SKIN BY SPENNY @ SHINE. MINI PROFILE BY MINK. TABBED SIDEBAR BY KISMET OF RPG, TOGGLE SIDEBAR BY SUBDEVO, CUSTOM FORUMS BY BLACK.
DEEP IN THE MEADOW WAS CREATED AND IS OWNED BY MINK WITH LOTS OF LOVE AND CREDIT TO STAFF MEMBERS RAINBOW & HAWK. THANKS TO STYLES AT ABANDON HOPE FOR HELP WITH POST ICONS. PLOTS, CHARACTERS, ETC OWNED BY MEMBERS. ALL IMAGES CREDITED IN CHARACTER BIOS, ALL TEMPLATES & CODES CREDITED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE CREATORS. ALL CONTENT IS OWNED BY THE PERSON WHO POSTED, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. DO NOT STEAL. IF YOU SEE ANYTHING THAT BELONGS TO YOU THAT YOU WOULD LIKE CREDIT FOR, PLEASE CONTACT THE STAFF.
Welcome to Deep in the Meadow, a literate semi-AU Warrior cats roleplay site with a 200 word minimum. DitM features a sandbox play style, a stat system for character development, staff-run NPC accounts for events and encounters, and an overarching political landscape to help structure characters and interactions. Territories are refreshed, but will remain familiar to Warriors RPers. Play as a member of the four Clans or as a Clanless cat - and enjoy!
UPDATES - 01/19/18 An activity check is up here. It will run until Tuesday the 30th of January.
UPDATES - 01/17/18 In light of our near every-clan-wide ban/discouragement on apprentices staff wanted to address a few matters. We all know and can relate to the fact that training threads can get boring quickly, but we want to remind users that they don’t need to be the same old things over and over and over again; training threads can be fun, and the concepts that apply to being a warrior can be presented in fun and new ways. Linked are some threads that staff have themselves participated in that demonstrate a wide variety of different directions to tackle training threads from that range from puzzle solving, critical thinking, assassination attempts, games, and even role playing (patrols and the like can count as training threads too). 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. If you want to request a flash event you can ask a staff member or purchase one in the shop, and if you need help brainstorming ideas ask on our discord—we’re a collection of creative folk and we can certainly help one another out. In keeping training threads interesting and fun we hope to get more people signing up to do mentor.
In the same stroke we staff have also noticed a trend in that some sign their apprentices up for mentors, ask for training threads, but then never respond to them (or take months), and in the end end up purchasing apprentice passes for their apprentices to get their names on time. Going forward staff will request you skip signing up for a mentor (you can npc one instead) and just purchase the apprentice pass to save desperately needed mentors for those who will participate and complete training threads so we aren’t wasting mentors/time.
UPDATES - 01/16/18 Starvation Notices have officially gone out in ThunderClan. To prevent more, and to prevent those who have received them from worsening, get your cats out in patrols and hunting! WindClan, not far behind ThunderClan, is officially on notice of starvation, too. Don't be like ThunderClan and put off hunting threads until it's too late.
UPDATES - 01/10/18Staff has made a slight rule change. You can find this change noted on Rule #17 on the rule sheet, and explained in more depth on the bio guide (specifically the 'history' post, which is linked in Rule #17). Direct any questions to staff. Please make sure to read this update.
UPDATES - 01/09/18 Update concerning clans and clanless cats claiming and challenging for territory. Read about that here. As our largest clan on site we're officially giving ThunderClan a starvation warning. No one is starving quite yet, but they have rumbling bellies and an empty fresh-kill pile more often than not. Get out hunting, and not just on your own territory, ThunderClan, or risk finding starvation and illness notifications in your PMs ;D
UPDATES - 01/02/18 Happy New Year! We have a lot going on on site in terms of clan meeting and exciting, drama-filled going ons. Three of our clans have meetings up, and while two are further along than the third they are still in need of reactions to either help wrap them up, or to help their leader in making her decision. Give them a look: WC, RC, & SC. Once some of these big plot threads wrap up you can expect our next site gathering to get underway.
UPDATES - 12/27/17 There has been a change in DitM's staffing team as Cheshire has had to step away to tackle that thing we call life. You can read about that here. The staff team wishes Cheshire all the best, and a huge thank you for all they've done for the site! In light of how busy we still are we've promoted Yazsh, who has been helping the staff team already with mod stuff and flash event posts, to a full member of the staff team. Be sure to give the ma warm welcome and have patience with them as they learn the ropes! With Cheshire leaving that means Palefeather's and Graystar's plots are at a stand still, but since they are all sorts of tied up into the future of the site staff will be taking on the roles for at least a short while to keep things moving smoothly. Please direct all those character's plot questions to us. Rest assured we'll be working with Cheshire if we have questions, and the sand box environment, to see these through! Have patience with staff as well as we figure out what threads need to be done and get a handle on how to best play these characters. Thank you!
UPDATES - 12/24/17 A few days later than the set date, all accounts in the inactive category have been deleted. If that's you, you're welcome to rejoin at any time; staff can always pull things from the archives for you if you would like to remake characters. Just be aware that you may need to change names or face claims if they have been used in your absence.
UPDATES - 12/21/17 A happy Winter Solstice! Our season on site has been changed to Leaf-Bare. The staff team wishes happy holidays for those celebrating!
UPDATES - 12/06/17 The activity check is over and the site has been aged! Those members who did not respond or check in with staff have been moved to the inactive category and will be deleted on 12/20. If you were moved to inactive, just message a staff member with links to the items you need replaced and the accounts you need moved. For those of you still with us, please check characters' ages and active threads so you can claim any new stats. Please also check mentors & apprentices in case you have gotten a new mentor/become a mentor! Finally, many of us need to update our bios, at the very least to reflect name, rank, and sometimes Clan changes. If I have to call people out by name I will ;).
UPDATES - 11/29/17 We have an activity check going on! Link is here. Members have until December 5th to post. Please speak to staff if you don't think you'll be able to post by then. We are doing it a bit differently this time around so please be sure to read the post completely.
UPDATES - 11/15/17 A big thank you for all those who took the time to audition and show interest in ShadowClan deputy. After discussion between Rainbow & staff we congratulate Gillyflowerthroat (Mink) on getting the position. As promised if you have questions or desire tips in preparation for our next open high rank position you can send staff a PM or DM.
UPDATES - 11/09/17 New skin! Staff is still making tweaks to this top table potion (the link colors and navigation link colors) and to staff/site tables, but otherwise please let staff know if you still see any lingering green colors. A deadline has been set for ShadowClan deputy: Tuesday Nov. 14th. If you'd like to try out please send your auditions in before then, and if you think you will need more time be sure to let staff know.
UPDATES - 11/04/17 Auditions for ShadowClan deputy are now open. Audition form can be found in our high rank info board and all auditions should be sent to the staff team + Rainbow. A deadline will be set at a later date.
UPDATES - 11/02/17 Katzen has stepped back from the site and her role as ShadowClan's leader to focus on her senior year of college. To fill members in on what happened ICly with Vulturestar Rainbow has helpfully written a small AU you can read here.
The confident stride @Robinchest walked with rubbed Cranefrost in all the wrong ways. It made his stomach twist with disgust as he moved alongside her, keeping a careful eye on the murderous she-cat. @Brindleberry and Littlewind were following close behind, no doubt- along with @Goosefur, Whitecrane, and @Ironclaw. They'd been lucky to run into that patrol- Cranefrost hardly had enough paws to handle all of the cats out in the snow. He glanced over his shoulder towards the group of cats. "Get Brindleberry to her den, and prepare Littlewind for a vigil." He instructed them, before his gaze traveled to the medicine cat and his eyes softened with sympathy. "I will check in after I deal with this fox-heart."
The tail end of his words were venomous, but he didn't mind. By the time the party shouldered their way into camp, a hush seemed to fall over some of the cats wandering about in the snow. Berryheart instinctively pulled her remaining two kittens a bit closer to herself, a few hushed whispers later she and the kittens were ducking away into the nursery. Cranefrost hoped Tinybear would keep their children shielded from the scene before them.
"Will all cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath the Tall Boulder for a clan meeting." The deputy's voice was a loud boom. His gaze then traveled to @Graystar's den, expecting to see the gray tabby leader to come poking his head out. He turned his attention back to the rest of Windclan, perhaps being a bit too daring in taking hold of the meeting himself. He moved beneath the Tall Boulder, keeping Robinchest in his sights.
"I was out hunting when I heard Brindleberry screaming for help. I came across Robinchest pinning her down, and Littlewind was found dead not far away from the two, with her throat completely torn open." His gaze burned into the ginger tabby as he spoke, "It is from my understanding that Robinchest is responsible for the murder of Littlewind, and is without a doubt guilty of attempting to kill our own medicine cat. I would ask Brindleberry to come forward to confirm this, but she needs time to rest and heal." He briefly looked towards the medicine cat's den and frowned a little.
His eyes then darted towards Graystar, who he was assuming was paying attention. He wasn't expecting much of a reaction from the stoic leader, he just wanted to be sure the leader was actually listening. He remained quiet and instead waited to see how Graystar, or Robinchest, reacted. He'd reported what he'd seen. Given the cockiness of the red-furred molly, he wouldn't be surprised if she took credit for her abhorrent actions- with pride, no less.
because of you i don't know how to let anyone else in
Well. Goosefur had certainly not been expecting his day to go this way. To include... murder. And severe wounding. Not to him, of course, but to the medicine cat, of all cats. And this cruelty carried out by a fellow warrior? It was unthinkable. The lilac tom grunted a bit as he helped support Brindleberry into camp. He was hesitant to look too closely at her; Robinchest--if Robinchest was indeed the perpetrator, and it certainly looked that way--had done her a good number.
Goosefur nodded at Cranefrost's instructions, then headed for the medicine cats' den. That was something Goosefur didn't know how to do, and he wasn't sure how much Brindleberry was up to in her present condition. The characteristic anxiety that had been surprisingly quiet up until this point began to flutter in the tom's chest. But those were the orders his deputy had given him, and he was determined to follow them. He focused on his goal: Brindleberry's den. One step at a time, Goose, he told himself.
"How can I help, Brindleberry?" he asked the she-cat softly. "Is there anything I can get for you?" From the clearing behind him, he could hear Cranefrost addressing the clan. He had no reason to doubt the deputy's claims whatsoever, and what he'd seen when he'd encountered the scene on his patrol certainly aligned with Cranefrost's story--but it was still so hard to believe that another WindClan warrior could be capable of such heinous acts. He was curious to see how the rest of the clan would react.
+ tag@Brindleberry + notesthis is the most that's ever happened to goose ever lol
something in it had power, could barely tear my eyes away
If he was honest with himself, the fact that Cranefrost was calling a Clan meeting instead of Graystar peaked Dovecall’s interest. He’d been out on the morning patrol (in the opposite direction to Cranefrost’s patrol), and was now taking this opportunity to clean his pelt. The snow made the ground underneath a little wet if it wasn’t completely frozen, and his white paws suffered because of it. However, the call of Cranefrost made the warrior pause with his tongue half out and eyes half lidded. Rather than sit there and look like a fool though, Dovecall stood and shook out his fur, quietly walking to where a crowd was forming beneath the boulder.
The announcement didn’t take long to be thrown to the wind, Cranefrost staring pointedly at the accused as he spoke. Dovecall raised his eyes as the words were presented, and he too turned to look at Robinchest. However, there was little anger and grievance in his chest, and instead the only thought that entered his mind was that that sounded sloppy. How could Robinchest have expected to get away with that? If she was so easily found by a passing patrol, she was very clearly doing something wrong, and Dovecall found himself shaking his head. If it had been him, he would not have gotten caught.
However, he kept those opinions all to himself, and instead allowed his eyes to narrow in Robinchest’s direction. Anger was the only emotion that was clear on his face, before he turned to look to Graystar. Because shouldn’t the leader have been consulted, before a meeting was called? Shouldn’t a punishment have been figured out, before Cranefrost took it to the Clan? Curling his tail around his paws, Dovecall settled himself in. This was certainly going to get interesting.
As embarrassing as it was to say, when Cranefrost leaped onto the boulder to begin the announcement, Orioleclaw was asleep in a very nice nap. To be completely honest, she almost didn’t hear the deputy call out, and was only roused as a passing warrior nearly stepped on her whiskers. Waking up to shout something at them, Orioleclaw spotted the white fur of Cranefrost up where it was usually Graystar calling meetings together, and instantly she was curious. Ears pricked forward, the angular cat padded from the warriors den with her green eyes sparking, wondering what the heck was going on.
As it turned out, a lot had been going on while she’d been snoozing! As soon as Cranefrost spoke of what had happened, Orioleclaw whipped her gaze to Robinchest, a fire flaring up within her eyes. “What the hell?” she growled, ears flattening against her head. Brindleberry was in her nest, which was probably for the best if this murderer was out to get her! Littlewind, no matter her origins, had been a Clanmate, a family member, how could Robinchest do that!? Though, upon examination, Orioleclaw realized that it wasn’t all that hard to believe. The older warrior hardly ever kept her opinions on this matter to herself.
It took a second, but Orioleclaw realized that she’d risen to a stand, as if she was going to march up and spit right in Robinchest’s face. The idea sounded appealing, really, but she contained herself and sat back down, flicking her attention back to Cranefrost, and wondering if Graystar knew anything about this meeting before it’d been called. She hoped that he did, and that he dealt with Robinchest promptly.
forgive & forget?i'm neither jesus nor do i have Alzheimer's
The snow coupled with the cold made Toadfern a whole lot irritable. Her joints ached and she had been spending a substantial amount of time with Brindleberry. The she-cat may have been a former kitty-pet but she was knowledgeable. The elder had been holed away in her den. The walls provided an adequate amount of shelter from the frigid wind but something caught her attention. A voice echoed through the clearing but before that there was the thick smell of blood. The fur along her spine bristled and she moved a little too fast. Her joints felt like they were on fire but she ignored the sensation. Toadfern hauled herself out of the elder’s den and surveyed the clearing. It wasn’t Graystar upon the Tall Boulder and in his place stood Cranefrost. Beneath them was a single body—Littlewind—and she saw Brindleberry being herded toward her den.
Anger surged in her belly and climbed up her chest. Her sharp, critical gaze bore into her granddaughter’s. Robinchest stood—just as her namesake would suggest—with her chest puffed out and a look of pride on her face. Something wasn’t quite right but she didn’t have to dwell on it for long. Cranefrost was quick to address the situation and the news he shared was treacherous. Toadfern didn’t see anyone but Robinchest as she moved toward her. “You are not a Windclan warrior.” Toadfern stopped once she was in front of the ruddy-furred cat.
“You have openly broken the code and spat in the faces of our ancestors.” Despite the rage that bubbled in her heart her voice was oddly calm. “You are not of Windclan and I suspect you haven’t been for some time. That pure blood you longingly covet has done nothing but disservice you, Robinchest.” She held her gaze steadily upon her granddaughter’s. “You don’t belong here. I don’t know if you ever have.”
I'll blend up that rainbowabove you & shoot it through your veins
Wheatstorm had been happily chatting with another warrior when he noticed the scent of blood. Alarm seized his chest and he felt it tightening but he was unprepared for the scene that unfolded. Cranefrost led a small patrol into camp and a hush fell over everyone. Littlewind was motionless and Brindleberry appeared heavily injured. Robinchest, Whitecrane, Goosefur, and Ironclaw were also in tow. Confusion danced in his gaze and he glanced over at his companion as if the answer was written in their eyes. Yet, he didn’t have to wonder for long. Their deputy immediately climbed the Tall Boulder and called Windclan together.
The fur along his spine rose as the story was laid bare. His lips peeled back into a snarl but he couldn’t bring himself to speak. Instead he turned around and trotted after Goosefur and Brindleberry. If he listened for another moment, if he had to look at Robinchest again, well… he didn’t trust himself. He didn’t know what he would do.
His long limbs easily ate the distance between himself and the medicine cat den. He pushed himself through and dipped his head toward @Goosefur before dropping down beside Brindleberry. The scent of blood was thick and he could see that her face took the brunt of Robinchest’s claws. Anger—hot and palpable—ignited within his stomach. His claws gripped the soil but he forced himself to breathe and to stay calm. “Brindleberry,” he said, his voice strained. Then, without much thought, he moved forward and attempted to rasp his tongue over her ears. “You didn’t deserve this,” he whispered, more to himself than anyone else.
her tongue rasped effortlessly over fritillaryfang's soft red and white pelt. the old tom rambled off a nonsense, whimsical, story about a she-cat from some ancient time. cherry occasionally mumbled a soft sigh of content, question, or delight as the tom's voice fell and wove the adventurous tale. "and it was really five!" fritillary's deep baritone growled over the words as his fading eyes scanned her. "you're so like her... so like her." he'd softly mumble in between story-telling.
cranefrost's voice rose from above the rise where the main focus of camp lazed about. the cranky brown tabby she-cat on the opposite side of fritillaryfang hissed at cherrybird to go see what the glorious deputy wanted. with a soft farewell to fritillaryfang and a dip of her head to bramblingflower, cherrybird skipped up the rise to listen in on the meeting. since the rogue attack, she felt as though her deputy were really stepping up in the world. taking command, part of her admired such a stance in the tom. the death of daffodilstar and the attack on graystar by blackeagle, had all hinted that anything could change within a moment.
cherrybird stopped short and her eyes widened on the red molly standing beside cranefrost. she felt as though a hammer had slammed into her chest and her legs shook with her weight. "robinchest?" she croaked in horror. the deputy recited his story for the clan and the young calico watched her world grow dark. robinchest murdered littlewind? attacked brindleberry? that couldn't possibly be true! panic seized the little cat as she pushed her way to the forefront of the crowd, her expression traumatized.
"that can't be right! it's a mistake... robinchest is loyal!" hesitation and hurt entered the young disillusioned she-cat's mind. she turned desperately towards her former mentor with a look of anguish. "please... tell me it's not true. you're not a murderer... are you?" cherrybird's voice shook as her green eyes, normally so happy, filled with an overwhelming heartache. how could this be happening?
The smell of blood alerted Minkpaw before he actually saw the patrol coming. He was cowing on his own accord even as they entered camp; Littlewind was a bloodied and limp between the cats carrying her, and Brindleberry’s face bloodied and ravaged. He’d seen plenty of injures and death even in his short lifespan, but it never got any easier for the young tom-cat to stomach. It was likely why fighting was proving so hard for him to grasp efficiently—well that and there was a good chance he was a coward. His flight instinct was great, and ignoring it to face foes rather than fleeing from them made his stomach churn. It wasn’t to say there wasn’t any progress under Sloepool’s tutelage, but it was slow and painful.
He willed himself to melt into his surroundings. Cranefrost was a thing of anger and power as he moved across camp and promptly barked for the clan to gather for a meeting. The apprentice’s ears went flat, and he pathetically flinched at the deputy’s booming voice, but to his credit he didn’t flee to the shrubbery and shallow hole he had taken for his nest—not that his being at the meeting did anyone any good. Minkpaw was voiceless during these, and especially for this one.
His eyes moved nervously to Robinchest as Cranefrost laid out accusations. They were hefty claims of murder and attempted murder, and just the sight of the she-cat sent his heart fluttering uneasily in his chest. A murder amongst them was enough to make his skin crawl and an uncomfortable feeling of paranoia climb. Graystar would take care of her, of that he had no doubt, but would it stop her from coming back and attacking them? What if she had allies? Unconsciously his tail curled snuggly around his body since he couldn’t fold himself any tighter.
to burst for envy and the sting of jealousy
are a blind ambition of ruthless greed
a carelessly love and a ruthless exploitation
Robinchest had practically strutted into camp ahead of Cranefrost and the patrol. Littlewind and Brindleberry were taken away, and the red warrior took her place in the front where she always sat for meetings, each pawstep painting the dusty snow a faint pink. She hadn't bothered to clean her paws. This was exactly the message she'd intended to send. The half-bloods weren't welcome here, and if it took her removing each and every one with her own claws, then that's what she'd do.
Cranefrost immediately called a meeting. "Catch me once and you think you're all high and mighty, huh?" she murmured, not worried about others overhearing. She settled in, making herself comfortable and ignoring the other cats as they joined her in the clearing. Hisses and chatter burbled as WindClanners populated the meetingplace, and Robin's eyes searched for Graystar. He was her ally in this.
She paid no mind to any of her Clanmates' comments until Toadfern directly approached her, voice calm but eyes fiery. Her words didn't even ripple the pride on the red molly's face.
"The presence of dirty blood is far more disgraceful to our ancestors than I am, Toadfern. I belong here more than any ex-kittypet or cross-Clan cat, and just because our Clan refuses to exterminate them like the vermin they are doesn't mean I will sit by idly and watch our traditions, our way of life be soiled by these outsiders." Robinchest stared down the older molly, refusing to budge, not bending under her gaze like she might have a season ago.
It wasn't until Cherrybird bounced out, approaching the warrior almost fearfully, that Robin's gaze wavered. The calico's words were full of desperation and hurt, but the red warrior felt no pity. "I did this to send a message," she said, her next words spoken in a louder yowl for all present cats to hear.
"WindClan is only weakened by these dirt-blooded cats! We will never be a pure, code-honoring Clan as long as they are allowed to stay. Heed my words, cats of WindClan- as long as I live, no half-blood will be welcome here."
While he had been the eldest on the patrol, Ironclaw had deferred to Whitecrane the entire time due to the fact that, well... she had lived in WindClan longer than he had ever done. That and he wasn't comfortable with taking the lead with someone like Whitecrane's half brother as leader. It had been uncomfortable enough with Daffodilstar,
but although she had reversed Duskstar's policy of bringing in non-clan cats, shehad let in one and near enough adopted the blind kit that Nightnose had found in the middle of the night.
Brindleberry was a key member of the clan, but he knew there were cats who didn't like her simply because of where she had come from. As they walked home, he placed himself between the medicine cat and Robinchest, ready to put the auburn she-cat down if she tried anything at all. He made sure to hide the murderous, disgusting cat from the battered Brindleberry. He made a mental note to bring up guarding her den to Cranefrost when they returned to camp.
Cranefrost did not hesitate in calling a meeting - not even seeking out Graystar before he called for everyone in front of the High Ledge. "Easy, Brindleberry, one step at a time." he said, guiding her to the medicine cat den. "Goosefur, stand guard until Cranefrost is finished. Brindleberry's den is going to need someone outside at all times,
all things considered." he shot a dark look over at Robinchest, skin prickling with unease and rage.
He left the den entrance and walked over towards Robinchest again, rolling his eyes at Cherrybird. "Don't let your foolish loyalty to your former mentor blind you,"
he said, stepping between the two she-cats. "She murdered Littlewind - one of the cats who insisted she murdered Leaftail, which I'm now inclined to believe - and she tried to murder Brindleberry. You know, the cat StarClan sent? The cat who is the only one among us who knows more than two things about herbs?"
He flicked his tail dismissively. "Exile. Only StarClan can judge her now." he said clearly, meeting eyes with Cranefrost. Though the deputy had no rights to exile her, if Graystar didn't, Ironclaw knew that there would be more than just some mild tension in camp.
Ouzelpaw had been mildly disappointed when she wasn't allowed to join Whitecrane's patrol and was told to go clean out the elders. She huffed - she was still suffering from injuries sustained against the rogues, so she could partially understand why,
but it didn't really soften the blow at all. She hated being so cooped up, even if spending time with Brindleberry and Toadfern was pretty fun.
She had just replaced a nest for one of the elders when the scent of blood crashed unceremoniously into camp. Fear prickled along Ouzelpaw's spine as she slowly turned to the patrol returning - headed by Cranefrost, with Goosefur, Whitecrane and Ironclaw. Then her eyes fell on Brindleberry - beaten up and bloody - and her beast of a mother - standing tall and proud as if she had done WindClan a service. Littlewind's body was similar to Brindleberry, but covered in more blood and as lifeless as Leaftail had been only a few weeks before.
Ouzelpaw remained rooted to the spot, chest heaving as she sucked in desperate, ragged breaths. Cranefrost called a meeting without seeking out Graystar, and laid all bare. Ouzelpaw saw red and stalked forward with deliberate, careful steps. She was shaking -
she didn't know if was with rage or fear - as she walked towards Robinchest.
"Shut your stupid little mouth, Cherrybird," she snarled, whipping around to face her mother's former apprentice. "You're an idiot! Take off the moss obscuring your idiot eyes and actually see this... this... beast for what she is!" she dug her claws into the ground, turning to Robinchest.
"First Leaftail, now Littlewind and Brindleberry. How many others, huh? How many more? Who's next on your sadistic little list? Ironclaw? Vervainpaw? Nona?" Ouzelpaw asked as Ironclaw and Toadfern both said exile was the only answer. "No, she deserves to die for what she did. Slowly and painfully. Throw her from a cliff, drown her, feed her to dogs, I don't care how! She deserves to rot in the Dark Forest forever for what she's done!"
Although Vervainpaw had really wanted to go with Brindleberry and Littlewind as they searched for herbs, she was content to stay behind and do other chores.
She had decided to spend her free time in the nursery with Berryheart, Tinybear and their kittens, trying to keep the little ones minds off of the missing Peachkit. She told them the story of how the world was made, and was just getting to the good part when blood filled her senses and she stopped, gagging quietly. She'd only smelled blood on this level a few times.
Daffodilstar's body. Tanagerpaw's body. Who had been taken from them now?
She dipped her head to the queens and dipped out as Cranefrost called for a meeting. Whiskers twitching, Vervainpaw navigated her way around the bustle of cats before Cranefrost told everyone what had happened. She stopped mid-step, heart pounding so loudly in her chest that Vervainpaw thought it would burst out in front of everyone.
Vervainpaw's stomach heaved and she spat up her last meal at the back of the crowd. Littlewind was gone. She had been murdered by a clanmate. She heaved again,
spitting up bile and froth. Her eyes stung as Cranefrost continued - it had been Robinchest.
Barely weeks ago, Littlewind had accused Robinchest of murdering Leaftail, and Vervainpaw believed her - as had Leaftail's apprentice and Robinchest's own daughter. Now the auburn cat had struck again, taking away Littlewind - who had never hurt anyone - and almost taking Brindleberry, too.
Almost immediately, a few cats called for exile and Ouzelpaw demanded a life for a life -
and Vervainpaw found herself agreeing with the black she-cat. She swallowed thickly, cleaning her mouth with a paw before moving around the nasty puddle she'd made and towards the medicine cat den. She pushed past whoever was standing at the entrance and towards Brindleberry. The bitter scent of the medicine cat's blood almost made Vervainpaw heave again, but she swallowed it before it could do anything more.
"Th-the cobwebs," she said softly. "What else do I need to get you?" she wasn't Brindleberry's apprentice and she only knew a few things about medicine, but she was determined to help Brindleberry treat her wounds.
Getting roused from a nap by the stench of blood--especially so soon after the rogue attack--was more than a little disorienting. Ploverpetal surged up out of his nest and looked around frantically. There were only cats that he recognized in camp, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Plover licked down the fur on his chest before scanning camp once more. A meeting was being started, and not by Graystar. The smell of blood was still hanging thick in the air, so he knew that it wasn't just a residual smell from his dream. It was real.
Upon his second glance, Ploverpetal's blue eyes found the perfectly still form of Littlewind in the snow. A massive trail of red led into the medicine cat's den, and Plover's stomach flipped uncomfortably. He was instantly more awake, trying to figure out what happened. He spotted Robinchest's smug face at the front of the meeting area, and noticed that her paws and pelt were covered in blood. A low growl formed in the back of his throat, but Ploverpetal waited until Cranefrost had finished his announcement before reacting.
The older tom pushed himself to a standing position and stalked towards the red she-cat in question. His strides were purposeful and nearly predatory. "You rotten, no good piece of carrion," he spat at Robinchest, his ears flattened partially against his head. "You have no right to sit here and defend your murderous actions. You killed my daughter in cold blood and vehemently denied it. You've literally been caught red-pawed and you have the audacity to try and defend yourself. Leaftail and Littlewind were twice the warrior that you'll ever be, traitor!" Ploverpetal snapped, and his paw moved out of its own accord. It flew through the air, aiming to make contact with the murderer's cheek, but he would've settled for anything. He didn't wait for her or anyone else to react.
Instead, he padded over to Littlewind's body and attempted to gently settle the corpse into something resembling peaceful. The cold had sped the rigor mortis, which made his task difficult, but he at least covered most of her largest injury with her own fur. Littlewind had been by Leaftail's side and defended her through everything, even after death. She deserved to be honored for her actions, not slain. Ploverpetal sat silently over the small black she-cat, his eyes closed in mourning.
Graystar didn't emerge from his den at the very first sign of distress. He could easily scent the blood in the air, but with it came no panic. Instead, he waited until Cranefrost let everything out. Graystar wanted to be fully prepared before throwing himself into the fray. Robinchest had struck again. This time, she had taken Littlewind's life. The leader couldn't bring himself to even feign sadness for the loss of another halfblood WindClanner. He knew he must remain diplomatic and impartial, though. No one knew that he was aware of the murderous intentions of one of their own except Robinchest herself.
The large, gray tom exited his den in a regal fashion despite the accusations being thrown around. He took his place next to Cranefrost, stepping just slightly in front of the fluffy white tom. He believed that his deputy should have sought him out first instead of hastily calling together a meeting. His alarm had caused cats to panic. They would have to talk about that later, but there were more pressing matters at the moment. "Enough!" he called out in a booming voice so everyone could hear.
"We will not take a life for a life. That's not the type of punishment that clans can hand out. StarClan will determine her fate," he said evenly, his dull eyes finding Ouzelpaw. He knew that she would suffer the same fate as he eventually would. When the red she-cat died, the Dark Forest would come for her. Robinchest's own words rang in his ears, and he couldn't help but agree with some of them. However, the clan was not of the same mindset. He would have to sacrifice one great warrior in order to appease the rest. He had warned Robinchest to keep her activities under wraps, and she hadn't listened. She should have known better.
"Robinchest, you have broken the Code by killing two of your own clanmates. You no longer belong to WindClan. You have until sundown to say your goodbyes and leave our territory. If you are seen any time afterwards, you will be treated as an enemy warrior and nothing more. Once you're ready, I'll have Sloepool, Hailfang, and Batface escort you to the border." Graystar spoke with calm finality, and turned his attention away from the rusty she-cat immediately. He searched for the next most pressing thing. "Someone should help Ploverpetal prepare Littlewind's body for vigil, and I want someone else to check on Brindleberry's status. If we need the assistance of another medicine cat, we must send a patrol out immediately." Graystar had no soft spots for the pudgy tortoiseshell, but she was literally all that WindClan had in terms of healing. With leafbare in full swing soon, they needed their medicine cat.
forgive & forget?i'm neither jesus nor do i have Alzheimer's
Toadfern’s face remained carefully composed as Robinchest defended her actions. Her chest felt tight with anger and on the inside she was seething. “The vermin, as you kindly call them, have upheld the code and walk with the stars. You, Robinchest, have defiled our trust and our laws.” The elder blinked slowly at her granddaughter. Others began to swarm to the scene. Cherrybird called out in defense of her former mentor and Ploverpetal stepped beside her. She didn’t move to stop him as he swung out with unsheathed claws. The act wasn’t permissible among clan mates but Robinchest wasn’t a Windclan cat.
@Ouzelpaw rushed to the scene and her words called for death. “There will be no more death. Not today.” There was a slight edge to her voice toward the end and her gaze drifted back to her granddaughter. Graystar’s voice eventually cut through the crowd and he promptly stripped the red she-cat of her title and the lineage she so coveted. It was not necessary to give her until sundown. There was nothing more for her here. “The Dark Forest will claim you,” she murmured and then turned and walked toward Ouzelpaw. Her tail gently touched the smaller she-cat’s back. “We are Windclan and we do not murder. We don’t take a life unless it’s in self-defense. This is our code. Our way of life. Do you understand?” Her gaze remained on the apprentice and she willed her to understand. Ouzelpaw was a firecracker and she was heated much like her mother. If she didn’t see the code as a way of life then there was a chance that she could very well follow Robinchest’s paw steps.
Toadfern blinked and then moved toward Littlewind’s body. Ouzelpaw was welcme to accompany her but she wouldn’t force it. Instead she crouched down beside @Ploverpetal and began to rasp her tongue over the blood that stained Littlewind’s fur. In the morning, it was her responsibility to see her to burial, despite the snow and thick frost.
After Cranefrost's arrival to the scene, things had changed. He'd immediately taken control of the situation, which allowed Brindleberry freedom. Her gods had heard her cries and sent him to quell Robinchest's evil before it ended her life. In time, she'd come to be incredibly thankful to him, but since the incident and their return to camp, Brindleberry couldn't find it in her to feel anything but dull shock and pain. She didn't really register Cranefrost's meeting call, nor the stares that burned her fur and the harsh words being thrown at Robinchest. She barely realized that she was being herded to her den, surrounded by an ever growing crowd of cats asking her condition and speaking in soft, sympathetic tones.
She stopped before the entrance of her den, observing the clearing through her now limited vision. Cats that weren't looking at Robinchest were looking at her, full of questions about what they'd missed. Only she could fill in any missing details, but she had no words for them. She slunk into her den after that, before Graystar could even enter the fray and sentence Robinchest. There was so much she needed to do now--prepare Littlewind's body for vigil, treat all of her own wounds before she lost too much blood--but once she reached the flat ground of her den, all she could do was sit and nearly fall over, just barely catching herself with her forelegs. She hung her head, body quaking in both exhaustion and fear. Logically, she had nothing to fear at this point, being surrounded by warriors that would cut Robinchest down if she took even a step near the den. But she didn't feel safe from anything or anyone. She'd been so close to death, and even if she'd evaded it, her wounds were sparking a nauseating amount of pain. In a way, she supposed Robinchest had gotten her way.
The tortoiseshell didn't react to Vervainpaw's questions, though she found herself flinching at Wheatstorm's touch. They were waiting on her--everyone was always waiting on her--and though she wanted nothing more than to curl into a tight ball and imagine she was on back on Carrie's lap in their warm, comfortable home, she had to tend to her responsibilities. She forced herself to breathe deeply, allowing the familiarity of the mixed herb scent to soothe and ground her. She could still do this. If nothing else, she could do this.
"I-I need someone to help with Littlewind's body," she rasped, breaking her silence for the first time since Cranefrost had found her. "She needs to be groomed--cleaned around the wound. You'll need cobwebs and strong-smelling herbs--the kind doesn't matter, really. Lavender and mint work well." She rose onto her wobbly legs, falling into Wheatstorm as she stepped toward her herb stock. She managed to scrape the flowers and leaves toward her. "You just... rub them into her fur. And if you need more, just take other strong-smelling flowers." She looked to Goosefur, hoping he'd take the cue to help. She was sure he didn't want to miss the meeting, and that way he'd be close enough to still hear the proceedings.
With that matter taken care of, Brindleberry looked down at the herbs near her paws. She tried to think of what she might need to treat her own wounds, but her head was swimming and throbbing. "Cobwebs, yes," she murmured through clenched teeth. "C-cobwebs, marigold--the bright yellow, and poppy..." She pawed the leaf pocket that held the poppy seeds, licking a few to ease the pain. Her eye would need more attention than that--poultices and salves--but they'd have to wait. Though it was another struggle, Brindleberry managed to make it to her nest and lie on her uninjured side. She looked at Vervainpaw's shape in the dark, and despite herself and everything that'd happened, she said, "It'll be alright." She didn't believe it, though, and Vervainpaw probably knew that.
I'll blend up that rainbowabove you & shoot it through your veins
Wheatstorm wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do or if he was helping the situation. Anger still gripped him but he couldn’t bear listening to whatever Robinchest had to say. He didn’t trust himself. Instead he focused on Brindleberry. Several cats were crowded around her and he felt his heart lurch when she flinched away from his touch. Maybe it was too soon but he didn’t know what to do. His friend was a former kitty-pet. She had little experience when it came to fighting and death. However, murdering a clan mate—and even attempting murder—was something he never bore witness to until now. He forced himself to remain calm and he stood strong as his companion leaned heavily against him. One side of her face was marred and there was a fleet of cuts; some shallow while others were deep.
Eventually, the she-cat broke the quiet and explained what to do with Littlewind’s body and which herbs to use. She looked over at Goosefur and he trusted the tom to comply. He wasn’t ready to leave her side even though it may have been for the best. It was selfish of him but Wheatstorm wanted to be there for Brindleberry. He couldn’t lose her and he would do everything in his power to make sure she was alright.
Once Littlewind’s affairs were sorted out, Brindleberry listed off some things that she needed for her wounds. He was familiar with cobwebs. He’d received them multiple times from medicine cats in the past but marigold was new to him. His gaze roved the herb piles until he noticed a plant that matched his companion’s description. While the medicine cat lapped up poppy seeds and slowly made her way toward her nest, Wheatstorm collected a swatch of cobwebs and the marigold. He didn’t have the foggiest idea what the latter did or if they were eaten or used as a salve. The warrior didn’t question it as he gingerly brought the two items over to Brindleberry’s nest.
He placed them beside her and was at a complete loss. Should he wash the blood away first? Apply the cobwebs? What about the marigold? Wheatstorm felt helpless and he cursed himself for having to look to Brindleberry’s guidance even though she was the one who needed support. She was the one who needed rest but he couldn’t quite give it to her. Not yet. “Tell me what to do,” he murmured, his uncertain gaze looking from the medicinal items and then to his friend.
because of you i don't know how to let anyone else in
Goosefur shuffled his paws nervously. The situation was starting to become overwhelming. But the lilac tom swallowed hard and forced himself to stay focused. He'd been ordered to stay here and guard Brindleberry's den, but Brindleberry had asked him to help prepare Littlewind's body for vigil. What to do? What to do?
The young warrior watched as Wheatstorm and Vervainpaw began to tend, as best they could, to Brindleberry. They were both clearly distraught. He couldn't ask them to leave her side now. He padded to the entrance of the den and peered across the clearing to where Littlewind's still body lay, staining the snow pink around it. Some cats had already begun to try and tend to it, Toadfern among them. Goosefur got an idea. He was sure that Robinchest wouldn't try anything further, not with the entire clan there to stop her. He'd bring the herbs over to Littlewind's body and then return to guard the den.
"I've been ordered to stand guard to make sure you're safe, Brindleberry," he mewed softly, unsure whether the injured she-cat would be able to register what he'd said or not. "I'm going to bring these herbs to Littlewind so... so she can be prepared for vigil. And then I'll be right back." He paused, his icy blue eyes full of sympathy and respect for his medicine cat, then added, "Don't you worry. You're in good paws now. We're going to take care of you. Of everything." It was the least he could say by way of comfort. He nodded briefly to Wheatstorm and Vervainpaw before scooping up the herbs Brindleberry had laid out for Littlewind.
Goosefur deposited the strong-smelling herbs at Littlewind's side a moment later. He addressed Toadfern and Ploverpetal softly. "These are from Brindleberry. For the vigil." He nudged them forward with his nose. "I've been ordered to stand guard at her den. I must return." He dipped his head respectfully, and then retreated to the entrance of the medicine cat den, where he took up post, his eyes fixed unblinkingly upon Robinchest, in case she should try anything.
Gullheart had been thinking about his talk with Orioleclaw since they returned to camp together. He'd never considered bringing Weevilheart and their kits to live in Windclan, but now that it was proposed it seemed like such an easy solution. He'd no longer have divided loyalties and he could be a good parent and a good sibling. He didn't have to abandon anyone. More than anything else Gullheart didn't want to end up like his parents.
The lanky tom returned to camp with a spring in his step, padding alongside his small hunting patrol. His ears angled forward at the commotion in camp and he shared a confused look with the rest of his group. Clearly something was going on. A tremor of fear ran through him. Had Orioleclaw or Heronstorm confessed about Gullheart and his kits? He tried to calm him racing heart. No, no, they'd never do that. Gullheart took a steadying breath and searched the crowd for his family. His eyes landed on Orioleclaw and he began making his way over, weaving gracefully through the mass of bodies. Blood and anger heated the air, making Gullheart's fur stand on end. It was disheartening and frightening, how unsafe he felt in his own clan since Weevilheart confessed to him. The grey and white tabby settled beside his sister, eyes bright and questioning. Orioleclaw look mad, real mad. Though he'd seen her passionate before, it was almost her constant state of mind, the play of emotions over his sister's face was far from typical. Gullheart turned his ears to the front where Cranefrost - not Graystar - was running the meeting. His breath caught as Robinchest's crimes were revealed and Gullheart found his eyes automatically drifting to her red-stained paws. Images of his own faceless kits lying beneath her claws flashed in his mind and Gullheart began to quake.
His children would never be safe in Windclan. His half-blood children and beautiful Weevilheart. Even if Graystar accepted them, and for all Orioleclaw's confidence Gullheart wasn't sure he would, there were always cats like Robinchest hating others for being different. The empathetic tom stared at the she-cat, eyes wide and pitying. He leaned into Orioleclaw's shoulder heavily, hoping the she-cat wasn't too far gone in her own anger to push him away. He didn't divulge anything that had occurred to him. She'd fight him on it if he decided not to bring his family here, but Gullheart was realizing he had no other choice. The long tom lowered his head in mourning of Littlewind and Brindleberry, and secretly for the loss of his home in Windclan, which could never be home to his half-clan kits.
cherrybird backed away as her mentor condemned herself. her eyes widened in absolute horror at this revelation and the she-cat wished the earth would swallow her up. she was faced with ironclaw, who's berating words stung more than any of pearpaw's attacks. ouzelpaw butted in with her two cents about how cherrybird was stupid. the calico scarcely heard the words as she backed away from the condescending voices and peals for execution. (what... is this?) her small tri-colored frame shook with the stress that coursed over her.
graystar swooped in with swift "justice". he barked out exile and cherrybird's heart squeezed. like everyone else in her life, robinchest would be leaving her all alone in a clan that no longer felt like home. the strong, independent, she-cat she'd become since promotion shattered with her fantasy of her "perfect" mentor. she half stumbled- half turned towards the hill sloping out of camp. she had to get away from this place. this meeting. these... truths.
cherrybird would take a note from her missing mentor, flychaser. she'd leave camp for a few days, hunting for them, but being alone. no one would question her, at this point, she wouldn't be surprised to know that not a single one of her clanmates missed her. the calico lashed her tail behind her and slunk over the rise and away. best to slip away while the clan was distracted. she thought about the young black warrior sadly but knew better than to attempt to sit vigil. ouzelpaw would probably chase her away.