sensitive topics ...AND ALL THE KINGSMAN // final assessment

Sep 25, 2022

//tw for death, blood

It had felt like an impossible task when Tornstride revealed that Robinpaw was to beat his mentor in single combat in order to pass his warrior assessment. Robinpaw had been expecting a challenge- but not that! Tornstride was one of the most skilled and experienced fighters the tortoiseshell tom has ever known, not once during his apprenticeship had he even gotten close to knocking the old tom off his paws.

Yet Tornstride promised, if you use everything, I've taught you, you'll beat me, Robinpaw doubts it... How could a student beat the master using his own lessons? Tornstride had a habit of telling Robinpaw half-truths, leaving him to figure things out mostly on his own. He certainly hadn't been an easy mentor to have all these moons... but Robinpaw was grateful for him nontheless, if he could become half the warrior his scarred mentor was, he'd be happy.

Though of course, Robinpaw dreams for more. Much more.

His teeth clank against each other upon his mentor's forehead colliding with Robinpaw's red chest, just narrowly missing biting down on his own tongue. The apprentice retaliates by planting his paws on Tornstride's head, using his paws to apply pressure... Maybe if he was lucky, he could get his toes into one of Torn's ears or eyes- a sensitive spot to cause him to lay off from his aggressive attacks. Stagger him, so Robinpaw could take advantage and claim victory.

Of course, it doesn't work.

They tussle and dance in the Sandy Hollow, taking blows and making them, Robinpaw's lungs start to burn. His limbs start to feel wobbly.
He couldn't lose, he had to win if he wanted to become a warrior... yet his energy was draining, slipping away with each passing second. Nothing he did seemed effective on this guy! If only Robinpaw could use claws... then he swears his tactics would at least be getting him somewhere!

His mentor must've taken note of his wobbly paws, because his next attacked focused on his legs. With an incredibly powerful collide of a forelimb, it's enough to make his legs buckle and tumble over.

"You lose." Tornstride meows, "You try again next moon."

Fury instantly burns within Robinpaw, another moon? He couldn't be serious! Maybe he wasn't able to beat Tornstride in combat, but that didn't make him unprepared to be a warrior!
Tornstride starts walking away, and as if he was an actual opponent on the battlefield, Robinpaw's eyes lock on him like a piece of prey. Tornstride had made a grave mistake, there was still fight left in his apprentice! Reigning in every last bit of energy he could muster, Robinpaw gets himself up and charges at his departing teacher.

Blinded by fury, he hadn't heard the rustling of foliage in the distance. The scent of something uncat-like. Suppose his mentor hadn't either, whether so invested with his apprentice's assessment or crushed with disappointment, no one would know.

Snapping fox jaws tear into big, soft ears. The same ears that had failed to hear the orange and black-pawed creature approaching in a rampage.
Now claws unsheathe, and so desperately do they try to slice and dice at the fox's flesh, the fox's and Robinpaw's yowls and cries pierce the air together... Yet Robinpaw's blurs into crimson as he feels his other ear get bit and tugged at.

He feels it teared as the fox is pulled away from him. His mentor was attacking the fox now, cursing and hissing at it.
Shocked and blinded as hot blood poured down his face, Robinpaw stumbles about, trying to regain his senses... Trying to process what just happened. Before he could the fighting was over, the fox decided these cats weren't worth taking its anger out on. It rushes off, unknowingly to them, leaving the territory to prey on twoleg livestock.

Blinking the blood from his eyes, Robinpaw looks at his mentor expecting to not even see him scathed.
But the reality of the sight is quite the opposite. His pelt and underbelly was covered in blood, and Robinpaw doubts that blood came entirely from the fox.

"Tornstride!" Robinpaw exclaims in shock, expecting his mentor to say something- do something, yet all he does is breathlessly stare at Robinpaw. As blood from his belly trickles down and stains the grass, the light fades from his eyes. The night pelted tom's legs give in, and so must his heart, because when he falls he never gets up again.

Tornstride, the invincible warrior, Robinpaw's mentor and wise teacher was dead before his very paws.
Yet Robinpaw does not cry, he just... stares with an agape jaw, a cool breeze rustling his fur and the birds in the distance chirping.

As if nothing had ever happened.

// this was a one off attack! a patrol can be said to look for the fox but it is gone unless they want to find it before it leaves the territory! also sorry if this is stupid I made it up like, literally made this whole thing up as I went


Blood and fox, bloodied fox, skipped across the air and drowned out the forest's floral glow. Disappointing really, that the air was so currently tainted with that terrible smell... he was hoping for some relaxation in a sun-warmed spot. Napping could barely dare to cross his mind, however, when the full realisation of what had happened hit him. There- not just fox blood, but cat blood, painting the floor like crimson rainfall. Deluge, it swam beneath the feet of whoever stepped close- the place stank with silence, static buzz meaning nothing, everything. How he hated this solemnity- this gore. Being constantly reminded of the cruelty of claws both predator and prey alike did not make these scenes any easier to come across.

Wooziness wound tendrils around him, already mismatched paw-steps thrown further off balance by the swaying of his calmness. This was no time to faint or fall- because despite the death, at which his attention could not entirely settle, there was a tom who stood very much alive despite the claret clung to his coat. "What...?" came Berryheart's nausea-thickened question, his voice ever more muted and monotonous for risk of retching. This- he could not look. If he looked too long, he would remember that it was a cat there and not just a river of blood- and that thought sickened him ever more.

He hadn't even noticed Berryheart at first.
But when he does, the tortoiseshell is met back with an equally confused and horrified look. That was it? "What...?", Robinpaw needed more than that from someone- from anyone right now!

What the hell just happened?
How was this not a dream? How was his mentor laying slain right before him? How was he dead when just minutes ago he had been kicking Robinpaw's tail?!

"...Is he breathing?" He asks Berryheart, expecting the other tom to go and check. He needed someone to certify that this was real, that Robinpaw wasn't just having some skewed dream. He's had angry dreams about Tornstride before... again, he never had been an easy mentor to have. But the red-chested tom didn't want him dead.

"...It- it happened so fast... One minute I was looking at Tornstride then-" Then his ears dripped with blood.

In this moment, he's forgotten that they still drip. The grass around his paws begin to appear dyed in crimson and blood dries on the spike-y forehead tufts of fur on his forehead. Were his ears still whole...? He half-expects them to be torn in half... or maybe even clean off. With the way that fox had yanked, it most certainly had felt like a reasonable possibility.

Like Berryheart, the stench of fox and blood draws in the dark-furred tabby at a swift pace, panic causing her paws to run, not walk. Abandoning her hunting lesson with @Sloepaw , her only priority right now is to discover what in StarClan is going on. She arrives at the scene with horror written across her features. She's aware of her son on the other side of the clearing, appearing ill at the sight. There in the center, Tornstride lies, motionless. Robinpaw is standing near him, beginning to panic. The scent of fox hangs heavy in the air. A fool could put together what had just happened here.

Howling Wind slowly pads forward, her ears falling flat against her head and her head reaching out, fixing her dead clanmate with a mournful, pained gaze as she approaches. "Oh, his paws to your hunting grounds," She murmurs, voice strained as she slides by the apprentice to touch her nose respectfully to his fallen form. She peers up at her son, swiftly ordering, "Berryheart, go back to camp. Tell them what's happened, and gather a patrol to make sure the fox is gone from our territory. Do it now." The nausea is clear on his face and she needs to get him out of here.

And then, her focus is on Robinpaw, her own sorrowful gaze meeting his stunned amber. "Robinpaw, you're hurt," Howling Wind swiftly mews, moving from Tornstride's side to begin furiously licking at bleeding ears. "You need to go back to camp. See Cinderfrost." She forces down bile at the thought of the kid alone with her in her den, but he's bleeding badly. It's his only shot at warding off infection. Though her heart is pounding and her eyes threaten to water with emotion, it's all she can do to keep a cool exterior in the presence of the horrified youth. "You protected ThunderClan. You drove off the fox. Now you need to go to camp." She will stay with the body until help arrives. With others' help, she can carry the body back to camp for a vigil.

Howling Wind is here, he searches her gaze desperately for any type of sign this was fake. Yet her expressions and words solidify that Tornstride was in fact, dead. Robinpaw's mind spins and twirls, desperately trying to make sense of his now upside down world. If only they hadn't gone training today, if only they hadn't picked the sandyhollow, if only that fox had been in another clans territory.

If only that fox had stumbled upon a different mentor and apprentice duo. Why couldn't Howling Wind and Sloepaw deal with it? Why had it needed to be them? He feels guilty for his thoughts and struggles to look Howling Wind in the eyes, but he can't help but wish to live in that alternative reality.

You protected ThunderClan, was she joking? It didn't feel like he had just protected ThunderClan, he felt like a failure. Like... ThunderClan's biggest disappointment. It wasn't true, sure, but it felt like it. He gulps and takes one last terrified glance at his fallen mentor's body before nodding to the striped she-cat. "Okay." He meows simply, quietly.

Perhaps behind Berryheart, or perhaps alone, Robinpaw would slowly walk back to camp. His destination? Cinderfrost's den... he may have torn ears, but the only ailment he wanted to cure was the grusome sight of his mentor burned into his head.


Is he breathing- a silly question really, but Berryheart regarded it with a shake no. He was not sure, for he could scarcely handle looking, but there was no soft sound, not even a brief rise-fall. The scrap-ridden tom seemed to know that, though, for his voice trailed off in shell-shocked knowing. It was sad, truly, but... the most horrible fact of life was death, especially when it was senseless. The body before them had not been a meal but a murder, committed for no reason other than carnage by a crazed beast. What a waste.

Swaying on white-toed paws, Berryheart received Big Mama's orders with great relief. Anything to get him away, really... the blood scent was metallic, overwhelming, thickening the air like water, relentless assault. He despised it greatly, and thus nodded his head promptly, beginning to limp away as the reassurance that Big Mama was so good at began to trickle from her maw like new, much-needed rainfall. It was not too long before he sensed Scrappy's presence behind him- and a dappled cranium turned, brief eye-contact made. Then, a languid blink crossed his expression- subtle, but readable as condolence. Gestures were the best he could offer when he felt so dizzied and faint- and often, a tiny movement could express more than a monologue.

Sloepaw slipped through the mud after his mentor, an uncharacteristic burst of speed carrying him only paces behind her tawny form. He almost hadn't recognised it, the bite of blood on the wind. The fire had exposed him to a festering flood of new gory imagery- twisted, char fur, pink skin bare to the air. A crimson cadaver, freshly slaughtered, was another lesson to learn.

Breath shallow, he faltered beside Howling Wind. The spindles of his mind, normally set to prop up his spacial awareness, splintered. Ears flat, he only heard the thrum of panicked voice, only saw the path of blood, tasted iron-

A wheezing cough heralded his intake of air. Had he stopped breathing? He hadn't noticed. Registering the two toms leaving, Sloepaw managed to call after them. "We'll bring him back." Timbre weak, wilted in shock, his words were brief. He would not follow after the predator, could not patch wounds. Taking back Tornstride's body was all he could do.

/sorry for the late reply! wanted to contribute to this intro though- robinpaw <3