Warrior Clan Cats

The future's in your paws. Shape it well.

Roleplay in a cat Clan of warriors. Based off the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Takes place in an AU before the cats in the books existed.
 
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 How to Fill a Vacancy {closed}

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lemongrass
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Site Moderator
lemongrass

Female
Virgo Cat
Number of posts : 659
Age : 19

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PostSubject: How to Fill a Vacancy {closed}   How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Icon_minitimeSun Jun 23, 2019 5:58 pm

Evening. The sun hovered just above the gorse bushes that bordered WindClan's camp, lighting the sky in a gray hue, touching the tips of Finchstar's ears with yellow light. Three apprentice ceremonies, three new mentors, and life kept going on. There was another task, however, that the leader had been avoiding. While daily clan tasks came as something easy, he found it hard to mend the gaps he had torn between himself, and his friends. An odd thing. Usually Finchstar would jump at the chance to converse with another, but lately the job held less appeal. Aspenpaw was first, Finchstar padded into his den and laid out his heart for the world to see. And it hurt, it hurt bad. They had yelled and clawed at the dirt, and they were better for it. Even stronger then they started. It felt good, and Finchstar knew he needed to do the same with the other cats close to him. But again, he knew of the pain that was to come from it, and perhaps he was scared. Barleytuft, aside from Finchstar, was the closest cat to Brookclover. And with her gone and dead, Finchstar felt as if the tie between the cream tabby and himself had been severed. What did their friendship mean, without his mate? The leader narrowed his eyes as he questioned his logic, not wanting to let Barleytuft slip from his grasp. He would forge anew, open paths that hadn't yet existed before, and Barleytuft and Finchstar would see each other differently, yes, but there would be a friendship. Finchstar would hate himself if he let that fall through the cracks.

Time had been passing ever since Brookclover's death. And it seemed each day, his window for redemption narrowed in on itself, and if the tom waited any longer, he'd be labeled a recluse and left to sit alone with himself. Finchstar would rather die. Barleytuft sat in the grassy clearing, his cream pelt lit a hazy yellow with the setting sun. It had been so easy to give the senior warrior an apprentice, something that usually was a meaningful deal. But now, doing the most mundane things such as talking, Finchstar hesitated. It would be so easy to find a seat next to him and let the grasses kiss his pelt. He'd speak words of sorrow, let down his walls and spill out all he had hidden from Brookclover's mentor. But as Finchstar learned with Aspenpaw, opening himself up hurt, and it left him vulnerable. Never had the leader thought he'd need to keep his own secrets hidden, and he hated the world that he had created in himself. A ball of grief that tore him away from his friends and passions, and it was still there. Even now, even after Finchstar had found his redemption, it still festered inside him. Grief. The killer. Of course, he no longer feared the consequences of death, nor what he could do on this world, but every day was still difficult, he had clarity now, but it was difficult all the same. Enough of the thinking, and Finchstar padded to Barleytuft's side, forcing his paws over the darkened grass. "I hope you didn't mind another apprentice... I know you find yourself busy nowadays, with your kits being born." Great StarClan, kits. Finchstar had seen them in the nursery, yes. But it only registered with him just now that Barleytuft's life had been padding on as well. The forest didn't wait for Finchstar to recover, and he found himself shocked at the way things had changed, even in his own clan. Taking a deep breath, the tom kept his voice level, showing no hint to his realization. "I am truly sorry for my absence this past moon... All of our hearts were shattered in her vacancy, but I'm meant to lead those hearts... And I let them down." Having made amends once before, Finchstar opted to skip the formalities and leap straight into his apologies, his heart yearning for a sense of normality again. Guilt had found a spot in his heart along with the grief, and with every day that passed, Finchstar found it pained him. He wished to heal those he had shattered, to fix those he had broken. Having the privilege to know the souls around him was a beautiful thing indeed, and he had mistreated them.

______________________________________
↠ WindClan Leader ↞
Site Moderator
"let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair"

          How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} 6H4hyHf
{ Duskkit }
Kit of ThunderClan
{5/15}
{ Finchstar }
Leader of WindClan
{120/300}
{ Leaftwirl }
Warrior of SkyClan
Tier II - {45/160}

Character Profiles


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sumashira
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
sumashira

Characters : [A]mberdawn | [B]arleytuft | [C]loverpaw | [D]acepaw
Female
Cancer Pig
Number of posts : 1337
Age : 24
Clan/Rank : [A] SkC MC[1] | [B] WC W[5] | [C] WC App | [D] TC App

How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to Fill a Vacancy {closed}   How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Icon_minitimeMon Jun 24, 2019 9:47 am

Night slowly approached while the sun began to sink in the sky, day diminishing into evening which would, in time, turn into dusk and then eventually dark; the day had been long and full of life and circumstance. One new member had been added to their numbers officially (Puddlepaw), another had changed their path (Briarpaw), and a third had received their apprentice name (Loonpaw). WindClan hadn't really grown except with the addition of Puddleplaw, yet it felt a little bigger and a little older with the new changes. Barleytuft had been honored with the role of becoming Loonpaw's mentor earlier in the day. The decision had come as a surprise, as Finchstar had not yet spoken to him directly since the day that Brookclover died, but it was in no way unwelcome. He loved being a mentor, as one might expect.

Barleytuft had grown so much in mentoring both Brookclover and Gingerpaw, who still seemed to feel as though she wasn't ready to receive her name. Part of him feared that perhaps he wasn't a good enough teacher for Gingerpaw, and her hesitance was a result of him not teaching quickly enough or being more "efficient", as Grousefrost would say. Receiving the third apprentice of his warriorhood, the WindClan tom had a faint glimmer of hope that the new she-cat, Loonpaw, would learn and advance quickly, proving that it was only Gingerpaw's timid nature that had caused her to train slowly. It would make sense, but insecurities tugged at Barleytuft nonetheless. He had greeted his apprentice with as much warmth as he could muster, and they only chatted for a moment before he nudged her to go off and find a nest in her new place in the apprentice's den. Training could wait until the next day; she had a few adjustments to make before then after all.

After all the meetings the Clan had dispersed and Barleytuft had returned to the nursery to share the news with his kits. Soon it would be their turns, but he didn't want to think of that - not then. Graybriar, too, had received an apprentice, for she would soon be well enough after kitting to return to her warrior duties. Who better to train a former SkyClan cat than a former SkyClan cat? He was delighted to know Puddlepaw would be welcomed into Clan life by someone who understood part of what she had experienced, and Graybriar seemed pleased - if a little tired. She still needed a little time to rest. Barleytuft had brought her and their kits a piece of fresh-kill and chatted for another short while before returning to the clearing, leaving them to rest. By then evening had come, a pale, watery light casting long shadows across the camp while the sun still had enough light to shine down.

Barleytuft took a deep breath and sat, glancing around camp. The bustle had certainly slowed, the ceremonies all drawn to acceptable conclusions, hunting patrols had all returned and dispersed; now a few cats sat here and there, sharing tongues or eating quietly by themselves or catching the last warm rays of light before Silverpelt appeared above. The pale tabby tom closed his eyes and turned his face to the sun, deciding to do the same. He couldn't wait for Graybriar to return to sleeping beside him. Not long now - though her return meant the aging of their children, as well. He missed when they would sit in the sunset together and catch as much light as they could.

A voice spoke, coming closer, and Barleytuft blinked his eyes open, startled by source they landed upon. There Finchstar stood, practically all gold and fire in the light of sunset, looking almost tentative and afraid as he approached despite his profound authority over his own warrior. Barleytuft's tail flicked away from his body, sweeping wide over the grass in a subtle movement of welcome. The leader started with a brief moment of small talk, but after a deep breath and a long, low sigh, he seemed to resign himself to the topic which they had long avoided. Barleytuft couldn't steel himself for the words, though he had expected something about what they would be if they did eventually come. 

"I am truly sorry for my absence this past moon..." Finchstar began again. If he had stopped there, Barleytuft wouldn't have known what to say. He was sorry, too; he could have approached first, yet he did not. It was too late for that. "All of our hearts were shattered in her vacancy," the leader added, and Barleytuft clenched his jaw just slightly at the thought of her death without even having to mention her name, the flashing memory of dragging her out of the mud, "but I'm meant to lead those hearts... and I let them down."

Barleytuft's head shook just slightly, but he stared without responding to a distant corner of camp, his dark eyes shadowed with thought. Oh, how to respond... The quiet stretched between them for a moment before he finally said, "Everything in the whole moor was a let-down once she was gone." Neither of them would say she had been killed. "Running was a... a chore. Some days it was like I'd never run before and would never run again. All the prey tasted so bland, and it was no longer what I remembered. It felt like all the rain was all I deserved - like it was the only thing that could possibly be right. I felt as heavy on the outside as I did on the inside." His voice choked on the last words, squeaking in pitch, and he cleared his throat and fell silent for a moment, looking at the ground and trying to will away the tears that had formed at the corners of his eyes.

He took another breath and continued, "The weather started clearing, and the moor started drying, and the sun got warmer, and the world moved on. It could have left me behind, if I had let it - if my Clanmates had let it. But they didn't. They helped carry me when I couldn't carry myself." Barleytuft turned his head back to Finchstar now, and his hazel eyes were glinting with a gentle concern above all else. "The world could have left you behind if you had let it. Your Clanmates could have helped you. I... could have helped you. Why did you walk the darkness alone?"

______________________________________

How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} QcY9dIB
Dacepaw of ThunderClan |
Apprentice [20/80]
Amberdawn of SkyClan |
T1 MC [45/100]
Barleytuft of WindClan |
T5 Warrior [100/280]
Cloverpaw of WindClan
Apprentice [20/80]

(click name to view profile)
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lemongrass
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
lemongrass

Female
Virgo Cat
Number of posts : 659
Age : 19

How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to Fill a Vacancy {closed}   How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Icon_minitimeThu Jun 27, 2019 12:26 pm

The leader almost wanted to leave after speaking his mind, afraid of what Barleytuft's answer would be. He winced as the cream tabby opened his maw to speak, but found that his words weren't accusatory... but sad. Finchstar couldn't pinpoint the exact emotion, but he almost found himself wanting Barleytuft to yell at him, at least he could be sure of his feelings then. But this... this disappointment, it hurt worse than being clawed over the ears. And then he asked the hard question, the one Finchstar knew he could never find the answer to.

"...Your Clanmates could have helped you. I... could have helped you. Why did you walk the darkness alone?"

The orange and white tabby let out a long sigh, avoiding Barleytuft's face and instead watching the sun as it dipped below the moor. And then they were cast into shadow, the sky stained orange with splatters of the remaining light. With his distraction gone, he opted to stare at the grass instead, watching as the rye stalks swayed with the flow of the wind. He needed to answer himself before he answered Barleytuft's inquiry. Finchstar had looked into his own soul once, a few sunrises ago when he cried over Brookclover's grave. And then, he had almost left the clan he swore he would lead with honor. The tom wondered what it would cause him to do now. Perhaps he'd let water flow from his eyes, a testament to the constant heartache he felt. Or perhaps he could lie to Brookclover's former mentor, to skip over everything he owed the cream tabby and fake an answer. Finchstar meant his dark hazel eyes briefly and knew that wasn't an option. Barleytuft had always been his friend, and the question he asked now was because he cared. Another commitment, another string tied to Finchstar's pelt. If he had left, Barleytuft would have hurt too. And the leader would never be expendable. Never with Aspenpaw. Never with Barleytuft. He deserved an answer, no matter how badly it hurt. "I didn't want to hinder you... to hinder my friends, with my emotions." And it was true, Finchstar meant his face and let out another sigh, knowing he had opened the doors to an abyss, and now he needed to face it. "You have a family, and now you have an apprentice. You shouldn't have to deal with a sad, windblown leader as well. We all dealt with the grief differently, and we all recovered on our own time. I was wrong... to abandon you, and my clanmates while I found my way from the darkness. But I needn't pull you down with me." Finchstar turned his yellow gaze back to the grass below them, and began to play with a strand under his claws. The green stem twisted around his pad, and he tore it from the dirt, watching as it unraveled.

All these souls around him, all these wonderful cats who made up the clan he resided in. Was it so wrong? To see them and love them and yet keep himself detached from their own love? Finchstar wanted it to go one way. And as he grieved over Brookclover, it was true he felt for each and every one of these cats, but he wanted to be like the wind. To come and go, and to only be cared for by the cat who waited for him. He stayed for her, but was still so caught up in the strings of life. He cared for Barleytuft, for Aspenpaw, for Ravenpaw. But they cared for him back, and it almost shocked the leader as he had come to realize it over the moons. As obvious as it was, perhaps his stubborn optimism had left him oblivious to it. Finchstar meant Barleytuft's eyes and was jolted again by the concern he found there. And perhaps Finchstar would have been fine being the only one to exert such love in the world, but the fact that it was given to him as well, that was hard, unexpected. "You care for me." Finchstar worded it less like a statement, and more like a question, as if he was asking the cream tabby if it was really true. And he was overwhelmed, at the added wonder in the world. That love could and would exist even after he was gone and dead. Finchstar was not the creator of such a thing, he was merely born into a world filled with it, and learned from that, to show love as well. "I'm sorry..." He mewed, finally coming to a realization. "I should have... I should have let you care..."

______________________________________
↠ WindClan Leader ↞
Site Moderator
"let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair"

          How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} 6H4hyHf
{ Duskkit }
Kit of ThunderClan
{5/15}
{ Finchstar }
Leader of WindClan
{120/300}
{ Leaftwirl }
Warrior of SkyClan
Tier II - {45/160}

Character Profiles


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https://www.deviantart.com/lemongrassart
sumashira
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
sumashira

Characters : [A]mberdawn | [B]arleytuft | [C]loverpaw | [D]acepaw
Female
Cancer Pig
Number of posts : 1337
Age : 24
Clan/Rank : [A] SkC MC[1] | [B] WC W[5] | [C] WC App | [D] TC App

How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to Fill a Vacancy {closed}   How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Icon_minitimeThu Jun 27, 2019 2:08 pm

The expression on Finchstar's face was painful to see; he looked guilty and ashamed, not meeting Barleytuft's gaze even when the warrior did look at him. The pain and exhaustion in the tom's eyes had been present since that horrific day, but these emotions were new. Barleytuft hated to see it, and moreso he hated that he had indirectly caused it, but how could he possibly keep it in any longer? His leader, his friend, had finally approached him and opened the path to the conversation, likely knowing where it might turn. He suspected that Finchstar had felt the same grief as he did - if not amplified - when Brookclover passed, and finding a wall where he expected to find a friend had been hard for him to process but not impossible. He himself had received ample support during the hard days. It had been harder to see Finchstar grieve alone than it had been to grieve without Finchstar.

After a long sigh and several moments of silent contemplation, Finchstar finally seemed to find the answer worth saying. "I didn't want to hinder you... to hinder my friends, with my emotions," the ginger and white tom admitted, and Barleytuft snorted quietly at the presumption and shook his head softly once again. If Finchstar had feared hindering his friends with his emotions, closing himself off hadn't been the way to do prevent that - perhaps the younger tom already knew that. He spoke of different ways to grieve, and of the cats who had recovered from the accident since then. Barleytuft understood that; it seemed that while he himself had chosen to focus on his mate and newborn kits during that time, Raventail had drawn into himself, and Grousefrost threw his whole mind and body into warrior duties. He hadn't forced his friendship on Finchstar because Finchstar hadn't wanted it then.

At last his leader's striking gaze met Barleytuft's, and the pale tabby's expression softened even more to see the overwhelming emotion on his friend's face. Finchstar was quiet for another long moment before he stated, his voice almost confused, "You care for me." Barleytuft's eyes flickered with a bit of confusion. Of course I do, he thought, but aloud he only answered in a gentle murmur, "Like my own kin." Whatever walls Finchstar had been attempting to maintain seemed to crumple at this realization, and he apologized for pushing his friend away.

Barleytuft stood and closed the small gap between himself and his leader, brushing his head under the ginger-and-white tom's chin and nuzzling his neck and shoulders before standing back to gaze at him. "I always cared. Distance can't change that - physical or emotional. I just had to care a little differently for a while," Barleytuft answered. "You are right, you know; everyone grieves differently. But here - in our Clan - no one should ever have to grieve alone."

______________________________________

How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} QcY9dIB
Dacepaw of ThunderClan |
Apprentice [20/80]
Amberdawn of SkyClan |
T1 MC [45/100]
Barleytuft of WindClan |
T5 Warrior [100/280]
Cloverpaw of WindClan
Apprentice [20/80]

(click name to view profile)
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lemongrass
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
lemongrass

Female
Virgo Cat
Number of posts : 659
Age : 19

How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to Fill a Vacancy {closed}   How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} Icon_minitimeMon Jul 01, 2019 1:45 pm

The small silence between Finchstar's words and Barleytuft's reply seemed to cut into the leader's heart. He winced as he fathomed all the possible things his friend could say, and perhaps Finchstar had overstepped his boundaries, asking if such a cat could care for him when Barleytuft already had a family and a mate. But the cream tabby meant his eyes and what fell from his maw was more beautiful and shocking then the tom could ever imagine.

"Like my own kin."

The leader wanted to apologize then, over and over until all his misgivings had been washed away. Finchstar had been so blind to the other half of love the world carried, not the love he himself exerted, but the love that was given to him. It was a pure thing, unconditional in its meaning. An emotional breath was pushed from Finchstar's mouth as Barleytuft voiced how much he cared for him. The cream tabby stepped closer and let their heads brush together, tugging at Finchstar's heart strings, forming a rock in his throat. "Thank you." He finally mewed after Barleytuft had finished speaking, his voice cracking with emotion. "It's a frightening feeling, knowing that I'm cared for... and knowing that that same care can survive even the grief we've been through." His inner fears were easier to voice now, with only Barleytuft, the grass, and the sunset. And the strings that held Finchstar now perhaps weren't prohibiting him from a life of freedom, but perhaps they were the same strings that held all his little pieces together. It was scary indeed, to know he needed others, and it was difficult to admit he depended on his clan. The leader had done it with Brookclover, he had let himself fall so far into her love, that when she was taken from him, it formed a wound that would never heal. And now he would let himself be loved by his clan. It would hurt again, when a clanmate would die. And it would hurt, when a battle would be lost. But Finchstar had been so enlightened in this grassy spot, he wouldn't allow himself to throw that away. "Thank you, Barleytuft, for everything. I wanted to be independent, but I think you are right, friend. No one is truly alone."

He stepped forward and pressed his muzzle into Barleytuft's shoulder, small little tears soaking into his cream fur. "If you can find it in your heart to forgive me, I'd like to stay as friends. And as stubborn as I am... Perhaps we all need someone to walk that dark path with us." Admitting his weakness was no easy feat, and as Finchstar pulled back, he meant Barleytuft's eyes with ones of glistening yellow. The night would come once again, but then the sun would rise as it always did. Again and again until they were just specks of dust, gone from this earth. Finchstar was proud to have WindClan by his side, and perhaps it was time to let them be proud of him, too. "I can't promise you forever. But I can promise you eight little ones. For the rest of my lives, I will be by your side, friend. And I'll let you stay by mine."

______________________________________
↠ WindClan Leader ↞
Site Moderator
"let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair"

          How to Fill a Vacancy {closed} 6H4hyHf
{ Duskkit }
Kit of ThunderClan
{5/15}
{ Finchstar }
Leader of WindClan
{120/300}
{ Leaftwirl }
Warrior of SkyClan
Tier II - {45/160}

Character Profiles


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