diverging path | patrols

You could say he hated perfection and it wouldn't be entirely untrue, he couldn't stand the idea of it; disliked what sort of axe it held over everyone's head. Be perfect, always perfect, poise with perfection, speak with clarity, every step must be meticulously planned and played out. Every action foretold, every movement fated.
No, he couldn't abide by it. A little chaos added to the mix, leeway and freedom blossomed from a life without strict in-doctrine but too much felt blasphemous in a way.

When he decided to stay in RiverClan for its formation he felt lonely and it was this feeling that kept him dutifully in place. But now he felt pressured, walked a thin line between what he wanted and what was expected of him. Whatever Ciciadastar saw in him was worthy of him playing the part, he did what he was told and acted as how he was expected with the orchestrated motions of a true performer. He was a brilliant actor, his portrayals on point and his mask never faltering, not even when alone could he drop the veil.

Smokethroat did not know what he wanted anymore. Part of him wondered if his life alone was worth more than the pain of close proximity, he wondered if dying in solitude without the stress of having connections with others was less painful than the connections piercing him at all times. The clan was a spiderweb, entangled together and ensnaring him and he desperately wanted to be comfortable here. He wanted nothing more than to feel closeness despite his apprehension otherwise. The dark tom would admit that he was scared internally, but he would never show it.
His face was one that did not falter, could not falter; he had staked his claim here and he was not going to lose himself now. They needed to get some things in order…

Smokethroat did not feel up to the task, tired both mentally and physically and perhaps overworking himself but he was going to swallow it down.

“Gather around for patrol assignments…” The two-legs were distracting, stressful, but they still had borders to secure and surrounding clans that might see them slacking on their guard and take advantage of it. "Bring your apprentices if you've got one." The experience would be good for them and the more cats the more secure and strong the patrol looked on the outside.

@willowroot - but feel free to post before them!


Life in and around the camp had become tinged with worry the past few days. With the presence of twolegs in their territory and Cicadastar's death and rebirth, it was fair to say there had been numerous stressors in all their lives as of late. But for all the panic and uncertainty that lingered in the air, life had to go on. Or at the very least they could try until the situation with the dos resolved itself. "I'm here, Smokebreath," She would call out to the tom as she padded forward. "Happy to go anywhere you want me."


With all that was going on, it was clear why there was so much tension in the air despite there being a hint of relief since their leader was safely home despite the events that had occurred. Smokethroat had called everyone for patrols and she wondered if that was even a good idea as she made her way over, taking a spot near Lilybloom while she worriedly looked up at the lead warrior, wondering if he should actually be resting. "I'm here to help as well" the young apprentice said, her fluffy tail swishing a bit. Maybe she could try and get Beesong to convince the lead warrior to rest...

The sound of the lead warrior’s voice causes Clayfur to bristle in a way that he knows is unfair. Anger gnaws at him for a moment, before settling back into a calm feeling of guilt. He’s been hypocritical and rude and downright out of line, but something is still stopping him from giving Smokethroat any sort of heartfelt apology. Maybe he just needs a few more days to wallow in everything, sort out his feelings, before he does anything else that’s stupidly insensitive and rash.

He lopes over to stand near his niece, eyes cast downward to their paws. He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t think he needs to. He’s here to do whatever needs to be done—to be a good warrior.
( ᴛᴀɢs. )  ❝  They'll need to be out an' about better than they are. RiverClan's no place of peace as they are, and he'll not have them suffer more than they already are. Hound's restless in his need to help, in the desire to do. He'll not be accused of lazing around in times such as this. There's not a breath of hesitation 'fore the warrior follows Smoke's voice. He brushes himself along Clayfur's shoulder, knowing only that there's tension there without any hint of the reasoning, and lifts his head to find Lakepaw's gaze and beckon her over. "You'll have us both," he decides firmly, eyes only flickering back to the lead warrior for the barest of moments.

  • 50335651_ibz4tSApItgOjRI.png
    ooc: dragging @𝓛𝓪𝓴𝓮𝓹𝓪𝔀 along with him!
  • ──── houndsnarl. trans male, he/him pronouns.
    ──── approximately 30 moons old, or 2.5 years.
    ──── bisexual with firm male preference; single.

    ──── a chocolate tabby with ( stylized ) low white and intense lime eyes. lean and lanky,  with whiplike musculature and a long, quick stride. hound's notable features include his impressive height, the long scar across the left side of his face from nose to jaw, his very deep, dense fur, and the confident manner with which he conducts himself.
  • "speech"
// sorry so short, just wanted to throw mine in!

Mudpelt had been sharing breakfast with @FERNPAW , eager to get the day started with his son. Patrols had yet to be announced, so he wasn't sure what their day would be looking like so far. Smokethroat calls for cats to gather, and the tom pricks his ears, glancing over his shoulder at the lead warrior before flashing a grin towards his son. "Ready?" He gets to his paws and swiftly buries the rest of their remains before moving to stand before the lead warrior to see if they'll be assigned to anything today.

Not far behind them, Lightningstone stands with @BUCKGAIT. (and maybe Pumpkinpaw, finding out if they're paired right now or not!). He casts a glance towards the molly, knowing she'll be forced to be dragged along on whatever patrol he's assigned to, if he's even assigned to one today.
Iciclepaw hears Smokethroat's voice, calling for warriors and their apprentices to assemble for patrols. The tortoiseshell creeps cautiously from the apprentice den, intending to quietly join her mentor's side, when she sees Mudpelt.

Before she can stop herself, she flings herself at the dark warrior, rubbing herself against his leg with more fervor and more affection than she's ever shown either of her parents. She trembles as she whispers, "Be safe. You and Fernpaw. Please." She cranes her neck to look at Clayfur as well. Her older sister, Lilybloom, an adult too but the tortoiseshell seems so young to her still.

She trusts Mudpelt, she trusts Clayfur, she even trusts Lilybloom, but she had trusted herself. Had trusted Cicadastar.

Things go oh so wrong, oh so quickly.

Without giving her father or uncle another glance, she pads to Smokethroat's side and sits beside him. She will go wherever he does.

Paws hesitantly steps forward as he hears Smokethroat. Eyes of piercing amber holding curiosity and also caution as he pulls torn and broken ears forward. Patrols. He doesn't know if he wants to go on another one. Especially after what happened to the last patrol he had been on. Safety is here in camp and not out there. Already it has his legs shaking slightly but he swallows down the rising panic. It'll be okay. It'll be fine. He just... needs to try and get out there. Plus he has a duty to fulfill given to him by Cicadastar. An apprentice to train. Sighing he steps forward with a small look of unease, keeping himself close to the back before he spots Lagoonpaw. "Would you like to go, Lagoon?"

His voice is gentle as he talks to his apprentice, tail curled against his flank. As meek as he is he wonders if he can train them. Only time will tell he supposes. His eyes flick to look at Clayfur then wondering if he is okay but he dared not approach. Besides it seems someone else is there to comfort him and that's all that matters to him.




riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

Clearsight is shaken.

The last days' events have rocked him to his core. Ashpaw's disappearance was hard on everyone, but Cicadastar's death—

For a few horrific minutes, Clearsight had lost a close friend and a man he loved as well. And Clayfur had come panting back to camp, had pressed close in a hug and murmured reassurance; Cicadastar too had come home, long hours later, glassy-eyed in shock—but those minutes rocked Clearsight to his core, and he's struggled to stabilize.

Even seeing Cicadastar alive does not shake the image of blood and viscera splattered, icecap eyes empty, a soft goodbye pressed into red-soaked fur.

Still he has a duty to fulfill. He is a RiverClan warrior, a mentor, so though he feels fragile he'll join the gathered cats, tail curling around @GILLPAW to gently encourgage the boy forward.

He doesn't speak, but stands next to Clayfur. Close enough to see the man from the corner of his eye, to just—just remind himself that Clay's alive.

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Beside his father did Fernpaw soon toddle up, stance still unsteady as ever but enthusiasm tangible nonetheless. Too-large paws found their footing eventually as he lowered himself to a seat, waiting to find out where exactly they would be going. Mudpelt's question earned a tiny, shiny grin- "Yep," he chirped, murky-pond eyes alight with excitement. He'd had breakfast, it was a nice day- he was more ready than ever! No-one could be readier than him! He was the readiest anyone had ever, ever, ever been!

His excitement could not be contagious to all, however- his sister bid a solemn farewell to him, and the smile on Fernpaw's face faltered, fell. Was she still sad about Cicadastar? Fernpaw had not been present when the leader had been... hurt, but Iciclepaw was. As much as he wanted to, he could never understand how much witnessing that would have hurt. "We will. Right, dad?" His voice, so often fumbled, was lower and calmer. It was clear he did not intend to break his promise.
( penned by pin )
( ) she's already there, by her fellow's side, tail curled neatly around her paws as she awaits the clan's arrival. smoke and her have spoken at length about patrols, organizing and preparing, but now that they're facing it, willowroot is nervous. the clan has so many apprentices and not enough warriors. this plus the addition of the twoleg danger and hostilities with other clans promises interesting patrols, if nothing else. before arriving beside smokethroat, she'd popped her head into the apprentices' den, summoning @Steeppaw to her side. ashpaw is still too wounded and tired to be safe on a patrol. wil has visited the young one many times, clinging to the hope that the fiery femme will soon recover.

a soft breeze ruffles the fur around their neck as the smoke observes those approaching. already, they're trying to put together patrols. a thought occurs, and they nudge smoke softly. "how many cats do we want on each patrol, given the twolegs?" they hiss, head tipped in thought. "and are we going to allow apprentices on patrols that close to the twolegs? perhaps it's better to send apprentices towards the borders and then warriors without apprentices towards where the twolegs might be." gnawing on her lower lip, willowroot tries to formulate this in their head. "how many warriors do we have without apprentices though? stars this is complicated."

as more warriors arrive, the femme turns to them, offering a smile. "thank you all for being here on time and ready," they begin, mind still racing. "um. so, smokethroat and i are going to assign some patrols. there will be a patrol leader and then probably four or five other members. depending." that makes sense, right? they hope so. "i will be taking a patrol to scout out the twoleg camp. i would like to take with me mostly warriors, but if you believe your apprentice is ready to come with, they may, as long as they follow instructions and are older than eight moons. i'll be taking @HOUNDSNARL. , but we need two or three more cats, so if you are willing and able, please let me know. steeppaw, you'll be sitting this one out, but i promise i'll assign you to a different patrol, okay love?" pausing, she'll blink at houndsnarl and then turn to smokethroat. "one patrol for each border makes sense, right?"

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riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

Fear coalesces into something hard and cold as Willowroot speaks.

Scouting out the twoleg camp.

His claws dig into the sand, and he glances down at Gillpaw. The boy is so little. Still a kitten, really, small as Iciclepaw who'd come home covered in Cicadastar's blood. Houndsnarl is called to join the patrol, and Clearsight's eyes flick from one clanmate to the next. If they were to fall as Cicadastar had, they would not stagger home come morning.

And Clearsight is still shaken but no less strong. The idea of sitting idly by, waiting for another procession of bloodstained cats returning, is so much worse than whatever might happen if he goes. He'll join the patrol, and this time he won't let his guard down. (Because of course there's a part of him that blames himself. He was there, wasn't he?)

"I volunteer for the twoleg camp patrol," he says, forcing his voice to ring loud and strong. "I won't be bringing Gillpaw." His voice turns frosty, flaxen-gold eyes narrowing—should any of his clanmates attempt to bring along children as young as Gill, he'll have some choice words for them. As he speaks, his tail comes to rest along the boy's back, meant to reassure; he doesn't want to scare him.

"I can also take a normal hunting patrol, if you need," he adds, "and Gillpaw can come along there."

He refuses to grieve tonight. He is a warrior of RiverClan, and he'll do whatever the hell it takes to make sure each member of this patrol comes home.


He’d have everything sorted out in his mind, his gaze flitting to Willowroot as she approached to stand next to him; their previous discussion for how to go about arranging the patrols had been a messy affair but he had thought they figured it out though now he was realizing perhaps they needed more time to hash it out.
The glassy eyes of some of the members approaching, the fearful responses and declarations of leaving apprentices had his stomach tighten into a knot; he didn’t want to send cats out right now but it was necessary and he needed to just swallow his own apprehension down and figure this out. At least he wasn't alone in this ordeal.

Orange eyes caught Clayfur’s intense and furious stare and for a moment he held the earthen tom’s gaze with his own before averting them to the side and breaking the line of sight by lifting up his head. Cats are going to die, you’re going to send cats to die, get it together.
Fernpaw’s ‘Right, dad?’ asking for some assurance they would be alright made him almost want to call it there and tell everyone to just stay in the camp for the day but he is snapped out of the brief moment of panic by Willowroot’s shoulder nudging him.
“Ah….” Stop stuttering like an idiot and talk, “Yes. We want no apprentices on the patrols near where the two-legs were spotted. We…” He pauses again, organizing his thoughts. Any other day and this might have been easier, but he still feels dried blood prickling his fur and the animosity radiating off of some of the cats that he feels like he’s been caught in the bright gaze of a monster on the thunderpath.

Of course he worried they would assign cats to the same patrols as it were. But border patrols weren’t that exhausting an effort-was it fine to double up? Was he comparing his clanmates to his own tendencies to overwork and push himself too hard? Was that fair? Smokethroat glances at his fellow lead warrior with a brief moment of uncertainty.
“One patrol for each border…” He repeated with a nod, “Okay…” Which was to say…WindClan would be getting a nicely rounded patrol compared to the others. They didn’t share a border with ShadowClan so they could be ignored.
It took Smokethroat a moment, repeating names and correcting himself, pausing for Willowroot to gently insert her own comment and adjustments; pausing again to apologize for accidentally trying to send Mudpelt to every border at the same time. But finally, after what felt too long…it had been sorted out.

“Willowroot, Houndsnarl, Clayfur, you’ll take SkyClan.” Yes he did put Clayfur on a different patrol than what he was going to go on. Thank you for noticing.

“Mudpelt, Smogbreath, Lilybloom, you’ll take WindClan.” That was a good group, Mudpelt was sensible and could manage it even if he was incapable of performing miracles such as dividing himself into multiple Mudpelts.

“...I’ll take Clearsight and ThunderClan.” ThunderClan and they were on relatively alright terms, a small patrol would be alright. He had not taken either Frostpaw or Iciclepaw to see that particular border anyways and it would be a good lesson.
And yes…perhaps he didn’t want to send anyone who had been with him when Cicadastar died on a patrol to possibly hostile territory…maybe he was being too guarded with his apprentices. Maybe he wasn't being guarded enough.

“...take your apprentices with you if you like, but keep an eye on them. Afterwards, those going with Willowroot get back to camp before dark and leave your charges here before moving to the two-leg den."
This was...a lot. This was too much and such a mess. If only Cicadastar could have done this...

ThunderClan Patrol LINK.

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The calico apprentice looks to her mentor, as Smokethroat calls for them to gather. For patrols, the lead warrior explains. After Cicadastar's patrol returned without the RiverClan leader, the whole camp had been on ease, even Lagoonpaw. There was danger nearby, danger that even her own mentor, Smogbreath had seen. Was it truly safe, to be going on patrols right now?

Lagoonpaw isn't sure, but she gathers beside her mentor anyway. "I'll come with," she assures her mentor, figuring it would be for the best if she come with.

And then. And then Smokethroat assigns Smogbreath to the WindClan border, and the calico looks at her mentor with uncertainty. It's the furthest away from the river that she'll have ever been, and the thought is daunting. She just hopes everything will be okay, that danger won't find them.
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Yellow eyes look up at his mentor, the warrior's tail wrapped around him to lead him forward to Smokethroat and Willowroot's patrol assignments.

It will be his first big patrol, he realizes as he steps forward with Clearsight. Nerves fill him over the aspect, but excitement is there all the same. The black and white tom tries his best to sit still as Smokethroat and Willowroot speak, but it feels as though all the energy in the world is coursing through him. Just where will he and Clearsight go? He hopes it's somewhere cool! Somewhere he hasn't seen yet - though, he hasn't seen much, outside of the camp. All the same, his excitement grows as he tries to wait patiently for --

"I won't be bringing Gillpaw."

Clearsight's words cause the young apprentice's ears to fold back. "W-wait, what..?" he squeaks out, before his mentor continues, saying he'd take him on a hunting patrol instead. That... That doesn't sound like it would be to anywhere cool! He already knows the river!

But Smokethroat finally assigns patrols, and assigns Clearsight to ThunderClan. How unfair! The lead warrior continues, saying that apprentices could come, if the mentors wanted, and Gillpaw looks up at Clearsight with pleading eyes.

"C-Can I go with..? Please..?"
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riverclan warrior. 32 moons. tags

Gillpaw's earnest begging only hardens his resolve. Sunlight eyes meet sunlight eyes, and he smiles ruefully. Stars, this kid. Clearsight loves him—Gillpaw is a hard little worker, enthusiastic and bright, and there's something fierce about him, too, small as he is.

The blue tabby softens his voice as he speaks. "You can come on the ThunderClan patrol," he murmurs, "and I'll take you hunting. But you cannot come to the twoleg camp. They've hurt kittens just the same as grown-ups, and I need to make sure you stick around long enough to become a big, strong warrior."

He touches his nose to Gillpaw's forehead. "I think the ThunderClan patrol will be plenty exciting, hmm? I don't know if you've met any ThunderClanners before."