Following on from the lives of Dovewing, Ivypool, Lionblaze and Jayfeather, memories of the terrible fight with the dark forest have faded. Instead, they are replaced with even more fights, a clan in need, and five young cats starting the journey of their lives. Will Wolfpaw find his way back to the cats he once knew, or will the first battle be his last?
Dewstar – Tall gray tom with bright orange eyes and a long tail
Dashface – Sleek gray tom with black dashes on his face
Flamebird – Ginger she-cat with white paws and pale golden eyes
Apprentice – Cheetahpaw
Amberdusk– light gray she-cat with amber eyes
Crowstripe – Dark gray tabby tom with large ears and ice-blue eyes
Apprentice – Badgerpaw
Goldenleaf – Golden she-cat with bright green eyes
Dusttail – Brown tabby tom
Tigerstripe – Dark brown tom with stripes on his legs and tail
Stormflame – Gray tom with orange eyes
Kinkbird – Gray tabby she-cat with fur that sticks out at all angles
Silverwing – Silver she-cat with white splotches
Waterfrost – White she-cat with black ears, paws and tail-tip
Apprentice – Applepaw
Owlfeather – light brown tom
Apprentice - Robinpaw
Echosong – tortoiseshell she-cat with dazzling blue eyes
Bramblefire – Brown and ginger tom
Redpine – Ginger tom with a black stripe running down his back and black paws.
Cheetahpaw – golden tom with black spots, training as a medicine cat
Robinpaw – dark brown she-cat with ginger paws
Applepaw – cream coloured tom with white ear-tips
Badgerpaw- black tom with a white stripe running from nose to tail-tip
Icethorn – white she-cat, mother of Crowstripe’s kits
Suncloud – golden and white she-cat, expecting Bramblefire’s kits
Wolfkit – gray tabby tom with bright blue eyes
Darkkit – Black tom with one ear missing
Seedvine – light tabby tom with only one claw, now fully deaf
Snowwasp – white tom with amber eyes
Lilylight – dark tabby she-cat with white splotches
Talonstar – Brown tom with a white muzzle and very sharp golden eyes
Batstorm – dark gray tom with a black muzzle and black paws
Emberheart – Gray speckled she-cat
Swallowstream – brown and black tom
Apprentice – Longpaw
Smokesong – Black she-cat with white legs
Leafcloud – Tabby she-cat with startling
Hailfeather – White she-cat
Apprentice – Earthpaw
Flintfur – Gray and white tom
Apprentice – Grizzlypaw
Muddynose – gray tom with a brown muzzle
Honeythorn – Cream she-cat
Foxfang – Ginger tom with black paws
Brackenpool – Brown tom with a white tail-tip
Longpaw – White she-cat with huge ears
Earthpaw – Brown tom with black feet
Grizzlypaw – dark brown tom with very thick fur
Dapplewing – tortoiseshell she-cat, mother of Flintfur’s kits
Willowkit – White she-kit
Ivykit – tortoiseshell she-kit
Blueclaw – Blue-gray she-cat
Rosethorn – Brown and white she-cat, also fully blind
Hollystar – Black she-cat with a white chest
Sandbird – golden tabby she-cat
Briarcloud – brown and white she-cat
Snakeleg – black tom with long striped legs like snakes
Nettlefur – cream tom
Apprentice – Starlingpaw
Feathersplash - White she-cat
Wildpelt – Golden tom with ragged fur
Grayblaze – gray tom with a red dash on his chest
Ripplebreeze – glossy black and white tom
Mistheart – White tabby she-cat
Apprentice – Eaglepaw
Starlingpaw – Gray and black tom
Eaglepaw – Brown tom
Lizardfoot – Brown she-cat with a white tail-tip, mother of Wildpelt’s kits
Whitesong – Pure white she-cat, Mother of Ripplebreeze’s kits
Nightkit – Black tom
Pinekit – Brown and white she-kit
Petalkit – Cream she-kit
Mockingwing – White and black she-cat, half deaf
Harepelt – tall brown tom
Whiskernose – light brown tabby tom
Reedstar – Brown tom
Shellblade – Cream and black tom
Splashpelt – Black and gray she-cat
Apprentice - Owlpaw
Muddyfoot – Brown and cream tom
Ferretwhisker – white and dark brown she-cat
Scalefur – blue-gray and white tom with ice-blue eyes
Apprentice - Wetpaw
Boulderheart – Dark gray tom
Dovefeather – White and light gray she-cat
Sunpelt – Cream and golden tom
Vinetail – Black tom with a long tail
Mapleheart – Golden she-cat
Owlpaw – Brown and golden tom
Wetpaw – black tom
Moonheart – Black and white she-cat, mother of Scalefur’s kits
Rockkit – Gray tom
Tumblekit – Black and gray tom
Furzekit – Gray and white tom
Whiteclaw – White tom with blue eyes
Goldenshine – Golden she-cat
Heronnight – Brown tabby tom with blue eyes
Cats Outside Clans
Jet – Black tom, former clan cat
Flame – Ginger tom
Shimmer – Golden and white she-cat
Mango – Golden tom, former clan cat
Buck – A chestnut horse that broke free of its twolegs
Blood splashed on the holly leaves, scarlett red against green. Crowstripe pounded towards the nursery, ignoring the jolt of pain that flashed from his flank as the thorn-sharp claws of the fox slashed through him. All that mattered was getting to Icethorn. He heard the piercing cry of Brownwhisker as the ginger creature mauled her to death. It was chaos all around camp as the foxes kept on streaming through the entrance to the fighting cats within. Icethorn yowled in the nursery, urging Crowstripe to keep on running. As he reached there, Flamepaw popped his head out of the entrance and as he caught sight of Crowstripe, beckoned him quickly with his tail. “I need to get more cobwebs! Guard the entrance!” he hissed, and Crowstripe immediately nodded his head, as a flash of red caught his eye. A fox was inside the nursery, where Icethorn was kitting. He yowled as loud as he could and leaped towards the nursery, but Dewstar beat him. He ran inside, and saw something he never wanted to see again. The fox, the deadly nightmare, dashed forward and snapped its powwerfull jaws on Dewstar’s neck, who was standing in front of Icethorn. The fox didn’t let go. It seemed to go in slow motion, Dewstar fell to the ground, the kit was born and the fox leaped for it. He was too late. The fox bit off the top of the kits ear, snarled and bit Crowstripe and pounded out of the den.
Great StarClan no!
Crowstripe legs failed him as he fell to the ground, and started to lick the earless kit. As the noises died away, Dewstar suddenly jolted up and started heavily panting. “ How can I ever thank you, Dewstar?” Crowstripe muttered, softly, “You gave one of your nine lives to save my kits.”
“It was nothing,” Dewstar sighed, “They are my clan mates now,” And he limped off towards Leafdappple’s den. “What shall we name them? Icethorn meowed.
“The one with the ear missing has had a dark time, so we should call him Darkkit, because it also matches his pelt.” Crowstripe darkly muttered.
And it matches the circumstances of his existence.
To be honest, he didn’t like the kits. They had cost his leader a life, and one of them were disabled.
“V-very well…” Icethorn stammered, a little bit hurt, “ We should call the gray tabby one Wolfkit,”.
Yes, he does look like a wolf, with his ice-blue eyes.'''
“Ok, I don’t care,” He hissed, “Just make sure you keep your helpless kits away from their father!” and he left, leaving Darkkit, Wolfkit, and Icethorn alone in the nursery.
Wolfkit leaped on his brother, knocking him to the ground and leaving lying there, winded. “Wolfkit!” His mother snapped, “Don’t play too roughly with your brother!”
“Sorry, Icethorn… but I need to practice for when I’m a warrior!” He excitedly replied. Today, he and his brother were going to become apprentices! That is, if Darkkit could become an apprentice, after all, he was missing an ear. The elders had told him stories of the terrible fox attack that had raged on as he and his brother were born, costing Dewstar a life and Darkkit his ear.
“Don’t mewl, Darkkit, my precious. I’m sure you’ll be a great warrior!” Icethorn gently meowed, licking Darkkit’s head.
“What about me, Icethorn!” Wolfkit said to his mother, “Will I be a great warrior to?” He was sure to be, Dashface already said his hunting crouch was perfect, and he’s clan deputy!
“If you’re lucky!” His mother snarled, menacingly. Wolfkit sighed. He was used to being treated like that, his mother usually favoured Darkkit much more than Wolfkit. But despite his mother’s favouritism, he almost jumped for joy as he heard Dewstar call the summons of a clan meeting. “It’s time!” he shouted.
As he and Darkkit padded out of the warm nursery, he felt the eyes of all the clan burning into his fur. He raised his head a little higher as he sat in the clearing in front of the highrock, and with his brother waited for Dewstar to start speaking.
“I have gathered you here today to perform one of my favourite duties, Wolfkit and Darkkit have reached their sixth moon, and it is time for them to leave the nursery and become apprentices,” Dewstar started to mew, “Darkkit and Wolfkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. Darkkit, from this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Darkpaw. Your mentor will be Dusttail. I hope Dusttail will pass down all he knows to you. Dusttail, you are ready to take on another apprentice. You had received excellent training from Bramblefire, and you have shown yourself to be strong and patient. You will be the mentor of Darkpaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know to him.” Wolfkit felt like bursting as Dusttail padded over to touch noses with his new apprentice. It was his turn next!
“Wolfkit, from this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Wolfpaw. Your mentor will be Redpine. I hope he will pass down all he knows to you. Redpine, you are ready for your first apprentice. You had a great mentor in Dashface, and you have shown yourself to be loyal and skilful. You will be the mentor to Wolfpaw, and I expect you to pass on all you know to him.” Redpine walked over to where Wolfpaw was standing, and bent down to touch noses with him. Wolfpaw was scared his new mentor wouldn’t like him like his mother, but as he looked into his eyes he saw only pride and excitement. “I’ll try really hard!” Wolfpaw whispered, and Redgaze replied, “So will I. We’ll make a great team!” And he stepped back, purring, as the clan called out his and Darkpaw’s new names “Wolfpaw! Darkpaw! Wolfpaw! Darkpaw!” Wolfpaw was proud. He was an apprentice of ThunderClan now.
Redpine padded out of the warriors den and welcomed the warm sunlight onto his fur. He was about to ask Dashface if he was on the next patrol, when he remembered. He was mentor to Wolfpaw now! He walked over to the apprentices den and stuck his head through the ferns to see inside. Applepaw was snoozing after a long midnight patrol, while Wolfpaw was sharing tongues with Badgerpaw on the other side of the den. “Wolfpaw!” he softly meowed “Time to go!”
The gray apprentice shot up immediately. After calling a goodbye to Badgerpaw, he joined Redpine outside the den. “What are we doing today?” he happily asked.
“I’m going to give you a tour of the territory,” Redpine replied, “Cheetahpaw will come with us, Flamebird needs more marigold.”
“What’s marigold?” Wolfpaw chirped, impressing Redpine with his curiosity.
“Some herb medicine cats use,” said Redpine, “Don’t ask me what its used for, I was never interested in all that stuff,”.
As they set off down the ravine, Wolfpaw was a different cat. He was calm, alert, and stayed close to Redpine. Cheetahpaw was delighted to find a fresh clump of marigold right next to the camp entrance, and he stumbled back to Flamebird with his jaws full of the strong-smelling herb. They turned a corner down towards the sandy hollow, and stopped as they heard a yowl of triumph. Wolfpaw froze. “What’s that?” he hissed, scanning the forest around him for danger.
Redpine chuckled. “I guess Robinpaw has defeated Owlfeather again. Its time she and Badgerpaw were made warriors,” and he set off at a run down to the hollow, checking behind him to see if Wolfpaw was keeping up. They came to a halt when they saw Owlfeather pinned to the ground by his apprentice, and padded over to see them.
“Hi, Wolfpaw!” Robinpaw shouted, waving her long, brown tail. “Look Redpine! I bet I could beat you, too!”
“I bet you could,” Redpine laughed, “Are you alright, Owlfeather?” he meowed, with a glint of mischief and humour in his eyes.
“Fine,” Owlfeather grunted, “Get off me, you great lump!” and he shoved Robinpaw away. “Come to do some training?” he asked Wolfpaw.
“No, Redpine is giving me a tour of the territory. But if I see an enemy warrior on our side of the border, I’ll be so fierce, I would even scare Talonstar back to his own stinking trees!” Wolfpaw boasted, proudly.
“Not yet, little warrior,” Owlfeather said, shaking his head, “ But in a few moons, I bet you will be the bravest little thing Thunder Clan has ever seen!”
“But only after me!” Robinpaw interrupted, cuffing Wolfpaw around the ear, before Redpine told Wolfpaw it was time to go. After calling goodbye to Owlfeather and Robinpaw, they padded on through the forest, when Redpine called for his apprentice to stop.
“This is sunningrocks.” he explained, motioning with his tail towards the big, flat rocks next to the river. “RiverClan territory lies beyond that river. Use your nose, what can you smell?”
“Something fishy….. is that RiverClan scent?” Wolfpaw asked, walking towards the border.
“Yes, it is. Remember, don’t cross that river, unless you want your pelt ripped off by mouse-hearted RiverClan cats.” Redgaze replied.
“You can talk, squirrel-breath!” came a harsh mew from the reeds by the riverbed across the border.
“Hello, Scalefur,” Redgaze coldly growled, narrowing his eyes, “Prey is running well in RiverClan, I hope?” for some reason, he didn’t trust this cat, he seemed much more suspicious than all the other RiverClan cats, and as he turned to look at Wolfpaw, Redgaze saw a hunger for battle in his piercing blue eyes. He took a step closer to his apprentice, whose fur was bristling along his spine.
“Good enough. Thunder Clan got a new apprentice, eh? Poor kit. I would be straight out of the Clan if I got a mentor who doesn’t know the difference between a mouse and a fish.” Scalefur coolly said, glaring at Redpine. Wolfpaw stiffened, then snarled and sprinted to the edge of the border.
“Redpine is a great mentor!” He spat, angrily lashing his tail, “Better than you, anyway, you big fox-hearted excuse for a cat!”
Scalefur growled, then leaped across the border towards Wolfpaw.
“Great StarClan!” Redpine thought, “No!”
Wolfpaw let out a ear-splitting yowl as powerful jaws closed around his shoulder. Redpine screeched and lunged for Scalefur, knocking him away from Wolfpaw, who was lying on the ground, his leg bent at a strange angle. “Get away from our territory!” Redpine yowled, anger making him fearless, “and stay away if you want to keep your stinking pelt!” and Scalefur ran off.
Almost at the same time, Owlfeather and Robinpaw came skidding down towards them.
“What happened?” Owlfeather demanded.
“Scalefur,” Redpine almost clawed the ground from under his paws at the name, “He crossed the border and attacked Wolfpaw. Come on, he’s badly hurt and we need to get him back to camp,”.
“Ouch!” Wolfpaw complained.
“Stop complaining, your shoulders better now, see,” Flamebird meowed, calmly looking at Wolfpaw. “Just let me put some comfrey on it, and you’ll be fine.”
“Hopefully,” Wolfpaw muttered under his breath. Memories of the dreadful first training session flooded over him. How fun it was to watch Robinpaw, the fishy smell of RiverClan, and Scalefur. The RiverClan warrior, yes, he was sure he had looked into those eyes before. The same ice-blue eyes of Crowstripe. Wolfpaw sighed, resting his head on his paws, until hisses of outrage from the clearing brought him back to his senses. He poked his head out of the lush ferns surrounding Flamebird’s den, to see that Tigerstripe had returned from his patrol with Kinkbird, Waterfrost and Applepaw, who all looked out-of-breath from running and furious. He limped over to Redpine, who licked his apprentice between the ears, before snarling as Tigerstripe listed some warriors Wolfpaw had never heard of.
“Splashpelt, Ferretwhisker, Boulderheart, Dovefeather, Vinetail, Mapleheart, it looked like Shellblade was leading the whole of RiverClan!” Tigerstripe roared, “Dewstar, we must prepare! They are almost here!”
“Elders and queens, into my den! Dusttail and Kinkbird, guard them! Owlfeather, Waterfrost, Crowstripe, are your apprentices ready for battle?” Dewstar demanded, equally outraged. As all the mentors nodded, Wolfpaw turned to Redpine questioningly.
“RiverClan are coming to invade, Tigerstripe’s patrol caught Shellblade, the RiverClan deputy, leading enough warriors to drive out an entire clan. Wolfpaw, whatever happens, stick close to me or Icethorn.” Redpine’s eyes were full of sorrow and determination. “We will pull through this!”
Wolfpaw admired his mentor’s courage, but what if they didn’t win?
The clan will be murdered in the heart of their own territory!
He was about to walk over to Icethorn, until she saw him and hissed, her eyes glinting in the warm sunlight.
“Why is he fighting?” she snarled “He can’t fight with a wrenched shoulder! He’ll be a burden to the clan!” Wolfpaw flinched. He knew his mother preferred Darkkit, but this battle could cost him his life. Slowly, he backed away towards Cheetahpaw, who licked his ear comfortingly.
“Am I a burden to the clan?” Wolfpaw asked, in a whisper for only Cheetahpaw to hear.
“No, little one. Your mother is just scared for you,” replied Cheetahpaw, but Wolfpaw could tell from the hostility in his eyes as he looked at Icethorn he was lying. Suddenly he flinched as Amberdusk herded him away to the elders den, along with Darkpaw, Flamebird and Suncloud.
“You must stay here and guard the elders, Suncloud and Flamebird, with your brother. You haven’t had any battle training, so Bramblefire, Applepaw and Dusttail will be on another patrol ready to help you. Don’t take risks. Fight no-one other than those your size, and for StarClan’s sake, be careful!” Amberdusk’s eyes shone with sympathy and grief as she turned to pass the message on to Darkpaw. With a jolt, Wolfpaw realised, this was no ordinary border fight, this was life or death.
Wolfpaw - Gray tabby tom with bright blue eyes
Redpine - Red tom with black paws and a black stripe running down his back
Darkpaw - Black tom with an ear missing
Scalefur - Blue-ish and white tabby tom
Dewstar - Tall gray tom with bright orange eyes
Flamepaw - Orange tabby she-cat with light green eyes