|“It’ll be like our own camp! We could be DarkClan! I’ll be leader and you can be my deputy!”|
|— Heatherpaw to Lionpaw in Dark River, page 77|
DarkClan is an imaginary Clan made up by two apprentices, Heatherpaw of WindClan and Lionpaw of ThunderClan, for the purpose of entertaining themselves while playing in the tunnel network running under the Clan territories.
In the Power of Three arc
- Heatherpaw discovers the tunnels where Fallen Leaves had drowned during the underground ground flooding of the river. She encourages Lionpaw to follow her down there. They enter a cave where light flows through a small hole in the roof. The WindClan apprentice declares herself leader of DarkClan, Heatherstar, since she found the cave. Soon, they doze off, but wake up just before dawn and go home.
- They meet up soon after, and Heatherstar gives Lionpaw his 'warrior' name, Lionclaw. They start to play fight, and Heatherpaw starts to get curious about the other tunnels. She wishes to explore them, but Lionpaw doesn't want to. They continue to play fight until they have to leave. They try to plan another night meet up, but Heatherpaw has a training assessment. Lionpaw starts to realize that WindClan and ThunderClan may soon go to war and that he needs to catch up on sleep.
- The next night, he leaves Heatherpaw early so he could sleep more. Their next meetup, Heatherpaw is late and Lionpaw worries that she left him. She shows up, stating that Gorsetail's kits had tried to follow her. She asks how Lionpaw is doing and when he says that his sister is missing, she reassures him that she is not in WindClan. They leave each other, but Lionpaw gets in trouble by Tigerstar and Hawkfrost for sharing their battle moves with her.
- Later, they get in a skirmish with a WindClan hunting patrol, and Lionpaw is relieved that Heatherpaw isn't in it. That night, he meets her once more in the cave. Lionpaw realizes that he is falling behind in his training and decides to stop seeing Heatherpaw. At their final meeting, Lionpaw tells Heatherpaw this, and she is shocked, saying that they don't have to meet every night.
- Later, he thinks about how much he misses hanging out with Heatherpaw and being a DarkClan warrior. When Gorsetail's kits are missing, he realizes they might have followed Heatherpaw to the tunnels and might be trapped there. Jaypaw, Lionpaw, Hollypaw, Breezepaw, and Heatherpaw all go into the tunnels, looking for the kits. They go down through a tunnel that leads to a dead-end. Heatherpaw feels very guilty and is about to turn around when Hollypaw hears squeaking.
- The apprentices rescue the kits, but before they can leave, they hear rushing water from inside the cave. The river where Lionpaw and Heatherpaw had played at is overflowing. They try to get out but both main entrances are blocked. Deciding they have to swim, Jaypaw and Heatherpaw jump into the raging waters. They follow the current and it leads them to the lake, where they get out safely. While the apprentices and kits are walking back to camp, Jaypaw thinks about how Lionpaw has broken the warrior code liking Heatherpaw, but there was no mystery in knowing he liked her. When she leaves Lionpaw's camp, he realizes that he will never see her again as a DarkClan warrior, as he cannot have all that and his Clan.
- On a border patrol, Lionpaw passes the tunnels and is reminded of DarkClan. He wishes he could go back to the time of Heatherstar and Lionclaw. He hesitates, wanting to go in them, but Berrynose calls him away.
In the Super Editions
- When a patrol goes down the tunnels, Crowfeather remarks to Heathertail that she knows the tunnels very well. The she-cat guiltily admits that she used to explore the tunnels as an apprentice.
- After the ThunderClan camp floods, Ivypool suggests using the tunnels as shelter. Lionblaze inhales sharply, as he almost drowned in them as an apprentice.