|"[Splashheart] would catch the plumpest fish he could find in memory of Aspentail and take it straight to the elders' den. And if he ever became leader of his Clan, he would make it part of the warrior code that elders and kits should be fed first, in honor of all they had done, and all they would do, for his Clanmates to come."|
|— Splashheart promising to always honor the elders and kits in Code of the Clans, page 36|
- Below contains in-depth information for code three of Code of the Clans. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Leafpool says caring for weaker members of a Clan is at the heart of their way of life. They are taught to respect elders who fought bravely in the past, and kits who can't hunt yet. Moons ago, however, when blood was spilled over Sunningrocks, you would be shocked by the warlike answer a warrior would give you when you asked them what they fought for. Leafpool continues, saying this would change with a warrior named Splashheart.
- A shadow of a fish cats on the stones in the river, and Splashheart waits for it to come closer. It's less than a tail-length away and he shoots out one paw, swiping the fat, slick fish out of the water and onto the bank. The gray tom finishes it off with a swift blow. Reedshine compliments him on his catch from behind him. She had mentored him until he received his full name, which was two sunrises ago. He asks her if she wants to share. The dark orange she-cat pads over and sniffs the fish before taking an bite, and Splashheart takes another bite from the other side. This is his second catch as a warrior, and it tastes as good as his first.
- In front of them is Sunningrocks, casting a black shadow on the river. These rocks got warm easily in the sun, which makes them perfect for lying on and sharing tongues, or watching the river run. Some of RiverClan's elders can remember when the river flowed on the other side of the smooth stones, cutting them off from ThunderClan territory. A great flood came, however, covering the rocks. Afterwards, the river took a new path, cutting through on the opposite side of Sunningrocks, where it is now. This meant that ThunderClan could now claim the place as their own, which they did. Since then, the two Clans have fought over the rocks many times. Right now RiverClan scent is on the far side of the rocks, keeping ThunderClan out.
- A cat is creeping along the riverbank, hidden by the stones' shadows. However, a squinting Splashheart can tell this cat is leaner and sleeker-furred than a RiverClan cat, who are plump and thick-furred thanks to their prey. He knows this is ThunderClan, and yowls they are invading. Reedshine tells her former apprentice that she'll get help, and orders him to stay on their side of the river until she gets back. His fur's on end as he gets ready for his first battle as a warrior. A ThunderClan cat snarls this is their territory now, and the gray tom retorts never. He is ready to start the battle by himself when his leader, Darkstar bursts from reeds and tells him to wait. He whirls around and protests they can't give their land away to the opposing Clan. The brown she-cat promises they won't, and more cats come to reinforce them, their fur puffed up.
- Darkstar gives the order to attack and they plunge into the river. Splashheart scans Sunningrocks and thinks they aren't outnumbered. His Clanmates, Blackbee and Eeltail are chasing after a ThunderClan she-cat who is heading for some ferns. Reedshine holds another ThunderClan cat in a paw lock, hissing in his face then standing back to let the dark brown tom run away. As the warrior's screeches fade away, the dark gray warrior hears a noise behind some boulders. He launches himself on top of the nearest rock, and terrified amber eyes peep out at him. The black-and-white tom looks to be an apprentice, begging Splashheart not to hurt him. Splashheart tells him to stay off RiverClan territory then. Instead of moving, the ThunderClan tom curls his lips and asks if the RiverClan tom really wants to threaten him.
- Too late, the dark gray cat hears scraping noises as two sleek-furred shapes land on him, pushing his face against the rock. A voice asks he if he dares to threaten them, and a paw presses down on his neck. Another voice screeches for them to get off Splashheart and fight someone their own size. Out the corner of his eye, he glimpses dark orange fur leaping towards him, and recognizes the voice as Reedshine. She crashes into the warrior pinning down Splashheart and tumbles into the gap where the ThunderClan apprentice is. The black-and-white tom jumps on top of the she-cat and begins pummeling her belly, blood welling in the orange warrior's fur. Her former apprentice tries to help but is stopped by the other warrior, who rolls him over. Her green eyes blaze as she hisses StarClan changed the course of the river, which means Sunningrocks belongs to ThunderClan now.
- Splashheart refuses to believe that but the warrior holding him down pressed her paw against his throat, making his vision become dark and blurry. Two heavy bodies collide with a thud, with the weight on his throat being lifted, and gulps down air. Darkstar orders him to go to the shore with the others, instead of just lying there. The other RiverClan warriors are huddled together in the river, and he turns to see his leader carrying Reedshine, who is leaving red smears behind her. The dark gray tom races over and asks his former mentor to wake up, and tells Darkstar they need to get the dark orange she-cat back to camp now. She promises they will, but first they will reclaim what is rightfully theirs, raising her voice so every RiverClan cat hears.
- Eeltail spats that the battle is lost among a sea of astonished looks, and he looks to where several ThunderClan warriors stand, triumphant as they jeer at the losing Clan. To that, the brown leader replies they have lost the battle when they stop fighting, and jumps onto the riverbank so everyone can see her. She tells her Clanmates their elders, and their elders' kin, and generations before have fought to keep Sunningrocks in their territory. A lot have died on these rocks, sacrificing themselves for territory that belongs to RiverClan. Darkstar asks if they can give up where their ancestors did not, turn tail and flee like cowards when they pressed on, fighting so future generations could hunt and bask on the rocks. After her fiery speech, all the cats roar they will fight, and at that moment Splashheart sees starry shapes of cats who fought for these stones, standing on the rocks. He tells himself he will join them, and fight for their rightful territory just as they have done.
- The RiverClan cats surge up onto the boulders, while their opponents look on with surprise. A broad-shouldered tabby tom snarls the battle is over, and Darkstar retorts it is not, because they are not beaten. The tabby springs at her, but she sidesteps and claws at his back. Other warriors leap to meet the ThunderClan cats in battle, as Splashheart sinks his teeth into white fur. He lets go only when he drags the cat to the edge of Sunningrocks, and orders the warrior to go. The white cat scrambles off the rocks and disappeared back into ThunderClan territory. A voice praises him, and as he is back in the throng of cats, he can't tell which cat is speaking to him. The voice tells him to watch out for the black-and-white tom, who is sneaking up behind Eeltail. Thanking the voice, the dark gray tom crosses the ground and lands on the tom, while Eeltail lifts his paw so the she-cat he has been holding down can flee. He joins his Clanmate as they chase the black-and-white warrior after the she-cat.
- When they are gone, Splashheart realizes the battle has gotten quieter, and the voice whispers Sunningrocks is safe and the battle has been won. He turns his body to see a faint she-cat standing next to him. Her fur is the color of floodwater, nearly black with streaks of gray, and with a long tail. He asks who is she, and she introduces herself as Aspentail, kin of his elders and of his elders' elders. She once fought for these rocks, and will fight for them again until ThunderClan learns Sunningrocks are not theirs. The tom vows to fight alongside her, and Aspentail begins to fade. Blackbee asks who he was talking to, and says they won. ThunderClan won't be standing on Sunningrocks now. Splashheart murmurs not for this moon, but if they return, they'll fight for the rocks again, with Aspentail. Blackbee worriedly asks if he's wounded, and the gray tom promises he's fine. Darkstar calls for her warriors and announces Sunningrocks is theirs once more. In honor of their elders and their elders' kin who fought for these rocks moons ago, they will catch fish and feed it to the oldest and youngest of RiverClan.
- Many cats are surprised, but Splashheart nods. He promises to catch the plumpest fish available for Aspentail and take it to the elders' den. If he ever became leader of RiverClan, he would make it part of the warrior code that elders and kits would eat first, for all they have done, and all they would do, for his Clanmates to come.
- Leafpool says Clan cats are part of something bigger than just themselves, and ensures that they are strong as their strongest warrior whenever needed. She then begins to tell what happens when this part of the warrior code is ignored.
- Longtail winces as a drop of water drips onto his neck, and complains to Darkstripe, who's laying next to him. The dark tabby opens one eye and murmurs he better tell Redtail, because the deputy needs to organize someone to fix the den before they all drown. Longtail gets up and goes outside, the sky flat and gray as leaf-fall transitions to leaf-bare. He makes his way over to where Redtail is speaking with Bluestar. The whole of ThunderClan has been wracked with greencough, and Redtail's words are interrupted by coughs that leave him breathless, as he had just been deemed well enough by the medicine cat. The dark tortoiseshell wheezes to his leader that they need a hunting patrol to go out, because the fresh-kill pile has been ruined, and the sick cats won't get better if they're starving. Bluestar agrees, but orders that only healthy cats can go, which means Redtail has to stay inside camp. The deputy begins to argue but is cut off from another bout of coughing.
- A dappled tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat calls for Longtail as the brown tabby joins her. She asks if Redtail has organized any hunting patrols, because she can't help the sick when they're so hungry. Even though hunting is hard in this weather, they have to find something for the sick to eat. Her bones shift underneath her fur, and Longtail guesses she gave up her share of fresh-kill to the cats she is trying to heal. He tells the medicine cat the dark tortoiseshell is about to send one out, and Spottedleaf replies they should come back quickly. Poppydawn isn't strong enough to eat the catmint. The long-tailed tabby can make out the elder's dark red fur. She tells good stories and lets the kits chase her tail. Redtail asks Longtail if he is free for a hunting patrol, and the warrior replies yes. The deputy tells him to take Darkstripe with him and see if there's prey near Snakerocks.
- The tabby prods Darkstripe for him to wake up, and says they need to go on patrol. The dark gray tabby stares at him, and tells him hunting in this weather is crazy. He also asks if Longtail asked the deputy to fix the roof. The brown tabby confesses he didn't have a chance, and says they should go. Longtail tells Darkstripe Redtail suggested they go up to Snakerocks, and his Clanmate mutters he can he either drown or get bitten. The brown warrior points out it's not raining that hard, and it's mostly water being shaken from trees. Grumbling that it doesn't make him feel any better, the dark tabby springs gracefully up the rocks and reaches the top of the ravine before Longtail does. They have a clear path to Snakerocks because rain keeps the Twolegs and dogs away. Even though the snakes are gone, this place makes the tabby nervous. Darkstripe sniffs at the bracken, and complains about how he's starving and hasn't found anything good on the fresh-kill pile.
- Longtail heads for a pile of rocks, and tells himself he won't go into any caves. He picks up squirrel scent and crouches, stepping under thorns, wriggling to get his balance, and then pounces on the squirrel. Muttering a prayer to StarClan and spitting out leaves, he drags his prey back to where Darkstripe is. The tabby, who is standing right behind him, praises the catch and sniffs the squirrel. Its gray fur ripples underneath the warrior's breath. He says it won't taste as good once they take it back to camp. Longtail suggests they find something else and then take that and the squirrel back to camp quickly. His Clanmate argues it won't be as fresh, and they'll hunt better with a meal. The brown tabby protests they can't eat until the elders and kits are fed, and Darkstripe says no cat won't know, then narrows his eyes and asks if he'll tell. Longtail stammers for a bit before the dark tabby takes a bite out of the fluffy squirrel. As he chews, the tempting smell of warm meat reaches the brown tom's nose. He reasons with himself that they need to keep up their strength to hunt. It doesn't make sense if the warriors starve when they look after everyone else. They'll catch more, as he caught that squirrel easily.
- He reaches down and takes a bite of the fresh-kill. After they catch more prey, they head back as rain pours down and makes the ravine slides slippery. Unfortunately, they hadn't caught much fresh-kill; all they got were two mice and a tough blackbird. Darkstripe hangs back at the gorse tunnel entrance, and Longtail is forced to go through first. The thorns on the gorse seem sharper and a feather has worked its way into his throat, making him choke. He expects to see cats waiting by the fresh-kill pile; instead, the clearing is empty. Before either Darkstripe or Longtail can speak, a wail cries out from Spottedleaf's den. It cries for Poppydawn to not leave her. The voice is Rosetail's, Poppydawn's daughter. The medicine cat's voice, muffled by grief, says it is the tabby elder's time to join StarClan, as their warrior ancestors are waiting for her. As the brown tabby tom hears this, he turns to his Clanmate, panic rising inside him. He says they're too late, because Spottedleaf said Poppydawn needed to eat to fight off the greencough, but they didn't come back. They should've never eaten that squirrel.
- The dark tabby hisses for him to shut up, because the elder was going to die anyways. He says they should let the old cats go if it means the warriors survive. ThunderClan depends on the warriors, not the elders. Longtail still protests they killed Poppydawn, and Darkstripe retorts they didn't, greencough did. She was old and weak, and the warriors are important, so they should eat first. He asks his former apprentice if he wants to help his Clan. The pale brown warrior replies of course, and the dark tabby replies he'll let his Clanmates be grateful, as there's one less mouth to feed. He'll spoil everything if he blames himself for the dark red she-cat's death. However, the brown tabby still thinks Poppydawn could still be alive if they came back with the squirrel earlier. As if reading his thoughts, Darkstripe menacingly asks if he'll keep quiet. If he doesn't, the dark tabby tom will tell everyone Longtail insisted on stealing prey, and refused to let him bring it back to camp. A lump freezes inside the brown warrior's throat, and growls they were sent to hunt for prey, and they did that. No warrior could've done better. He picks up the blackbird to carry it the pile, and a warm breeze stirs his fur as a familiar scent brushes him. The tabby is horrified and apologizes silently to the dead she-cat. The only reply is too late.
- Unnamed ThunderClan she-cat
- Unnamed tom
- Unnamed black-and-white tom
- Unnamed ThunderClan warrior
- Unnamed green-eyed she-cat
- Unnamed tabby tom with amber eyes
- Unnamed white warrior
- Unnamed black-and-white tom
- Unnamed she-cat
|Code of the Clans chapters|
|The Dawn of the Clans • The Warrior Code • Code 1 • Code 2 • Code 3 • Code 4 • Code 5 • Code 6 • Code 7 • Code 8 • Code 9 • Code 10 • Code 11 • Code 12 • Code 13 • Code 14 • Code 15 • Rules That Did Not Become Part of the Code • Epilogue|
Notes and references
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 29
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 36
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 30
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 31
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 33
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 34
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 37
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 41
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