A devastating earthquake has struck the valley, rendering it to an almost completely unrecognizable state.
Though the Clans were warned of the impending disaster and most escaped to the shelter of the mountains, many cats will die.
Please see our Cull List for the full list of those that have died during the disaster!
As the Clans struggle through this catastrophic event, the lines between each of them will be blurred, for the time has come for them to join together, and they will not emerge as the same Clans they once were.
** Special Note: New member registration has been temporarily disabled as Fate undergoes an overhaul of the site, and a complete reworking of the Clans! We hope to open registration again very soon, but in the meantime you're more than welcome to hang out in our Discord if you'd like to stick around!
Please take the time to read through our Newleaf Announcement for how our five Clans will be merging into three, led by our current active leaders (Silverstar, Owlstar, and Clovermask/star).
We also have a territory contest where we're challenging members to come up with what the Clans' territories will look like after disaster strikes! Prey and badges are among the rewards for participating!
Happy New Year! After the tumultuous year 2020 brought us, staff have decided to extend the December hiatus into January!
High ranks are not required to meet their usual post quota, and you are still free to roleplay, but things may be a little slower around the site!
Staff are recovering from the year as well, so please be patient with us, as it may take some time for us to accept applications and update things. Let's make 2021 a great year for Fate!
** Special Note: Another predator will be spotted in the valley in the coming days. Keep an eye out for the next batch of the Tooth & Claw event!
Walking around the camp, Clawpaw tried to wake up her tired legs. She had been practicing her latest invention, a new move to show Blackwolf. After falling too many times to count, getting many bruises, and a few scratches, she finally got it to perfection. Although the move was simple, it involved her sharp claws, which she had to be extra careful with. This made perfecting the move that harder.
Hoping that it was good enough for her mentor she decided to go and find him. Then they could go hunting! She hadn't been outside of the camp for a day, so she was anxious to go hunting. Also this would give her a chance to redeem herself from hunting last time with Blackwolf. Since she had moved to quickly, Clawpaw had almost lost the mouse she was hunting. She shook away the embarrassing memory and kept looking for Blackwolf. Deciding to look in the warrior's den she poked her head in, hoping she wouldn't disturb any sleeping cats.
A brief encounter with the NightClan queen Quaildapple had sparked an idea in the ebony tom's ever-cunning head. Though the snow was thick enough that they had to dig the camp out every time it snowed, and the swampy marshland was ice-cold and yielded very few hunting results, Blackwolf knew of one species of bird that hadn't flown south for the winter. It was the quail; the hardy little birds tended to survive through Leafbare by nibbling on whatever plant life they could find, staying hidden from predators, and generally waiting out the winter.
With nothing else to set their sights on, the NightClan warrior knew that for Clawpaw to catch a quail would be very big news. They were so short on prey, Ravenstar had them stealing from their neighbors, which Blackwolf's twisted moral compass had absolutely no qualms with. If they couldn't find a quail on NightClan turf, then they'd go poking around the brush in TreeClan if that's what it took to feed their family. As Blackwolf stretched in the early morning light, his dark pelt an impossible-to-miss-contrast against the multitudinous snowdrifts, he caught the sight and scent of Clawpaw sticking her head into the warriors' den.
He chuckled dryly. "A little more to your left, Clawpaw." Teased the obsidian tom, flicking a snowflake off the tip of his left ear.
Sticking her head into the warrior den she was startled when a voice told her to look to the left. Confused Clawpaw withdrew her head from the den and turned toward her mentor. Smiling at her mentor she wondered how she had missed him. His black fur was very different from the white snow around him. Walking towards Blackwolf she tried to hide her embarrassment of not seeing him at first.
Deciding to not dwell on it, Clawpaw went on with her plan of asking to hunt. Rushing ahead with her request she says, "Hello, Blackwolf! I was looking for you to see if we could go hunting. The clan needs a lot of prey, so I thought it would be a good idea." Grimacing at the lame ending to her statement, she looked to Blackwolf for approval. Quickly changing the grimace to a smile, she wiped any doubtful thoughts from her head.
The combination of Clawpaw's embarrassment as well as her meager explanation had the ebony tom laughing, but it wasn't quite as mocking as usual. He DID think the Clan needed more prey, and so he sat up and padded up to meet his smaller, long-clawed apprentice, nodding approvingly. "Quail is just about the only thing we can really hope to catch out there. Near the pine needle clearing, if I had to guess - I don't know about you, but toads always taste worst in the winter." He really did not find them all that appetitizing. Though he wouldn't be squeamish about eating one, and especially if he needed to build up his strength, he'd devour just about anything - but no one said he had to like it.
Flicking his tail for her to follow, Blackwolf immediately made a surge towards the Clan entrance, jumping over a mound of snow that had yet to be completely cleared out - and nearly collided with a pretty dapple-furred she-cat in the process. "Hey watch it!" he barked, having had to skitter sideways awkwardly to avoid her. Snowlark flushed under her pelt, her fur fluffed from the surprise. "Sorry - maybe leaping over snow drifts isn't a good idea if they're taller than the average cat. Hello Clawpaw," mewed the older warrior, ignoring the irritated flicking of Blackwolf's ears to set her sights on the gray-furred she-cat.
Last Edit: Nov 21, 2012 16:07:10 GMT -5 by Fawntastic
Hearing a laugh come from her mentor relaxed Clawpaw a bit. Her mentor seemed to be in a good mood, which would make this whole trip so much better. When Blackwolf mentioned hunting for quail, Clawpaw smiled so broadly she would have sworn it touched her ears. If she caught a quail she knew that would be great for the clan. "I really hope I can catch one today!" she said to Blackwolf, then got up and followed Blackwolf.
Following Blackwolf towards the exit, she looked up in time to she him suddenly colliding with a she-cat when jumping over a snowbank. Knowing her mentor was fine, Clawpaw looked at the she-cat to make sure that she wasn't hurt. Realizing it was Snowlark, she was about to ask if she was ok, when Snowlark spoke. Clawpaw responded, "Hello Snowlark!" Looking at Blackwolf she saw him up. Wondering if she should stay and talk, or if Blackwolf wanted to depart now, she looked between the two older cats. Settling her eyes on her mentor she hoped Snowlark wouldn't mind their conversation being cut short and walked over to her mentor.
"You'd better catch one," he growled goodnaturedly, not actually threatening her. "We've got a hungry Clan to feed - not to mention your my apprentice, so it's generally expected that you'll be one of the best ones out there." Loyalty to Harepaw and Shadepaw kept him from declaring her the absolute top dog around here, and had Harepaw and Shadepaw still been kits or already warriors, he would've proudly declared Clawpaw as the best. The ebony warrior's gaze swiveled around to meet the frost-blue eyes of the she-cat he'd nearly crashed into, Blackwolf letting out a low warning growl - finding this exchange of pleasantries to be nothing more than a distraction.
Snowlark chuffed at him, amused. "Oh hush up, grumpy. How is training going, Clawpaw? This lump of bad news giving you a hard time?" purred the pretty she-cat, her eyes warm and friendly, her speech eloquent and soothing. Even though Snowlark had originally been a StoneClan cat, that wasn't the reason for Blackwolf's hostility - in fact, he did not know of her former StoneClan heritage, as there was a 9-moon difference in age between them. He must've been still plodding around the nursery by the time Snowlark had gotten here.
Blackwolf's annoyance with Snowlark was due simply to the fact that she took an extra-special interest in apprentices. He felt like she should mind her own business, what he did or didn't teach his apprentice was none of her concern - but there wasn't much he could do about Snowlark. She was almost Senior Warrior status, and had almost ten moons on him. "Don't you have an apprentice of your own?" he muttered rudely, and Snowlark flicked her tail at him, her attention still on Clawpaw.
"Yes I do," she purred, the noise thrumming out of her chest with such pleasantness. "We should take them out together sometime."
Blackwolf suppressed a very rude laugh. Yeah, no thanks.
Sighing, the apprentice realized this conversation might go on for a little while. Sure, Clawpaw liked talking, she definitely likes talking, but she just wanted to hunt. I guess it's a good chance to know who Snowlark really is! Smiling she responded to Snowlark saying, "My training is going great! Blackwolf is a great mentor and has taught me so much!" Frowning at the last bit of what Snowlark had said, she added, "Blackwolf is not bad news."
Watching Blackwolf she realized that he didn't seem to like this she-cat. Clawpaw wondered why, and decided to ask later. He seemed just as impatient to leave as she did. Yet Snowlark kept talking. She talked about hunting together sometime and Clawpaw's ears perked up. Hunting with another apprentice would give her a chance to show she is better than other apprentices. She said, "That would be fun!" She looked at Blackwolf and regretted saying it. He seemed to completely disagree with Clawpaw about it being fun. Sighing, she decided to stop talking and let the two older cats talk.
Snowlark chuckled, her eyes softening with humor. "Oh I was only kidding, Clawpaw - he's a bit of a pawful, but I don't suppose we'd trade him for anything, would we?" The pretty dappled she-cat shared a look with Blackwolf, who only rolled his eyes - but he looked less grumpy, Clawpaw sticking up for him having smoothed over the fur Snowlark had verbally been rubbing the wrong way. "If Darkpaw's leg isn't too messed up, sure we can train our apprentices together - other then that, see you later. We've got quail to catch and can't spend the whole day talking." With a gruff dismissal, Blackwolf shook the snow off his pelt and signaled for Clawpaw to continue after him, leaving Snowlark standing there.
The she-cat didn't appear put off, however, as she only called out a pleasant 'goodbye Clawpaw! Good luck!' and went on her way.
With that little side-tracking out of the way, Blackwolf flicked an ear back in Clawpaw's direction. "If you were to sneak up on a quail, how would you do it?" He quizzed in his usual drawl, tone brisk. The fact that they had spent nearly six moons together (just one or two moons shy of her warrior ceremony) had Blackwolf decidedly bringing the hammer down a little harder than usual. He would be using this awful leafbare as an opportunity to bring her potential out to the fullest. They would likely have to fight the other Clans for food and territory, and he needed her to be battle-ready. They would also likely have to keep up their prey-stealing, so she needed to be stealthy and skilled, being able to hunt and watch out for enemy patrols at the same time.
This was going to be a long, hard winter, but by no means would Blackwolf and Clawpaw spend it in leisure.
Clawpaw was glad to see that her comment helped the mood of her mentor. She hoped that they could go hunting with Darkpaw and Snowlark at some point. But there would be no dawdling, and Blackwolf made it clear that it was time to move onto hunting. She smiled at Snowlark and politely said goodbye. Then she followed Blackwolf out of camp.
Once outside Blackwolf asked about how she should hunt a quail. She went through her training and tried to remember anything about quails. When she had collected her thoughts Clawpaw opened her mouth to respond. Speaking slowly she said, "If I remember correctly, I have to get close, and be very quiet about it. Then I have to be quick, and have quick enough reflexes to try again if I miss the first time. Oh! And when I am approaching it I have to go slowly and trod lightly." Looking up at her mentor she hoped that she had gotten it correct.
"Most of it's right, but you keep forgetting about the importance of staying downwind," lectured Blackwolf, flicking an ear back in her direction to catch the sound of her paw-steps. "Quails are stupid birds, yeah, but they can smell you before they see or hear you. One of things that makes them a little harder to catch."
It was hard to believe that so many moons had already passed. It was like yesterday he'd been standing before Ravenstar getting his first ever apprentice. Blackwolf slowed his pace a little so that they were now step for step, eying Clawpaw critically. On the battle front, they'd spent so much time battle training that they may've neglected her hunting training a little.
"You know what?" mewed the ebony tom, jumping over a tree bough, his confident, arrogant voice rising above the rush of wind. "It's about that time for an assessment. You're at warrior-age now." Blackwolf sheathed and unsheathed his claws, feeling more excitement than she probably was - just think! His very first apprentice about to become a warrior! A job well done, too, as long as she always remembered her placement in perspective with the wind. "Think you can handle it?" taunted the warrior, his mismatched eyes flashing with a challenging glint.
If she was anything like the cat he'd tried to mold her into, she should say yes without too much hesitation, if any at all.
A smile flashed across the apprentices face. She had been really close to remembering all the information on quails. Clawpaw wondered where they would go to find quail. She had never hunted quail before, so this would be very different. Reviewing what they had just discussed about quials she decided on the best way to hunt it. Then Blackwolf spoke, interupting her thoughts.
He asked her if she was up for a hunting test. With no hesitations Clawpaw said, "Yes. I can handle it." Clawpaw said excitedly. This was one way to prove that she was worth his time. Doubt covered her excitement for a second. Because there wasn't much prey around it would be difficult. But Clawpaw pushed the doubt away, and her excitement returned. She reviewed the information about all the animals she thought she might see. The quail idea would be helpful for the hunting test, so she kept that in mind. Excited Clawpaw started to flex her claws in and out, a habit she had picked up from Blackwolf. Amazingly the apprentice wasn't nervous. All her hard work lead up to this, and she was ready.
"Good." Purred the tom with the coal black fur; "Then take off on your own from here, I'll be watching your every move -" his mismatched eyes flashed a half warning, half prideful glow "so don't think you can just get lazy halfway through it." The warrior dipped his head, dark nose twitching as he drew in the chilly, 'muffled' scents of the earth beneath all of the snow, the faint, pungent odor of the swamp able to waft down from the higher parts of their territory. Blackwolf shook snowflakes off his pelt, a curt nod his way of good luck to the young almost-warrior he'd been training for almost six solid moons.
The warrior set off, charging into the underbrush, his typical movements aggressive but surprisingly silent, as though he had mastered the ability to keep his personality intact as well as perform his warrior duties to perfection. Blackwolf put a great distance between himself and his smaller gray apprentice, circling back like a pack leader preparing to single out a young or injured deer, his mismatched eyes seeing through the snow-whitened undergrowth. When he found a suitable spot to watch her from, the dark tom's broad muzzle parted into a soft chuff under his breath, his tail wrapping around the left side of his body.
Let's see what you've got, Clawpaw.
Intense eyes fixed on her, the wolfish feline laid low and simply watched like a tiger in the brush observing his cub hard at play. There was no doubt in his mind that his particularly claw-endowed pupil would perform well. She'd had such an excellent teacher, after all. Blackwolf felt his arrogance heighten. He would be the first of his friends to successfully pass an apprentice on into warriorhood, and that was exactly how it should be. He'd been the first to leave the nursery, it was only right that he continue the tradition of being first at everything else too.
After a few words Blackwolf left her. Clawpaw was now alone, with Blackwolf somewhere stalking her like she was the prey. Smiling she realized that she was stalking prey while Blackwolf was stalking her. After a brief moment she shook the thought away and sniffed the air.
Sadly this didn't do a lot considering the air was so cold. But Clawpaw didn't let it phase her, and set off quietly. She kept sniffing around and soon she got lucky. A mouse had just come out of it's den, so she sat down and waited. When she thought it was far enough away from the whole she started in. Clawpaw stopped though, and checked the wind. It payed off, for if she hadn't the mouse might have caught her scent. She changed her approach and then leaped at it. With claws unsheathed she swiped at the mouse and killed it immediately. Thanking Starclan, and burying her prey, Clawpaw started off again.
She knew this was not significant, and that if she wanted to impress her mentor she would have to do better than a mouse. So she kept going, following her nose. Then she caught the smell of something. Hoping it was something she could hunt. She crouched low and went slowly and quietly toward whatever the source of the smell was. Suddenly it was in her view. It was some type of bird that she hadn't seen before. Then it hit her. The stench and what the bird was. Clawpaw realized that it was a quail and quickly made sure that she was down wind. When that was checked she started very quietly toward the bird, keeping low to the ground. When she got close she got ready. She would have to be quick about it, and be ready for a quick change in direction. Without another though she leapt at it, claws extended. Lucky for her, the sharp claws snagged the bird, giving her a chance to finish off her kill.
Beaming she struggled to hold in a squeal. She was so excited, and looked through the surrounding forest for Blackwolf. The smell of his scent was there, but she couldn't see him. Next she wondered what to do about the quail. It would be annoying to bury, so she considered waiting for Blackwolf to show himself. Sitting down next to her prey she decided to wait, hoping that he would show up before she started to get extremely cold.
The beast in the brush had been stalking after Clawpaw for something close to an hour, and in that time he'd seen her do everything correctly, and even catch a scrawny mouse which was buried to be fetched later. Blackwolf had spotted the quail almost before Clawpaw had, and his mouth had instinctively watered, considering it was prey he was very familiar with and quite partial to. Forcing himself to hang back and give her the space she needed, Blackwolf didn't bother tensing to go leap after the bird if she missed it.
He had faith. Clawpaw was his apprentice, after all. She wouldn't dare mess up, not on an assessment as important as this one. The warrior silently cheered the apprentice on as she checked for her position in perspective with the wind, and he was quite pleased, the final piece falling into place as she crouched, sprang and killed it, successively ending her time as an apprentice in one literal foul swoop.
Able to read the excitement written all over her face, the tom with the heavily scarred chest stood up from his hiding place, moving soundlessly through the snowy brush to approach her, purring. "Well done, Clawpaw. You've caught your first quail, and I'm out of things to teach you."
Flashing her a white-fanged grin, the warrior felt as though his chest might burst with pride. His first apprentice! She had become everything he'd instructed her to be, and frankly, Blackwolf couldn't have been more pleased than if she were his own younger sister. Flicking his tail for her to follow, he spoke over his shoulder, voice it's usual confident drawl, but with a pleasantness that was almost unusual for him. "Bring the quail, I'll fetch the mouse. Let's go home and make you a warrior, Clawpaw."