|"Very well. My warriors will be setting the new boundary tomorrow at dawn. It’s your choice whether to stop them."|
|— Firestar to Blackstar in Fading Echoes, chapter 21|
- Firestar announces he is going to give a strip of ThunderClan territory to ShadowClan. Many ThunderClan cats are outraged about this, but Firestar says that giving them the strip is doing ShadowClan a favor.
- Years later, in order to spark conflict between ShadowClan and ThunderClan, Hawkfrost convinces Ivypaw to lie to Firestar about a vision she had about ShadowClan taking over ThunderClan territory. Firestar gathers his senior warriors to talk about it, and Firestar ultimately decides to demand the territory back, which greatly infuriates ShadowClan and the two go to war.
- While Firestar is unsuccessful in demanding the territory back, he opts to fight ShadowClan for it. Blackstar tells Firestar he's bringing it on himself. Firestar organizes a large patrol of his warriors to fight ShadowClan. When ShadowClan arrives, the ThunderClan leader offers Blackstar once more to give the territory with no bloodshed. Blackstar spits an insult and starts the fight. As ShadowClan begins to push ThunderClan back, Brambleclaw orders Thornclaw and Brackenfur to command a patrol to outflank ShadowClan. The two brothers recruit Sorreltail, Rosepetal, Lionblaze, Toadstep, Foxleap, Dovepaw and Ivypaw, and flank around the attacking cats and climb into the trees on ShadowClan's side. A group of ShadowClan cats follow them, and ThunderClan ambushes them from above, able to disorientate and separate the group of cats. As this happens, Russetfur attacks Firestar, despite her age, and is able to subdue him and clamp her jaws around his neck. Lionblaze sees this and while trying to pull Russetfur off of Firestar, and ends up killing her. When ShadowClan realizes their deputy has been killed, Blackstar calls off the fight and bitterly condemns ThunderClan for the bloodshed, noting the territory isn't worth it. However, Russetfur was able to cause Firestar to lose a life, leaving him with one life left.
Firestar demands it back
- "Don’t play that game! You’re the one leading your Clan into battle."
- ―Blackstar to Firestar Fading Echoes, page chapter 21
- The patrol is taken to Blackstar, and after Firestar demands the clearing be given back, Blackstar and Russetfur are noted to be shocked. Russetfur spits an insult at ThunderClan's leader, asking if they've cleared out all the prey in their territory. Blackstar hisses that ThunderClan had forgotten what scent markers were. Brambleclaw reinstates Firestar's demand while Jayfeather uses his power to scan around ShadowClan's camp, noting Russetfur's stiff limbs. Russetfur steps forward and says it's ShadowClan's land. Firestar challenges the older she-cat and says they'll take it back by force then. Blackstar, infuriated, says that if it's a fight ThunderClan wants, then it's a fight they'll get. Firestar says his warriors will be ready, to which Blackstar spits that Firestar is the one bringing it on.
Fighting on the border
- "I’m going to lead a separate patrol, and try to draw ShadowClan away from the clearing, back into their own territory."
- ―Thornclaw Fading Echoes, page chapter 23
- ShadowClan emerges from the trees, and the fight begins. ShadowClan attacks ThunderClan and forces them back, allowing them to push ThunderClan back to their side of the territory. Dawnpelt goes after Dovepaw, Blackstar and Firestar are lost in the mass of fighting cats. Noticing what they're doing, Brambleclaw orders Thornclaw and Brackenfur to get some warriors and to try and outflank them. Brackenfur gets Ivypaw and Dovepaw, while Foxleap and Toadstep drive away Crowfrost and join them. Thornclaw explains Brambleclaw's orders, and Toadstep murmurs that it was hard to get a grip on the grass. Brackenfur says they need to try and force ShadowClan back into their own territory, since the terrain was similar to that of ThunderClan's. Dovepaw says that it would make ShadowClan fight harder if ThunderClan invades their territory, but Brackenfur says it's a risk they need to take. Lionblaze, Sorreltail and Rosepetal join up with them, and Thornclaw and Brackenfur lead the group of cats away from the fight and into ShadowClan territory. ShadowClan cats call them out for breaking rank, while the group of ThunderClan cats climb up trees, with the exception of Thornclaw and Lionblaze. Blackstar notices this, and runs towards them with his warriors behind them. Blackstar, his face twisted with rage, says that neither one of them respected the border they just made, and asks where the rest of the cats are.
- Thornclaw flicks his tail, and the ThunderClan cats drop from the trees and onto the surprised ShadowClan cats. Rosepetal helps Dovepaw take down Owlclaw. Snowbird then attacks Rosepetal and begins facing her off. Lionblaze goes against Scorchfur, Lionblaze amused that Scorchfur has no idea who he's dealing with. While Tigerheart tears at Toadstep's spine, the younger warrior no match for the bigger and stronger tabby. Dovepaw hesitates to help Toadstep, as she had feelings for Tigerheart. However, before she can decide, Foxleap dives in and pummels Tigerheart away from Toadstep. Dovepaw then goes to help Sorreltail against Smokefoot. After helping Sorreltail gain the upper hand on the black tom, Dovepaw notices Ivypaw slashing at Starlingpaw, noting her vicious accuracy against the apprentice's muzzle. Tigerheart, having been fought away by Thornclaw helping Foxleap, gives a tiny nod to Ivypaw, which Ivypaw ignores and continues fighting Starlingpaw. Tigerheart gets up and attacks Thornclaw again. Dovepaw then attacks Crowfrost, Owlclaw and Toadfoot, the three toms confused in the mass of fighting.
Firestar and Russetfur
- Thornclaw: "Enough! The battle is won, the clearing is ours. Do you concede or shall we fight for it again?"
- Blackstar: "Take it, it was never worth the blood that has been spilled here today."
- Fading Echoes, page chapter 24
- A yowl of rage goes into the air, and Dovepaw sees Russetfur pinning down Firestar, her leader thrashing against the she-cat but unsuccessful. Lionblaze bolts through the trees and barrels into the ShadowClan deputy, raking his claws down her flank, but Russetfur holds Firestar's neck in her jaws, the ThunderClan leader in shock. Lionblaze wraps his claws around Russetfur's neck, wanting to drag her off of his leader. However, as he drags her off, she released her grip and becomes like a deadweight, collapsing on Lionblaze as the golden tabby is surprised by her letting go. Owlclaw wails that Lionblaze killed Russetfur. Lionblaze, shoving Russetfur off of him, tries to say that he didn't mean to, but realizes that Russetfur lay unmoving, her eyes wide open but clouded with death. Blackstar hears Owlclaw's wail and barges past Lionblaze, screeching Russetfur's name in agony, crouching over he body in grief. Thornclaw fights away Ratscar and tells Blackstar to concede. Blackstar flashes a look of burning hatred towards the senior warrior, and hisses that they can take it, and the territory isn't worth the blood spilled. Sorreltail shrieks that Firestar was losing blood, and the cats realize that Russetfur had nearly torn out Firestar's throat, and Lionblaze realizes that their leader was losing a life. Sandstorm rushes to her mate's side and Sorreltail says he's losing one of his lives. Lionblaze grimly thinks that there were two deaths, and that the battle should never have been fought.
- "Showed them what? How much blood can be spilled in a pointless battle?"
- ―Hazeltail to Bumblestripe Night Whispers, page chapter 1
- In ThunderClan, Lionblaze feels guilt for killing Russetfur, confiding in Cinderheart about his actions. Cinderheart assures Lionblaze that Russetfur was old, and she was trying to kill Firestar, and he saved their leader. Lionblaze still feels horrible that he killed the deputy. Flametail encounters the two of them near the lake, and the ShadowClan Medicine cat condemns Lionblaze for killing their deputy. Lionblaze is hurt by his words, and Flametail stalks off, leaving Cinderheart to try and comfort Lionblaze.
- In ShadowClan, Blackstar has appointed Rowanclaw as Russetfur's successor. Flametail snorts to Toadfoot that if ThunderClan thinks they're keeping the territory, they're wrong. Toadfoot agrees, and informs him that they're burying Russetfur. The elders speak of Russetfur's accomplishments. Blackstar, bitter and grieving, commends her skills and her memory, before giving Rowanclaw the order to put Russetfur's body in her grave. While ShadowClan seems to miss Russetfur, none of them compare to Blackstar, who mostly does not speak to anyone save for Rowanclaw.
- After being told by Ivypaw about a "dream" she had of ShadowClan invading ThunderClan, he holds an emergency meeting with some of his senior warriors and asks what to do. Some of them doubt Ivypaw of all cats would receive a vision from StarClan, but Firestar believes her and leaves with Brambleclaw and Jayfeather to demand the territory back. While this is unsuccessful, Firestar vows to Blackstar that they will fight for it. Firestar leads his warriors for the strip of territory, and gets into a fight with Russetfur, which he loses. With Russetfur holding his neck in her jaws, Lionblaze leaps in and accidentally kills Russetfur, but Firestar's wound is severe enough to cause him to lose a life. Afterwards, he is brought back to ThunderClan to heal and recover.
- Blackstar accepted the gift of territory from Firestar, but when the latter demanded it back, he became infuriated and makes it clear that ShadowClan will fight for the clearing, but makes it apparent that it will be on Firestar's conscience.
- During the fight, Blackstar appears incredibly angry and bitter that Firestar revoked the territory from them, and when Russetfur is killed, he calls off the fight in grief and says that no blood should have been spilled over a piece of territory. It is incredibly apparent that Russetfur's death has hit him hard, to the point where he does not speak to any ShadowClan cat save for Rowanclaw for a few days.
- Angry that Firestar demanded the gifted territory back, Russetfur led ShadowClan with Blackstar into battle. While she is not majorly seen, she begins to fight Firestar and wins against him, on the verge of tearing out his throat. Lionblaze sees this and leaps to his leader's defense, but while trying to get Russetfur off of Firestar, Lionblaze accidentally kills her. Owlclaw notices this and informs the fighting cats of Russetfur's death. Blackstar rushes to his deputy's side and calls off the fight, bitter and grieving towards ThunderClan for causing the needless bloodshed.
- Russetfur is taken back to ShadowClan and buried, and succeeded as deputy by Rowanclaw. She is remembered fondly by many ShadowClan cats for her merit and courage despite her age, and Blackstar in particular takes more time to heal from her death.
- While Ivypaw did not contribute to the battle majorly, she is the reason why it happened. After being manipulated by Hawkfrost to convince Firestar to fight for the strip of territory, she lies to her leader about a dream she had about ShadowClan decimating ThunderClan in the coming season. This results in Firestar calling an emergency meeting, and while Graystripe, Dustpelt and Thornclaw hold their doubts about Ivypaw's claim, Firestar firmly believes her and decides to battle for the former strip of ThunderClan land. Ivypaw participates in the battle and fights viciously against ShadowClan, and feels guilty when she realizes she is the cause of Russetfur's death and Firestar's loss of his eighth life.
- Firestar: "I think it’s a sign from StarClan."
- Thornclaw: "Ivypaw?"
- Fading Echoes, page chapter 21
- Blackstar: "You’re accusing us of crossing borders? We were beginning to think ThunderClan had forgotten what scent lines mean."
- Brambleclaw: "We want our land back."
- Fading Echoes, page chapter 21
- "Don’t think I’ll go easy on you, just because you’re an apprentice."
- ―Ratscar taunting Ivypaw Fading Echoes, page chapter 22
- Brackenfur: "Brambleclaw wants us to try something different."
- Toadstep: "What is it?"
- Fading Echoes, page chapter 23
- "Can’t you even respect the border you just made? Where are the rest of you?"
- ―Blackstar insulting Lionblaze and Thornclaw Fading Echoes, page chapter 23
- "Fighting like squirrels! Doesn’t ThunderClan have any pride?"
- ―Tigerheart taunting Toadstep Fading Echoes, page chapter 23
Notes and references
- Revealed in Fading Echoes, chapter 22
- Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 295
- Revealed in Night Whispers, allegiances
- Revealed in Fading Echoes, chapter 23
- Revealed in Fading Echoes, chapter 24
- Revealed in Night Whispers, chapter 1
- Revealed in Night Whispers, chapter 21
- Revealed in Night Whispers, chapter 6
- Revealed in The Sight
- Revealed in Fading Echoes
- Revealed in Night Whispers
- Revealed in Fading Echoes, chapter 21