He doesn't know how long its been. It's mush in his mind; moments, maybe days? All this time spent wandering these dull lands, followed by sad little creatures and sadder apparitions, lame things that seem to speak to him - guide him somewhere, somewhere, he doesn't care. His stare remains blank, white-hot anger eventually slowing with the flow of his blood. Idle, stone-faced, tired. He had barely even noticed when the source of his trouble gradually climbed into his vision. Branches supporting heavy brush, a sturdy trunk, roots sprawling wide across the ground. It was a stark contrast from where they'd come from. Not quite the forest, not quite the neighborhood.

He supposes it doesn't matter what it is, only that they've found it. He sees nothing special about it. It's a tree, alright. His blink is anything but enthusiastic, the beating of his heart remains staid, not an untick, a hint of excitement. "Found it,” he announces. The heavens do not speak to him, the mother is quiet. How boring. He idly glances around, paying no mind to any housefolk who spared him attention. "Look for anything interesting if your heart is still beating,” Intolerable bunch.

[ the patrols will be meeting up here, a park with the tree from his dreams in the center before 'deciphering' the prophecy and heading home. @HARPYFALL @TWITCHPAW @butterflypaw @BLAZESTAR @Quillpaw @BASILPAW @SQUALLMIST , open to any loners who tagged along as well :) <3 ]
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He's never felt so dirty in his life - the walk through the alleys has left his pale cream coat filthied with a layer of strange black grime. His entire body aches - he wants nothing more than to curl under one of the benches he's passing and sleep, but there's far too many housefolk walking around for him to even consider it. Many ignore them, but others make strange faces at the band of cats traveling on their turf - some even make noise or approach them with outstretched paws.

Blazestar wishes he'd never listened to Dawnglare's dream. Wishes he'd never left his nest. He hopes Daisyflight and the rest of the Clan are faring better than he is, but he imagines they have to be.

The Ragdoll lifts his head, tired dark sapphire eyes focusing against the setting sun. A tree? Was that a tree he was seeing, after all?

"That... is that it?" He exclaims, breathless. On tentative, worn paws, he quickens the speed of the patrol. It has to be the one, because he's seeing cats he thought he'd never see again - Dawnglare, Butterflypaw, Harpyfall, Twitchpaw - and they're surrounded by strange cats, too.

Blazestar pauses in front of his medicine cat, his long-time friend, and gives the longest sigh he ever has. Despite everything, they are here. "I'm so glad you're all okay," he murmurs. He reaches down to bump Butterflypaw's head with his nose. "I... was so worried."

He glances behind to the cats who have followed him, smiling. "These are my Clanmates," he tells them. "Our medicine cat, Dawnglare; my apprentice, Butterflypaw; Harpyfall, a warrior; and Twitchpaw, an apprentice."

He trails off, searching the tree and the sparse grass strip surrounding it. "This... what are we looking for, Val?" The lapse into his medicine cat's former name is accidental and easy. He's troubled - shouldn't there be something obvious here that they'd been looking for?

// tagging @MOONBEAM @watson @SKITTLES @PERCIVAL. not required that you reply but just so you all see it!


He hated this. All these- new strangers, and their smug stupid faces, and their stupid voices- gnawing at his soul, turning it to dust. He trudged, scowling, the only respite being Butterflypaw's familiarity. Snow-painted fur stood briar-bristled, features shadowed and crumpled as he stomped along. All this for a dumb tree. There were plenty of trees back home- what was special about this one?

This one. So this was it- and yet, the one who had lead them here seemed just as bemused by it as everyone else. Look for anything interesting if your heart is still beating. "I wish it wasn't," he spat, perhaps dramatic and juvenile, but he was so hungry and tired and stressed that he hardly cared to dwell on it. Claws flexed, and narrowed eyes flecked singular with amber stared up at the leaves. What wasmeant to be here? Some- fruit, that granted eternal knowledge?

"Maybe you have to- uh, touch it. Like with that... the, the moonstone." Murmured with uncertainty, Twitchpaw failed to make adequate eye-contact with anyone present. He'd heard that was how Blazestar had communed with StarClan; maybe, maybe. Why was he thinking of this? This wasn't his stupid job!

/ apologies he's in a bad mood
penned by pin ✧

Despite her confusion, Luna had followed behind Valentine. She had too many questions to ask him, of what had happened to him and where he had been. He looked so much leaner, so much stronger than when they had last spoken. He almost looked like a totally different cat. Her bewilderment only redoubled when she laid eyes on the flame-point giving introductions.

"...Blaise?" she asked hesitantly, unsure. He looked just as different as Valentine had. There was an added air of authority about him that was even further confusing to her though.
// CW mild gore / death at the end of the post

"Maybe you have to- uh, touch it. Like with that... the, the moonstone." Blazestar regards Twitchpaw wearily. The moonstone. The infernal contraption that had led them, even if indirectly, into the stinking digestive track of the Twolegplace they're all lost in now. The Ragdoll has no choice but to try it, though, and it's not a bad idea.

The roots, he thinks, and he pads closer to the tree. The grass underpaw is soft, unnaturally so, like the plushness of his fur after a thorough grooming. He lowers a pointed pink nose to the exposed roots twisting above the surface of the earth, and he settles the bulk of his body down in wait.

Nothing. He feels nothing. Despite his exhaustion, there's too much commotion to fall asleep, and there's none of that cool, ethereal silvery light to lull him into StarClan's forest.

He stands back up, disappointment weighing on him. "Nothing," he whispers. Blazestar tilts his head to the sky and blinks blearily at the stars peeking through the sunset. You've led me and my Clanmates here for nothing - to be traumatized? To be bullied by loners?

He turns to look at his warriors, the apprentices, Dawnglare, the cats who've come this far with them. His defeat is palpable.

A familiar she-cat, black and white, pads closer to him, hesitant. "Blaise," she asks him, and he looks at her for a moment before answering. "Yes," he says, voice soft. "Luna. I remember." He smiles, but it's weak. "I left our neighborhood to chase that she-cat I told you about... I'm Blazestar, SkyClan's leader, now."

SkyClan. His home. Their home. He turns to the slinking bodies of the cats who've followed them. "We are returning, now. Any help would be appreciated. Those who have helped us will be honored." He dips his head to them all. "Those who have come this far, too, will be welcome on our territory as friends."

His paws find the asphalt again, looking back with meaning. Home. It's time to go home, to forget about StarClan's whims entirely.

Though the two patrols have barely had time to rest before the trek back to the forest, Blazestar is itching to get back to their camp and sleep in moss among friends and allies. Perhaps he'll forgo camp altogether and pray he finds Little Wolf curled up in their spot, waiting for the flower he's promised.

Soon, the bustle of the streets fades into a static, a hum. It's almost the neighborhood he'd grown up in again. Silence, the quiet loneliness of the Twolegplace before moonhigh. Monster eyes flare, but the beasts are muffled and quiet, and their eyes burn like contained flame.

Blazestar does not notice the reddish gleam of the monster backing out of its small, manicured miniature Thunderpath. It goes too slow, too quiet, despite the quiet growl of its organs. His head swims with his disappointment, his exhaustion, his defeat, and he does not know what is happening until it is too late.

The monster jerks backwards without ceremony, and Blazestar's eyes go wide as moon as the black paws hit his flank and then roll over him. One enormous black foot, then another, thud over his body and he feels something crack, something soft is pierced in his body, and his eyes roll up into his head as a wave of crimson washes through his vision and into his body. Everything burns, everything hurts like fire, and then the monster is out of the driveway without ceremony, the Twoleg within none-the-wiser.

// TLDR they're almost home and he got backed over by a car pulling out of a driveway. he dead


Their quick departure from the patrol group wasn’t planned, but Sis can’t know about their double life, so they’d had to make a split-second decision to protect their own sanity from the endless jabbering of one angry molly. Still, upon seeing a familiar coat of pale red surrounded by other familiar faces, Pantherpelt picks up their leisurely pace, bounding down the sidewalk and practically sliding to a stop before the other SkyClanners. "Fancy seeing ye all here! What’ve I missed? And why ain't anybody seen ye in a while?"

They don’t seem to realize that the entire patrol had gotten separated and lost; they’d only been with the patrol until they’d reached their house, anyway. They’d assumed, wrongly, that the group would make it back to camp just fine on their own. But apparently they needed more than one daylight warrior to help them out. And by the looks of it, they’ve picked up a few street cats and kittypets on their way. One of 'em, the spotted red tom, looks like he’s about to be sick at the sight of her ragged fur, and when she shoots the kittypet a fanged grin, he scrambles backward so quickly he nearly topples over.

She’s preoccupied with frightening the poor red-furred kittypet that she doesn’t notice the car backing out of the driveway until it’s too late for the flame-pointed tom. The tire rolls over the leader with a healthy crunch, a stomach-turning crack, and she only sees the tail end of it as the car drives off. The dark-furred warrior reaches his side in only a few long strides, but can do nothing to help the way that his eyes roll back, the life leaves his body. "Ahh, shite. He’s dead, lads, he’s kicked it…" They turn to Dawnglare, fixing the medic with a panicked amber gaze. "Can’t ye fix ‘im? Maybe do yer magic stuff?" They know the leader is rumored to have nine lives, but they don’t know how many he has left if that’s true—and besides, there’s tons of other dead things around that’re surely fighting to take over his body. Chances are, if Blazestar comes back to life, it won’t even be him walking that giant frame around.

If'n he comes back to life, I’m smackin' him, whatever he’s possessed by.
✦ ★ ✦

Everything just... slowed. Slowed, stopped, grew to scraping boredom and disappointment. There was a stale nothingness in the air and he hated it, hated it, hated it. Why had they even come here if this tree was not star-blessed like the stone? Was there any point or had Dawnglare made up this prophecy- misinterpreted it- lead them astray? His legs hurt, his lungs hurt, from both running and panic. This was the worst thing ever. What he wouldn't give for that tree to fall over and put him our of his misery.

He said not a word as they trudged homeward bound, and as Pantherpelt found them- all smiles and casual chatter, asking nonchalantly where they'd been as if they even cared- Twitchpaw shot them a venomous glance through narrowed olivine eyes. He cared not to answer their question- all he wanted to do was get home. Maybe Tidespin would ask about his journey- tell him she was proud. Maybe Ravencall would say he'd always known he had it in him to brave a mission like this. Or maybe they'd just ask him to hunt them a squirrel.

It was- quick, but not nearly quick enough. Slow cracking of boned, a thump- a horrid sight, at which Twitchpaw let free a yowl of unbridled, sky-tearing horror. Dead. Pantherpelt said so- and wide eyes found them then, a trembling voice articulating the reality laid bare before him. "'AW, SHITE'!?" he blurted in disbelief, quavering with fear and unsure where to fix his attention. Body, surroundings, blood, faces, the whole whirlwind- blood, blood, blood. It stank. Blazestar was dead. "What are we gonna do? He's dead- he's dead-!! He's dead! What do we tell everyone? What if that- that StarClan thing, it doesn't work, and we get back and we're dragging his body- everyone'll think we killed him! No-one'll believe us and we'll get exiled, what do we do, what do we do!?"

Irrational, really, but when was that a rarity?
penned by pin ✧
[ sorry this is so long omg tl;dr he copes so he doesn't yell at children several times and then tells blaze to wake tf up ]

Heartfelt reunions and the like. Yes, yes, charming, lovely, wasn't it all? Friends reuniting with friends, old and new. Sluggish, boring, sickeningly dull. Blaze busies himself with the most meaningless of tasks. It's nothing new, he supposes. This entire excursion feels like one big waste of time - skyclan, that is. His nose scrunches in a grimace as he reunites with his frankly, terrible apprentice. At least she would spend less time whining, now.

And twitchling's outburst makes him giggle, a cruel smile curling on his face for just a moment - before dropping into straight-faced nothingness a heartbeat later. His gaze flickers to him, unsettling, then up and away. How funny would that be, for his heart to fall still the second they reached this place. A prophecy just to rid Skyclan of a presence so aching. Maybe you have to touch it, he says, and Dawnglare harks a poorly-concealed snort. He's not touching the tree. What was he, stupid? (The question is rhetorical, of course).

Blaise clearly was, he listens, pressing his nose to a gnarled root like it was about to give him another life. Dawnglare only observes, dead-eyed as Blaise seems to sing a silent prayer. Pity.

- And that same dreary look on his face remains as they head back, for some reason with even more irritants than they had left with. He can't be bothered to question it, a trick by the gods. What was the lesson here? He wishes his heart had stopped - that little one. The outcome would've been much more tolerable.

The demon reconvenes with them, all smiles and cheer. A vessel for the wicked, and yet, Dawnglare would've much rather spent his time out here with her. Perhaps it's blasphemous to think this way, but...

There's a sound, then, a defeating crack. Behind him, Blaise is all dead-skinned and limbs where they shouldn't be. His eyes lack their naive shine. He's lying on the path of black tar like a piece of discarded prey. Ugh. The demon dignifies it with a word of muffled surprise, though it only serves to make him cringe. That tone - the inflection, all too similar to a certain someone's. It added up, he supposes. Spirits ran amuck within the vessels of Skyclan, but he'd deal with it... eh, sometime.

He looms over the body of his friend, pathetic like this, the sheen of his fur, previously unmatched by any wild-born thing was now dull and ugly, soot spread across his face like a mask. Cue the horrid excuse of a song, voice pitched in a shriek, crying, squealing thing. Eagerly, Dawnglare awaits another beast, a large - no, the biggest twoleg monster to deal with the issue for him, turn the rest of them into tracks of blood and guts. Wouldn't that be easy?

Alas, it doesn't happen. His expectant grin plummets into a frown, and he's still going. A hiss bubbles in his throat, white-hot anger begging to explode - but it can't, it can't. Blaise was alive and, oh, he'd be so mad at him. The words he'd really like to say steadily fade out, replaced then with a bout of delirious giggling. Slay him where he stands. Plunge a blade through his heart ♪ Gentle thoughts, soft as dawn, oh yes, yes ♪ A deep breath, and then a too-wide grin set on his face. Do his magic stuff, blasphemous terms for what he truly did, but what was he to expect from one like this?

He narrows his eyes, a grin still set on his face. He's fine. Foolish as he was, he would never do something so silly as die. "Blaise, get up.
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"So, that's it then? All this really was just for a tree?"

They stand around a large tree, reunited with the rest of their patrol - and then some.

It looks like any other tree, Squallmist thinks. Perhaps a little bigger, perhaps with larger roots. But, not star-laden, like the pelts of those that belonged to StarClan.

Blazestar acts like it's the Moonstone, upon Twitchpaw's suggestion, and even then - nothing.

Had they really come all this way - been chased by dogs, been separated, forced to deal with new faces, forced to leave home - for Dawnglare to just, dream about a tree he'd probably seen at some point before his time in SkyClan?


"Maybe it's a different tree? Is there another one further down?" the silver tabby asks, though he knows that's not the case. Oh, how badly he wants this journey to not be for nothing.

Anger rises within him as they begin their departure, begin their true homecoming. How could they be so foolish as to listen to Dawnglare's dreams? How could Blazestar take him this far away from his family, when he needed to be with them right now? When he needed to be home to grieve with his siblings? All. For. Nothing.

His anger swirls within him, but crimson shines in the corner of his eye and fear replaces all he feels. He turns his head, eyes wide at the sight before him.

"Blaze--!" he tries to warn him, though it's too late. The monster rolls on by, as if the flame-point hadn't even been there. He stands there frozen at the sight before him, panic filling him, just as it does Pantherpelt, as it does Twitchpaw.

Stars, let those nine lives work, he silently begs.
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To say Butterflypaw is relieved to see her mentor is an understatement. She runs to him, returning his gesture by pressing her nose firmly to his, tears in her terrified eyes. She wants to go home! She wants Daisyflight! She wants her nest! She wants camp! She's so, so scared. "I thought we'd never find you!" Dawnglare was scary. She had stuck with Twitchpaw the entire journey, hiding behind his own trembling form pathetically.

Before long, it's finally time for all of them to make the trip back. They were going home! The tortoiseshell breathes out a sigh of relief and follows, her aching paws being shoved to the back of her mind as she just thinks about curling up at her mother's belly with a nice warm sparrow. But all thoughts of a cozy night are ruined as she witnesses something truly horrible. She freezes, pressing up against Twitchpaw as her yellow eyes stretch wide. A scream sounds in her ears, and she realizes it's coming from her. Her leader, her mentor...he's dead! Horror grips her and she falls to her belly, ears flat and face between trembling paws as she immediately begins to cry out.