By Rosetail of CYS
Frostfeather's Path is the first book in the Shattered Dreams series.
Whispers could be heard all around the gorge as SkyClan was waiting to hear their leader. A pale ginger she-cat looked down at her Clan, raising her tail to ask for silence. "Today, two apprentices have shown the skill required to become warriors. Frostpaw, Foxpaw, step forward please." As the ancient words echoed through the camp, two cats stepped out of the crowd: one dark blue-gray tabby she-cat and one red tom. Both had the same excitement glowing in their eyes, and the same itch of achievement in their paws. "I, Cherrystar, leader of SkyClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down to these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand your noble code, and I commend them as warriors in their turn. Frostpaw, do you promise to uphold the Warrior Code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your own life?"
The she-cat was almost shaking from excitement. "I do."
"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Frostpaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Frostfeather. StarClan honors your skill and dedication, and we welcome you as a full warrior of SkyClan."Cherrystar rested her muzzle on the young cat's head.
The Clan held back their congratulation yowls, as there was still one apprentice with out a new name. "Foxpaw, do you promise to uphold the Warrior Code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your won life?"
"I do." Foxpaw made a glance at the newly named Frostfeather before speaking, but his voice was steady and determined as he said the words.
"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Foxpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Foxwhisker. StarClan honors your spirit and loyalty, and we welcome you as a full warrior of SkyClan." As soon as Cherrystar placed her white muzzle on Foxwhisker's head, chants broke out in the crowd of cats.
The newly named warriors chanted each others' names, having known for such a long time and being so close. Foxwhisker was the bets friend Frostfeather could ever wish for. She then caught a glimpse of Falconflight. The pale brown tom had also grown a very dear friend to her during apprenticehood. As the crowd dispersed, Frostfeather's family was still left to congratulate her. "I'm so proud of you, my little one!" Owlstripe, Frostfeather's mother, exclaimed.
"You did good." Fuzzytail gave a nod of approval to his daughter. "We'd also like to tell you something..." The gray tom made a glance at her mate.
"Oh, yes, of course! I almost forgot! Frostfeather, we're having another litter of kits."
Frostfeather couldn't say anything because she was supposed to stay silent until dawn, but she smiled as a reply. She was the only one of her litter, so she wanted to be the best sister to her unborn siblings. Eventually her parents left, and the camp was left silent. The two warriors sat their vigil, the distant glitter of silverpelt illuminating the night.
Chapter 1: A New moonEdit
Frostfeather woke up in the warriors' den, her first moon as a warrior behind. She arched her striped back to a stretch, and began grooming her blue-gray pelt. The soft snoring of warriors filled the den, as she realized it was barely dawn. She stepped out of the den, feeling the cold leaf-bare's breeze ruffle her pelt. Frostfeather saw her mother sitting in front of the nursery, watching the Clan slowly wake up. The sky was milky white as she padded over to her mother. She didn't ask Owlstripe why she was up so early because she knew her mother always woke up early enough to see the sun rise.
"Morning." Owlstripe smiled a greeting at her daughter. "Isn't dawn such a pretty time of day?"
Frostfeather nodded. "How are you? Need any help? Prey? Fresh bedding?"
"I'm fine, stop worrying so much! You almost spend more time in the nursery than your father!" she meowed jokingly. "Why don't you go and see if there's room on the dawn patrol?" Owlstripe gently nudged her daughter forward.
Frostfeather nodded at the brown tabby queen, and padded to where a few cats were gathered around the deputy. "Couldfang, you can go hunt with Mistshine, take Shadepaw with you." A gray-and-white she-cat meowed. A white tom and his gray sister left, looking for Shadepaw. "And, Falconflight, you can- oh, hey Frostfeather." the deputy greeted her.
Frostfeather dipped her head to the blue-eyed she-cat. "Morning, Wolfmist."
"You can attend the dawn patrol with Falconflight and Leafpaw." Wolfmist motioned her fluffy tail towards the toms. "You're going to check the BloodClan border."
Frostfeather nodded her striped head and walked up to the rest of the dawn patrol. "Morning."
"Morning, Frostfetaher." Falconflight smiled. "Let's go see if those fox-hearts have tried to move the border again." The pale brown tom turned tail and lead the patrol ut of the gorge.
Frostfeather, like many other SkyClanners, hated BloodClan. Some SkyClan cats had a past in BloodClan, but Frostfeather took them as exceptions. A few decent BloodClanners didn't make up for the fact that the rest were a bunch of heartless killers, especially their leader. Boneblood ruled BloodClan with an iron paw, and fought viciously. Recently he had tried to move the border, but SkyClan would not let that happen. Frostfeather had heard several stories about how BloodClan and the Dark Forest had formed an alliance to take SkyClan down, and countless battles had been fought, blood of amny warriors spilled.
But they've never won, and never will.
Frostfeather smiled at the success of SkyClan's defenses, as they approached the border. She saw that Leafpaw was starting to shake. The gray tom had always been a bit timid, so Frostfeather wasn't surprised this was his reaction when walking along the border of a vicious Clan. Soon, Falconflight stopped dead on his tracks, ears flat pelt bristled, and flecked tail slashing back and forth. "They moved the border by an entire fox-length! This is outrageous!"
Leafpaw was shaking more. "Fox-heart's think they own the world!" Frostfeather was upset that Boneblood would even dare to order his warriors in to this. The patrol proceeded to marking the border back where it was supposed to be, and doing it three times to get the message clear. As the patrol returned to the gorge, Falconflight began his infuriated report to Wolfmist. Frostfeather padded up to the fresh-kill pile and picked a vole to eat. She sat down near the lake, on top of a smooth stone. Being around water has always calmed and fascinated her. Frostfeather caught a glimpse of Wolfmist entering Cherrystar's den with Falconflight, but then a blur of red covered it.
"Morning." Foxwhisker mumbled amidst a yawn.
"Morning, doormouse." Frostfeather slightly moved aside to make space for the tom. "Did you hear about the border? BloodClan moved it again! A fox-lenght."
"A fox-length? How do they even dare?" Foxwhisker growled.
Frostfeather shrugged her shoulders, when she saw a small creamy pelt run past her. "I see Blossomkit's already up." she followed the she-kit with her icy blue gaze, and smiled as she saw her pounce on her littermate. "She caught Eggkit by surprise this time." Frostfeather couldn't help but to wonder what her siblings would look like. "Wanna go hunt later on today?" she asked Foxwhisker, not taking her eyes off the kits.
"Sure. Would sunset be a fitting time to you?" Frostfeather could spot deep happiness in his voice.
"Sunset sounds fine." she replied, cleaning her whiskers.
Chapter 2: Snow, Lots of itEdit
Frostfeather sat on a smooth rock, watching the sky. It was covered by thick clouds, but Frostfeather was certain it was around sunset. Snow crunched softly as Foxwhisker padded over to the she-cat. The cats exchanged nods before heading out of the gorge. Snow began to fall as the cats journeyed to their desired location. It started out slow, but eventually escalated to a blizzard. Frostfeather would have wanted to turn back and return to the warmth of the warriors' den, but Foxwhisker insisted that they'd stay just a little longer. Frostfeather wondered why the tom found it so important, but she agreed to stay. Wind humming in her ears and snow fall on her pelt, she moved forward, trying to scent prey. "Nothing." she stated disappointedly.
Foxwhisker shrugged his red shoulders. "That's leaf-bare." He took a few steps to catch up with the blue-gray she-cat. "Let's just wait, something will pop up eventually."
Frostfeatgher swept some snow off the ground and sat down. A cold wind whipped her pelt, making her shiver. "Maybe it's best to keep a move on, so we won't freeze..." Foxwhisker nodded, taking the lead.
"Race ya to that tree!" he cheerfully yowled over his shoulder before dashing off, bushy tail waving behind.
"Hey, that's unfair!" Frostfeather called after the tom before running towards the tree. The race didn't only remind her of her days in the nursery, but also helped her keep warm. Getting lost in distant memories, Frostfeather didn't pay attention and ended up slamming into Foxwhisker, and then the tree. Snow fell from the branches, coating the cats' pelts with even more snow. "Watch where you're going!" Foxwhisker meowed, playfully pretending to be upset. The two sat beneath the tree for a moment, laughing and shaking snow off their pelts. "Frostfeather..." After a moment of silence the tom continued. "We've known for a long time..."
Frostfeather nodded, snow flakes falling on her pelt. "Go on..."
The red tom took a deep breath, as if to pull himself together. "...And I was just wonder-" His sentence was cut off by a terrified yowl.
Frostfeather made a glance at him before whipping her head towards the direction of the sound. "Sounds like someone's in trouble." Foxwhisker opened his mouth to say something, but Frostfeather cut him off. "It can wait." She opened her mouth to scent the air. "I smell blood... and a dog!" She immediately dashed to the direction of the yowl, Foxwhisker following her.
Paws drummed the snow covered ground as the cats raced to the scene. Frostfeather fought the wind and snow, knowing someone needed help and fast. Looking off at the horizon, she saw the figure of a cat drawn against the falling snow. Picking up her pace, Frostfeather stormed to the cat, and observed the scene. Red splotches covered the ground, and a large dog was snarling at a young she-cat. Frostfeather leaped in front of the she-cat, shielding it from the dog Foxwhisker was currently attacking. The young she-cat was petrified, her eyes shut and white pelt standing on end. Frostfeather dragged her to safety, and joined Foxwhisker to fend off the dog. Claws flashed through the air as the warriors fought the dog, slashing, leaping and biting in sync. Eventually the dog ran off, whimpering. Panting, Frostfeather turned back to the young she-cat. She grew worried when she saw the white she-cat motionless, but a further inspection showed she was just unconscious.
"She's not from SkyClan." Foxwhisker stated, inspecting the unconscious ball of white fur, now stained with red.
"We have to get her to Sandstream." Frostfeather decided. The cats rushed her back to camp, the blizzard not making it easier. Thw wind whipped her pelt as Frostfeather fought the blizzard, snowflakes landing on her dark, blue-gray pelt. Foxwhisker was helping her carry the she-cat. Step by step, fox-length by fox-length, they got closer to home.
"Who's that?" Cloudfang questioned in camp. The white tom had been placed on night watch.
Foxwhisker began explaining how they had found the white she-cat, but Frostfeather didn't care to listen. She dashed straight to the medicine cat's den. Soft snoring filled the den, and a sandy, striped side steadily moved in the pace of the she-cat's breathing attached to it. Frostfeather approached the she-cat, jabbing her side with her pale paw. "Sandstream! Sandstream, wake up!"
"What?" The medicine cat lifted her head up from the soft moss. "Is something wrong?" Sandstream's expression turned to a more concerned one as she saw Foxwhisker and Cloudfang carry the white she-cat into the den. Not a word needed to be said before the medicine cat was already rummaging through some leaves to find a desired herb. Cloudfang retold the story as Sandstream worked to patch the loner's wounds. Finishing the young cat's treatment, Sandstream moved on to treating Foxwhisker and Frostfeather. The sandy she-cat looked very tired, tabby fur ungroomed and covered in shreds of leaves. Frostfeather didn't blame her. She knew Sandstream hadn't have gotten much sleep recently with so much work, and Frostfeather had just woken her up. "You're good to go." Sandstream informed the young warriors amidst a yawn. "I'll watch over her." She flicked her striped tail toward the white she-cat.
Frostfeather dipped her head to the tired medicine cat before exiting the den. The clouds were starting to scatter, clearing up the sky. The full moon illuminated the gorge, its light shimmering on the snow. "What was it you wanted to ask me?" Frostfeather remembered Foxwhisker's tone. She knew he had something important to say.
"Oh that?.." The red tom suddenly turned awkward. "That... That was nothing important..."
Frostfeather nodded her head, and headed for the warriors' den. Obviously Foxwhisker had had second thoughts about sharing the topic with Frostfeather. She couldn't help but to feel slightly offended. She was friends with Foxwhisker, was she not? Why did he not share something clearly important with her? Frostfeather shrugged the thought off and entered the warriors' den. Fatigue hit her like a wave as she curled up on the soft moss, and it didn't take long to fall asleep.
Chapter 3: Frostpaw Edit
Half a moon had passed since Frostfeather and Foxwhisker had saved the white she-cat from the dog. While recovering from her wounds, the she-cat had told Sandstream, and later Cherrystar her story. She gave the name Frost, and told she had parted from her father, Twist, in the attack. After purely recovering, Frost didn't leave. No one really bothered to tell her to leave either. Frostfeather guessed Cherrystar was hoping she'd stay in SkyClan permanently. Frost was at least six moons, old, so Frostfeather knew she'd be apprenticed the moment she decided to join SkyClan. BloodClan had kept pushing the border, and SkyClan returning it to its rightful place. The tension of an upcoming battle could be felt in the air. Frostfeather tried to shake the thought off, and stepped out of the warriors' den.
It was sunset already, and long shadows covered the gorge, but not a single drop of snow. The last half moon had been surprisingly warm, despite it being only halfway through leaf-bare. No one seemed to mind, though. Warm weather seemed to make the kits happier, and prey had mistaken the sudden heat for an early greenleaf, giving the Clan better hunting luck. Frostfeather spotted her mother by the lake, round as a badger. Fuzzytail was sitting by her side, and the couple was sharing tongues. She padded over to them. The family exchanged greetings, and Frostfeather sat down to observe the lake. "Are you still trying to find things to do with your free time?" Fuzzytail asked his daughter.
Frostfeather nodded softly. "I get bored every time I don't have duties, and if I horde too much of them, I'm still not happy!"
Fuzzytail curled his distinctively fluffy tail around himself. "You know, there's fish in the water. I've always been fascinated by it... For moons, I've been trying to learn a fishing techniques for the Clan to use, so we would have more prey even during leaf-bare, but with no success. You're a skilled warrior, and I know you could learn to fish."
Come to think of it, Frostfeather did share the same fascination towards water. "I guess it's worth a shot..."
"That's my she-cat! Just remember to show me what you've come up with." The gray spotted tom purred.
Frostfeather padded over to Falconflight, as she heard the tom call for her "Are you sure you want to take the first night watch? I could do it for you..." he asked.
"You don't think I'm capable of handling it?" Frostfeather let her voice tell she was joking.
"Of course I do!" The same joking tone was echoed in the tom's reply. "I'm just concerned you might turn into an owl!"
Frostfeather flicked her tail tip at the tom's ear, then looked up at the clouded sky. "Tonight's going to rain again, huh?" Every night for the last three days had been rainy, and in some cases even thundery.
"I guess so..." The pale brown tom's white muzzle was raised towards the sky. His ears pricked as someone called his name. "Now?" The tom seemed excited as he called back to the cat.
"What is it?" Frostfeather made a glance towards the direction of the shout. She recognized Eaglespots' spotted pelt by the nursery's entrance.
"Sandstream's going to let visitors into the nursery now." Falconflight stated, getting up and padding towards the entrance. Frostfeather followed him, and watched the tom nod to his father as he stepped in. Frostfeather saw Hawksong laying in her nest, a small kit by her belly.
Eaglespots sat down next to his mate, pride in decorating his amber eyes. "This is your brother, Falconflight."
"His name is Mudkit." Hakwsong nuzzled the dark brown tom-kit, spotted, just like his father.
Falconflight opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off as Cherrystar summoned the Clan. Falconflight made glances between the exit and at Hawksong. "Go." The brown tabby she-cat's voice was warm. "You can come see me after the meeting."
Frostfeather exited the nursery, and headed out towards the gathering Clan. It was relatively dark already, especially with the thick layer of clouds covering the sky. Rain began to fall. She saw Frost sit with the apprentices, pelt well groomed, looking slightly nervous. A few rows in front of Falconflight and Frostfeather, sat Fuzzytail and Eaglespots. They were talking about the kits, Fuzzytail curious to know everything. Frostfeather knew they were the best of friends; they were almost like brothers to each other. Cherrystar lifted her pale ginger tail, and the soft whispering between cats died down. "It is one of a Clan leader's duties to name new apprentices. Frost, would you step forward, please." After the young she-cat took a few steps into the center of the surrounding cats, Cherrystar continued. "Frost, from this day on, until you have earned your warrior name, you will be called Frostpaw." The leader scanned the cats with her green gaze, until it landed on a gray she-cat. "Mistshine, you shall mentor Frostpaw. I trust you to pass down all you know to her."
"Frostpaw!" The surrounding SkyClanners chanted, as the newly named Frostpaw touched noses with her mentor. As the cheers died down and Frostpaw and Mistshine stepped to the sidelines, Cherrystar continued, a more serious expression on her face. "As you all know, BloodClan has been outrageously ambitious with our borders recently. SkyClan will not tolerate such disrespect. Wolfmist, I want at least two patrols along that border daily, all of them ready to fight the first BloodClanner to cross one paw over the border. And I want all apprentices to have extra train-"
Cherrystar was cut off by a distant yowl, "BloodClan, attack!" Frostfeather whipped her head up, towards the Sky Rock. A dark figure was drawn against the clouds, as lightning split the sky in half. The roar of thunder filling the ears of all SkyClanners, the dark shadows of Bloodclan cats flooded down to the gorge.