pafp I'M AFRAID TO RAISE MY HAND [ climbing training ] (the great sycamore)


will you bite the hand that feeds?
Jan 3, 2024

Orange eyes were tipped up at the Great Sycamore. She had been here plenty of times- training underneath it's boughs, watching other cats climb it, and she had done some herself. But today, she was being challenged to go higher then ever before. Her eyes shifted towards her mentor- Howlingstar, ever dependable, and strict in her training. Her ears twitched, before she slowly nodded to herself, trekking back a little bit before turning to face the tree.

Not once had Antlerpaw ever complained about being trained in different ways- closer to a Skyclanner now in regards to climbing, or more like a Windclanner testing her speed. She remembered the conditions in which they were accepted. While they were young, and without their mothers, they would have survived- but Howlingstar gave them a chance. It's a chance that Antlerpaw wouldn't let down, no matter how many tests she needed to go through to prove it.

Antlerpaw inhaled deeply, before taking a running start. Muscles, ones that were forming nicely, rippled as she leapt at the tree, claws digging into the bark. She shifted footholds, scampering up to the first branch. Eyes shifted down, a grin on her face as she looked towards Howlingstar. Her mount onto the tree had been cleaner, but she still had a ways to go up the length.
  • "speech"
    // please wait for @HOWLINGSTAR
    // takes place at the great sycamore!
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  • ANTLERPAW she/her, apprentice of thunderclan, ten moons.
    LH cinnamon lynx sepia with low white. smaller body, agile and slippery, fits really well in small gaps in the underbrush. soft spoken but strong and determined.
    mentored by howlingstar / / mentoring no one
    padding after no one / / sibling to fallowpaw and doepaw
    peaceful and healing powerplay permitted / / underline and tag when attacking
    penned by dallas ↛ dallasofnines on discord, feel free to dm for plots.

Howlingstar had always thought it to be impressive how SkyClanners could fly through the branches like squirrels, their paws seeming to never touch the bark. She can't climb like that, of course. But she can traverse trees, she just does it like a ThunderClanner - slow, careful, precise. It's important for her to pass that knowledge onto each apprentice she bears the honor of training, and Antlerpaw would be no different.

She stands at the base of the tree among the gnarled roots, meeting her apprentice's eyes with her own determined green gaze. She gives her a nod of encouragement. They've been working on climbing more and more lately, and she's sure her apprentice can get to a good height. "Remember to use your tail, you need balance when you're up high," The tabby calls up after her, padding closer to the trunk to watch the brown-furred she-cat scale the first couple branches.
Palefire wouldn't call herself an adept climber, though she also wasn't completely terrible at it either. It was a skill that she had honed only as much as it was useful to aid her in hunting, but beyond that she preferred to keep her paws firmly planted on solid ground. The appeal of it never quite reached her, and she couldn't fathom how the Skyclanners had decided to base all their training around it. In her own mind, there seemed to be much more important crafts to be teaching their young ones: hunting, fighting, surviving. The only way climbing would ever save you was if you were being chased by something that couldn't climb, and here in the forest that just didn't seem likely.

The lithe warrior silently stood at Howlingstar's side, her icy blue gaze locked steadfastly on the advances of Antlerpaw as she made her way up the tree. She was only here to observe, hoping to gain a bit of wisdom from how Howlingstar handled her own apprentice's training. Admittedly, Palefire didn't take well to Fallowpaw's siblings upon their arrival. The scent that had clung to them, the trauma surrounding their sudden appearance, their rogue origins. It had all reminded her far too much of how her own father had been lost to the claws of similar creatures, taken from her before she'd even had the chance to know him. But... as much as she would outwardly deny it, she was beginning to grow used to their presence within the clan. At the very least, it was getting easier to tolerate being around them without feeling that nauseating mixture of disgust and hatred.

"She's doing well," the lilac-pointed molly commented softly, lowering herself into a seated position as she risked a glance at Howlingstar. Palefire had just passed her sixteenth moon, which meant that under normal circumstances, she would be granted her first apprentice at the next meeting. But she had made many mistakes since her warrior ceremony, and it would be understandable if her leader decided to withhold that privilege from her as punishment. She needed to prove to the elder tabby that she had learned from what she'd done, and would never allow her judgement to be swayed that way ever again.... Looking back to the Great Sycamore, where she herself had trained with Nightbird not that long ago, she realized that more than anything, she wanted to come back to this place with her own charge and prove to Thunderclan that she was a warrior worthy of being trusted.

  • PALEFIRE she / her, warrior of thunderclan, 16 moons
    lh lilac lynx point w/ low white and blue eyes. tall and slender, fast and agile.
    currently emotionally withdrawn, all opinions are strictly ic and likely spur-of-the-moment.
    single, open to relationships / / mentor to no one // formerly mentored by nightbird
    peaceful and healing powerplay permitted / / underline and tag when attacking.
    penned by limerence@limericks. on discord, feel free to dm for plots.
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When Burnstorm had first gotten his apprentice name, his parents were still together. There was a stretch of time in his life where oak would give way to pine in his memories, and he remembers being instructed in the ways of climbing. it is a great skill he remembers his SkyClan mentor telling him with pride one that Rain himself honed and passed down to us so that we may thrive here in the forest.
It was a useful skill, he would give the SkyClanners that, and it had saved his hide on more than one occasion.

He tilts his head upwards to watch as his grandmothers apprentice scaled the high up limbs of the great sycamore, remembering a time when he had done much of the same. He had never made it to the top like Stormywing had, but perhaps sometime he should try. No. he thinks instantly with an amused huff I would come crashing back down to the earth like a boulder knowing my luck it was best to leave climbing such lengths to those more suited to it, those more skilled.

He glances at Palefire from the corner of his eye as she comments on Antlerpaws progress and he nods in agreement. "Better than I would have done that’s for sure" he comments, though he’s unsure if that’s true or not. It had been many moons since he had tried himself in such a way. Perhaps soon it would be time to rectify that.

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    A large, sharp tongued, tom with long black fur and golden, oval shaped, eyes.
    Difficult in battle. A skilled fighter + fights honorably
*+:。.。 For as hard as Wrathpaw squinted and craned his neck, he couldn't possibly see the tippy top of the great sycamore tree. It was one of his favorite spots to visit since becoming an apprentice. Although Wrathpaw was by no means the competitive sort, something about the tree just screamed at him to dig his claws into its rough bark; daring him to see how far he could climb it. For now though, the boy would hang back, standing beside his mentor @WILDHEART as they observed Antlerpaw's training. "Has anyone ever reached the top?" he finds himself asking.

    DMAB— He/Him
    6 moons — Ages 1 moon every month real-time
    Brother to Lovelight, Joywing, Giggle-
    Thunderclan — Kit
    Mentored by Wildheart

    Physically easy | mentally easy
    Attack in bold #4a59ff
    injuries: None currently

Softpaw considers herself apt enough at climbing trees - she's certainly no SkyClanner, that's for certain, but her Clanmates wouldn't find her lacking the means to get down should she find herself in a tree. A small smile graces her lips as she recalls how she'd shown Roaringpaw how to descend a tree, back when he had first found himself in a pickle on ThunderClan territory. She doesn't think that she has the skills right now to climb the Great Sycamore - in fact, it's a bit intimidating to imagine. Wrathpaw asks if anyone's ever conquered the tree, and Softpaw curiously twists her ears in that direction to see if there's an affirmative answer.


Campionsong remembered the first time he had climbed a tree, though it had been longer ago than even the clans' formations. He had been as graceful, as flighty, as beautific... as a hatchling eagle knocked out of its nest. He had tried, again and again, until a stumble became a slow ascent, and an acent became a quick escalade. It had taken moons... but he could say, with certainty, that he had done it!

Watching Antlerpaw climb up the Great Sycamore brought back not-so-fond memories, though the young apprentice had certainly done better than him, and soon she would be able to face the welkin that scaled along the horizons. Rippling muscles of the younger molly indicated that she was much more equipped for a life in the trees than he, what with swanlike gangles for rangy limbs, Pride for his clan, at least, had settled into the older tomcat's being like a resting fog along the land, a quiet and subtle sort of sentiment. "I heard the top of the trees is where Starclan will talk to you... But only if you climb up there in the dead of night, when there's a full moon in the sky." Campionsong chimed in, donning an obviously falsified voice attempting to be deep and mysterious, like he wove a story lauding some great and heroic feat. Of course, that was not true - to his knowledge, at the very least. Still, wonder seemed a scarce resource to come by at times, and he had plenty of it to share. Whimsy did not have to be lost as one shed their down and donned a shadowed face, the poet mused.

ˏˋ*⁀➷  Anxious eyes watch Antlerpaw's ascent, her sister hovering near the base of the sycamore. Howlingstar is there to ensure her safety, but that doesn't ease the tangle of worry that snakes its way through Fallowpaw. It'll catch her if she falls, it thinks - though, truthfully it's not quite sure how.

It doesn't seem like it needs to, though. Antlerpaw's a natural, far more than it is. Her ascent carries a grace, and it feels a warm glow of pride at the sight. "Doin' good, Antler!" it calls. "You got this!" It's a rare sight to see the apprentice joyful, but the smile on Antlerpaw's face spreads quickly to hers. Even her usual barbs are dulled; an exasperated side-eye is given to Campionsong's fanciful words. "Yeah, sure," she mutters, rolling her eyes. She doesn't know much about speaking to StarClan from the treetops or whatever, but she doesn't really care. She's more focused on the confident grin on her sister's face.

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  • FALLOWPAW ⁀➷ she / it, apprentice of thunderclan, eleven moons.
    a scarred, pointed brown and white molly with shaggy fur and golden eyes.
    standoffish and solitary, always seems to have a dark cloud hanging over its head.
    baying hound xx npc, littermate to antlerpaw & doepaw.
    peaceful and healing powerplay permitted / / underline and tag when attacking
    penned by SATURNID ↛ saturnids on discord, feel free to dm for plots.

Her mentor is encouraging- the same way she always is, writing in little tips and tricks. Things she needs to be conscious about. Antlerpaw inhaled softly, and nodded in response to Howlingstar. Her eyes shifted, scanning that of those who approached around the base of the tree to watch- to watch her? Just her? Color touched to cheek and ear as she stared down. That's... a lot of eyes.

Vision shifted as her sister called up to her. Brief was the start of recognition, but the smile stayed on her lips at her sister's own. She exhaled softly. I got this. It's fine. Her head turned, ignoring the bearing of cats watching, suddenly feeling a need to prove herself. Ears twitched, and she shifted her weight and her tail, finding a better balance like her mentor had suggested. Right.

Eyes shifted and found her pathing, claws digging in as she leapt up to the next branch, smaller and more precise paws stepping forward before leaping to the next. Her heart was thudding in her ears, nearly a soar of her heart now. Vision tilted up towards the top of the Sycamore, and she knew she wouldn't reach- not like Stormywing had. Vision briefly cast over the forest, a soft breath of amusement leaving her. The ground fell away, the many eyes watching all but a faint memory as she looked out over the tops of trees, birds flitting by.
  • "speech"
  • ANTLERPAW she/her, apprentice of thunderclan, ten moons.
    LH cinnamon lynx sepia with low white. smaller body, agile and slippery, fits really well in small gaps in the underbrush. soft spoken but strong and determined.
    mentored by howlingstar / / mentoring no one
    padding after no one / / sibling to fallowpaw and doepaw
    peaceful and healing powerplay permitted / / underline and tag when attacking
    penned by dallas ↛ dallasofnines on discord, feel free to dm for plots.

Howlingstar’s attentive eyes do not leave her apprentice, but a smile graces her maw in response to Palefire’s soft praise. She nods with pride, ears flicking forward. “She is. This is her first time on this tree.” These practiced many times before on shorter, more manageable trees in the forest, but the tabby leader believed she was ready for this next step. She huffs in amusement at her grandson’s jest, but deep down she remembers that climbing is in his blood. She supposed he didn’t inherit much of that SkyClan skill, a thought that actually fills her with a guilty amount of joy. He is all ThunderClan.

“Stormywing,” She answers Wrathpaw, still not taking her eyes off of Antlerpaw high above. “It’s how she earned her warrior name.” Her ear angles to listen to Campionsong’s story and a gentle smile returns. She can appreciate a good tale like that, even if Fallowpaw doesn’t seem to.

Howlingstar notices the apprentice then take a long pause in the middle of the tree and she takes a step forward before calling up, “Are you finished? You can come down now, Antlerpaw!” She doesn’t want her to push herself and get hurt, after all.
Since breaking her leg, climbing has been a much more difficult endeavor for Lovelight. What once came naturally to her now is a struggle, tiring her out and making her ache before she even reaches the second branch, most times. She does miss it, if she's being honest with herself, but it isn't worth risking a fall out of the tree from a misstep due to her bad leg. She has to content herself with watching instead, and watch she does. Her eyes are focused up on Antlerpaw, watching the apprentice climb the sycamore for the first time. There's a faint smile pulling the corners of her lips up a small amount as her eyes follow the other. She doesn't say anything, having no helpful opinions to offer.​
"Yes, others have reached the top before. If you want to try climbing it yourself then do so, but remember that you will need to climb back down again. Which honestly is the trickier part. It becomes vital not to cave into your fear at that point." Wildheart explained as he looked at Wrathpaw for a moment before casting his attention back to Antlerpaw and the tree. It was a long way up, and he still remembered how mighty the climb had been for himself when he had been just an apprentice. As a warrior it no longer fazed him in the same manner.