|"There must be a ceremony, I suppose. It means nothing to me, but these cats are so gullible they’ll never accept Cloudpaw without one."|
|— Bluestar to Fireheart about Cloudpaw’s warrior ceremony in A Dangerous Path, chapter 18|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eighteen of A Dangerous Path. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 18 (of 27)
- Page Numbers: 199-210
- After the battle at Sunningrocks, the ThunderClan cats wearily walk back into camp. Fireheart spots Bramblekit rushing out of the nursery, and the kit asks how it went, and if they’ve brought back a prisoner. The deputy replies no, clarifying that Graystripe is a ThunderClan cat, and that his mother can tell him about it. Bramblekit looks slightly crestfallen at the answer, but he tells Tawnykit about the gray warrior. She asks who Graystripe is, and Darkstripe spits that he’s a traitor, but that according to Bluestar, every ThunderClan cat is as well. The siblings stare at him with complete bewilderment, and Fireheart fights back his fury. He is angry at Darkstripe for taking out his anger on the kits, and tells the pair that ThunderClan won and will keep Sunningrocks. Bramblekit becomes excited, telling the deputy that he’s going to go tell the elders.
- Graystripe stares after the brown tabby kit, asking Fireheart if that’s Tigerstar’s kit. The ginger tabby says yes, and then suggests that they go and have Cinderpelt patch them up. Graystripe looks around despondently, commenting that it’ll never be the same. Fireheart tries to cheer him up, insisting that next newleaf everything will grow back stronger than before. He doesn’t reply, and the deputy can see pain in his eyes, likely missing his kits. They walk over to Cinderpelt, and she comments that they look like they had been fighting monsters on the Thunderpath. Fireheart grunts that it feels like it, and sits down as the medicine cat treats him. However, he hears Dustpelt ask why Graystripe came back, as no one wants him here. Fireheart protests that, and meows that he and Sandstorm are happy he’s back. Dustpelt turns his back on the deputy, and Graystripe mews that he won’t be accepted. Fireheart tries to encourage his friend to give it time so they can come around.
- Fireheart’s thoughts drift, thinking about the threats looming over the forest. He is snapped back to reality as Cinderpelt tells him that his wounds should heal with rest and a little cobweb for the bleeding. Fireheart asks if she’s tended to Bluestar yet, and the gray she-cat replies affirmatively. Cinderpelt tells him that the blue-gray she-cat is in her den, and he moves to go see her. The medicine cat tells him not to wake Bluestar if she’s sleeping, then turns to Graystripe to treat his wounds. Fireheart pads towards the leader’s den, and he runs across Sandstorm. The she-cat tells him that she and Mousefur are going to hunt, and he thanks her. Sandstorm asks if he’s okay, and Fireheart voices his worries about Graystripe not being accepted. She comments that others will just have to accept it, but the deputy snaps back that this is no time for quarrels. Sandstorm is offended, meowing that she only wants to help. She stalks away, leaving Fireheart to despondently walk towards Bluestar’s den.
- As the deputy approaches the entrance to Bluestar’s den, she raises her head. She asks him what he wants, and Fireheart reports that there are no serious injuries. The leader says that’s good, and comments that Cloudpaw fought well today. Bluestar meows that it’s time the white apprentice is made a warrior, and the ceremony will be at sunset. Fireheart hopes she is now in the mood to promote more young cats, but is disheartened when she continues that a ceremony apparently is necessary, or ThunderClan’s gullible cats won’t accept Cloudpaw as a warrior. The deputy worries about her mental state, but instead suggests that perhaps Swiftpaw can become a warrior too. Bluestar says no, because the black-and-white tom carried a message during the battle, which is apprentice’s work. She continues that Swiftpaw cannot be trusted, and praises Cloudpaw’s lack of groveling to StarClan. Fireheart reluctantly tells her that he’ll see her at sunset, and backs away.
- Fireheart then goes to tell Cloudpaw about the ceremony and what to do for it. The apprentice is thrilled, and his mentor moves towards the warriors’ den for some rest. On the way there, he tells Longtail that Bluestar didn’t agree to make Swiftpaw a warrior. The pale tabby is angry, and states that Swiftpaw carried a message during the battle, and that’s Fireheart’s fault. The deputy agrees, and apologizes to the mentor. Longtail doesn’t believe his explanation, and stalks away. Fireheart then turns his paws towards the warriors’ den again to sleep. He sleeps, and later emerges as the sun sets below the wall of camp. Fireheart watches as Bluestar calls a Clan meeting, and Graystripe congratulates his friend about completing Cloudpaw’s apprenticeship. He notices that while many cats are already in the clearing, the other apprentices are the last to join the crowd.
- Cloudpaw strolls out the elders’ den towards his mentor, looking excited. Fireheart murmurs to the white cat that he can go hunting near Twolegplace tomorrow and tell Princess about his promotion. Bluestar then calls Cloudpaw up to the front, meowing that he is ready to take his place as a warrior of ThunderClan. She then recites the warrior ceremony, but the words drag out of her like thorns. Fireheart winces at her lack of commitment to the ritual words, but watches as Cloudpaw agrees to Bluestar’s prompts. The leader slowly finishes the ceremony, giving Cloudpaw the warrior name Cloudtail. She leaps of Highrock and rests her muzzle on his head, and he licks her shoulder in return. The clearing stays silent, even though this is the time for the Clan to cheer for a new warrior. Cloudtail begins to look disheartened, but Brindleface weaves her way through the crowd to her adopted kit. The she-cat praises Cloudtail, and soon, several cats come to congratulate him.
- Fireheart breaths a sigh of relief, but notices that the apprentices wait until last to come up, and only mew a few quiet words. The deputy can’t spot Swiftpaw, or his mentor Longtail. He tries to keep his voice cheery, telling Cloudtail that he needs to keep vigil tonight. The white warrior nods, taking up a position in the clearing. Fireheart sees his nephew’s proud stance, but knows Bluestar’s lack of faith and his friends’ jealousy shadows the occasion. The deputy wonders how long ThunderClan can last when their leader no longer honors StarClan.
- Sorrelkit (Unnamed)
- Rainkit (Unnamed)
- Sootkit (Unnamed)
- Thornpaw (Unnamed)
- Fernpaw (Unnamed)
- Ashpaw (Unnamed)
|Cloudpaw's warrior ceremony|
Notes and references
|A Dangerous Path chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27|
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