AN: Before we get started I need to emphasize how much of a rough draft this is- I never intended on publishing this ANYWHERE, this was just a little project I had done based on a character of mine I cherish deeply as such, we're throwing canon out the window- same names but pretty much an ENTIRELY different setting.
As long as you keep that in mind, I hope you enjoy whatever you would call this.
He sighed as the cold winds blew through the damp burrow.
He didn't like winter too much anymore, not with his old bones; with a grumble he got his paws under him and he yawned as he began to stretch, standing up from the dirt floor of his burrow.
Though perhaps those sounds of fighting would proved to be a good distraction, he could always use the exercise; He chuckled lowly under his breath at that thought.
He rolled his massive shoulders as he trudged up and climbed out his burrow.
As the Large cat left his burrow he stared out into the snowy field, the grunting and fighting had quieted down and not far from the fallen tree that leads to his home could he see several corpses, The usual suspects it seems, he see's what appears to be a few warriors- their affiliation unknown but if he had to guess it was probably a border dispute between the Wind and River, so Nothing new then.
He quietly walked down towards the small battlefield, his large frame being frighteningly silent as he stalked forward. Not before long he stood over several of the corpses- blood still fresh from their recent deaths.
He shook his head in silence, it was such a waste for young life to leave this world so soon, he looked out towards the end of the open field- towards the edge of the forest as he planned his morning out- First thing on the Agenda, Food.
He had quickly made his way into the edge of the forest working his way to a small creek of which he knew well. He let out a small groan as he neared the ice, thankfully a few small presses into the ice allowed him enough cracks to break open a small opening- big enough for his paw to reach into.
The large Tom looked down into the clear water, watching as a few odd fish swam by, I suppose winter does one thing good- the Water was the clearest this time of year, and with his failing eyes it made getting dinner just a little easier.
With an errant swipe his claws dug into a decently sized fish killing it nigh instantly as he tore the head off- Call him picky but he never was a fan of the head. He hummed contentedly as he tore into the fish with his teeth, quickly eating.
His ears twitched softly as he listened to the sounds of the forest as he ate, the few birds still singing in the cold weather, the groans of the old tree's around him, the pattering of soft paws against the- Oh.
He quickly swallows his meal as he stalks over to the few shadowed area's near the creek, His form- while large camouflaged rather easily in the shadows and around the Old Oaks that line the creek.
He watched silently as a small group of what looked to be River-Clan cats made their way through the dead thickets and wandered into the creek bed.
"I know I saw a few of them flee in this direction, we need to hurry before they make it back across the borders." a Fair-Furred molly said from the right of the group. There was a decently sized tom leading the group who turned his head to respond "I get that, but we have to be careful- we're in the Oak-fields" he said his eyes never stopping on one area as he looked at and around the molly
A low rumble of thunder could be hard ominously in the distance as the tom said this, causing him to twist his head and look around, his eyes flittering around wildly.
The Fair-Furred molly appeared perturbed but scoffed "You believe in that dog-wash? I'd sooner believe that Shadow-Clan can commune with the Dark-Forest!" she said with a laugh, the tom simply shook his head as he continued on- they eventually moved further down the creek bed, far enough away that the old tom felt comfortable enough to walk out of the shadows once more.
He shrugged off the snow that clung to his pelt from sitting in the shadows and made his way down the opposite side of the creek- heading further south.
He sighed again- for what feels like the hundredth time today -as he stared once more into the undergrowth, having continued his walk down the creek bed ending at small muddy beach, from here he should be able to easily bypass River-Clans borders and make it into Wind-Clan territory.
Of course he recalls that no good plan survives contact as he calmly stares at the small group of wounded Wind-Clan warriors hiding in the Undergrowth hidden well enough to most inexperienced eyes.
Just another issue to deal with, but of course this could run towards his favor- all it requires is a little sacrifice of his time, Time to see if he's still known in the Hills.
A shuddering breath left his aching body as he looked out in the snow, they weren't far now they were almost at the borders- this whole mission had gone sideways as soon as they had pushed past the creek and into the Fields.
If that wasn't bad enough he lost twelve of the twenty warriors who had come with him and yet he finds only himself and three others still together, the others had broke ranks and fled into the forest like cowards- pathetic, is this the best his clan can muster at this rate!
A tiny voice spoke from his left gaining his attention "Sparrow`Claw" the soft-spoken and pained voice said as he turned towards the gray-furred molly who was bleeding profusely from her side "W-We must move, I'm not sure how much longer we can survive without a medicine cat." her pained grunts were accompanied by two others as they leaned against the tree's.
He went to respond before everything in his body screamed to not move.
His breath caught in his throat and from the corner of his vision he noticed his three warriors also pause in their desperate gasps for air- his eyes slowly glided around as he looked for the cause of his instincts going wild.
He could feel the eyes of a predator on him and his party; had they been spotted by one of the dogs in the area? Or worse the black-bear that Thunder-Clan had been whispering about?
His ears heard the rumble of thunder of in the distance as his eyes landed on something out of place in the snow.
Large and brown-black, with off-white underfur- It was a cat, one of massive proportions.
He'd never seen such a giant cat before and it was looking right at them.
'Perhaps it's a River-Clan ace come to finish them off'- he thought but at the same time for some reason he doubted that very much as it calmly walked across the snow almost as if it was gliding towards them, It- no- He was coming closer very soon he realized his heart was pounding in his chest, he felt like he should run- to get away from this Monster but he could not.
His body was frozen as the large tom finally stopped a few paces away from them and spoke in a deep growling tone "Greetings Warriors of the Hills, I come in peace" it's tone was calm almost friendly but it's face showed none of such emotions it looked almost stuck in a permanent scowl- the scars along his body only made him appear even more menacing.
His throat felt tight as he was forced to respond- he couldn't even play off being wounded River Warriors as the Old cat had seemingly seen through, or perhaps already knew they were not of this territory? The young warrior supposed it did not matter anymore.
"Greetings Elder-" he started in deference, perhaps flattery would help their situation greatly- the tightening of the large cats eyes made it appear that might not be the case though "-we find ourselves at your tender mercy, please we are already wounded without any reinforcements, we ask that you leave us with no trouble" with his piece said he hoped he had been respectful enough to the older tom, it was obvious this was a warrior of great magnitude- not only did he speak in the old ways- something he'd never heard outside of the Elder of elders in his clan -he spoke with great confidence.
"Be at ease, as I said I mean you no harm." the older tom once more stated "I simply wish to aid you for a moment. You are obviously not in the place you should be and it is no fur off my back to help honorable Warriors of the Hill."
He wasn't sure how to respond, every instinct told him to run and to not trust such words, only fools would help wounded warriors clearly not in their territory; did he think them fools?
He grunted quietly "Forgive me, but I doubt that." he said with a grimace "I don't think any elder of River-Clan would be willing to help intruders upon their lands" he spat out, regretting so almost immediately as his wounds stung painfully.
A small low chuckle escaped the large elder "That is where your wrong, for one Young Warrior- I am not an Elder of the River."
He looked blearily at the large Elder in confusion as the Elder continued "-I am just an old warrior from times long since passed, I simply wish to aid one of the few Clans I still respect." the Elder said bowing his head down towards the soldiers in a 'Respectful' but Dominant gesture.
Still, no good warrior would fall for a simple trick such as this- but what other option is there at this point? "...Very well, But do aware we will be watching you in the meantime." he said, though he very much doubted it was much of a threat.
Another small laugh leaves the Elder's massive frame as he nods "-Very well, then I recommend we get going. Your warriors won't survive much longer on their paws." the Elder said tilting his head slightly towards the warriors in question
He grunted as he pulled away from the tree he was leaning on, the pain of walking on his paws would have to be endured for now. "Lead the way then, I assume you know of a easier way across the border?"
The Elder nods "Indeed, let us be off." the large form of the tom turns and begins to walk off into the snow, as the Warriors scramble slightly to follow- slow but steady in their approach.
As they continue their trek through the various undergrowth and dead bushes, the path was different from what he had originally planned but it appeared they were making quick work of getting to the border.
The walk was arduous as they nervously watched every shadow -"Do be careful , there were a few sightings of a dog around here." he said as slight warning to the elder, if anything really but to break the silence between the group.
The Elder nods "I am quite aware, though I am not worried at all- I've already dealt with that issue." he said with tone of finality. The Elder turns and regards him for a moment "So do I have the pleasure of knowing your name Young Warrior?" he asks.
The young tom swallowed quietly at the words the Elder had so casually said before shaking his head lightly.
He slows in his steps, running the question around through his head- trying to see if anything of importance would be revealed with his name. "...I suppose you will, I am Sparrow`Claw Honored Warrior of Wind-Clan" he tilts his head towards the Elder "What of you Elder?" he asks quietly.
As the Elder goes to open his mouth it quickly shuts with a clack as the sounds of broken branches can be heard being stepped on to their left. "Careful, Company." the Elder says with a low rumble.
They quickly hop over to the right ducking back down into the underbrush as voices could be heard getting closer.
"-ow they would come out this way if they went to the south of the creek, Jay`Step is a fool for thinking they would go to the north." a tom could be seen saying as he walked into view- five other warriors around him.
Another warrior could be seen nodding along "Honestly they could've gone either way, no need to dis on Jay for it." replied a another tom from the front of the group, they were slowly passing along if front of them- him and his warriors slowly held their breath, waiting for the group to pass by.
"Yeah- well, I wouldn't have to be so hard on him if he'd stop believing in all the fantastical Dog-wash that 'shaman' from the Land-fill spews." the tom from before spits out "It's bad enou-" the tom's words stop as he stares at the ground. "They've been through here." the tom from the front says while also staring at the ground.
Their wet paws from the creek bed had made walking in the cold weather nearly unbearable but also had the side-effect of leaving a slightly muddy trail through the undergrowth.
"Heart`song, Rock`paw and Mole`fur, you three go ahead- search the surrounding area they couldn't have gone far, Me- Pine`paw and Red`heart will stay and guard this area." the tom at the lead said quickly in a commanding tone, the three mentioned quickly ran off into the undergrowth on the opposite side of where Sparrow and his Warriors were hiding.
He groaned as he realized it was going to be difficult to sneak past three trained River-Clan warriors; he turned his head towards the Elders direction only to find him missing.
He looked around his surroundings gently as to not rustle the undergrowth, but still no sign of the Elder; The three Warriors of River were slowly pushing out from their guarding positions looking all around the surrounding area.
He sighed as he began to slowly move under the brush, his warriors slowly doing so behind him- it was not easy as many of them were bleeding, thank the ancestors the wind was in their favor at the moment or they would have already been spotted.
He heard the three Warriors making Idle chatter as they searched, he kept a close eye on them as they moved, it was becoming difficult to move any further as the Underbrush gave way to a clear spot; they would need to move carefully and avoid detection.
Just as he went to warn his Warriors, he saw out of the corner of his the Elder once more- standing tall in the shadows of a tree as one of the River Warriors wandered by the Warrior in question never saw his fate as the Elder quickly grabbed the Warrior by the base of his neck with his jaws.
A low rumble once again sounded off in the distance of the forest.
He watched as the Elder bit down and a Loud wet crack filled the area as he rapidly retreated into the shadows once more with the Warrior the other two were instantly on alarm as they realized they were down a number and the loud crack had done nothing to ease their Anxiety
"Pine`paw! Where are you!?" the lead tom from before shouted out, rapidly twisting his head trying to find his missing Warrior; a Shame he didn't pay attention to his last Warrior for as soon as he focused on the surroundings the Elder once again appeared out of the shadows with his Impossibly quiet but massive frame; He grabbed onto the second Warriors neck much the same as he did the last, and once more a loud wet Crack fills the air.
Unlike before though he does not retreat, No in fact he walks out of the shadows; the Limp warrior hanging from his jaws as he glares coldly at the lead tom in front of him.
The tom in question can barely believe his eyes as the Massive Elder walks out into the open; the toms lips quiver as he growls in rage and fear "You- You dare!" he begins, stumbling over his words as he begins to back away from the still approaching elder- he turns his head like a fool and yells out "Heart`so-AWCK!"
Sparrow had barely seen the Elder move as he threw the corpse towards the younger warrior knocking the tom on his back the Elder had quickly moved up and laid a large paw roughly onto neck of the tom, claws unsheathed as the Elder slowly chokes the life out of him; He will admit the tom still had some fight as he desperately clawed at the offending appendage but it was all for naught as the Elder pressed down with all his weight and the last thing that leaves the tom is a low gurgle.
In but a moment the three Warriors were dead, and the Elder stood alone.
The Elder had turned towards their direction with a cold glance "Well, don't sit there- let us move before the others return." he said impatiently
Sparrow for one was not going to argue with the Elder who had just proved that he could quite easily dispatch a few healthy Warriors, he nods towards his Warriors as they slowly make out of the underbrush again still heavily wounded; they need to move quicker as one of the Warriors look like he's about to fall out.
"Alright lets make haste." the Elder said once all of them had gathered around again, though one his Warriors could not seem to stop looking at the corpses with slight Horror... or was that Awe?
They quickly fell into line behind the Elder as he once again began to move, though at a much quicker pace than before; Once again Sparrow found himself looking at the Elder with narrowed eyes as if he was looking at a very peculiar rock formation.
They found themselves crossing over the dead tree connecting the borders, forming a natural bridge across the river.
Sparrow found himself at a loss for words as he tried to think of something to ask the Elder, yet he could not; instead they continued their journey once again in silence.
Not before long he could start to see a break in the tree's ahead of them, they were almost there!
And just as that thought ran through his head he could hear various Yowl's in the forest as Alerts and Alarms screamed through the forest from various Warriors and Scouts.
The Elder snorted "It appears they found the corpses, Run." he said Simply as he suddenly sped past them; Sparrow and his Warriors quickly began to run despite the pain.
For once they finally felt some peace as they passed the border of the forest and were once again safely on the Edge of Wind-Clan territory, now just the trek into the hills would be all that's left.
After they ran a good bit into the territory making it to the base of one of the large hills, he turned towards the Elder and bowed his head slightly "Thank you Elder, you kept your word despite my skepticism, I will not forget your aid here." he said as he walks up the hill slowly
His muscles ached, he couldn't wait to finally rest in the Medicine Den, He turned towards the base of the hill as he made it to the top finally able to see the edge of Home.
He turned to look at the Elder again only to see him walking away from the group of wounded warriors and back towards the edge of the forest, he felt compelled to ask- if only to uphold his word "You know- I never got your name Elder!" he shouted out towards the far away tom.
The Elder paused and turned his head back towards him with that cold look "I have many names young Warrior" he said lowly "I'm sure you'll find out what it is one day." he said as he nodded and began his trek back into the forest- the Low rumble of thunder accompanying his departure.
AN: Like I said really rough draft, less of a story and more of a play by play of scenes and conversations with not much description- perhaps if this gets any interest at all I'll continue it.
If you find yourself at all intrigued please leave a Comment and I'll see about getting some more of the drafts dropped in here- if it gets popular enough to devote some time to I'll write it in a proper setting.