Jun 29, 2022
Welcome to the first Tabby Tales Gathering! As dictated by Rain at the conclusion of the Great Battle, the two groups are meeting again at moonhigh in the Fourtrees clearing to decipher the prophecy. "Spread like the creeper vine." Please do not attempt to have your character decipher the prophecy, as someone is planned to do this. This is the Gathering where leaders will stake their claims.

Between four towering oak trees, an empty clearing gleams silver like a starlit lake. A lustrous full moon has taken its position in the sky. There's silence, thick and heavy, but for the sounds of the forest: scuttling prey creatures, the insects' song, and, distantly, the movement of cats on a pilgrimage.

Two groups of felines begin to pour into the clearing like droplets from a waterfall. They are distinct only by the scents clinging to their coats and to whom their loyalties lie. Anxiety fills the air, tension created from a moon of pondering following a morning filled with blood and spirits rising from the dead.

It is moonhigh. The prophecy is waiting to be fulfilled.

It had been a quarter moon since the battle. The cuts on her face were healing into scars, but the pain done to her heart would not heal for a long time. Perhaps, though, tonight would start her on the mend - or perhaps it would cause her to spiral more into the depths of despair and guilt she had been feeling these past few days. Still, the spirits had told them to come back to Fourtrees to discuss the prophecy they had been given. In no position to disobey, Briar would do as she was told. She wondered if they would be here tonight. She hoped they would.

She led the way into the clearing and brought her group of cats to the center of the clearing. In the distance, she could see the leaderless group of pine cats slipping out of the shadows. She felt bitterness tug at her heart when she saw them, but it wasn't as strong as it had been before the battle. More so the bitterness of defeat and sadness than anger and hatred. Her claws nervously shredded the ground, desperate to get this over with so she could go back home to the swamps and shadows.
*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ He does not lead the procession of cats who make their way from the pine forest to Fourtrees. He is on the side, pensive, face drawn in thought. His heart beats quickly as the stinging scent of the marsh cats invades his senses, but the feeling it evokes ebbs and fades like a slow tide.

He can spot Briar among the others, and he only gives her a worried look before searching the others' faces. He wonders if Little Wolf has come as well. He supposes all of them must have, save those too sick, young, or elderly to make the journey.

Blaise sits with his group, opposite the marsh cats, and waits without saying anything. His memories are filled with the screams of the dying and those who mourned them. His own claws sink into the soft earth they tread upon, watered by the blood they'd spilled.
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Though she obviously wanted to heed the words of those fallen star warriors, anxiety still flared in her stomach. She would gladly come herself, but bringing all her groupmates to face the marsh cats put her on edge. Part of her expected the battle to begin anew, right where it left off. Plunging her world into chaos once more. Ember would have faith though, she had to.

She made an effort to stand near the front of the procession, putting herself between the two groups as much as she could. If things took a turn for the worst again she wanted to be able to defend her friends. She would do everything in her power to make sure it come to that though. The battle had proven to her that if it came to blows, she would only be able to save precious few.

That was why she shot a grin across the clearing as she spotted the marsh cats. Even if the expression came off strained.

The rest of her body though, seemed to drain of its usual brightness at the sight of them. Her movement stilled, her muscles tensed. She stood at the ready in front of her groupmates, waiting for someone, anyone else to make the first move. Whatever that ended up being.
✦ ★ ✦


Unlike the others, Soot feels little sympathy for the opposing side.
A battle was a battle, everyone knew what they were stepping into that day... by attending the fight you were consenting to the possibility of death.
Her heart did not tug for Rain, it did not tug for the Pine group.

Perhaps Marigold was the only exception. A young cat who she had learned had died after their battle, may not have died at her claws, but her claws created the wounds that would inevitably kill him. She found herself consistently shrugging the thought of him to the back of her mind, including now as her sharp gaze pierced the pelts of Pine cats.

Despite her hidden guilt, she was impatient, she didn't want to be here. Not only was it in general unpleasant to look at your enemy in silence, but Soot was far into her pregnancy and would begin to kit any day now- or moment. She was agitated and still tired from the recent battle on top of her raging emotions that were only aided by the kits growing in her belly.

So she's the first to bite.
"Someone better start to try and figure this damn prophecy out if that's what we're here for. I didn't drag my paws all the way here to stare. Rather stare at a toad than fix my gaze on most of you for more than a few tail-flicks." She hisses. As much as she detests to admit it, she was not riddled intelligent. She wasn't even going to try to be the cat who figured out whatever Rain had meant... besides, he was probably the last ghost out of the lot she desired to listen to.

Though something deep down inside told her she should. So she'd listen... once cats began to talk anyways.

Crow's body weaved through the brush like a shadow cast from the blazing sun, his slim black frame maneuvering slowly towards the center of the clearing. Before recent events, he would have been sure footed and masterful in his navigation, however he had suffered fatal wounds to which were so deeply set into his flesh that they had barely begun to scab over. His leg in particular was close to mangled, and it was unfortunate that they did not possess the correct medicine in order to treat it, and so he trudged on.

Despite this, his paws made scarce a sound as he made his way towards the outskirts of the clearing. He was never one to isolate, especially from his groupmates, however after recent events he had found himself enjoying the solitude. There was a certain amount of comfort in the way it engulfed him and allowed the rest of the world to freeze, as if time itself was stopping. But he had no time to familiarize himself with the shackles of loneliness. Tonight was important, possibly able to alter the fate of them all. It was something that could not be missed.

Settling down heavily on his crippled haunches, Crow lifted his head and turned his ears towards the two leaders before him. The silence was deafening, and he was acutely aware of the tension and anxiety lingering heavy in the air. All they could do was hope, but hope itself was running thin by each passing moment.
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Heads would hang low as the Pine and Marsh groups made their way towards what was being whispered to be a solemn place. So many had died here, had lost someone here, and this was also the place where the spirits of those dead had come to halt the fighting and had delivered their strange words.

Behind Briar would be Fire, Leaf, and Chamomile who was clinging to her sister, Willow. All three had an air of anxiety to them, each for different reasons. Leaf, in particular, looked as though this was the last place he wanted to be, but he had followed dutifully behind his parents who had insisted on coming for the chance to see these 'star cats' they had heard about. His green eyes flickered back and forth as if he expected one of them to jump out and attack him at any moment.
Chamomile was nervous because of the unfamiliar place, and her paws kept getting tangled as she walked, she had almost fallen off of the crossing log when they had arrived. Fire, however, was stoic, which was so unlike her. But she had wanted to come, to support her leader now when she hadn't before.

On the other side of the clearing, Deer would be seen within the Pine group, with young Spring at her side, the lilac tabby still looking as though she was grieving her adopted brother's death. Deer was laying her half tail as best she could against her companions' side as they walked in since into the large gathering space. Despite the heaviness in the air Deer would still hold the expression of whimsy and peace. Her turquoise gaze looked around the group, wondering if Vermillion had tagged along despite his eye injury, and when she spotted him, the cream tabby led Spring along with her towards the flame point and took a seat beside him.
Anxiety flares in his chest as the cinnamon tom follows behind his colony, his pelt brushing that of one of his groupmates. Any attempt he makes to break the silence fizzles out as quickly as it began. No one seemed to be in the mood for chatting. A part of Honeybee couldn't fault them. The other part, however, begged for the taut stillness to come to an end.

The fur along his neck prickles at the sight of the four oaks. He tries desperately to not think about the countless bodies buried beneath his paws. Too many lives were lost here, and for what? Senseless violence never gets them anywhere; they would always lose more than they gain.

Their groupmates begin to settle down, but Honeybee could not fathom sitting still. The scarred feline paces back and forth, their tail twitching in a jittery manner as they glance between their colony and Briar's. Everyone is still too quiet. They're about to break the silence themselves when Soot speaks. The visibly pregnant she-cat demands that they start to decipher the prophecy, and while Honeybee agrees with the sentiment, they cannot help the roll of their eyes that follows the needless insult tacked on at the end. I'm sure we all feel the same way about you. For once, however, Honeybee keeps their mouth closed. They're aware of how fragile the marsh dwellers' egos are; one wrong look could send them over the top. And the last thing they want is to start another petty war.

They pause in their pacing to address Soot, although their paws still shuffle restlessly. "How'll we know who's right? Will the ghost cats come back down and congratulate the winner? Give them a pat on the back, maybe?"

To come here she feels like is a mistake. To so willingly trust these dead cats after having killed them in the first place seems ludacris to her. Simply ridiculous and she wants to say as much during this whole ordeal. But instead she hopes they see the foolishness, the unorthodox reason that they have to use to be complicit in all of this. She steps with white limbs into the clearing of the four oak trees, eyes of molten fire gleaming under the full moon light in her own thinking. She feels very little upon seeing the pine cats pouring in. Past enemies that she feels have been shoved back just the barest amount. Just enough. At least it's her way of seeing it. Her gaze shifts this way and that and she honestly hopes that this will be short and nothing else. She does not want this to become a bigger thing than necessary.

Roughly she sighs and settles herself near her sister and she is not even surprised when Soot begins to speak up. Her tail wraps around her body as the panther of light and darkness twitches her ears in annoyance. Perhaps staying in camp would have been better but she is here to support her family. So the tall molly has no reason to leave just yet. At the sound of a voice responding she looks to Honey before she snorts a little bit. "I suppose on a whim. Since we all came here on the whim of dead cats to figure out some poorly deciphered riddle. Guess chances are all we are going to get." All they will have since they are not using their brains much in her own opinion. Her jaws shut then as she rolls her gaze and looks up at the moon and stars. Dead cats. Dead cats. What did they actually want? Or were they being truthful in their endeavor for peace?

She isn't sure but she knows one thing. She can not trust them yet. From the semi fresh wounds still slicing through her form some of those cats were enemies. She just isn't sure.

Howling Wind felt sick to her stomach returning to this place. The ground was still soft in some areas, a sign that more bodies were buried just under the surface. It would take time for it all to settle completely. Death, so much death was here, and yet here the two groups were, facing each other with hope for a brighter future as was suggested by the spirits. Her ears twitched as Soot spoke up, and the tabby glanced towards the heavily pregnant molly. She wasn't quite sure if it was the pregnancy making the queen act this way, or if that was just...Soot. Probably both.

The voice of a pine cat caught her attention and she looked towards him, noting his nervous pacing and scuffing of the ground. Bone was quick to respond, and Howling Wind could then only look to Briar. Surely their leader had thoughts on the prophecy? Or was she just as clueless as the rest of them when it came to its meaning?
( ✧ ) A quarter moon since the tragedy. A quarter moon that hes spent bed-ridden, tight - lipped and reclusive as he mourns his own loss. A sense ripped from him without so much as a farewell. He strains still, not to imagine the ugly scars that must rip across his face. Try as he may to forget, the dull ache between his eyes would never allow him to.

The dead's promise of answers is the only thing that goads him out of his stupor. Mentally, he's drawn like a moth to a flame. To the chattering voices and the soft patter of paws. If only his body quite agreed. Freshly blind and with limbs heavy from disuse, of course, he'd nearly collapsed the moment he tried to leave camp. The tips of his ears burned hot, despite the sun's absence.

A shoulder was offered to him. It'd only increased the churning in his gut, but of course, he accepted. Perhaps what he'd said could be considered thanks— a hushed jumble of words hissed between gritted teeth— Perhaps it wouldn't be, but nevertheless...

He can feel them, bodies standing clumped around him. Scents both familiar and unknown clash within the hollow. For a moment, there's eerie quiet, a line of bated breath shared between all of them.

The first to speak is far from a pleasant individual, he knows straight away. A molly with venom spilling on her tongue. Her tone is acidic, a sharp tang of smoke seems to permeate the air. There's more light - yet - not chatter. Blinding Star can barely concentrate. He wonders how the others were tending to their wounds, if they ever quieted for them. His jaw ticks in the beginnings of a grimace. "I don't see why they had to be so cryptic about it," he mutters.

A part of him still thinks it's all a ruse. That Rain's death never happened and it was only him, alive and well, spewing some nonsense as some sort of joke.

Of course, if he were alive, he doubts that anyone would reguard this with an ounce of seriousness.
( ) he feels slightly awful walking into this clearing. the leaves rustle with the wind, and every twig snapped under clumsy paw sends a jolt through the young tom's spine. he knows in his head that the battle is technically over, that they're meeting here in a truce to figure out the sign from the ghosts. it's been a quarter moon of silence, but still his ears twitch and flick with anxiety. hurrying along beside his clanmates, the boy makes a point to not look anyone in the pine group in the eye. scar on his nose still fresh, he feels he can't risk angering anyone else. for all he knows, he could be the cause of the next battle.

shaking that thought from his mind, spring perches lightly upon an upturned log, off of the ground where the earth is still turned and fresh. gaze flicking through the sea of ears and tails, he hesitantly scans the other group, cringing when he spots the npc who had given him his injury. briefly, golden eyes connect with blue before, ducking down, the charcoal feline turns his attention to the ones speaking. he has nothing to contribute yet. the stars are as mysterious as always.

Moonlight cascades over the former battlefield as Marsh and Pine reunite. Only a quarter moon after the battle over the forest ceased, the clearing is still healing, just as the cats that gather upon it do the same - recovering from loss, from injuries, from the changing world around them.

On the side of the Marsh, Hatch stands, claws ready to unsheathe if something were to go wrong. He doesn't think things will, but, after the battle, he doesn't want to waste a moment. Though he would never kill, he's willing to intervene, if the dead don't first.

Nearby, hardly visible within the shadows, is Bat. Though he was too scared to take part in the battle - and would very much rather not be here, if the tension in the air grows thicker, grows more unbearable than it already is - the curly-furred tom knows that whatever this ends up being is important. He's heard talk of the what happened to stop the battle. He wants to see what comes next.

And then, little Ribbit, who sticks close to family members, looking more tired than ever. Green eyes scan the clearing, hoping to catch the slightest glimpse of glittered fur - hoping for a chance to see his brother one more time. A torn ear flicks in frustration when his eyes can't find his counterpart - stops trying when he hears Soot bring up toads - and he presses closer to the nearest family member.

On the side of the Pines, Squall stands near his own family, also prepared to spring into action if things were to go wrong. However, his father asked for the fighting to stop, for peace to be kept, so Squall will listen to his father's words. Rain also said the path would be clear by now, and this path - this prophecy of creeper vines - seemed just as unclear to the silver tabby as it did when Rain first uttered it. What were they supposed to be doing here?

Finch and Cosmos are not too far away. The two have grown distant after the events of the battle, but Cosmos sticks close to his older brother in the crowd of cats, fear of getting separated from the group - of being lost in the mix of a potential second battle - outweighing his current distaste of his older brother, for Finch is the cat he's able to recognize most. He looks over at the opposing group for any sight of his friends, gaze dropping when he sees Ribbit without his counterpart - confirming what the kit already knew, but had hoped he'd just dreamt up. He doesn't know, but Finch is also looking at the kit, at the empty space beside him, guilt rising in his chest. The older of the two hopes this gathering ends quickly, so he can go back home - or wherever they're meant to go after this - and never have to deal with the marsh group ever again.

Just like with the battle, Larkspur should've stayed away. If it weren't for his injuries, he would've left the forest and never returned to it, but his wounds needed time to heal before he were to travel. So, sticking with the pine group was his only option. He felt like he needed to see this whole thing through now, since he's stuck around this long. He'll leave when his injuries are healed, when all this is over. He's sure of it.

The two groups wait for an answer - for a pathway towards the future to clear.

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Berry took after his mother in that stepping foot in a place like this nauseated him. It was a site of tragedy, of blood- and so many here stood with corpses at their feet, holding their heads high- from his group and the other. Needles still spoke with venom toward the pine cats, not an ounce of sympathy in her tone, hardly a dash of sadness- he supposed he understood the hope that this meeting would not be a pointless one, though he saw not the need to insult them. His gaze did not linger upon her for very long, for soon many voices began to tug back and forth, discussing the vagueness of the spirits.

It seemed obvious to Berry that there must be some sort of limitation upon them, for why would their friends- who wanted to give them a clear-cut reason to end the fighting- be so vague in their guidance if it was not involuntary? Perhaps that answer was not quite as obvious to some, though... he had to remind himself that many did not indulge in their minds as much as he.

A crooked maw stayed fastened shut, at least for now. With only the knowledge that a creeper vine had the potential to be gigantic, his solitary guess was that the spirits were asking them to split up for good, to dissolve their groups entirely. But Berry was intent on never speaking his mind until he was sure he was correct- and no such certainty had sparked, yet.
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// mentioning @Zaeya 's character Deer and Spring.

Vermilion is the first to rush over to Deer when he makes eye contact with her, tail flicking with a soft fwip! behind him. As he brushed his tail against Deer's own, he found himself scooting closer to her- tall yet lanky body towering over the femme protectively. If any cat glanced at her, he'd meet their gaze intensely- not exactly glaring, but making his point known. With his single functional eye, it might have looked as if he was staring into a cat's soul at this point.

"Maybe they're just leading us all on to make us stop fighting." Remarked the flame point sarcastically, rolling his eyes at the mere mention of dead cats being treated like what they say is law. Why wouldn't they carve their own path? They needed cats to die in order to change? "It's a good tactic. Make us scared, force us into submission- just so we listen to what they have to say." He speaks softly enough, barely above a whisper- very unamused with the events happening around him.

A short length away was Dusk standing close to Fire- cold blue eyes watching the events unfold around him. He wasn't happy to be there, but Fire had convinced him it was better this way- a good experience, she said. It would help him learn to be more empathetic, she told him- to care more about strangers. Dusk found himself disgusted by the smell of the enemy group, shutting his eyes to quell his temper that threatened to explode in his sleep-deprived exhaustion.

"This is stupid." The young tom muttered, hunched over grumpily.

− ♱ ABOUT : a quarter moon. those slain had requested they meet back once the livings wounds began to heal ; crusting over with reddened scars of loss and misery, fixating now on the reparations that lie before them. the wounds of war had been gouged from them ; blushing shades of pinks and reds spilling free from them in brutal, heavy mourning. exhaustion is written in each step of too - long limbs, all sluggish movements and icewater luminaires ringed deep in mottled hues of blue - purple. sleep was a beast he evaded nightly, it’s broken tendrils never ceasing to just miss him by the rise of early dawn — phantom memories of flesh giving easily beneath a snap of wild jaws haunting his dreams like a black hound. the starry felines had requested they return a quarter moon later, before the ricocheting waves of anger had even a chance to settle. each step is made with a flicker of icewater eyes where he walks in after bone, his mottled, curled figure slunk low towards the dew - studded ground. he was not ashamed of the war, or what they’d done in the name of their youth — but the slaughtering of the pine group’s leader was something he’d never intended. it felt as if blue tabby fur still lingered between his toes, tucked into his claws, lodged in his throat ; the expressions that befell his soldiers faces at rain’s end felt engraved in the forefront of his memory.

cats gathered are already beginning to speak as cicada takes his place, blue luminaries drifting between all of them in turn. he didn’t want to be here — this place, where blood had been so easily washed away by drifting summer storms. he felt as if he could still smell the sickly iron scent, it’s honey thickness too heavy in his nose. the forest no longer felt like home, the grime and mud reminding him only of the slosh of viscera that had matted his forearms in shades of mucky red. vermillion speaks and his ears lower a bit, curled tail coming to tuck over his paws and maw dipping into a frown, “ beats war. and starvation. “ the man murmurs, whiskers twitching but showing no further signs of outward emotion. he had to keep himself carefully held ; guarded, not as weakened by his own actions as he was now. since the starry cats arrival, he’d seen things — places abundant with food. tread the lands with someone who knew how to retrieve it. starving, he was not, “ if listening is all they ask in return. “ he would do as they said. any specter against needless bloodshed had to be good, right? the oriental mix tilts his chin in the guise of licking a stray curl back into place, disguising the nervous grimace that befalls him into the dark waves.

  • CICADA ; he / him, roughly thirty two months old, marsh group member
    − tall black smoke tortie chimera with icecap eyes and curly fur, homosexual
    − speaks with a german accent, attack in #171717, penned by antlers

  • none.

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ He hadn't wanted to come here. If it had not been Rain himself who had told the cats surviving the war to show up to the clearing, Haze would have told Ember, Blaise, and anyone else interested in hearing what Briar had to say to go rot somewhere.

But he goes, his pelt brushing Squall's as he walks, and once their eyes begin to lock with the marsh cats', he begins to bristle involuntarily. There's a cat among them, tall and stately-looking, pale eyes ringed with exhaustion, who is the unfortunate target of Haze's ire.

"Oh, now you're against war, huh?" Murky yellow eyes tighten in rage, aimed at Cicada with golden fire. "Now you're all above it all, is that right?"

He gives the other cats in his father's colony an impatient stare, forcefully turning his attention away from Cicada. "There can't be peace if I have to stare at them and listen to them whine. Let's go."

He fears he will break and attack one of them--and his father had asked them not to. Told them not to. But his fur is fluffed up, and his tail lashes with force. There is no leader to speak for them, no one even half as worthy as Rain had been, and so to him, this is a waste of time.
He doesn't want to look at those slimy bastards. He's only here for his family; if things turned sour, he'd make sure that he wouldn't lose anyone else.

Pitch's fur bristles, his cold stare locking onto Rain's colony as they pour into the clearing. There's already murmurs and questions about the prophecy they'd received — but Pitch's attention is drawn elsewhere. The small tom's lips curl in response to Haze, his eyes narrowing into slits. How dare he fault Briar's group of spilling blood as if their paws aren't stained crimson as well? As if one of their own didn't kill his father? They think they're so high and mighty; someone needs to put them in their place.

And if he wasn't allowed to do it with his claws, he'd do it with his tongue.

Pitch takes a step towards Haze, his eyes boring into the other's pale fur. "You're the only one whining here, you ignorant shithead," the tom sneers with a resentful smirk, his tail lashing. "If you were smart enough to get your head out of your rear-end, you'd notice that your paws aren't exactly clean, either."

Big Guy above all else wanted peace.
The Marsh Group has hurt his clan, taken his leader... yet somehow the bulky tom still had it in him to keep a cool head. Managed to keep a gaze that did not harshly judge the swamp-dwellers. They might be a cranky bunch... but if they were as low on food as they said he didn't blame their attitudes. He just wishes there had been a way to solve this all before it had come to this...

Now they stood in a graveyard, beckoned by the ghosts of the fallen to figure this out once and for all. At least that's what he assumed they were trying to say... this feud needed to be put in the dirt.

"Oh... that's not nice!" Big Guy calls to one of the Marsh cats who insults Haze. His group-mates words may have been straightforward and slightly sharp, but at least he wasn't resorting to insulting swears... Big Guy was quite sensitive when it came to cussing, there was no reason to be so foul-mouthed! Mama had taught Big Guy better than that, anyways.


"Pitch is right." The cinnamon-striped tom lets out a deep growl as his tail lashes from side to side. He can't believe Briar actually agreed to come here... surely she hadn't believed this assembly would've gotten them anywhere? These cats were as annoying as a flea, they couldn't say a damn word that wasn't stupid... and Rust couldn't stand how quick they were to play the victim. How quick they were to label the original settlers of this land as the villains.

"You cats think you're noses are so clean... You bloodied the pelts and broke the hearts of just as many cats as we did." And despite that they were still here! They just didn't take a hint.

Rust typically would be about ready to unsheathe his claws again, but the battle left him tired. He was still recovering from wounds, still recovering from the losses they've faced and that shock that comes with that. He spares anyone from further wrath... for now... but his patience was running thin for them to get on with this.