, led by Petalstorm, they turned and began walking away on the bridge. Turtlemist sat there, mote confused now than before. And as they got further away, the dream faded.

Turtlemist immediately woke up, and went to fetch the only other cat in this clan with a strong connection to Star Clan, Fernstar.

When he had told her the dream, minus his tiff with Frogstar and Petalstorm being the representative for Mountain Clan, she looked thoughtful.

"I think I know what it means," she said with resolve, "we must use the port and cross the bridge across the ocean to a new island."

Turtlemist was shocked, "But, this is where Star Clan has put us! Where we washed ashore after the disasters."

"And Star Clan had a reason. Perhaps it was to find Snowpaw. Or for Bugpaw to be born. But now Star Clan is telling us to leave," Fernstar explained.

Turtlemist thought for a minute, it did make sense, it was the only meaning he could think of that made sense... "Very well," he said, "we can't leave until Shiningsun and Snowpaw are well again, however."

"I know," said Fernstar with a sudden dark seriousness, "every cat must be in top shape for this journey...it will be dangerous, and unlike any the clans have ever experianced."

Turtlemist knew she was thinking about the ocean that would be just underneath them, every step of the way. Waiting to swallow a cat into it's current if they slipped. Turtlemist nodded, and a silence settled between them. He hadn't told her about his changing heart on kits, and since Shiningsun fell ill, she hadn't spoken about him having to have kits. I suppose she's waiting till Shiningsun is better...but it sure hangs over our interactions even if we don't mention it.

 

 

 

 

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The Escape Moon 15

 

The cats of Remnant Clan had gathered on the beach for a clan meeting. They had held meetings here for as long as they had been at this camp, it was most convenient since some cat had to always guard Taman who was in the water. Fernstar had just announced that they would be leaving the island using the odd moonstone on this island that Snowpaw called a ‘port.’

 

“Are you sure it’s safe?” Redfish asked.

 

“Is it safe to stay here?” Fernstar countered, “I would be the last to want to travel across the ocean on mere rocks...I’d rather stay far away from it…” she glanced nervously at the waves. Rootclaw knew that the only reason they had settled here was because there were less bug swarms with one side of the camp flanked by water that the bugs couldn’t come from, and the ocean winds blowing them away.

 

Redfish nodded thoughtfully, “What do we do about him?” he flicked his tail to Taman.

 

Fernstar’s eyes flickered with uncertainty, “I’m open to suggestions.”

 

“Well we can’t just let him go free when we leave,” Snowpaw put in.

 

Rootclaw nodded, his apprentice was right.

 

“But surely we can’t bring him with us!” Redfish said, “We already have enough mouths to feed, and wherever we go is sure to have new challenges. Besides, we can’t make him come if he doesn’t want to! What are we going to do? Swim with him from stone to stone, hoping he doesn’t break free or drown us?”

 

Fernstar looked troubled.

 

“I say we kill him,” said Rootclaw. Fernstar shuffled her feet nervously, and Rootclaw felt a stab of guilt, but why?

 

“I-I’ll decide later,” stuttered Fernstar, “for now, me and Rootclaw will check out this port and be sure it’s safe...enough.”

 

Rootclaw lit up at the prospect of being alone with Fernstar. “Yes, Fernstar,” he said, unable to hide his eagerness. They got so little time alone with Fernstar doing her duties as a leader, a warrior, and a queen. There was little time for forging a close bond in preparation for their mateship.

 

She turned to Redfish, “You stay here and guard the camp and the prisoner. We’ll be back before nightfall.”

 

Redfish nodded.

 

-

 

Fernstar gazed upon the moonstone. She wondered if Star Clan might speak to them, despite their mission being to check out the port it guarded.

 

“Snowpaw says you climb up on the moonstone,” said Rootclaw, “and use it as a launching point to get safely to the first rock island.”

 

Fernstar was shocked, “Climb on top of the sacred moonstone? What if you scratch it?”

 

“It appears cats have in the past,” he said, “it’s covered in scratch marks.”
 

“But there must be another way,” murmured Fernstar.

 

“Well you could swim…” swim? Fernstar’s mind went back to when she had been in the ocean...hopelessly tossed about by waves and currents...exhausted..and then unable to breath. “Or you could jump past the moonstone to the side. But that would have greater risk of falling in.”

 

Fernstar shivered, “No, we will have to use the moonstone. I will try it out first.” She had to make sure it was safe physically and wouldn’t anger Star Clan before she let another member of her clan attempt it.

 

“Let me,” said Rootclaw, concern glowing in his eyes.

 

“I have multiple lives,” Fernstar told him defiantly, “I’ll be fine.”

 

“But it’s my duty as a warrior to protect our leader! What would we do without you?” Rootclaw’s eyes sparkled playfully as he touched his tail to her nose.

 

“But what would I do without you?” she purred, her eyes serious, “I couldn’t bear to loose the one I love. And the clan would suffer.”

 

He rubbed his cheek against hers, “You’re not going to loose me,” he purred, “I’m a good swimmer, remember?”

 

She sat there for a minute, her eyes locking with his. “I love you, Rootclaw, I don’t want to risk you getting hurt.”

 

“You could, too,” he reminded her, “even if you have lives left, if you get injured your injuries will remain. I couldn’t bear it if you were maimed and I could’ve prevented it. I love you too much.”

 

She realized this could go back and forth for hours, and Rootclaw wasn’t one to give up. He would have to obey if she gave orders over-ruling his objections, but then she would be bossing him around as a leader, not suggesting like a friend or mate. She couldn’t push her wait around, that would be no good for their relationship.

 

“Fine,” she said, “but be careful. If you fall in I’m coming in after you.”

 

“I won’t,” he purred, licking her shoulder reassuringly.

 

He leaped up onto the moonstone, claws scrabbling as he tried to get his balance. When he finally did, he leaped to the first rock island. She held her breath as he sailed through the air, toward the tiny bit of stone that was just big enough to keep him safe from the ocean’s clutches. He touched down at the edge of the stone, front paws clutching it. But it was slippery and wet. He fell into the water below.

Despite her promise to come in after her, she felt glued to the spot. She was shocked, unable to move. She began screaming his name and crying. Finally she ran to the ocean, but when a wave crashed against her as she rushed in, her mind took her back to the time when she had been in the ocean...tired...unable to control which way she went...not able to breathe. It overwhelmed her, she found herself struggling to breathe once more…

 

And then, she felt someone beside her, “Fernstar!”

 

The shout shook her out of her thoughts, and she gasped for breath.

 

“Fernstar, are you alright?” black eyes of concern pierced her.

 

“Rootclaw!” she gasped, “I saw you fall in, I thought…”

 

“You thought wrong,” he said, “I’m fine,” he purred as he gently guided her back to shore, “thanks to my quick reflexes and swimming ability. But you’re not,” he said, his demeanor turning darker, “I can see it in your eyes every time you look at the water. I think it’s because you almost drowned-”

 

“Drowned,” she corrected him suddenly.

 

“That’s what I said,” Rootclaw said, blinking in confusion.

 

“No, you said almost drowned. I did drown, Rootclaw,” Fernstar said as gently as she could with her own raw emotions pouring out. Her fear, her sadness, the guilt from keeping it from her clanmates. If they were going to be mates, she didn’t want to keep things from him. He had to know the truth, and now was a good time as any.

 

“When?” he was greatly troubled, “How many lives do you have left?”

 

“5,” answered Fernstar simply.

 

“But that makes no sense! You died once tearing through the brambles of the old camp wall so we could escape from the bug swarms after being weakened from sickness, and you started with-”

 

“I started with...well, it depends what ‘started’ means...but I was supposed to have 7. When I was in the ocean before Shiningsun saved me, I drowned, Rootclaw,” Fernstar finally admitted.

 

“But that’s impossible! You weren’t leader then,” Rootclaw exclaimed.

 

“That’s what I thought. That’s what Turtlemist thought you would all think, so we agreed to hide it,” Fernstar said regretfully.

 

“You told Turtlemist?” Rootclaw said, a flicker of outrage in his eyes, but also deep concern and confusion.

 

“That was before we had a falling out,” growled Fernstar, “and besides, I didn’t have to tell him. He was with me in the dream, and a medicine cat. He knew already.”

 

“Oh…” murmured Rootclaw, the anger fading from his eyes, and the confusion, being left with only concern, “well you probably made the right decision. Who knows how Lightwatcher would’ve reacted.”

 

Fernstar blinked, she had never thought of that before… Would the Mountain Clan warrior have thought she was lying and trust her even less? Or feel even more resentful of her that she was given such an ability? “I-I supp-ose you’re right,” she stuttered.

 

“Of course I’m right,” purred Rootclaw, beggining to wash her, “I’m so glad Star Clan did that for you,” he whispered to her after licking her ears, “the whole clan is lucky to have you for their leader.” he returned to a normal volume as he spoke between strokes, “I can’t imagine a world...in which you had drowned...before I even met you.”

 

“Me either,” purred Fernstar, settling down to rest and be loved as Rootclaw licked her coat, he knows now that I lied to him...to the whole clan, but he still loves me and trusts my judgment. It made her feel secure...like everything was going to be alright.

 

“Fernstar! Rootclaw!” a panicked yowl made her sit up and Rootclaw stop lickiing her, rushing toward the sound.

 

“Redfish?” a startled Rootclaw said as the deputy came into view, “What are you doing here? What’s going on?”

 

Panting, he said, “Taman has escaped!”

 

“What?” hissed Rootclaw, “you were supposed to guard him!”

 

Fernstar was shocked, but she forced herself to remain calm, “What happened, Redfish?”

 

Rootclaw’s eyes scanned the deputy’s coat, what is he doing? “You don’t have a scratch on you!” he growled.

 

Redfish bristled but didn’t take the bait, “I had to let him go. He was going to drown Bugpaw!”

 

Fernstar gasped, fear seeping into her, he would’ve killed his own son!

 

“And how,” said Rootclaw, cynically, “did he get ahold of young Bugpaw?”

 

Bugpaw ran to the beach suddenly, I thought he might be about to tell me something. Then he turned to his father. Bugpaw was on the other side of the beach from me, I couldn’t get to him in time. The rogue grabbed him and quickly shoved him under the water. Taman said he’d hold him under ‘till he died. And Bugpaw wasn’t near as strong as Taman, he would’ve been held down easily under that water until he drowned. I waited a minute to see if he was bluffing, but he continued to hold his son, who was now struggling less, under. Shiningsun begged me to save her son...I couldn’t let that murderer kill him in front of her. And besides, Turtlemist said that he couldn’t loose his apprentice now, he wouldn’t have enough time to train another one before he died,” Redfish explained.

 

Fernstar was shaking, some out of fear, some out of rage, “You did the right thing.”

 

He nodded, “We better get back to camp...before Taman and his friends come back to take revenge.”

 

The only thing the rogue had ever revealed to them while in his watery prison was that he had friends...and plenty of them. It was more a threat than helpful information, and now his words haunted her as she realized how much danger her clan was really in.

 

17912864_Screenshot-9_21_20212_54_44PM.thumb.png.443ac928bf349ab2baa19d23ab88713b.png

(the aftermath of the escape, the clan cats return to camp...Taman lurks in the shadows before running away)

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Mudpaw’s Killer Moon 15

 

Fernstar had been unsure about whether to send a search party out to recapture Taman, but Redfish had advised against leaving the camp unguarded, and though Snowpaw still wanted justice for the murder she had witnessed, she was already focusing on the journey to her ancestral homeland. In the end, Fernstar decided that Star Clan had themselves answered the question about what to do with Taman. He was no longer their concern, since they were leaving the island.

 

That night it took her a long time to get to sleep. Every noise in the night jolted her awake, I can’t wait to leave this island… she thought to herself, then I won’t have to worry about Taman coming back for revenge. But then...a disturbing thought entered her head, maybe she would still. Maybe they would cross the ocean using the port just to come slaughter the clan cats. She shivered at the thought. She knew she couldn’t get to sleep, not here...not alone. She walked out of the leader’s den, not knowing where she was going. She briefly thought of going to the moonstone, but she didn’t want to be ambushed by rogues on the way there. No, she needed to be someplace safe in order to sleep.

 

She entered the warriors’ den. She would fell better surrounded by her fellow warriors. She had always felt uneasy and at times selfish, sleeping in the leader’s den. Now she felt completely unprotected there. Here she would have warriors to help her fight intruders, and she would be able to help protect them as well. She looked around the den for an empty spot. There was one nearby Rootclaw. She quietly purred to herself and took the spot. She could’ve snuggled right up to him, but that might’ve woke him up. Instead she settled for sleeping next to him, knowing they could protect eachother in the case of a rogue attack. Finally, she drifted to sleep.

 

But her sleep was not a peaceful one. She heard cats fighting, and rushed toward the sound. There she saw Taman and another cat, fighting. But to her horror, she recognized the other cat. It was someone she hadn’t seen in ages. Mudpaw! He was a Green Clan medicine cat apprentice. She yowled at them to stop, but they didn’t hear her. They were still in the swamp grasses, trampling them as young Mudpaw fought mainly defensively.

 

Just let me go! I’ll leave...I won’t bother the group again!” an afraid Mudpaw mewed.

 

Sorry, Muddy, I can’t do that. I gave you a fair warning and the first blow, but I can’t disobey my orders,” he was so calm it made Fernstar’s blood run cold.

 

Why do you all kill eachother?” hissed Mudpaw as he blocked another swipe from Taman, “no wonder your group is so small!”

 

Small, yes, but the ones who survive are the strongest,” growled Taman, “an you’re weak. I’ve had enough of this kit-fighting. Let’s get to the real thing” he sprang at Mudpaw.

 

Mudpaw turned and fled. He was absolutely terrified. “He’s just a medicine cat apprentice!” yowled Fernstar, trying to block Taman’s path, but he ran right through her. This is just a dream, Fernstar realized, a dream of the past. I can see what happened, but these cats can’t see me! Nor can I effect what happens.

 

She turned around and ran out of the grasses. She watched in horror as Mudpaw ran out onto the beach. Taman swiftly closed in on him and barreled into him, knocking him onto the spot on which the skeleton was found. Fernstar knew there was nothing she could do, but she still ran at the two, yowling, pleading, tears coming down.

 

Taman pinned the scrawny apprentice and locked his jaws onto his neck. Mudpaw’s life bled out before Fernstar’s eyes. She was right next to them now, trying to scratch Taman, but her claw went right through him.

 

As he was dying, Mudpaw’s eyes suddenly lit up, then he looked at Taman with a sad expression, he tried to talk. Taman let go of the apprentices neck, perhaps curious as to what he would say.

 

“I-I pity you,” said the medicine cat with his last breath. Taman stood there, shocked and confused for a minute. It was clear the three words had shaken him. His fear bristled and for the first time she saw a hint of sadness in his eyes...and a hint of anxiety too. She could almost read his mind, if you who are dying pity me...I wonder what is going to happen to me? What can be worse than what has happened to you? Fernstar wondered what had made Mudpaw’s eyes light up...and why Taman was so worried about the dying words of a cat which he considered weak.

 

“He knew,” said a voice, and Fernstar whirled around.

 

“Mudpaw!” she cried, running to the apprentice to nuzzle him. “I-I’m so sorry. I’m sorry we didn’t search the island for other survivors. I’m sorry we failed to avenge you-that Taman escaped.”

 

Don’t be sorry,” purred Mudpaw, “I’m in Star Clan now. Taman knew about my connection to Star Clan. Though him and members of his rogue group didn’t believe me. He did see me communicate with my warrior ancestors a few times. Once I predicated the future. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let me use my healing abilities, and some members of their group died because of it.” Mudpaw’s eyes grew sad, full of regret.

 

What does it matter if members of their group died?” growled Fernstar, “They were horrible rogues, they deserved it.”

 

Mudpaw gazed at her sadly, “This island has made your heart hard. Have you forgotten the ways of green clan? We help anyone we can. Besides, I was apart of this group for a few moons. I grew attached to some of them, and they happened to be the ones that died. The weak,” he spat, “the only ones with compassion because they understood what it was like to be looked down upon. This island tends to make hearts grow hard like the cats of Mountain Clan. The land you are to travel to will also do this. Be warned, and always love your fellow cats. Remember your Green Clan heritage. Your clan may also need your limited healing abilities soon.”

 

Is Turtlemist going to die?” asked Fernstar.

 

I cannot answer. But what I can tell you is it’s a good thing your mother was once a medicine cat apprentice!” he purred. Fernstar’s mother had trained to become a medicine cat before she fell in love with her father and decided the path of a medicine cat was not for her. It was actually not uncommon in Green Clan, for many kits grow up wanting to be medicine cats since they want to help their clanmates and have a strong connection to Star Clan. Thus was Green Clan’s culture, they were nicer and more gentle than the other clans.

 

Because of that, I always did have a special place in my heart for medicine cats…” Fernstar trailed off. She had to avenge this good-hearted medicine cat apprentice from her own clan. Before she thought it was just a rogue or loner, a stranger that had been killed by Taman. But now she realized why Star Clan had them find the body. The cat that had died upon this beach had clan blood in them.

 

Mudpaw gave her a firm and reassuring nod, before he faded away.

 

Fernstar shot up from her nest with new purpose, she was relieved to see dawn was already breaking, “Rootclaw!” she called.

 

She saw that the tom was gazing at her already, his face a mix of delight and confusion, but this eyes sharpened at her tone, “Yes, Fernstar?”

 

You and Redfish head out to re-capture Taman at once,” she ordered.

 

Rootclaw looked surprised, “Yes, Fernstar, but-well what are we to do with him then? You came to the conclusion yesterday-”

 

I don’t care what I said yesterday,” said Fernstar, “there isn’t much time to explain. As soon as Taman is escorted back to camp…” she took a deep breath, “we will execute him.” It’s the only way to punish him and still ensure the safety of the clan, she told herself, he has killed a clan cat in cold blood, a cat of his own group no-less! He must be punished.

 

Rootclaw lifted his tail and his chin, his eyes relaxing, “But what if we can’t get him back to camp?”

 

Don’t tell him he’s coming back to die of course,” Fernstar said, feeling a bit guilty for telling her clanmates to lie, “but if you simply cannot get him back you have my permission to kill him. However, if he’s injured from fighting you he shouldn’t be able to put up much of a fight anymore, try and drag him back to camp.”

 

Yes, Fernstar,” said Rootclaw, his eyes gleaming as he turned away and exited the warriors’ den.

 

-

 

Rootclaw and Redfish had been gone all day...so it was a relief to see the two of them walking down the beach toward camp. She walked up to them, waiting to hear if their mission was a success. The marks of battle scarred their pelts, which was expected, but she hadn’t expected the nervousness in Redfish’s gaze, the anger mixed with worry in Rootclaw’s.

 

What happened?” she asked, concerned.

 

Redfish let-” Rootclaw’s hiss was interrupted.

 

Let’s tell the story from the beginning, shall we?” Redfish said in a measured tone.

 

Fine,” growled Rootclaw, “so we found Taman. We whittled him down with our fighting, and I finally had him pinned to the ground. He started blabbing. He said another cat had ordered him to kill the dead cat...which he called Muddy.”

 

What other cat?” asked Fernstar, her ears pricked.

 

The leader of the rogues,” said Rootclaw. That made sense, given Fernstar’s dream.

 

And so Rootclaw had the brilliant,” the word dripped with sarcasm, “idea of using Taman to get to this rogue leader.”

 

It worked didn’t it?” Rootclaw hissed at Redfish.

 

Yes,” said Redfish, “but that wasn’t our mission. We were to find Taman and bring him back for execution.”

 

Or kill him,” growled Rootclaw, “which I was trying to do when you knocked me off him!”

 

You promised not to kill him if he helped us,” hissed Redfish, “a warrior’s word must be followed.”

 

Taman didn’t follow his word, he warned the rogue leader a moment before our attack!” Rootclaw’s back was arched.

 

And that didn’t change a thing, the rogue leader is dead now,” Redfish argued.

 

Enough of this!” yelled Fernstar, and the two toms turned to face her. They both had an apologetic expression, but beneath it lingered their contempt for eachother.

 

What’s happened to you to?” Fernstar nearly yelled at them, “You have always respected eachother and were great friends after saving the clan from famine on your fishing patrols!”

 

They sat silent for a minute. “That was a long time ago,” Rootclaw finally said.

 

That may be” spat Fernstar, “But you two are still warriors of the same clan! And I will not tolerate in-fighting!”

 

Yes, Fernstar,” Rootclaw flinched.

 

Redfish nodded, “I understand that. But Rootclaw is trying to blame me for this mission going wrong.”

 

He says you attacked him to protect the rogue?” asked Fernstar cooly.

 

A flicker of something...regret? Doubt? “Yes,” Redfish admitted, “but he was going to kill the rogue right then and there after giving his word… Taman may be a rogue, and a murderer at that, but we can’t start living like rogues, or soon we’ll be just as bad as him. Our orders were to bring him back to camp for execution, first and foremost, so I figured we could still bring him back and let you judge him. Then at least we wouldn’t be the ones killing him, so Rootclaw wouldn’t break his word, and he would have a chance of survival after helping us kill the rogue leader.”

 

Fernstar slowly nodded, “and why couldn’t you bring him back?”

 

Because he knocked me off the rogue and we fought,” mumbled Rootclaw.

 

I only jumped at him to prevent him from sinking his teeth into the rogue’s neck,” Redfish commented.

 

Were you about to kill Taman?” asked Fernstar as gently as possible.

 

Yes,” said Rootclaw, not meeting her eyes.

 

Well this is just great! My deputy and most senior warrior are fighting! They both disobeyed orders in some regard… Taman is still on the loose! Nobody on this island is safe. She remembered what Mudpaw had told her, about this island making the hearts of cats grow hard. And maybe it just might drive them insane, too! “I will not judge between you,” she finally said, “you both failed. However, it is good that the leader of the rogues is dead. Star Clan has made it clear to me that Taman did have orders from the leader to kill Mudpaw.”

 

Mudpaw?” Rootclaw looked up from the ground, “He killed a clan cat?”

 

Does it matter now?” Fernstar said, meeting his eyes which were once more swimming with rage.

 

Yes, it does,” he said, “what are you hiding from me?” His words brought her back to when she had shared with him that she had drowned and lost a life before being made leader. She hadn’t wanted to keep anything from him then, now she wasn’t so sure. I love him, but he’s such a fire brand! Especially when it comes to Taman...he is obsessed with killing that rogue. He’s never really liked rogues. And I think having Snowpaw as his apprentice has made him want to bring Taman to justice even more.

 

“Our leader does not have to share every secret with you,” snapped Redfish.

 

Rootclaw’s fur bristled, and Fernstar said, “No, Redfish it’s alright. I will tell both of you. Before there just wasn’t enough time to explain. I wasn’t trying to keep it from anyone.

 

The toms looked at her expectantly.

 

“Mudpaw was a Green Clan medicine cat apprentice,” she said, aware that she had begun to cry, “I had assumed he had died in the disasters, but he hadn’t. He washed up on the same island we did, this island. Apparently, he joined the rogue group.”

 

“No!” said Rootclaw, expressing his surprise.

 

“Well there were no other clan cats around that he could see...and he wasn’t used to living alone. Plus he couldn’t hunt, being trained as a medicine cat…” Fernstar trailed off.

 

“Why did the rogue leader order one of their members killed?” Redfish asked.

 

“I don’t know,” said Fernstar, shaking her head, “but Taman said only the strong survive...and Mudpaw was weak.”

 

“When did you speak to Taman?” asked a confused Rootclaw.

 

“I didn’t. I saw what happened in a dream last night. Mudpaw has made a safe journey to Star Clan along with the rest of those who died in the disaster. If he hadn’t I could tear Taman to shreds myself,” Fernstar said, suddenly angered as she remembered the horrible scene of his death.

 

“I’m so sorry,” said Rootclaw, licking her shoulder, his anger seeming to have evaporated.

 

She licked his ears back, then turned to Redfish who was awkwardly standing to the side, “Tell the clan that tomorrow we leave the island.” Redfish dipped his head and scampered off to spread the news.

 

“That temper of yours,” she said to Rootclaw as the deputy dissapeared from view, she shook her head, “at this rate you’ll get yourself killed before we officially become mates!”

 

His eyes shone, “Nonsense! Will it be soon?”

 

“Once we arrive on the new island,” she purred at him. What does it matter if Taman isn’t dead? The leader of the rogues is. And besides, we’ll be long gone in a few days. What could Taman really do to us on our new island?

 

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Complicated Relationships Moon 15

"I...suppose you know why I brought you outside of camp," Turtlemist said, "I have determined that I will do my duty without further protest. And since I'm old and may not survive the journey across the ocean..." or maybe I want to stay here on this island. The thought had occurred to him last night, listening to the sound of frogs singing. It had occurred to him that if the clan's new home was anything like Mountain Clan territory, there would be no frog singing which reminded him of his own home. There would barely be a bird to sing. There would be no soft ground underneath his paws, or swamp reeds hiding the camp. There would be no rivers flowing through their territory. There would be cold, hard stone beneath their paws. And no rain to refresh the earth...only cold white stuff called Snow pouring from the sky. And there would probably be hunger too.

It was no wonder Mountain Clan cats were cruel, living in a place that treated them just as cruelly. Starvation constantly lurked at their door. There was no warmth which with to sun themselves. Kits froze to death if they traveled away from the side of their mother. Turtlemist wondered if the cats of Remnant Clan might become as cruel as members of Mountain Clan. He didn't really want to see it, but if he wasn't there to prevent it...or at least to try...wouldn't he be responsible?

The landscape would constantly remind him of Petalstorm, to think of her when he was awake hurt his heart. It was different in his dreams, because she was there with him. Now her absence stung. And even worse, he might be reminded of the cats who killed her. Who announced it at a gathering. Who would do that? At least they had kept their word to Swamp Clan and hadn't said who she had been seeing...

"Turtlemist?" asked Shiningsun, he realized he must've been standing there, just thinking.

"It's nothing," he said.

"I said go ahead," despite her words, a great sadness shone in her eyes. Well of course she's sad! She doesn't love me. And I understand how she feels, being forced into this, because I was myself.

He nodded. She turned around, and as he prepared to leap ontop of her...

A voice came from behind him, "Turtlemist!"

Shiningsun whirled around, "Bugpaw?" she said in surprise.

"I told you to stay in camp and sort herbs," Turtlemist had to keep himself from growling, inside he was secretly thanking Star Clan the apprentice hadn't arrived a minute later.

"I finished," Bugpaw stated nervously, his eyes darting from place to place.

"Already?" Turtlemist was surprised.

"I-I had already done most of the herb sorting earlier today. I saw that it needed to be done so I did it between tasks. Do you want to come inspect my work?" the anxiety in the apprentice's eyes was great. But Turtlemist didn't think he was lying. Bugpaw had been this anxious ever since his father had threatened to kill him in order to escape camp.

"I'm sure you did fine," purred Turtlemist, "like always."

"But what if I got something wrong?" he fretted.

"Go back to camp and sleep," said Turtlemist, "you look tired."

"But-"

"Do as Turtlemist says, Bugpaw," said Shiningsun sternly.

"Yes, mom," said Bugpaw, a bit of curiosity was in his gaze as he noticed his mother was here, but he said nothing as he darted back to camp.

Turtlemist saw her sad look intensifying as she watched Bugpaw disappear through the reeds. It was now mixed with a sort of guilt an longing.

"I worry about him," she said, "he just hasn't been the same since Taman escaped."

"He went through a traumatic experience," reminded Turtlemist, "nhe nearly drowned."

"But it's not just that," she said, "I saw he acted strangely for a week. He got a bit too close to Taman a couple other times, watching him. I should've explained about his father. I should've taken him to see Taman myself."

Turtlemist was shocked, "But that would've been dangerous for both of you!"

She shook her head, "That's what I thought. But we could've stayed a good distance away. Could've had extra guards. I could've stood closer than him, ready to defend him. But I was scared for myself, scared that Taman would hurt me again. Perhaps he would've. But the way what happened has damaged Bugpaw's psyche..."

"You should've just kept on eye on him, and I should have as well. He couldn't have gotten so close if we had watched him like hawks," said Turtlemist.

"He would have. He wanted to know if Taman was his father. He wanted to know why he couldn't speak to him. And all of us preventing him, that just made him more determined. I should've at least explained to him why. I never told Bugpaw why Taman was dangerous. He just wanted to know his father."

Her last sentence cut straight through Turtlemist's heart. Don't let that chance slip by you again, Turtlemist. He could almost hear Petalstorm whispering to him. What if his own kits longed to see him, to know him? And Shiningsun had to be the one to tell them no. What if they went searching for their father...and ran into someone as dangerous as Taman? 

"Never again," he suddenly mumbled, going on to speak louder, "you won't have to go through this again. I can see how much it hurts your heart, that your kits don't know their fathers. I will be in my kits' lives. I swear by Star Clan." 

"Really?" Shiningsun was surprised.

"I don't swear by Star Clan lightly," he stated.

Joy lit up in Shiningsun's eyes, and she nuzzled him, "Thank you!"

He fought the urge to pull his head away from her nuzzle. "Now let's get this over with," he tried not to growl.

Shiningsun didn't seem to mind his foul remark, however. Perhaps she feels the same way about it...I've heard this can be quite painful for she-cats.

-

Fernstar was leading her clan to the ports when she heard the call of a blue-jay. However, she knew there were no blue-jays on this island. She scanned the reeds for rustling. Spotting a spot where the reeds rustled, she turned to Redfish, "I've just scented a fox. It seems stale but I should go make sure it won't try and snatch a kit."

"Can I come?" asked Rootclaw, concern in his eyes.

Redfish looked at her, waiting for her answer.

"No," said Fernstar, "stay with the group. We need all the warriors possible guarding the main group in case of a rogue attack."

Rootclaw reluctantly nodded, "Stay safe."

"I will," purred Fernstar. She felt bad lying to him once more. But this was probably the last time she would do this and she didn't want to have to explain to the clan. "See you at the port," she said to Redfish and Rootclaw.

She walked away from the group as they continued their journey. She walked past the reeds that had rustled into the swamp grass, peering around. Finally, she spotted a pink pelt among the grasses, and headed that way.

"Fernstar!" purred a tom, "I see your clan's on the move again. Moving camps again?"

"It's not quite so simple, Pinky," she said, feeling a twinge of sadness, "We are leaving the island."

"What?" Pinky's eyes grew wide, "How?"

"Using the port," said Fernstar, "don't worry, it's safe. We wouldn't use it otherwise."

"I see..." said Pinky, "I guess that means I won't be seeing you again."

"Not unless you join the clan," Fernstar said. She didn't know why she was offering. If he joined now she would have to explain everything to her clan. While they already suspected something, they still wouldn't be pleased to know of her affair with a loner. And what about her relationship with Rootclaw?

"No," said Pinky after thinking for a minute, "I like living alone."

Fernstar couldn't help but be relieved, "Well I don't know why you're always seeking out my company, then" she teased.

"That is because I love you," he purred, "a tom can't help what he feels."

"Neither can I," said Fernstar solemnly.

He must've taken this wrong, because he walked over and rubbed his cheek against hers, "I want to have something to remember you by, and maybe you can have a little bundle to remember me."

Fernstar shrunk back, "No," he looked hurt, "I-I'm going to become mates with someone in my clan.

He took a step back. "Oh," he wrapped his tail around his paws.

"I'm sorry," she said, feeling guilty, "I should've told you earlier, it's just I was so busy dealing with Taman...and then organizing the trip."

"It's alright," said Pinky, his eyes still shining sadly, "you have a lot of responsibilities as leader of your clan. I-I can't help but feel jealous, but I just hope this tom is good to you."

"He is," Fernstar reassured him, "and you have been too. It's just...I need someone in my clan. Who I don't have to hide from everyone. And we do love eachother."

He nodded, "A she-cat can't help how she feels. I hope you're happy together."

A silence settled over them, and then Pinky asked, "How's our kit getting along?"

"Oh," said Fernstar, happy to change the subject, "Stonekit's doing well. Him and Lightkit play just like siblings."

"That's great to hear," purred Pinky, but suddenly he stiffened, what's wrong now? "rogues!" he hissed quietly, "I think it's the rogue group..."

"The one Taman is apart of?" growled Fernstar, her hair standing on end.

Pinky nodded, "I've heard rumors that after his escape, Taman became the new leader."

"I must go," said Fernstar, suddenly panicking, after we helped kill the old one! I should've known this would lead to some unintended consequence!

"I understand," said Pinky, "go protect your clan."

Fernstar raced away, praying silently that her clan was not already under attack.
 

 

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21 hours ago, Chiyanna said:

(I kinda feel bad because I haven't used his POV or developed his personality that much. What makes him your favorite character?)

I literally don't remember most of what's going on in this playthrough (just how my brain works) but I remember I liked Redfish in the beginning lol

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The Battle Moon 15

Fernstar arrived at the port, out of breath. The others saw her panick-striken demeanor, she could tell by the concern and anxiety on their faces.

"It's the rogues, headed by Taman. I scented them. They appear to be on their way here to attack us. We must be quick."

Rootclaw brought Stonekit to Fernstar and dropped him at her feet. 

Fernstar shook her head, "I'll be in the back, he'll be safer with you. You carry him."

Rootclaw was about to protest, but she silenced him with a pleading look.

Fernstar turned to Shiningsun, "You carry Lightkit and go first, Rootclaw will come behind you."

Rootclaw picked up Stonekit and scurried away. Shiningsun was already attempting to scrabble up onto the rock with Lighkit hanging from her mouth, not an easy feat.

Fernstar walked over to her deputy, "You will go after Shiningsun and Rootclaw to protect them in case we run into danger upon reaching the new island."

"Fernstar," he said, dismayed, "the danger is here on this island! I should be in the back to protect the clan as we leave."

"I will be in the back," stated Fernstar.

"But your job is to lead the clan!" Redfish exclaimed.

"And protect them...with all my lives. That is the oath I took before Star Clan. I will uphold it," said Fernstar, determination in her voice.

"But what if-" 

Fernstar interrupted him, "There isn't much time. If I die or am seperated from the clan..." she looked him in the eyes, "you know what to do."

The fear and uncertainty seemed to intensify, but then he briskly nodded and trotted toward the moonstone. Once more she was reminded of how he had given up the oppurtunity to be leader of Remnant Clan, does whatever reason he passed that up still exist?

The scent of the rogues came to her on the wind, still faint.

She rushed over to Turtlemist, "You and Bugpaw go after Redfish. He will be on one side of you, and I on the other to best protect you."

"May Star Clan protect us," he murmered before going to tell his apprentice.

Fernstar turned her eyes back to the moonstone and was relieved to see that Shiningsun and Rootclaw were already on the stones. Redfish was heaving his way up onto the moonstone. Fernstar could hear crashing in the undergrowth...and a flash of anxiety was present in Bugpaw's eyes as he suddenly sniffed the air. The whole clan must know the rogues were about to be upon them. Fernstar forced herself to remain calm for her clanmates.

As she saw Redfish jump off the moonstone and land successfully on the first stone island, she turned around, ready to jump on the first cat to attack the clan.

Their scent kept getting stronger...and then...the crashing paused for a few seconds. She wondered if perhaps the rogues had lost track of them...

A piercing yowl broke the silence as cats rushed out of the swamp grasses and reeds.

A black tom with many scars jumped at her. She doged, and glanced behind her.

Her clanmates were all on the stones, but to her surprise they had stopped and were looking in fear and dismay. A brown cat was scrabbling up the moonstone, he kept slipping back down again. Another cat leapt atop it in one bound, but was struggling to keep their footing on the slippery stone.

Fernstar leapt up into the air, aiming for the cat atop the stone. But just before she reached them the cat fell off. Star Clan help me, she thought as she braced herself to land atop the moonstone.

Then she landed, and she didn't go slipping right off the walk. It took her only a moment to gain the proper footing in order to leap onto the first stone. She saw hostile eyes bore into her just before she jumped.

Landing on the stone, she heard hisses behind her, "You idiots! You let them get away! I'll show you how it's done! Any who are strong are welcome to join me in chasing them down." The cat who said this was Taman.

Fernstar jumped to the next stone as quick as she could, but she felt nervous as a wave lapped at her paws. She attempted to calm herself, to not think of what would happen if she fell into the ocean once more, but her anxiety delayed her from jumping quicker to the next stone. She took what felt like forever trying to figure out her aim.

Then she heard a whoosh of air behind her, and she had to jump, so she did. She was vaguely aware of a thunderous crash, but she didn't have time to turn and see. Because a blood-thirsty yowl came just moments before someone landed upon her back.

Claws raked her, but only hind-claws. It was Taman who had landed upon her back, she realized.

"What will you do now, Oh great leader?" he hissed as he bit down on her neck.

She tried to shake him off, but he was now using his hind-claws to dig into her, securing him.

She couldn't jump with him on her back, it would limit how far she could jump and land her in the ocean. She couldn't roll on the ground to get him off, for there was only ocean on either side of her.

He got a good neck hold and she began to panic. Oh Star Clan, do not forsake me now! Even with her extra lives...there would be a moment in which she would be completely unconscious. What if she fell, or was pushed, into the ocean? Surely she would loose the rest of her lives like she had lost the first with no-one there to save her.

Her vision began to blurr, and her thoughts got fuzzy. She didn't have the strength to try and shake him off anymore. She looked ahead to see her clanmates, they were staring back at her, but then, thankfully, they started moving again from stone to stone. I don't want Taman to get them too, they must reach their destination.

Suddenly, the pressure and pain in her neck was gone. The weight on her back lifted, dazed and confused she looked around. A sound came into her ears, a very familair and slightly terrifying sound. A splash. 

She looked in the direction of the splash, and saw two cats struggling in the water. They were fighting with great fury. One was almost desperate in his demeanor, Taman. The other...Fernstar finally recognized him, "Pinky!" her cry came out in more of a gurgle than she had hoped.

She watched the toms, unable to tear her gaze away. She held her breath as a wave brought them under, and they didn't surface soon after. She wondered if Pinky had died saving her life. Her heart wrent in two at the thought. He really does love me...and I still love him. But he is a loner and I am devoted to my clan.

Finally, some bubbles showed a sign of life. And soon after a tom emerged. He coughed and sputtered before breathing. It was Pinky.

"You're alive!" exclaimed Fernstar with joy. 

He did not respond, but instead swam past the rock she was standing on, to another rock island slightly bigger than the ones the clan was traveling on. She hadn't noticed this tiny island before, and it was not apart of the path of stones that led to another island, rather it was adjacent to it.

He took some deep breaths and just sat there for a minute, regaining his strength. Fernstar waited patiently.

Finally, he looked up at her and smiled, "That was a close one."

"How did you know I was in trouble?" she asked, "And how did you get by all those rogue cats?"

"I decided to come and lurk just in case you clan cats needed help with those nasty rogues. And upon seeing you were on the stones already, followed by Taman, I slipped out of the reeds into the ocean and swam all the way out to this rock!"

"I see," purred Fernstar, "I am forever grateful."

"You couldn't possibly be more glad than me! The thought of that rogue killing you shatters me. He can't hurt anyone anymore," replied Pinky.

"Are you sure you don't want to join the clan? We could use brave cats like you," offered Fernstar.

He sat there for a long time. "I...what about your new mate?"

Fernstar had forgotten that it would be a problem. She loved Rootclaw dearly and didn't want to break his heart, having been through heartbreak himself. And she didn't want to admit her relationship with a loner to the clan...that she had hid it from them. "But...if you go back there those rogues will tear you to shreds!" she couldn't bear the thought of him dying when she could prevent it. 

Suddenly, she felt shaking beneath her. She looked down to see her stone was begging to crack. Pieces of the edge were sliding off into the ocean.

"Go!" yelled Pinky, and she leapt off the rock in fear.

It fell to pieces and crashed into the ocean.

Looking behind her, she saw some of the stones had met the same fate, others remained partially standing.

She assessed the distance now between Pinky and her stone, and found he could not get atop it safely. Even swimming, he would have to scrabble up to get on the stone because it was higher than the water, something he couldn't do successfully without someone helping him get up, and some cracks in the stone indicated it couldn't take the extra weight.

Star Clan has spoken. She had never felt so sad... She stared at him with a look of shock and sorrow.

"I guess this is goodbye, then," he said, sadness in his words despite trying to keep his demeanor light.

"It is, goodbye, Pinky," Fernstar said finally.

"Bye, my love," said Pinky.

Fernstar turned around and leapt to the next stone, following after her clanmates with a new sorrow in her heart. Why did you allow this? Why did you take him from me and doom him to death? He saved my life and you prevented the only thing I could give in return! A new anger at Star Clan simmered within.

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Arrival in a Frozen Land Moon 16

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Fernstar leapt off the final stone, onto solid ground. After half a moon of traveling it felt good to be on land again. She was instantly alert, listening and smelling for new dangers. She saw Rootclaw and Redfish doing the same thing.

"Do you scent or hear anything nearby?" Redfish asked her deputy and senior warrior.

"No danger," said Redfish.

"And no prey, either," said Rootclaw, his tone worried. The last couple weeks the clan had just barely scraped by on food. Eating mainly fish that had swum too close to the surface that Rootclaw and Redfish had skillfully scooped out of the water and  caught in their mouths. They had also stopped at the slightly bigger rocky islands like the one Pinky had been on. These sometimes boasted a berry bush and a couple mice or a flock of birds resting on their journey across the ocean, if the clan was lucky. Prey had become especially scarce upon seeing the island in the distance, the hope of it looming ahead of them keeping the clan going.

"Organize a hunting patrol right away," she said to Redfish, "but be sure at least one warrior stays behind with the queens and medicine cats to guard them. Me and that group will look for a good place to set up temporary camp." She knew the clan needed to rest, especially Shiningsun and Turtlemist. The journey had been hard on Shiningsun because she was expecting a kit and had to watch her current one as well. Turtlemist was almost an elder, and as medicine cat didn’t have the strength the warriors did in his limbs. She didn’t want to drag her travel-weary clanmates all across the island looking for the perfect camp. They’d find a decent place to spend the next moon, and then once they were rested, they’d look for a better spot to make their permanent home. They hadn’t had that luxury on the last island, being forced to move camp multiple times, Fernstar hoped they’d have it here.

Redfish nodded and turned to Rootclaw, "You and your apprentice up for some hunting?"

"Always," purred Rootclaw.

"I'd love to explore the island some!" agreed Snowpaw excitedly.

"That's quite alright," agreed Redfish, "as long as you two bring back plenty of prey!"

"We will, deputy," said Rootclaw. He seemed respectful of Redfish. His anger over what happened with Taman had dissipated on the way here as the two worked to feed the clan together like the old days when they first washed ashore on the swamp island which the natives called Sleepy Reeds. Their renewed friendship did make sense, neither of them got in trouble for the debacle, Taman was dead now, and that island was long behind them. They would need a strong clan bond if they were to survive, and thrive, on their new island.

Rootclaw came over to give Fernstar an affectionate lick, Snowpaw stood where she was, averting her eyes. “We’ll be back soon, my love,” he whispered to her. She realized that this display of affection in front of their clanmates that delayed the hunting patrol going out was just in case the unspeakable happened to one of them.

“Stay safe,” Fernstar said to him, not in a whisper.

He smiled at her, “Always.”

He stepped away and went back to his apprentice. Snowpaw looked especially awkward, and a bit embarrassed. She almost seemed sad as well. Why? That doesn’t make sense at all.

But as the two padded off into the grasses, Fernstar noticd something else as well. Snowpaw was no longer the size she was when the clan found her. She was even bigger than Rootclaw! From behind, she looked quite like Lightwatcher had. She’s full grown! In all this excitement she’s grown and I didn’t even notice! Besides, it is mostly thanks to her that we are on this new island at all. And because of her idea to use the stepping stones to leave we were spared the worst of Taman’s attack, and the murderous rogue is now dead. It is time to give Snowpaw her warrior name.

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How long are the lifespans? These cats feel immortal LOL

Also, I like that that last part was shorter. Not because it's less content (ALL THE CONTENT!!) but because when posts (by anyone) are too long (especially if there's no pictures dividing it up) I either get bored and don't finish, or just skim. I'm probably bad at making long posts myself though haha

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18 minutes ago, Sky said:

How long are the lifespans? These cats feel immortal LOL

Also, I like that that last part was shorter. Not because it's less content (ALL THE CONTENT!!) but because when posts (by anyone) are too long (especially if there's no pictures dividing it up) I either get bored and don't finish, or just skim. I'm probably bad at making long posts myself though haha

(Baby: 2

Child: 4

Teen: 12

Adult: was 80 before, now it's 90 (but the extra 10 days are added to elder lifespan) 

Elder: from day 75 (might be 65 but i dont think so, i will have to check to be sure) to 90 the cat is now an elder. Elders cannot breed and are weaker so more likely to roll a death in case of sickness, predator attack, ect. I thought the elder stage was too short comparatively so I added more days to it when I recreated the save)

I can't promise all of them will be short lol, but I am hopefully done with the long text posts with no pictures.

I hope to break up my long posts with pictures from now on but we'll see how it goes!)

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7 hours ago, Chiyanna said:

(Baby: 2

Child: 4

Teen: 12

Adult: was 80 before, now it's 90 (but the extra 10 days are added to elder lifespan) 

Elder: from day 75 (might be 65 but i dont think so, i will have to check to be sure) to 90 the cat is now an elder. Elders cannot breed and are weaker so more likely to roll a death in case of sickness, predator attack, ect. I thought the elder stage was too short comparatively so I added more days to it when I recreated the save)

I can't promise all of them will be short lol, but I am hopefully done with the long text posts with no pictures.

I hope to break up my long posts with pictures from now on but we'll see how it goes!)

It'd be better if the elder stage was different for every cat.

In the main series, Brackenfur is an elder while his littermate Thornclaw is still a warrior. Not all cats are going to immediately retire. And technically they'd be able to breed? Patchpelt had Swiftpaw and Lynxkit as an elder I'm pretty sure

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Just now, Modiano, Eater of Worlds said:

It'd be better if the elder stage was different for every cat.

In the main series, Brackenfur is an elder while his littermate Thornclaw is still a warrior. Not all cats are going to immediately retire. And technically they'd be able to breed? Patchpelt had Swiftpaw and Lynxkit as an elder I'm pretty sure

And cats don't just lose the ability to have babies, they churn em out forever. Unless you gave them menstruation, you monster /j

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5 hours ago, Modiano, Eater of Worlds said:

It'd be better if the elder stage was different for every cat.

In the main series, Brackenfur is an elder while his littermate Thornclaw is still a warrior. Not all cats are going to immediately retire. And technically they'd be able to breed? Patchpelt had Swiftpaw and Lynxkit as an elder I'm pretty sure

 

5 hours ago, Modiano, Eater of Worlds said:

And cats don't just lose the ability to have babies, they churn em out forever. Unless you gave them menstruation, you monster /j

I assume it would get harder for them as they got older to have kits, even if it would be possible. 

I could add in some variation, though this is niche where life stages are the same for every nicheling and they all die on the same number of days unless they took damage.

I may have some retire before they officially reach the elder stage, and expand the lifespan of some using the increaseage command. It would add some variety. I would probably use dice to decide either way. And maybe I'll just make it unlikely for elders to be able to breed, (either roll dice for success or console low fertility) instead of forbidding it. Also I may console short-sighted eyes on some elders.

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