SKIN BY SPENNY @ SHINE. MINI PROFILE BY MINK. TABBED SIDEBAR BY KISMET OF RPG, TOGGLE SIDEBAR BY SUBDEVO, CUSTOM FORUMS BY BLACK.
DEEP IN THE MEADOW WAS CREATED AND IS OWNED BY MINK WITH LOTS OF LOVE AND CREDIT TO STAFF MEMBERS RAINBOW & HAWK. THANKS TO STYLES AT ABANDON HOPE FOR HELP WITH POST ICONS. PLOTS, CHARACTERS, ETC OWNED BY MEMBERS. ALL IMAGES CREDITED IN CHARACTER BIOS, ALL TEMPLATES & CODES CREDITED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE CREATORS. ALL CONTENT IS OWNED BY THE PERSON WHO POSTED, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. DO NOT STEAL. IF YOU SEE ANYTHING THAT BELONGS TO YOU THAT YOU WOULD LIKE CREDIT FOR, PLEASE CONTACT THE STAFF.
Welcome to Deep in the Meadow, a literate semi-AU Warrior cats roleplay site with a 200 word minimum. DitM features a sandbox play style, a stat system for character development, staff-run NPC accounts for events and encounters, and an overarching political landscape to help structure characters and interactions. Territories are refreshed, but will remain familiar to Warriors RPers. Play as a member of the four Clans or as a Clanless cat - and enjoy!
UPDATES - 01/23/18 Site gathering is up here. Please do not post until the leader of your cats clan has. Leaders have the right to deny a cat access to the gathering and will let those who cannot attend know. The gathering can count as one of your active threads for the activity check.
UPDATES - 01/19/18 An activity check is up here. It will run until Tuesday the 30th of January.
UPDATES - 01/17/18 In light of our near every-clan-wide ban/discouragement on apprentices staff wanted to address a few matters. We all know and can relate to the fact that training threads can get boring quickly, but we want to remind users that they don’t need to be the same old things over and over and over again; training threads can be fun, and the concepts that apply to being a warrior can be presented in fun and new ways. Linked are some threads that staff have themselves participated in that demonstrate a wide variety of different directions to tackle training threads from that range from puzzle solving, critical thinking, assassination attempts, games, and even role playing (patrols and the like can count as training threads too). 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. If you want to request a flash event you can ask a staff member or purchase one in the shop, and if you need help brainstorming ideas ask on our discord—we’re a collection of creative folk and we can certainly help one another out. In keeping training threads interesting and fun we hope to get more people signing up to do mentor.
In the same stroke we staff have also noticed a trend in that some sign their apprentices up for mentors, ask for training threads, but then never respond to them (or take months), and in the end end up purchasing apprentice passes for their apprentices to get their names on time. Going forward staff will request you skip signing up for a mentor (you can npc one instead) and just purchase the apprentice pass to save desperately needed mentors for those who will participate and complete training threads so we aren’t wasting mentors/time.
UPDATES - 01/16/18 Starvation Notices have officially gone out in ThunderClan. To prevent more, and to prevent those who have received them from worsening, get your cats out in patrols and hunting! WindClan, not far behind ThunderClan, is officially on notice of starvation, too. Don't be like ThunderClan and put off hunting threads until it's too late.
UPDATES - 01/10/18Staff has made a slight rule change. You can find this change noted on Rule #17 on the rule sheet, and explained in more depth on the bio guide (specifically the 'history' post, which is linked in Rule #17). Direct any questions to staff. Please make sure to read this update.
UPDATES - 01/09/18 Update concerning clans and clanless cats claiming and challenging for territory. Read about that here. As our largest clan on site we're officially giving ThunderClan a starvation warning. No one is starving quite yet, but they have rumbling bellies and an empty fresh-kill pile more often than not. Get out hunting, and not just on your own territory, ThunderClan, or risk finding starvation and illness notifications in your PMs ;D
UPDATES - 01/02/18 Happy New Year! We have a lot going on on site in terms of clan meeting and exciting, drama-filled going ons. Three of our clans have meetings up, and while two are further along than the third they are still in need of reactions to either help wrap them up, or to help their leader in making her decision. Give them a look: WC, RC, & SC. Once some of these big plot threads wrap up you can expect our next site gathering to get underway.
UPDATES - 12/27/17 There has been a change in DitM's staffing team as Cheshire has had to step away to tackle that thing we call life. You can read about that here. The staff team wishes Cheshire all the best, and a huge thank you for all they've done for the site! In light of how busy we still are we've promoted Yazsh, who has been helping the staff team already with mod stuff and flash event posts, to a full member of the staff team. Be sure to give the ma warm welcome and have patience with them as they learn the ropes! With Cheshire leaving that means Palefeather's and Graystar's plots are at a stand still, but since they are all sorts of tied up into the future of the site staff will be taking on the roles for at least a short while to keep things moving smoothly. Please direct all those character's plot questions to us. Rest assured we'll be working with Cheshire if we have questions, and the sand box environment, to see these through! Have patience with staff as well as we figure out what threads need to be done and get a handle on how to best play these characters. Thank you!
UPDATES - 12/24/17 A few days later than the set date, all accounts in the inactive category have been deleted. If that's you, you're welcome to rejoin at any time; staff can always pull things from the archives for you if you would like to remake characters. Just be aware that you may need to change names or face claims if they have been used in your absence.
UPDATES - 12/21/17 A happy Winter Solstice! Our season on site has been changed to Leaf-Bare. The staff team wishes happy holidays for those celebrating!
UPDATES - 12/06/17 The activity check is over and the site has been aged! Those members who did not respond or check in with staff have been moved to the inactive category and will be deleted on 12/20. If you were moved to inactive, just message a staff member with links to the items you need replaced and the accounts you need moved. For those of you still with us, please check characters' ages and active threads so you can claim any new stats. Please also check mentors & apprentices in case you have gotten a new mentor/become a mentor! Finally, many of us need to update our bios, at the very least to reflect name, rank, and sometimes Clan changes. If I have to call people out by name I will ;).
UPDATES - 11/29/17 We have an activity check going on! Link is here. Members have until December 5th to post. Please speak to staff if you don't think you'll be able to post by then. We are doing it a bit differently this time around so please be sure to read the post completely.
UPDATES - 11/15/17 A big thank you for all those who took the time to audition and show interest in ShadowClan deputy. After discussion between Rainbow & staff we congratulate Gillyflowerthroat (Mink) on getting the position. As promised if you have questions or desire tips in preparation for our next open high rank position you can send staff a PM or DM.
UPDATES - 11/09/17 New skin! Staff is still making tweaks to this top table potion (the link colors and navigation link colors) and to staff/site tables, but otherwise please let staff know if you still see any lingering green colors. A deadline has been set for ShadowClan deputy: Tuesday Nov. 14th. If you'd like to try out please send your auditions in before then, and if you think you will need more time be sure to let staff know.
UPDATES - 11/04/17 Auditions for ShadowClan deputy are now open. Audition form can be found in our high rank info board and all auditions should be sent to the staff team + Rainbow. A deadline will be set at a later date.
UPDATES - 11/02/17 Katzen has stepped back from the site and her role as ShadowClan's leader to focus on her senior year of college. To fill members in on what happened ICly with Vulturestar Rainbow has helpfully written a small AU you can read here.
Cardinalstar had found Halfstar's visit bewildering. It had come out of nowhere in the middle of an already chaotic situation. Though while Halfstar had been in the camp, Cardinalstar had taken her time to play with him and size him up, she had listened with interest. Some cats had immediately dismissed his words without second thought, but the crimes Halfstar was accusing Palefeather of were bad. And the leader was threatening to start a war during leafbare, which wasn't a desirable outcome. Cardinalstar's fighty nature jumped in excitement at the thought of another war, and the thought of knocking the grizzly grump off his paws was greatly pleasing. But she was leader now, and there couldn't be a worse time for such a conflict. Still, she was shocked she somehow hadn't goaded Halfstar into a fight right then and there--that was her biggest accomplishment.
Once Halfstar left, Cardinalstar considered her next move. She thought about sending patrols out in search of Palefeather but ultimately decided that instead of wasting energy and resources, she would just wait. Everything was waiting on him. The moment the tom entered camp, the intense focus of his clanmates fell upon him. Sure, he didn't have a clue what had happened, but he was sure going to find out.
Part of Cardinalstar wanted to handle the matter privately at first, but she had made a promise to her clan. They would settle things together--find out the truth and go from there. Luckily, Gillyflowerthroat had returned to camp, so Cardinalstar would thankfully be able to rely on her. She sought out her deputy the moment she heard of Palefeather's return, gesturing for Gillyflowerthroat to follow her to the Tall Root. Taking her place once again, Cardinalstar called to her clan. "Gather 'round, everyone. Palefeather has returned to camp, and it's time we have a talk."
Everything was happening faster than Cuckoopaw was ready to handle. Their aunt, their uncle- both had disappeared within hours of each other. They were related not to one, but now two murderers on both sides of the family. They were stressed to hell and back, and now accusations were being flung at Palefeather. At a cat who was supposed to be close to Starclan, close to mama.
Cardinalstar called together a gathering, and Cuckoopaw blearily followed the sound of their mentor’s voice. Their critical gaze landed on Palefeather without hesitation, the gears in their head ticking away with thought. They didn’t want to believe that their medicine cat had broken a sacred code, but the anger in Halfstar’s voice had them thinking it just might be possible.
He’d have bad bugs laid in his ears for moons if that was the case. Maybe there’d be bad bugs laid in his children’s ears, too- if they even existed. Perhaps a cicada, or another noisy bug like that, as punishment. Or perhaps he’d have no bugs at all for his crimes, Starclan withholding any dreams at all from him.
The apprentice kept their gaze locked on him and their pelt prickled with unease. This was going to be a long meeting.
Brooklily both had a lot to say and little to say on the matters that had all but consumed ShadowClan as of late. Vulturestar had had potential as a leader until he turned out to be rotten. Cardinalstar had her own merits but was a risky choice for leader. If StarClan had accepted her, that was reassuring, but Brooklily knew the she-cat and knew her faults. She had made successful decisions so far, but it was only a matter of time before she got lost in her own foolishness. Brooklily hoped that her deputy would be enough to balance her out. Gillyflowerthroat was a cat with a firm grasp, so surely ShadowClan would only benefit from her assisting Cardinalstar.
Then there were the matters of Larkspur and now Palefeather. Larkspur had left her feeling disgusting and burning with rage. She wasn't a fan of SkyClan, but Larkspur was a sad excuse of a cat who made them all look bad. And as for Palefeather... He hadn't been convicted of any crime yet, but the accusations against him were heavy. To betray the clan for twelve moons was absolutely unforgivable. As much as Brooklily understood cats who repeatedly made mistakes, Halfstar hadn't worded the confession as a mistake but a deliberate choice, which Brooklily simply couldn't accept.
She was crouching in the clearing when Palefeather finally made his way back. She immediately straightened up into a sitting position, soft green eyes almost daggers into the tom's side. She herself hadn't decided whether or not she thought the tom was guilty. More than anything, she just wanted to know, and she wanted to know why such a specific accusation had been made against him. Soon after his arrival came Cardinalstar's crass cry. Brooklily moved closer to the Tall Root, eyes only leaving Palefeather for a moment.
Rookcloud had been out on patrol at the Windclan border when Halfstar had visited the ShadowClan camp but had gotten the gist of what had happened pretty quickly. Rumours were flying left and right and, for now, it seemed that the topic on everyone’s mind had shifted from Larkspur’s exile to Halfstar’s accusation. Rookcloud still couldn’t believe his ears. Palefeather, their medicine cat had fathered kits in RiverClan? It couldn’t possibly be true. And yet what did Riverclan have to gain from bringing this to ShadowClan’s attention?
They could be trying to sow distrust among us, Rookcloud thought, or have us exile our medicine cat and leave us open to weakness from attack. It was the kind of tactics that Rookcloud would have hoped warriors to be above, but after the long moons of fighting against RiverClan, Rookcloud could sadly believe them capable of it. Would they really stoop that low though, just as the fighting between the two clans had stopped?
What if they weren’t lying?
The black tom wrapped his tail around his paws and settled in the middle of the crowd gathering before the Tall Root, every one of them eager for answers. He glanced back towards the medicine cat’s den, looking to catch a glimpse of the white tom. Surely their medicine cat would have something to say to clear up this whole matter?
Owlpaw had watched nervously from the apprentice’s den as Halfstar had stormed into camp to confront Cardinalstar. She’d been amazed at how at ease and excited Stormpaw had been around the RiverClan leader. That was the leader of RiverClan! The enemy! Yet no fighting broke out as Owlpaw had feared. Instead, Halfstar dealt a different kind of blow. He had accused Palefeather of betraying ShadowClan by having kits with a RiverClan warrior. No one had accepted the accusation as true and so, since Palefeather wasn’t around to retort, Halfstar had simply left.
Owlpaw could see how disturbed some of the other warriors seemed by the news, but she couldn’t imagine why. Obviously Palefeather couldn’t have done it. He was good and kind and their medicine cat. He had patched Owlpaw and her siblings up after the mudslide and had saved Ermineflight’s life after she’d been trapped and hurt by rocks. How could he do these things, and then also break the warrior code and betray his clan? No, Owlpaw was certain. Palefeather just needed to clear his name and then the warriors would decide what to do about Halfstar’s threats.
The torbie apprentice trotted out at Cardinalstar’s call and peered around, looking another apprentice to sit with. She spotted Cuckoopaw and moved towards them, frowning as she sensed the apprentice’s distress in the way they stared at Palefeather. Owlpaw touched her tail to Cuckoopaw’s pelt as she sat down, hoping it would reassure the grey cat, and looked up at Cardinalstar with round, curious eyes.
Sedgepaw was terrified. During the entirety of the last meeting, she had hunkered down in one of the furthermost stores in the medicine cat den. She didn't want to face the clan without her mentor's input. She didn't know what he wanted them to know. If Halfstar's accusations were correct, then that would mean this RiverClan queen was the mother of the kits Silverpetal goaded Pale into confessing about. Sedgepaw had been stunned into silence when she first learned of this secret. She had not been entirely sure that this was what Silverpetal meant. Now, she was pretty sure that it was true. There was several bits of evidence. She still wanted to see what Palefeather was willing to spill himself.
Cardinalstar's voice calling together a followup meeting upon Palefeather's return was what drew Sedgepaw out of hiding. She stayed in the shadows of the entrance to their den, but her inquisitive eyes peered out. Her expression remained unchanged as she quickly assessed Palefeather. He was obviously confused, having no clue that Halfstar had infiltrated their camp bringing damning news of an affair. Sedgepaw crouched in her position, only her wide dull yellow eyes gleaming curiously at the gathering cats would give her away.
Gillyflowerthroat had been glad to see Halfstar go, and she let him know that just as readily as he complained as she ushered him through ShadowClan’s pine forest to deposit him and his companion near Four Trees without preamble. She brought Stormpaw along again for no other reason than to force her apprentice to work on her endurance and footwork as the forest offered plenty that would threaten to trip the three legged apprentice up. Even despite the round trip and Stormpaw’s (likely) tripping Gillyflowerthroat made it back before Cardinalstar had had a chance to question Palefeather without her. She would have been foul tempered to have missed it.
She nodded curtly and, with pride, took a seat next to the Tall Root so she could properly leer at Palefeather alongside the ginger leader. Cardinalstar hadn’t time to voice much thought on whether she believed Halfstar or not, and instead had to spend her time putting the RiverClan leader in his place. Gillyflowerthroat certainly didn’t object to that, but it left her in a position where she didn’t know how the young leader felt. Obviously if it was true it would be bad news for ShadowClan, but the subject was delicate given Sedgepaw, Palefeather’s apprentice, was barely old enough to be a warrior let alone a fully trained and reliant medicine cat.
She closed her eyes for the briefest of moments, willing the storm in her head to leave her alone, before turning to stare at the pale coated medicine cat. He was met with quite the audience and no doubt had no idea what it was all about.
StarClan had left him with an ultimatum. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but given the circumstances it was more than he could have hoped for even if it was forcing his paw to come clean to the clan before he was prepared to. He had spent a good deal of time out of camp—away from his clan mates and even his apprentice—as he sorted through his thoughts, sorted through what he had learned since he began stowing bodies away in his secret place, and sorted through how to best approach Cardinalstar. He knew the clan would have to know, but he had hoped in talking to just Cardinalstar in private as it would offer him the best chance to explain himself, to explain the situation that, at first sound, sounded bad and gruesome and morbid.
He was so focused on getting his words just right—running through them for at least the twentieth time in his head—that he almost didn’t notice that the clan was assembled for a meeting when he walked into camp, but even he, as distracted as he was, couldn’t ignore it when all eyes turned to him. His head lifted slowly, and with great care and confusion he blinked. He meant to slink quietly to his den so he might inquire of Sedgepaw what was going on, but alarm stopped his paws from moving.
RiverClan’s smell still hung in the air and covered the grounds of camp. His eyes narrowed for the barest of moments before he forced himself to meet Cardinalstar’s eyes. ”Has something happened?” He asked. He didn’t smell blood, and no one looked to be hurt so that couldn’t be it, but StarClan forbid there was another war starting. He didn’t put it past Halfstar to go starting something with SkyClan and trying to get ShadowClan involved all over again.
It was almost perfect, Palefeather's confusion. He didn't seem to have a clue about what was going on. More suspicious cats might've thought it was because he was nervous and trying to play it cool, but Cardinalstar decided to take it as a hopeful sign of his innocence. If he didn't have a clue why the camp smelled like RiverClanners, then perhaps he truly had no tie to the clan. Perhaps RiverClan had a she-cat who held a grudge or was simply very confused.
Once cats gathered, Cardinalstar cleared her throat. "While you were gone, a real charming fella by the name of Halfstar paid us a visit," she began, tone almost conversational. "He was really upset and disturbed to receive a confession from a RiverClan queen about two things. He was told that one, you and her had been in a relationship for twelve moons and two, you were the father of her kits. So, Halfstar wants us all to believe you're a, hm, what did he call you? A 'border baby makin' traitor' I think it was." She flicked her tail. "I sent him away for now, but if this matter isn't addressed, he'll be back with a battle patrol ready to tear our tails off. So, here we are. What do ya say, Palefeather? Any of this sound familiar?"
Crowchaser had heard about the mess that was Halfstar's coming to their camp and making unproven-but-hefty claims about their medicine cat, but she was out hunting at the time. Part of her did wish she were there to witness it for herself, yet another was glad she weren't, as it all seemed anxiety-inducing. But such a claim was frankly ridiculous to her. She had no reason to believe he was guilty of such a crime, and no one else she knew about did, either. Personally, she wished it weren't taboo for a cat to have a mate from another clan, but it couldn't be helped because of the constant tension between them all, unfortunately. Plus, he was the medicine cat, which brought up a whole new slew of issues.
Shaking herself from her thoughts, she trotted to the Tall Root at the sound of Cardinalstrike--or star's odd call for a clan meeting. Wow, she really was the leader now, and an unorthodox one at that. Crowchaser took a seat on her own, as per usual. When Palefeather arrived on the scene, he appeared genuinely surprised, but that didn't mean anything. If he were guilty, he could be expertly hiding it. But she still had her doubts, if only because of the sheer volume of such a crime and the fact that Palefeather was a good medicine cat. Crowchaser attempted to remain reasonable as she anxiously awaited the medicine cat's response.
Palefeather, despite his abundance of intelligence, hadn’t once thought his clan had gathered for him; he hadn’t put the scent of RiverClan together, here in ShadowClan, to mean they had found out about he and Chamomilewhisker, and why would he? Chamomilewhisker knew the importance of his role to his clan, and just how much medicine and healing meant to him. Not only did he have an affinity for it, but he lived and breathed it, and he never made a habit of masking that fact. Not once did he expect Chamomilewhisker to put his role—his place in his clan—at risk when she herself, and the kittens, would be put into a troubling position themselves.
To his credit Palefeather didn’t let the betrayal—the guilt—he felt show. His ears pressed briefly against his skull in shock at the revelation, and with the barest of head shakes—that could have meant a number of things—the buff tabby moved further into camp. He knew an accusation such as the one Halfstar presented with them had to be investigated no matter the cat’s standing in the clan, and especially one of his ranking, but the fact a clan meeting had been called before he had even heard of the claims was insulting, angering, and quite frankly unsettling. He saw no good coming of this. He loved his clan mates, but in groups any species was prone to over reacting, reacting more boldly and more violently, and he wasn’t prepared to have his clan clamber over one another for a turn to insult him, to verbally abuse him, and to make assumptions without giving him a chance to get the full story of things out.
His tail thrashed angrily behind him. ”Calling a meeting over this was unnecessary, Cardinalstar. If claims against me have been made I would have appreciated it being handled privately. Things get out of paw quickly when so many voices and opinions gather.” He said as calmly as he could. ”I would speak to you privately.” He gestured to his den.
Sagefoot had watched from the edge of camp when the RiverClan patrol had arrived, keeping her thoughts and her words to herself as Cardinalstar and Halfstar spoke. The gruff tom had been incredibly blunt, and while the silver molly had briefly wondered how he could possibly lead a Clan, she appreciated his honestly and straightforwardness.
However, the revelation had left her head reeling. Was it true? She saw little reason for RiverClan to make up such things, now that SkyClan was sitting between the two territories and making a war quite inconvenient. The warrior decided that she needed to know the truth for herself, so she joined in as a meeting was called. Palefeather arrived looking quite confused, and Sage only watched as he approached Cardinalstar.
Sagefoot's eyes narrowed. No Clan would call for the blood of a truly innocent cat, so if Palefeather was truly so worried about a meeting, he had something to hide. He could easily deny the claims and get off free, as long as the cats gathered believed his words. Sagefoot had no bias for or against the medicine cat. She admired his intelligence and passion, and he was incredibly useful for the Clan, but if he was found to truly be guilty she would have no sentiment in the way of his punishment.
Cardinalstar wanted to believe in Palefeather's innocence, and she held onto that hope as she waited for Palefeather's response. It was that hope that made it difficult for Cardinalstar to understand the medicine cat's reaction. He seemed almost angry, but his words weren't rebuking her for such an outlandish accusation. He wasn't shouting his innocence before the clan or admitting his guilt. Instead, he had turned the focus back onto Cardinalstar, making it seem as though she was the one in the wrong. Cardinalstar shot a confused look at Gillyflowerthroat, wondering if she knew why Palefeather was saying such things.
"Your clanmates deserve to know if they're being lied to," she said, confusion still in her voice. "That's why everything with Larkspur happened with the clan's involvement. This matter wasn't private from the moment Halfstar barely waited to get into camp before hollering about this mess and demanding you show yourself. If he'd had it his way, he would've been the one interrogating you. Instead, I shooed him away so that we can handle this together with no outsider interference." Cardinalstar was speechless for a few seconds, opening and closing her mouth without a word. Then, her brows furrowed. "Answer my question, Palefeather. It's an easy one. You either did it or you didn't. Yes or no. It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that."
Palefeather quickly realized that he was only digging himself further into a hole. He was being put on the spot, though, feeling the Clan's eyes burning into his pelt and wanting nothing more than to melt into the ground or to freeze time so he could have a moment to think. StarClan wanted him to come clean with everything, and Palefeather would, but he wanted to do it on his own terms and with the support of his leader. If he could convince Cardinalstar, she could pull rank and help the others come around -- after all he'd done, he certainly didn't want to sacrifice all the learning he and Sedgepaw could do using the bodies of Clanmates who no longer needed them. This, though, Chamomilewhisker and their children, could doubly jeopardize all that, he thought as he exhaled a long breath through his nose.
Cardinalstar presented it as a simple black or white decision -- she had no idea. But she was right that he had to do something, or risk his Clan just up and assuming him guilty (and they would be right). "I'm sorry, Cardinalstar, you're right -- I didn't mean to imply that I wanted to keep secrets, just that it's nothing for the whole Clan to worry about." He forced himself to remain calm, purposefully keeping his tone measured and even. "Of course I didn't do it. I've never broken my oaths as a medicine cat, never taken a mate, let alone a RiverClan mate, so I've obviously never had any kits." Palefeather shook his head slowly, letting his gaze flick from Cardinalstar down to Gillyflowerthroat and then to some of the other warriors -- Molenose, Sagefoot, Rookcloud. "I know you have to do your due diligence with an accusation like that, Cardinalstar, but to be honest I'm a little disappointed that anyone would even think those kinds of things possible for me. I've always been loyal to ShadowClan and to my role as medicine cat -- has any cat here really ever had any reason to distrust me?" Palefeather wanted to deflect, put some of the onus of all this back on Cardinalstar and the Clan, distract as much as possible so they would forget all about Halfstar's definitely-frogbrained-and-absolutely-untrue accusations.
Though Gillyflowerthroat very much wanted to be the one to shake Palefeather down for answers—for the truth—she stubbornly held herself still to allow ShadowClan’s new leader that opportunity. Cardinalstar was proving to be more than Gillyflowerthroat had hoped for, and especially anticipated, and so long as she continued to do good Gillyflowerthroat would force herself to take a back seat to her, and only interject when asked or Cardinalstar fell into old habits. Perhaps the calico thought that these early experiences would prepare her for future ones—ones outside of ShadowClan when it wouldn’t be appropriate for Gillyflowerthroat to interject least the other clans see it as a sign of trouble in the clan. So Gillyflowerthroat nodded her approval as Cardinalstar asked, and demanded when the medicine cat tried to brush the gathering off as unnecessary and even a bit insulting, for a simple answer.
The deputy didn’t have a doubt in her mind about Palefeather, but insulting or not they needed to hear it from him. She had watched the tom-cat grow up from a bean at his mother’s teat to the cat he was today. She knew him to be passionate, devoted, and put his learning and role as a healer above all else. He was passionate, and sometimes too friendly, but no one, least of all her, could deny that he didn’t put the medicine first. It didn’t make a lick of sense that he’d risk his position—a position she very well thought he was born for—for a she-cat and a family that he could never truly be a part of. His words soothed her, and without reason to doubt him (and very much wanting the arrogant, presumptions RiverClanner to be wrong), she believed him as easy a that. It wasn't especially typical of her, but in this she was content to not dig deeper least they find something that they didn't want to.
”Thank you, Palefeather. I knew that flea riddled goat was spouting nothing but hot air.” She crowed, perhaps a bit triumphantly, pleased that her defense of him hadn’t been in vain. She hated to be wrong, and after the betrayal the clan had felt by the paws of Larkspur they didn’t need another one so soon, and especially not in their medicine cat. ”I don’t know what his motives were, or perhaps that she-cat put him up to it, but we’ll get to the bottom of it one way or another. Trying to besmirch our clan and medicine cat like that—pah!” She snorted. She wondered if there were even any kittens.
but i'm sure it's written all over my face surprise surprise never somethin i could hide when i see we made it through another day
Like Gillyflowerthroat, Molenose wanted simply to believe Palefeather when he denied the accusations made by Halfstar via Cardinalstar. The tom had been their medicine cat for moons and, again like Gillyflowerthroat, Molenose had watched him grow up into a fine medicine cat at that. Rarely, if ever, had Palefeather ever given the Clan reason to complain about his performance. At the same time, Molenose hadn't forgotten that Vulturestar, traitor that he ended up turning out to be, had made accusations against Palefeather for a different reason, and Molenose also took Halfstar at his word when he made his threats. He would be happy to clash with RiverClan once more, as he had done since he was young, but his young children being part of that equation gave him enough pause to think twice. Better that the matter be over and done with once and for all, and with a little more than the word of the accused.
Glancing over to the medicine cats' den, Molenose saw @Sedgepaw hunched and, perhaps, nervous -- she knew Palefeather better than any other cat, spent more time with him than any other cat, so Sedgepaw would likely be able to give the kind of confirmation Molenose wanted to hear. Hopefully she would just say that Palefeather was telling the truth and they could all put any remaining qualms to bed. He leaned so that he could meet her gaze and asked,
"Sedgepaw? Is that true?" Molenose turned to shoot Palefeather an apologetic look -- he would happily explain his apparent lack of trust later, but for now he waited on Sedgepaw.
Rookcloud wouldn’t have liked to be in Palefeather’s paws at the moment. Every gathered cat was staring at him, hanging on every word Cardinalstar and Palefeather spoke. The buff tom was clearly uncomfortable with the attention but Rookcloud frowned as he tried to avoid a direct answer at first. It was true that it couldn’t be easy to have an accusation like that thrown onto you before the entire clan, but you couldn’t act like it hadn’t happened. The clan was gathered for an answer and denying them one was inherently suspicious at this point. Didn’t Palefeather want to clear his name ?
However, after the initial shock died away, it seemed that Palefeather had found his tongue and the denial that Rookcloud had expected came forth. The black tom nodded as he met the medicine cat’s eyes, visibly deflating in relief. He believed him. Listening to the responses of others, it seemed others did too. No one here wanted their medicine cat to have betrayed them.
Rookcloud’s mind was already turning to Halfstar’s lie, and what it could mean, when Molenose spoke. Rookcloud stiffened and blinked in surprise at the senior warrior. To ask for confirmation from Sedgepaw implied that Molenose didn’t take Palefeather at his word. It was a stinging insult to the medicine cat and Rookcloud winced as though it had been directed at him. Why were they still pushing this matter? Shouldn’t the word of their trusted friend enough?
Sedgepaw, for her part, looked terrified and his heart went out to her. Every eye in the clan would now be on her.
“Don’t put her on the spot, Molenose,” he said softly. He hated to go against the senior warrior he respected so much, but he somehow felt like he had to protect the younger cat. “How would she know? We’ve already got our answer from the source.” He tilted his head towards Palefeather.
the notes from my admirersFill the dashboard just the same
The scent of Riverclan still wafted in the air as Cardinalstar called an impromptu meeting. Coralpaw merely gaped at the large and grizzled Halfstar. His accusation against their medicine cat was damning but the young calico didn’t grasp the severity of the situation. She didn’t—or couldn’t—fathom why it was wrong for the tom to have feelings for another cat (if it was all, indeed, true). Coralpaw looked around with wide eyes as her clan mates gathered beneath Cardinalstar. There was tension in the air and everyone seemed to be looking at their medicine cat. He had always been dedicated, kind, and funny. Her heart went out to him but she kept her mouth closed and then promptly made her way to sit beside her friend Owlpaw.
“This seems bad,” she murmured and leaned against her companion. Her eyes were clouded with concern as she looked around. Palefeather requested to speak privately but their leader cut down the idea. Coralpaw kneaded the ground anxiously as she listened to the medicine cat explain that Halfstar was wrong. Most of their clan mates seemed in favor of believing Palefeather but it did little to quell the nerves bubbling up in Coralpaw stomach. “Why can’t we all just get along? Even if Halfstar was telling the truth why does it matter?” Her voice was a whisper and her words were intended for Owlpaw alone.
i'm just trying to geta window seat on the way to hell
Halfstar, in Skunkwhisker’s opinion, had no finesse or charm. The carrion-faced tom waltzed into their camp and then told them all an interesting tale. Apparently, Palefeather wooed a Riverclan maiden and then sired kits. It was an entertaining notion, certainly, but was it true? Skunkwhisker couldn’t fathom why a queen would even confess to such a thing unless it was rouse or perhaps she had been blackmailed… that is, if there were even kits to begin with. However, Cardinalstar wasted no time, and once the behemoth left, a meeting was called. The black and white warrior took a seat among his clan mates. Quiet murmurs filled camp and many pairs of eyes were on Palefeather when he finally entered camp.
Skunkwhisker held his tongue and watched the scene unfold. The medicine cat denied the accusation and stated that he was nothing but loyal to Shadowclan and his oath. Gillyflowerthroat, bless her old soul, huffed in triumph. However, his former mentor, Molenose, didn’t seem as easily persuaded. He looked to Sedgepaw for information and he felt bad for the young she-cat. She looked nervous but who wouldn’t be if they were put on the spot? “Gotta wonder what’s going on in Halfstar’s head,” he mused out loud. “First he wanted to team up and now he’s spreading gossip about us. Maybe he even blackmailed that poor queen if there even is a queen and kits to begin with.” Skunkwhisker’s tail thumped idly, his gaze drifting toward Sedgepaw. “Feels like he’s trying to unravel us from the inside out.”
Owlpaw’s faith in Palefeather didn’t waver for a second. The medicine cat seemed shocked at the accusation at first but went on to deny it wholeheartedly. The release of tension from some of the gathered warriors was palpable. Owlpaw shook her head, unconsciously answering Palefeather’s question. She’d never seen any reason to doubt their medicine cat. He was right – surely if they’d never had any reason to distrust him then he couldn’t betray the clan now.
Owlpaw looked away from the clan’s murmuring for a moment as Coralpaw came to sit by her and she leaned back into her friend’s comfortable weight.
“It’s okay now though,” she murmured at Coralpaw’s comment, “Palefeather said he didn’t do it so it turns out Halfstar was lying.” Molenose was now addressing Sedgepaw and Owlpaw followed her father's gaze, curious. She saw the question merely as one of confirmation, an opportunity for Sedgepaw to stand by her mentor and reject Halfstar’s accusation.
At Owlpaw’s side, Coralpaw’s whispered a question and the torbie apprentice blinked at her friend in surprise.
“Oh, it’s because of the code,” she whispered back readily, wondering how Coralpaw didn’t know this, “we’re not supposed to take mates from outside our clan, remember? It’s against the rules.” Owlpaw had learned the code from her parents as a kit with the kind of awestruck attentiveness that kits only had when it was clear that they were being taught something of the utmost importance. She tilted her head as she remembered something. “Oh, and it’s extra bad because medicine cats aren’t supposed to take mates at all.” She couldn’t quite remember the reasoning behind that rule, but she was sure it served a good purpose.