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Warriors: Cats of the Sun

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

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Revel

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Eclipse hadn't liked travelling, it was hard going, the hunting was strange too. So many unknown dangers, at least back home she had known the trails and areas like the bad on her paw, but out here? it was impossible to know. She had however, been extremely successful on her first patrol out hunting when the clan stopped to rest up and eat, to prepare for the next part of their journey, she'd caught many prey, she'd needed help bringing it back to the clan in the end, but the scariest part had to have been when she was almost grabbed by an owl, it was just lucky the wind shifted at the last second, giving Eclipsefur a heads up that the owl was just above her, she'd leapt, higher than she ever had before and had found herself suddenly on the back of the winged devil, her added weight all of a sudden, brought it to the ground, where it broke it's wing, it had been a kindness when she ended it's life (before it came to it's senses) she'd dragged it, and the grouse she'd caught earlier, back to the clan, much to the surprise of Nutpelt and Stormflight, she'd laughed at their expressions at the time.

She'd been resting for a day or two, well... resting between travelling anyway but she'd been antsy, wanting to get out and hunt again, she wouldn't feel right in herself until she was sure everycat was fed, she needed to feel useful so she'd jumped at the chance to volunteer again to hunt, though maybe this time, hopefully without any Owls trying to eat her. She caught up to the group after a few hours with little more than a few mouthfuls, her whole body seemed even more sunken in than usual, so disappointed with herself as she was, unconsciously making herself seem smaller as she approached the members of her clan.

@Subducting @PeterPan_da144 for mention of the girls after her owl hunt
 

belloblossom

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Riversurge hadn't been prepared for the journey, but really, how could anyone have been? He kept his distance from all the rest, hunting as he was bid to, but mostly keeping his head down. He'd never been the most chatty of cats, though it was clear that Riversurge was more shy than intentionally antisocial.

His hunting trip brought some prey home, at least, but he was no match the she-cats in the Clan, who seemed to be bringing owls back to the group left and right. Riversurge had no idea there were that many owls nearby - nor that the she-cats who walked alongside him were so scary.

He side-eyed Eclipsefur, Stormflight and Nutpelt, three she-cats who seemed especially close and especially lethal together and repressed a shudder. At times, he fancied the idea of settling down and having a family, but to do that, a she-cat would need to be involved and he was certain he'd never work up the nerve to talk to any of them. Maybe it was SunClan's will that he stay a single warrior his entire life.

He was near the back of the group when Skysong yowled back at them - but with her being so loud, even he couldn't be deaf to the news. They found the river! Breathing a sigh not quite of relief, nor dismay, Riversurge felt as though he was a bit cut off from the experience. It was hard to feel anything, since MountainClan split up. How many more changes would they have to endure before they could be any sense of settled again?
 

belloblossom

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Robinflight had never spent so much time on the ground since she'd been a kit. She felt so antsy on the ground, but she didn't know these trees anymore. She thought of her mentor, Duskwing, who had taken a bad tumble out of a tree and no longer became the fearless mentor she fondly remembered from her apprentice days. The first couple of days of their travel had been fine, she could traverse the mountain trees no problem, but when they began to get more sparse, her anxiety rose... and she was practically glued to Riversong's side since she touched ground.

Ah, Riversong - Robinflight depended on her support so dearly. She didn't wish for Riversong to want for anything, so when the she-cat brought back an owl to the Clan (or what was left of it since the split) Robinflight's spirits lifted enough to hunt through the branches, wary as she was, and come home with two.

Look at me, Riversong. She wanted to say as she dragged the taloned birds into their makeshift home that evening. See these owls? I am worthy of your love, now, right?

But how could she voice such a thing on a journey as hard as this one? Surely it would come as a surprise to Riversong, in some capacity. Maybe the grey she-cat knew that Robinflight loved her, but in what manner was any cat's guess. What's more, if Robinflight told her and Riversong didn't feel the same way...

That would cause her so much stress. She's already dealing with MountainClan's split, I don't put any more weight on her mind.

So, she didn't say anything. She went on, keeping close to her companion and taking comfort in being nearby on this journey with her. She watched the trees and observed the branches until a call from ahead rang out one day from their deputy. Perking her ears, she turned multi-colored eyes onto Riversong with a wide smile.

"Riversong, we've done it! We're almost there!" Robinflight nudged Riversong's shoulder with her own. "Though I've been right where I needed to be next to my own River, right?" She added with a wink, trying to seem much more confident than she felt. @NatiStorm
 

Subducting

Long-Term Resident
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The sun was slipping below the horizon, and Stormflight lifted her eyes to the peaks that already seemed distant, even if they were still in the foothills. She prayed silently to Sunclan that a favourable sun set on their clanmates there. Today’s good fortune at finally finding the lost river made her homesick for the past they left behind, when the river by their home seemed unshakable.

There was a mumble of greeting from the travelling cats, and she scented the returning hunting party. Turning to greet them, she noticed Eclipsefur slinking back with a couple of pieces of fresh kill, looking defeated. Stormflight sighed and padded over, running her tail along the other she cat’s flank before turning to walk alongside her. “Are you alright?” she asked bluntly, eyeballing the skinny she cat worriedly.

@Revel
 

Nym

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Littleflower had been quiet during the journey, aside from checking in on her clan members when they grew too weary and, from time to time, attempted at insisting on seeing Sunseer's eyes. Otherwise, the medicine cat had kept to herself, fretting away about the unknown future and what might come yet.
All she could think about was the prophecy.
The river being found was not a welcomed announcement. Flashes of the omen given to her flickered in the back of her mind as the clan celebrated, leaving a sour taste in the back of her mouth. Great.
 
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Nym

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The river meant they were slowly getting further from home, and with that created even more distance from her and her children. It was a bittersweet moment; her kids would be safe but she wouldn't witness them reach adulthood or create their own families. Would they blame her? She hadn't even said goodbye -- she had been too worried about bringing illness with her and everything had gone by so fast. There was no time for a final visit. Now she wasn't even sure she remembered the way back, and they weren't even half done with their journey.
She sighed softly and flattened her ears as the clan murmured amongst themselves. She felt so out of place, so alone. Most members had grown within the clan and had family or friends, and then there was her -- the newbie who had broken several rules the moment she stepped foot on their territory. Had the rumors died down now that the clan was overburdened?
She just hoped she could find a way to prove herself during their travels.
 

Nym

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Daisypelt was irritated. She had hoped to get more kill during the hunts and had been left with just about nothing to speak for. She wanted to be useful -- to actually provide for her clan that was so clearly hurting from a decision none had wanted to make. She had so much more to offer than what she had currently provided. So much more.
Luckily some good news had reached the group in the form of the smell of the upcoming river. Relief washed through her normally stoic face. Good.
 

Nym

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The river.
Goldenleaf had stayed close to her partner and children during the days of travel, remaining quiet unless spoken to. She had been deep in thought, pondering the future of the clan and her family as the days widdled by. Hunting had been going moderately successfully for the clan and, so far, things remained promising. It was far easier to feed fewer mouths now that the group had split, that was for sure.
The sign of the upcoming river however was a blessed one. The sooner they found their next home the faster they could begin to settle down and avoid future accidents or starvation. This was not the future she had wanted for her children, but, hopefully, the one the clan would build could be better than she had dreamed of.
"Good," she hummed, pressing softly into Lilacmoon. "Things are going better than predicted."
 

Nym

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Minnowclaw had been as useful as she could be during the trip, offering comfort and encouragement when and where she could. It was hard to remain optimistic in these trying times, but the continuous promising hunts had helped her, at least. The clan was, for now, okay -- perhaps even better than it had been a few weeks ago. Something good was finally happening, and the clan sorely needed it.
The announcement of the river was a welcomed one, met with her head craned to the sky and a deep inhale. Ah, that was a new smell. She liked it.
"Finally!" She barked, tail flicking behind her. Maybe this meant fish in their near future?
 

Nym

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The trip was not a taxing one for Lynxstrike, yet. She was strong and capable, evident in her toned and muscular body. Starvation had yet to take her towards the end of the mountain days, and with her determination, she was not going to let it anytime soon. She also enjoyed the exercise immensely; hunting in the mountains hadn't been enough to expend her boundless energy. This felt good, at least. Something to do, something to work towards.
She almost was going to miss the journey once it was over.
 

Nym

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Ashenwillow had stayed close to the end of the group, both feeling incredibly out of place and uncertain if he really, truly, belonged with the rest. He had been a loner who had stumbled onto Mountain Clan territory right before the famine, and at the time clan life had felt so... complete? Whole? Like he had a small part in something greater, maybe. He had spent his short life so alone and without a purpose, but clan life had offered something more. Then the famine hit and he had felt nothing but a deep and uncertain doubt; was this the right place to call home? Was he really built for this life?
And now here he was, following after cats he didn't know and listening to orders he didn't hear. It had suddenly become so real, so so fast, and Ashenwillow had nothing and no one to tether him to the experience. Why was he here? Did anyone even need him?
Still, he trekked with the rest and celebrated the river with the others. It was welcome news. Distracting news, even. He had always liked the water, anyway.
 

Nym

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The river.
Great.
It meant more distance from where she really ought to be, and marked more land she'd need to travel to continue following after a cause that wasn't hers. Her ears flattened, her jaw tightened, and Palepaw bit back every desire to groan. She had tried to leave twice already; once right before they left the mountains and the second time while everyone slept. Both times she had been stopped by Mothwing, who knew his daughter well enough to suspect her antics. Both times she had pleaded and begged until her voice was raw, only to be met with a sad shake of his head.
If only she had been just a little stronger.
Her mother had been a shell of herself since, even though Palepaw had agreed to come with. If that was how things were going to be then why was she here, anyway? No matter what choice she had made it ended up doing exactly what she tried to avoid; hurt her mother. If she had stayed she at least could have done the same while following her mission in life...
In the end, she was here, though, wasn't she? Here and miserable. She had kept her distance from her family, weaving within the crowd throughout the days to keep her presence small. She didn't have the energy for another fight with her parents or to try and pretend to smile at her sister -- she just wanted to process the impossible. And now everyone was excited about the river, as if it was a landmark that would and could bring them anything else but a reminder that they were so far from home, and about to get even further.
Screw the river, honestly.
 

Nym

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Mothwing was exhausted. He was doing his best to keep his family together. He watched Palepaw's every step, tried to soothe the growing wounds Deadeye weathered, and comfort Petalpaw as the distance between her and her sister grew. It wasn't enough. It'd never be enough. His family was strained and fragile, but he was so worn trying to keep it together. What more could he do? What words could he say to beg Palepaw to forgive him and stop avoiding her mother? What could he say to Deadeye to bring back that smile?

The river just meant another journey. Another hard adventure ahead of them. Would they need to swim? Cross the river? Did Deadeye have that strength? She was so thin and small right now... he'd need to give everything just to get her across. And then he had his kids to worry over, too...
He sighed softly, gently nosing Deadeye's side. They'd make it as a family, right?

@Tigeria
 

belloblossom

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Branchtail had been spending a great deal of his time chasing around Nutpelt. Sure, he kept his distance when she'd been surrounded by her posse, but anytime he heard his name on her tongue, he was there at the flick of an ear. Some may accuse Branchtail of having a one track mind, but Branchtail was a tomcat who was ambitious - someone who knew what he wanted and took the time to achieve it.

With Nutpelt, who seemed to give him the cold shoulder, or at best, a lukewarm shoulder, when her friends were around, it was more difficult to court her than it would another she-cat in the Clan, he was certain. Still, he was resilient and he was handsome. SunClan was sure to bless him for his efforts and hopefully Nutpelt would come to see that she didn't have to be so callous with him. Though... only his ancestors and Nutpelt herself could predict how long that would take.

The day that they finally reached the first scent of the river, Branchtail had been giving Nutpelt some space. It would be no good if he smothered her - better to give her the time and space to miss his company for a bit, maybe then she'd warm up to him.

So instead he found himself trailing near a certain pale apprentice, the one who had wanted to stay behind with the elders. Palepaw, however you looked at her, was clearly experiencing a great deal of misery. He couldn't relate to her exactly - he'd known he would be leaving from the moment Littleflower prattled on about the suffering of those who remained. Branchtail suffered enough ith dealing with how handsome he was and the burdens that came with an hour of careful grooming to maintain his good looks every morning. However... He couldn't very well let her sulk in isolation, so he wasted little time in shuffling over to her as the river announcement reached the ears of MountainClan and he lowered his voice to speak with the apprentice.

"I suppose we can't call ourselves MountainClan anymore, since we left it." He mewed carefully. "RiverClan seems too... eh, on the nose? Maybe, hm... GrassClan? What do you think fits us now, Palepaw?" @Nym (tagging Palepaw) @PeterPan_da144 (mentions Nutpelt)
 

belloblossom

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Dustfeather had felt the loss of his kits more every step he took away from Buzzardstrike and Finchchirp and as a result of their absense, he'd been spending nearly every moment of his time with his daughter and his mate. Duskwing had always been an independent soul, but even this, even when she blessed the two kits of theirs who stayed, this had to be bothering her in some way, right?

He wasn't blind to felines outside of his small family unit, of course. He saw Mothwing struggling to keep his family together. He thought it ironic, at times, but typically he just felt sympathy for the fellow tomcat. Despite having tried so hard and managing to keep his family together, now that they all walked beside him, it seemed like there was a greater distance between Mothwing and Palepaw, than Dustfeather felt being away from Finchchirp and Buzzardstrike.

He'd wanted to speak to Mothwing on occasion, lend his support where he could, but Mothwing was as glued to Deadeye's side as Dustfeather was to Duskwing. There never seemed to be a right moment where they could speak alone.

Today was no different - even with the river announcement. He glanced at the other tom and his family, before casting his gaze to his own.

"We're one step closer to getting where we need to be. SunClan is surely guiding our paws, for us to have met up with the river again so quickly from when we left home." He mewed to Sparrowtail. "What hopes do you have for our new territory, daughter?" @Tigeria (tagging Dusk/Sparrow) @Nym (mentions Mothwing)
 

PeterPan_da144

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Today felt no different than any other day. Nutpelt would sigh as the band traveled onwards. She had been enjoying the hunting, and every day hoped their journey was at an end. Perhaps they didn't have to go too far from the territory they had grown up with. That would be wonderful! They could go back and bring the other cats down the mountain, it wouldn't be that hard of a trip. She knew of many in the clan who would approve of such a thing. Little Palepaw to start with. Nutpelt couldn't help but gaze after Palepaw on occassion. The poor apprentice was absolutely heartbroken at being ripped away from what she believed was right. Nutpelt ached for her.

Though in the end, she turned her eyes forward. Their journey hadn't ended just yet, so she had to keep an eye on the future of the clan.

Nutpelt was almost always with Eclipsefur and Stormflight. The three had become thicker than ever before with the journey, often times hunting together. In a few cases, they took down prey together. Like the day her and Eclipsefur took down a couple of owls in a nest. The thought made her smile. Nutpelt had never been overly adept at hunting in the trees, but with the changing territory and a prohphecy looming on the horizon, it seemed every cat had found a new calling in one way or another. Some of the better hunters in the clan were out of their elements, having a hard time keeping up with bringing prey back. Then there was a mediocre hunter such as herself, who came home every day with a mouthful of prey she couldn't lug on her own, and then some.

During the times she wasn't with Eclipsefur or Stormflight, though, she was spending a few moments with Branchtail. She'd grown to enjoy his companionship, and though she was callous to him while with other cats, when it was just the two of them, he'd gain small tokens of affection from her. A nose to his cheek or ear, tail brushing with his, and she even sat to share tongues with him once. Just once, though, because she became really self conscious afterwards.

However, Eclipsefur and Stormflight were lagging behind a little when Skysong cried out. Nutpelt's ears shot up, and she bolted up the nearest tree to look out as well. See what the deputy saw. "She's right!" Nutpelt crowed with delight. The ginger she-cat then scrambled from the tree as quickly as possible and ran over to Stormflight and Eclipsefur. "The river is near!" She brushed pelts with the two, purring up a storm, before darting off to find Branchtail. He was beside Palepaw, so she slowed her paws and approached from Branchtail's side, brushing her pelt to his gently. Not wanting to get too overly excited about the river and stir up Palepaw's emotions.

@Revel (Eclipsefur)
@belloblossom (Branchtail)
@Subducting (Stormflight)
@Nym (Palepaw)
@Blinded By Silence (Mention of Skysong and following her up a tree)
 

PeterPan_da144

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Somehow, every single day, Poppypaw was filled with her boundless energy once again. She vibrated from ear tip to tail tip. Each day, she was sure their journey was over. Once it was, her and Palepaw could go back and tell everyone where they lived now. Perhaps they could even bring the cats back, too. Show them the new, bountiful lands that SunClan had sent them to. Her friend would no longer be sad and lonely and angry. She could feel fulfilled and happy. Even if it meant Poppypaw and Palepaw parted ways once she went back. That didn't matter, though it would hurt. Poppypaw couldn't stand the thought of anyone who stayed behind going through pain. She prayed that the prey was more than enough for such a small chunk of the clan to survive without them. The young she-cat hoped that wasn't the last they would ever see of their old mountain home, and their family they had left behind.

Though none of this reflected in her outward appearance. She was all about the cats around her, doing her part in hunting and gathering herbs. Whatever was needed. Even in the case of comforting Riversurge, who seemed to have grown even shyer than before. He even seemed skittish around her, at first, which she found weird. Until he explained how he was feeling. She had laughed a little, but given comforting licks and brushed pelts with him. Such a silly tom cat. Poppypaw was the one to help him find other ways to help the travelling cats if he felt he was underwhelming with hunting.

Currently, she padded alongside Riversurge. Belts very lightly brushing with the closeness. He seemed to enjoy the silence mostly, so she let them walk in silence. However, when Skysong's cry rang out, followed by Nutpelt's reaffirming, Poppypaw fluffed up excitedly. "The river!" Her eyes gleamed as she turned to Riversurge, purring and mrrowing as she brushed harder against him. Excited to finally be near the end. Hopefully. "I'll be right back!"

Poppypaw then bolted towards Palepaw, who was currently accompanied by Branchtail and Nutpelt, it seemed. Poppypaw gently brushed up agains the pale cat's other side, a quiet and gentle notion. Palepaw was the only cat that Poppypaw had spoken to about the old mountain and wanting to go back. Wanting to take her friend back so she could fulfill what she felt needed to be done. She promised Palepaw she would help her friend get back, and if Palepaw need reaffirmation about it, she would provide it. This was her secret little 'we're going back soon' to the pale she-cat. Soon.

After she was done with that, Poppypaw returned to Riversurge's side. "Are you excited?" Hers had come rushing back, whiskers twitching eagerly.

@belloblossom (Riversurge, with mention of Branchtail)
@Nym (brief interaction with Palepaw)
 
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Blinded By Silence

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Sunseer seemed to swell as he breathed in the damp air, filling his lungs with river scent. Relief washed over him. There was a dread, unnamed, clinging to him, a worry that he might not wake one of these days. But There was no need for that fear. Hunting had been good. Almost perfect, actually. And now they would have fresh water, too. He could feel the warmth of SunClan's guidance on his back and knew without a doubt that they had done the right thing.

He opened his mouth and scented for his daughter. She had been so worried recently, 'I'll check in on her, make sure she gets some water.' He thought, following his nose.

@Nym
 

Nym

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Palepaw twitched as Branchtail joined her side, head tilting towards his direction. They hadn't spoken much up until then, but of course she knew him. She hadn't formed an opinion of the male yet, but she knew he was incredibly vain for a cat. Vain and lovestruck -- she had noticed his interest in Nutpelt, how couldn't she? Her eyes scanned for the she-cat in question, knowing where Branchtail went usually Nutpelt followed. She was right; the orange cat also had decided to join the two.

Interesting.

Poppypaw suddenly appeared, brushing against Palepaw before vanishing. It bewildered the pale cat, who blinked at where her friend had just been. Did she really have to leave so fast? The warmth Poppypaw had offered still radiated on her side, comforting the pale apprentice briefly.

She frowned at the question, narrowing her eyes in Branchtail's direction. Surely he knew that wasn't a good question for her, right? What was it with the clan lately? Did no one think before speaking anymore, or was it just at her? Her tail flicked, twitching at the tip in a brief indication of irritation. Why would they rename themselves, regardless of location? They were Mountain Clan, no matter where they went. How much more did this group want to sever themselves from the rest? Where was the pride in their clan?

Was this a part of the prophecy, too?

"We're Mountain Clan, regardless of where we end up," she answered, voice low and yet level. Branchtail wasn't the problem, she knew that -- he was just trying to strike a conversation. "Do you think we're going to change that much?"

She thought back to the prophecy -- what had Littleflower said? Four flowers? "Are we truly going to split that far from our origin?" She frowned again, head shaking. "I don't like that."

@belloblossom @PeterPan_da144
 

Nym

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Littleflower caught movement to her side and jerked her head to see her father, tail flicking in recognization. It was still weird every time she interacted with him -- she had been forced to grow up far faster emotionally than most others her age and hadn't spent much time with her father in the process. He had been so busy, and then so had she; bonding hadn't been something either prioritized in her life. She didn't hold any resentment towards him for it, either. He had been needed desperately for the clan, more than she had needed a father. Still, at times it felt uncomfortable. It was easier to view him as her leader than her parent, but seeing him recently blinded had reopened something else, something... familial?
Was she worried for him?
Her ears flattened and she brushed against his side in greeting, tapping his shoulder once she settled so he knew her direction. She leaned closer, inspecting dulled eyes with a frown. A part of her hoped one day they'd recover, but...

Well, she wasn't dumb.
"Sunseer," she greeted softly, voice low and private, just for him. "Are you okay? Do you need anything?" Had he come over for pain relievers, or something similar? He wasn't eating enough, she noted, resulting in a low and worried hum.
"How do you feel?"

 
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