Warriors of the Lake

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 welcome home [open]

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rowan

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Current Cats: : Duckcloud (SC)
Posts : 4
Join date : 2018-06-07
Age : 22

PostSubject: welcome home [open]   Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:14 pm

Pine trees stretched overhead, an unfamiliar setting that wavered and glittered like a mirage. Stars twinkled somewhere far above, through the needled boughs, as Duck padded carefully through the thicket, fur brushing up against the underbrush. Where was this? It felt, almost, like she wasn't truly there - her body was moving on its own, and she felt everything, but she could do nothing to change her course. 

Far in the distance, something shimmered. Her pace quickened, and she broke past the trees noisily, tail waving behind her like a banner. Moonlight washed across the scenery and bathed the lakeside setting in silver light. Duck was still completely clueless as to where this was, but it was so.. familiar, somehow, even though she'd never set a foot in the pine forest south of her barn. This seemed completely different from the sparse tree line she lived near, more wild and overgrown and tangled than anything she'd ever experienced in her domesticated life.

Her ears swivelled back as she heard footsteps, and before she could turn to look, silver-hued, semi-transparent bodies brushed past her, fur awash with stars like the sky itself. These cats were strange to her, as they had no scent, and as she followed them, they led her back inwards, towards a dip in the earth surrounded by brambles. She passed through the entrance, ducking her head, and...

In the blink of an eye, the clearing, the forest, the lake... it had all disappeared, leaving naught but the night sky on all sides of her. She knew not what she'd been standing on, but she decided not to focus on it and instead brought her gaze forward, where a glowing silver cat sat peacefully, with a peaceful expression.

"Duck." The voice echoed from all places at once. "It's time to go home. To ShadowClan."

Duck's eyes snapped open.

From her spot in the loft, as she stood up and shook herself loosely, she could see her mother Briar napping in the noonday sunlight that soaked the barn floor from a crack in the doorway. She leapt down, not particularly gracefully, and touched noses with Briar.

"Mom." Her voice was urgent. "Mom, I had a weird dream. I need to tell you about it."

"Mmuh..? What is it?" Briar replied, cracking one orange eye open to look at her daughter. "A dream? I was just having one, you know..."

"No, this one was... different." She struggled to find an appropriate word for what she'd felt. "I was in a pine forest, really thick and... overgrown, not like the regular pine forest... and I saw a lake, and starry cats...and one of them mentioned ShadowClan..."

Briar was immediately up, loose hay sticking to her unkempt fur. "ShadowClan...? I haven't heard that name in... seasons, at least. Where did you hear that name?"

"My dream." Duck frowned. Did Briar not believe her? "Do you know what it is?"

Her mother gave her chest a self-conscious lick. "Well, not personally... My mother spoke of it, and of our heritage as feral cats living in an organized group... but it was long ago that we'd lived alongside the lake there. I never sought it out, and neither did my mother, or my mother's mother. It's easier being a barn cat than living wild in who-knows-where." Her eyes squinted kindly at Duck's. "I think you should stay here, and not worry about it."

"Not worry about it...? But it told me I should 'come home', whatever that means..." She was suddenly unsure of herself. Perhaps her mother was right. It was safer here, at the barn, where the humans could care for them on occasion and there were mice to eat, but... something called to her. Some primal part of her soul longed for the company of a Clan, of others whose heritage was shared with hers....

"Dreams are dreams. Signs don't exist, you should know not to give in to fanciful thinking." Briar nudged Duck good-naturedly. "Besides, it was probably a mouse you ate. Stay here with me, don't worry about some silly dream..."

Duck knew, on this, she disagreed, but said nothing as Briar began to groom her.

Tonight, she'd decided. Tonight she would go south.

__________

As Briar slept soundly in the barn, Duck snuck past, through the barn door and out into the open night air. It was cold, causing the long-furred barn cat to shiver. She'd have to deal with this if she wanted to pursue this Clan business. She'd be dealing with it daily, probably, especially on her way there...

Travelling was rough on her, but the hunting was rougher. She was unused to hunting anything but lazy barn mice, so she went hungry for a few nights, scrounging up only measiy voles and other smaller animals that were slow enough for her to catch. She worried often whether she'd be cut out for whatever lifestyle the Clan had, if it still existed - the dream didn't specify anything more, and that worried her. What if there was no Clan to go back to? What if she was all alone, giving herself a hard life for no reason when she could have stayed at the barn? She didn't even know what being part of this ShadowClan would truly entail. 

She continued to dream of the lake when she slept, though she was never able to enter the camp in her dreams; it seemed to be off limits to her, but the rest of the territory was fair game. She had never put her paws in a lake before, and the idea excited her - but when she touched the water, she'd wake up, too. It frustrated her. Duck wanted so dearly to be able to touch the water, despite her fear of how absolutely massive the lake that stretched out for ages was.

She could remember, during one dream, she had looked out over the lake and seen... an island. It was distant, and mysterious, but it intrigued her. What could possibly be on that island...?

In any case, she eventually traveled so far into the pine forest that she did make it to the thickest part, past an old human shed and past a river that wound around and about. There were unfamiliar scents here - predators and prey alike, as well as.... the smell of a stranger, someone she didn't know.

She followed it to the place she'd only seen in dreams: the bramble thicket with the clearing inside. Nervously, she bowed her head and entered, and was amazed at what she saw.

There were dens, fallen into disrepair over the seasons. No trace of scent remained in them save for the stranger's scent in one of the larger dens. Duck inquisitively poked about in each den, finding compost where a previous medicine cat store would have been, had she known what a medicine cat was. 

As she exited the last den, she could spot someone coming into the camp - the stranger she'd been smelling this entire time. What should she do? Should she hide? She had no idea what to do - what if this stranger was hostile? Her mind entertained the thought that this could be one of the supposed ShadowClan cats, so she stood her ground, seating herself in front of what was once the warrior's den.

"Hello," she called out politely. "Is this your den? I hope I'm not intruding."
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Ripped
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Current Cats: : Rippedsky of Skyclan, Dawnbreak of Skyclan, Shadowbreeze of Thunderclan, Brackenthorn of Windclan, Redwhisker of Riverclan
Mentors: : Ravenheart (NPC)
Posts : 78
Join date : 2018-05-29
Age : 21
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PostSubject: Re: welcome home [open]   Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:18 pm

"Well, I hope ya weren't going to eat that..." Grizzle the lovely npc boy huffed as he looked over at Mouse. Her ears fell at another failed attempt of hunting. They had not been successful around here in moons. Both their pelts alike showed an obvious malnutrition. The skinny, and incredibly tall, grey she-cat was normally known for her lithe frame. But, the outline of her ribs was not great. It was the time of the sun, warm season. So, why were things not thriving? With a low sigh, the lanky cat looked down at her paws with an obvious disappointment. Her traveling companion was much more of the sarcastic type than she was. A mildly frustrated glance was shot his way. Her tail flickered with another sign of agitation. They had stuck it out here an hoped for the best. This little piece of land, complete with a rotting stump and all, had been home for as long as she could remember. Grizzle and her and simply grown up together, leaning on each other. As much as she wanted to chastise him for the lack of humor at the moment, she held her tongue. He was a pain, but he was her pain.

Looking mournfully in the direction of the rabbit, her stomach growled. Her strong suit had never been hunting those quick, little things, however hard she tried. Something nagged at the edge of her mind, the voice from the other night. She did not dare look up at Grizzle as she spoke, knowing it would cause another argument, "Remind me why we are staying here again?" The tom froze instantly, fur on his shoulders rising. That had to have been a new record. Not even a moment and he was near ready to jump her for making a suggestion.

"We've always lived here," he growled, "We can't just up and leave because you think you heard some mysterious voice calling you to a land you never heard of! Just, drop it, Mouse." His fur began to settle, but now his tail lashed as he whipped around to stalk away. Although, he stopped briefly to nod for her to follow him. The sky was growling darker. Every night they would huddle away in the base of the stump that had been hallowed out by rain over the moons, and hide away from any of the predators of the might. Their old partner, Maul, had been cruelly picked off by something. Since then, Grizzle did not like to take risks. He used to be the boldest of them all and now he would barely allow for Mouse to stray from his side. She knew it was because he cared, wanted to protect her. But, now, his inability to see reasoning beyond that was starving them. Digging her claws into the ground, Mouse made no motion to come after him. It took a moment. Grizzle turned back with an exasperated sigh.

"You want to die here? Fine. I won't stop you. But, I'm going, Griz. If there is any chance at something more, I'd prefer it to this decaying life... I want you to come with me, but I can't make you."

For a moment, the two of them just stared at each other. Eyes were fixed and a number of emotions were shared by the pair. Mouse thought she saw his eyes soften, yet it was quickly replaced with a burning frustration. In a flash, he had charged and bowled her to the ground. With sheathed paws the tom stood over her, "You can't leave, you'll die, you idiot!" Grizzle practically spat into the ground. But, again the depths of his eyes flickered and he glanced away, trying to hide the shame and sadness welling up from deep inside, "I-I can't lose you too." Before stepping off, he pressed his forehead to hers and quickly nuzzled her cheek. The only time they had ever been this close outside of the den was when he had knocked her out of the path of an owl's claws, leaving him with the scar now set over his eye. As she looked over the scar, her chest tightened. When he pulled away, Mouse longed to beg him to return. Once he stepped off, she stood slowly.

"I have to go, Griz... and you do too. Please." Mouse pleaded with him. Silently, her eyes betrayed the deep longing for him to continue at her side, wherever it meant they ended up. As the silence stretched on, Mouse felt her heart rate slow. It seemed to go on forever. Finally, she nodded to him and turned away. Grizzle could choose his own path. If that meant staying where he thought he belonged, so be it. Her green eyes were set on the future. On the place where starvation would be no more. Thankfully, she felt a pelt brush up against hers after not too long. They were on their way to the future.
__

The journey was arduous for cats who had not gone far past their own stump, but as soon as they arrived, Mouse knew it. Everything seemed to fall into place once they were between the tall pine trees. She urged Grizzle on, something that was much easier after they had caught some of the plentiful prey that filled the land. Her stomach nearly ached from all of the food. It was incredible. Not long after, they discovered what looked like it had once been quite a few dens. But, no one was there and it was long abandoned. Shrugging it off, the grey she-cat made herself at home. The pair could not have found a better place and Mouse made sure to remind Grizzle of that on the daily.

After only a few sunsets, she had already begun to call this place home. The stump was forgotten. Even Grizzle seemed to begun less tightly wound and enjoy the territory. Before the sun fell once more, they had gone out hunting again. By the time it was over, her mouth was crammed with a mix of mice and frogs. It would be a feast tonight as they settled back into the comfortable dens. Already her coat was shinier than before and the she-cat felt much younger than she had for moons. Life was good. This is where we are meant to be, Mouse thought happily as she padded through the den entrance. She stopped. Griz ran right into her and gave a displeased grunt until he saw it too. Another cat. Mouse allowed her prey to fall to the ground and leaped defensively in front of it. No strange cat was going to take their safe haven away. With bristling fur she faced Duck and hissed, "Who are you and what do you want?"

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Rippedsky of Skyclan // color=#006699 // Warrior
Dawnbreak of Skyclan // color=#ff9900 // Something
Shadowbreeze of Thunderclan // color=#cccc00 // Kit
Brackenthorn of Windclan // color=#663300 // Young Warrior
Redwhisker of Riverclan // color=#cc0033 // Young Warrior (But really an old man)
Mousetuft of Shadowclan // color=#669900 // Young Warrior
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Current Cats: : Duckcloud (SC)
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PostSubject: Re: welcome home [open]   Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:57 am

Duck felt herself shrink under the gaze of the other cats, becoming less confident by the second. She'd hoped they wouldn't be aggressive to her - maybe they were ShadowClan cats? - but realized quickly that she had absolutely intruded on them. How rude of her to just enter their camp without asking! Well, the best she could do was manage some damage control.

"Um, sorry," she blurted out nervously. "I'm here, uh, because of a dream I got? And I guess this is where ShadowClan lives? Are you guys ShadowClan cats?" Immediately questions started to tumble out of her mouth without cease. Embarrassing, but she couldn't stop herself from talking when she was nervous. "I thought there'd be more of you, or something..."

She paused, realizing that could come across as an insult. "N-not that I'm judging! I don't want to fight, though. I came here to join."
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Current Cats: : Rippedsky of Skyclan, Dawnbreak of Skyclan, Shadowbreeze of Thunderclan, Brackenthorn of Windclan, Redwhisker of Riverclan
Mentors: : Ravenheart (NPC)
Posts : 78
Join date : 2018-05-29
Age : 21
Location : in the pit

PostSubject: Re: welcome home [open]   Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Her fur bristled for a brief moment as she sized up the other cat. Things had been so good for the past couple sunsets and no cat was going to change that. Mouse's tail lashed behind her. Although, after a moment, the grey cat found herself relaxing. It was obvious this other cat meant no harm to them. And, as she raised her maw into the air, there was no scent of anyone else around other than her and Griz and the strange cat. With a quick glance around, she kept her guard up but padded slightly closer. At the mention of a dream, her eyes snapped back to Duck and without thinking, she found herself meowing, "A dream? What kind of dream? Who are you?" Could it be that somehow they had been brought to the same place? Personally, she had never really considered the afterlife. However, there had to be something that had guided them here...

She briefly glanced back at Grizzle with a quizzical look. Like before, the tom shrugged it away so she turned back. If the three of them were all meant to be in this place there had to be a reason. Then, it occurred to her. This cat knew more than her. Immediately all hostility was abandoned and she trotted closer to the nervous Duck, "What is a Shadowclan? Why are you here? I had a dream too... a dream to come here. I wasn't sure what it meant, but-," her tail gestured towards Grizzle, "we were starving in our old home. Staying would have killed us. This... this dream saved us." Likely, her partner was going to be less than pleased about her being so open in this moment, but she didn't care. They outnumbered the clearly non-threatening cat. As she waited, her green eyes bore into Duck. Due to being her quite tall, she had to crane her neck down as she got closer to lock eyes. This cat held the answers.

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Rippedsky of Skyclan // color=#006699 // Warrior
Dawnbreak of Skyclan // color=#ff9900 // Something
Shadowbreeze of Thunderclan // color=#cccc00 // Kit
Brackenthorn of Windclan // color=#663300 // Young Warrior
Redwhisker of Riverclan // color=#cc0033 // Young Warrior (But really an old man)
Mousetuft of Shadowclan // color=#669900 // Young Warrior
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