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"There is one thing you could do. We'll accept your life in exchange for Tawnypelt's... except that we know you're too weak to sacrifice yourself for her."
Nettle to Rowanclaw in River of Fire, page 224

The battle for the stolen kits took place in River of Fire when Sleekwhisker kidnapped Yarrowleaf's kits and ambushed Tawnypelt, holding them hostage outside SkyClan territory. Violetshine realizes what happened and gathers cats to go after them. Jacques leads them to the group, where Sleekwhisker announces her intentions to kill Tawnypelt, with the kits as hostage.

Nettle offers that Rowanclaw can take Tawnypelt's place, and the former leader agrees, but attacks just after. The kits are safely taken away and the SkyClan cats win the ensuing fight, though Rowanclaw and Nettle die as a result of their injuries.

Summary

Premise

Yarrowleaf and Sleekwhisker sought shelter in SkyClan after becoming disillusioned with the Kin after Darktail's death. Leafstar grudgingly accepts them on the advice of her medicine cats, but enlists Tree to look after them.[8] While they are in SkyClan, Yarrowleaf gives birth to her kits, Flaxkit and Hopkit. Sleekwhisker appears to blend into SkyClan quite well, though she defers authority to Rowanclaw instead of Leafstar.[9] Before the battle, she makes plans with Kin remnants as well as Jacques and Susan. Sleekwhisker lures Flaxkit and Hopkit away from camp, kidnapping them, and captures Tawnypelt with an ambush after an invite to hunt together.[5]

Overview

Violetshine enters SkyClan's camp and sees that Yarrowleaf's kits are missing. She finds that the queen has been drugged with poppy seeds, and the she-cats conclude that Sleekwhisker has taken the kits.[10] The two she-cats, along with Rowanclaw and Macgyver, follow the yellow tabby's scent trail through the forest. They meet Jacques, who leads them to where Yarrowleaf's kits and Tawnypelt are.[11] Sleekwhisker holds Rowanclaw responsible for everything bad that happened during Darktail's reign, and announces that she's going to have her revenge by killing Tawnypelt.[3]
Sleekwhisker continues that if anyone tries to stop it, the kits will die. Nettle offers that Rowanclaw can sacrifice himself for his mate, and the former leader agrees, looking pathetic.[3] Moments later, however, he springs up to attack Nettle, starting the battle. At his call, Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grab the kits, while Violetshine and Macgyver prevent their attackers from giving chase.[1] They are driven off, but Rowanclaw and Nettle die as a result of their wounds. As the former leader is dying, Rowanclaw tells Tawnypelt that Tigerheart will return as he has seen him in dreams. After he passes away, Macgyver asks Tawnypelt if she'll lead ShadowClan. She says no, and that her Clan is dead.[2]

Description

A shocking discovery

Violetshine enters SkyClan's camp after a hunting patrol, noting that it's almost deserted. She notices that Yarrowleaf is sleeping, but doesn't see her kits. After checking the nursery and the main clearing, she soon discovers poppy seeds inside the mouse beside the ginger queen. Violetshine remembers when she'd tried to drug Darktail the same way, and how Sleekwhisker had caught and reported her. She comes to the conclusion that the yellow tabby must have drugged her companion, and how she'd seen her heading away during the storm. Shaking the queen awake, Violetshine asks where her kits are, causing Yarrowleaf to panic.[12]
The warrior tries to get her to focus and questions if Sleekwhisker was there. She says they were watching the kits play, and Violetshine questions her further, asking if she'd also brought the mouse. Yarrowleaf confirms this, before asking her if she thinks Sleekwhisker has taken her kits. The queen stating that she wouldn't do that because she's her friend, but Violetshine asks her if she's sure. The warrior prompts that the yellow tom was with Darktail and if it's possible she's working with the other Kin rogues to enact revenge. She starts to wail that Sleekwhisker has her kits and wonders what she intends to do with them.[13]

Following the scent trail

Rowanclaw and Macgyver come over to see what's making the queen so upset, so Violetshine explains to them that Sleekwhisker had stolen the kits. They all head out of camp where Violetshine picks up the scent trail, confirming that the young cats were with Sleekwhisker. Rowanclaw supposes that she told some story to get them out of the camp, to which Yarrowleaf mews that Flaxkit and Hopkit were eager to get into the forest and would think it okay if Sleekwhisker suggested it. Yarrowleaf wails that she hopes her kits aren't hurt, though Violetshine points out there isn't any fear-scent yet.[14]
The patrol soon picks up Tawnypelt's scent, making the queen think that she's joined up with Sleekwhisker. Rowanclaw denies this, saying that no matter what she thought about her former Clanmates, she'd never hurt kits. The former leader soon stops as he realizes that the trail leads to a Twoleg nest in ShadowClan territory, making a puzzled Macgyver ask if the yellow tabby was taking the kits to Twolegs. Violetshine is surprised to hear this piece of history, thinking that ShadowClan had already been dealing with Darktail by the time she was in their Clan.[15]

Meeting the captors

They soon encounter Jacques, a kittypet who ShadowClan had trouble with before, who agrees to take them to where the kits are being held. As they approach a rocky hollow, Violetshine spots Tawnypelt crouched between Raven and Sleekwhisker and the kits between Nettle's paws. Yarrowleaf rushes over to her kits and gathers them close, and they are comforted by her presence. Rowanclaw demands to know what's going on and Tawnypelt explains that Sleekwhisker had offered to go hunting with her, but she disappeared and then Jacques and his friend Susan jumped her.[16]
The tom comes to the conclusion that Sleekwhisker had then doubled back and stolen Flaxkit and Hopkit, but doesn't know what they want with his mate. Sleekwhisker sneers that Tawnypelt is especially for him, growling that she was miserable growing up in ShadowClan. She continues that many cats she cared for died under the reign of Darktail because Rowanclaw had been a weak leader. The ginger tom admits that all of it is true and that he's paid for it, but Sleekwhisker hisses savagely that it isn't enough.[17]

The fight

Sleekwhisker informs him that she's going to have her revenge through Tawnypelt, by killing her right in front of Rowanclaw. The tortoiseshell that says that she'd like to see her try, but the yellow tabby assures her that she will, because if anyone moves, the kits will die. Nettle says that Rowanclaw can sacrifice himself for her, and the former leader communicates to Violetshine to get ready. The former leader makes the image of a totally defeated cat and Violetshine sees both the contempt and anticipation in Sleekwhisker's eyes. Moments later, Rowanclaw explodes in an attack on Nettle, leaving the kits unguarded. Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grab the kits and race away, getting them to safety.[18]
Sleekwhisker joins the fray by jumping on Rowanclaw from behind. Violetshine and Macgyver fight with the remaining rogues, preventing them from giving chase to the kits. The battle turns in favour of the Clan cats, and the kittypets quickly retreat. Sleekwhisker and Raven flee into the undergrowth, and Violetshine yowls at them to never come back because they have betrayed the Clans for the last time.[19]

Fall of a former leader

At the end of the fight, Nettle lies dead in a pool of blood. Violetshine stands close by as Tawnypelt races past her to sit with Rowanclaw, who has a fatal throat injury. She begs him to stay, but he reassures her that he'll be okay, and that Tigerheart is returning. He takes responsibility for destroying ShadowClan, and then dies.[20]
Tawnypelt is shocked, thinking that he'll come back, due to the lives he'd received as Clan leader. However, Rowanclaw does not revive, and Violetshine nudges the she-cat away from his body. She says they need to get it back to camp for a vigil, but that he died like a leader. Macgyver pads up, asking Tawnypelt if she'll lead ShadowClan now. She stares at him, saying that she won't without Rowanclaw, and that her Clan is dead.[21]

Characters

Rowanclaw

Violetshine discovers Sleekwhisker has drugged Yarrowleaf and kidnapped her kits. She alerts Rowanclaw and Macgyver of the problem, and they immediately begin to track the scent trail. They meet Jacques, and the former leader explains ShadowClan's problems with him and Susan in the past. Jacques leads them to where Yarrowleaf's kits and Tawnypelt are. Sleekwhisker holds Rowanclaw responsible for everything bad that happened during Darktail's reign, and announces that she's going to have her revenge by killing Tawnypelt. She threatens that if anyone tries to stop it, the kits will die.[22]
Nettle offers that Rowanclaw can sacrifice himself for his mate, and the former leader agrees, looking pathetic. Moments later, however, he springs up to attack Nettle, starting the battle. At his call, Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grab the kits, while Violetshine and Macgyver prevent their attackers from giving chase. They are driven off, but Rowanclaw and Nettle die as a result of their wounds. As the former leader is dying, Rowanclaw tells Tawnypelt that Tigerheart will return as he has seen him in dreams. After he passes away, his mate is shocked that the former leader isn't coming back, despite the lives he'd had as Clan leader. Macgyver asks Tawnypelt if she'll lead ShadowClan, but she declines, stating her Clan to be dead.[22]

Sleekwhisker

Before the battle, Sleekwhisker makes plans with Kin remnants as well as Jacques and Susan. She lures Flaxkit and Hopkit away from camp, kidnapping them, and captures Tawnypelt with an ambush after an invite to hunt together. Violetshine discovers that Sleekwhisker drugged Yarrowleaf and took her kits. The queen hesitates to believe it, thinking they were friends, but her mind quickly changes. The two she-cats join with Rowanclaw and Macgyver to track her and the kits' trail. They meet Jacques, who leads them to where Yarrowleaf's kits, Tawnypelt, Sleekwhisker, Nettle, Susan, and Raven are.[22]
Sleekwhisker blames Rowanclaw for everything bad that happened during Darktail's reign, and insists her revenge will be in the form of killing Tawnypelt. When Tawnypelt protests, the yellow she-cat meows that they'll kill the kits if any cat tries to stop them. Nettle proposes that Rowanclaw could sacrifice himself for his mate, and he accept. However, he springs up to attack Nettle, starting the battle. At his call, Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grab the kits, while Violetshine and Macgyver prevent their attackers from giving chase. Sleekwhisker and her allies are driven off, and Violetshine yowls at them to not come back.[22]

Violetshine

Violetshine enters SkyClan's camp sees that Yarrowleaf's kits are missing. She finds that the queen has been drugged with poppy seeds, and the she-cats conclude that Sleekwhisker has taken the kits. The two she-cats, along with Rowanclaw and Macgyver, follow the yellow tabby's scent trail through the forest. Violetshine and her Clanmates meet Jacques, who leads them to where Yarrowleaf's kits and Tawnypelt are.[22]
When Rowanclaw springs up to attack Nettle, it instigates the battle. At the leader call, Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grab the kits, while Violetshine and Macgyver prevent their attackers from giving chase. Violetshine grapples against Jacques, but Tawnypelt helps her. They are driven off, but Rowanclaw and Nettle die as a result of their wounds. Violetshine stands near Rowanclaw as he dies, witnessing his last moments with Tawnypelt.[22]

Nettle

Nettle, along with Tawnypelt, Raven, Jacques and Susan stand near pool along with Flaxkit and Hopkit when Violetshine and her Clanmates find them. When Flaxkit tries to run to Yarrowleaf, Nettle carelessly bats his kit away and knocks Flaxkit to the ground. Yarrowleaf then bolts to her kits and Nettle announces that they are his kits, and they are staying with him. An argument breaks out and Sleekwhisker threatens to kill Hopkit and Flaxkit. Yarrowleaf screeches and tries to get closer but Nettle thrusts her away and blocks them from every cat. Nettle offers that Rowanclaw could sacrifice for Tawnypelt's, and the former leader agrees. The rogue tom taunts him by saying the kits are his, and Yarrowleaf will never see them again. Rowanclaw makes a plan, leaping up at Nettle as Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grabs Hopkit and Flaxkit and run off. Sleekwhisker joins in the fight between her former leader and the brown tabby rogue. Some time during the battle Nettle is killed by his wounds.[22]

Tawnypelt & Yarrowleaf

Before the battle, Sleekwhisker made plans with some Kin remnants as well as Jacques and Susan. She first lures Flaxkit and Hopkit away before ambushing Tawnypelt after an invite to hunt together. Violetshine discovers the missing kits, and alerts Yarrowleaf. The queen is shocked, not at first believing Sleekwhisker would do something like this. However, he mind is quickly changed, and Violetshine gathers cats to go look. They form a patrol and go into the forest. The SkyClan cats come across Tawnypelt's scent, and are concerned if she's helping, or is in danger. Macgyver leads the SkyClan cats to where Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf's kits are being held. The tortoiseshell explains her ambush, and questions what is going on.[22]
Sleekwhisker holds Rowanclaw responsible for everything bad that happened during Darktail's reign, and announces that she's going to have her revenge by killing Tawnypelt. She adds that if anyone tries to stop it, the kits will die. Tawnypelt snarls in protest, but stops struggling with the threat. Yarrowleaf is distressed, but the rogues block her from approaching her kits.[22]
Nettle offers that Rowanclaw can sacrifice himself for Tawnypelt, and the former leader agrees, looking pathetic. Moments later, however, he springs up to attack Nettle, starting the battle. At his call, Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf grab the kits, while Violetshine and Macgyver prevent their attackers from giving chase. They are driven off, but Rowanclaw and Nettle die as a result of their wounds. As the former leader is dying, Rowanclaw tells Tawnypelt that Tigerheart will return as he has seen him in dreams. After he passes away, Macgyver asks Tawnypelt if she'll lead ShadowClan. She says no, and that her Clan is dead.[22]

Jacques & Susan

While out searching for Yarrowleaf's kits, Violetshine, Yarrowleaf, Rowanclaw, and Macgyver find Jacques. Rowanclaw informs Violetshine of ShadowClan's history with the kittypet and his friend Susan noting that Darktail was a bigger issue than them. Yarrowleaf asks if he has her kits, and he sneers, offering to lead them there. The ginger queen agrees desperately, and Jacques tells the warriors if anyone lays one claw on him, Flaxkit and Hopkit will be lost to them for good.[22]
The black-and-white kittypet leaps down from his lounging spot, and leads Violetshine and her Clanmates through the woods. Upon reaching the rogues, Jacques strolls up to Susan and settles down, while Tawnypelt explains the pair jumped her as she went to find Flaxkit and Hopkit. When Rowanclaw instigates the battle with the rogues, Susan chases after Tawnypelt and Yarrowleaf when they take the kits to safety, but is prevented from following by the SkyClan cats. During the fight, Jacques manages to pin Violetshine against the ground. She struggles under him, but Tawnypelt pulls him off, starting to attack the kittypet. Jacques flees the fight, back to his Twoleg den.[22]

Characters that took part in the battle

SkyClan


Kin remnants and allies


Quotes

"When Leafstar and the others left for RiverClan, Sleekwhisker asked me if I wanted to go hunting with her. But when we got out into the forest, she disappeared, and then these two bee-brains jumped me."
—Tawnypelt to Rowanclaw River of Fire, page 223


"Oh, [Tawnypelt's] especially for you, Rowanclaw. You were a weak leader of ShadowClan. I was miserable growing up, and many cats I cared about died because you failed to deal with Darktail."
—Sleekwhisker to Rowanclaw River of Fire, page 223


Sleekwhisker: "Now I'm going to have my revenge, because I've taken the thing you love most—Tawnypelt!"
Rowanclaw: "You may have taken her, but you won't keep her."
Sleekwhisker: "No—I won't keep her. I'm going to kill her. And you're going to watch."
Tawnypelt: "I'd like to see you try!"
Sleekwhisker: "Oh, I'll do more than try. Because if any cat twitches a whisker, the kits will never see another sunrise."
—Sleekwhisker after she kidnaps Yarrowleaf's kits River of Fire, page 224


Macgyver: "What do you think, Tawnypelt? Will you be able to lead ShadowClan now?"
Tawnypelt: "Not after this. Not without Rowanclaw. ShadowClan is dead."
—Tawnypelt after Rowanclaw's death River of Fire, page 229

See also

References and citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in River of Fire, page 225
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in River of Fire, page 229
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in River of Fire, page 224
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in River of Fire, page 227
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Revealed in River of Fire, page 223
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Revealed in River of Fire, page 221
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 Revealed in River of Fire, page 222
  8. Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 8
  9. Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 10
  10. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 215-218
  11. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 219-223
  12. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 215-217
  13. Revealed in River of Fire, page 217
  14. Revealed in River of Fire, page 218
  15. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 219-220
  16. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 220-223
  17. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 223-224
  18. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 224-226
  19. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 226-227
  20. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 227-228
  21. Revealed in River of Fire, pages 228-229
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 17


Events in the Warriors series
The Prophecies Begin Plan to divert the dogsBloodClan's invasion
The New Prophecy Finding MidnightA new homeWindClan civil warAmbush of the badgers
Power of Three A Tribe in needAssault on ThunderClanTracking a killer
Omen of the Stars Saving the lakeWar with the Dark Forest
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallBattle for the stolen kitsShadowClan versus SkyClan
Dawn of the Clans The first battleFollowing the sun trail
Super Editions Talltail and Jake's excellent adventureSkyClan's revivalA storm of epic proportionsBlood, water, and badgers
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels