|"As they drew closer to the ThunderClan camp, she heard the sound from her dream she had been dreading every pawstep of the journey: the yowls of fighting cats mingled with the deeper roars of her enemy. Badgers had broken into the camp!"|
|— Leafpool's thoughts in Twilight, page 304|
The battle against the badgers took place in Twilight, in which badgers, having had enough of being chased out of their territory by the Clan cats, decided to enact their revenge and attack ThunderClan.
Ever since arriving to the lake, badgers have proven to be a nuisance for all Clans. Reports have been made from several Clans about discovering sets and driving out badgers.
When Leafpool and Crowfeather leave their Clans to find a way to live together as mates, they come across Midnight, who explains to them that her kin will be attacking the Clans soon out of revenge for when their own homes were attacked. Midnight leaves them, attempting to find help, and after a bit, Leafpool and Crowfeather finally turn back to help.
The badgers break into ThunderClan's camp, and it takes every able bodied cat to narrowly hold the badgers back. Cats are killed, including Sootfur and Cinderpelt, Cinderpelt being an especially hard blow due to the fact that she was the Clan's medicine cat. WindClan reinforcements arrive, eventually forcing the badgers to retreat, despite the heavy casualties they caused the ThunderClan cats.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Description
- 3 Characters
- 4 Aftermath
- 5 Legacy
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- "Is great trouble coming. Many of my kin with Clans are angry. Cats drive them out of their place. Now they come to attack and drive you out, take back what once theirs."
- ―Midnight Twilight, page 277
- After Leafpool and Crowfeather leave their Clans, they shelter for the night. However, Leafpool has a vision, in which she sees several animals lumbering through ThunderClan's camp. The two, after Midnight confirms that ThunderClan will be attacked, return to the camp in order to help. Despite the battle being won, with WindClan reinforcements, it has deadly consequences, as both Sootfur and Cinderpelt are killed in the fray.
- Midnight: "I have no side. Cats, badgers, in peace could live. I speak against attack, but my kin not listen to me. For many days now they talk of blood and revenge."
- Crowfeather: "What do they plan to do?"
- Twilight, page 277
- While asleep, Leafpool has a dream in which she is surrounded by black fog, but she is able to see lumbering shapes moving around her. Although they are too blurred for Leafpool to identify what they are, she is able to see blunt claws, snapping jaws, and malicious eyes. One of the dark masses looms over her and claws her, ruffling her whiskers and barely missing her eye. Leafpool feels liquid surrounding her paws as she recognizes the scent of blood. She yowls for StarClan to help her, and is woken up by the extreme nature of the dream.
- Crowfeather is standing next to Leafpool, demanding who is there as they notice shuffling pawsteps. Leafpool sees a badger coming towards her, and Crowfeather assures her that it is all right, telling her it is Midnight. Midnight is surprised and greets Crowfeather, calling him by his apprentice name, Crowpaw. Crowfeather corrects her, saying that he is Crowfeather, in honor of Feathertail. The dark tom introduces Leafpool to Midnight, and Midnight asks if the two are fleeing. Crowfeather answers that they had to leave, and they could not stay together if they were in their Clans. Midnight warns them that trouble is coming, and that her kin are angry with the Clans.
- She explains that since Clan cats have driven badgers out of their territory, the badgers will do the same and take back what was theirs. Leafpool and Crowfeather recall the times when badgers had been driven out, and Leafpool asks Midnight if they are going to attack the Clans. Crowfeather asks what side Midnight is on, and Midnight replies that she has no side. Crowfeather asks what her family plans to do, and Midnight tells him that they will attack their "sets," otherwise known as their camps. Midnight explains that she had come to the forest to tell the Clans what was going to happen, and she asks Crowfeather if he will help.
- Crowfeather explains that he and Leafpool had left their Clans for good, and there was nothing they could do. Leafpool exclaims that they cannot leave their Clans to die, and Crowfeather tells her that Midnight will warn them, and the Clans will be safe if they listen to her. He insists that they had come too far, and if they go back home, every cat will know what they had done. He adds that they would never be able to leave again, and things would not be the same as they would not be able to meet again - and all of this would have been for nothing. Leafpool, pained, knows that Crowfeather is right.
- Midnight, watching every moment of their exchange, wishes them luck. She says that their future is in the luck of their warrior ancestors, and she will do what she can. Leafpool thanks her, and she and Crowfeather watch as Midnight lumbers away from them, heading to ThunderClan.
- Leafpool: "Crowfeather! I can't stay here. We have to go back."
- Crowfeather: "I know. I feel the same way. We have to go and help our Clans."
- Twilight, page 280
- Leafpool drifts into a troubled sleep, in which she hears Cinderpelt exclaiming for StarClan to help her. She wakes up, disturbed, and tells Crowfeather that she cannot stay here, and that they have to go back. Crowfeather tells her that he feels the same way, and that they have to go back and help their Clans. 
- Back at camp, Squirrelflight hears a low rumbling roar through the trees. Whitepaw streaks into camp, frightened, with Brackenfur behind her. The roaring eventually becomes louder, followed by snarling and growling. The entrance to the hollow snaps, and badgers thrust their way through camp. All able-bodied cats, save for Cinderpelt and Brightheart, who hurry to the medicine den, start to attack.
- Squirrelflight engages in a fight with a badger, but much to her annoyance, Ashfur helps her. Brambleclaw orders Squirrelflight to help him, as they must get Daisy and her kits out of the hollow. Squirrelflight follows him, dodging Spiderleg and Sootfur, who are fighting together. Brightheart and Cloudtail come to rescue the kits, where Squirrelflight is about to show them a way out of camp.
- However, Brightheart orders her to fetch Cinderpelt, as Sorreltail's kits are arriving. Squirrelflight scans the camp, but cannot find Cinderpelt - only Sorreltail's mate, Brackenfur, who is running towards the nursery. Squirrelflight orders him to find Cinderpelt, describing the situation, and Brackenfur goes to search for the medicine cat.
- Cinderpelt reaches the nursery, ordering a guard for the entrance. Squirrelflight helps Daisy, her kits, and the Clan elders, Longtail and Mousefur, to find different ways to escape. Longtail and Mousefur are told to shelter on the Highledge, while Squirrelflight shows Daisy and her kits another way out of camp.
- As Squirrelflight climbs the exit alongside the queen and her children, she looks down to see more badgers invading the camp, reinforcements for the ones already there. Anxious, she wonders if this is the end for the her Clan. She shakes her numbness away and successfully brings Daisy's kits to safety. Squirrelflight goes back to camp, where Brambleclaw is helping Ferncloud and Birchpaw escape. She asks the dark brown tabby if her father, Firestar, is alive, in which Brambleclaw replies that he is.
- Squirrelflight goes to help Sootfur, who is severely injured. At first, she tries to help him out of the camp, but due to his injury, Sootfur dies in front of her eyes. Squirrelflight dives back into the fray, despite her inner thoughts that her Clanmates could not win this battle. As she fights, she hears a shrieking cry from the nursery, in which a cat wails for StarClan to help her.
Return of two cats
- "Leafpool and Crowfeather ran on, down to the slope that led to the entrance. The thorn barrier that was supposed to protect the camp had been utterly destroyed, trampled down by monstrous paws. Beyond the scattered branches, badgers filled the hollow, their thick-furred shoulders heaving as they pounced and fought. Leafpool caught a glimpse of her father, a wild light in his green eyes as he rallied the Clan with sweeping gestures of his tail."
- ―Narrator Twilight, page 304
- Ferncloud, who had been hiding under a bush, sees Leafpool and is about to ask her where she had been. However, realizing the severity of the Clan's situation, she orders her to help the Clan. Leafpool and Crowfeather run down the slope, and they see a horrible scene play out before their eyes - the entrance to the camp demolished, massive badgers trampling the ground and assaulting cats. Firestar orders his Clan to follow him and drive the badgers out. His Clanmates obey his order, and follow him.
- The pale medicine cat frets about being too late, but during her worries, she hears the cry of Cinderpelt. She races towards the nursery, to be seen by her sister, Squirrelflight. Squirrelflight tells her that Cinderpelt was in the nursery with Sorreltail, as Sorreltail's kits are coming, but badgers had broken in. Leafpool attempts to enter the nursery, but she collides with a badger.
- Crowfeather and Leafpool attack the badger, and Leafpool enters the nursery. She sees Sorreltail about to give birth, but she sees something else as well - the blood stained body of her mentor.
A tragic death
- "We cannot change our destiny. We just have to have the courage to know what it is, and accept it."
- ―Cinderpelt to Leafpool Twilight, page 309
- The gray medicine cat tells Leafpool there there is no point, as she is going to join StarClan. Leafpool protests, pressing moss against the bleeding wound. Cinderpelt murmurs that it is all right, as StarClan had told her that they would come for her soon. Leafpool stares at her, horrified that she had knew about her impending death all along. She asks why she did not tell her. Cinderpelt replies that it was her destiny, not Leafpool's. The medicine cat apprentice reminds her that she knew she was seeing Crowfeather, and that if she went away, ThunderClan would be left without a medicine cat. She adds that Cinderpelt should have forced her to say.
- After exchanging some more words with Leafpool, and Leafpool apologizing to her, Cinderpelt tells her that her destiny cannot be changed, and lets go of her life to join her warrior ancestors. Crowfeather comes behind her and apologizes for her death, in which Leafpool wails in grief. Crowfeather tells her that she must stay with her Clan, and when Leafpool asks about him, he tells her that her heart lies with ThunderClan, and not him.
- Leafpool realizes that he is right, and although she loved him, she did not love him enough to leave her Clan. After reassuring Cinderpelt that she will take care of the Clan, she orders Crowfeather to help her Clanmates keep the badgers off. She then comes to Sorreltail's side, reassuring her best friend that she was here, and everything will be fine.
- Brambleclaw: "You came."
- Onestar: "Of course we came. There are four Clans in the forest, but we can still help one another."
- Twilight, page 315
- Squirrelflight is surprised to see Midnight, who had entered the camp, and she wonders if she is here to fight on behalf of her kin. Midnight tells her that she is not here to fight, but she brought help. To the ginger warrior's astonishment, several WindClan warriors race into camp and engage in the battle against the badgers. Brambleclaw sees this and rushes over, remarking to Onestar that he came, and Onestar tells him that there were four Clans in the forest, but they could still help one another.
- The badgers retreat, and the battle is over, a narrow victory for ThunderClan. Firestar greets Midnight, and Onestar explains to him that Midnight had gone to WindClan to retrieve help.  Firestar thanks Midnight for coming and getting help. The flame colored tom also thanks the WindClan leader, saying that StarClan would have gained many more warriors if it was not for him. Onestar tells him that since ThunderClan had helped WindClan in the past, it was only right that they came and helped him. Firestar tells him that they will not forget what he had done.
- Thornclaw lets out a startled yowl as two cats pick their way through thorn branches. One of the cats meows that the state of the camp was not what he expected to find, and asks what happens. Squirrelflight stares at them, thinking that after the badger attack, nothing could have surprised her more. She realizes that the cats who had entered were Stormfur and Brook.
- The medicine cat apprentice of ThunderClan, Leafpool runs away with Crowfeather, due to her profuse love for him and her feelings of worthlessness about her status in ThunderClan. At first, she believed she was following her heart by running away with the cat she loves, however, when she receives dreams about ominous prophecies and attacking animals, she realizes that the best thing for her - and to truly follow her heart - is to return to her Clan. She knows that she must be their medicine cat, and that is where she truly belongs. After returning, she realizes that she although she loved Crowfeather, she did not love him enough to abandon her Clan forever.
- The one who stole Leafpool's heart, Crowfeather is a warrior of WindClan, who had fallen in love with Leafpool. Although he feels guilt for falling in love with someone so soon after his previous love, Feathertail, died, he begs Leafpool to run away from her Clan, so he can be with her and they will have no one forbidding them from being together. Leafpool eventually agrees, and the two run away. At first, when receiving the warning from Midnight about her kin's attack on the Clans, Crowfeather is reluctant to go, as he knows that when he goes back, he will never be able to pursue a relationship with Leafpool. However, he knows that Leafpool's heart is in ThunderClan, and his love for her is too strong to keep her from being where she belongs. He also knows that he must defend his Clan as well.
- Midnight was the badger who had given the traveling cats a message at the sun-drown place that their forest would be destroyed. She returns to the lake territories, and first, gives Leafpool and Crowfeather the message that her kin will attack ThunderClan, and then goes to WindClan to warn them and ask for reinforcements.
- Cinderpelt is the medicine cat of ThunderClan, who already knew her impending death. Despite this, she did not stop Leafpool from leaving ThunderClan, knowing that she may have been happier with Crowfeather. During the battle with the badgers, she helps Sorreltail deliver her kits, but is killed by a badger.
Characters that took part in the battle
- After WindClan leaves to return home, ThunderClan is left to grieve for the losses of Cinderpelt and Sootfur, and the camp is extensively damaged from the badgers' trampling. Stormfur and Brook arrive as soon as the battle is over and are shocked by the devastation. The worst injured cats, such as Ashfur and Birchpaw, go to get treated by Leafpool, who is now the sole ThunderClan medicine cat. The strongest cats, like Brambleclaw, help rebuild the camp barrier and the dens. Squirrelflight rebuilds the destroyed fresh-kill pile and Stormfur and Brook help hunt for the Clan. It takes some of the worst injured cats moons to fully recover from their injuries.
- While on patrol, Hawkfrost reveals to some ShadowClan warriors that ThunderClan had been attacked by badgers and suffered great losses. He knew about the badgers because Brambleclaw had told him and Tigerstar in their shared dream. Thinking that ThunderClan would be too weak to defend their borders, Russetfur leads a ShadowClan patrol to extend their own territory by leaving their scent markers well inside ThunderClan territory. Birchpaw catches them in the act and goes to tell the rest of his patrol what he saw, and runs back to camp to get more warriors. Brambleclaw leads an attack against the invading ShadowClan warriors, and they retreat after Firestar shows up with reinforcements. This skirmish is brought up at the following Gathering after Firestar explains the badger attack to the rest of the Clans.
- When reminded of Cinderpelt's death, the badger attack is often what comes to mind. Ever since the attack, the camp had been reinforced, yet cats such as Whitewing remember that their battle skills saved them on that day. Badgers continue to be a dark memory in ThunderClan, but the warriors have proven to the badgers who rightfully lives in the stone hollow.
Notes and references
- Revealed in Twilight, page 288
- From the timeframe in the battle, it starts the morning of Leafpool and Crowfeather returning to camp, while it ends very shortly after.
- Revealed in Twilight, page 310
- Revealed in Twilight, page 314
- Revealed in Twilight, page 290
- Revealed in Twilight, page 289
- Revealed in Twilight, page 292
- Revealed in Twilight, page 298
- Revealed in Twilight, page 300
- Revealed in Twilight, page 308
- Revealed in Twilight, page 305
- Revealed in Twilight, page 307
- Revealed in Twilight, page 313
- Revealed in Twilight, page 301
- None mentioned
- Revealed in Twilight, page 287
- Revealed in Twilight, page 252
- Revealed in Twilight, page 275
- Revealed in Twilight, pages 275-276
- Revealed in The New Prophecy, page 276
- Revealed in The New Prophecy, page 278
- Revealed in Twilight, page 274
- Revealed in Twilight, page 280
- Revealed in Twilight, page 309
- Revealed in Starlight, pages 274-275
- Revealed in The New Prophecy, page 275
- Revealed in Twilight, page 276
- Revealed in Twilight, page 277
- Revealed in Twilight, page 278
- Revealed in Twilight, page 2768
- Revealed in Twilight, page 279
- Revealed in Twilight, page 293
- Revealed in Twilight, page 294
- Revealed in Twilight, page 295
- Revealed in Twilight, page 299
- Revealed in Twilight, page 302
- Revealed in Twilight, page 303
- Revealed in Twilight, page 304
- Revealed in Twilight, page 306
- Revealed in Twilight, page 311
- Revealed in Twilight, page 315
- Revealed in Twilight, page 316
- Revealed in Twilight, page 317
- Revealed in Twilight, page 319
- Revealed in Midnight, page 291
- Revealed in Twilight, page 2
- Revealed in Twilight, chapter 24
- Revealed in Sunset, chapter 3
- Revealed in Sunset, chapter 6
- Revealed in Sunset, chapter 10
- Revealed in Sunset, chapter 11
- Revealed in Battles of the Clans