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Hey folks, FireClan here. I'm very happy to bring you, after a long time of nothing, the third installment in Arc 3 of my FireClan series! As always, I hope you enjoy, and here's the blurb!

Clawstripe2

Clawstripe

The Blurb

In a time of happiness, the clans of the lake are met with a great tragedy. The death of Smokestar took the clans away from ThunderClan's throat and made way for the reign of the young deputy, Morningdawn. Toadstar's three sons find something off about this, and decide to investigate. The three however must also deal with their own problems; Goldenpelt finds something increasingly off about his mate Darkfeather, Blazeheart must fight for the cats he cares about, and a hauntingly familiar face begins to stalk Clawstripe from the shadows. The three must couple those things with a new breakthrough; that their prophecy of the three may actually contain a fourth.

Allegiances

FireClan

Leader

Toadstar - Dark Brown Tabby Tom with Green Eyes, Missing Most of His Left Ear

Deputy

Shrewfur - Long-Haired Reddish-Brown Tom with Amber Eyes

Medicine Cat

Stormspots - White Tom with Ginger Spots and Green Eyes

Warriors

Heavypelt - Fairly Plump Gray Tom with a White Muzzle and Yellow Eyes

Gingerstep - Ginger She-Cat with Green Eyes

Clifftail - Long-Furred Dark Brown and White Tabby Tom with Blue Eyes

Bramblefoot - Dark Brown Tabby She-Cat with Green Eyes and Darker Paws

Mossfeather - Dark Gray Tabby Tom with Green Eyes

Emeraldgaze - Dark Brown Tabby She-Cat with Green Eyes

Thistlebelly - Large Gray Tom with Amber Eyes

Rocketblaze - Ginger Tom with Green Eyes

Frogtail - Dark Brown Tabby Tom with a Striped Tail and Green Eyes

Lichenwhisker - Pale Gray Tabby Tom with Green Eyes

Sparkpelt - Golden She-Cat with Darker Flecks and Amber Eyes

Lemonleaf - Golden She-Cat with Green Eyes

Whiskernose - Brown and Cream Tabby Tom with Amber Eyes and Long Whiskers

Boulderstripe - Stocky Gray Tabby Tom with Amber Eyes

Adderflight - Brown She-Cat with White Splotches and Amber Eyes

Darkfeather - Black Tabby She-Cat with Amber Eyes

Goldenpelt - Golden Tabby Tom with Amber Eyes

Blazeheart - Small Ginger Tom with Green Eyes

Clawstripe - Dark Brown Tabby Tom with Amber Eyes and Large Front Claws

Rocktooth - Large Dark Gray Tom with Blue Eyes

Wildblaze - Light Brown Tabby Tom with Amber Eyes and Spiky Fur

Whitefoot - Small Black Tom with Blue Eyes and A Single White Paw

Apprentices

Nightpaw - Black She-Kit with Blue Eyes (Mentor: Darkfeather)

Badgerpaw - Brown and Black Tom with Amber Eyes (Mentor: Whitefoot)

Mousepaw - Golden Brown She-Kit with Amber Eyes (Mentor: Goldenpelt)

Queens

Tangledwhisker - Long-Furred Gray She-Cat with Crooked Whiskers and Blue Eyes, Mother of Heavypelt's Kits

Kits

Ripplekit - Pale Gray Tabby Tom with Blue Eyes, Son of Heavypelt and Tangledwhisker

Eelkit - Black Tom with Long Whiskers and Blue Eyes, Son of Heavypelt and Tangledwhisker

Prologue

It was a dark night in the territory of StarClan. Every cat was in a panic, and didn't know what to do. It had been made clear before that the Dark Forest had been gaining in numbers again and exerting their power to the lake, but they had pulled off something completely unprecedented.

A large circle of cats sat up atop a high cliff overlooking StarClan's territory. The panic below caused Thunderstar to cringe up; he hated seeing the cats he cared for in such pain.

A blue-gray she-cat stepped forward, her like piercing shards of ice. "As I'm sure you all are aware, the Dark Forest inadvertently launched an attack on the clans of the lake earlier this night. We've watched as they've begun to recruit living cats to their side, and we all know that we must do something!"

"But what can we do?" asked a tom named Skywatcher, "Breezestar is willing to go to any length to get what he wants, and sacrifice as many cats as it takes. Are we really prepared to handle that?"

Thunderstar came forward next. "Breezestar's group is small for the time being. But if left unchecked, he will soon command an army of unstoppable killers. He will destroy the clans around the lake with no mercy if we don't do something." Thunderstar shook his head. "However, now he has a cat on the inside. With Morningdawn to soon be leading ThunderClan, there will be a Dark Forest warrior having influence over an entire clan."

"But Smokestar is yet to come to StarClan," stated Jayfeather, "If he has, he must be rather shy."

Firestar stepped forward next and addressed everyone. "As his mentor, Smokestar and I share a special bond. When I heard the news of his death, I sought him out, trying to find him. And I've yet to find anything. I think we all know what is really happening right now."

Everyone in the group just sat there, looking at the ground in silence.

"Cats of the Great Council."

An old, raspy mew made Thunderstar look up. To his complete and utter shock, he saw the ancient clan leaders standing before his group, led by none other than the original Thunder himself.

"The Ancients?!" A former RiverClan leader named Crookedstar stepped back, "In all my moons of living in StarClan, I've never heard of a single occasion where you leave the Cave of The Moon!"

"Before now, we have had no reason to do so," Thunder began, "but this tension between the clans and the Place of No Stars got us all thinking. And from that thinking, came a vision."

"A vision? A vision of what?"

Thunder looked back at the other Ancients, before taking in a long, deep breath.

"Before the dawn leaves and the stars come, smoke will surround the lake, brought on by a fiery blaze."

Thunderstar sat back, confused. "Are you saying there's to be another fire?"

"No."

"Well, what do you mean about the dawn leaving?"

"That is for us to know, and us alone."

"So, you're just going to leave us wondering what's happening?" Jayfeather snarled at the ancient cats, "Are you even aware what's going down back on Earth? Our clans will die off if we stay here doing nothing!"

Thunder brushed off Jayfeather's harsh tongue. He motioned to the other leaders to return to their cave den. As he padded away, he turned back to the Great Council and spoke.

"I have said this once, and I shall say it again. This is all happening for a reason."

Chapter One - Blazeheart

"I-It's Smokestar! He's dead!"

Blazeheart couldn't believe what he had just heard. The ThunderClan warrior Pantherstrike had come charging into camp only moments before to deliver the shocking news.

Blazeheart watched as his father's eyes widened more than he had ever seen them, and his fur stood up on end. "What? What happened?!"

"He was out hunting by the lake, and he fell in! Everyone tried to get him out but he wont surface!"

"Pantherstrike, take me there, please."

"O-Okay! Just follow me!"

Toadstar didn't ask for anyone to accompany him and the ThunderClan warriors, but cats did anyway. As Blazeheart ran after the small group, he could see Goldenpelt and Clawstripe following suit, as well as Shrewfur and Stormspots. Pantherstrike led the group of FireClan cats through the forest past ThunderClan territory and along the shores of the lake. Blazeheart could see a huge commotion up ahead. It looked as if all of ThunderClan had come out to see the truth for themselves.

When Blazeheart and the others reached the group, it was already too late. Cats joined with their families to mourn their seemingly forgotten leader.

"Morningdawn!" Toadstar padded over to the deputy; he had a large cut across his face and looked soaked down to the bone. "What happened here?"

"Sm-Smokestar and I were h-h-hunting... He just sunk like a r-rock... I couldn't save him..."

Despite everything Morningdawn had done in the past, Blazeheart felt sorry for him. The poor tom look legitimately terrified, like a lost kit without a mother to guide them.

"So you're just going to give up the search? Just like that?"

The ThunderClan warrior Bronzespots came forward to Toadstar. "Toadstar, he's been under for a long time. Not even a RiverClan cat can swim to the bottom of the lake, there's nothing we can do."

Toadstar fell silent. Blazeheart watched as he padded over to the shore and stared out into the torrent of the lake. The normally confident and lively leader seemed broken. Blazeheart had been told stories of his father's life as a kittypet, and how Smokestar was one of his closest friends during that time.

Blazeheart turned to Bronzespots. "What actually went down here?"

"Well, Smokestar and Morningdawn were out hunting by the shore; there are a few rabbit burrows we like to hit up around here. Morningdawn says Smokestar lost his balance and went in. He called for us but by the time we got here, he was struggling to get himself out of the lake, seemed like he went in after him."

"And he just lost all his lives at once?"

"Unless he suddenly grew gills, yes. And he's not a RiverClan cat. You know we aren't good swimmers."

Blazeheart thought back to when Rocktooth broke his jaw playing in the river, or when Goldenpelt and Darkfeather went over a waterfall in the mountains.

"Believe me, I know what you mean." Blazeheart shuddered. "So what happens now?"

In the background, Morningdawn suddenly sprang up, an intense look on his face.

"I'll tell you what happens. I won't let Smokestar's death be in vain! I won't allow my clan to panic without a leader." He turned to a young cat standing not too far away, "Cloudpaw, go fetch Starfall. I'm going to the Moonpool tonight!"

-

The sunrise came slowly over a silent FireClan camp. This had been the first death of a leader since the clans were reformed. Cats were out in the clearing, but none spoke, especially Toadstar, who seemed very broken up over the loss of his old friend. However, later in the day he came to his perch and spoke.

"All cats old enough to leave camp gather under the perch for a clan meeting!"

Blazeheart was shocked to finally hear the silence broken, but he followed the rules and went under the perch with the rest of his clanmates.

"As some of you may know, the ThunderClan deputy Morningdawn went to the Moonpool last night to receive his nine lives. I've decided that I'd like to gather a small party and greet him as his equal."

"But why?" Bramblefoot piped in from the audience, "We don't owe Morningdawn anything, not after he killed Tawnysoul!"

"Yeah!" shouted Rocketblaze. "What has he ever done for us?"

"While it's true Morningdawn can be quite troublesome, and our experiences in the past have not been ideal, I believe this position will guide him down the path of maturity. And perhaps a friendly meeting will allow us to restore ties with ThunderClan again and destroy any bad blood between us. Anyone interested in joining me may meet me at the foot of camp in a short while. Dismissed."

After the meeting, Blazeheart padded over to his usual group of friends consisting of his brothers Goldenpelt and Clawstripe, Stormspots and his sister, Wildblaze and his brother Rocktooth, and the young warrior Whitefoot.

"So," started Rocktooth, he spoke with a slight impediment due to his crooked jaw, "Any of you guys going to go with Toadstar to ThunderClan."

"No way," gravely mewed Stormspots, "I'd sooner put a pawful of ticks in my father's pelt." He took in a deep breath. "However, as Toadstar's medicine cat I'm obligated to go, no matter how much I don't want to."

Blazeheart thought back to not too long ago, when Morningdawn killed Stormspots' mentor and FireClan's medicine cat Tawnysoul in a border dispute. The white tom had a good reason to feel bitter.

"I'm going to give him a shot," mewed Goldenpelt. "It's like Toadstar said, maybe this will send him down a better path. If he changes, good. If he doesn't, then nothing's really changed."

"I guess I'll tag along too," noted Clawstripe. "Why not. It could hurt."

Blazeheart sighed. "Well if you guys are gonna play me like that I suppose I have to come."

Blazeheart didn't like Morningdawn; it had been that way since he met him as a kit near the thunderpath. But he felt like this would give him a reason to be closer to ThunderClan, and closer to Sandwhisker.

Whitefoot pushed his way forward. "Hey, get me in on this too!"

Blazeheart chucked. "You must really like Morningdawn if you're this enthusiastic to see him."

"Nope, hate his guts. I'm just hoping he's a nervous wreck when we get over to ThunderClan. Oh, I'd kill to see the look on his smug, little face!"

The group laughed for a moment, before Stormspots chimed in. "Well, I guess you four can just follow me. I think Toadstar's getting the group around now.

-

Toadstar's "group" was a pitiful sight to behold. Blazeheart knew Morningdawn didn't have the best reputation in FireClan, but besides Toadstar, Shrewfur and Stormspots, Blazeheart, his brothers and Whitefoot were the only members.

The group traveled along the trees and rocky terrain of FireClan territory until meeting a part where the trees and foliage grew thicker; the ThunderClan border. The stench of another clan surged in Blazeheart's nostrils and made him a little dizzy. When he and Sandwhisker used to secretly meet up as apprentices, he had grown used to it, but that had all changed in her absence.

Once at the edge of the border, Toadstar stopped and tried to see if there was a nearby patrol he could flag down to escort the group to ThunderClan camp. After a short time of waiting he came upon a patrol consisting of Hammerclaw, Gophertooth and an apprentice named Quickpaw.

"Hey, Hammerclaw! Over here!"

The large brown tom quickly darted his head over in Toadstar's direction. "Toadstar? What are you doing over here?"

"I come in peace, Hammerclaw. I simply wish to extend a paw of friendship and greet Morningda-- Morningstar on his reign of leadership."

Hammerclaw glanced over to Gophertooth, then back to Toadstar. "Alright, follow me."

With Toadstar in the leader, Blazeheart and the rest of the group traveled farther into ThunderClan territory, the treetops above blocking the sun from touching the ground.

Chapter Two - Clawstripe

TBC

Chapter Three - Goldenpelt

TBC

Chapter Four - Clawstripe

TBC

Chapter Five - Blazeheart

TBC

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