Preceded By: None
Succeeded By: Discovery
When Seapaw, Berrypaw, (from ShadowClan) Twigpaw(from StarClan) and Maplepaw (from EarthClan) discover a terrible secret that could destroy the clans they must stop it, but will they be in time?
A black tom crept toward a clearing with three trees in the center of it. He nervously glanced over his shoulder before settling down at the base of one of the three trees. A few minutes passed until a silver she-cat appeared at the base of the farther tree.
"You're late Sparrowchest." hissed the black tom.
"Silence Nightshadow! If you really want to become powerful, then you will listen to me! And never question me!" The she-cat named Sparrowchest wasn't somebody you questioned. She would have been considered very attractive except for a long scar across her face, which had left her blind in her right eye.
Nightshadow nodded then said "I have done as you have told me, I have convinced 5 warriors to help me when the time is right."
"Very good. Do not be impatient for power, soon you and I will have all the power we could ever have hoped for!" Sparrowchest replied. "This is the next step you must do in order to rule your clan, here is what you must do..."
The two warrior continued disscusing their plans until the moon had set and the sun started to rise in the east. They then nodded and returned to their clans.
Seapaw woke to find his sister poking him with her paw.
"Get up Seapaw! Nightshadow and Featherheart are waiting for us! We can't them mad." said Berrypaw. Even though it was their first full day as an apprentice a more important reason to be on time was that Nightshadow was Seapaw's mentor and also Dawnstar's son. A good first impression must be made.
The siblings quickly washed and headed out into the center of the camp even before Swamppaw (also a brand new apprentice) woke up. They went to the center of the camp to wait. They didn't have to wait long, just as the sun was rising over the horizion Nightshadow along with a light gray and white she-cat called Featherheart emerged from the warriors den. If they were suprised to find Seapaw and Berrypaw up early they didn't show it.
Nightshadow approached and growled, "Eat up, we have a long day ahead of us." He tossed the two apprentices two mice each. They burried their faces in them excitedly and were done eating in a minute. Featherheart montioned for Berrypaw to come with her and for Seapaw to go with Nightshadow. The four cats left camp until they came to a small river.
"Today you will learn about ShadowClan!" announced Nightshadow. "The other clans have often looked down on us for being so concited and not caring about others. But I am here to tell you that we only act dark and hostile to the others clans because if we make friends we grow weak and our clan must always be strong! Now as ShadowClan cats we are extremly good at hunting in marshy lands. This shallow stream is a good place for you to learn your first hunting moves." He nodded at Featherheart to talk.
"As Nightshadow said this is a good place for any cat to hunt. Frogs are found abundantly here, and if hunted correctly are quite easy to catch." Berrypaw's mentor turned toward the stream and after a few second leaped on a frog that was sunning itself on a rock. The frog tried to hop away, but Featherheart was too fast.
"And that is how to catch a frog! Now you two try." She ordered. Seapaw crouched down coiled his legs and jumped... straight into the water. "Merrow! Remember to keep your balance silly!" laughed Berrypaw.
Nightshadow rolled his eyes and said "Come on you probably scared all the frogs away, anyway its time for you to be shown the borders." Instantly the apprentices were sober again.
They followed the stream until it sharply curved toward a meadow and beyond that were maple trees. "That is EarthClan territory, where the stream leaves our marshes is the end of our territory you must never cross the border unless told to by a warrior." Instructed Featherheart. "Yes Featherheart." replied the siblings.
"And if you look back into our territory that hollow is a good place to get herbs just in case the medicine cat ever sends you for herbs you'll know where they are." added Nightshadow. The four cats continued walking in silence until they reached a clearing where a pine tree,a maple tree and a birch tree stood within a foot of each other. "As you've probably guessed this is Treetrees the place where the clans gather every full moon, luckily for you the next gathering will happen tommorow." commented Nightshadow.
Already the sun was beginning to set in the west. "I've had so much fun today I didn't realise that nights almost here!" remarked Berrypaw to her brother. "I bet that Swamppaw didn't have as much as we did today!" replied Seapaw. They arrived to find Swamppaw waiting for them. "Did either of you catch a frog today?" He asked as he showed off a small frog. "That small thing probably jumped into your mouth Swamppaw!" teased Berrypaw. "Anyway our mentors gave us a tour of the whole territory!' bragged Seapaw.
Suddenly the camp grew quiet. The deputy Foxpelt was getting ready to make an announcement. "As you all know the gathering is tommorow night. In the morning Dawnstar will pick the cats that will go with him. He will only pick two apprentices." The last words were said looking at the apprentices.
That night the apprentices restlessly tossed and turned in their sleep hoping that they would be picked to go to the gathering.
It was the next night and since it was the middle of greenleaf more cats than usuall had come to threetrees. Among the EarthClan cats stood a light ginger and brown tomcat standing on his hind legs. It was Maplepaw an EarthClan apprenctice. At 12 moons old he was now a regular at gatherings, and they no longer were that exciting for him. Suddenly he started walking toward Twigpaw one of the StarClan cats (who was also his age), when he was knocked over by Seapaw and Berrypaw.
"Sorry, this is our first gathering and we really want to meet the other apprentices from the other clans!" They exclaimed in a hurried rush. Maplepaw good naturely rolled his eyes and flicked his tail for them to follow him. He led them across the clearing until he stopped next to a light brown she-cat. "This is my friend Twigpaw from StarClan, and I am Maplepaw from EarthClan." He said as introductions were quickly made.
"So you're from StarClan? My mentor showed us the EarthClan territory, but not StarClan's. " said Berrypaw.
Twingpaw nodded and said. "Well my clan's territory is beyond EarthClan and can't be seen from ShadowClan. However the stream passes through everyones territory and is declared neutral territory. We use that path at gatherings like tonight and when we go to battle your clan."
Just then all the cats got quite and turned their attention to the threetrees in which the leaders from each clan. Willowstar the leader of StarClan spoke first. "Our clan has prospered well so far. Never has there been so good a greenleaf. We thank MoonClan because we have a new apprentice named Darkpaw." She gestured toward a black and white tom and yowls of congratulations followed.
Dawnstar was unusually silent tonight and declined his chance to talk. Cats began to shift uneasily, ShadowClan always seized any opportuinty to brag about their clan. Then EarthClan's leader Brackenstar began to talk. "We have reason to believe that ShadowClan has been stealing foo from our side of the stream!" At this angry yowls rang out from all sides. Quite did not return for several minutes, but when it did the powerful voice of Dawnstar began to speak. "I know what you are talking about Brackenstar one of my cats did accidentaly cross the border, but it was only a young apprentice. Surly you can forgive him?" The last sentence was a statement, not a question.
"Fools! Do you really think that we are that dumb to belive such lies from the mouth of ShadowClan!" roared Brackenstar. "Now if you wish to avoid a battle you will give EarthClan the area of where you crossed the border and 10 fox legnths in every direction around that." Dawnstar narrowed his eyes before he spat; "Fine! Its not worth fighting over, but mark my words this isn't over!" He jumped down from his tree and montioned for his cats to follow him. Just minutes earlier Berrypaw and Seapaw had been easily talking to Maplepaw, but now they glared at each other angrily as the siblings stalked away.
That night back in the EarthClan camp Maplepaw recived a dream from MoonClan. He awoke to find a brown she-cat gliding toward him. "Dirt-Dirthaze?" He strutted.
"Yes it is I my son. You along with your friends have been chosen to recive the biggest prophecy that has come to the clans in a long long time." His mother replied.
"You mean the cats I was just sitting with at the gathering?" He asked.
She nodded in reply. Then began to speak in an ominous voice. "'Beware the danger that comes from within. All must unite or all will fail. And the hero will be unexpected." And with that she was gone and Maplepaw was once again alone in EarthClan.
In ShadowClan the siblings also awoke in MoonClan. A gray tom stood before them, it was their older brother Starshine recently killed by an attack of greencough. Then he also recited the prophecy to them. "Beware the danger that comes from within. All must unite or all will fail. And the hero will be unexpected." Just as MoonClan's territory began to fade they noticed Twigpaw standing next to them. "We along with Maplepaw are the cats mentioned in the prophecy. That is the one this that I am sure of." And then MoonClan was gone.
It was several weeks after the gathering and the twins training had progressed well. They had almost disregarded the prophecy as eating a bad rabbit before bed, until Berrypaw was sent to gather some herbs by the ShadowClan medicine cat Feathercloud. The herbs were now on the border with EarthClan with the bargin Dawnstar had made with Brackenstar. Dawnstar however was not so dumb as to leave the herbs unguarded. Every day 5 patrols made sure that the herbs remained untouched. And so far they had.
It was a warm evening, but the nights and early mornings had gotten colder a sure sign that leaf-fall was on the way. Berrypaw had just arrived in the hollow when she heard voices. Her ears pricked up because as far she knew she was the only one supposed to out of camp. The evening patrol had just come in and the night patrol wasn't for a few hours. She silently climbed to the top of the hill and peered over. What she saw shocked her. Nightshadow was talking to the EarhClan deputy! She strained to hear what they were saying.
"...What happened at the gathering was only a ruse to throw anyone off our trail.Our next attack should be at StarClan." Sparrowpelt was saying.
"What should be done next?" asked Nightshadow.
"Slowly you and those who support you should gradualy began to make demands to Dawnstar until the demands become so great that he can't meet them and that will make him look weak. Then you will confront your clan with proof that he can't remain leader anymore because it will make ShadowClan weak, and you will take his place." replied Sparrowpelt.
"Sounds simple, I trust that you will be doing the same in your clan?" asked Nightshadow. Sparrowpelt nodded and turned to go back to EarthClan. Nightshadow also turned back toward his camp. Just then Berrypaw who was frozen with fear slipped and sent some pebbles rolling down the hill toward Nightshadow.
"Who's there!" yowled Nightshadow.
"Just me, I'm gathering some herbs for Feathercloud." The apprentice timidly replied gestuering at the catmint near her feet. The black warrior seemed to accept her explantaion because he grunted and guestered for her ot come back to camp.
Back at camp as Berrypaw was giving the herbs to Feathercloud she asked him the question that had been dwelling on her mind. "Do you think that Dawnstar would ever do anything that would make ShadowClan weak?"
"Certantily not on purpose. However if he was to start doing things that made ShadowClan weak then I fear that we would need a new leader. Why do you ask?" finished the medicine cat.
"Oh I was just curious." answered Berrypaw. She proceeded to grab three mice from the fresh-kill pile and drag them over to the apprentices den.
"Hey those aren't all for you!" protested Swamppaw.
"Of course not!" came Berrypaw's withering reply. With that she flung one mouse at Swamppaw and the other at Seapaw. The two toms chewed ravinously on their food, but Berrypaw was content to just nibble. What she had heard Nightshadow saying to Sparrowchest had disturbed her greatly.
"Seapaw come here! I need to talk to you."
Her brother rolled his eyes and mouthed sorry to Swamppaw before settling down next to his sister. "What do you want! Swamppaw was just going to tell me about his mentor Sedgeclaw!" He complained.
After claming Seapaw down she proceded to tell him what had happened near the border. "I fear that we don't have much time to stop his plan from happening." finished Berrypaw.
"Are you sure you're right? Nightshadow has always done what is best for ShadowClan!" Seapaw skeptically replyed.
"But thats excatly why everybody will agree with him. His overthrow of his father will happen so peacefully that nobody will realise whats happening until its too late. Or possibly not at all!" said Berrypaw.
As if the black warrior could have heard them from across the camp Nightshadow looked at them and nodded before going back to his fresh-kill with his friends. He was sitting with Snaketooth, Toadfoot, Foxpelt, Honeycloud and Leafdrop. There was nothing unusual about that until Dawnstar appeared from his den to grab some food. Instantly conversation ceased. A few repectful nods were given, but that was all. When Dawnstar left talking resumed in a more urgent manner with many cautious looks and nervous swishes of tails. All the while it was obvious that all the cats including the deputy Foxpelt were regarding Nightshadow as their leader.
"See even Foxpelt follows him! We must act or lose everything!" hissed Berrypaw.
"I now see what you mean, but who will listen to us?! We're just a pair of apprentices." groaned Seapaw.
Suddenly Berrypaw broke into a huge grin. "I just got a great idea! Sparrowpelt is the deputy of EarthClan, maybe she plans to overthrow Bramblestar. If EarthClan has the same problem as we do then maybe Maplepaw will help us!" Seapaw responded by yawing and pushing the bones of his mouse to the side. "Lets sleep on it. Things are always clearer in the morning." Now Berrypaw was also yawning and nodding. Before they knew it they were fast asleep.
It was a few days later in EarthClan territory. Maplepaw was on a border patrol with his mentor Snowheart and two other warriors; Pinecloud and Cloudblaze. They were patroling the territory that had just recently been taken from ShadowClan. Brackenstar at first had been extremly cautious and had sent as many as 6 warriors to patrol just the ShadowClan border. However as the days had gone by and nothing was heard the patrols were once again returned to the regular number of 4 cats.
Just as the patrol seemed to be coming to an disturbed end Maplepaw bring up the rear of the patrol heard the snap of a twig from underneath a cats paws.
"Who's there! Show yourself!" demanded the ginger brown apprentice as he prepared to fight. Slience followed. Just as Maplepaw was about to leave Seapaw and Berrypaw stood up from behind a clump of ferns.
"What are you two doing here!" the EarthClan apprentice demmanded.