Chapter 1: the fallen warrior

The full moon shone brightly on the trees casting shadows on the earth. A slight breeze ruffled their fur as they looked down on the island. A large, muscular, dark-brown tabby that was clearly the leader of the band of cats flicked his tail, and as one the cats plunged down the hill, over a fallen tree, onto a small island concealed with trees. The dark tabby leaped onto the highest branch of a large tree growing in the center of the clearing. The other cats sat on the grass, trampled flat by decades of paw prints. As they were milling about, another group of cats charged over the fallen tree into the clearing to join the first group.

A small light brown, tabby tom leaped up onto the tree next to the other tabby. "Greetings Onestar" meowed the dark tabby dipping his head in greeting. "How's the prey running in your territory?" "Well Bramblestar, although we have scented Riverclan on our territory..." The light brown tabby trailed off thoughtfully as another group of cats were sighted on the hill silhouetted against the trees. Their leader, a large blue-gray she-cat flicked her tail and the cats charged down the slope, and instead of using the bridge, plunged straight into the water. They stepped into the clearing, their fur dripping and joined the cats below. The gray she-cat leaped up onto the tree beside Onestar. He bristled and moved closer to Bramblestar gritting his teeth. The she-cat looked puzzled but remained where she was. "Mistystar" Bramblestar addressed the she-cat "how's the prey running?" Mistystar looked relieved. "Oh, it's running well, thank you Bramblestar." Onestar snorted and moved further along the branch towards Bramblestar. "Shadowclan is late," observed Mistystar "should we start the meeting without them?"

"Let's wait a few more minutes," replied Bramblestar staring up towards the marsh. As he watched a large group of cats charged down the hill without pausing and into the clearing. The largest of the cats, a white tom with black paws leaped up onto the tree and yowled to start the gathering. The crowd fell silent and turned to face the Shadowclan leader. "Blackstar" questioned Bramblestar "can Onestar speak first? He has some... Issues to discuss." Blackstar gave a curt nod and stepped back looking annoyed. Onestar blinked gratefully at Bramblestar and stepped forward. "CATS OF ALL CLANS!" yowled Onestar barely controlling his fury "WE HAVE SCENTED RIVERCLAN IN OUR TERRITORY!" Yowls of outrage came from Mistystar and the Riverclan cats. "WHAT!" Spat Mistystar confronting Onestar "you heard me" replied Onestar "your cats have been HUNTING in WINDCLAN TERRITORY!" The Windclan cats yowled their support; up on the tree Mistystar bristled and bared her teeth. "WE HAVE DONE NO SUCH THING!" she screeched. Onestar unsheathed his claws. "WHAT?" he screamed. "ARE YOU SAYING I LIED!" The Windclan cats yowled in fury. Bramblestar and Blackstar exchanged worried glances. If the leaders fought at a gathering Starclan would be furious! "MAYBE I AM! ALL I'M SAYING IS THAT WE DID NOT HUNT ON YOUR TERRITORY!" retorted Mistystar unsheathing her own claws. "THEN WHY DID WE FIND THE REMAINS OF RABBIT ON OUR TERRITORY WITH RIVERVLAN SCENT ON IT?!" demanded Onestar his hackles raised. "RIVERCLAN SCENT?!" Retorted Mistystar "YOU WOULDNT KNOW RIVERCLAN SCENT IF IT CAME UP AND CLAWED YOUR EAR OFF YOU RATTY OLD FOX!" The Riverclan cats yowled in laughter but the Windclan cats looked furious.

Onestar launched himself at Mistystar and shoved her off the branch. She landed on the ground with a thump. All the clans froze. Onestar leaped down from the tree on top of Mistystar. She whirled around to meet him her claws slicing through his pelt. As if it were a signal, the Windclan cats turned on Riverclan and soon the hollow was a sea of spitting and screeching cats! Blackstar looked shocked. Bramblestar waited for the moon to be covered with clouds but nothing happened. Then suddenly one of Starclan's own warriors fell from the heavens glowing white against the starlit sky flying straight towards the hollow where the cats fought! "LOOK OUT!" yowled Bramblestar as the huge ball of light came closer. The fighting cats took one look and fled to the edge of the island. It barreled into the ground with enough force to shake Blackstar and Bramblestar out of the great oak. They tumbled to the ground as white smoke engulfed the clearing. The trees rang with the sound of coughing. When the smoke cleared there stood a large semi-transparent stone as big as a twoleg nest sitting before the great oak. It seemed as if the whole forest was holding its breath. All was silent except for the breathing of the surrounding cats. "

Hey Cherrypaw" it was Molepaw Thunderclan's youngest apprentice, "I dare you to touch it!" "Ok" said Cherrypaw, Molepaw's older sister, she padded forward. "NO WAIT!" screeched Leafpool, but it was too late. Cherrypaw removed her paw from the stone looking smug. All the cats held their breath but nothing happened. Cherrypaw started back toward her brother. "LOOK!" a yowl came from behind her. It was Frogtail a Shadowclan warrior. She turned abruptly as pink smoke filled the stone. Cherrypaw yowled in alarm and fell to the ground writhing in pain. Her fur started to glow the same color as the stone and the ground shook as trees shot up from the ground along the bank. Without warning everything stopped. Cherrypaw lay motionless. All was still.