Post by ✸ KATARA ✸ on Apr 26, 2020 16:40:16 GMT -5
A slender, richly-brown she-cat with wavy black markings and green eyes.
With a beautiful NightClan perma-queen as her mother, it was no one's surprise that Clovermask turned out just as pretty as her. She's practically a shadow of her, a near-identical copy that's haunting for those who once knew Goldensky. Clovermask has the same slender, lithe form, and they share the same wavy pattern of the black markings that ripple through their brown fur. Though Clovermask's brown is a few shades darker than Goldensky's, the resemblance is overall uncanny. Clovermask also inherited her mother's entrancing green eyes, and the similarities finally end here. The she-cat has a single, thick scar that parts the fur on her left shoulder that nobody but her knows the origin to.
Clovermask presents as a very different cat than the way she was as a kit and apprentice. Having been raised by the other queens in the nursery, and being an only kit, she was affected quite a bit by the experience, not that she has any idea. She was a highly attention-seeking kit, forever seeking the devotion of a mother she should've had, and (in her eyes) never receiving the kind of praise for her antics that she felt she was owed. Petulant, rude, and having a wicked sense of humor were annoying traits at best within a kit, so the queens were certain she'd shake off the personality once she matured into a young she-cat. However, when she became an apprentice, little changed except the breadth of her influence. Her mentor, a younger warrior who was unfortunate enough to have taken on Cloverpaw as his first apprentice, was often a victim of her cruel sense of humor. She seemed to enjoy making him nervous, and constantly undermined his authority by doing whatever she pleased, and then being the picture of innocence when he later tried to discipline her, effectively gaslighting him nonstop.
All this came to a halt for seemingly no reason in particular, a change that occurred overnight in the eyes of her mentor. She seemed to decide in a moment she was finished with the mind games she'd been playing all her life, and became the charming she-cat everyone expected she should be. It was like some terrible, evil thing had come out of her and left for good, and now she was just Goldensky's beautiful daughter: likable, social, and friendly with most everyone. She worked hard and she worked well, and listened to all cats older than her, and made fast friends with her fellow apprentices she'd once been so reluctant to acknowledge. She became especially skilled with fighting, though her mentor would sometimes see a glint in her eye so similar to the old Cloverpaw that he felt for a second nearly afraid of her. But it would pass in a moment when she would pause and ask if he was alright, and if they could work on a particular move a little more before moving on.
After Cloverpaw became Clovermask, she remained much the same to her Clanmates, though there have been instances when she appears to be bored and says or does something to purposefully trigger an incredulous response, and those are the moments where she betrays herself as not having changed one bit on the inside. Deep down, Clovermask is cold and calculating, and enjoys causing others pain, but she's also hyper-aware of herself and forces herself to maintain a charming exterior. She's quite aware a cat like herself may have no place in a Clan if she acts like her true theatrical, cruel, brutal, and manipulative self. Despite this, she possesses a certain lack of concern for the consequences of her behavior that makes her careless. As a warrior, she's expected to know the warrior code by heart, but she thinks of it so little - genuinely it simply hasn't crossed her mind since she was taught about it - that she's made the mistake more than a few times of suggesting something that's technically (and even obviously) a breach of the warrior code.
Although her Clanmates appear to like her well enough, there isn't a single cat in the Clan that would call her a friend. Clovermask unintentionally keeps herself more detached from her Clanmates than she realizes, apparently convinced her imitations at normal behavior are quite enough. She sees them more like chess pieces in a game than actual individuals with stories and feelings, and doesn't bother with making any of her interactions truly genuine. She feigns interest well enough, but if you were to ask any cat who's chatted with her, they wouldn't say they thought the she-cat was particularly invested in what they were saying. There's always an underlying impression that she has something else on her mind, or that the true purpose of the interaction is something beyond simply wanting to socialize. And that's the strange thing about the way Clovermask interacts with others: it's with purpose, but you don't get to know the purpose. In reality, she simply has it set in her head which cats she's going to chat with for the evening, and anyone else she speaks with is a bonus; it's all to make her appear as if she cares about her Clanmates' lives, and making sure she chats with them all over the course of a moon at least once is her way of achieving that. She's well-aware you can only rise through the ranks if you're well-liked or well-known and she's going for both.
Clovermask's Achilles' Heel lies within her highly obsessive personality, which can be dangerous for both herself and others. For the most part, Clovermask isn't interested in her Clanmates or their affairs, but she has made powerful attachments before, and it has the potential to be her greatest downfall. While she is, for the most part, very calm and collected in demeanor for being a literal psychopath, it's because she feels largely detached from others and doesn't feel anything in regard to them. The few instances she has felt anything for anyone have mostly been malicious, except for the one time it wasn't. When she met Shrikesong, everything changed for her, and to this day she doesn't quite realize how blindly devoted she was and still is for the she-cat. What Clovermask doesn't quite understand, and will never accept, is that she will never be over her obsession with Shrikesong, and she would do anything for her attention - which means it's very likely there's a bomb ticking down to their inevitable next encounter. Though she has tried her very best to shift her obsession from the TreeClan warrior to her Clan and its success, she's only just managed to distract herself.
But that doesn't mean she isn't obsessed with the idea of being a leader. Despite this being her top goal, she doesn't have any specific plans for the event she does become a leader; she's simply utterly convinced she'd be far more capable in the role than anyone else, and would make sure NightClan is feared. She's also certain it would garner Shrikesong's attention and admiration, which is her underlying motivation to it all.
INSPIRATION: Lada Dragwyla (And I Darken), Villanelle (Killing Eve)
Goldensky was a she-cat who had been a queen pretty much ever since she became a warrior. She was someone who believed a beautiful, healthy she-cat like her had a duty to bring strong kits into the Clan, and selected her first mate as a warrior with exceptional fighting skills. She mated strictly for breeding purposes, and didn't believe in keeping a mate, and she made sure the toms she mated with were well-aware of that. She brought two healthy litters into the Clan prior to conceiving Cloverkit, and was well-respected for her role of rearing the Clan's next generation. However, when her third litter was born, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Effected by the draught NightClan was going through, she was weakened significantly and her kits came too early. The affair was bloody and ended in almost utter tragedy. Goldensky died from losing too much blood, and one of the kits was stillborn, while another was too small to survive the night. The third, who was later named Cloverkit, survived.
With no mother to raise her, Cloverkit was raised primarily by the other queens in the nursery at the time, who naturally owed more attention and devotion to their own kits. Though Cloverkit was hardly neglected, she recognized the difference in the way she was treated versus the queens' true kits, and resented it. As she grew, she became more and more attention-seeking, and would launch any ploy she could think of to either impress or horrify the queens - either reaction was fine to her. She was often downright rude, petulant, and the other kits would complain Cloverkit played cruel tricks on them. Though the queens were inclined to believe their own kits, it was difficult to believe a fairly innocent-looking kit was capable of lining their nests with thorns, or poking holes in their fresh-kill to press insects she'd catch into them. No amount of scolding seemed to work on her, and she never seemed affected by a cuff around the ears either; the kit was fearless, and irrepressible.
Needless to say, the queens were relieved when Cloverkit was apprenticed, and was no longer their problem. She did not, as they had hoped, 'grow out' of her behavior. Instead, she felt she'd just been given a wider playing ground. Her mentor, a young warrior called Berrycloud, became her main victim. Already young and inexperienced, she was his first apprentice and was nervous to begin with. Cloverpaw seemed to sense this, and decided he was going to be the only authority figure she wouldn't act innocent around. She was the picture of innocence around other warriors, who had no problem issuing orders to her that she'd obey, and Berrycloud was the only one she'd remove the mask around. She constantly undermined his authority, instead doing as she pleased, and it was often she who decided what they'd be doing for the day, while Berrycloud reluctantly went along with it. Disciplining her was impossible, as she often wouldn't complete chores assigned to her unless others were witness to the order, and threats had no effect on her whatsoever. In an act of uncharacteristic aggression, Berrycloud once threw himself at her while she was mocking him, and pinned her to the forest floor. She pretended to be terrified, gasping for breath and pleading tearfully with him, and when he clambered off her, horrified with himself, she immediately burst into laughter. "You should have seen your face!" In that moment, he could tell she'd never been afraid of him for even a second.
When Cloverpaw became Clovermask, she maintained a pseudo-friendship with her former mentor, and continued to seek admiration from her Clanmates. After a couple moons of this though, she started to become bored with it, and could feel her mask slipping as she struggled to pretend she was likable and lovely. She decided to revisit the origin of her change, and slipped out of camp during the day while her Clanmates slept, seeking Shrikesong along the TreeClan border. After a few days of this, she finally came upon her and brightly asked her how she was doing. Shrikesong, taken aback by her friendliness, was more cautious and closed off, knowing their Clans were historically enemies. They recalled the fight with the fox many moons ago, and Shrikesong again praised Clovermask for her fearlessness. The young warrior was beyond pleased, feeling that the TreeClan warrior's praise was even more valuable than any of her other Clanmates'.
NOTES: Fawn purchased Extreme Neurodivergency for me, which I'll apply toward Clovermask as a Psychopath.
RP SAMPLE: Oftentimes, Clovermask had trouble sleeping, her mind unable to lose focus and slip away into blissful unconsciousness with the ease others seemed to manage. Because of this, and her frequent daytime escapes, she'd had to invent a sleeping disorder in her apprenticeship so she could slip out of the cavern for a little while during the day without raising suspicion, and even then she was too often accompanied by a warrior. Now that she was a full warrior herself, it was assumed she could take care of herself out there. Maybe she really was an insomniac, though, because the only reliable way she could sleep was usually from the poppy seed Smokefur had her eat whenever she returned to the cavern particularly restless. Otherwise, her sleep was full of vivid dreams and nightmares she'd never admit actually scared her. Nothing prophetic, obviously (StarClan forbid she could ever be a medicine cat), but troubling nonetheless.
This morning however, she didn't have to fake anything when she crept from her den to approach the guard at the cavern entrance.
"Should I tell Smokefur to get some poppy seed ready for you?" the warrior asked sympathetically as she padded forward.
Well, she'd have to fake one thing. "If you could, that'd be nice," she said in a quiet voice, avoiding eye contact as if she was embarrassed. Clovermask didn't think she'd ever been truly embarrassed in her life. "I'll just get a breath of fresh air and be back in a little bit."
"Take as long as you need." The warrior let her out of the cavern, and Clovermask went briskly past him. Anyone who'd guarded the entrance before was perfectly aware of her supposed insomnia. Though she loathed to come off as meek and pitiful to her Clanmates, she couldn't think of another reason she'd logically be wandering the territory when she was supposed to be asleep.
Once out, she had to let her eyes adjust to the light streaming through the trees, before picking her way through the territory in the meandering way she often did. If her scent trail led her directly to the TreeClan border every time, there's no way she'd have gotten away with visiting Shrikesong all those days. So she wandered a serpentine trail to create an inadvertent route to the border, and that's where she sat herself this morning.
Dawn had come and passed, which was truly a shame because Clovermask didn't mind the look of the sunrise at all. Instead, she was just sitting on her side of the border, tail wrapped neatly around her paws, staring intently into the trees of TreeClan's side.
How many times had she seen Shrikesong approach her from here? She still half-expected to see her now, even though it had been over a season since they'd last spoken.
Clovermask closed her eyes, digging her claws into the earth. It hadn't been Shrikesong she'd dreamed of this morning - it had been her kits. She didn't know them, had never met them, but she felt chillingly certain they were as she pictured them in the dream. Beautiful, absolutely perfect, one of them a carbon copy of her mother, even. Clovermask had never had a fondness for kits - she hated most of them, actually - but the moment she'd woken up she'd been obsessed with the idea of them, that specific litter.
The bengal she-cat ripped up a tuft of yellowed grass, and unsheathed her claws slowly to let the blades shower to the ground.
She wanted to steal the kits away for her own. Desperately.
Clovermask gazed hungrily across the border, imagining how easy it would be to step over it, slink further into TreeClan's territory, but as soon as she started to picture it, the plan fell apart in her head. She'd never been to TreeClan's camp, and wouldn't immediately know where the nursery was, or even what the kits looked like. And to get away with it unnoticed in broad daylight - it just wouldn't work. She knew it, she acknowledged it, she accepted it.
And yet... She still wanted to do it, every fiber of her being wanted to drag the kits here kicking and screaming if she must, and soothe them into complacency. She could raise them here, in NightClan, make them into strong warriors. Anything to cause Shrikesong pain, anything to make her come and live with her.
She suddenly tore at the few patches of grass in front of her with vigor, slashing again and again, until she put out the energy of the dangerous, awful, delicious idea. She exhaled, feeling calm overcome her again, and turned around to make her way back to NightClan camp, rationalizing to herself all the way back.
I'd hate the kits. I'd loathe them. I could never make it work. They'd never trust me, it's the stupidest idea in the world.
Clovermask came upon the cavern entrance, her head still swirling, and the same warrior greeted her as she slipped inside. She hadn't been gone too long, which was good. But she didn't feel much better from when she'd first left. She supposed she should've known this would be the outcome, though she never liked it. It made her feel too reliant upon something that was outside of her skill-set, and instead in someone else's.
"I'll take that poppy seed now."