Jul 11, 2022
Kestreltalon was miserable. A moon had passed since the day she had first joined this wretched clan and she was still as much a stranger amongst its ranks now as she was then. At morning she stalked out of camp to hunt for herself and in the evening she return to sleep. All the day, she stayed out of camp for as long as she could manage. Even when in camp, she spoke to no one that did not speak to her first, and she went only on the patrols that she was told to go on.

Over that long moon, resentment had built within her heart. For the loud camp that she had to spend her nights in, for the clanmates that she brushed passed every day, and - most especially - for the leader whose tyrannical rein she found herself under. Sootstar acted like her shit didn't smell just because she was leader, and she got treated like it too. It made Kestreltalon's blood boil.

It was a position the leader abused, ordering the cats around her about at her every whim.

All of it was worth it though, even sharing a camp with that creature. Oh, it was so worth it. She remembered that again and again, ever time she stepped out of camp, back onto the moors. When she felt the wind on her fur as she ran and ran and tried to forget her new home. It was the feeling of freedom, and she didn't want to let it go. The rest was simply the sacrifice she had to make to not be run out of her home.

Reluctantly, Kestreltalon padded back into camp. Casting a longing glance back toward the moors outside. They would still be there when the sun rose again, she reassured herself. Turning away, her gaze found Sootstar in the midst of conversation. No doubt getting her ego appeased by whatever brown-nosers she had decided worthy of her attentions today. A derisive snort pulled itself from her.

"Narcissistic little snake-heart." She muttered to herself as she padded past, not even realizing that she had made the comment aloud.



Traversing around camp, Sootstar is peaking her head around it's corners to see what every feline was up to. Not in a possessive manner, in her opinion, a leader should be aware of any activities taking place in her camp right? That's how she knew what chores were getting done, speaking of which... someone needed to reinforce the gorse wall.

As she moves to the other side of camp she pads past Kestreltalon thoughtlessly, until she catches a mutter spoken just too loud.

As if she had been struck by lightning, she stiffens immediately, frozen in her place.
She said what?
The molly spins around, her feathery tail lashing in the air. Ironically, she hisses like the cold-blooded reptile she was compared to, "What did you just say? Say it louder... so your clan-mates can hear." Say it to my face, she dares with a lash of her tail.


While she had been sharing tounges with a few npc felines, the tone of Sootstar’s voice stole her attention, wondering what on earth could have happened (this time) to cause her to react in such a way. Trying to recall what, if anything, she’d seen, she didn’t think anything more had occurred than Kestreltalon simply passing by Sootstar. Surely this was a mere misunderstanding? The usually extroverted feline would recognize that this was not the time to insert herself into the rising tensions, and remain silent. Should things grow terribly out of control she’d do her best to resolve the situation.


He had moments before been thinking to himself that it was a nice day. Everyone was slowly making their way back to camp after patrols and hunting and he himself was carrying a bundle of some long blue flowers that had taken an alarmingly long time to find and gather up. Comfrey, they were, and one of the few plants that Honeytwist insisted to keep in stock at all times. Supposedly it helped mend bones, which was just such a wild thing a plant could do; every day he was more and more intrigued by what the common little flowers he passed through his life were capable of. Dandelionpaw was going to find out that grass granted immortality or something eventually and he wouldn't be surprised anymore.
Before the sepia point could make his way back to the den he heard the sharp sound of their leader's voice rise up in steady outrage, she was not so much yelling yet as she was demanding and loud and he flattened his ears to his skull as he spotted her facing off with Kestreltalon for whatever reason. Dandelionpaw hurried himself along to the medicine cat den to put the comfrey away and also, for no reason at all, to doublecheck they had cobwebs in stock...

Hyacinthbreath sets a lizard on the fresh-kill pile as she hears the outraged voice of Sootstar, ears perking up in question- she knew that tone, quite well over the moons she'd gotten to know Sootstar. Someone said something that offended or insulted her, and Hyacinth lifts her head to tune into the drama. She spots Ivoryflight in the distance, sharing tongues with some NPCs, and wanders over with a baby rabbit in her jaws for the molly to eat. She sets it down, not really paying much attention to the molly until she settles down beside her without invitation.

"Do cats never learn?" Hyacinth gossiped softly, glaring scornfully over her shoulder at Kestreltalon. Disgust, displeasure- Sootstar helped keep the Clan safe with her smart leading, and cats were still so ungrateful for her good-will? Her tail lashes behind her, and she waits until Sootstar's body language shifts to a point where Hyacinth would need to step in.

Though, she had a clear idea that Sootstar could handle herself.

Eyes would be caught by the motion of Dandelionpaw hurrying to his den, wondering if he too picked up on the growing tension between the leader and warrior. If she caught his gaze, she would beckon with her tail, an invitation to sit with her in case he too needed to step in. Her thoughts would be torn from her mind as the rabbit thumped to her paws, surprise lighting her gaze as Hyacinthbreath fell to the ground beside her. A small mrrow of thanks would escape her jaws as she graciously began to eat the rabbit, pushing it in the female’s direction to offer her a bite. “You’d think more cats would learn to brush things off.” Her tone held worry, and while she agreed with Hyacinth, she couldn’t help but wonder if they needed to intervene. “You think we’ll need to step in? Even Dandelionpaw looks concerned.” She’d muse quietly, her tail pointing in the direction of the apprentice pacing in the medicinecat’s den. Watching Hyacinth carefully, she’d continue to eat the rabbit as she too watched the body language of her clanmates.

She froze in place, every fur on her body raising as Sootstar's words reached her. Shit. She hadn't meant to say that aloud. The worry that her loose tongue might get her in trouble had hung over her since she had joined the clan. While she hated her clanmates, she was well aware of the power they held over her. So far, she had managed to avoid it by simply keeping out of everyone's way. No offending anyone if they never spoke to her. Not anymore though, it seemed.

Slowly, painfully, she turned to face Sootstar.

As she turned she saw the eyes of her clanmates upon her, awaiting her reply. None of them intervened. Just waited, ready to pounce if she said the wrong thing. Heat rose in her cheeks as she realized the whole camp was staring at her. Disgusting animals, she told herself, all of them. Letting their leader have the run of the place, rolling over at her command, it made Kestreltalon sick.

A wild look entered her eyes as she realized what was happening to her. The look of a cornered animal. This was exactly what she had been afraid of since she stepped into camp, that she had trapped herself amidst enemies.

In her panic, her mind deserted her. Fortunately, her tongue was eager to take over. Her anger and fear rose into her throat as she met Sootstar's gaze.

"I said," Kestreltalon began loudly, a snarl building in the depths of her belly, one that showed her teeth. "You're a narcissistic. Little. Snake-heart." She spat the words like venom, giving her leader a mocking grin full of false-confidence. Her tail lashed behind her. "I've never met a molly so obsessed with herself as to lord herself over every cat she sees, and think an entire territory already full of cats was hers by right. You pitch a fit if every cat you meet doesn't fall over themselves to obey your every whim. It's honestly pathetic."

Kestrel was braver than her, thats for sure. As Honeytwists eyes land upon Dandelion rushing in to the space they now shared she finds herself sighing at the words of poison being flung. Did she agree with them?


Yes. She did. Honey believes Sootstar had an ego of what could only be described as a god. She makes her way out of the medicine den with a look at Dandy, full of worry and slight anger. "Please don't do this." her voice is slightly quiet, pointing a look of slight annoyance at the ones just watching. She did not have enough herbs to supply clanmates who fought between themselves. "You injure each other and I won't help." she shrugs, then returns back to the medicine den where she'd sit with Dandy and help him organice.

// sorry its bad BHIDVFEGHBJD


Kestreltalon's wild look is matched, all sense of thought left Sootstar's mind. She did not think from here forward, she only took action.

Her face shows little emotion when the loner repeats what Sootstar had thought she said. A narcissistic, little, snake heart.
Maybe it was true, but did she not have every right to be? She was queen of the hills, blessed by StarClan with nine whole lives, she deserved her confidence and status. She deserved to think highly of herself... as for being a snake-heart?

Weaselclaw's words echo in her mind. You're ruthless, but you have to be. She has to be, or her clan would crumble and fall apart. If she was not strict and ruthless they'd be running around like chickens without heads. This disrespect? She could not allow... and she would not stand for it.
Not another cat would speak this way about her, their higher-ups, or StarClan from this day forward without punishment. The first offender would get the worst punishment.

"Because of me, everyone here has a place to call home. Because of me, everyone here is safe and healthy. Because of me, we're all able to thrive and get fat off rabbits. Not everyone here may worship or love Sootstar, leader of WindClan, queen of the hills, but after everything I've done for them and created? They damn should." Before her clan she confesses in her ego, and some would see it just as Kestreltalon did. Others would interpret Sootstar's words as merely the truth, how could the leader not think that of herself? She was choosen by StarClan, granted nine-lives, she was one of the closest things (with four others) this forest has seen to a walking goddess.

Sootstar decides here and now she doesn't want cats in her clan who can't accept her for who she is, they could never be truly loyal to her anyways.
Honeytwists pleads for the scene not to escalate, but everyones fate involved at the scene has already been sealed.

"I welcomed you into my clan, Kestreltalon, despite your previous disrespect. I've allowed you to take shelter in our walls, eat from our fresh-kill, drink from our water, thrive off our protection, and this is how you thank me?" She growls, fur now beginning to bristle once more. "I've been lenient of this behavior for far too long. I've allowed my high rankings to get berated with disrespect, I've allowed cats to walk away from disrespecting me without an apology. No more!" Now her gaze is scanning her camp, meeting every set of eyes she possibly could.

Then she looks to the sky and shakes her head, then back down into the eyes of Kestreltalon. "For disrespecting a StarClan approved leader, more than once, you must be punished. In the name of StarClan, I, Sootstar leader of WindClan, sentence you to darkness." She doesn't even give cats or Kestreltalon a chance to interpret her words, the small blue she-cat lunges forward with unsheathed claws and rakes them down the right side of Kestreltalon's face. Her claws ripping at flesh around her eye, and the eye itself. Thtat's all it was, a single strike and it was over. But for Kestreltalon this moment would last forever.

"Darkness in one eye will do. Perhaps if you prove to your ancestors in life that you deserve forgiveness, you'll regain sight again in spirit on the day you leave to join them." There isn't any sympathy- or at least none showing. Sootstar allowed the blood from her paw to stain the grass she stood on.


The harsh words, the raised voices, it is becoming more and more commonplace here. Desensitized as he is to it by now, he still turns to look, to watch with curious blue and gold eyes, though he feels a prickle of apprehension as he listens to the venomed words coming from Kestreltalons mouth, though he does feel a similar way to her, he would never say it out loud. He knows better than that. He frowns as Sootstar draws closer to the outspoken molly, wondering what she would do, wondering what he would do if put into a similar position. He knows it's not this.

Sootstar's savagery goes deeper than he expects. The second she raises her paw he knows something dark is about to unfold before him. If Brightshine or any of her children or sisters were nearby, he would move his massive body to block their view. "Don't look, you don't want to see" he would whisper to whoever it ended up being. They didn't need to witness this. Immediately he feels sorrow for any children present, they didn't deserve to be raised like this, with this being normal. He casts a glance at Honeytwist, who looks horribly defeated, to Dandelionpaw, who is just a child and he digs his claws into the sand.

If he hadn't his own family to protect, to worry about, he's certain he would not be standing complacent and it takes everything in him now to not say or do anything. He must keep himself grounded, must be good. For them, he reminds himself as he regretfully looks away from the she-cat who now stands bloody and mutilated before them.
Kestreltalon bristled at the suggestion that it had been Sootstar who made this home, that she was queen of the hills. "These moors were my home long before I ever set my eyes on you, and what a better home it was then!" she spat bitterly. Just listening to this molly made her sick with hate and fear, but she forced herself not to step away. She couldn't show weakness, not here not now. It had been a mistake to start this, a terrible one, but backing down now would just make it worse.

If it came to it, though, she was ready to turn tail and run. Get out of camp and never look back.

Still, her leader continued to prattle on and on self importantly. She needed to just get to her point already. Sentence Kestreltalon to a moon of cleaning up shit or whatever. Get this stupid show over with. "I've hunted for this clan just as well as anyone else." She cut in to Sootstars little monologue with a hiss. Objecting to the idea that the leader had "given" her anything. She had worked for her place here, even though she had hated it. But she was on the defensive now, Sootstar was hurling insult after insult at her and she just had to stand there and listen to all of it, all because her stupid clanmates were watching.

Her sentence, instead of any kind of labor, was darkness. It sounded pretentious and ridiculous, and she was about to say as much. Before Sootstar leapt forward and sliced across her vision with a deft movement.

Kestreltalon screamed.

She screamed and screamed and screamed as she fell to the ground, writing in pain. Her voice throwing itself carelessly over the sound of her leader's last proclamation. The pain was worse than she had ever felt before.

Every moment she expected it to ebb, for her vision to fade back in. Each time she was disappointed. "My eye!" she cried in disbelief amidst her screams. "What did you do to me, you snake!?"

He was only growing more and more anxious the longer the two she-cats squared off and even Honeytwist’s comforting presence and insistence they knock it off did not dissuade this unease.
It is the declaration of being sentenced to ‘darkness’ that makes him falter for a moment in confusion until Sootstar’s claws are unsheathed. She wouldn’t actually-she would! She definitely would!
Both mismatched eyes closed tight so he didn’t see the swing of ebony blades across the diluted fur of Kestreltalon’s face.
The sepia point can not help the immediate outburst he has upon opening them and finding blood on the grass. It is so red it almost hurts his eyes.

“Are ye out of yer damned mind?!” Dandelionpaw is not normally a cat to anger, his lax and cheerful nature leads him to taking things in stride and rolling with the punches but it is the disregard for her clan’s mental stability that sends the apprentice swearing at the ashen leader like she’s a misbehaving kit. He is already dashing forward there to stand in front of her, trying to reach a paw out to Kestreltalon hesitantly to see how bad it was, he skids to a stop on long legs to push himself upright to full height because he is taller than Sootstar and it is his only advantage in a discussion or…argument. Or whatever this was.
He is thinking angrily about the loners who suffered and were lost as a result of negligence, he’s thinking of Honeytwist’s miserable expression when she is told to withhold her kindness, he is thinking of how Kestreltalon would struggle to adapt now with her eye so damaged-he had only glimpsed the cut before the other’s head dipped away but it did not look good.

“Ye throw a fit when we try’n use herbs on loners need’n a paw who might be loyal WindClanners if ye show’em any compassion but you’ll make us waste’em cause ye couldn’t keep yer claws sheathed!” The sepia point’s fur is bristling along his back, rising into ridges and making him look larger than his apprentice-sized form would have you believe. She could have sheathed her claws, she could have punished her to clean dens or change her name to an apprentice's again. There was so much she could have done, but her first response was to choose blood.
“Ye can go gather every plant and cobweb yerself to fix this to replace the ones we’re ‘bout to use!”
Honeytwist said they would not help if a fight escalated, but were they really going to let Kestreltalon go untreated? What if it got infected? What if she died? The apprentice is leaning into the bloodied warrior now, trying to guide her to go to the medicine cat den.


Honeytwist's words are met with a disinterested flick of her ear, Hyacinthbreath watching the argument go down. It wasn't that she enjoyed watching clanmates get hurt, but cats had to know their place in WindClan. Talking back to your leader will get you punished. Was it so hard to just do as Sootstar says, when she says to do it? To respect her, since she is your commander of sort?

She watches as Dandelionpaw rushes out, yelling about how they'd have to replace supplies. Hyacinth stands up then, fur rising along her back as she bares her teeth at him. A warning. Her eyes flick over to Honeytwist, narrowing violet hues at the molly- daring her to stop Sootstar from what she was doing.

A punishment of darkness, fitting for a warrior who refuses to see how things should be. How things are. There was no wheel to break here, it kept spinning endlessly, never stopping. Sootstar was right to punish Kestreltalon with this, maybe it would teach her a lesson. She touches her tail to Ivoryflight's spine, before she walks over to Sootstar to sniff at her to make sure she was alright.

"She can't be trusted, Sootstar." Hyacinth whispered in the femme's ear, a ghostly intention behind her words.

Theres a scream outside that curdles her blood, my eye, my eye! Any anger that was left was replaced with cold blooded fear. Dandelion is on the scene, leaving the medicine cat alone in her den, once comforting lavender plants providing nothing but a reminder that she was stuck here. Stuck here with cats that answered to a tyrant, answered to nothing but a cold-hearted murderer. Her stomach twists as she numbly rises to her paws, gathering the appropriate herbs and leaving her den.

Immediately Hyacinth looked at her and with all the fury of fire and brimstone she sneered at her, a look so out of place for the normally docile female. I ought to leave all of you. Its a sudden realization. I ought to leave all of you and take Dandelion with me. Take my family far away from here, because you're nothing but snakes. Kestrel was right and so when she moves towards her, she shields the other from the world with her body.

"You are truly nothing but trouble." there was no warmth, only venom and malice in her voice as she turns to stare at Sootstar, anger rising once more. She feels sick just looking at the female. "You are to replace every single herb and cobweb I use. This is your fault. I wield the power of healing, and if ANY of you are to object, you will not be healed. Not by me, not by Dandelionpaw. You can go to another clan, from now on I do not care." shes using her god given right as a weapon, something she should have done since the beginning. "Do not forget that I walk with the stars in my dreams." a threat, no longer disguised.

Honeytwist would no longer be toyed with. Honeytwist was no longer docile, no longer a pushover. Shes beyond pissed off, she will use everything she can as a weapon.

"Come on, mon ami, lets get you looked at." it still shakes with anger and shes still shielding Kestrel from the world. She hopes she can help Dandelion guide Kestrel in to the medicine den, away from prying eyes.
Pollenfur hears the disagreement, and her fur lights on end, terrified it's Emberfang and Hyacinthbreath again, or worse... her sister and the WindClan queen herself. The chocolate tortoiseshell pushes her way through to where Sootstar and Kestreltalon bicker, her flank brushing against Heavy Snow's.

"Good StarClan, what have I missed..." Her voice trails off. There's a dark pit of dread unfolding in her stomach.

Amber eyes flick to the cats gathered. Anxious Dandelionpaw, Hyacinthbreath with her steel mask, Honeytwist warning them not to waste her supplies on senseless violence.

Sootstar proclaims that Kestreltalon has earned a punishment. The mottled warrior sighs to herself. Exile. Take me with you, Kes. We'll go wander the moors. Let's take the kits, Honeytwist, Dandy. Let's all just... go. Leave her to her soldiers and her ruined kingdom. The temptation is overwhelming. She flicks her tail against Heavy Snow's flank, knowing the big white tom would follow if they could get her sister and her sister's kits.

But exile is not the punishment Sootstar has deemed worthy for Kestreltalon.

The small blue smoke unsheathes her claws. The sunlight glinting from their surfaces makes Pollenfur sick. No. There's no way. Not even she-

She does. Kestreltalon screams, clutches a bleeding eye, exclaims that he can't see. "What did you do to me, you bitch!"

Pollenfur looks away.

She's seen enough.

She goes to Honeytwist, to the whimpering, half-blind warrior whose face streams blood. Pollenfur murmurs, "I'll help you restock. Tell me what you need, Honeytwist. Melonpaw and I will go collect." She attempts to press her face against Kestreltalon's good side for a brief flash of comfort.

Then her eyes find Hyacinthbreath's.

After a moment, Pollenfur only shakes her head at the lead warrior.

If you condone this, then you may be a monster as well.

A scoff would escape his jaws, shaking his head slightly with the words of his clanmate. You idiot. You will pay for that. Talking ill of the leader and expecting to get away with it. Expecting nobody would hear no less. Wolfsnarl knew better than to vocally speak like that. A soft grin would creep onto his jaws, watching as Sootstar exploded with rage. The tom knew it was coming. The scene that unfolded was better than he could imagine. Much like the fight he would endure with an npc a few days into the future, it was over almost as quickly as it started. Howls of pain filled the air as the molly screamed on and on about her eye. You reap what you sow. Should not have spoken like that. You deserved it.

Muscles would tense as the tabby rose to his paws, falling in behind Hyacinthbreath to comfort the leader. Out of the corner of his eyes he would see the medicinecat move to help her apprentice, a soft roll of his eyes as they did so. So much for your refusal to help should they injure themselves.The bitch got what she deserved. You did what you needed to do. No cat should be able to get away for openly disrespecting you like that. I would say you did well. Hopefully now cats understand that if they step out of line, there will be consequences.Attempting to touch his tail to her back in a show of solidarity, the tom would only allow it to linger for a moment before nodding in agreement with Hyacinth.


And Kestreltalon screamed.
Sootstar winces at the noise a tad, curling her ears back with a growl. No- this is good, her inner-voice assures, this is a lesson, for Kestreltalon. For all. You are the leader, you are not to be met with such blatant disrespect. Sootstar watches the now partially blind she-cat writhe and squirm in pain. You've allowed cats to get away easy with it for far to long. No more...

No more.

With adrenaline pumping, Sootstar doesn't have time to come down from her high before her clan descends into chaos. Screams for Kestreltalon, hisses in support of their leader mixed in and become one in Sootstar's ears. She knew this would occur, that she'd get strong reactions from her actions.

Dandelionpaw is angry, an emotion she's not seen the apprentice show before. His mentor too, Sootstar's fur bristles, "I will not." She meows plain and simply, "your place in this clan is to heal, Honeytwist. That's the job StarClan has given you, as you said. Stop healing them and you'll find that your place in purpose in WindClan stops too..." A warning and Sootstar meant with a lash of her tail.

She turns to Hya, who whispers in her ear, she cannot be trusted.
I know, Sootstar replies with knowing eyes. Yet exiling her would do them no good, she was better in WindClan as an example for now. Perhaps one day... they'd get to that point.

"The disrespect toward higher rankings has gone on for long enough. I've seen it for Duskfire, I've seen it for Hyacinithbreath, I've seen it for myself. Don't disrespect your high rankings, be loyal to your clan, and this won't happen again." A promise, a vow that she knew would fall on mostly deaf ears... but to those who were listening? Perhaps they'd get some order around here.

Wolfsnarl speaks to her, and she looks at him, a simple word is all she says.