Admittedly, he'd been a little... Preoccupied lately. Smokestorm's mention of the Gathering this morning had caught the big tom by surprise. He was so wrapped up in the two new lives Frozenrain had brought into their family, he'd forgotten about the Gathering. And now, standing in the cool night air and gazing upon the small group of StoneClan warriors and apprentices attending... Hawkstar wanted nothing more than to climb back into his den and curl up with Frozenrain, Mink-kit and Snowkit. Ignoring the tension in his chest that seemed to flourish whenever he thought of leaving their side, Hawkstar met his deputy's eyes.
Her nod signaled that all attendees were accounted for. "Cats of StoneClan." He began, pale amber eyes flickering over the familiar figures. His voice was lighter tonight than most Gatherings, and perhaps it was that same lightness that tempered his usual warnings to his Clan. "Remember the expectations of the Gathering. Make me proud. Make StoneClan proud." He said simply, and with a flick of his tail he beckoned the group to follow. His large paws felt lighter than air as he skirted a path he'd walked many times. He had no choice but to attend the Gathering but...
The faster they arrived, the faster it would pass. And the faster he could return to Frozenrain and his kits. It wasn't until half way to StarClan's Claws that the big tom realized he may have picked too quick a pace. Slowing, both to catch his own breath and to let the others do the same, the sandy colored tom cast an apologetic glance toward his deputy. Before long, the clearing pulled into view. The first thing Hawkstar noticed was the lack of smells. It's been a while since StoneClan arrived first. He thought to himself with a chuckle.
With no audience to impress, the big leader flicked an ear to unleash his Clan upon the empty clearing. StoneClan filed in, the group remaining close together until others arrived so the mingling could begin. Instead of his usual charge, Hawkstar walked side by side with Smokestorm as the two headed toward their designated perches. With mirth in his voice, Hawkstar addressed the younger she-cat. "Picking you as deputy was evidently an excellent choice. Seems I'd forget my own tail if it weren't attached to me these days. Keep an eye on the Clan tonight, Smokestorm. I trust your judgment."
And here, their paths diverged. Briefly, he wondered whether she was nervous or not. Tonight would be her first Gathering as StoneClan's deputy. Fuel for gossip among the other Clans, certainly. He thought. With a farewell nod to the she-cat, StoneClan's figurehead scaled the rock outcrop with little hint of stiffness. Though no other Clans were in view, the aging tom felt odd about displaying any form of weakness. The cold brought with it joint stiffness, news of which he had no desire to share. As he settled atop the leaders' perch, the sand-colored tom couldn't help but think to himself with a slight twitch of his lip. We're all entitled to our secrets.
leader of stoneclan
and may you have the courage to scale their summits
He was actually looking forward to the gathering this time. With leafbare in full swing and the snows on the ground he was in the best mood possible. His great love had returned for another season, and his joy with that fact showed in everything he did. He walked with a bounce in his step, greeted everyone with a smile and genial words. But it was time for the Gathering, and they had to go. "Keep an eye on things while we're gone." He looked at the cats he'd gathered and dipped his head. "Let's go."
As they started on their path to StarClan's claws he heard his best friend laughing at him as he bounced around like an apprentice on their first trip out of camp. He really couldn't help it. He was still going to be the youngest of the leaders, but with the crisp cold air of leafbare around him and snow under his paws, that was something he could handle.
Once they reached their destination he motioned his clanmates on, looking at the apprentices especially. "Don't make trouble. You represent RainClan while you're here. Now go on and meet your fellow cats."
He noted Hawkstar and started to scale the rocks. "Hawkstar, how are-wah!" He had made the top of the leader's rock, and then his paws struck a small strip of ice under the fresh powder of snow and he slid right off again, landing with a loud thud in a small snow drift below.
He got out immediately, glaring at the rock before scaling it again. He sat himself down and tried to hold his composure as he braced for the laughter of the others. At least the other clans hadn't arrived yet, just StoneClan and RainClan. "That didn't just happen."
The future lies before you, like freshly fallen snow Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show author unknown
"There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. You know the thing you need most of all?"
Another change of the seasons, another Gathering to attend with her as leader. It still made her blood boil to think of the reason she was now Leader here instead of Deputy but time had tempered the worst of the rage for Foxstar and now her cool, collected, and calm nature was prevalent in everything she did. She made certain the clan was well, bid them take care of things while she was gone, before gathering those that would come with her and being on her way.
It was odd to see the snow now, though she had seen it many times before. It just...felt different now somehow but she couldn't put her paw on the exact reason why. She was mentoring again, that was something, but it wasn't exactly something that was new to her. Things were tense with leaf-bare in full swing but they were certainly managing as they always had. The trip seemed to pass in a blur and soon she walked the familiar path up to greet those that had already gotten there.
Graceful as always, Foxstar ascended the rocks to take her place among the others gathered. Lionstar hadn't arrived yet, so she could relax for the moment before her guard truly had to be up in the face of her greatest enemy. "My greetings to you both, Hawkstar and Silverstar. I hope your journey here was uneventful and your clans are doing well in these lean times." The russet furred she-cat then settled herself in her place and waited for the others that would arrive. She wondered if she might speak with Firestar at some point as it eased something in her heart to speak to another she-cat that had been through many of the same things she had. It didn't appear she had arrived yet though, and so Foxstar waited.
Post by Fawntastic on Feb 24, 2018 18:53:50 GMT -5
The crown is getting heavy But they've written my name in the stars
TreeClan was fourth to arrive at the Gathering. They had no less news to share than the previous, and already Lionstar felt that eagerness to return home. He could see on Hawkstar’s countenance that the other more senior tom was likely feeling the same. Frozenrain’s kitting has gone well? I’m glad. It would seem so, though StoneClan’s leader would hardly show his grief in great depth. StoneClan felt much, but knew when to say - or show - very little.
Silverstar was present as well, and Lionstar’s whiskers twitched with some amusement. The much younger tom was no more grayer than he’d been the last time they’d gathered like this, so perhaps he was adjusting to the burdens of leadership. He regally greeted each cat present, and though most of the Clan cats he saw looked a combination of bulky (from their winter coats) and thin (from the sparse prey), tragedy did not seem to be dogging anyone’s steps tonight.
Lionstar laid eyes on Foxstar, as he leaped onto the center rock. He dipped his head to her once, so used to feeling suspicious and distant towards NightClan; it seemed Foxstar had inherited her dislike of him from Ravenstar. The russet she-cat did not outright say it, but Lionstar wasn’t slow. Her ascension from deputy to leader had been so sudden, and seemed to coincide with his last encounter with Pinestar - an encounter that forced her to be carried from the battle site on the backs of her warriors.
He had not had the chance to discuss the fallout with Gorsetail, so much had happened. Lionstar was guilty of devoting much of his heart and mind to his kits; they were such a source of fascination and joy, it often times pushed all other thoughts out of the way.
”Greetings, Hawkstar, Foxstar, Silverstar.” Lionstar took position near Hawkstar, aware of the way the Clan leaders seemed to naturally fall into position based on who held the most seniority. Now all they had to wait for was Firestar. Conscious of the old fire, Lionstar gazed in the direction of LightningClan, wondering if they would still make the meeting. This winter can’t have been easy for them.
I've been building up all these kingdoms for so long It's good to be king
The StoneClan figurehead's ears pivoted toward the sound of another arriving Clan. RainClan fanned out into the clearing, headed by the young Silverstar. Despite his youth, RainClan seemed to be fairing well beneath Silverstar's rule, a fact of which Hawkstar was most grateful. Without RainClan antagonizing them, StoneClan was able to focus more resources upon their more... Fleet-footed neighbors. That in itself was a mountainous task. As the long-furred silver tom made his way toward the leaders' perch, the sandy brown tom prepared to dip his head, a greeting resting on the tip of his tongue when suddenly-
Silverstar disappeared mid-sentence, accented by a yelp of alarm. Brown ears flashed forward in surprise, pale amber eyes stretching wide in concern and astonishment as he forced his old bones into motion. Peering over the edge of the perch, he caught sight of Silverstar, sprawled on his back in a pile of snow. As the silver tom rose to his paws and Hawkstar felt certain he was unharmed, the older leader couldn't help the low rumble of amusement that escaped him. Hawkstar waited until Silverstar had collected and properly seated himself before giving him a gentle tail flick on the shoulder.
"As far as StoneClan is concerned, nothing out of the ordinary happened here tonight." He rumbled, casting him a sideways glance as NightClan poured into the clearing below. Still with a flicker of amusement in his pale eyes, Hawkstar watched as Foxstar scaled the stones. An inclination of his muzzle acknowledged her words before the eldest of the leaders responded. "And I wish the same upon you and yours, Foxstar." Lionstar wasn't far behind, tailed by the TreeClan attendees. As the lion-like tom settled at his side, the sandy-brown tom caught something in the other tom's eye, a sort of.. Recognition. Hawkstar couldn't help the flicker of a proud grin on his maw.
"Good evening, Lionstar." He replied, before turning his gaze toward the gathered cats. For a time, the leaders sat, the sounds of chatter surrounding them as the four Clans mingled. Yet... Still, LightningClan failed to arrive. Glancing questioningly toward Lionstar, he saw a reflection of his own thoughts on the lion-leader's features. Rising slowly, Hawkstar spoke to the three others. "In light of LightningClan's continued failed appearance tonight, I propose we continue with the Gathering lest the Clans become restless. Any opposed?" He asked, gazing to each in turn.
When no one stepped forward, the sandy tom nodded. "Very well. Since I am already standing, I will begin." With a polite smile to the leaders, the big tom stepped to the front of the perch. The roar of conversation dulled to murmurs of confusion and speculation. "Cats of all Clans." He called, using his voice to coerce them toward silence. "Although we regret LightningClan's absence tonight, and though we wish them all the best this Leafbare, the four leaders gathered tonight have decided to move forward with the Gathering's proceedings." Low whispers sparked up again momentarily, friends commenting to friends before all eyes turned to the leaders.
"Unfortunately, I will begin with a warning for all Clans. A fox broke into StoneClan's camp earlier this season. We were able to drive it back, though not without injuries. All involved are healing well, and we have not caught scent of the fox since, but be vigilant. Not all is dark in StoneClan, however. In light of her performance in the event, one of our apprentices earned her warrior name. Though she is not among us tonight, Sorrelpaw was named Sorrelclaw, and I am certain you will see her in the coming future."
A brief pause ensued, the StoneClan tom's tail flicking in the slightest show of excitement. When he continued, his voice seemed a tad softer somehow, and certainly full of pride. "Lastly, StarClan's favor shone upon us but a few nights ago, as my mate Frozenrain delivered two new kits. StoneClan proudly welcomes Mink-kit and Snowkit to their ranks. Thank you." With a dip of his head, the big tom stepped back to reclaim his post near Lionstar.
leader of stoneclan
and may you have the courage to scale their summits
He ignored the fact that his clanmates were snickering at his less than graceful ascent onto the leader's stone. He was sure it would be all over camp once they made it home. At least no one except for his own and StoneClan had seen him do it. He wasn't sure he'd handle having all the leaders witness his less than graceful attempt to manage the snow on the rocks.
Once he was back where he belonged he dipped his head in silent thanks to Hawkstar for not saying anything about the matter. Business as usual, the other clans were arriving. He watched and waited, noting that LightningClan never arrived. They all waited for some time, and when Hawkstar announced that they'd continue without the final clan, Silverstar had to agree.
The StoneClan figurehead made his announcement and the silver tabby had to smile at that. He might not deal much with his own offspring, but he did appreciate the concept for those around him. It was something to celebrate. The news of the fox, however, was something to worry about. Foxes swam almost as well as RainClan cats, and they generally weren't afraid to follow a warrior to the water if they had to.
He took a breath and filed the matter away as one to discuss with Moonshine at a later time. For now, there were other matters. "Congratulations to you Hawkstar, may they grow to become strong StoneClan warriors." He had to grin at that. It seemed that now most of the leadership had offspring, save he believed for Foxstar. Though he wasn't certain and didn't know the she-cat well enough to ask.