Jun 7, 2022

From what Red had told him, Briar was expecting them. She had told his son to tell him to come talk to her. Needless to say, the silver tom wasn’t pleased about the situation, the way the events in the oak forest had unfolded, but he was surprised when he had been told that Briar had been opposed to her cat attacking Finch, had punished her even. But was taking away her dinner really enough? She could’ve killed Finch, a cat so much younger and smaller who had another depending on him. So young and already so much on his tiny shoulders. Rain let’s out a sigh. No, he could not let that be the she cats only punishment, he wanted more
”gross here ain’t it?” he asks one of the other cats in his patrol as they cross into the marshland. Hopefully, Briar had warned her cats that they were coming and had told them to be civil. He wasn’t here to fight today. Today, he came with the hopes that they could resolve things with words.

They aren’t far into the space where the cats of the marsh reside when Rain signals with his tail for the others to stop. This was far enough, they didn’t want it to look like they were invading. Carefully, he sits, sweeping his fluffy tail over his feet. Now all that there was left to do was wait.

// @BRIAR @HAZE @HAKU @HUCKLEBERRY I just realized Rain brought the H squad with him ehebdbdbd anyone can feel free to post before the ones tagged! It can also be assumed that Briar has warned her cats that they will be coming to talk to her

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A patrol had seen the pine cats coming and had come to tell Briar of their arrival. She felt her stomach twist as a wave of anxiety passed through her. This was it, a last ditch effort to solve this with words before the other group saw what had gone down as an act of war. Briar hoped this interaction remained friendly, but she couldn’t help but wonder if that would always be the case. She thought back to her conversation with Moth, about how this conflict only had one ending. Was this it? Had Willow only sped up the inevitable?

She doesn’t bother bringing anyone with her, though she is sure a few of her soldiers will follow in order to keep her safe. Briar pads through the soggy marshland, mud and sludge sticking to her paws. She spots the patrol up ahead, Rain at the front with three others behind him. She breathes a sigh of relief. A small patrol. That means that they’re not here to fight. She didn’t think Rain would result to that before hearing her out, but to see the reassurance for herself settles the tumultuous turning of her stomach. She stops short of the patrol and gives Rain a curt nod of greeting.

“Rain. Thank you for coming. Before you say anything, I want to personally apologize for the actions of my groupmate. We do not condone unprovoked violence, especially towards someone weaker and younger. Willow will be punished… I’m not sure how, but something will be done about her behavior,” she reported. Then, she went silent and eyed the tom, wondering what he was going to say. Her tail flicked, the only telltale sign that she was nervous. Otherwise her face and the rest of her body did not betray her.
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− ♱ ABOUT : light footfall was all the sound he makes, icecap luminaries fixating upon nothing in particular. upon nothing, intentionally. if felt as if someone had stuffed his throat with cotton, mouth dry and aching with dread ; he didn't like this. while he’d been busying himself with hunting patrols to try and sniff out what life was left after the kittypets oh - so triumphant venture out into the forest, he’d taken a break — a momentary gap in activity in which a full grown molly attacked a youth for a mouse already caught. embarrassing. hunger was a rancorous thing, all encompassing and feral, but the shecat had stooped low and incredibly out of line. how she could make a fool of them all that horribly in front of a group of pampered furballs was beyond him, but she’d managed it.

rain was.. different than he expected, admittedly. an aging, cool - toned tom who's only indication of spoiled life was the slight disarray of his well-kempt coat. large audits come to swivel downward as he slinks from the shadows, remaining but a step behind briar with an expression darkened by exhaustion and shoulders hunched just slightly to make his slim, abnormally tall build more accommodating. he did feel terrible about the whole thing despite not being present, frostbitten luminaries catching on the tom in a brief, unspoken apology alongside his leaders. briar was a firecracker of a thing, tenacious, apologizing profusely for willows abhorrent behavior once he enters earshot — and he has nothing to add but his presence for now.


when he heard what had happened back at camp from the returning hunting patrol, huckleberry could feel the thread that hooked both groups together become taut to a dangerous point of possibly snapping sending everything they knew into a whirlwind of chaos.

that's why when rain was scouting out for members to come with him to the marsh lands to speak with she-cat in charge of it all, the ebony tom had stepped forward with little thought. the last thing anyone needs is another fight breaking out which he hopes will not be the case and he considered himself pretty composed, similar to rain, huckleberry would rather attempt having a civil conversation first before ever thinking about resorting to the use of claws.

the small patrol traversed through the wet lands these cats resided in, unbothered by the mud that beginning to cling to the long fur of his paws. amber hues would flick over the blue tabby when he spoke, a slight chuff of laughter psssing the smoke's lips. "it ain't that bad, kinda reminds me o' tha barn whenever it poured somethin' fierce." he replies before they slowed their pace to a halt, guess they made it to where they needed to wait.

it didn't seem to take long before a dark-furred figure appeared to greet them, accompanied by her groupmate who he looked over for a brief moment before putting his focus back onto the dialouge that was being shared between both respective leaders.



Soot lingers nearby in the shadows. She is loyal to Briar, but cannot help but be bothered by how swiftly she appears to be willing to punish Willow. Soot sees the promise of punishment more as trying to lick Rain's paws and avoid conflict than anything else. The old tom and his gang of pampered kittypets had taken a hunting ground that should still be theirs. If she was the one in Briar's paws you better believe she wouldn't utter a single apology to him regardless of the events that unfolded.

Usually, Soot is good at keeping her maw shut, but the hormones of pregnancy and her anger toward this group held a firm power over her.

"You know... and as sorry as we all are for that unfortunate incident... You cannot expect members of Briar's group to take too kindly to the presence of your group. Time may have passed but many of our wounds still remain open that were given to us by you and your group by taking the pine forest. Land that was and is rightfully ours." Her tail lashes in irritation. "The very first thing you did by moving into the forest and stealing that land was disrespect to us... So please, elaborate on why we should respect you and your group of kittypets when you've done nothing of the sort to us, who have lived on these lands far longer than you have."

Briar may scold her later, but in Soot's eyes, she's done nothing wrong. Her voice had not waivered, her tone had not been raised, sure her words were barbed... But if the old tom before them couldn't handle that he and his group were undoubtedly not fit for wild cat life and should instantly scurry back to where they came from. Besides... on top of all she had said, now these cats were trying to lay claim to yet another piece of land that Soot believed to be her groups own. The oak forest. Insanity...

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╰☆☆ Haze is not an easily angered cat. Raised by mild-mannered and protective Rain and River, his hostilities against the marsh cats who have become antagonistic towards them have been locked away tightly. He had not considered even wanting to fight Briar and her group--not until Finch had limped into camp, leaning against his brother's side.

He closes his eyes. The frazzled whiskers tremble as he scrunches his nose. The marsh is vile; he supposes he can understand why the cats living within would want to branch out. But he also doesn't see how Rain's group is preventing them from doing that. They could have lived in harmony with one another.

Could have.

He silently agrees with his father's assessment that the marsh is a dour place to exist, but his thoughts shift when one of the shadows becomes flesh and fur and materializes before them on four paws. This must be Briar. She looks ordinary enough, though the fur at her neck is spiked like some strange collar. She seems calm. Not exactly like he'd pictured.

A cat accompanies her, pale-eyed and watchful. He sits at her side, clearly there to protect his leader. Haze gazes at him through muddy yellow eyes, wondering. It seems Briar is condemning her groupmate's actions, but how far are the rest of them willing to go?

He is angry, but he retains his composure. His father had warned Huckleberry, Haku, and him to behave, and follow orders. He wouldn't be told twice... unless something happens here to shift the tensions.

That is, until a second marsh cat comes, her green eyes hot with fury. She's lovely, blue-pelted and with high, fine features--or she would be, had she not stunk of the marsh and carrion. He grits his teeth at her audacity to claim Rain's group has attacked them in any way.

"Your wounds?" He struggles to control his temper. He knows his father does not want further trouble with the group. But how can he sit here and listen to these accusations without saying anything? "Last I checked, none of us have ever drawn your blood. There's plenty of forest to share, but you all act like you own every bit of it!" Golden eyes flame with his anger.

He forces the fur at his neck to lie flat. His instinct is to lash his tail, give some outward sign that he's ten seconds from clawing the blue she-cat, but he knows better. Besides, after he's responded, he happens to notice the swell of her belly. He would not fight a pregnant queen, regardless of how angry she's made him.

Haze glances at Rain, wondering what he will say to this. Will he demand Willow's head in a fox trap? He can't imagine so. Perhaps if he were a different sort of leader. But he knows his father. He'll want justice for their injured child somehow.

He sighs, gives the adjacent Huckleberry a tense look, and waits to see what will happen.
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Oh, she smells them, their foul forest scent, creeping into her nose to burn in her eyes. Willow isn't sorry for what she did, no. She would draw blood again, because if anyone deserved to eat, it was her, Wren, and her group. That mouse had been meant for more than just her, Willow had a child to care for, and Wren would have adored the creature that Briar had so rudely stolen away. Her prize, her success. So what did it matter if blood was spilled? She hadn't maimed anyone, hadn't killed anyone. No, the pine group had gotten off lighter than they should have.

And Briar?

Willow isn't sure what to think anymore. Her own leader, kissing the paws of these weaker cats. Willow had only done what so many wished they could do, and she wasn't afraid of the consequences of it. If Briar preferred to please this other group over her own, then so be it. Perhaps this wasn't as good a place as Willow had originally thought. She valued the strictness of Briar, but Willow would never bow to the whims of another leader. It was... pitiful. Briar should be strong for her group, not Rain's. But that was not to be, it seemed.

Willow doesn't approach the group, because as much venom as she has upon her tongue, she wouldn't antagonize any further. There was no reason to, yet.

ooc note: willow is not in view, because i don't want to derail the thread with her presence, i just wanted to write her ic thoughts about pine group being here. <3​

Though comparatively Haku had not resided within Rain's group for long, he still knew full well that the harmony between them and their gloomy neighbours was precarious. The instruction from Rain to stay as civil as possible would have tipped him off to that anyway- and he did intend to keep his mouth shut, not accompanying in order to argue. On the journey to the marshland Haku was quiet, keeping his head down- though a laugh was blandished from him at Rain's joke. There was a certain... murk about the air, depressing and dingy, that made him wonder why a cat would readily choose to live here. That laugh was all he gave in the vein of hostility- rather, distaste- especially since as Briar approached them her tone seemed level, apologetic. He nodded in greeting as she approached, noticing that her fur, especially around her nape, was perhaps what she was named for. Her tone carried not the thorns of her alias.

That honour was given to a molly of unique beauty, though there was poison in her eyes and tongue that put him off that idea in an instant. He took in a breath, ready to dispute her, but Haze gives their defence instead. Haku nods again, maw snapping shut. Eyes once ocean-warm now narrowed to ice-shards, cutting frostbite into the flesh of the marshland molly. "Kittypets." Spat under his breath, it was all he offered. That ridiculous word- he had heard it before, and knew it an insult. They clearly knew not that love he had once been given so readily. How sad.

So, this was the second group?

That ever so welcoming group Hatch had heard about, before finding himself in marshlands? Before finding himself among cats struggling to feed themselves- to feed their young? To the point where those he lived with were stealing prey from kids?

He doesn’t know if he’d personally steal a mouse from someone as young as Willow had, but he knows what it’s like to have to steal from others. He knows the desperate nature of it all.

And, well, if these pine cats were truly so welcoming, would they be spewing venom towards those of the marshlands? Or would they be willing to help out, to make a compromise of sorts?

Sure, Willow spilled the blood of their kind. Sure, Hatch didn’t think that was right to do, but, could this all have been prevented, if those who claimed to be friendly actually were?

The storm-furred tom watches the two leaders from a distance, watches the patrol that was followed behind the opposing leader, narrowed eyes locked on the strange group of cats. Claws dig into the ground, preparing himself to leap into a fight, if one were to break out.
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Rain listens as Briar's group chastizes them, sees the nasty looks that are sent in their direction. What blood had been spilled by one of the cats in his group? Why could they not share the forest? Surely it was big enough for both groups to live in peace. He simply did not understand just why this group of cats detested him so much that some were looking for a way to excuse one of them spilling the blood of a child. The only indication he gives to Soot is a flick of his ear, he shoots Haze a look, a warning to be civil and then his eyes land on Briar. Her words, did she truly mean them? Was she actually sorry for what had happened or was she in the business of just trying to prevent war between them, until she could land the first blow?

"I can't help but wonder" he begins carefully, slowly "What your group would've done had it been one of your children who had been attacked" He was well aware of what would've happened. Briars group, bloodthirsty as they were, would have demanded a fight, a battle to be waged in the name of revenge. Rain would be asking for something much more civil. His eyes once again sweep over the cats present, aware that there may be even more lurking in the shadows. His words were not for them. "Is there somewhere more private where we could speak?
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Muscles taut, Spider watches from the shadows. News of the scuffle had spread like wildfire - and so had the subsequent meeting scheduled between leaders. The cinnamon smoke could never agree with harming a child, no matter their origins. However, he cannot help but to agree with Soot. This entire situation could've been avoided if those damned kittypets had stuck to their pampered lives behind their fences instead of stealing territory that rightfully belonged to his group.

Spider's lips curl into a sneer as he listens to the old sod in charge of these prissy twoleg toys, his claws unsheathing. "Briar's already said she's gonna punish 'er- what else d'ya want? A lick on the cheek?" A plumed tail lashes as Spider slinks from the shadows, his orange eyes narrowed.

Cold as ice the molly slipped her paws across the shadowed lands. Her molten gaze showing little to no emotion as she looks upon the riffraff that are yammering incessantly. Her tail lashed back and forth before she paused, spiky white hair seeming to bristle but only for a moment before she looked toward the kittypet clamoring group. She held no love for them and no love for how things are turning out. Really the best outcome would be for them all to turn tail and leave the forest that they had been living in far longer than what they thought they could. But she supposed that that will not be the case yet. If they had to show them this then so bet it. The molly came to stand near her sister without a care before she turned her head toward the marsh colony with a critical eye. Her gaze narrowed slightly before she snorted a little. "What Briar needs if for all of you to stop your insistent gum flapping. This is not a place for any of us including myself to throw around words. Let them have their private talk." She spoke the words hotly, looking towards the main ones that had spoken their words and to her without much thought.
Though wary her words would stir an argument between the two patrols, Briar was inclined to agree with Soot. This could have been avoided if the pine group had left the forest and found other, less traveled hunting grounds. It didn’t excuse Willow’s behavior. The attack was unprovoked and against someone much younger and less experienced than her, but it was something to be considered. Briar’s apologies came from the fact that she was not inclined to let her group’s reputation sink to cruel depths. She also didn’t want a war if she could help it. Should the only solution be claws and teeth, so be it, but war also brought the probability of injuries and death among her own. She could not afford that blood on her paws, not if she believed she had done everything in her power to stop it before severe circumstances pushed her to her breaking point. As far as she was concerned, this was her last attempt to be civil with the pine group. Any more of this and she might just have to resort to the one thing she feared to keep her own safe and fed. She simply offered an ear flick in response to Soot’s words, a silent agreement. It didn’t conjure up much argument thankfully, and she could ignore what had been said in response.

Briar focused her gaze on Rain as he spoke again, more or less brushing off her apology by questioning what she would have done under the same circumstances. Truth be told, she didn’t know. She was quick to protect her own, to launch forward with claws instead of civil actions like these, but she had never been put into a position like this, so she couldn’t say for sure how she would have reacted. She flashed her sister a grateful look before returning an unamused eye back on her rival. “No sense in dwelling on hypotheticals,” she huffed. “I have a private place where we can talk. Come,” she said, waving her tail for her soldiers to disperse and Rain to follow her deeper into the marshes.
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Not much arises from her words aside from some grumbles and ruffled fur, the most that is spoken comes from a tom of similar age as her. She just smiles and replies in a sickening condescending tone, "Because we did own every bit of it before you came. I know you kittypets must be new to this... but when it comes to surviving out here sharing resources is not a risk you can take."

With that, her faux smile fades. Sharp eyes turn to Rain as the tom throws out a hypothetical. Soot knows the answer, they would've- or at least she would've been happy to run her claws across someone's throat. It was hypocritical, but the small she-cat did not see it that way. In her mind, the Pine group has done way more offenses on Briar's group than the other way around. Soot was getting tired of their presence, if she had it her way they'd drive the group of kittypets out starting here and now. But she knew Briar was likely trying to minimize bloodshed... even if she felt it'd be worth it, she still respected the ebony molly for it.

Briar doesn't entertain Rain's hypothetical scenario, but she agrees to speak in a private place. Soot can't help but growl, anything that tom had to say in respect to the Marsh group he could spit it out before all present. She gets the sense that Briar would not appreciate her opening her maw again, neither would some of her group mates, so she accepts defeat.

At Briar's dismissive flick of her tail, she'd usually obey, but she eyes the Pine cats who still remain. "I can't go anywhere Briar with these cats still standing here..." She flicks her tails at the other groups soldiers, "Don't you think we should stay put and give them company till the both of you return?" She doesn't trust them not to follow in their leader's direction once her own soldiers were out of sight. She didn't trust these cats to not try and pull something if such a perfect opportunity was placed in their paws.


It was no secret what Rain thought of the cats who were slowly materializing from the trees. Filthy, vile, blood thirsty. It was like they were constantly looking to pick a fight and Rain just didn’t understand it. Why could they not just stay on their side of the thunder path? Life would be much easier if they could. Surely the wetlands and the marshes provided plenty of prey to them? Surely they didn’t need the whole forest all to themselves? He cannot stand the arrogance, the entitlement of these cats and every time one speaks, it’s all he can do to not roll his eyes at them. Sootstride especially is a challenge in herself. He uses all the willpower he’s got not to spit at her. She’s the most entitled sounding of them all.

“You guys go home I can handle it from here, thank you for coming with me” he directs his words at the cats who had followed him here, though his eyes never once leave Briar. He’s taking a big risk, walking into her territory surrounded by her cats all by himself but it was a necessary one. He nods his head at her and follows, leaving the scene with the Marsh Groups ebony leader.
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