Post by Fate of Five Admin on Apr 24, 2020 22:56:43 GMT -5
The day began with the light pitter-patter of raindrops on the earth, nourishing the soil and giving life to the valley. Prey darted to and fro, drinking droplets of water from fallen leaves on the ground. It was a good day for a patrol.
Smokestar herself was longing to get out in StoneClan's territory and bring back a bountiful catch for her clan to feast on. Dipping her head outside of her den, Smokestar looked to the entrance of the camp to see a patrol of warriors already assembling.
"Mind if your leader joins you on this one?" Smokestar didn't wait for a reply, walking past the patrol leader and through the exit of the camp. "I have a good feeling about today's hunt!"
StarClan, was she right.
The patrol, consisting of Sedgefoot, Pigeonsky, Rowanleaf, Foxtrot, and Alderfrost, was struggling to keep hold of their prey by midday. "I bet that those loner-borns are going to eat the majority of this," Alderfrost hissed to himself.
"Oh, lighten up, Alderfrost," Sedgefoot retorted, his mouth clamped around a rather chunky squirrel.
Smokestar fell in line beside Alderfrost, turning a stern gaze to his. "They're StoneClanners now, and you had better treat them as such." The leader's light scolding seemed to shut Alderfrost up, and the grumbling tom walked slower until he was lagging far behind the rest of the patrol.
And that's when the rain began to pick up.
No longer was this a light drizzle to encourage the prey to come out and get caught. No, this was a full-on storm with water droplets the size of a full-grown warrior's paw.
"We need to get back to camp!" Smokestar's yowl was nearly drowned out by the roar of the rain, but the rest of the patrol understood what to do.
Pigeonsky spoke up this time, his yellow eyes strong and determined. "Follow me! I know a way that will get us back quicker!"
No one could complain with getting back to camp quicker, so each cat fell in line behind Pigeonsky, who led them under the edge of a towering cliff. The cliff overshadowed the patrol, momentarily protecting its members from the rain. Smokestar thanked StarClan for the brief respite from the rain provided by the cliff.
The cliff seemed to hear Smokestar's thanks, and replied with a sickening groan.
"Did you hear that?" Rowanleaf's voice was excited. "The land is speaking to us!"
Oh yes, Smokestar heard that. And she knew exactly what it meant. "Run!" Her command was nothing compared to the increasing volume of the creaking and rumbling noises coming from directly above them. The noise became increasingly louder and louder until it was upon them. Dark, sludgy, and dangerous earth cascaded down the cliffside to drown the patrol in muck.
Smokestar's eyes widened in fear as she realized there was no escape for her. But I will save my warriors. The determined leader sprinted up to Pigeonsky, the smallest warrior in the group who also happened to be the closest to the approaching mud, scruffed him, and flung him as far away as she could, praying to StarClan that it was enough.
But it wasn't enough for her. The mud overtook Smokestar first, crushing her body under its weight. Foxtrot yelped in a manner unbecoming of a tom such as himself as did his best to run from the mudslide. But he was no longer young and spry, and the black earth overtook him next. Rowanleaf, the youngest among them, squealed as she ran alongside Sedgefoot to escape the mud rushing towards them. "Come on, Rowanleaf, keep up, we're almost free of it" came Sedgefoot's reassuring voice. But the tabby tom was not ignorant, and he knew his words were only spoken to give the younger warrior a false sense of security before they met oblivion.
It worked. Her eyes lit up for the slightest moment before the mud reached both warriors.
All that was left was Pigeonsky, running as fast as he could from where his leader threw him to. And where in StarClan was Alderfrost?
"Alderfrost!" His cries were feeble. Pigeonsky was tired, and he knew he didn't stand a chance. "Alderfrost!" Louder this time. Hopefully in time to save them all. His cries for the massive brown warrior were the last words he uttered before he too fell victim to the mudslide.
The sullen brown tom pricked his ears at the sound of Pigeonsky's incredibly loud yowl and sighed. The tom had stayed behind the patrol because he was sick of their attitudes towards outsiders.
He hadn't been listening to the loud rumbling noises ahead of him, assuming they were thunder. That usually came with storms of this magnitude. But Pigeonsky's annoying little voice calling out for Alderfrost was more than just a summoning: it was a guttural and primal cry for help. This was serious.
The brown warrior rushed towards where he had heard Pigeonsky's voice, picking up the pace when he realized that Pigeonsky was no longer calling his name.
As he ran, the rumbling came to a rough halt, and Alderfrost realized in that moment just what atrocity had befallen his patrol. His leader.
When he came to the site of the mudslide, Alderfrost, for the first time in his life, felt his heart drop. There was no sign of his clanmates. Just mud. Just darkness.
Alderfrost tore through the clearing, searching for something. A paw, a tail, a head. He saw nothing. Frustrated, the tom began to frantically dig into the earth. "Smokestar? Sedgefoot? Pigeonsky? Rowanleaf? Foxtrot?"
No reply. His digging became more and more erratic until his paws made contact with something soft and unmoving. Alderfrost's eyes widened as he viewed the gray tabby corpse of Rowanleaf. The tom knew then that there was little chance that any of the patrol had survived. But he had to find them.
"I'll be back with more warriors!" Alderfrost didn't know if anyone was alive to hear him say it, but it turned the situation into something he could handle: a potential rescue mission. Stumbling over himself, his paws covered in mud, Alderfrost made his way back to StoneClan's camp to bring back a patrol of warriors to dig out those who had been crushed by the mud.
Newleaf 18 A morning of continued heavy rain makes the cool earth sludgy for the remainder of the day.
OOC: anyone may post in this thread trying to rescue one of their buried Clanmates. Smokestar will be found last, but not even StarClan has the power to shift an entire mudslide in time to spare even one of her lives.
Smokestar's body must be brought back to camp. Ghost the Undead Goddess, Ebonyheart will be needed to confirm that Smokestar will not be coming back to life.
Hellion, after a few posts in this thread, feel free to start a thread of Valiantstride making an announcement of the transition.
Per Taxx's choice in the auditions, the new leader of StoneClan is Birdtalon (congratulations KARAZHAL!).
Post written by Ginger.
Side Note: all NPCs mentioned (Sedgefoot, Rowanleaf, Pigeonsky, Foxtrot) are fated to die, but maybe one could be saved if you act quickly enough. Be careful of the mud and the rocks, lest you find yourself drowning in the earth as well.