Leaders: Cinderpaw light gray she-cat with blue eyes

Sootpaw dark gray tom with dark blue eyes

Rainpaw fluffy, light gray tom with blue eyes

Medicine Cat: Stormtuft black tom with yellow eyes

Apprentice: Goldenpaw

Senior Warriors: Aspentail dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes and a missing claw

Larkwing pale brown tabby she-cat with dark brown eyes

Warriors: Cherryfall ginger she-cat with amber eyes

Apprentice: Twigpaw

Molewhisker brown-and-cream tom with amber eyes

Sparrowtalon large, brown tabby tom with yellow eyes and long fur

Apprentice: Foxpaw

Mistheart spiky-furred, pale gray she-cat with ice blue eyes

Crouchfoot ginger tom with brown eyes

Apprentice: Rustpaw

Snowclaw fluffy white tom with amber eyes

Apprentice: Dawnpaw

Scorchblaze dark ginger she-cat with green eyes

Apprentice: Shadepaw

Streamfrost dark gray she-cat with blue eyes and long fur

Apprentice: Morningpaw

Foxtooth reddish tabby tom with hazel eyes

Rustpelt reddish tabby tom with yellow eyes

Apprentices: Goldenpaw yellow-orange mottled she-cat with amber eyes

Dawnpaw fluffy, pale, smoky gray she-cat with brilliant, pale blue eyes

Twigpaw spiky-furred, brown tabby tom with yellow eyes

Shadepaw pale gray she-cat with ice blue eyes

Morningpaw pale gray she-cat with yellow eyes

Queens: Amberwing pale ginger she-cat with amber eyes

Kits: Birchkit pale ginger tom with amber eyes

Sunkit pale ginger tom with amber eyes

Lionkit pale ginger tom with amber eyes

Maplekit brown and cream she-kit with amber eyes


Leader: Nightstar black tom with bright yellow eyes

Deputy: Ragingwish dark brown tabby tom with pale green eyes

Medicine Cat: Blacksoul dark gray tom with a black chest and underbelly and dark brown eyes

Warriors: Hawkear light brown tabby tom with amber eyes

Eaglewing light gray mottled she-cat with gold eyes

Falconeye light brown tabby tom with gold eyes

Crimsonspirit reddish she-cat with white markings on her forehead and a white chest and underbelly and amber eyes

Wolfslash light gray tom with broad shoulders, a long scar along his flank, a white tail-tip, and dark blue eyes

Proudstrike dark brown and white tom with yellow eyes

Lightningtalon scraggly-furred tortoiseshell with blue eyes

Apprentice: Vixenpaw

Brokenheart scarred, dark gray mackerel tabby tom with green eyes

Apprentice: Icepaw

Twistedfoot muscular, brown mottled tom with amber eyes

Apprentice: Lostpaw

Deadear dark brown tabby tom with a ripped ear and brown eyes

Apprentices: Vixenpaw orange tabby she-cat with amber eyes

Icepaw white she-cat with thick fur and amber eyes

Lostpaw ginger and white spotted tom with green eyes

Queens: Coldspike white she-cat with gray flecks and ice blue eyes

Kits: Thornkit light brown tabby tom with amber eyes

Pantherkit black she-kit with ice blue eyes

Frostkit white tom with gray flecks and ice blue eyes


A half moon shone down on the shimmering pool, partially obscured by the mist rising from the cascading waterfall. Stars winked down on the peaceful scene, seemingly closer than normal. The line between the realms of the mystic and the normal appeared to be blurred here, the gray tom thought to himself as he sat by the edge of the small hollow. And it is just as well, for if it weren't, I would not be able to appear here.

Over the rim of the stone hollow drifted a slight breeze, tugging at the tom's thick fur. He looked up just in time to see four cats slip over the side, leaping down around the pool. As their bodies solidified in this place of magic, their colorings became clear; orange, light brown tabby, white with a black paw, and blue-gray. The four newcomers sat at equal distances from each other, so that a star could be formed with the starry cats as the points.

"Welcome," the dark gray tom meowed, bowing his head. "Welcome, great leaders of old. I have missed the peace you brought to the forest."

The tabby smiled. "It was the least we could do," he rumbled. "WindClan was always the strongest of the four. We had to help our fellow Clans."

The muscular, white tom growled low in his throat. "Are you calling ShadowClan weak, Onestar?"

The gray tom quickly broke in before an argument could begin. "Well, I believe Firestar's Clan, ThunderClan, did most of the preparing, but all four of the Clans each played an influential part in the Great Battle against the Dark Forest. Without any of you leading your Clans into battle that fateful day, the battle would have been lost."

His words seemed to ease the tension in the hollow. Ruffled fur was smooth and growls were replaced with purrs. The blue-gray cat, the only she-cat in the group, dipped her head to the gray tom. "Well said, Ashthorn," she meowed.

Ashthorn nodded back to her. "Thank you, Mistystar," he meowed. "Now, if we can get on with business?"

"What about it?" the white tom asked lazily.

"My kits," Ashthorn meowed, "Sootpaw, Cinderpaw, and Rainpaw. They have inherited my position as leaders of LeopardClan as I wished. But I do not think that they should be given their nine lives quite yet."

"Why not?" asked the orange tom.

"Well, Firestar, I think that they should first discover who they really are destined to be," Ashthorn explained earnestly. "If they receive them now, they might be tempted to do rash things, especially my daughter."

"Always rash, that one," the white tom rumbled. "But a fine warrior. She should make you proud."

"And so she does," Ashthorn murmured, looking at the sparkling pool of water. "Every moment of every day." He closed his eyes and whispered, "I made that mistake once. Never again will I do such a terrible thing."

"So… you don't want them to get their nine lives until they really need them? You realize you're risking their lives in the process? If your plan is to succeed, they sort of have to be, well, alive."

Ashthorn's eyes snapped back open. "Yes, I realize that, Blackstar," he half-growled. "But if my kits are truly leaders, which I know them to be, they will be wise enough between the three of them that they should survive long enough to receive their nine lives."


"It's better than 'shouldn't'."

Blackstar sighed dramatically. "Okay, fine. If you're sure."

"I am," Ashthorn said determinedly. He glanced around at the other three leaders as if expecting them to contradict him. They didn't.

"Well, if that's settled, then I'd better go. Bluestar wanted to talk to me about some futuristic prophecy or other." He rolled his eyes. "She got it from Goosefeather. You know how it is with her and prophecies from Goosefeather. He had one right one about her and suddenly she thinks they're all right."

Onestar laughed. "Yeah. I know he's a medicine cat and all, but seriously, he has to stop spouting 'prophecies' about the clouds turning into huge stars and the cats moving back to the old Forest. I mean, the place was completely destroyed by Twolegs! Come on!"

Chortling, the two toms headed off through the trees. Mistystar nodded briefly to Blackstar and Ashthorn before leaping out of the hollow herself. Blackstar merely disappeared into the shadows and was gone.

Ashthorn remained by the pool, gazing into its depths. He knew it wouldn't show him anything, that staring at it was completely pointless, but he couldn't help himself. He couldn't tear himself away. He kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, it would become transparent and show him a vision – just one vision – of his kits. He couldn't help but wish he'd spent more time with them as their father while he was still alive. He wished he'd gotten to know his own kits.