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Warriors: Cats of the Sun

[META] Chapter Two: Chasing the River [FIN]

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Blinded By Silence

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Welcome to the next chapter of the Meta Event ORP! Last time on Warriors: Cats of the Sun...

"Go. Chase the stolen river and split as it does. Only in pieces will your clan survive."

That is what you were told. Many heeded the warnings of their ancestors and a few pushed hard to get the clan to leave as a whole. But for some, there was no use in arguing. What kind of cat would they be if they put the rest of the clan at risk? And what kind of cat would let someone stay behind alone?

And so they cast their stones, the clan suffering its first split in the river that was their journey. It was time for them to leave, face the wilds beyond the mountain, and pray that they would make it to the new home they desperately needed.

- - - - -
This thread will document the first stretch of our cat's journey. The previous thread is still open for roleplay, but please do not edit or cast any more votes. Thank you, and have fun!


As he had said, it had been such a long day. As Sunseer walked, he could feel the weight of it on his shoulders. Logically, he knew that it wasn't him who had caused this. The Two Legs had stolen the river on their own. And droughts came and went, such was the way of things. But he could not help but to feel responsible for the falling out of so many cats. Families had broken apart, and others were being held together by force. And poor Littleflower... He grieved for his daughter, for her losses and strife. No one should have to deal with all of this... But what else could they do? SunClan had been clear.

And so he and Skysong spent the rest of that day preparing for departure. There was a lot to do, and without his eyesight, he would need his deputy to help him. He had gone through the cats who were staying, ensuring that they knew everything they could to ensure their survival. He explained to them the cycling of the hunting grounds and the places to avoid snakes and foxes. Skysong learned a lot that day about the inner workings of the clan leader's mind. She could sense the worry and guilt he was feeling.

The day came and went far faster than either of them would have liked. But as the sun broke over the horizon, cats began to stir. Skysong stepped out of her den to find Sunseer waiting for her.

"I..." he started, his pale eyes cast downward, "I want to say goodbye, one last time. Would you mind helping me up to Cave of Visions?"

"Of course,"
she said softly.

On careful paws, Skysong guided him up. Once he disappeared inside, she turned and sat, watching the rousing clan with her tail tucked neatly over her tail. She sighed heavily.

It was time to say goodbye.
 
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PeterPan_da144

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Poppypaw had been the first to lend a paw everywhere she possibly could. She had helped prepare bundles of herbs for the journey, while also helping to gather as much prey - which wasn't much - as they could to fill the bellies of the clan before they started on their way. She even rounded out her long day with fluffing up the elders beds and giving them the freshest bedding she could.

The apprentice had gotten very little sleep, and still, she was energy unbound as she woke. Stretching, she would prod gently at the other apprentices in the den.

"We should get up, I think I hear the clan stirring."


(( Feel free to interact or completely disregard Poppypaw))
@AlicornPlayhouse (Pridepaw) @Nym (Palepaw) @Tigeria (Petalpaw)
 

Nym

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Palepaw had been working hard where she could, helping the clan prepare and doing anything to make up for what happened. She felt horrible, in more ways than one. The only thing to stop that loud sinking feeling was to distract herself by doing something, and once it came to sleep she had just laid there, ruminating.
She had barely slept a wink -- no more than an hour, at most. Palepaw felt sick to her stomach as she rose, swallowing back bile and nerves as she felt the horrible wall of upset again. She didn't want to leave. She had dreamt of finding a way to stay back and not destroy her mother, but now there she was; in reality.
She refused to look towards her sister, instead slowly rising to her feet to follow Poppypaw. Her friend took a second to paw at the others and Palepaw sighed, brushing against Poppypaw.
"I'm heading out."
She slipped out of the den and set out to be useful somewhere.
 
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Nym

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Daisypelt had been one of the early cats to waken and had immediately set out to make herself useful, plucking at tasks and assisting Littleflower with packing her medicines. It had been a busy morning and was about to get busier with the noticed arrival of the apprentices. Palepaw was the first out into the open and Daisypelt regarded her with narrowed eyes.
Yeah, she'd do.
"Palepaw!" She barked, flicking an ear when the apprentice jolted. "Help me package these herbs," she yowled as Palepaw padded towards her. The apprentice looked relieved to be given a job and took to it quickly.
 

PeterPan_da144

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As Palepaw pushed past her, Poppypaw glanced at the other two apprentices, before slipping out behind her friend. She wasn't going to make the other wait or talk to anyone. It was pretty obvious already that she was still very, very hurt from the day before. Not that Poppypaw blamed her. She was sad to see anyone stay behind, but Palepaw had stood up for herself and had so many cats just drag her back down.

Poppypaw felt really bad. Her friend was always so brave and strong, and wanting to stay behind just proved that even more. Why was everyone so hard on her for it?

"I'll help too!" she stated a bit loudly, bounding over towards Daisypelt and Palepaw. "Unless you would rather I not. I can go do something else, it's no issue." Her abundant energy made her stumble over her words a bit.

The young she-cat wanted to be with her pale pelted friend the entire time. Help make sure no one bothered her when she clearly wanted to be left alone. Yet, that would also be invading her space and privacy and doing exactly what she wanted to keep others from doing.

Her tail tip twitched anxiously as these thoughts rapid fired back and forth through her mind, circling constantly.

@Nym
 

Subducting

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Waves of calming cool pressed themselves into Stormflight’s fur as she eased herself from the warriors den into the camp, which hadn’t yet started to heat up. Normally only the dawn patrol would be awake yet, but the clan was already stirring, beginning to prepare for the long journey ahead. Even as she felt excitement fill her fur and anticipation prick her paw pads at the prospect of the journey, Stormflight’s heart was heavy with the prospect of leaving the clan’s home, and even more so at the idea of leaving some members of the clan with it. Like many of the clan’s warriors, Stormflight left behind the bones of her family, but the stormy grey she cat gave no outward indication of her heartache. She knew their spirits would follow her to wherever the clan wandered to.

As much as her paws craved work, apart from a few last minute herbs, she couldn’t see anything she could contribute before the clan would leave- there wasn’t even likely to be enough time to hunt, not with how long it took for prey to be found at the moment, and any preparations had been made the previous day under a cloud of gloom and anxiety. So Stormflight stretched out, slowly and deliberately waking her muscles up for the long day’s journey ahead.
 

PeterPan_da144

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The ginger she-cat rose from her nest in the den. Her sleep had been restless, paws twitching all night as her dreams ran rampant. It was evident by how the moss had been spread about, and the fact that some was still stuck beneath her claws.

Pushing her way out of the den, she took a seat to the side to clean her nails of moss. Picking the soft strands and dropping them aside, she glanced around at the already bustling camp. Nutpelt caught sight of Stormflight, whom had left before her, and twitched her ears in greeting.

"I'm willing to bet that we'll find prey along the river as we go," she stated, moving to stretch out her back. A little purr rolling from her as she did so. "It had to have gone somewhere. Probably further down the river and outside our territories, away from the Twolegs."

Her stomach rumbled gently as she continued to speak. Ears flicked back awkwardly as it happened.

@Subducting
 
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Subducting

Long-Term Resident
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Camelstride eased her way out of her den and made her way down the rocky wall and padded along the base of the cliff to the medicine den. She partly wanted to see if Littleflower needed help, and partly wanted to offer some reassurance to the medicine cat. Although she knew her mother Zoey had travelled from outside clan territory before her and her littermates had been born, the mountains were all Camelstride had ever known, and the thought that she wouldn’t hunt these hills her whole life was strange and a little unnerving. She could only imagine how Littleflower felt, having to leave behind their home and worry about taking care of the clan on their journey. She peered around as she approached the medicine cat den, trying to spot the two-tone she cat among the bustle.

@Nym
 
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Nym

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Palepaw had padded to Daisypelt and begun wrapping herbs in leaves as requested, glad to be given something to do already. The less quiet time she had the longer she could prolong processing her feelings about yesterday.
She heard Poppypaw behind her and glanced up at Daisypelt, who flicked their gaze towards Palepaw briefly and tilted their head a hair. Palepaw offered back a slow and confirming blink; yes, that was fine. Poppypaw was a welcomed friend.
"I'm wrapping the herbs Littleflower brings out," she explained to her paw friend, rolling a finished bundle to the side.

Daisypelt had taken a second to check in with Palepaw before giving Poppypaw a stern nod. Good. Really, she didn't care if the other apprentices helped, but Daisypelt had noticed the fight yesterday. Palepaw was a ticking time bomb if she wasn't immediately assured and included back into the fold, but Daisypelt also wasn't a fan of immediately forcing the paw into unwanted situations after yesterday. There was enough chaos ongoing currently.
That, and honestly, Daisypelt just didn't want to be involved in the next blowout.
"Good. The more paws the better." She meowed approvingly towards Poppypaw.
 

Nym

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Littleflower had woken the second the sun had begun to even think of rising, busying herself immediately with her collected herbs and medicines. She had plans to split what she had, leaving some for Fernfire and those staying while also taking half for those leaving. This den would be Fernfire's once her group left and Littleflower wanted to ensure she left it in a good space for her apprentice. Daisypelt had stopped by to speed the wrapping process, leaving Littleflower to start examining what she could leave behind.
She was deep within when she heard rustling, her eyes flashing in the darkness as she peered towards the entrance. Who was th- Camelstride? Her throat rumbled a low purr as she padded towards her adoptive daughter and brushed against her, affectionately licking her cheek.
"Good morning," she purred, grooming behind her child's ears. "What brings you here?"

 

PeterPan_da144

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A noticeable breath of relief left Poppypaw as she was welcomed over. Her tail went from twitching to buzzing with excitement over the thought of the journey. She came up beside Palepaw and sat, pulling a bundle of herbs toward herself to fold over.

She let them sit in silence for a bit, but her tail began to twitch against the ground restlessly. Poppypaw didn't want to overwhelm Palepaw with the journey. But she wanted to talk with her friend and muse over what they might see or smell. There was a whole world out there that they could explore now! Who knew what lay beyond the clan's borders?

"What do you guys think we'll see out there?" the question finally bubbled forth from her. Full of wonder at the ideas. Voice low enough to hopefully not drag other cats into the conversation just yet.

@Nym
 

Subducting

Long-Term Resident
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Stormflight nodded in greeting at Nutpelt. She liked the ginger she-cat- she was practical and kind, and Stormflight was glad she was coming along. Grimacing at Nutpelt’s stomach complaining, she glanced skyward with a slight frown. “We’d better hope so,” she responded, “but if Sunclan are sending us on this journey, surely we’ll be able to scrape by.” Sighing, she returned her gaze to the gorge, as if she was trying to drink the view in one last time. “It feels so strange, to think we’re leaving.” She dropped her voice, glancing around, before looking at Nutpelt and continuing, “I know some cats think we’ll return, and maybe some of them will but… this feels final.” She flexed her claws in the dry dirt, her fur rising slightly. “We’ll never hunt these mountains again.” Her voice was low, reverent. She couldn’t tell if she was afraid or excited- it all felt the same, buzzing under her pelt.

@PeterPan_da144 (Nutpelt)
 

Subducting

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Camelstride purred as Littleflower groomed her ears, not realising how tense she had been feeling until her adoptive mother’s comforting warmth wrapped around her. Enjoying the sensation of being cared for like a kit for just a moment, she closed her eyes, before brushing her cheek against Littleflower’s and stepping back.

“I came to see if you needed anything,” she said, glancing back towards the entrance to where the apprentices where whispering, “though it looks like you’ve got loads of help already.” She blinked, examining Littleflower in the half light, hoping she could stay and help anyway. She wanted Littleflower to feel that she had someone nearby with her that she was close to, just in case she was feeling worried and anxious. And maybe, just a tiny bit, Camelstride was a little worried too.

@Nym (Littleflower)
 

Subducting

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Even though he was staying behind, Damsonflower was out of his nest very early, awkwardly watching the last minute preparations with his tail wrapped around his paws as he sat to watch the sun rise. It had been easy to decide to stay, and he knew he would never forgive himself if he left, but it was heart wrenching to have to say goodbye to so many clanmates, so many friends. He wondered if the goodbyes would happen down in the gorge, or if maybe the cats staying could perhaps walk the journeying cats to the edge of the territory. He supposed that doing that would probably only prolong the heartache, though.

He hadn’t spoken to Palepaw since the previous night, and although he was slightly relieved she wouldn’t be staying behind to suffer, his heart ached for the passionate, principled apprentice. He would miss her- he would miss so many of the departing cats.
 

Revel

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Eclipsefur's heart was heavy, of course she didn't want to leave her home but if Sunclan said they must leave to survive as a clan, then that's what she would do, with her fellow cats. She had however, gone out hunting as much as possible to make sure those they left behind, could be fed while they adjusted to hunting for themselves, since it was now mostly elders left behind. She had wanted to go find her old friends but she'd given everyone she knew a lot of distance during this difficult time, both due to the fact she was away from the clan grounds so much, overworking herself hunting, but also she didn't want them to see how thin she'd become, didn't want to see how they suffered too, if she distanced herself then neither she, or her old friends, would have to suffer seeing the others in such decline. She'd just returned after another unsuccessful hunt and just flopped down near the fresh kill pile, such as it was, wincing at how small it was, she would grab something later, right now she needed to rest, her thin sides heaving with each breath as she tucked her head into her paws and sobbed dry tears of exhaustion and heartbreak over the choices made.
 

PeterPan_da144

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A nod in agreement. They were being sent away to find a new home. Of course they'd find prey. She just hoped it wouldn't be long. Perhaps they wouldn't have to journey as far as they thought, and then the rest of the clan could actually follow. Just adjust their territory a little bit. Though, deep down, she was certain it would be a long journey. Longer than any of them had hoped.

Her gaze followed Stormflight's into the gorge. The hustle and bustle of the clan felt eerie and strangely quiet. It made her fur stand on end. Then a low sigh was let out at Stormflight's words. "I do hope that we can come back. Either to visit or to show those who are staying behind that there's a more prosperous hunting grounds. But I agree," she said quietly, her whiskers twitching anxiously. "I never thought I'd be so sad to leave the boundaries of our territory."

Once she had dreamed of adventure and seeing what lay outside the clan's borders. But now that they were being forced to... It was scary.

@Subducting
 

Nym

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Littleflower shook her head. She had a lot of help, sure, but nothing was better than having one of her own brood in her space.
"Help me count what I have? I need to evenly split our stash so those staying aren't left with nothing."
It did feel better to have Camelstride there. Her tail flicked softly and she slid back into her den, nodding towards various herbs and medicines she had yet to collect. Those were the ones that she needed to be counted.
"We're going to be okay," she called, nosing a batch of herbs she had set aside for the staying group. "Sun Clan is by our side."
She said it with false confidence that didn't truly reach her chest. She was scared. There was so much she could lose in this journey; her father, her children, her mate.... and Fernfire was staying behind. How would she know if he was okay? If he survived? Was he ready to take on the duties of a medicine cat, or was she dooming him to his end?

Should she have tried and stopped him?
Her ears flattened for a second. No. Get it together, Camelstride needed her to be confident. She tried to straighten her posture and flashed a smile in the darkness.
Keep it together.

@Subducting
 

Subducting

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Stormflight shook her head slightly, not sharing Nutpelt’s optimism about their chances of returning and privately thinking that in any future scenario where cats returned to the mountains, they’d likely not like what they might find. It was uncomfortable to think about, but the odds of the remaining cats surviving long enough to be visited didn’t seem to be terrifically great. At best, she suspected that some of the younger cats may roam away from the territory eventually.

She was about to form a response but stopped as a ragged looking cat entered the camp and collapsed by the meagre fresh kill pile, the dusty pelt just recognisable as Eclipsefur. Stormflight’s tail twitched as she gave Nutpelt an exasperated glance, her own hunger and thirst making her less patient than usual. She strode over to the exhausted cat, blinking down at her.

“Eclipsefur, what in the name of Sunclan possessed you to get yourself this tired? How are you meant to make the journey in this state, you mouse brain!” As she chided the she cat, she lent down, sniffing the warrior gingerly and touching her nose to Eclipsefur’s ear gently.

@Revel @PeterPan_da144
 

Nym

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What would they see past the mountains? She bit back a heavy sigh, focusing harder on her task as she mulled it over. Poppypaw was excited and Palepaw wasn't going to squash that, even if she didn't feel that same sentiment. She shrugged gently, setting a bundle aside and grabbing another leaf.
"Probably more trees."

Daisypelt watched the two paws, eyes narrowing as they landed on Palepaw. Yeah -- that was a problem. She didn't restrain her own sigh, exhaling softly as she inspected the bundles currently set aside and swept them into one pile. Good.
"I've never left the mountains, so I wouldn't know. I heard it's greener down the mountain." And more prey, but maybe that was wishful thinking. "Remember we need to be careful -- we don't know what's out there and where we're welcomed."
Neither of the paws she was too worried about, but the warning was more for her own peace of mind.
"And what of you, Poppypaw? What do you think you'll see?"
Daisypelt wasn't a talker by far, but it was good to keep hope in the mix. Cats in a good mood meant they'd work better and press forward with goals and dreams. They would need that.
 

Revel

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Eclipsefur didn't hear Stormflight padding up to her, it wasn't until the other cat was right THERE, that she even lifted her head. "I just ...i was trying to help ... i don't want anyone else to die" she said through heaving breaths, trying to control her sobs. "They need help but i'm l..leaving and i....don't know what else to do" Her body was forcing her to rest now, but Stormflight was right. "I feel like im splitting in two, this is my home but we can't survive here, not all of us, not as a full clan... i wanted to... i needed to make sure everyone had enough to eat but hunting is so hard now" she should just stop, she knew she was making excuses, she hunted, so she didn't have to think, not about her clanmates starving, not about her own stomach clenching painfully every day, not about losing cats she loved... if she was focused on hunting, she didn't have to think about anything besides the hunt.

@Subducting
 
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