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Allegiance of the Ancients

Author: Leopardclaw
Status: Started
Spellcheckers: None
Cloudpaw is now a warrior, Cloudtail. Leopardclaw is now a highly respected Clan member. As leafbare falls, a breakout of greencough threatens the existance of WindClan.

It's time to save the Clan.

The prophecy will be completed.

PrologueEdit

A thin layer of snow lined the moors. The cats of WindClan lay shivering in thier nests, watching the fresh-kill pile slowly shrink. A white she-cat returned from hunting with much precious prey in her mouth. She dumped it on the pile, taking a small piece for herself.

"Cats of WindClan, gather here, beneah the tallrock." Webstar shook his pelt clear of snow. Tiny flakes were falling again. The Clan gathered, all huddled up together to try and keep warm. Webstar blew out a long breath. "It will be a cold and long leafbare. I don't think we need any sign from StarClan to tell us that," Silent agreement was passed.

"I think that we will need all the paws we can have. So, therefore I ask this. Owlwhisker, has your apprentice learned the way of the Warrior Code?" Owlwhisker looked stunned. He nodded his head and stammered:

"Well, yes, he has." Webstar signalled Breezepaw over.

"You have learned the ways of the Warrior Code, Breezepaw, so I say these word before StarClan. Breezepaw, you have proved yourself a fine young cat. From this day forward, your bravery and loyalty shall be honoured by your name. You shall be known as Breezepelt." The Clan cheered as enthusiastically as they could in the cold. Breezepelt went and sat by the entrance to camp for his vigil.

Oh, StarClan help us through Leafbare. The cold wind whispered to Webstar, biting his fur and freezing his whiskers. He noticed that Bravesoul looked on edge. He was about to ask, but Bravesoul spoke to his leader first.

"Greencough. Rushtail has greencough."

The Prophecy will be completed...

Chapter 1 - LeopardclawEdit

"I'm sorry, Bravesoul. My patrol have searched every inch of the territory. There is no more Catmint." The Clan was falling apart. Rushtail and Morningflower, Whitetail and her two unborn kits, Tornear and Featherflame had all come down with greencough. Many patrols had been sent to search for Catmint, but every patrol had come back empty pawed.

Bravesoul sighed and headed back to his den. "Leopardclaw," She whipped around at the voice behind her. It was Webstar. "Come." They went to talk in Webstar's den. "StarClan have told me, they have spoken. They told me that," Leopardclaw spoke at exactly the same time.

"The prophecy will be completed." Leopardclaw sighed.

"They told me too. Why do I have to save the Clan? Why me?" Leopardclaw felt miserable. And suddenly -

"Leopard's Claw? Leopard's Claw please wake up! We need you! The casting of the stones! You must be there!"'

"Leopard's Claw, you are our most senior sharpclaw, along with Crossed Scars and Floating Clouds."

"Leopard's Claw is very ill" Leopardclaw was pulled back to reality. Webstar looked at her questioningly.

"I'm fine. Honestly," she added as Webstar opened his mouth to argue. Webstar sighed.

"Be careful Leopardclaw. Don't do anything you might regret." Leopardclaw nodded respectfully and wandered out of the den.

Chapter 2 ~ CloudtailEdit

Cloudtail blinked. Her icy blue eyes glittered like the frozen lake, and the frosty icicles hanging from the rocky overhang of the medicine den. Leopardclaw darted out of the den; she had hardly been away since the outbreak of Greencough.

Cloudtail headed out onto the snow covered moor. She was one of the best snow hunters. Her long white pelt was the perfect disguise. She leaped for a skinny rabbit. She was hungry, but buried it under the snow. Suddenly, the voices sounded again. The voices only she could hear.

"Snow Clouds! Snow Clouds, Leopard's Claw has got the deadly cough"

"Snow Clouds, please don't be ill!"

"Cats of the skies, save us please!"

Cloudtail grabbed her prey; she had caught a fair amount. Dumping the prey on the pile, she took some for Bravesoul and some for the cats in the medicine den. Bravesoul took the prey gratefully, he and Leopardclaw shared. Leopardclaw gave a little cough. Bravesoul looked at her worriedly, but she dismissed it as nothing.

Then Cloudtail started coughing.

I've got Greencough.

Chapter 3 ~ LeopardclawEdit

"Oh, StarClan, what will we do?" Leopardclaw prayed for help. The medicine den was nearly full with cats, all of which had the most deadly disease.

Greencough.

Leopardclaw took some of the last precious stalks of catmint, and took them to Webstar and Cloudtail. They had both recently fallen ill, so she was trying to prevent them from getting worse. The two ill cats nodded their heads gratefully, and slowly in the freezing winter air. Leopardclaw could not think of what else to do, so headed for the rather empty warrior's den. She slept and she dreamed.

In the dream, Tallstar came. So did Barkface and Lavenderwish.

Barkface welcomed her. "Greetings from StarClan, Leopardclaw."

Tallstar then spoke. "We have a message for you."

Lavenderwish then delivered the message. "Clouds and Claws have come, and now the ancient laws will sleep at peace once more. The answers to your questions lie in the past, as does the future."

"We will see you again soon." Leopardclaw only just caught Barkfacel's words before a sickening jolt overcame her. She lurched forwards, her head fuzzy, then blinked.

She wasn't in WindClan any more.

Chapter 4 ~ LeopardclawEdit

She looked around slowly, sitting up. She blinked.

Once.

Twice.

I'm in a cave. No, a tunnel. It's a tunnel. Then she saw the other cats. They all wandered up to her, as if she was a disease, or ill. Then one cat spoke. Leopard's Claw? Are you alright? Leopardclaw looked puzzled for a moment, wondering where she was and who these cats were. "It's me, Furled Bracken. Your illness must have confused you."

Then she knew she did not know these cats. "Yes. I-I think it did. What happened?"

Furled Bracken relaxed with relief. "The illness spread, but no cats have died." Leopardclaw heard the unsaid word on his lips. Yet. "Come. We must see if Snow Clouds has reovered as as well. Leopardclaw followed Furled Bracken through the tunnels, and listened intently as he spoke about how some of the cats had tried to use some herbs for healing. They must not have a medicine cat, and they obviously don't know as much as a medicine cat.

Furled Bracken stopped abruptly. Leopardclaw nearly crashed into him. A tortoishell cat stood before them. "Leopard's Claw! You're better! And so is Snow Clouds. Come, both of you follow." They were led down the damp smelling tunnel, until they reached a little cave.

And sitting in the clearing was a white she cat, confusion in her eyes.

The familaritly blew Leopardclaw away.

Chapter 5 ~ CloudtailEdit

Cloudtail saw the cats enter through the tunnel. She was sure that it must be Leopardclaw. Or Leopardclaw is a reincarnation of that cat. Cloudtail stood, and greeted the other strange cat. "Dawn River," he started, talking to the tortoishell cat who Cloudtail had first seen. They turned from Cloudtail and the other Leopardclaw. "Hi," Cloudtail started nervously.

"They have no medicine cat!" Cloudpaw mewed with laughter. She knew it was Leopardclaw; that was exactly the thing she would say. "It is you, Cloudtail?" Cloudtail nodded.

"Leopardclaw, I wonder how we got here. And we must remeber to call ourselves our other names. I mean, Leopard's Claw and Snow Clouds." Leopardclaw agreed. Then she cocked her head to the side, thinking.

"What if this is part of the prophecy? Maybe these are ancient cats!" Cloudtail looked at her puzzled. "The Ancient Laws will be at peace once more! I think this is it!" Then Cloudtail understood. There was something that they would do which would alter history, no, alter the future, the future where Leopardclaw and Cloudtail really lived.

"And I think we got here because of greencough! I as Leopard's Claw had an illness, and I bet ten mousetails that I have greencough back home too." Cloudtail couldn't hlp but agree.

Furled Bracken suddenly turned, and adressed Leopardclaw and Cloudtail.

"We must head to the main hollow, for a Casting of the Stones." So they followed, unsure of what was to come.

Chapter 6 ~ LeopardclawEdit

As they entered the main hollow, Leopardclaw saw a mass of cats. She thought that the Casting of the Stones must be like a Clan meeting. She was wrong.

"My cats," Furled Bracken started, and every cat stopped and paid attention to him. "I, and my most senior Sharpclaws have had lenghty discussions as to this subject.

"Recently, many cats have been doing as they wish. And so is fine. But some cats have been more untrustworthy than others. We propose some basic rules of which to follow, We shall cast the stones over every rule. I would just like a word with Shy Fawn, Broken Shadow and Stone Song briefly."

Cloudtail had disappeared during the course of the meeting, so Leopardclaw looked out for her amongst the cats. Then another cat who took her breath away. She bounded over and uttered the name that she knew him as.

"Cross-Scar!" The ginger tabby turned his head, his scar dull in the light.

"Leopard's Claw!" He turned to greet her, telling the cats he was speaking to that he would be a moment.

"Alright, Crossed Scars." Crossed Scars.

"Hello, my mate. How are you?" Leopardclaw's heart soared. I'm his mate! She was overjoyed, but she composed herself to speak to the cat she loved.

"I'm fine. Oh, look," Furled Bracken called every cat over. "The Casting of the stones!"

Both cats headed towards where the leader stood, tails entwined.

Chapter 7 ~ LeopardclawEdit

"The first rule we propose," Furled Bracken announced. "Is that every cat must be fed, even if you only get one piece of prey each" Like a basic warrior code. There were some murmurs of disrest, som cats were obviously selfish enough to only want to think about prey for themselves. As the line of stones for accepting the new rule grew, so did the line for not accepting. By the time leopardclaw got to cat her stone, the line for not accepting the rule was two ahead of accepting it. Leopardclaw took a deep breath and cast the vote to accept the rule, hoping Cloudtail and Crossed Scars would follow.

They did. "The rule is now to be followed." announced Furled Bracken. One cat snorted with digust, but leopardclaw knew that they were doing the right thing by voting on these rules. The Ancient Laws, Leopardclaw realised, are the Laws of the ancients, and we are setting them at peace by making them.

The second and third laws were then passed, that the leader was to be respected and honoured, and those with medicinal knowledge were to be listened to and gone to when illness struck. Furled Bracken then announced that two more rules were to be voted upon. Leopardclaw knew that she had Cloudtail and Crossed Scars on her side.

"The second to last rule is that a To-Be must be at least six moons old before they may start training. We will now cast the stones." Almost every cat agreed to this rule, and the stones for the rule were in the high majority.

The final rule was that you do not need to kill to win battles. There was a slight uproar, especially from the cats who had been opposed to the other rules.

"No!" hissed a black and white tom. "These rules are insane enough as they are! Now we are not allowed to battle? You are no good as a leader, Furled Bracken!" Furled Bracken merely rose, quietly.

"If you were leader, Jagged Lightning, you would understand these decisions I am making. But you are not, so I do not expect you to understand. Now, let us cast the stones."

Chapter 8 ~ LeopardclawEdit

Instantly, the cats against the rule pushed to the front of the line, in hope of winning support. It worked, a little. Leopardclaw and Crossed Scars were at the very back of the line, behind Jagged Lightning and his follwers. As Jagged Lightning pushed his stone into the against column, he let out a growl of contempt.

The two stones that Leopardclaw and Crossed Scars would place on the for side wolud equalize the two lines of stones.

And in accordance to the ways of the ancients, if there is a draw whilst the casting of the stones, the line that was the longest first would be the overriding vote. Leopardclaw's heart dropped as she pushed her stone to equalize the stones. She was sure that she had failed her prophecy, to set these rules.

What if I never get away from here? What will happen to me? How will I cope? Leopardclaw found herself unable to answer those questions. Furled Bracken rose to his paws, wearily, to address the ancient cats, to tell them that the law was not to be passed.

"Wait!" A cat stepped from the shadows. There was a faint aura around the cat that only Leopardclaw could see. "I need to cast my stone still, Furled Bracken." The cat stepped forward, and Leopardclaw saw Furled Bracken crumple with relief.

Webstar?

"Go ahead, Webbed Foot." The cat set his stone down, putting the rule in place.

"The final rule has been voted for. Every rule must be followed from this moment." Furled Bracken sat down, deep in thought, Jagged Lightning growled with frustration.

Chapter 9 ~ LeopardclawEdit

Leopardclaw raced after the strange grey tabby. Webbed Foot. "Wait! Webbed Foot!" Webbed Foot turned around.

"Leopardclaw, it is me, Webstar. I have come through StarClan, and I soon must go. You have succeeded your task, now you and Cloudtail must return home to us. Only Bravesoul and I know what is really happening, the rest of the Clan think that you are I'll. StarClan will come for you soon. You must come home to us." Webstar then stepped into the shadows and faded out.

"Leopard's Claw?" It was Crossed Scars.

"Oh, Crossed Scars! What do you need?" Leopardclaw wondered why she had said need rather than want. What is wrong with me?

"I was looking for you, actually," He seemed embarrassed, almost. Leopardclaw looked into his deep green eyes, and wished she could stay there forever. A movement distracted her though. "What's wrong?" Leopardclaw knew what it was, and said to Crossed Scars sorrowfully

"I must go now Crossed Scars. Wait for me. Wait for me on the other side, I'll be there." Leopardclaw tore her gaze away from him, wishing with all her heart that she could stay. Crossed Scars looked to her, and said, lovingly

"I don't know where you're going, but I know you'll be back. Come back soon. I'll see you again, Leopard's Claw. I love you." With that he curled up, and Leopardclaw went towards her old friend, knowing that her path was one of loss and sorrow, knowing what she must do, and what she had done.

"Welcome, friend. I know this must be hard for you." Leopardclaw followed the starpelted cat up, up, up, to the stars, to the future.

Chapter 10 ~ LeopardclawEdit

"Welcome home, my brave warrior." Leopardclaw bilnked open her eyes to see her leader and friend welcoming her back to the present.

"You did well, Leopardclaw. I knew that you had finished the prophecy. The snow is clearing and Thunderstrike found a huge patch of Catmint. Everyone has been healed." Leopardclaw looked to the floor sadly though.

Why could I not have stayed? I could have been with Cross-scar forever, without knowing it was forbidden. I could have been so happy.

You know you could not have stayed, my dear friend. You have lost so much. But you have gained so much more. There is still one thing ahead for you, and it will invole more loss, and more gain. I promise you, it will be for the better. Of you and the Clan. I'll see you soon, Leopardclaw. And so Lavenderwish was gone. Leopardclaw knew, however, that she was not alone.

And for once, her losses, her burdens felt as if they had been lifted from her sholders slightly. She felt free. She rose to her paws, Cloudtail behind her, and as they exited the den, the Clan slowly started chanting their names, knowing, somehow, it was Leopardclaw and Cloudtail who had saved them.

Somewhere, in the breeze, Leopardclaw heard a long lost voice.

I'll see you again, Leopard's Claw.

EpilogueEdit

"What will she do now, Tallstar?" Tallstar looked over the seeing pool, her face crumpled with concentration. Finally, she replied.

"I don't know, Lavenderwish" she sighed. "I forsee another loss, another terrible thing, but it will blossom into something which will change her life, for good, forever. But, I don't know how she will cope with this. It will be a heavy loss, maybe even more so than those she had already experienced." Tallstar fell quiet again, in deep thought.

Barkface, who had been sitting in silence, sighed, and the breeze picked up the sigh, casting it around the moors, making the skies turn to grey.

Down in the Clans, it was raining.

StarClan were weeping.

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