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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 Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey

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AuthorMessage
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

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeSat Jul 06, 2019 9:14 am

Amberdawn took a deep breath through the packet of herbs that she held gently between her teeth, drawing strength not only from their strong scent but also from the knowledge of what they meant: she and an apprentice were traveling to the Moonstone to allow them to greet their ancestors. Amberdawn wondered if the rite of passage helped to solidify a cat's belief in StarClan. She'd never experienced her own pilgrimage like this, though she did one of her own along with all the other medicine cats every half-moon. She sometimes wished she could know, but her paws had not walked that path; she wished she could share the apprentices' dreams sometimes, but StarClan never worked that way. It was a pity, but at least they weren't lost to her completely.

She reached the apprentice's den and set down her herbs before she peeked her slim golden head into the dark. "Sandpaw?" Amberdawn called gently, her eyes settling on the pale pelt that stood out. "Sandpaw, it's time to go - I'll be by the camp entrance when you're ready." The medicine cat backed up and picked the herbs up again, turning to pad to the entrance before sitting patiently.

______________________________________

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 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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Grizzly

Grizzly

Characters : [F]erretnose, [A]spenpaw, [S]andblaze
Male
Sagittarius Horse
Number of posts : 1214
Age : 16
Clan/Rank : [F] ThunderClan T2 [A] WindClan MCA [S] SkyClan T2

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeMon Jul 08, 2019 10:18 pm

Sandpaw, truthfully, was already awake. His mind was on other things: silly, childish things with no real consequence. He had curled up near Burningpaw when he laid down the night prior, and the thump of her heart beat in his ears. Her scent filled his brain in the most irritatingly amazing way. He often felt like he had butterflies rattling where his heart should be... he couldn't decide if he hated it or not.

He stepped across her slumbering body, brushing her flank with his tail as he passed, and followed Amberdawn out of the den. Already hot with questions, he didn't hesitate before firing them all at the poor medicine cat. "So, what happens if I get, like, a prophecy or something? Or am I not allowed? Do I get to pick who I meet, 'cause I really want to meet Moonlight. I never met her, and everybody misses her, so I want to know what all that fuss is about. Oh, please don't make me eat those." The tom looked in horror at the dreaded travelling herbs that were forced upon the other apprentices for their ceremonies. Disgusting. It was barely even worth seeing StarClan.

______________________________________
Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 4VEuivn
~WindClan's Medicine Cat~
Aspenpaw - Ferretnose - Sandblaze
WindClan MCA - ThunderClan Warrior - SkyClan Warrior
30/60 - 45/160 - 45/160
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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

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeWed Jul 10, 2019 2:27 pm

Before Amberdawn had fully sat and turned around, she was startled to notice Sandpaw just a few steps behind her. Likely, he had been awake and already awaiting her call. Her surprise barely had a moment to register on her face before the apprentice she was to guide began asking her questions one after another and sharing his thoughts. Her eyes widened as she drank in the apprentice in his entirety, the slender tom and his lightly scruffled pale tabby pelt and his wonder and curiosity shining vividly in his blue eyes. Once she had recovered from his sudden appearance and barrage of queries, Amberdawn found his wonder quite endearing. Well, until his eyes landed on the traveling herbs and a look of terror twisted his expression.

"They're not that bad, Sandpaw," Amberdawn defended them, sitting up a little straighter and placing her paw proudly on the bundles. "Apprentices and leaders alike have been making use of these herbs for generations - you would be the first I've heard of who couldn't stomach them." The golden tabby slid one of the packets towards her companion before pulling the remaining one towards herself. "I can't answer any of your other questions until you've eaten your share, but the second you do I'll tell you what I can - promise."

Amberdawn stooped over to lap up her mixture - sorrel, daisy, chamomille, burnet she recited absently as each piece was delicately lifted by her tongue - and swallowed. After her moons in the medicine den she truly didn't mind the taste so much anymore - it was usually how dry her mouth felt after eating something that she didn't like. She looked up patiently at Sandpaw.

______________________________________

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 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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Grizzly

Grizzly

Characters : [F]erretnose, [A]spenpaw, [S]andblaze
Male
Sagittarius Horse
Number of posts : 1214
Age : 16
Clan/Rank : [F] ThunderClan T2 [A] WindClan MCA [S] SkyClan T2

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeWed Jul 10, 2019 11:55 pm

Sandpaw hesitantly popped each herb into his mouth and let it run down his throat rather dryly. It wasn't a pleasant taste by any means, and he was a little bothered that he wasn't going to eat for the rest of the day. He silently cursed SkyClan for being so far from Highstones when ShadowClan and WindClan were literally right there! He made a retching noise and shook out his pelt as if that would rid him of the ghastly feeling. He waited for Amberdawn to motion for him and then followed her out of camp close behind.

"Alright," he started as they walked through the territory, "Will I get to pick, or does StarClan pick?" He paused for a moment before sheepishly adding, "Is it scary to wake up in the place where dead cats go?"

______________________________________
Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 4VEuivn
~WindClan's Medicine Cat~
Aspenpaw - Ferretnose - Sandblaze
WindClan MCA - ThunderClan Warrior - SkyClan Warrior
30/60 - 45/160 - 45/160
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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

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeThu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 pm

Amberdawn's expression glimmered with barely veiled amusement as she watched the warrior apprentice reluctantly lap up the herbs before him. They certainly didn't taste as good as vole, but she was always a little amused by how faces seemed to scrunch at their taste. Poor Sandpaw even went so far as to make a strained gagging sound. Amberdawn turned her head away to hide her smirk and stood up, readying to exit camp. The pale tabby stood to join her, looking dissatisfied, but he voiced no more complaints about the herbs. It's over with, and now he won't have to eat them again for a while - hopefully, if he can stay out of the medicine den for more than a quarter moon, Amberdawn thought with amusement as she lead the way out into SkyClan's territory and towards Highstones.

Once they were fully out of range of camp Sandpaw opened up with his questions again, and Amberdawn glanced attentively at him whenever she didn't need to watch her paws. She opened her mouth to answer his question, but a moment later a second followed. She'd never been asked, but it was intriguing. Amberdawn thought and then answered in an equally sheepish tone, "It was a little scary the first time, and sometimes I have dreams where I wake up in StarClan when I wasn't expecting to. Those are a little unnerving." She straightened up and brightened a little, responding, "When I am intending to see StarClan, it's a relief to wake up there. They don't seem to let us pick who we see no matter how badly we want to see them, but then again, sometimes who they send is exactly who we need."

They traveled a little farther and Amberdawn recalled Sandpaw's earlier questions. "I suppose StarClan could give an apprentice a prophecy... Ordinarily they leave those for medicine cats and leaders, but I suppose if they found it necessary they could tell something important to anyone." She looked reassuringly at him and mewed, "If they say something you don't understand, you can talk to me and I can try to help. Generally if StarClan sends you a dream it's meant for you. You'll be alright!"

______________________________________

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 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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Grizzly

Grizzly

Characters : [F]erretnose, [A]spenpaw, [S]andblaze
Male
Sagittarius Horse
Number of posts : 1214
Age : 16
Clan/Rank : [F] ThunderClan T2 [A] WindClan MCA [S] SkyClan T2

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeFri Jul 12, 2019 2:09 pm

Sandpaw took in Amberdawn's answers quietly, which was odd for him. He felt important, though he knew his brothers and Burningpaw would be taking similar journeys soon. He wondered what his ancestors had to tell him when they reached the Moonstone... He trusted his medicine cat to give him the comfort he needed.



The walk was long, hard, and stressful, and Sandpaw was happy to reach the cavern that held the Moonstone. He plopped down on the ground with a small huff and shook out his limbs to stop the light aching in his paws. When he was ready, he approached the large, bright stone with unsure steps. He turned to watch Amberdawn approach it as well and asked his last question: "What if I can't fall asleep?"

______________________________________
Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 4VEuivn
~WindClan's Medicine Cat~
Aspenpaw - Ferretnose - Sandblaze
WindClan MCA - ThunderClan Warrior - SkyClan Warrior
30/60 - 45/160 - 45/160
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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

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeFri Jul 12, 2019 2:21 pm

The rest of the walk had continued in relative silence, usually with Amberdawn breaking it to point out some interesting scenery or odd landmarks to keep an eye out for. She could tell he still wasn't overly enthused even as they came within a few fox-lengths of their destination: Mothermouth. The medicine cat wasted no time in leading the way down the tunnel, feeling her way through the darkness more confidently than ever. They emerged in the empty cavern where the Moonstone glowed like a pale star, and Amberdawn padded forward to stand beside it. She turned to speak to Sandpaw, but he spoke first, voicing a fear. She smiled lightly and answered, "We don't really have much choice to stay awake or not, I have noticed... Just touch your nose to it and we'll see what it does." She watched him patiently.

______________________________________

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 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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Grizzly

Grizzly

Characters : [F]erretnose, [A]spenpaw, [S]andblaze
Male
Sagittarius Horse
Number of posts : 1214
Age : 16
Clan/Rank : [F] ThunderClan T2 [A] WindClan MCA [S] SkyClan T2

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeFri Jul 12, 2019 2:43 pm

Sandpaw smiled at Amberdawn as he scooted closer to the stone. "By the way," he said, looking over his shoulder, "Thank you for taking me here. I know it's your job and all, but I'm still glad there's somebody else around." A warm feeling enveloped him as he pressed his muzzle against the stone. The hard, cold floor of the cavern fell away until the sounds of birds flooded his ears.

He awoke to a silvery starscape, and his scar didn't hurt and his paws didn't ache. He seemed to be in a StarClan version of the rocky terrain in SkyClan. It was familiar and warm. A strange, small shape emerged from the undergrowth, and Sandpaw was shocked to find a kit meeting his eyes. They had the same bright, round, blue eyes, but the starry kitten had fur that burned like fire. The apprentice uncomfortably leaned down to look at the kit more head-on. Why a kit? What if Swallowpaw and Lightpaw met Moonlight or Poplarstar while he was stuck with a cat never even saw past the camp? He frowned, but otherwise tried not to reveal his disappointment to the kit. He was probably excited to see Sandpaw, anyway.

"What's your name, little fella?" he asked.

______________________________________
Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 4VEuivn
~WindClan's Medicine Cat~
Aspenpaw - Ferretnose - Sandblaze
WindClan MCA - ThunderClan Warrior - SkyClan Warrior
30/60 - 45/160 - 45/160
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lemongrass
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
lemongrass

Female
Virgo Cat
Number of posts : 659
Age : 19

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PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeFri Jul 12, 2019 4:25 pm

Tanglekit had followed Ryeheart around since his death, the larger ginger tom provided warmth and company, and distracted him from worrying for his mother. There was much to watch from the stars, many cats and kin still lived in the forest below, and the small kit found he enjoyed sitting by himself, staring between the trees and grasses, lives passing by below him. He had never been one for conversation, and while he talked when necessary, Tanglekit was more of the quiet type. He had cried when his sisters joined him in StarClan, he had ran to their small frames and cuddled them, sad for the lives they had lost. But perhaps this was fate. Perhaps Tanglekit was never meant to hunt and fight. Perhaps he was here for a greater purpose. Wisdom was not a luxury he held while he had been living. Tanglekit's only desire was the warmth of his mother, and the safety of his family. But death could be an enlightening thing, and in watching the lives of the forest, he had learned a thing or two. "Tanglekit." He answered the new figure, voice squeaking.

The pale tabby had been an interesting life to watch. Tanglekit remembered cheering in his small voice as Sandpaw leapt on an enemy. He remembered watching with curiosity as the SkyClan apprentice journeyed into the forest with an orange she-cat. A coming of age story, maybe. But sadness enveloped his heart at the news he had to give. "I saw your birth, during the flood. Firflower was brave..." Tanglekit remembered the flashing scenes, Sandpaw emerged into the world as soon as Tanglekit had meant StarClan. Him and Ryeheart watched that scene together. "I'm worried about you." He squeaked strangely, blue eyes narrowed in fear. "I don't mean to scare you, Sandpaw. But you're not the cat you think you are." It was strange to speak to an apprentice like this, having to look upward to meet his gaze. Tanglekit never thought his words could ever impact another life, but Sandpaw's would be subject to what he told him now. It was scary. He wished for Thornbriar again.

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

          Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 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
Grizzly

Grizzly

Characters : [F]erretnose, [A]spenpaw, [S]andblaze
Male
Sagittarius Horse
Number of posts : 1214
Age : 16
Clan/Rank : [F] ThunderClan T2 [A] WindClan MCA [S] SkyClan T2

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeFri Jul 12, 2019 7:24 pm

Sandpaw couldn't help but smile at the squeak that came from the lost kit's mouth. His ears pricked with alertness at the mention of his mother. He used to wish she'd speak to him, but it was a grudge he no longer held. He knew that she understood him in other ways, and that was enough for him. Still, it would be nice to hear his name come out of his only living parent's mouth. Sandpaw had learned everything he knew about the forest from others. He and his siblings nagged the older members of SkyClan on the way home about things his mother could never tell him. Even the identity of his father, Elmcloud, had been revealed by others in lieu of Firflower herself. He remembered, with fondness, when he huddled close and listened to the warriors tell stories about the five great clans, and how their true home lay below. All the change, all the movement, and all the chaos had shifted around him quicker than he could manage. The only thing that every stayed was his family. Though the journey "home" was long and hard, he could count on the warm smile of his mother and the ginger and cream fur that huddled around him.

His brow furrowed at Tanglekit's sudden change of tone. The drumming of his heart beat a little too loudly against his ribcage, shaking his chest, and he leaned in closer. "What does that mean?" he said with a nervous giggle, "My name is Sandpaw, I'm a SkyClan apprentice. Isn't that all there is to it?" A sudden fear enveloped his heart, remembering the confusion Burningpaw had expressed when Sandpaw said she was found in the mountains. Was it, perhaps, that he was found too? Was the family he knew shattered now, like ice on Sunningrocks? Or was Sandpaw just getting ahead of himself in all his introspection? He swallowed the rock in his throat and shuffled ever closer to Tanglekit, who he could now describe as having a distinctly ShadowClan scent about him.

______________________________________
Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 4VEuivn
~WindClan's Medicine Cat~
Aspenpaw - Ferretnose - Sandblaze
WindClan MCA - ThunderClan Warrior - SkyClan Warrior
30/60 - 45/160 - 45/160
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lemongrass
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
lemongrass

Female
Virgo Cat
Number of posts : 659
Age : 19

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeFri Jul 12, 2019 8:36 pm

Tanglekit's eyes began to water as he watched Sandpaw cave in on himself. He didn't mean to make his words cut like claws, and yet the squeak from a lonely kit could cause an apprentice -almost warrior- to doubt his existence. The forest was a harsh and ruthless place, Tanglekit had learned this when the flood had brought him to StarClan. But water wasn't the only thing that could hurt the living. Family had always been important to Tanglekit; as it was the only thing he had ever known. Thornbriar's scent as he nuzzled into her belly, Sablekit kicking at his shoulders. Brackenkit and Firkit, all lost to the waves. And perhaps it wasn't blood that brought them together, but rather proximity. Tanglekit was born with them, and therefore they became the only friends he had ever known. Was it so wrong to allow Sandpaw to believe the same truths? To believe that those he was in proximity with could be his lifeblood?

The ginger tom that had sired Tanglekit was killed as well, although he did not reside in StarClan. Tanglekit cried as his father fell victim under the paws of dogs, and although he never meant the star crossed loner, he loved him. And this was a different form of friendship. One not born of proximity, but one born of blood itself. Some blood ties were poisoned, some cats had family who were terrible and ruthless. But the blood Tanglekit was given by that tom was pure, loving, and filled with adventure. He may not have picked up on his charisma, but he had his pelt, and eyes. Starlord, the loneliest cat to ever walk the forest. "My father died soon after I did." Tanglekit went on, wincing as he forced himself to skip over Sandpaw's frantic question. "Stomped under the paws of dogs, bleeding out on Highstones. I never meant him, and you haven't either. He was a father to lots and lots of cats, some in RiverClan, some in ShadowClan, and ThunderClan as well." Tanglekit brushed a few strands of loose grass aside with a ginger paw, revealing starry, sparkling sand underneath. He began to trace figures in the dirt, each careful and precise with his small claws. "I loved my family, I loved them so much. We were friends because we were close. But I was never friends with my father, I never knew him." Four claw marks in the dirt, Sand, Maple, Swallow, and Light. "He was a funny cat, a loving cat, gentle, and kind, and as passionate as all of LionClan. I'm sure we would have been friends if I ever meant him. You would have been good friends as well." Two more clawmarks were drawn in the sand, one broken, and one dead. Fir and Elm. "You have his eyes, you know. Blue, like mine. And you have his spirit." Tanglekit gave Sandpaw a sad smile as he etched over the figure of Elmcloud, drawing another, single, sparkling line in the dirt. "Starlord is our father. The best loner in the forest. And you're his SkyClan son, called Sandpaw. Although he had his own name for you. Arno! I don't know what it means but it's nice. He called me Ridley. Oh! And your brothers, and sister too! Swallowpaw is Calder, Lightpaw is Caspian, and Maplepaw is Delta. It's like he left a little part of himself with us before he died, huh? The secret's exposure left the starry clearing feeling mystical, Tanglekit watched with wide blue eyes, waiting for a reaction. The ginger tom was with his family now, and felt safe, but would Sandpaw be sad, knowing he couldn't cuddle with his father? Maybe he missed him just as the kit did? Surely that was it.

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

          Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 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
Grizzly

Grizzly

Characters : [F]erretnose, [A]spenpaw, [S]andblaze
Male
Sagittarius Horse
Number of posts : 1214
Age : 16
Clan/Rank : [F] ThunderClan T2 [A] WindClan MCA [S] SkyClan T2

Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Empty
PostSubject: Re: Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey   Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey Icon_minitimeMon Jul 15, 2019 4:16 pm

The kit, Tanglekit, began tracing shapes in the dirt as Sandpaw moved to watch. With each line in the starry sand, the apprentice felt an eerie sense of dread build in his stomach. One, two, three, four. Sandpaw, Lightpaw, Swallowpaw, Maplepaw. His heart moved into his throat, making it hard to breathe as his wide eyes moved back and forth across the diagram. Looking at Tanglekit, he saw the same eyes, but with a pelt of fire. A figure began taking shape in his mind: a large ginger tom with Swallowpaw’s smile, Tanglekit’s fur, and Sandpaw’s eyes. Two more lines, one dead. His father. One broken. His mother. He recalled, for a moment, how he cried when she did not speak to him. Everything he knew about the forest was secondhand knowledge. He and his siblings would nag and prod the warriors every day up within the mountains. They had woven tales of five clans who lived together in a forest ten times larger than the cave he was born in. Sandpaw loved his mother, Firflower, with everything he had. Though she never spoke, she purred at her sons and daughter, and they knew she understood. Could Tanglekit, in all his quiet mystery, mean that they were not her kits at all? His heart moved into his head, pounding in his ears and against his eyes. He thought about Burningpaw, whom nobody had told about her true parents. A stronger line than the others was etched over Elmcloud's. Sandpaw felt the horror erupt out of him through every crack, and the tension in his head broke as he let out a mortified gasp. He understood, against his will, as the kit looked up. Their eyes were mirrors. Starlord. Starlord. Starlord? Starlord!

“My father,” he whispered, “Elmcloud wasn't my father. My father… He was a rogue. Starlord was a rogue, and I am half-blooded.” Sandpaw scrambled to his paws and backed up, frenzied by… what? Disgust? A cry of anguish, a yowl that penetrated the heavens, ripped through his jaws as he tore apart the drawing. His claws sprayed starry dirt across the sky as his anger took its toll. The apprentice walked backward, willing himself to wake up. No matter how he begged, each time he opened his eyes he remained in StarClan. He cursed the ancestors for bringing him to this place, playing this cruel joke on him. What a joke indeed! What was he now, but the shame of SkyClan? They already despised his aggressive attitude, but now they had a reason. In his veins ran the blood of a lawless rogue. He thought of Lightpaw, Swallowpaw, and Maplepaw. His littermates were all he had when the mountain was cold and lonely. When he knew nothing of SkyClan or hunting or floods, he had them to sleep beside. His kin… now multiplied, by how many? Here was one, dead before him. What would become of his family now, when they found out what his mother had done?

Oh, stars, Firflower. She could not survive if Tinystar had her exiled. She could not defend herself at trial or against the harsh rule of the Code. Would he have to stand idly by while his deaf mother was sentenced to death, to starve in an unforgiving forest? Did Firflower even know what she did was wrong? He cursed Starlord for what he had done to them. He was angry that the stupid rogue didn’t go to StarClan, so he couldn’t track him down and rip him apart himself. What kind of father was he, taking advantage of his kin and moving on to the next? Sandpaw’s blood boiled imagining the sheer number of half-brother and half-sisters that Starlord doomed. An idea, a fleeting thought: run away, never let the secret see daylight. Let it die with him. But, of course, he couldn’t just leave his siblings to wonder. Frustration only mounting, the half-blood roared his dismay.

“Why me?” he hollered into the sky, “Why not Lightpaw!? He would know what to do. He wouldn’t throw a fit like a stupid, obnoxious kit. He wouldn't panic, like I am! I am the last cat that should’ve found this out, and YOU! ALL! KNOW IT! With a final grunt of defeat, Sandpaw fell to the ground and pulled his paws over his face. “Let me go home, you stupid sky-specks. I want to go home to my mother.”

No such prayer was answered. As his tantrum slowed from an eruption to a dull hum, he begged his being to fix itself, to rid itself of the dirty things that plagued him. He felt the uncomfortable stretch of a thin scar across his shoulders. It was a product of his irrationality. He endangered his clanmates to defend his honor. Now he had no chance of earning the respect of his clan. He wanted to be somebody else. He wanted to wake up and be a kittypet that knew nothing of blood or purity.

He wondered what would happen had somebody else been saddled with the knowledge. Sandpaw took a breath, wrenching his eyes open to stare at the stars that enveloped him. Whether he liked it or not, this was his burden to bear. Perhaps there was a reason, after all. Lightpaw might have turned and ran, never faced his rogue blood, and ignored this heavy load. Swallowpaw would have laughed in Tanglekit’s face, denying the stars in all their wisdom. Maplepaw… would she even know what to say? Would she joke, would she blurt it out at a Gathering? Sandpaw, though, was different. He could defend it, guard it, fight fang and claw to the death for the honor of his littermates. There must be a reason after all! Sandpaw, of all his siblings, would not back down, even when failure was barreling towards him like a monster on the thunderpath.

Lightpaw, Swallowpaw, Maplepaw, Sandpaw. Caspian, Calder, Delta, Arno. He was Arno, and Arno was he. No amount of begging and pleading would change it. If Arno was to be the half-blooded SkyClanner, blazing through the trees with the pride of Starlord and the devotion of Firflower, then he would blaze indeed… burning bright for clan and kin. The apprentice picked himself up, limb by limb, and met the kit’s bright blue eyes: the eyes of their father. He leaned in close and licked the top of his brother’s head, purring.

“I’m sorry. I understand why you had to tell me, Ridley,” he whispered lovingly. “This was important to you, wasn’t it? You did so well!” Sandpaw felt a tug at his feet, and he knew his dream was nearing an end. “I won’t let you down, brother. I will protect them with the fiercity of TigerClan. I won’t let them drive us out. I’ll keep our father’s name strong. I’ll look for you in Silverpelt, okay? Look after us, Firflower too. They’ll know our names, and they won’t dare stamp us out… I promise!” The tom fell backwards into a void of starlight, grinning wildly as his long fur whipped around his face...




Sandpaw gasped, waking up with a start in the cavern of the Moonstone. Daylight threatened to peek out from below the mountains, and Amberdawn sat close by. He vowed to say nothing. He couldn’t trust anybody, not even the kindly medicine cat. She was too close to Tinystar, and she might already know. He thought of Ridley dancing along in StarClan, gone too soon, his kin. The apprentice rose to his paws, much different than when he had left camp, and smiled.

“You’ll never believe it,” he said playfully to Amberdawn, “I was visited by a kit. If Cal- Swallowpaw comes back from this and he met Poplarstar, I’ll run across the thunderpath. I’m not kidding!” As the pair walked back in quiet contemplation, Sandpaw looked skyward. Though Silverpelt began to disappear in the bright blue expanse, Ridley never left his mind.

For clan and kin, Arno promised his brother, for clan and kin.

______________________________________
Sandpaw's Moonstone Journey 4VEuivn
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