Riddle Me This [At the Moon Tree] Jun 5, 2013 22:09:22 GMT -5
Post by Fawntastic on Jun 5, 2013 22:09:22 GMT -5
TreeClan || 39 Moons || Tom
Rowanpaw, Quietstorm, Bloodtalon and Silverpaw were left outside the cavern, large soot-blackened paws gripping the steep stones as Lionstar lowered himself into the crevice that lead to the Moon Tree. Suppressing a shiver, his pelt still prickled every time he visited this ancient, ethereal tree; forced to walk alone due to the nature of his visit, the once proud and mighty figurehead of TreeClan was looking astonishingly worn down upon arrival.
The loss of two lives during a forest fire and the death of so many of his Clanmates - their Medicine Cat included - had left a bitter taste inside of Lionstar's heart, and it was as if right now he had felt the moons of his leadership begun to pile upon him. Never had he said the job would be easy, the task of looking out for an entire Clan, but Lionstar would have to be a fool to think he could ever anticipate something of this magnitude. Feeling as cold as the tree whose branches he lay between, the singed, battered and emotionally bruised warrior settled down to sleep, a lack of traveling herbs having left him feeling even more ragged and beaten to a pulp, and thus the darkness was as welcoming as a mother's embrace.
He found himself standing in the middle of a wild flower meadow, the scents fresh and seeming to cleanse his scorched palette of the smell of fire and ash and suffering. That did little to erase the dark, glowering expression he wore on his face for the cats of StarClan. Not even meeting his own father could lift the burning resentment he felt right now for their celestial ancestors.
The silver-ticked tom sensed this, and let out a small snort. "You're angry."
"You think? My forest burns down, my Medicine Cat is killed - dozens of cats died, and who do you think I have to blame for that?" Lionstar snapped, tail lashing, his exhaustion turning into rage. The starlit gleam of his father's eyes flashed white hot, but Lionstar didn't back down, his expression and posture full of aggression.
Badgerstripe shook his head as though disappointed. "What are you really mad about? The fact that you lost two lives, or the fact that you did nothing to help StoneClan getting chased out? Pull yourself together, son. You know StarClan did not send that fire."
The golden tom's stomach lurched, and he hissed instinctively, claws unsheathing, his father's expression growing enigmatic - though he saw the StarClan cat's eyes dart down to his son's overly large paws. "I regret that StoneClan was chased out, yes, but I do not regret my decision to stay out of it. As for my lives..." Lionstar clamped his mouth shut, knowing that anything he said on the subject would likely be a lie. Badgerstripe seemed to understand, however, and he stepped forward to lick a soot stain from one of Lionstar's dark-golden ears.
"We can discuss that on your next visit, assuming you do not lose any more lives in the meantime. Don't you have something you should be asking me?"
Lionstar felt his anger begin to recede, the throbbing sore that had been his heart starting to lessen into a dull ache, exhaustion returning. "It's good to see you, Dad. And yes, I do have a question." He met his father's gaze with more resolve than he'd shown coming here, and instantly regretted his unnecessary words exchanged earlier. It wasn't his father's fault that the forest had burned... Or that Elderpaw had died... I knew allowing a loner to become a medicine cat's apprentice had been a bad idea.
"Who do I choose for a new Medicine Cat? I can't allow a kit or apprentice to take up the mantle, and even after examining the warriors that survived, none of them really stand out as Medicine Cat material. Who would you suggest?"
Badgerstripe's gaze drifted away from his son's, and Lionstar inwardly braced himself, eager for the answer to a problem he could not allow to persist any longer. A Medicine Cat was crucial to TreeClan's survival, and he'd rather lose 2 more lives than have to try to survive without one. In fact, he probably would lose two more lives without anycat with healing abilities. Receiving a slightly pained expression from his father, Lionstar's brow furrowed, listening as the former deputy of TreeClan finally spoke his piece.
"Sometimes, Lionstar, the smallest tree in the whole forest makes the biggest impact."
The golden tom stared at him.
"Okay then. Who do I pick for a Medicine Cat?" He added on the slight chance that his father was just feeling rather poetic, and had not presented him with a admittedly obnoxious riddle containing this mystery cat's identity.
Badgerstripe grimaced again.
"I told you, the smallest tree in the whole fores--"
"--is all you have to say on the subject. Fine."
The deceased deputy chuckled, stepping forward to lightly press the top of his head into his son's shoulder, nudging him in a gesture meant to be affectionate. "You're always so impatient. Go back to your Clan, Lionstar. They need you, and you need them. Do not forget that there are cats you can talk to, when you're feeling troubled or uncertain."
Lionstar felt, as usual, a pang of longing for his kithood and the days in which his father had still been alive, once another meeting with StarClan had drawn to a slightly confusing close. Dipping his head, Lionstar watched the proud former deputy fade away into the stars, gradually coming back to his senses beneath the eerie roots of the Moon Tree, feeling none-the-wiser but nevertheless more at peace then he'd felt since coming here. Though he was starving and the journey had been tough on him, the leader of TreeClan ultimately left the sacred hollow in better spirits, and was able to greet his traveling party with a proudly raised head and a purpose to his stride.
Yes, StarClan was making him jump through hoops in order to ensure the safety of his Clan, but when weren't they? StarClan had not sent the fire to destroy TreeClan, they were not so angry at his decision to allow StoneClan to be chased out that they took it out on his Clanmates. StarClan had not abandoned them; their ancestors were still watching over them even in such a dark, hopeless hour as this one.