rough & tough
Jul 28, 2022
'There's too many cats in the riverlands now. We're leaving. You can either come with us or stay here, kid. I don't really care.'

She had never felt at home with those rogues. In fact, she had felt far from it - always having to fight for her food, or scarf it down far from camp before returning for fear one of the larger cats (usually those big, brutish toms) would bully her out of a meal. The scars on her face seemed to hum in remembrance of the claws that had put them in their permanent spot.

'Fine. They'll sooner claw your eyes out than let you hunt on their lands though, 'specially once they start havin' kits to feed.'

With that, she was left behind. Not a one of those cats would miss her, not even the queen who'd finished weaning her. The younger kits bounced around her paws as they disappeared into the forest. She watched, almost wishing they would have stayed behind with her. As soon as their mother weaned them, Hail knew those kits would experience a fight for every meal, for every day of survival, just as she had. They were better off here, with her. She was just a kit herself, but the more she could spare from that lifestyle, the better, she thought. She stood as still as a boulder for a long time until the scent of the rogues faded into the smells of the forest.

It was time to introduce herself to the new group of cats who called themselves RiverClan, showing up just days ago and laying claim to the river and the area around it. The last thing Hail wanted was to fall into a group just like the last one. Her happiest days were back when it was just her and her parents, but she couldn't afford to be alone. It was dangerous, but was too stubborn to leave the riverlands where she had grown up.

It wouldn't take long to find them. Hail moved slowly along the bank of the river, keeping an eye out for any RiverClanner who might be fishing or sunbathing in patches of light.

So far, RiverClan seems like it’s shaping up to be a terrible place for Clay to live. Like, he should have expected this from a clan called RiverClan, but there’s just so much water. It honestly sucks. If not for his family, he would never have agreed to move here. Calling himself miserable would be an exaggeration, but he certainly doesn’t enjoy having to cross an uneven path of stepping stones anytime he wants to leave their new camp.

One good thing about RiverClan, though, is the many new cats that the territory came with. Kind of like a two-for-one deal. Or a ten-for-one. Or maybe a lot more, because it seems like new cats are showing up every day. And the newest cat—to Clay, at least—approaches today, looking a bit rugged but not necessarily unfriendly. With a skip in his step, Clay bounds over to greet them. "Hey there!" He calls out, coming to a stop a few tail-lengths away. He’s not getting any closer to the water than he has to. "Are you another one of our new neighbors?"


Frost could not of imagine living a life fighting over her own next meal, Spider and her had always shared what they caught for the day, taking a generous amount but since the river had been abundant, they did not need to worry much over fighting for scraps like many other loners or rogues had to deal with. The young she-cat would not understand the pain and struggles others who lived here had face, and perhaps she would never at any point.

Frost had been close by when she heard Clay call out to the silver stranger from across the river, and she noted how the tom seemed to keep quite a distance from the river which made her snort a bit in amusement at such a pitiful sight before slipping to stand next to him. Her bi-colored eyes would drift onto the form of Hail, and the battered and scarred flank told her enough to know that the she-cat, who seemed to be just about her age, had gone through much which made a gentle frown slip from her maw. A harsh truth of reality is that pain and misery was anywhere and everywhere one puts their paws at.

"Haven't seen you around, what's your name?" Frost would call out after Clay's own questions were thrown at the young she-cat. Frost would wonder, was she wary? Cautious? Scared? Thoughts and curiosity rushed through her but Frost felt it was best to wait until the stranger decided to approach first before trying to approach in case they decide to attack. Her gaze flittering towards Clay who seemed all too cheerful all the time despite their quite obvious discomfort of the river, quite laughable, honestly.

Lightning approached silently and came to a halt on the other side of Frost. His hazel eyes narrowed upon the youth - she looked like she'd been through quite a bit in her life. He could empathize. While he had a soft spot for children, that still didn't mean he completely enjoyed having strangers so close to their camp. He would wait without a word, as his two companions already asked the scrap all they needed to know at this moment. Who is she, and why is she here.

Close behind Lightning and her uncle, Lily made up the rear of the group. Whilst the others spoke to the young cat, Lily hung back, studying the younger she-cat. Although young it looked like she'd been through quite a bit in her life; it made Lily curious just how old she was. To her, it seemed like she could have only been one or two moons younger. She's more curious about what she's doing here and why she's here. Another joiner perhaps?

− ♱ ABOUT : the sun was high in the cloudless sky, late greenleaf breeze whisking heavily through the reeds as the mottled tom carries along. the rouges that had inhabited this land before him were beginning to dissipate or join his ranks, less and less faces of hostility showing as their numbers grew. while they had given him issues, the idea of running them off was something he fought against despite the fear that had begun to root itself deep into his gut. he knew what it was like to starve, quite obviously — he was only just beginning to put weight back on his already too - lanky form after his time in the marshlands, curls glossing and thickening with health. the river provided a constant supply of fish and prey aplenty ; a life he’d never known, even throughout his time with hare whiskers colony. there had always been times of starvation. most often in the midst of leafbare, when snow pelted the ground around them and froze what prey that had not starved themselves first. hare whiskers had still accepted him without a second thought — but he was beginning to struggle to do the same.

he makes his approach curiously despite the prickling sensation of anxiety biting at his paws, to observe the new felidae. she was small, not hardly old enough to be as battered and scarred as she was ; his chest aches for her already, the line of his brow softening as he comes to a stand next to clay and frost. she seemed to have been stretching to look along the shore, “ welcome to riverclan, liebling. are you looking for someone? “ she was too young for the tone he so often uses at his borders, odd vocals a careful lilt.

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty seven months old, riverclan leader
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, former marshlander, penned by antlers

  • none.

One cat after another slithered like snakes from the forest onto the shore of the river. Hail wanted to take a step backwards, but she could not show weakness. She couldn't show that this many cats made her scared. She studied the first for a moment before responding. "I guess, though I was here a long time before you lot," she said, blinking at him as she stated the obvious. A few loners who she had shared the riverlands with had already joined RiverClan's ranks to avoid being thrown out, but she knew that most of those who had laid claim to this land had come from other parts of the forest. If anything, they were the new neighbors.

The second to approach spoke, looking around the same age as Hail did. "Name's Hail. My group and I lived not far from here. They didn't care much for another group movin' in on our lands so they left. I didn't care much for those flea-bitten bastards so here I am," she said, giving a shrug of her shoulders as two silent cats approached. And finally, the last of the group. He held a certain authority that the others did not. Their leader, perhaps? At least someone more in charge than the rest. Her eyes came level to his as he asked her a question. "Lookin' for whoever runs this place. I wanna join. I know how to hunt and fight. Been doin' both since I was a kit. I was born here and I'd prefer not being thrown out when you all get tired of sharin' what wasn't yours to begin with." She scoffed and resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

She knew she had to reign in her tongue if she wanted to stand a chance, but she couldn't help but be bitter about having to share the riverlands with so many new cats. "Figured joinin' was the only safe option. Besides, you can't be worse than the last group I ran with." It was the truth. No one could be worse than them.

She hoped.