|Seeking Light Series|
|Preceded by: |
|Riding the Wind||Succeded by: |
Waking the Shadow
After many moons of living in a cruel WindClan, Icewhisker and Emberheart have had enough. But what will the cries of two young warriors do?
Oh, and There isn't much to learn when it comes to Seeking Light (It's one of my more simple series =P) but here are a few things you should know (but you've probably figured it all out. xD)
- Scar-Pit - Basically a torture pit beneath WindClan. Constructed by the Original Council to punish cats who betrayed them, Thunderstar recently discovered the Scar-Pits and has been using the main Chamber to torture cats.
- Savage - Savage cats are black furred with glowing violet eyes. They live in the Scar-Pit, although every once in a while, one comes back to the surface. They are powerful, and listen to no one.
Prologue - Sleeping Light - Thunderstar
I let out a purr, and closed my eyes. It was a beautiful, sunny Green-Leaf day- there was a faint breeze that ruffled my fur, a beautiful ray of sunshine that warmed my body, and a juicy vole beside me to keep me from getting hungry.
As two she-cats groomed me, I uttered a laugh. After so many seasons of chasing after power, I had finally caught it. Even if it had meant killing my mate and father, Treestar and Fireflight, it was worth it. Despite the angry protests I had recieved at the last gathering, none of the other Clans had the courage to question my new way of life, and that was good. Now, only my kin could become the leader of WindClan, and that was, in my opinion, the greatest thing that had ever happened to WindClan. After all, who would want a filthy half-Clan as their leader?
I felt a growl rising in my throat as I thought of Roseclaw and her kits, Icewhisker and Emberheart. It was a known fact that they decended from two legendary cats, Snow That Covers Mountain and Ruinstar, but I didn't care. They were filthy and mange-ridden beasts. I rolled over on my other side, and opened my eyes, shooting a look at a ginger-and-white she-cat who had licked my back too roughly.
"You don't want another visit to the Scar-Pit, do you, Flamebird?" I snapped, before returning to my thoughts. Memories of my first visit to the Scar-Pit rung clear in my head. I had been sent there for killing SkyClan's Deputy, and forced to stay there the entire night. I shuddered, remembering the savage cats that had nearly torn me apart, leaving horrid scars across my perfect brown tabby body. Casting the thought out of my mind, I returned to thinking about Icewhisker and Emberheart. Digging my claws into the ground, I snarled as a she-cat nipped me. Jumping to my paws, I glared at the two.
"Who did that?" I snapped, flexing my golden claws. Of course, they weren't naturally golden, but I liked using a strange golden rock we had found near the camp to re-inforce my claws. The ginger-and-white one, Flamebird, shook her head in fear, and looked at the cream one beside her.
"Snowheart did it, I swear, Thunderstar! I was just grooming your neck!" she protested, her golden eyes flashing with fear and worry, "I have kits! Just two moons old! Please don't send me to the Scar-Pit!"
I purred, and stretched. Glancing over at my guards, Blackface and Silverstorm, I gave them a nod. In merely a few instants, they had both Snowheart and Flamebird by the tail, purring triumphantly.
"Send them both down." I commanded, ignoring their protests. If I spared even one cat, my grip on WindClan would come loose. I stretched again, hearing a small crack in my legs. Sitting down, I tapped the stones in front of me lightly. Just as I did so, and just as my guards dragged Snowheart and Flamebird out of my den, a brown tabby she-cat came running in. Brownbranch, one of my favored servants, sat down in front of me, her dim green eyes calm and relaxed.
"Brownbranch, send for Icewhisker and Windheart. I need them to groom me." I ordered, laying down. She nodded, and dashed away. For a few brief moments, I laid in silence. I flicked my tail, and saw a flash of Flamebird's horrified face in my mind. It was a pity that she was my daughter, but I couldn't, and wouldn't spare anyone. I would seem weak if I did. I turned my head up, pleased to see two she-cats run into the den. Icewhisker's pale amber eyes flashed with horror as she spotted me, and her silver tabby fur was on end. I growled, and dug my claws into the fresh dirt beside my head.
"Are you going to stand there all day, Icewhisker? Get to work!" I snapped. Immediately she joined her tortoiseshell clanmate in the grooming session. I let out a relaxed purr, and closed my eyes, slowly drifting off into sleep.
I opened my eyes, and growled. No familiar scents filled my nose... and I was surrounded my clouds. Had Icewhisker or Windheart killed me? If they had, then my guards would surely take them out quickly. But no- I was not surrounded my stars. Instead, everything was dark. I blinked, and got to my paws, slowly and cautiously making my way forward. I stepped into the cloud of darkness, and watched in silence as I rested my gaze on two cats, nearly twenty fox-lengths away. One was a muscular black tom, his eyes a bright gold. I froze, recognizing the other. Roseclaw. It was simple, identifying her sleek, silver tabby figure. She greatly resembled Icewhisker, and that enraged me. More half-Clans. Holding back a snarl, I listened intently on their barely audible conversation.
"Ancient, surely my kits cannot be part of this prophecy!" Roseclaw exclaimed, raising my interest. So, this Ancient had given Roseclaw a prophecy...
Ancient sighed, and looked at his midnight-black paws. "I cannot change the will of the Ancients, Roseclaw. Sol, Luna and Astrum have spoken- I must carry out their will."
"No." Roseclaw shook her silver head in disgust, "No. I won't let you. Thunderstar would murder them if he knew!"
I held back a confident purr- As soon as I figured out what these cats were talking about, Icewhisker and Emberheart would die. Two less filthy half-Clans to worry about.
"Roseclaw, I stand by my word. Two will rise against the coming storm, and wake the sleeping light. There is nothing I could or can do about it."
So that's what the prophecy was.
Two will rise against the coming storm, and wake the sleeping light.
The prophecy echoed in my head as I slunk into the shadows. Once I figured the prophecy out, they would die.
A slow, hard and painful death.
Chapter One - Hunt - Emberheart
"Look what I caught!" I meowed, trotting towards Minnowpool, a large bird dangling from my mouth. I didn't know why, but Icewhisker, Roseclaw and I seemed to be the only three that could catch the large birds. Was it our legs? Or the technique of watching prey until the bird swooped down? I didn't know, and I didn't care. I had caught the prey I needed, and all that was left was to take it to his guards. Luckily, the bird had caught a plump mouse, and that was what was going to be today's fresh-kill for us. Like the cruel leader he was, Thunderstar made us eat only once a day. Whatever we caught on the hunting patrol was ours. In fact, if we only caught one thing, it goes to Thunderstar. If we caught nothing... then it's the Scar-Pit.
Minnowpool muttered something under her breath, and picked up a rabbit she had caught. "This is all I got. If Eaglefeather doesn't get two catches, then we starve."
I felt Minnowpool's pain. After our father's death, when we were only Icepaw and Emberpaw, we had to hunt twice as hard. There were many days when we didn't catch enough, and all we got was whatever Minnowpaw's family could spare. I hated WindClan- ever since Treestar and his deputy, Fireflight had died, WindClan lost all it's dignity. Nobility. I remembered the tales of Ruinstar, and how he had gone on a quest to save the world. It was hard to believe this was the same WindClan he hailed from. Now, half-Clans such as myself were looked down upon... in fact, Thunderstar refused to let our medicine cat waste herbs on us. That was the reason Blackfur died- of greencough. As Minnowpool and I entered the camp, I dropped my eagle respectfully in the pile of prey reserved for Thunderstar. I picked up my mouse, and padded towards Roseclaw.
"Where's Icewhisker?" I meowed, dropping the mouse at Roseclaw's tabby paws. I gasped, noticing the sad expression on her face- she hadn't done anything to upset Thunderstar... or did she?
"She's been in Thunderstar's den all afternoon. I'm... scared she did something wrong." Roseclaw sputtered, before taking a bite of the mouse to console herself.
I licked her forehead re-assuringly. "She's probably just grooming him, Roseclaw."
Roseclaw didn't reply. She continued eating, and I joined her. After patrolling the ThunderClan border, then hunting for half a sunrise, I was beyond tired. After the mouse was done, I padded into our tiny den, made just for us. I settled down beside Roseclaw, and closed my eyes, drifting into sleep.
All was starry around me. I felt panic rising in my chest- did someone kill me? Was I dead? No, it couldn't be... I was still solid. Getting to my paws, I looked around. I was in a clearing, surrounded by trees. I noticed, many fox-lengths in front of me, a pool of starry water. Hiding behind a tree, I watched as cats began to enter the clearing, and sat down beside the water. I held in a gasp, as a ginger tom entered the clearing, his green eyes sparkling in the light of the stars. His body was muscular, and his figure was perfect- this was Firestar, one of the many legends of the Clans. Eyes wide, I continued to watch as more of the legends entered the clearing- Onestar, Mistystar, Leopardstar... then their mates came, heads held high. I identified them as Sandstorm, Whitetail, Mallownose and Whiteclaw respectively. They sat around the pool, in a circle, and turned their heads to the starry void in front of them.
I uttered an almost unaudible gasp as I watched three cats emerge from the clearing. One was a large gray tom. To his right was a black tom, and to his left was a snow-white she-cat. Ruinstar, Bloodheart and Snow.
"Good moonhigh, my fellow StarClanners." Ruinstar meowed simply as he sat down, wrapping his tail round Snow's shoulders. Firestar nodded, and looked at his paws.
"I called you all here for a very good reason, StarClanners. I feel very strongly about this, but..." Firestar took a deep breath, "I feel as if the darkness is returning."
Bloodheart's eyes opened wide with shock, and he got to his paws. "Firestar, he's sealed away forever within the Ancient Domain- there's no way he's getting out. I visit them every sunhigh to make sure of this."
Onestar closed his eyes, and flicked his brown tabby tail. "Not him, Bloodheart. But I agree with Firestar- we should... grant them again."
"No!" came a yowl from Snow. Her voice was oddly soothing, even if she had just yowled in alarm. Snow was now on her paws, her blue eyes wide with fear and worry as she looked around.
"That's what caused the trouble in the first place. We can't give them it now! I won't let you! They don't deserve the curse! They can handle it on their own... just please, don't give it to them!" Snow protested. I could tell she was genuinely concerned about this... but what was she concerned about? I shook my head, and continued to watch as the cats began to argue.
"I do see Firestar's point..." Ruinstar finally meowed, calmly, "After all, the Dark Forest is just as capable when it comes to giving... them out. What if they were to grant Thunderstar this? What would they do then?"
I wanted to watch. But before I could hear or watch anything else, I felt myself waking up. I struggled to keep myself asleep, but it was no use. I was awake before I could do anything.
If only I had of remained in my slumber for only a few more moments...
Chapter Two - Dreams - A Loner
"I... I'm expecting his kits." meowed a cat. All my surroundings were black and white, so I couldn't make out her fur color. I watched, in silence, as the tom glanced nervously at his paws.
"Should I go back?" he mewed, worriedly. His eyes flashed with fear, excitement and worry all at the same time. The she-cat nodded, and glanced behind her, at a disgusting she-cat with twisted teeth.
"Go. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine here- after all, I'm with a medicine cat." she whispered to the tom, "...Stay safe."
I opened my eyes, flinching as the sunlight blinded me for a few heartbeats. Jumping to my paws, I looked around nervously. Letting out a relieved sigh, I realized that the SkyClan scent I smelt was stale. I blinked, remembering the day I had met with Larkstar, the leader of SkyClan. She had clawed my shoulder pretty badly- in fact, it still stung. I glanced at the abandoned Horseplace in the distance. How could cats get used to living there, anyway? I sighed, and sniffed the air. A fresh rabbit scent filled my nose- I immediately dropped down into a hunting stalk and began to follow it.
It wasn't long until I had tracked it down- a large, brown rabbit. It looked delicious, too! I bounded after it, mercilessly biting into as it came into reach. Famished, I devoured the rabbit and tossed it's remains aside. I began to groom myself, when I felt the wind change. My whole body froze as I sniffed the air- WindClan scent was heavy in the air. But before I could move a pawstep, I was surrounded by a patrol of the cats. I glanced at them nervously- a ginger and white tom sat impatiently in front of me, beside a gray tabby she-cat (Who resembled me quite a bit, actually...) and two toms, who I paid no attention to. I sat down, and wrapped my tail around my tabby paws, awaiting their response.
"You're trespassing on WindClan territory." the ginger-and-white tom snarled. I rolled my eyes- he wasn't threatening to me at all.
The she-cat shifted uncomfortably. "What is your name, rogue? Thunderstar will want to know about this..."
I laughed, remembering the brown tabby tom I had run into a few days before. He was fat, and seemed like a tame kittypet more than a savage warrior. "Lynne. But I can't believe you cats follow that old mangy fleabag... I've seen loners groomed better than that!"
"Should we take her back to Thunderstar, Minnowpool? Who knows what he might do to her..." the ginger-and-white tom meowed to the she-cat. Minnowpool, I thought, A stupid name for a stupid cat.
Minnowpool shook her head. "It looks like SkyClan punished her already, Emberheart. I don't want... Thunderstar to..." I felt a pang of pity for the she-cat as she began to quietly sob. Emberheart padded over to her, and soothingly wrapped his ginger tail around her shoulders. He looked up at me, his blue gaze fierce.
"Leave, she-cat. I will take you to Thunderstar if we catch you on WindClan territory again." Emberheart snapped, turning away. I sighed, and relentlessly nodded. There was no point in arguing, after all. Defeated, I padded back towards the putrid SkyClan markings... their scent was stale. Curious, I stepped over the border. Unlike usual, no hidden cats sprung out at me. I tipped my head in curiousity, and began to make my way towards the abandoned nest. As I got closer, I realized that their scent was very stale... it was as if no cat had marked their borders for days. And I knew very well, that SkyClan were over-protective of their borders. I picked up my pace to a run, and jumped the Horseplace fence with ease. Jumping off on the other side, I looked around- SkyClan were here, but where?
That was when I heard it. Harmonious shrieks, fear-scent and the unsheathing of claws.
Chapter Three - SkyClan in Trouble - Lynne
I unsheathed my own claws, not sure if I could fight SkyClan on my own. I carefully made my way around to the front of the Twoleg Nest, my heart skipping a beat as I saw a large, black she-cat, her un-natural violet eyes glaring hungrily at the SkyClan cats who I presumed were on the other side of the Twoleg door. But I knew that this cat was no Clan or rogue cat- this was a savage one. I puffed up my chest, and bounded forward, mercilessly leaping on the cat. I struggled to stay on as I ungracefully nipped at her neck- after all, fighting was not my forte. I gasped, as she suddenly reared up, sending me flying across the Horseplace and crashing against a fence. I hissed as I got to my paws- I definately could not hold against this savage much longer. Just as she got in reach, the she-cat let out a shriek of horror. Falling to the ground, another cat was revealed behind her. His fur was black as midnight, and his eyes were a vivid green. Licking his paws briefly, he turned around without a word.
So that was the payment I got for saving them? Holding back a growl in my throat, I turned around, prepared to jump the fence. However, just before I was about to jump, I heard a yowl. "Wait!"
"Wait." a cream-colored she-cat meowed to me again, padding up to me. I snarled, and barred my teeth- this was Larkstar, the one who had scarred me. Digging my claws into the dirt to stop myself from attacking her, I began to calm down as she continued.
"I thank you for what you've done for us, Lynne," Larkstar meowed, somewhat coldly, "And I'd like to thank you even more. Lynne, would you join... SkyClan?"
I hesitated a moment- being in a Clan meant responsibility. I shifted uncomfortably, avoiding Larkstar's blue gaze. Did I want to join a Clan? In my head, I remembered my days as a six moon old kit, watching as ShadowClan slaughtered my parents and friends. Did I want to join the beasts that murdered them?
"Lynne, no one is forcing you to join." Larkstar whispered, her voice rippling through my head, "But when you grow old, too old to hunt on your own... just remember this offer."
So Larkstar was manipulative. I remembered the dreams I had over the course of the last few nights- she was manipulative, just as the tabby from my dreams had been. Pictures flashed through my head- the fire that had started, a tom running through the forest, fur on fire... I had no idea what they meant, but I knew these weren't normal dreams. Perhaps, If I joined SkyClan, they'd tell me...
"I'll do it." I announced, proud with my decision. Larkstar nodded, and turned away, flicking her tail. I followed, as she entered a small Twoleg nest that faintly smelled of horse. She sat down on a nest of Sheep Wool, feathers and moss, watching me as I sat.
"You need a new name," Larkstar meowed. Her voice was just as eerily hypnotic as before- was there something special about this cat? I looked at my paws, nervous that she was going to attack me, just as she did before. Stifling a sigh, I closed my eyes.
"Why do I need a new name?" I asked, opening my eyes, "I'm perfectly fine with my own at the moment. Besides, what are you going to call me, Lynnefur?"
Larkstar chuckled, then wrapped her cream-colored tail around her paws. "I wouldn't ask you to change your name if you were to become a Warrior, Lynne. But I see something in you... and I won't have a Medicine Cat with a Rogue name."
I gasped- being a Medicine Cat was a high honor within the Clan, wasn't it? I took a startled pawstep back, and blinked. "Why me? Why not choose, say, that black tom that killed the savage? Why would you choose a rogue as a Medicine Cat? I mean, I..."
"StarClan have told me. Both our Medicine Cats were slaughtered by the Savages that attacked our camp- I would have been next were it not for you, Lynne. I have been told by Firestar and Jayfeather that you are the one. You are to be our new Medicine Cat, Wildfall."
Wildfall. I repeated to myself. As I meowed that, I gasped as all went picture clear to me. Suddenly, at that moment, herbs of all sorts filled my mind. I went over them as they suddenly clicked- Catmint for Greencough. Mouse Bile for ticks. Cobwebs for mending wounds. Tansy for coughs. Rush for broken bones.
But why was I remembering all this? I had never used a herb in my life!
I looked at the floor of the Twoleg Nest and closed my eyes. I had also never had this much responsibility in my life...
Chapter Four - Gathering of Darkness - Icewhisker
It was frighteningly dark.
I looked up- the sky was so black, it was if I was closing my eyes. The only light I could see around me was the faint green light that glimmered off the trees. I looked around me- I could only see trees. I felt no thirst, no hunger... nothing. I took a cautious pawstep forward, before jumping as I heard cats.
I darted behind a tree, and glanced over curiously. Three cats came out of the line of trees- one had a coat of ginger, reminding me of the tales of Firestar I had heard from Snow as a kit. But no- this cat's ginger eyes were full of anger- full of rage and malice. Beside him was a tabby tom with a crooked tail- as if it were a branch that was broken. And trailing behind them, was an innocent-looking she-cat, her eyes wide with fear. They stopped, only a few fox-lengths away from my tree. Curious, I strained to listen to them.
"Now, are you going to tell us about it, or do we have to get Hawkfrost out here?" the ginger cat snarled. The she-cat stumbled back, her fear-scent thick in the air. I watched, in horror, as the broken-tailed cat unsheathed his claws and slowly ran it down the she-cat's side. Her cries of pain rung in the air as she struggled to get away. I held in my breath, trying desperately not to let out fear-scent as he finished.
The ginger cat sighed. "I think we'll need to get someone else. She's not talking... perhaps... we could..."
"Don't tell me you still have feelings for her, Blazefur!" snarled the tabby tom, his orange eyes flashing with anger, "She killed you, for StarClan's sake! She doesn't give a mousetail about you!"
Blazefur. The name rung in my head. They were talking about my ancestor- I had heard the story many times from Cloudstar. But what did they want to know? I inched further behind the tree as two more cats entered the clearing. One was a muscular brown tom, scars lining his face. Beside him, was a gray tabby tom. They stopped, right by Blazefur and the other cat, glaring at their prisoner who was helplessly stuck on the ground, bleeding to death.
"Greetings, Darkstripe. Greetings, Clawface." the Broken-tailed cat tipped his head in greetings towards them, "What brings you to the Clearing of No Stars?"
No Stars? What where they talking about? Was this simply a nightmare? I didn't think so- it was too real to be just a dream. I continued to watch intently as Clawface shifted uncomfortably.
"Greetings to you as well, Brokenstar. We've come to see if you-" Clawface trailed off, and sniffed the air, "Wait... I smell another cat."
I felt my blood freeze as Blazefur spun around, scanning the area. Desperately, I bit my shoulder, hoping I was going to wake up...
I awoke, breathing heavily. That was no dream. It was reality. And I had to find out what exactly it was. Careful not to awaken Emberheart, I crept out of the Warrior's den and turned towards the Medicine Cat's den. Poking my head in, I felt relief flood into me as Owlfeather, our Medicine Cat, watched me from the back of her den. "There's something you want to know."
"Yes..." I whispered, padding forward. I stopped in front of Owlfeather, and took a deep breath. It was now- or never.
"I had a dream... in a Dark Forest. It was lit only by the trees... and there were horrible cats there. They... began to torture a she-cat. One even mentioned... Blazefur."
Owlfeather's eyes widened, and I knew something was wrong. "My precious Icewhisker... that was not a dream. That was the Place of No Stars... where evil cats rejected by StarClan go when they die. Who else, besides Blazefur, did you see there?"
"Brokenstar... Clawface and Darkstripe." I recited the names.
The Place of No Stars... Owlfeather's voice echoed in my head as she turned away. I knew, right then, that I would return to that evil place...
Don't miss the next book in the Seeking Light series- Waking the Shadow!