"I have to go, Sunstripe. There's no other way." Wildheart whispered, pain striking his heart.
Sunstripe looked at her tiny paw, beside Wildheart's giant paw. She sighed. He was right.
The Sequel to Stars of Destiny. Clash of Claws takes place six moons after Stars of Destiny, and now Nocturnal and her clan are dangerously powerful.
Leader: Lovestar, a white she-cat with pale pink eyes. One of her ears was torn in a battle. Seven of her nine lives remain.
Deputy: Dogface, a brown tabby she-cat with a scarred face.
Medicine Cat: Scarstripe, a grey tomcat with scars that resemble stripes across his back. Taken from ShadowClan as a kit.
Warrior: Pineclaw, a brown tomcat with blue eyes.
Warrior: Midnighteyes, a black tomcat with hazel eyes.
Warrior: Neverlight, a sleek black tomcat with unnatural blue eyes.
Warrior: Amethystflower, a brown she-cat with violet eyes.
Warrior: Breezeflight, a black she-cat with green eyes.
Warrior: Rainfur, a grey she-cat with amber eyes.
Warrior: Forestheart, a brown tomcat with green eyes.
Warrior: Robinsong, an elderly tabby she-cat.
Warrior: Leaffur, a tortoiseshell she-cat.
Warrior: Kestrelwing, a white tomcat with green eyes.
Queen: Icepelt, a grey-blue she-cat with icy blue eyes. Has three kits, Gorgekit, Marshkit and Treekit.
Kit: Gorgekit, a white she-kit with blue eyes.
Kit: Marshkit, a brown tomkit with blue eyes.
Kit: Treekit, a white tomkit with green eyes.
Elder: Dewclaw, an orange she-cat with tan stripes and many, many scars and injuries.
Leader: Redstar, a reddish tom with brown eyes. Three of his nine lives remain.
Deputy: Rubyheart, a red she-cat with white stripes.
Medicine Cat: Snowfall, a white she-cat with green eyes.
Medicine Cat apprentice: Willowpaw, a golden she-cat with blue eyes.
Warrior: Leopardclaw, a large white tomcat with blue eyes.
Warrior: Twiliclaw, a scarlet she-cat with black stripes.
Warrior: Midnaclaw, a scarlet she-cat with black markings.
Warrior: Acefire, a red-brown tomcat with a brown ace on his forehead.
Warrior: Sapphireice, a grey she-cat with dazzling blue eyes.
Warrior: Beatenpath, a brown she-cat with grey eyes.
Warrior: Bullhoof, a black tomcat with green eyes.
Warrior: Snakefang, a grey she-cat with violet eyes.
Warrior: Shadowheart, a brown tomcat with black eyes.
Warrior: Sparrowwing, a tortoiseshell she-cat.
Warrior: Granitepelt, a black tomcat with green eyes.
Warrior: Chillwhisker, a blue-grey tomcat; supposibly the decendant of the evil Bengal
Warrior: Twilisky, a black she-cat with scarlet eyes.
Warrior: Shadowscar, a black tomcat with amber eyes.
Warrior: Talonpierce, a white tomcat with mysterious golden eyes.
Warrior: Flowermoon, a peaceful grey she-cat with a white peace sign on her chest.
Queen: Jinxedheart, a black she-cat, mates with Bullhoof. Mother of Eaglekit.
Kit: Eaglekit, a brown tomkit with golden eyes.
Leader: Sunstar, an orange she-cat with darker orange stripes. The eldest and wisest cat in the forest. Six of her lives remain.
Deputy: Falconflight, a blue-grey tomcat.
Medicine Cat: Jadeflick, a white tomcat with jade green eyes.
Medicine Cat apprentice: Storkpaw, a white she-cat.
Warrior: Braveflash, a dark brown tomcat with blue eyes.
Warrior: Appleflower, a tortoiseshell she-cat.
Warrior: Redpelt, an auburn she-cat with radient blue eyes.
Warrior: Blackwind, a black tomcat with golden eyes.
Warrior: Goldstream, a golden she-cat with blue eyes.
Warrior: Hazelfoot, a hazel and white tomcat with black paws.
Warrior: Tenderfoot, a white she-cat.
Warrior: Havenclaw, a grey she-cat.
Warrior: Thistlechaser, a brown tomcat.
Warrior: Wildheart, a large golden wolf with grey eyes.
Warrior: Fatewing, a brown she-cat.
Warrior: Ragejaw, a black tomcat with a twisted jaw.
Warrior: Moonpelt, a quiet grey tomcat with quite a liking of Maplepaw.
Warrior: Grasspelt, a brown she-cat with green eyes.
Apprentice: Spritepaw, a small brown shecat. Mentored by Sunstar.
Apprentice: Ebonypaw, a black tomcat, mentored by Blackwind.
Apprentice: Ivorypaw, a white shecat, mentored by Falconflight.
Apprentice: Butterflypaw, a grey shecat, mentored by Braveflash.
Apprentice: Deerpaw, a light brown tomcat, mentored by Appleflower.
Apprentice: Bearpaw, a dark brown tomcat, mentored by Redpelt.
Apprentice: Riverpaw, a grey shecat, mentored by Goldstream.
Apprentice: Maplepaw, a dark brown she-cat, mentored by Thistlechaser.
Apprentice: Orangepaw, an orange-red tomcat, mentored by Hazelfoot.
Apprentice: Dreampaw, a dirty white she-cat, mentored by Ragejaw.
Apprentice: Birdpaw, a brown tom-cat, mentored by Grasspelt.
Apprentice: Shinepaw, a white tomcat, mentored by Wildheart. (Note: Goldenkit was replaced by Shinepaw.)
Apprentice: Snowpaw, a white she-cat, mentored by Moonpelt.
Apprentice: Falconpaw, a brown she-cat, mentored by Fatewing.
Apprentice: Viperpaw, a black tomcat, mentored by Tenderfoot.
Leader: Darkstar, a black tomcat with evil green eyes. Turned WindClan into DarkClan.
Deputy: Shadowclaw, a black tomcat with silvery eyes.
Medicine Cat: Cloudedpelt, a grey-white she-cat with grey eyes. Cloudedpelt is forced to be DarkClan's medicine cat by Darkstar.
Medicine Cat Apprentice: Greypaw, a grey tomcat. Has taken a liking to Darkstar.
Warrior: Shamanclaw, a tabby she-cat with hazel eyes. Stays in DarkClan by fear only.
Warrior: Watersong, a black she-cat with green eyes.
Warrior: Bonetail, a white tomcat with green eyes. Stays in DarkClan by fear only.
Warrior: Foxfur, an orange tomcat with a white chest and tailtip.
Warrior: Northstorm, a white tom with golden eyes.
Warrior: Fireflight, a jet black tom with pale blue eyes.
Warrior: Lillypad, a black she-cat with white paws, muzzle and chest. Stays in DarkClan by fear only.
Warrior: Furrypelt, a furry tortoiseshell she-cat.
Apprentice: Aurapaw, a brown tomcat with pale red eyes. Mentored by Shadowclaw.
Apprentice: Tigerpelt, a black tomcat, due to confusion was given his warrior name early. Mentored by Foxfur.
Ancient One: Nocturnal, an evil black wolf with many red glowing glyphs that all originate from the center of her chest.
Leader of Misery: Utri, a black panther male.
Leader of Naught: Crow, a small black tomcat with piercing violet eyes.
Leader of Nightmares: Exodus, a female black panther; Utri's sister.
Servant of Night: Blood, a rather large black tomcat.
Dark Priest: Loucamie, a bulky brown wolf.
Follower: Aurora, a vicious black she-cat with horrifying red eyes.
Follower: Daedraheart, a grey she-cat with red eyes.
Follower: Bone, a white tomcat with blue eyes.
Follower: Bullet, a silvery white she-cat with steel grey eyes. Is of Kittypet decent.
Follower: Blade, Bullet's twin.
Follower: Shade, a red-brown she-wolf with bright green eyes.
Follower: Rogue, a brown tomcat with blue eyes.
Follower: Crystal, a grey she-cat with violet eyes.
Alpha: Blackheart, a large black wolf with golden eyes.
Beta: Wildheart, a golden wolf with grey eyes. Currently staying with RiverClan.
Omega: Stormpad, a golden wolf, Star's apprentice and the new Wolven Mage.
Fighter: Majesty, a black she-wolf.
Fighter: Faern, a grey wolf.
Fighter: Luna, a grey she-wolf.
Fighter: Blade, a white wolf that uses a sharp bone as a blade.
Elder: Bane, a skeletal wolf kept alive only by Star's powerful magic.
Elder: Star, a white wolf, and the wolven mage. Kept alive by herbs and Stormpad's weak magic.
Rogues, Loners and Kittypets
Rogue: Bloodeye, exiled from ThunderClan when he attempted to kill Dewclaw, the deputy.
Kittypet: Minnie, a tabby she-cat.
Loner: Needletail, a reddish she-cat with no tail. Cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Brokenclaw, a brown tomcat with no left front paw. Cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Sparkledeye, a white she-cat. Cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Amberpaw, a young white she-cat. Was mentored by Stardust. Cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Stardust, a wise black she-cat with violet eyes. Was cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Silverlight, a grey tomcat with wise blue eyes. Cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Timefur, a grey she-cat with green eyes. Was cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Dawnstar, an orange tomcat with jade green eyes. Was forced out of WindClan by Darkstar.
Loner: Dusk-kit, a black tomkit with a grey crescent moon on his left leg.
Loner: Rainfur, a grey she-cat with amber eyes. Was cast out of WindClan by Darkstar.
"The gathering is tonight. Who wishes to come with me?" called out Sunstar from the Highrocks.
She looked around, and sighed. "No one? Alright, then... Blackwind, Appleflower, Falconflight, Ebonypaw, Falconpaw and Viperpaw, you six are coming with me."
The six chosen cats stepped forward, and Sunstar looked up at the sky. The moon was, like the past seven full moons, blood red. Most of the apprentices were afraid of it, and to tell the truth, Sunstar was intimidated by it as well.
"Let's go." Sunstar meowed, making her way out of camp.
The good thing about being a RiverClanner is that the journey to the island was short, and didn't take nearly as long as it would for a ThunderClanner to get there. Sunstar noticed that ShadowClan was already waiting for her, as she jumped onto her branch.
"How has things been for you, Sunstar?" Redstar meowed, kindly.
Sunstar shrugged. "Fine. How's it been for you?"
Redstar grinned, and looked at his paws. "Perfect, since WindClan hasn't even left it's territory for the past six moons."
Sunstar sighed. He was right. WindClan had skipped the last six gatherings, and she was very afraid something had happened to Crescentstar and her clan.
A new scent filled the leader's nose. ThunderClan had arrived, at last.
Lovestar made her way towards the tree, her clan waiting at the base of it. She climbed onto her branch, and nodded.
"Redstar, any news you wish to share tonight?" Sunstar meowed.
Before Redstar could get a word out, yet another new smell filled the noses of the cats. It smelt like the WindClan they remembered, but darker, and like smoke.
Darkstar made his way towards the tree, and hopped onto the WindClan branch.
"I have an announcement to make." Darkstar yowled, ignoring the confused leaders.
"Nocturnal wishes I attended this gathering to say that you are all doomed. That is all." Darkstar said, jumping off the branch.
"Wait." Sunstar hissed, her fur rising, "Where is Crescentstar? Why are most of your warriors gone?"
Darkstar rolled his eyes. "Those unloyal pieces of foxdung? I have exiled any cats I saw were unloyal or too old or young to be productive to DarkClan. And Crescentstar walks among your little StarClan."
Without another word, Darkstar and his followers left, leaving behind three very confused leaders.
"We must find those poor cats." Lovestar meowed quietly.
Sunstar nodded, and looked at Redstar.
"What about this DarkClan?" Redstar meowed back.
"Our first priority will be to locate the exiled cats. Lovestar, that shall be your duty." Sunstar ordered, amazed that Redstar wasn't questioning her authority over him.
Redstar looked up at the sky.
"Then I want to be in charge of protecting you two. My cats have been dying to rip the pelt off some cats for ages!"
Sunstar nodded. "I will allow up to three of your warriors in my camp."
Lovestar tipped her head in agreement.
"Very well, then. The Gathering is over."
Chapter One - Along the WindClan stream
The cruel leaf-bare wind howled against Amberpaw's thin pelt. Even if she was in a small makeshift den, snuggled up against Silverlight and Stardust, Amberpaw was chilled to the bone. The cracks in the den allowed the snow to creep in, and it was extremely uncomfortable, being squished in with two other cats. But she felt worse for the two poor elders that were laying down in the snow, across the stream.
It had been six moons since Darkstar had cast her, along with several others, out of WindClan. And that meant she should be a warrior. But without a leader, she couldn't recieve her ceremony.
None of the cats sought protection from the other clans, due to Darkstar's patrols watching them almost day and night.
Something moved from behind Amberpaw. It was Dusk-kit, Rainfur's three moon old kit. He had wormed into the den through a large crack in the wall.
Amberpaw smiled, and moved over a bit. Dusk-kit was warm, and he snuggled right up against Amberpaw.
"It's going to be a long night." she thought to herself.
The first thing Amberpaw heard upon awakening, was an alarmed cry.
Dusk-kit backed up against the back wall of the den, scared.
"Dogface! We've found them!" shouted a tom, poking his head into the puny den.
Silverlight stood protectively in front of Stardust, Amberpaw and Dusk-kit. "What do you want, crow-food?" he snapped, mistaking the tom for one of Darkstar's minions.
"Silverlight... they don't smell like Darkstar." Amberpaw whispered.
The tom took a pawstep back, allowing a tabby she-cat with a horrifying face to poke her head in.
"I'm so glad we found you all! Is this everyone who's been cast out?" she meowed, softly.
Stardust stood up, nearly banging her head on the top of the den. "Almost everyone. Dawnstar ran off three moons ago, when his kit was born."
The tabby she-cat gasped.
"You mean you have kits in here?"
Stardust nodded. "Dusk-kit, Dawnstar and Rainfur's kit."
The tabby she-cat backed away and turned around.
"Icepelt! Forestheart! This is everyone! We can take these four back. Take those two elders and have Amethystflower take back the other three back!" she yowled, her voice ringing in Amberpaw's head.
The tabby turned around, backing away.
"Here, follow us." she meowed softly.
Silverlight went out first, followed by Stardust. Amberpaw carefully picked up Dusk-kit by the scruff, and carried him outside.
"Pardon my manners," the tabby meowed to the WindClanners, "I'm Dogface, deputy of ThunderClan. We heard about you being cast out two nights ago at the gathering, and Lovestar ordered us to find you."
Dusk-kit let out a wail. "I'm hungwee!" he wailed, trying desperately to get out of Amberpaw's grasp.
"And this little scrap must be starving!" Dogface gasped, as they approached the camp.
Lovestar sat at the entrance to the camp, almost camouflaging in the snow.
"Come, WindClanners. I'll take him." Lovestar whispered, taking Dusk-kit by the scruff and carrying him to the nursery.
Dogface looked at Amberpaw, Silverlight and Stardust.
"You three can sleep in my den." Dogface meowed, leading them to the special Deputy's den that Lovestar had constructed just for her.
Amberpaw nodded respectfully. "Pardon me, but might you have any... fresh kill?"
Dogface chuckled. "Why, yes, we do. I'll bring some to you." she meowed.
Amberpaw entered the den, and smiled as she saw Needletail, Brokenclaw, Timefur and Sparkledeye.
Before she could open her mouch, Needletail smiled at her. "Rainfur is in the nursery with Dusk-kit."
Amberpaw nodded, and laid down beside Brokenclaw and Silverlight. She relaxed, the warmth coming back to her.
Chapter Two - DarkClaw Camp
"You cannot live with a paw in each world, Wildheart." Blackheart barked sternly.
Wildheart looked at his golden paws, and let out a sigh.
"At least Sunstar tells me things. You haven't even told me who my own mother is." Wildheart growled quietly.
Blackheart snorted. "That's not something you need to know. But I'm trying to say that eventually you'll have to choose whether to stay with the Clans or to go with us!"
Wildheart let out a low growl, before turning away. He sat down, beside a wolf's skeleton.
Without looking over, the skeleton snorted.
"Did Blackheart give you a rough time?" it asked, in a scratchy voice. To Wildheart it sounded like claws against rock, but he didn't mention anything.
Wildheart let out a sigh. "Yup. He said I shouldn't be living with Clan cats, and..."
The skeleton coughed, and it stood up, it's bones clicking together as it got to it's bone-paws.
"I'm going to speak with Star." it croaked, bones clicking as it padded towards the largest cavern, where a glowing wolf slept.
"Bane's decided to end his life." Majesty barked, as she patrolled around the tiny camp with Wildheart, "He said he's lived for three hundred years, and he's starting to feel his age catch up with him."
Wildheart couldn't help but laugh at the last comment.
"That's too bad. Bane's been a great help to the DarkClaws, despite being a pile of bones. Literally." Wildheart chuckled.
Stormpad, a golden wolf almost as big as Blackheart, padded towards the two, a giant grin pasted on his face.
"Guess what?" he barked, excitedly.
Before anyone could answer, he barked, "I've got the morphing down pat!"
Without closing his eyes, Stormpad's body began to get slightly smaller, his legs getting thin and antlers sprouting from his head. In a few seconds, Stormpad had himself transformed into a buck.
"Whaddya think?" Stormpad said, his voice quite squeaky.
Wildheart held back a laugh. Now it was even harder to make his decision; for he knew he'd lose his animal magic if he stayed with Sunstar...
Chapter Three - DarkClan
"Shut up!" Darkstar spat, slashing Cloudedpelt across the face. Blood stained the left part of her face, as she got to her paws.
"P... please. I told you everything I know about... th... the prophecy." she whispered, her eyes as wide as mice.
Darkstar growled, and raised his paw to deliver another blow, but Aurora jumped in between the two.
"She's telling the truth." Aurora meowed, her eyes briefly flashing green.
Darkstar sheathed his claws, and turned around. "Greypaw, you'll be guarding Cloudedpelt until Watersong and Foxfur get back from their patrol."
Greypaw nodded, and an evil grin spread across his little grey face.
"Yes, mighty Darkstar." he meowed, before turning to face Cloudedpelt.
"Darkstar..." Aurora whispered to the black tomcat as they both sat upon the Tallrock, waiting for the patrol to come in.
Darkstar nodded his head. "Yes, Aurora?"
"I... I'm expecting your kits." she whispered, voice slightly louder.
Darkstar's face lit up. "Excellent!" he meowed, flicking his tail in delight.
"Shamanclaw! Bonetail!" Darkstar snapped at the two warriors in front of the Tallrock.
"Y... yes, Darkstar?" Shamanclaw stammered, bowing her head in fear.
"Get my den set up so Aurora can deliver in privacy and comfort. If it does not live up to her expectations, you'll be on Dirt-Duty for a week!" Darkstar snapped, grinning as the two warriors ran off, fearfully.
"I'm thinking Vividkit if it's a girl, or Cougarkit if it's a tom." Aurora meowed, her red eyes sparkling with excitement.
Darkstar nodded. "I'm thinking Nokit or Poisonkit."
"Pardon me, great Darkstar, but those are wonderful names," Shadowclaw meowed, as he approached the Tallrock, "I just wanted to inform you that Cloudedpelt has news about the prophecy."
Darkstar looked at Aurora, then at Shadowclaw.
"Excuse me, my darling." he meowed politely, before padding towards the Medicine Cat's den.
Cloudedpelt looked up at Darkstar, and sighed.
"StarClan has spoken. The blood of all the clans runs within the chosen one." Cloudedpelt whispered to Darkstar, hoping he'd at last let her go.
Darkstar grinned, and turned around.
"That's all I require from her. Kill her." he ordered, as he left the den.
Greypaw unsheathed his claws, to Cloudedpelt's horror. She closed her eyes and waited for StarClan to get her.
Chapter Four - RiverClan
"At last I found you!" meowed a white she-cat with two intertwined tails as she ran into the RiverClan camp.
Sunstar looked at the she-cat quizically. "Who are you...?"
The she-cat's pink eyes twinkled with excitement. "I'm Mara, of StarClan. My father has sent me to find you."
Sunstar tipped her head respectfully, then looked at the three ShadowClan warriors, Shadowscar, Acefire and Beatenpath, who had been glaring at her the entire time.
She rolled her eyes, then padded towards Mara.
"Why were you sent here?" she asked, flicking her golden tail.
Mara looked up at the Sunhigh sky. "By any chance, have you seen a red stone fall anywhere?"
"I just remembered... there was a stone that fell from the sky several moons ago!"
Mara nodded. "Where did it land?" she meowed, sitting down.
Sunstar closed her eyes, trying hard to remember. Her mind was a complete blank; all she could remember was Sitting on the Great Tree with Redstar and Lovestar, since Crescentstar had left early...
Wait! That was it! A WindClan warrior had come to the camp stating that Crescentstar had died from a stone!
"WindClan! It fell in WindClan territory!" she meowed, getting to her paws.
As Mara turned around, to head towards WindClan, Sunstar jumped in her way.
"You can't go there. Darkstar and his ally have settled there. They'd tear you to pieces!"
Mara sighed. "Nocturnal. It figures she'd ally with WindClan."
"Look at me, mama!" Bearpaw meowed, excitedly, as he slowly morphed into a bear-cub.
Appleflower didn't know if she should be frightened or proud. At least her kits could control their powers now. She remembered when Falconkit had to be taken to the medicine cat's den every night due to Bearkit turning into a bear-cub by accident during a game they were playing.
Ebonypaw snorted. "Bearpaw, Deerpaw, Birdpaw and Butterflypaw are so lucky! They get the cool morphing powers and I get stuck with a lame one!"
Braveflash turned to Ebonypaw, who's fur had just turned to pure Ebony. He rolled his eyes, and turned back to Butterflypaw, his daughter and apprentice.
"Okay, now come at me!" he meowed, as Butterflypaw attempted to pounce on her father, but was easily knocked away.
"Dad, can we do Magic Practice now?" Deerpaw meowed, looking jealously over at Bearpaw and Shinepaw with their mentors, Redpelt and Wildheart.
Braveflash sighed, and smiled. "Sure."
"So, Ebonypaw and Ivorypaw can make their fur or claws turn to Ebony and Ivory?" Sunstar meowed to Braveflash.
"Bearpaw, Deerpaw, Birdpaw and Butterflypaw can morph... Riverpaw can control water to an extent... Orangepaw can heal the wounds of others... Dreampaw can dream the dreams of others... Shinepaw can control prey-animals and Snowpaw can make small amounts of water freeze?"
Braveflash sighed. He wanted normal kits. But no, he got thirteen, eleven of them with magical capabilities.
Sunstar looked at her paws. "And neither Spritepaw or Maplepaw have magical powers?"
"I'm sure." Braveflash meowed.
Spritepaw grinned. She knew that she had powers, one that was by far more powerful than her sibling's.
She could take the powers of others.
Spritepaw stood up. She didn't know which one she wanted. She didn't know when she should take the powers. Spritepaw sighed, and looked up at the sky.
"I wish Wildheart would get back already." Sunstar huffed, stretching.
Jadeflick chuckled. "He's bringing you a surprise. Cut him some slack."
Sunstar half-smiled, and sat down.
"It's just... well, RiverClan is twice the size of the other clans now. I don't know what to do..."
Storkpaw padded into the Medicine Cat's den, her mouth stuffed with herbs. She quietly sat down, and dropped them.
"You seem worried." she meowed, as she placed the Travelling herbs between two tiny rocks.
"He's back!" yowled Birdpaw abruptly from outside the den.
Sunstar darted out of the den, Jadeflick at her paws.
"Great StarClan..." she whispered, eyes wide.
Beside Wildheart was none other than the great Wolven mage, Star.
Chapter Five - ShadowClan
"Is Snakefang at least still here?" Redstar snapped at his deputy, Rubyheart.
Rubyheart took a step back. "No. She left for ThunderClan to replace Twilisky."
Redstar snarled, and padded past Rubyheart. He'd been so angry lately, and Rubyheart couldn't figure out why!
Flowermoon padded towards Rubyheart, two little doves sitting on her head.
"Hello, Rubyheart. Meet cloudy and Snowy!" Flowermoon meowed, sitting calmly beside her.
Rubyheart rolled her eyes. Redstar was fuming, she had to organize a patrol and hunting party, and Flowermoon wanted her to meet her two pets that she refused to give up as prey?!
"Flowermoon... you can't live off those orange roots forever." Rubyheart snapped, glancing at the orange roots near the warrior's den. Flowermoon had absolutely refused to eat prey, and dug up the digusting things as a substitute.
Flowermoon chuckled, and purred in amusement.
"Sure I can! And they're doing wonders for my eyesight. You should try one!"
Rubyheart ignored Flowermoon, and padded away. She couldn't stand to be near her. In fact, the only cat in ShadowClan that could was her brother, Talonpierce, and he was in ThunderClan with Sapphireice and Twilisky.
"All those old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath the Highbranch for a Clan meeting!" Redstar yowled, his brown eyes sparkling.
Redstar glanced at Jinxedheart and Eaglekit, signaling for them to come up. He then turned to Willowpaw, who shyly made her way forward.
"This is a proud day for ShadowClan, by naming apprentices we show that we will remain strong. Eaglekit, from now until you recieve your warrior name, you shall be known as Eaglepaw. Bear it with pride."
Redstar scanned the crowd, wondering who would make a good mentor for such an outgoing kit. He fixed his eyes on Chillwhisker.
"Chillwhisker, you are ready for another apprentice. I hope you'll pass on your battle skills and strength to young Eaglepaw, and nurture him until he is a full warrior of ShadowClan."
"Eaglepaw! Chillwhisker! Eaglepaw! Chillwhisker!" the clan cried out, the small brown kit's golden eyes gleaming with pride.
As the crowd's yowls died out, he looked at Willowpaw.
"Snowstorm has decided it is time for Willowpaw to become a full Medicine Cat. Today they shall travel to the Moonpool, with Granitepelt as an escort. I hope their journey will be safe. Farewell, Snowstorm and Willowpaw."
Snowstorm sat by the entrance to the camp, waiting for Willowpaw. The minute the small golden she-cat arrived by Snowstorm's side, they made their way out of the camp.
Chapter Six - DarkClan
"No! Darkpaw, you're doing it all WRONG!" Daedraheart hissed, her red eyes striking fear into the little apprentice's heart.
Darkpaw glanced over at Icepaw and Firepaw, with their mentors, Lovestone and Sunfur. He sighed, wanting them to be his mentor.
"Try one more time." Daedraheart snapped, getting ready for Darkpaw's weak pounce.
Darkpaw tried to pounce, but faceplanted in the dirt beside Daedraheart.
His eyes watered, his face stung.
"My face!" he bawled, trying desprately to get rid of the pain.
Daedraheart unsheathed her claws for a brief moment, before being pushed away by Lightningstrike.
"Idiot." Daedraheart snapped, padding away as Lightningstrike and Scarpaw tended to his face.
Darkstar awoke, the awful memories of his mentor going away. He got to his paws, and then looked in a little puddle of water by his bed.
"Darkstar...?" barked Nocturnal, who had been sitting outside of his den, "I need to speak with you."
"We shall attack tonight." Nocturnal barked, her glyphs glowing.
Darkstar nodded, sitting down on his moss bed.
"I've chosen the other three leaders of my empire, until my kits come of age." Darkstar meowed, ignoring Nocturnal's dirty look.
"Shadowclaw will lead StormClan, Aurora will lead DeathClan and Northstorm shall rule MurkyClan."
Nocturnal looked up at the ceiling of the den.
"I suppose I should grant you nine lives." she barked, rolling her eyes.
Darkstar tilted his head. "Why wouldn't you grant yourself nine lives?"
Nocturnal burst out laughing.
"I'm the ruler... of the Darkness, and you think... I'm... MORTAL?" she barked, between laughs, "I'm immortal, you prey-brain!"
Darkstar half-smiled, hiding the fact he was annoyed.
"ThunderClan will fall by tonight." Nocturnal then announced, deadly serious.
"They want to rule the entire forest??" Lillypad whispered, as she hid behind the Prisoner's den with Bonetail.
"I heard it with my own two ears." Bonetail whispered back, his eyes showing that he was truly worried.
Lillypad stood up. "We must warn them." she whispered, looking around.
Only Shadowclaw was out, and he was sharing tongues with Darkstar and Aurora.
"Let's go." Bonetail whispered, darting out of the camp, Lillypad right behind him.
And they knew, if ThunderClan didn't believe them, they were doomed, just as Darkstar had said at the gathering three days ago.
Chapter Seven - ThunderClan
"My name is Gale," meowed the tom with the golden eyes, "And I've been sent here by StarClan."
Lovestar had no idea if she should believe the mysterious tom. She opened her mouth to say something, but closed it as she sniffed the air and smelt the dark smoky smell, the same that Darkstar and his followers scented that day of the Gathering.
"Lovestar! Lovestar!" two cats shouted, one a tom and one a she-cat.
The white she-cat got to her paws, and stepped forward, but was blocked by the three ShadowClan warriors sent to guard her camp.
"What buisiness do you have, DarkClanners?" the grey-blue she-cat ShadowClanner hissed.
The black and white she-cat backed away, and hid behind the white tomcat.
"We heard Darkstar and Nocturnal. They're going to attack!" the tom meowed, worriedly.
Dogface looked at Lovestar, quizically.
"Should we trust them?"
Amberpaw darted out of Dogface's den, and smiled at Bonetail.
"Dad! You've come to see me! Lillypad, you came too?" she meowed, jumping with excitement.
Lovestar closed her eyes. "If Amberpaw trusts them, then I will, too. Could you ShadowClanners-"
The grey-blue she-cat rolled her eyes. "Please use our names, Sapphireice, Snakefang and Talonpierce."
"Could two of you bring the WindClanners and Icepelt's kits to ShadowClan? Please?"
Sapphireice looked hesitant. She glanced over at Talonpierce, who let out a resigned sigh.
"Alright. But I am not carrying that WindClan kit, or the other kits." he meowed softly.
Amberpaw looked back, at her worried clanmates.
"I'll carry Dusk-kit." Rainfur meowed, picking up her little black kit by the scruff.
Icepelt looked at her three kits, as she had overheard the conversation.
"I'll carry Gorgekit, and Forestheart--"
Snakefang sighed, and picked up Treekit.
"ThunderClan needs all their warriors." she muttered.
"I'll carry Marshkit." Silverlight offered, picking up the little tomkit.
Bonetail looked at all the WindClanners sitting by Dogface's den.
"Lillypad and I will stay here." he meowed, looking at his paws.
It was now Moonhigh. Lovestar couldn't sleep, and she hoped that the WindClanners, the elders and Icepelt's kits had all arrived safely. What if Redstar refused to let them stay?
Suddenly, there was a yowl from outside the den.
In seconds, every warrior was out in the camp, watching Darkstar and his army approach rapidly.
"DarkClan, attack!" yowled Nocturnal, who dashed ahead of the Clan, her giant red claws unsheathed.
Lovestar unsheathed her claws, standing beside Dogface and Kestrelwing. She took a deep breath, and ran towards the DarkClanners, her clan bravely following her.
Dogface latched on to the nearest warrior, Shadowclaw. With all her might, she clawed his backside, causing the black tom to yowl in pain.
"Die!" he hissed, pinning Dogface to the ground. He swiped across her face, as she tried desprately to get away from him. Blood blurred her vision, her body aching everywhere.
"Get off her!" spat Silverlight, pushing Shadowclaw off of Dogface.
Lovestar glared at Nocturnal, the two being the only creatures in the camp not fighting.
"StarClan. They're there before the trouble, giving you worthless signs. Then they abandon you when your need is great." Nocturnal sneered, sitting down calmly.
Lovestar was enraged. "LIAR!" she roared, pouncing on Nocturnal.
Nocturnal effortlessly knocked Lovestar back, Lovestar landing with a sickening crunch against the rock that made the leader's den.
"Fool." Nocturnal snarled, as Lovestar's vision went black.
"Lovestar..." whispered a starry she-cat as Lovestar came to.
"My Clan!" Lovestar wailed, watching her warriors battle in vain against Darkstar's forces.
The she-cat sighed, and looked at her paws.
"In a few moments you can return. You need to heal..."
"I DON'T WANT TO HEAL!" Lovestar roared, trying to move. "I NEED TO HELP MY CLAN!"
Another sigh came from the she-cat.
"Now you should be fine... be careful, though, you'll be severly weakened..."
Lovestar's eyes snapped open, and she got to her paws, pain radiating from everywhere.
"NO!" wailed Timefur, running over to the corpse of Sparkledeye that laid before Bullet, a silvery she-cat with cruel steel grey eyes.
Lovestar felt horrible. One warrior, one not even from her clan, had died. What kind of leader was she?
She scanned the battlefield for Nocturnal, and spotted her, the white tomcat that she had met earlier, Gale, was with her.
Lovestar got to her paws, and tried to shake away the pain. She ran towards Nocturnal and Gale, stopping only to realize that there were DarkClanners in Scarstripe's den.
Dogface darted towards Lovestar, her fur covered with blood.
"Lovestar, we have to retreat! They're too strong!"
"We have to get Scarstripe first!" Lovestar yowled, latching on to a brown tomcat that was standing by a blood-covered Scarstripe.
She clawed the tom's backside, raking her claws down his neck and back.
Lovestar jumped off, watching as the tom ran away, yowling.
"Are you alright, Scarstripe?" Lovestar meowed, dropping down to the Medicine Cat's side.
Scarstripe hissed with pain, and got to his paws.
Dogface ran over to Scarstripe's side, and allowed him to lean against her.
"THUNDERCLAN, RETREAT!" Lovestar yowled, as she, Dogface and Scarstripe ran out of the camp, all of the warriors abandoning their opponents to flee.
"Pathetic!" Nocturnal roared, as Gale knocked Darkstar off a ThunderClanner and fled with the ThunderClanner by his side.
Darkstar padded towards Nocturnal, then signaled for Shadowclaw to come over.
"From this day forward, you shall be Shadowstar of StormClan!"
Chapter Eight - RiverClan
"This is horrible!" Sunstar gasped at Rubyheart's news.
Bearpaw growled, unsheathing his claws. "I wish I hadda been there. I woulda torn that Darkstar to bits!"
Star let out a wheezy cough. "I do wish I could help you, but..."
"Hush." Sunstar meowed, pushing a mouse towards the wolf.
Wildheart wrapped his bushy tail around Sunstar, like he did many, many moons ago, when Darkdream and Efixe were on the verge of destroying the clans for good.
"It'll be alright." he whispered, soothing Sunstar.
Sunstar leaned on Wildheart's furry chest. "What if they were to attack RiverClan? According to Rubyheart, Nocturnal is immortal..."
Star looked at Sunstar. "No animal is truly immortal. I do know one legendary story, passed down from mage to mage, that could help you..."
"Nocturne, the mistress of night, was attached to the moon, even if she had passed her soul onto a BloodClaw wolf, Spiritheart. She was slain on the eighth bloodmoon of the twelve moon cycle, and on that day, if Nocturne is not attached to the moon, becomes mortal until the night has passed."
"It never really made any sense... until now." Star barked, wheezing again.
"It makes no sense to me. Isn't Nocturnal always attached to the moon?" Sunstar meowed.
Star shrugged. "I have no idea. But my point is, if we're going to defeat Nocturnal, you must do it on the next full moon."
Chapter Nine - ShadowClan
"Is... she going to be alright, Snowstorm?" meowed Midnaclaw, watching her examine Scarstripe carefully.
Snowstorm glared at Midnaclaw.
"He's your son. Don't deny it. Now get in here and starting acting like's he your kin."
It had been many moons since Scarstripe, then Scarkit got lost and wound up in ThunderClan territory. Everyone knew that Midnaclaw was his mother, and tried to comfort her.
Scarstripe shifted uncomfortably. "I'm fine... mum."
Willowpaw, who was now Willowleaf, sat quietly behind Snowstorm, passing her the herbs she requested.
"Willow bark... cobwebs... juniper berries..." Snowstorm muttered, as she applied the cobwebs and fed the herbs to Scarstripe.
Scarstripe sighed. "I could have healed myself..." he trailed off, before being hushed by Midnaclaw.
Lovestar sat quietly by Dogface, hanging her head in shame.
"I should have brought the entire clan here. We wouldn't have lost Sparkledeye, and we wouldn't be injured." she whispered, as she stared at her paws.
Dogface's legs gave out from under her, and she laid down in the dirt.
"You did the best you could, Lovestar. And you protected the kits and queens."
Lovestar said nothing. The horrifying memories of watching Sparkledeye be murdered repeated itself in her head, over and over...
Redstar padded over to Lovestar, and grinned.
"We're the size of two clans now, Lovestar. There's no way we'll fall."
Lovestar shook her head. "She's too powerful, Redstar. Do you think it'd be best to leave the lake?"
"No! We'll fight or die trying! This is Warrior land!"
Rubyheart darted into the camp, breathing heavily.
"Redstar! The DarkClaw mage has informed me that Nocturnal is immortal!"
"Curses!" Redstar grumbled.
Rubyheart half-smiled. "But- She turns mortal on the Night of the Eighth Bloodmoon!"
Redstar's face brightened, and he let out a short cackle.
"Rubyheart, get the senior warriors. We have some battle tactics to work on."
"But Mama! I'm seven moons old! I wanna learn to fight!" she huffed, playfully tackling Treekit.
Icepelt sighed. They had a point. Her kits were getting too rough to be around Dusk-kit.
"I'll -" Icepelt stopped, hearing Redstar call a clan meeting. Since they were staying with ShadowClan, she considered herself a ShadowClanner.
Icepelt padded out of the den, noticing that Lovestar was on the Highbranch with Redstar.
"Cats of ThunderClan, WindClan and ShadowClan," Redstar yowled, his voice echoing throughout the camp, "Today Lovestar has a few ceremonies to perform."
Redstar jumped on a lower branch, and looked up at Lovestar.
"Gorgekit, Treekit and Marshkit, please come to the Hightree." she meowed, her voice not nearly as loud as Redstar's.
"This is a proud day for the clans, by naming apprentices we show the Clans will survive and remain strong. Gorgekit, Treekit and Marshkit, from now on until you receive your warrior names you will be known as Gorgepaw, Treepaw and Marshpaw."
Lovestar watched the little apprentices beam with pride, and uttered a chuckle when she heard one shout 'Look at me, mum!"
"Forestheart, Neverlight and Leaffur, you are ready for apprentices. Forestheart, you will be Gorgepaw's mentor. Neverlight, you will be Treepaw's mentor, and Leaffur, you will be Marshpaw's mentor. I know you will pass on your loyalty, your wisdom and your strength to these apprentices, and teach them the skills that will make them brave warriors of the Clans."
Chapter Ten - StormClan (ThunderClan)
It had been a quarter-moon since the defeat of ThunderClan, and Darkstar's empire was growing more powerful by the second.
"Darkstar," Nocturnal barked, her eyes flashing, "I was wondering if you'd like to speak with me."
Aurora glared at Nocturnal, but turned away and looked at Greypaw, who was waiting to see if the kits were going to come, or if it had been a false alarm.
Darkstar got to his paws, and padded over to Nocturnal.
"They've found it." Nocturnal grinned, turned to reveal one of her minions, Rogue, who held a sparkling blood red stone.
"This is the Eclipse-Stone, you see. This is the piece of the moon that will keep me alive in a half-moon from now. Those stupid little Clan-Cats will never be able to stop us!"
Nocturnal closed her eyes. The stone flew up, and attached itself to the spot on her chest where all the glyphs began. Her glyphs turned a bright shade of red, and her eyes, that originally had pupils, when she opened them, were gone.
"Excellent." she hissed, her voice dramatically altered.
Darkstar jumped as there was a wail from behind him.
Aurora was kitting!
"They're beautiful." Darkstar whispered, wrapping his tail around Aurora.
Four kits were mewing pitifully in front of them, three toms, one she-kit.
"Nokit," Aurora whispered, looking at the tiny black kit closest to her.
"Cougarkit," Darkstar whispered back, his eyes fixed on the golden tomkit at his paws.
"Poisonkit," Aurora said, slightly louder than a whisper, looking at the brown kit who was now ontop of Nokit.
Aurora and Darkstar looked at the brown she-kit and then looked at each other.
"Vividkit." they meowed, together.
"What? Right after my kits have been born you want to attack ShadowClan?!" Darkstar hissed at Nocturnal, who sat down by the Leader's den, her eyes narrowed.
Nocturnal got to her paws, and simply touched a nearby cat, who then collapsed, unconsicous.
"Are you sure you want to mess with me?" she snapped, her eyes flashing.
Darkstar gulped, and took a kit-step back.
"Fine. We'll attack tonight." he whimpered, turning around to assemble his army.
"That's better." Nocturnal chuckled, turning around.
Chapter Eleven - ShadowClan
Lovestar laid down, her head on her paws. It was a calm night, the first since ThunderClan had been driven to ShadowClan.
Redstar's warriors sat silently, watching ThunderClan's territory like a hawk watching prey. She owed so much to the generous ShadowClan leader, who was risking his last three lives for her, and the WindClanners.
Suddenly, there was a wail from the nursery. Lovestar got to her paws in a flash, and was running towards the nursery.
"Hush, Dusk-kit." Rainfur whispered to the little black furball, who was wailing by her side.
Rainfur looked up at Lovestar sheepishly, and turned her head back to Dusk-kit.
"I'm sorry... Dusk-kit's had a Nightmare." she whispered to Lovestar, sighing as more warriors darted into the Nursery.
Lovestar nodded simply, and turned away. She looked up at the sky, forgetting about the pain that spread throughout her entire body.
Too tired to go back to the over-crowded Warrior's den, Lovestar laid down right beside the nursery, and fell asleep...
Lovestar gasped, and got to her paws. She couldn't believe it; Darkstar was attacking again! Even if they seriously outnumbered him, she knew there was no way they could win, especially with Nocturnal on their side.
"Redstar!" she yowled, and the red-brown tom darted over.
"We have to flee! They'll slaughter us!" she yowled, as the first of Darkstar's army began pouring into the camp.
Redstar grinned, and unsheathed his claws. "There's no way we can lose! The odds are a hundred to one!"
Before Lovestar could answer, Redstar dashed off, pouncing on a giant red-brown she-wolf.
She noticed his claws were glittering, and she then realized that he had re-enforced his claws with the hard black stone they had found nearby!
Lovestar snapped back into reality, as a white tom that looked similar to Gale knocked her over.
"Get off me!" she yowled, pushing the white tom off with all her force.
Lovestar turned around, gasping in horror as she noticed Nocturnal lumbering over Redstar, who was on the ground beneath her. She had one of her giant, glowing paws raised in a way that could kill Redstar, or at least seriously injure him...
"No!" she cried, attempting to knock Nocturnal over.
Nocturnal whipped around, and glared at Lovestar.
"You again? I thought I killed you!" she snapped, pushing Lovestar out of the way.
With Lovestar out of the way, Nocturnal raised her paw once again, only to realize that Redstar had crawled away!
Lovestar stared with amazement as Redstar got back on his paws, took a brief stretch, and then jumped in front of Sapphireice, taking the blow of two cats for her, escaping almost unharmed.
"I've been around for a while, Lovestar." Redstar grinned, as he latched onto one of the warriors.
Lovestar was lost. She looked around, her gaze shifting from the nursery, to the blood staining the dirt and grass, to Nocturnal, who was injuring most of the warriors...
Dogface rushed to Lovestar's side.
"We've... gotta get out of here!" she yowled, over the battle cries of the others.
Lovestar unsheathed her claws, and sighed.
"We can't! Redstar's too stubborn!" she yowled, turning towards the nursery. Lovestar darted over to the entrance, and stood protectively in front of it.
Eaglepaw, Gorgepaw and Treepaw gasped. They were surrounded, by five of Nocturnal's followers.
Eaglepaw backed into Gorgepaw, who was right up against Treepaw's back.
"This is it.." Eaglepaw whispered, fearfully.
Suddenly, one of the wolves yelped in pain. All of the others turned to see what was wrong, allowing the apprentices to escape.
Eaglepaw turned, only to see his mentor, Chillwhisker, raking his claws down the wolf's backside! He had saved them!
"Let's go help Redstar!" Eaglepaw yowled, darting towards Redstar, who was lying on the ground.
Eaglepaw gasped, as he realized that Redstar was not just stunned; he was dead.
Nocturnal grinned at the three apprentices, evilly.
"That's right, fools. You challenged me so I killed your leader." she sneered, pushing the corpse into the dirt, "I had to do it three times."
Eaglepaw howled mournfully, getting the attention of every cat in the camp.
Lovestar didn't want to say it. She had already said it a quarter-moon earlier. But she had to. There was no way they could defeat Nocturnal, even with the power of two clans...
"ThunderClan! ShadowClan! WindClan! Retreat!" she yowled, grabbing Redstar's corpse as she went, dragging it as fast as she could.
How long would they last in RiverClan? And what would happen after that...?
Chapter Twelve - StarClan
"Nocturnal is getting too powerful!" Kynareth yowled at Stendarr, who calmly watched the attack from the skies.
Stendarr turned around, and flicked his long white tail.
"She's too powerful for me now, Kynareth. She could easily defeat me." Stendarr meowed, sitting down.
Gale hissed. "Father, you must do something! She wiped out Redstar's last three lives! She could easily kill the others!"
Stendarr sighed. "If they can separate her from the stone, I could do something. But I can't now."
Gale, Mara, Kynareth and Stendarr walked in silence amongst the stars, arriving at a massive den in the middle of StarClan's giant camp.
"Yes, mighty Stendarr? What Leader do you wish to see today?" squeaked a tiny she-kit who was sitting by the entrance.
Stendarr closed his eyes. "Mosskit, I need to see Onestar, Bramblestar, Russetstar and Mistystar."
Mosskit nodded, and dissappeared into the den.
A few minutes later, she appeared once again, the four leaders sitting calmly behind her.
"What do you require of us?" Russetstar snapped, flicking her tail in annoyance.
Stendarr looked at Russetstar, and then closed his eyes. "I need you to tell me how you separated Nocturnal from the Nightstone when you were alive. You know, the wolf that killed Firestar?"
Bramblestar grinned. "Good riddance." he muttered under his breath.
Mistystar gazed at Stendarr with her blue eyes.
"Wasn't it Dovepaw who tore that stone out of her chest?" she asked the other leaders.
Onestar gave a brief nod. "Yes, it was."
Stendarr nodded, taking in all the information. "Sorry to disturb your rest. Give Firestar my blessings, will you?" he meowed as the four leaders turned around.
He turned around, and smiled at Gale, Mara and Kynareth.
"You heard the good leaders, my children. If those Clan cats can tear the stone from her chest, then I shall come down and destroy her."
Chapter Thirteen - RiverClan
"No..." Sunstar whispered, staring into Redstar's lifeless brown eyes, "What are we going to do? Not even the most powerful warrior in the forest could stop them..."
Rubyheart laid down, her head on Redstar's side. She whispered a few words in his ear, ignoring the wounds that stung her so badly.
Lovestar dipped her head in respect for Redstar, her pink eyes glittering with sorrow as she turned around, unable to look at the bloody corpse.
Lovestar jumped, noticing a cloud forming a few fox-lengths in front of her. Gale stepped out, flicking his tail as the cloud dissappeared.
"The stone. You have to tear the stone out." Gale meowed, sitting in front of Lovestar and Sunstar, "That's the only way she can become mortal now."
Sunstar turned around, and tilted her head. "I thought she was only mortal on the eighth bloodmoon!"
Star let out a wheezy cough. "Now that she has the Nightstone, or as she calls it, the Eclipse-Stone, she has that one part of the moon that makes her immortal."
Rubyheart awoke, breathing heavily.
"Are you alright, Rubyheart?" meowed Chillwhisker, "You were very uneasy in your sleep."
A thin smile spread across Rubyheart's face.
"They came to me in my dreams. I am Rubystar, now."
"I say this over the body of Redstar, that Shadowscar is to be my new deputy." Rubystar meowed, not noticing the brief glint of anger in Chillwhisker's eyes.
"Shadowscar! Shadowscar!" the cats of the clans boomed, their voices echoing throughout the territory.
Twilisky ran over to congratulate her brother, and his parents, Midnaclaw and Shadowheart, beamed proudly.
Rubyheart stepped back, allowing Sunstar to step up.
Sunstar coughed, and stood tall. "I just wanted to say a few words on behalf of all the clans." she meowed, her eyes filled with pain and sorrow.
"Redstar was one of ShadowClan's greatest leaders. I've known him since Leafstar, his father, proudly announced him as ShadowClan's newest apprentice at a gathering so many moons ago. I swear, that tonight, Redstar's sacrifice will not be in vain. We, the clans of the forest, the Clans of the lake, will not let DarkClan drive us out! We will be strong! We will be brave! We will drive out or kill DarkClan, in Redstar's honor!"
The clans roared in agreement, most looking at the spot where Sunstar had buried him; right beside the Medicine Cat's den.
Sunstar stepped back, and jumped off the Highrock, followed by Rubystar and Lovestar.
"That was great." Jadeflick meowed to Sunstar, before being pushed aside by Wildheart.
Wildheart grinned. "I loved your speech, Sunstar. And I was wondering.. would you like me to convince dad to bring the pack down here? Y'know, for extra help if you need it?"
Sunstar nodded. "If Blackheart will actually come with you, I'd like that. I want to see Stormpad, and Bane."
Wildheart's face grew grave. He hadn't the heart to tell her that Bane was dead...
"Wildheart? He left just this morning to ask the DarkClaws for help." Sunstar meowed to Jadeflick, who then smiled.
Jadeflick looked up at his leader. He loved her. But he knew that Sunstar would never break the Warrior Code to mate with a Medicine Cat...
Storkpaw padded over to Jadeflick, and coughed.
"Jadeflick, I can't get a thorn out of..." she paused, hearing yowling in the distance.
Deerpaw ran into camp, dragging a corpse with him. He stopped in the middle of the clearing, dropping it.
The Clans yowled in alarm, and Falconpaw darted out of the den in an instant.
"Viperpaw..." Sunstar sniffled, realizing that the cat Deerpaw had dragged in was in fact, Viperpaw.
"My apprentice!" yowled Tenderfoot, the she-cats eyes full of sorrow.
Sunstar looked at her paws. "In honor of Viperpaw, I give him his warrior name, Viperfang. May he hunt with StarClan in peace."
"First dad, then Viperpaw..." Butterflypaw trailed off, her tiny blue eyes clouded with worry.
Shinepaw sat quietly in the corner, considering what he had done. Falconpaw would never forgive him...
Deerpaw sat up. "I'm g... gonna ask Appleflower if we can go hunting."
Ebonypaw growled. "I'm going to ask Sunstar who my new mentor is gonna be."
Deerpaw and Ebonypaw padded out of the Apprentice's den, leaving Shinepaw, Spritepaw and Butterflypaw alone.
Chapter Fourteen - DarkClaws
"Wildheart..." Blackheart trailed off, noticing the worry in Wildheart's eyes.
Majesty padded over to the two, and sighed. "Blackheart... this wolf is dangerous. The Clans need our help. They managed to drive out two Clans in a Quarter-Moon."
Blackheart looked at the ground, and then up at Wildheart.
"Fine." he snarled, padding away, "But only if Stormpad is up to the challenge."
Blackheart's mouth dropped.
"Stormpad... you're only Star's Apprentice! You musn't want to fight right away?" he sighed, wanting to claw off Stormpad's smug smile.
Stormpad sat down, his blue eyes fixed on Blackheart's. "Would you rather watch the clans suffer? Star has taught me that the point of being a Mage is to use your ablilities to aid others in need."
Blackheart nodded, and leaned against the wall of Stormpad's den.
"I don't like being around the Clans." he muttered.
Stormpad snorted. "Sunstripe... Sunstar, what ever her name is, she raised your son from a pup. He would have died without her. And this is how you repay her kindness?"
Blackheart nodded. "I suppose you're right."
"Sunstar's gonna be so happy!" he barked, his tail wagging like that of a little dog's.
"DarkClaws! Follow me!" yowled Blackheart, getting to his paws. Immediately, Luna, Majesty, Faern, Blade and Stormpad began running towards the two.
Blackheart broke into a light run, Wildheart dashing in front of him. "You're getting slow, old wolf!"
Blackheart rolled his eyes, and ran in front of Wildheart.
"I'm still the Alpha, you know!" he barked, picking up speed.
Chapter Fifteen - DeathClan (ShadowClan)
Nocturnal scanned the camp, noticing that not many of her followers were hurt.
"See?" she boomed, "Isn't it worth following Darkstar and I?"
The cats and wolves nodded in agreement, some solely out of fear.
Darkstar sat by Aurora's side, looking down at his four little kits.
"They're gorgeous, Aurora." he meowed, looking up at the sky.
Aurora looked up at Darkstar, and purred in delight. "I'm a leader now. Shouldn't you be referring to me as Aurorastar?"
Darkstar chuckled, laying down. Vividkit stumbled over to Darkstar, and fell on top of him.
He couldn't help but sigh, as he realized how adorable and innocent they were. He licked Vividkit, then closed his eyes.
"Darkstar! Wake up!"
Darkstar jumped, as Nocturnal's pupil-less eyes glared at him. "You're too close..." he snapped.
Nocturnal backed away, a kit-step, and snarled.
"I let you sleep for nearly half-a-day. Now get up, you lazy furball. We have plans to discuss." she snapped, turning away.
Darkstar got to his paws, and followed Nocturnal to the den that once belonged to Redstar.
"We'll have to chase them from the camp, again. But instead of simply leaving them alone, we're going to chase them back to the Night-Eye camp, and sacrifice the leaders!" Nocturnal grinned, looking at Darkstar's disgusted face.
"Alright. Is that all?" Darkstar meowed, grooming himself.
Nocturnal nodded. "I've decided that we will attack in a half-moon, on the Night of the Bloodmoon. That way, the sacrifices will be more proficent!"
Darkstar brushed past Nocturnal, and scanned the camp for Aurora. She was sitting, alone, inside the Medicine Cat's den. She flicked her tail, signaling for Darkstar to come closer.
He padded into the den, and sat beside Aurora, who he noticed had a very worried expression.
"Darkstar... I need to tell you something." she whispered, her red eyes glazed with fear and worry.
He sat down. "I'm listening."
Aurora took a deep breath, and leaned against a rock that protected most of Snowstorm and Willowleaf's herbs.
"I'm not normal." she whispered, "I'm not sure you'll still want to be my mate after I tell you."
Darkstar half-smiled, and purred.
"I'd love you even if you told me you were a kittypet."
Aurora made a disgusted face. "No! That's much worse than what I really am, but..."
"You see, I hail from a tribe of cats far north. Not like the Stone-telling tribe you told me about, but these cats are powerful. They... call themselves the Blood Reapers, and they..." Aurora took a deep breath, "Perform Blood Rituals, magical rituals that involve the spilling of their own blood."
Aurora unsheathed her claws, and cut her paw open. Using the blood on her claw, she drew a tiny triangle in the ground in front of her, and placed the injured paw inside of it. The blood rose from the ground, and attached itself to the wounds, healing it.
"I... didn't want to hide it anymore." she whispered, looking at her paw.
Darkstar purred. "Blood Reaper or not, you're still my mate, Aurorastar."
'If I had told you the rest, you wouldn't think that.' Aurora thought.
Chapter Sixteen - RiverClan
The thunder of the DarkClaw's paws warned the Clancats of their arrival.
Sunstar darted out of her den, smiling at Wildheart as he skidded to a stop beside her.
Blackheart stopped in front of Sunstar, as his pack stopped behind him, scattering to make themselves at home.
"Uh... I... never got the chance to thank you..." Blackheart barked, nervously.
Sunstar beamed. "It was nothing." she meowed, looking up at Wildheart.
Blackheart nodded. "I guess it's now that we repay you."
Wildheart grinned. "You mentioned you wanted to see Stormpad...?" he barked.
Sunstar nodded with haste.
Suddenly, the golden wolf with beautiful blue eyes appeared right in front of her.
"See, I'm getting the teleporting thing down!" Stormpad barked, sitting down.
Sunstar stared at Stormpad's eyes, their enchanting beauty captivating her.
"Stormpad..." she whispered, flicking her tail as she looked away from his eyes.
They were prepared. Any day now, they knew that Nocturnal would strike again. It had been a quarter-moon, and now only one day remained until the night they were waiting for; The Bloodmoon.
The walls of the camp were re-enforced; there was an escape route in the nursery and the elders den. Two wolves and five cats sat guard every night, and were replaced by several cats in the morning.
Rubystar glanced over at Sunstar worriedly, but Sunstar returned the glance with a reasurring smile.
"It'll be alright, Rubystar. Lovestar agrees with me, we won't lose anyone else this time." she meowed.
The sun fell, the sky beginning to reveal the first stars. It was twilight, the darkest twilight Sunstar had ever seen. But then, the clouds parted, to reveal the thing that she wished had never come to the forest;
And then she heard it, she heard the vile she-wolf yowl.
Chapter Seventeen - Darkstar's Army
"DarkClan! ATTACK!" Nocturnal yowled, her clan charging past her, Darkstar at the front. He grinned; today was the day he would truly rule the forest!
But then he gasped, as the clans came out of their dens, standing tall and proud as they waited for them...
Bearpaw felt his body change, get bigger. He felt a burst of strength, as he pushed away a fully grown wolf with ease.
He watched Birdpaw change into an eagle, and dig her talons into a cat that had attempted to harm Stormpad.
Sunstar roared, her lioness body giving her the strength of two cats. She couldn't believe it; they were winning! She pridefully grinned as she looked around, blood staining the ground. But she knew it wasn't their own this time, it was that of the enemies.
There was a brief moment of peace and silence... there was a yowl in in distance. A roar of power; and then she gasped as all the injured wolves' injuries healed, and their eyes flashed red for a brief second.
Suddenly, she was pinned to the ground. Darkstar was on top of her.
"Sunstar, so we meet again!" he sneered, biting her ear and pulling.
She was helpless, and could only wait for the sickening rip. Her ear had been torn off, and she yowled in pain. Feeling a few strength, and pushed up, knocking Darkstar off of her.
There was a squeal from the nursery, and Sunstar gasped; In Nocturnal's mouth was a tiny, helpless black kit.
"Get. Away. From. Him!" Lovestar yowled, latching onto Nocturnal's side. Biting down as hard as she could, Nocturnal was briefly startled, and dropped Dusk-kit. Sunstar gasped with relief as Icepelt caught the tiny scrap by the scruff, only minorly hurting the poor little kit.
Sunstar looked around. Every time they defeated a cat, or wolf, their wounds would heal instantly, and only hurt the attacker.
"Retreat!" Sunstar yowled, joined by Rubystar and Lovestar. The cats and wolves scrambled out of the camp. Although the battle had been brief, Sunstar and the other leaders knew there was no chance of defeating them. Rubystar looked back, her heart sinking as she realized that they weren't given a free ticket out this time; Nocturnal and her army were chasing them.
The cats and wolves ran past HorsePlace, for once angered that the Twolegs weren't out and about.
"When can we stop?" wailed Eaglepaw, who had been running on an injured paw.
The cats stopped by a giant marble pillar. They were too tired to continue.
"Looks like this it it." whispered Butterflypaw, closing her eyes. "We're done for."
Suddenly, just as Darkstar and Nocturnal's army arrived in the grove, there was a yowl from behind them. An orange cat jumped over the crowd, changing into a Leopard mid-way. He latched on to the giant stone on Nocturnal's chest, biting into it. The stone cracked, and he pulled.
The spirits of all the cats lifted as they watched in amazement, the mystery cat pulled the stone out, shattering it in four pieces as it hit the ground.
Nocturnal wailed, and the cats behind her charged ahead.
Suddenly, there was a roar in the distance; Sunstar looked up and gasped.
It was a massive white dragon, made of clouds, charging down gracefully and opening it's mouth to breathe 'fire'.
Sunstar stared in wonder, as the mighty dragon made of white clouds struck the giant black cloudy wolf, but then she gasped, as she realized that Stendarr, the dragon, had merely stunned Nocturnal, and the giant wolf stood there, her eyes closed.
She had to do it. The forest had enough suffering. She had to put an end to it.
Sunstar let out a sharp battle cry, and pounced, her eyes glittering as she bit down on Nocturnal's muzzle. Nocturnal yowled, and her glyphs began to go black.
"No!!" Nocturnal roared, as Sunstar jumped off, the giant she-wolf collapsing to the ground.
Nocturnal slowly faded away, being engulfed by the clouds that made up the mighty dragon that had stunned her. In a brief moment, she was gone.
The leopard roared in victory, followed by the cats of the clans. Most of Darkstar's followers ran, as fast as their paws could take them, but Darkstar himself glared at the cats, his eyes blazing with fury.
"Darkheart." the leopard snapped, taking a paw step forward.
Darkstar hissed. "That's Darkstar to you."
The leopard said nothing more, it lunged forward, and bit into Darkstar's neck, causing the weak Darkstar to collapse, dead.
The leopard slowly morphed back into the orange cat it was originally, causing many of the cats to gasp.
It was Dawnstar.
"Dawnstar..." Lovestar whispered, taking a step forward.
Dawnstar looked at his paws. "I'm sorry I left you... Lovestar."
The two exchanged cold glances.
"What are we going to do with... these?" Braveflash hissed, glaring at the Eclipse-Stone bits.
Snowstorm took a step forward, her eyes grave with worry.
"Those stones... they could be dangerous, but we should try to harness their power."
Rubystar took a kit-step towards Braveflash and the stones.
"It's been broken into four for a reason. A warrior from each clan should take it."
Sunstar looked at Braveflash. "Braveflash from RiverClan-"
"Shadowscar from ShadowClan-"
"Midnighteyes from ThunderClan-"
"And Silverlight from WindClan." Dawnstar finished, as the four cats stepped forward, allowing the stone to latch onto their chests.
It had been a moon since Nocturnal and Darkstar had died, and overall, the forest was a much more peaceful place.
Dawnstar, the rightful leader of WindClan, had fixed up the clan (And it's camp) and ordered that Nocturnal's Grove be removed.
However, some of Nocturnal's followers stayed in the forest, including Exodus. She admitted that she hated Darkstar and Nocturnal, and was brought to Stormpad. He announced that the panther was innocent, and decided to stay with Dawnstar in WindClan.
But, was this the end of Nocturnal? Could such a powerful cat be destroyed by mortal cats?
No. She was merely sealed away, but Stendarr expected that the seal would last for hundreds of years.
How wrong can a cat get?
But, as all this happened, two cats, a black one and a white one, watched in secret.
And those two cats, Black ashes in fire, and White snow covering fire, were about to bring more pain and sorrow to the poor, unfortunate cats that were under the Skies of StarClan.
To be continued in A Fire in the Night, please leave a comment if you enjoyed this (Or not. XD) and if you'd like the battle to be expanded. I was experiencing a creative block at the time. ROFL. XD