Chapter 1-1

posted August 3rd, 2017, 10:49 am


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August 3rd, 2017, 10:49 am

WildfireK

Chapter 1-1

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My name is Lynxstar.
I am the leader of Shadowclan.
Or at least, I might be.
What is a leader?
A leader isn’t always right, but cats follow them anyway.
Frostfire, my deputy, for example.
Frostfire is more of a leader than I am.
That is a very dangerous thing. I will keep both eyes on her.

A cat with fur the color of a skull and eyes the color of fresh-spilt blood sat at the entrance of the leader’s den. She let her eyes drift, pausing at each passerby. She knew each one’s weakness, and each one’s strength. She knew their loyalties, personalities, likes, dislikes, and relationships. She knew enough to bring each one of them down though clever words and threats. She was not Rubystar, however. She knew enough to bring each of them up from the depths of the darkest day. They were her friends. They were not Rubystar.
The she-cat let her eyes drift towards another white she-cat with a ginger tail. In an instant, information flooded the red-eyed she-cat’s mind. This was Squirreltail. She was closest to Snowclaw, and was amiable enough to befriend most other cats in the camp. She wanted to see an insubordinate ShadowClan; with a certain Froststar at the lead. She did not back down from a challenge. She did not swallow important words. She put integrity over safety. She was not a coward. To destroy Squirreltail, one needed to attack Snowclaw and use her anger to entice dangerous words out of her which would crumble her reputation. She was more efficient with Snowclaw.
The red-eyed she-cat turned to a dark grey tom with green eyes and white paws. Snowclaw. The red-eyed she-cat coughed loudly enough for Snowclaw, Squirreltail and the rest of the cats in the area to notice.
“Squirreltail.” Frostfire’s voice was quiet, but it pierced the air, finding its way to Squirreltail’s attentive ears. Squirreltail’s ears perked up.
“Yes?”
“Take Ashface and Snowclaw to patrol the ThunderClan border.”
“Right.” Squirreltail nodded briskly and signaled for Snowclaw to follow. She padded over to a Siamese tom, who padded after her without a word out of the clearing. After a few seconds, small splashes could be heard as the three trudged through the shallow waters of the river delta.
This was a daily process for the cats of ShadowClan. As deputy or second in command, Frostfire had the duty of organizing patrols, small groups of cats that would hunt or scout the borders for danger and to renew scent-marks on boundaries. ShadowClan lived on a flat wooded island surrounded by small, shallow streams on a river’s delta. It was swampy and dark here, just how ShadowClan liked it.
Frostfire turned towards a coarse-furred Maine Coon, a tom. This tom stood at the entrance of the leader’s den. Lynxstar. Half of his aura looked down in modesty. The other looked up in faith and pride. Frostfire knew both but saw only one. She mewed a cordial greeting. Lynxstar acknowledged her with a curt nod.
The sound of paws hitting the ground caused both figures to turn towards the right to see a jet-black tom pelt towards Lynxstar, pleasure, ambition, and adulation plastered on his face. In an instant, Frostfire noticed Lynxstar’s mood change. His eyes started to soften and glow with warmth, his posture slowly uprighted itself, and he smoothed out the edges of his figure. Creases and shadows departed from his body. His scent changed from smelling crisp and clean to a semblance of relaxation. The jet-black top leapt into the chest of his mentor. Coalpaw. Frostfire knew exactly how to make him fall. Coalpaw would prefer a ShadowClan lead by a certain tom that went by Lynxstar.
“Lynxstar!” Coalpaw’s cry was not one usually used in ShadowClan. When greeting one another, one would nod, flick their tail, or say “hi” or some variant of the word. Only cats accustomed to the absence of a clanmate would use this upon their return. Coalpaw and Lynxstar were very close. Frostfire backed away and observed diplomatically. She had seen this situation a hundred times before, but information could always be gleaned.
“Coalpaw,” Lynxstar replied, expertly mixing fatherly affection with businesslike authority to create a delicious mix that charmed the heart.
“What are we going to practice today, Lynxstar?” Coalpaw asked eagerly, shining ambition emerging from the depths of his heart. Frostfire had seen that ambition. She shuddered. The last cat she had seen with that ambition had died at her claws with wounds crisscrossing her body. Of course, this was just an apprentice. Nothing to worry about, she told herself. What an obvious lie. Her mind tactlessly switched the subject of focus toward Lynxstar. His back was to her now, his face hidden. He paused for a moment, and Frostfire knew that even though his back was turned, he saw her. Not with his eyes, but with his mind. In his mind he could imagine how to make her fall. Lynxstar, though he showed very little signs of it, probably knew exactly what would douse Frostfire’s flames. Frostfire shuddered. Leaders were very dangerous. Lynxstar was very dangerous. Maybe he would be the next cat to die at Frostifre’s claws, but first, Frostfire had to scout ahead with her suspicions. Or maybe Frostfire was being paranoid.
“Battle training,” Lynxstar stated briskly. This would be viewed as innocent in front of every other cat, but Frostfire knew that Lynxstar was planning to get rid of her soon. Or was he? Frostfire thought she knew every clanmate so well that she would be able to judge every move they made. Was she wrong? Did she not know how to get rid of Lynxstar? Who knew if attacking Snowclaw would actually bring Squirreltail down as well. Perhaps it would just strengthen her. Perhaps she would be able to keep her temper in check. Lost in her thoughts, she barely noticed Coalpaw nod, flexing his claws eagerly and Lynxstar beckoned for him to follow to the nearby training island.
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“Okay, I’m a ThunderClan warrior. What would you use against me?” Lynxstar prompted. Coalpaw jumped in as soon as he finished his sentence.
“Well, if you’re a ThunderCl—“ Coalpaw started, breaking himself off with a launch toward Lynxstar. Coalpaw had cleverly planned this. If he started talking, the other person would expect him to finish before attacking. Coalpaw wouldn’t give his enemy that advantage. However, Lynxstar’s reflexes took him to the right as he lifted a paw to pin the moving Coalpaw on the ground. However, Coalpaw twisted in mid-air to his side. Lynxstar had been expecting him to land on his belly, and had positioned his leg to land on Coalpaw’s back. When Coalpaw turned, Lynxstar pushed his paw down on the ground, missing Coalpaw by a hair. Coalpaw grabbed onto Lynxstar’s legs with all four limbs and pretend-scratched on it. Playing along, Lynxstar drew back. Coalpaw lifted himself up, but that gave Lynxstar the time to rebalance himself. Lynxstar started towards Coalpaw, but he turned around and gave a swift back kick. Lynxstar ducked, and caught one of Coalpaw’s legs. Using his strength, he hurled Coalpaw to the ground and pinned him. Coalpaw, using all of his strength, forced his hips upwards, which unbalanced Lynxstar. Still he kept a firm hold. Coalpaw decided to try a different strategy. He wrapped his tail around one of Lynxstar’s hind legs and pulled with all his might towards that direction. That gave him enough freedom to wrangle himself free. Lynxstar, undaunted, gave him a nod of approval before rushing at him again.
Coalpaw braced for a head-on blow, but in reality he was expecting Lynxstar to turn at the perfect moment to attack his side. Lynxstar did not do this, however, and by the time Coalpaw realized that, he was flying through the air. He twisted and landed on his feet a few tail-lengths away. Fatigued and shocked, Coalpaw tried a sloppy charge towards Lynxstar. Lynxstar expertly braced for both possible outcomes of this charge, but he was not expecting Coalpaw to curl up in a ball and roll under him. His claws glanced off of Coalpaw’s flank, and was surprised to feel Coalpaw jump into Lynxstar’s belly. With Coalpaw underneath him, Lynxstar lost concentration. He landed on his back on top of Coalpaw, who threw him off as planned. Coalpaw beamed with pride when he realized Lynxstar was unsettled.
“Where…Who taught you that move?” Lynxstar asked. He knew this move well, but never expected Coalpaw to ever use it in his lifetime.
“Twopaw, of course! He’s the best at fighting! Now I know why!” Coalpaw exclaimed innocently.
“That’s… that’s a Ospreystar-era ShadowClan move. Twopaw wouldn’t know it. Frostfire must have taught it to him,” Lynxstar mumbled, more to himself than to Coalpaw, who picked up the change of mood immediately.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t I? Twopaw’s innocent as well, right?” Coalpaw questioned, a little more seriousness and maturity creeping into his voice.
“No, you didn’t. Perhaps I’m imagining things, but this could be a subtle statement. Nevertheless, you did very well in training today, and it’s not just because of Twopaw. You thought very quickly, and I applaud you for that.” Even though Lynxstar was evidently unsettled, he couldn’t stop the warmth from flooding his words, however stiff and shocked they were. He padded over to lick Coalpaw’s now dirty pelt. The jet-black tom purred.
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As Lynxstar and Coalpaw entered the camp, warriors were still milling about as usual, though Lynxstar could spot the absence of Squirreltail, Ashface, Snowclaw, Sandwave, Yeweye, and Fadesong. Evidently Frostfire had sent the latter three on a patrol. Swampshine, the medicine cat, was seated near the medicine den, talking to her apprentice, Shadowsmoke. The other apprentices weaved in and out of dens, on their apprentice duties. Now that Coalpaw was done with training, he needed to do his as well. Noticing that no apprentice entered the warriors den, Lynxstar assigned Coalpaw to that area.
“Coalpaw, change the warrior’s bedding. That’s all you’ll need to do right now, since the other apprentices have taken the other jobs, and the hunting patrol isn’t back yet.” Coalpaw nodded, eager to get it over with so that he could chat with the other apprentices. He padded away.
Now that Coalpaw was gone, Lynxstar could turn his attention to the other cats in the camp. Crowsand and Roserain stood off towards the edge of camp, talking quietly. Slightly suspicious, Lynxstar decided to greet them.
“Hey Crowsand and Roserain, how are you doing? Have you told Swampshine about your ache?” Lynxstar asked, the last question directed towards Crowsand, who had reported a slight ache in his shoulder area the day before. Crowsand nodded, looking pleased and relieved for some reason. Roserain looked a little unsettled, but she hid it well. Lynxstar guessed that they were talking about him. Crowsand was a loyal ally to Lynxstar and Roserain loved to gossip.
“Crowsand, if you would come with me,” Lynxstar mewed, and Crowsand nodded, looking a little wary. Roserain backed away awkwardly. Lynxstar padded away, the tan tabby tom with black stripes following. Lynxstar ducked inside the leader’s den, and turned to face Crowsand.
“Right. Crowsand. Did you know that Frostfire has been teaching Twopaw Ospreystar-era ShadowClan moves?” Crowsand didn’t look surprised, but Lynxstar knew that Crowsand saw the fear in his eyes.
“No, I didn’t. What harm does it do?” Crowsand prompted.
“I don’t know. I guess the more battle moves Twopaw knows, the better. It scares me, though, how Twopaw is the best at battling and is using esoteric moves. Frostfire may be preparing a dangerous ally. We both know how she covets that star suffix.
Lynxstar was convinced that Frostfire wanted to be leader, but Crowsand was not so sure. As a warrior, he didn’t have as much interaction with Frostfire as Lynxstar did. Lynxstar was able to feel the passion that seeped out of her fur. She wanted to restore ShadowClan to its former state: a prideful, powerful, feared clan, in a time before bloodthirsty tyrants like Tigerstar, Brokenstar, Yarrowstar, and Rubystar. Lynxstar’s personality interfered with that. The last person who came close to destroying her vision was Rubystar. Frostfire killed Rubystar. Lynxstar wanted to be ready.
“By the way, what were you and Roserain talking about, if you don’t mind me asking?” Lynxstar may have adulterated the order, but it was clear he wanted answers and expected them to be given.
“Well, you know Roserain. She loves to gossip. She was talking about authoritarian leaderships and correlating that with past ShadowClan leaders and recent ones as well,” Crowpaw explained politically, skillfully avoiding mentioning the word ‘you’ as that would almost certainly fuel the fearful fire that Lynxstar harbored, and would be quite blunt. Crowsand dismayed, however, to see Lynxstar’s eyes reflexively widen. The message was clear. Everyone was talking about him behind his back.
“What exactly did she say? Did she pick a side?” Lynxstar blurted, his speech a spate of words, spurred on by fear until they were slurred so much Crowsand nearly asked for him to repeat his questions. Even though Crowsand had avoided mentioning sides, he knew exactly what Lynxstar was referring to.
“She favors Frostfire. I made it clear I favor you, though Frostfire has yet to react. She probably knew I would choose you, considering how close we are.” Lynxstar nodded absentmindedly. He evidently had not asked all the questions in his mind.
“How many cats would you say are leaning towards Frostfire?” This time, Lynxstar’s voice was thin enough to slice in half. He was keeping it under control – he was an expert at that, but even he could not hide his fear. The threat of being killed was high enough to cause nightmares.
“Well, I’d say that Squirreltail and Snowclaw are slightly on Frostfire’s side. We may be able to convince them. Twopaw is definitely on Frostfire’s side, but you can count on Ravineraven, me, and Coalpaw, of course. Swampshine, Voidtail, and Shadowsmoke are in the middle, though I’ve seen Frostfire paying more attention to them than usual. She definitely wants them behind her – now that I think about it, your theory seems even more plausible,” Crowpaw mewed, starting off tepidly, but as he realized how Frostfire was already working behind the scenes, his eyes started to widen and his heart beat faster.
Lynxstar noticed this.
“Yes, I’ve been keeping both my eyes on her. Don’t be afraid, though. It’s not you she’s aiming for,” the grey Maine Coon stated grimly.
“That doesn’t matter! You’re my leader, and my friend. It makes no difference if it was you or me she aims to kill. That being said, I’ll help in any way I can.” Crowsand paused. “I think Frostfire’s starting to take notice of our absences, so I’ll go talk to Ashface. He and I are close enough to not look suspicious.” Lynxstar nodded in a way that would look like he was giving an order, instead of having a private discussion, while Crowsand padded away to Ashface, who had just emerged into the camp. Squirreltail and Snowclaw followed. In the background, Lynxstar could hear him greet Ashface, the Siamese tom.
Lynxstar watched as three cats emerged from the opposite side of camp. Sandwave, Yeweye, and Fadesong walked into camp with pieces of prey in their jaws. They set each one down on a pile in the middle of camp. Almost immediately, nearly all the warriors turned towards the fresh-kill pile. Ravineraven, a grey tom with a black tail, padded out of the elder’s den and towards the fresh-kill pile, followed by Goldenrod and Foxglove. From the other side of camp, Chervileye padded towards the same destination. Picking a juicy thrush, Ravineraven backed away for Goldenrod, Foxglove, and Chervileye to choose. Chervileye pawed four pieces of fresh-kill towards her, tacitly stating that these were her choices. Of course, no cat would eat four pieces of prey at a time; since Chervileye was a queen, or nursing mother, she was picking out four pieces of prey for the cats in the nursery: one for her, one for firfire, the other nursing queen, and two for their kits.

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October 21st, 2017, 3:17 am

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August 3rd, 2017, 5:59 pm

ShadowStalker1128

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Coalpaw is soooo cyute!!

I really love the way you made Frostfire's POV
I think we see a lot of her character and thoughts on the situation, and I hope we'll get to see her POV again :3

I like Crowsand. I still do XD

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August 3rd, 2017, 6:01 pm

WiFi on the go (Guest)

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@ShadowStalker1128:
Yes, he is! He's such a floofy 15-yr old :3

Also, yesss!!! Glad that worked out - this whole beginning is pretty much heavily influenced by both Lynxstar and Frostfire's thoughts and actions - and yes, you'll see more of her :D (though maybe not in POV version, because the lack of POV is intentional ;3)

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August 4th, 2017, 7:04 am

ShadowStalker1128

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@WiFi on the go: okay!

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view Fire storm's profile

October 14th, 2017, 8:24 am

Fire storm

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dis is nice

but my eyes died.SO MUCH WORDS.

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October 14th, 2017, 8:25 am

WildfireK

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@Fire storm:
Heee heer sorry XD
LT is at 43,000 right now, this is 4,000 XDDD
You have a long journey ahead

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October 14th, 2017, 8:28 am

Fire storm

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@WildfireK: oh god D:

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