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In the A Vision of Shadows arc

The Apprentice's Quest

When Alderpaw and the questing cats come to the gorge, they are met by a patrol led by Rain, who says that they should come and speak to their leader. The Clan cats arrive at the camp, and are led to a pile of rocks where a strong, muscular tom surveys the newcomers with shining blue eyes as sunlight gleams on his glossy pelt. Alderpaw can imagine the cat perched up on the rocks to call a Clan meeting, but he is horrified as he realizes that the white tom isn't the Clan leader he saw in his vision.
The tom rises to his paws with a sneering look on his face, and asks Rain who they are and if they were lost kitties. Alderpaw's Clanmates begin to bristle at the insult, but he warns them not to provoke the SkyClan cats. Rain greets the tom as Darktail, explaining that they are strangers from far away who are looking for SkyClan. Alderpaw is bewildered as he thinks of how the leader is called Darktail, and wonders why he isn't called Darkstar, like normal Clan leaders. He is curious if it is another way that these cats are different from the other Clans. Darktail turns an unblinking gaze towards Alderpaw and asks him what he wants with SkyClan.
Alderpaw stares back into the eerie blue eyes and feels his fur prickle with apprehension. The ginger tabby replies he is from ThunderClan, and says that he has been sent to find the cats on SkyClan, though Darktail asks him why. Alderpaw is at first unsure of how to answer it, then uncertainly replies that every Clan's survival depends on all of them working together. Darktail narrows his eyes and asks if Alderpaw wants them to come with him back to ThunderClan, and Alderpaw replies with a nod of his head. Darktail asks him if they need SkyClan's help, and Alderpaw replies they don't. Darktail presses if they need their help, but Alderpaw blurts out that they aren't asking for help with a fight, and that the Clans are all settled in their own territories. The white tom seems to think for a time, then inclines his head politely to Alderpaw. He purrs he is impressed and says he appreciates that they had made a long journey to find SkyClan, but he also won't abandon his territory at the urging of strangers. Alderpaw is somewhat relieved, glad that Darktail at least sounds reasonable. Needlepaw asks Darktail if they could stick around for a bit, and her tail and head are raised fearlessly as she addresses him. She offers that they could join in with patrols and hunts, and after a moment of remaining quiet and resting his gaze on each cat for a heartbeat, Darktail returns to Alderpaw and concedes that they can stay. He tells Rain to show the guests where they could sleep, and adds to Alderpaw that there's probably quite a bit that they could learn from one another.
The next day, Needlepaw announces that the hunters are back with prey, and Alderpaw's belly rumbles when he sees the large amounts of food that lay around Darktail as if presented for approval. The hunters stand around the fresh-kill in a wide half circle, with Rain standing closest to their leader. Alderpaw and the rest of the Clan cats watch as Darktail chooses a plump pigeon and tears mouthfuls of flesh from it, before nodding to Rain, who picks a squirrel for himself. When the rest of the hunters dive in to get prey, Alderpaw spots Darktail strolling back to the pile of rocks, with a casual glance over his shoulder at the fighting cats. The white tom curls up beneath an overhang and watches the scene with slitted eyes.
Sparkpaw notes that some SkyClan cats must always go hungry with the way things are, and she bounds forward, marching boldly up to Darktail. In a challenging tone, the young she-cat asks why they eat like that, and she plants herself in front of Darktail. Darktail asks what she means and he lashes his tail, and the apprentice explains that in the Clans, they bring all the prey back to camp and make a fresh-kill pile, and make sure that queens, elders, kits, and sick cats eat first, but don't fight like Darktail's cats. He only narrows his eyes in response, and Alderpaw steps up to his sister's side, ready to defend her if the leader strikes her. Sparkpaw adds that since his cats are warriors, they are supposed to follow the warrior code, but Darktail's eyes glint with amusement at the words, warrior code. He tells the ginger she-cat that they have their own code, since after leaving the other Clans, SkyClan realized that their members were becoming weak, and they decided to make up new rules. He goes on that SkyClan rules reward the strong and aggressive cats who defend the Clan best, but Sparkpaw is confused, and asks about what happens with the sick cats or elders. Darktail shrugs, replying that they learn to take care of themselves, but Sparkpaw's neck fur bristles and she demands why they even bother to live in the Clan, since it is rogues who are out for themselves. A low, angry growl rises from deep in Darktail's chest and he slides out his claws, but Molewhisker quickly steps forward and thrusts himself between Sparkpaw and the white tom. He meows that she is only curious and young, and tells Sparkpaw that they should go back to their den.
Inside their den, Sparkpaw whispers that they should go home, as the cats might not even be Clan cats, and Alderpaw thinks that he agrees, since what Darktail had just told them about the SkyClan rules didn't seem to match Bramblestar's story of how Firestar and Sandstorm had restored the Clan.
However, the Clan cats decide to stay in the gorge, and when the last scraps of prey have been picked away, the rest of the SkyClan cats drift away, but a young orange she-cat stays close to Darktail. The she-cat coughs hard, and Alderpaw is shocked to see her leader swing a huge paw and thump her roughly on the back, ordering her to stop the racket immediately. The she-cat gives him a scared look, but Alderpaw pads up and dips his head politely to Darktail. He speculates that the she-cat seems to be suffering from whitecough, and suggests that she should see their medicine cat. However, both SkyClan cats give him a blank look, and Alderpaw is shocked to realize that they don't have a medicine cat. He continues that whitecough isn't a big deal, and that some tansy should help, but Darktail still looks blank, as if wanting to ask what tansy is. Alderpaw is all the more confused, recalling how Sandstorm mentioned Echosong to be SkyClan's medicine cat, and he wonders why their leader has never even heard of a common herb like tansy.
Meanwhile, the young she-cat had started coughing again, and she backs away from Darktail as if afraid of making him angry again. Alderpaw mews that he will be back soon with tansy. When Alderpaw comes back with the herb, he has the she-cat, who introduces herself as Flame, eat it, and as Alderpaw steps back, a rough, rasping voice in his ear asks if it will work. Alderpaw is startled to turn and see Darktail glaring sternly at him, and he explains that tansy usually clears up whitecough quickly, but that the illness, if left too long, can turn into the serious greencough. The white tom begins to look interested, and Alderpaw guesses that he had never heard of the names of the sicknesses; he wonders if they are called something different in SkyClan. The Clan leader asks what cures greencough, although he doesn't sound as if he is much concerned about Flame, and Alderpaw tells him that although tansy still can be used, catmint is better if available. Darktail riffles his whiskers, thinking, and asks if catmint will cure wounds as well. Alderpaw replies that it doesn't, and wonders if he knows anything at all, before informing him that cobwebs are used to stop the bleeding in wounds, and comfrey roots work well for the pain. He goes on that marigold and horsetail are used if the wound gets infected and the older tom nods, asking what would be used for fever. Alderpaw hesitates, having troubles remembering, before recalling at last that borage leaves should be used, and dandelion is useful in helping the feverish cat sleep.
Alderpaw can't resist asking Darktail if they don't treat their sick cats, and though the white tom looks briefly confused, he replies that they obviously do and flicks his tail. Darktail says that they just do it differently, and asks why all Clans should behave the same. The ThunderClan apprentice thinks that they should because they all came from the same place, but doesn't say it out loud, as he hadn't mentioned anything to the leader of SkyClan's exile from the forest, and is now reluctant to say anything. He remembers how Bramblestar had told him how it was terrible for SkyClan, and thinks that SkyClan still might blame the Clans for not sharing their territory. Alderpaw is still confused on why Darktail seemed so unfamiliar with the way the Clans lived, and he wonders if they really wandered so far away from the warrior code. The ginger tom suddenly guesses that the prophecy meant that he should guide SkyClan back to the warrior code and he offers to Darktail that he could take some of his cats on a tour of the territory to see what herbs they can find, and show them their uses. He modestly adds that he is only an apprentice, but Darktail seems unconcerned by Alderpaw's inexperience, and he gives an approving nod.
Darktail calls out to Rain, and the gray tom bounds over to his leader, and with a respectful dip of his head, he asks what he wants. Darktail orders him to go with Alderpaw, and explains that he is looking for herbs to tell him what to do with them. He adds that Rain must listen to him, as he is an apprentice, and the long-furred cat agrees, though he looks confused, and Alderpaw notes that Darktail had said apprentice as if was important. Needlepaw asks to come too, and Alderpaw accepts.
That night, Alderpaw is unable to sleep with the thoughts of the tour of the territory with Rain and Needlepaw, and he recalls how when he had said that they would need to look on both sides of the gorge for herbs, Rain had meowed that it might make more sense for Darktail to lead them to new territory soon. Alderpaw reflects more on how odd SkyClan are acting, but he is distracted by the sound of voices. Although the medicine cat apprentice initially wraps his head over his ears to block out the noise, he raises his head alertly as he hears Darktail's voice, saying that it will be easy. Alderpaw peers out of the den, and can make out Darktail, Rain, and Raven a few tail-lengths away. Raven hesitantly mews that the journey will be hard, as she has heard many stories of how cats have died on Thunderpaths, but with a dismissive wave of his tail, Darktail responds that Thunderpaths hold no fear for them. Alderpaw is hopeful that the SkyClan cats are deciding to leave tomorrow and journey with them to the lake. Meanwhile, Needlepaw approaches Rain and notes to him that it sounds like they are leaving, but she says that there are rules in the other Clans, and that he, Darktail, and the others will have to learn them if they want to fit in.
Later, when Alderpaw meets Mistfeather in the forest and learns that the cats in the gorge are not actually SkyClan but rogues, a harsh voice behind Alderpaw asks what he knows about it. The apprentice whirls around to see Darktail standing a fox-length away, a sneer on his face, and his unsettling blue gaze shows no emotion as he regards Alderpaw and Mistfeather. Darktail notes that Alderpaw seems to have met on of the dregs in the forest and exclaims that he is somehow still alive. The leader adds that it sounds like they're planning against his cats, and Alderpaw backs away, but in the trees' dark shadows, Darktail seems to be twice his size. However, Mistfeather arches his back and hisses at the white-and-black tom, exclaiming that he is a filthy rogue who stole territory, but Darktail, unmoved, replies that territory belongs to those strong enough to defend it or take it. He adds that if SkyClan couldn't dig their claws into the land they claimed as theirs, they have nothing to complain about, and asks Mistfeather if he wants to fight him right there and at the moment to stake his claim. Alderpaw is outraged, wondering how Darktail can't see that Mistfeather isn't in a condition to fight any cat, but the gray tom puffs up his fur, slides out his claws, and snarls at Darktail to do his worst. Alderpaw starts to place himself between the two cats, but Mistfeather waves him back, and the apprentice reluctantly steps back.
The exiled cat lunges forward and aims a blow at Darktail, but the rogue leader steps aside and easily rakes his claws down the back of the former warrior's head. Darktail taunts that he will have to be faster than that and Mistfeather, undaunted, launches himself at the white tom again, though Darktail avoids the second blow as easily as he did the first. Mistfeather is already gasping and he staggers, almost falling, as Darktail thrusts him off contemptuously with a single paw. The loner scrabbles around and charges at Darktail again and again, but each time the rogue sidesteps clear of the attempted attacks and lands a strike of his own. Before long, Mistfeather is bleeding, tufts of his fur are on the forest flower, and eventually, he gasps for breath. Darktail pads up to him slowly and stands over the gray tom, who raises a forepaw to strike at him, though his movement is slow and listless. The rogue easily swats the paw away and grows that he is a stupid mange-pelt, and should have stayed away. Alderpaw protests, trying to move forward and defend the defeated cat, but he is too late, as Darktail rears up and swipes a forepaw around in a slashing blow. His claws rip into Mistfeather's throat and blood gushes out before the gray tom's body spasms and goes limp.
Only moments after Mistfeather's death, his killer began to drive Alderpaw back to camp, and the apprentice winces as Darktail's claws dig into his haunches. The rogue snaps at him to keep moving, and Alderpaw can still picture Mistfeather's body and the gush of blood as Darktail's claws slashed open his throat. He meows to the white-and-black tom that he didn't have to kill Mistfeather, and tries to master his fear of the rogue. The apprentice notes that he was already weak and defenseless and couldn't have done him any harm, adding that Darktail didn't even bury him. Darktail stabs his claws into Alderpaw's haunches again, snarling that he would never bury such a devious cat, and he adds that when Alderpaw and his companions are dead, he will leave their bodies to rot too. The young tom half turns to confront the rogue, who only gives him a hard shove to keep him moving. The ginger tabby protests that they have done nothing to him or his cats, and don't deserve to be killed, but Darktail hisses that he shouldn't lie, noting that they are obviously allies of SkyClan. He goes on that they came as spies to unsettle his group and have the weak Clan and their daylight-warriors come back, but says that he and his cats claimed this the territory with plans of keeping it, and tells the apprentice that his plan has fallen apart. Alderpaw doesn't know how to reply to such false accusations, knowing that nothing he says with change Darktail's mind.
Every cat stands up and stares as Darktail shoves Alderpaw across the pile of rocks to return to the camp. Alderpaw's Clanmates have returned and pad to his side as the rogue leader pushes the apprentice into the middle of the circle of rogues. Darktail stands at the bottom of the rocks, his gaze sweeping across the crowd of his followers as he prepares to address them, and Alderpaw suddenly realizes that he always sits besides the rocks, when a real Clan leader would speak to his cats from the top. He thinks that they should never have believed that Darktail was a Clan cat, as he never has behaved like one.
Darktail gives Alderpaw a contemptuous prod as he says that he found the pathetic excuse for a cat talking to a SkyClan cat in the forest. He explains that it is obvious that they have lied to them and are not friendly visitors, but are instead working with SkyClan to steal the territory back from them after they fought for it so bravely. He adds that it has been a conspiracy from the beginning, and the rogues let out angry murmurs as they close in around the questing cats. Rain asks Needlepaw if she has lied to him, but Needlepaw replies that it isn't true, as they live far from there and weren't even sure that SkyClan existed. Her words are followed by an angry yowl from Darktail, who demands if she is calling him a liar, but Needlepaw evenly disagrees that she obviously is not, and notes that she is not calling any cat a liar. She says that Alderpaw might have been spending time with the wrong cat but must not have meant anything by it, and Darktail seems to be considering her words.
During his silence, Raven sidles up to him, and mews that it is better safe then sorry. She says that they don't know for sure if they can trust the cats, as they did randomly turn up, and she asks if any cat really believes them. Darktail goes on thinking for a few more moments before fixing an unblinking blue gaze on Needlepaw. He tells her that she knows he can't just let them go after everything that happened, but Molewhisker snarls that he can't keep them there if they don't want to stay, and Cherryfall agrees. However, Darktail has no need to respond, since without even his word, the rogues tighten the circle around them, ready to fight. Darktail smoothly meows that it is nothing personal, as an enemy has already trespassed in the forest. He goes on that he is just making sure that there is no more danger brought to the gorge, and promises that once he is convinced that the danger has passed, he will let them go. The white tom licks a paw and draws it over an ear, but Alderpaw silently asks how they can believe his promises.
That night, in their new den, Alderpaw explains to his Clanmates that Mistfeather had told him that after getting driven out of the gorge by the rogues, SkyClan scattered. He mentions that Mistfeather didn't know where they went, and that after that, Darktail killed him. Sparkpaw lets out a horrified gasp, and Molewhisker mews that Darktail is evil. He turns to Needlepaw and asks why she tried to explain to him, as the should have just walked out of their own accord, but Needlepaw retorts back that the rogues would have followed them straight to their own Clans.
Early the next morning, while the rogues are asleep, the Clan cats head out of the den in attempts to escape, and at seeing Raven who is sleeping, Alderpaw guesses that she will be in trouble with Darktail when she wakes up. The questing cats head toward the water and eventually turn downstream on the river. When they reach a spot where a spur of rock jutting out from the cliff has the river curl around it, Alderpaw suggests crossing the river to make it harder for Darktail and the rest to follow them. However, Sparkpaw wonders if they should even leave, as maybe they should search for SkyClan, but Alderpaw disagrees that they don't know where the lost Clan is, and says if they try to stay in the woods, Darktail and his rogues will surely find them. The cats search for a place to cross, and when they find a tree that leans toward the river and almost reaches the opposite side, Molewhisker murmurs that if their scent disappears there, Darktail might think that they fell into the river and got swept away.
Later, when Alderpaw and Needlepaw are separated from the ThunderClan cats, and wake after napping to realize that their Clanmates have walked past them without seeing them, Alderpaw notes that at least they know that the other Clan cats are alive and haven't been recaptured by Darktail. Afterwards, when Sandstorm visits Alderpaw in a dream, he explains to her everything that happened since her death, including finding Darktail and his cats in the gorge and discovering that they weren't the real SkyClan.

Thunder and Shadow

Before Darktail formally appears in the book, Darktail is mentioned numerous times in Alderpaw's thoughts about the quest to find SkyClan and when Alderpaw realized that they weren't the real SkyClan.
Darktail and his group of rogues had followed the questing cats back to the lake, and Darktail's rogues attack WindClan. ThunderClan comes to aid WindClan, and then Alderpaw recognizes Darktail. Darktail glares back at Alderpaw. Bramblestar orders the rogues to leave or to have their pelts ripped off. Darktail snarls, saying that this is not the last time they will see him and his group of rogues. They then trample away. Even though the fight had stopped, the rogues deal enough damage to cause Furzepelt to die and for Onestar to lose a life.
Darktail emerges from a bush when Needlepaw brings Violetkit to see the rogues. His muscles ripple beneath his fur, and he growls that WindClan attacked them in reply to when Violetkit asks if they were the ones who injured the WindClan cats. He sits down, then calls Pinenose greedy after Violetkit says she said the rogues didn't belong. He looks at Needlepaw, and tells her she's right about the prey. When Sleekpaw makes a remark, Darktail looks at her, questioning her presence. Violetkit is then questioned about not belonging, and he stares at her, asking her what it's like. She responds that her foster siblings try to make her feel welcome, but Violetkit becomes more unnerved when he tells her that she doesn't. She stares at the rogues after Needlepaw goes on about Rowanstar, and wonders if the Clan views her like them.
When Violetkit wants to leave Darktail's current camp to go back to ShadowClan, Darktail tells her that it is to dangerous to go alone. When Violetkit tells him she has to be by back in the nursery by dawn, he promises he will get her home by then, before calling Nettle to get prey for her. He then tells her she can share their prey and go to sleep. When Violetkit wakes up with Raven, who wakes up Darktail. He then calls for Rain and Roach to help take Violetkit home. Then they start to pad back to ShadowClan.
Darktail comments on how the camp is run, saying that they must not have a lot of freedom. When Violetkit is about to head back into camp, Darktail stops her, and starts to pad through the entrance tunnel. He then marches across the clearing and says that he found Violetkit wandering into the woods, and he brought her back. Spikefur lunges at him, but Darktail merely bats him away, and asks how that is how they treat a cat who has returned a lost Clanmate. As ShadowClan starts to argue about rogues and strangers, Rowanstar's mew cuts through them as he demands to know what Darktail is doing in their camp. Darktail innocently responds that he doesn't know why they're being so unfriendly to him when all his rogues are doing is trying to help ShadowClan. The ShadowClan leader narrows his eyes as he asks if it would be like what they did to WindClan, and Darktail replies that they have the right to defend themselves. When Sleekpaw pads up to argue against the Clan cats saying that rogues shouldn't be allowed on the territory, Darktail states that they should leave, having caused an argument. Rowanstar quickly says that while he is grateful they brought back Violetkit, they do not belong in the Clan, summoning Tawnypelt, Spikefur, and Dawnpelt to take them to the border.
When Twigpaw encounters Violetpaw, now a rogue, at the border, Needletail turns up and growls that Darktail takes loyalty very seriously, telling Twigpaw to go home before she leads Violetpaw away. They counter Sleekwhisker and Rain, and head back to the rogue camp together. Violetpaw notices how small Sleekwhisker's catch is, thinking about how she wants to hide it under the prey-pile before Darktail notices and complains, and he had been doing so recently. Rain asks after Silt and Beenose, who are sick, and only shrugs when Nettle informs him that they're worse. As he goes to eat, Darktail's growl interrupts him as he emerges into the camp, glaring at Rain and hissing that he isn't getting any prey that day. Rain's fur bristles as he retorts that no cat can tell him he can't eat, so Darktail pads closer and hooks the scrawny mouse in his claws, telling him to get something worth eating.
Rain eyes the rogue leader with challenge in his eyes, and he steps closer and asks with a growl if the food he catches isn't good enough for Darktail. The white tom hisses that he's been bringing less food back, and the mouse is the worst pece yet. Rain angrily asks if he's been counting the food he brings back, to which Darktail replies that he has been, since as the leader he has to make sure every cat pulls their weight. Rain sneers that he sounds like a Clan cat and has too many rules, and call him soft when Darktail responds that they won't be taking any territory until he says so.
Outraged, Darktail launches himself at the gray tom, starting a vicious fight for leadership. Darktail manages to pin Rain underneath him with his jaws in the cat's throat, with Needletail begging Darktail to not kill him, though Darktail only lets go when Rain slumps below him. Rain staggers to his paws and Darktail asks him who the leader is. The gray tom mutters that Darktail is, and Darktail softly meows for him to not challenge for leadership again, before he claws out one of his eyes with a lightning swift blow when Rain says that he won't. Needletail shrieks that he blinded him as she hunches over Rain, though Darktail only says that he half-blinded him, because a cat with one eye is no threat to him. He stalks over to the prey-pile and grabs a fat rabbit before settling down to eat it at the clearing's edge.
In the night, Violetpaw listens to the quiet camp, hearing Darktail's snores echo. She thinks about how he had been the only cat to eat that day as the rest had slunk away in silence after his brutal display that day. She decides that she cannot live in Darktail's group any longer, as she wonders how long it'd be before he or one of the other rogues decide to turn on her. During dawn as she drags a juicy rabbit, she thinks on how Rowanstar had turned away the gifts of prey Darktail had offered.
Before the next Gathering, Rowanstar picks the ShadowClan cats who will be going. Many refuse, with Scorhfur, Mistcloud, and Spikefur stating that they don't want to be like Clan cats, who were willing to let them die, as well as letting Twigpaw go without a fight. Spikefur turns towards the entrance of the camp where Darktail and his closest rogues emerge first, and greets the rogue leader as he states that they need strong leadership. Rowanstar icily asks if they're suggesting that they should give leadership to the rogues, his gaze going to rest on Darktail, before he faces the white tom and declares that he will have the Clan over his dead body.
Darktail's eyes light up in delight and meows that that sounds fair, before launching himself onto the ShadowClan leader, pushing down Rowanstar as he attempts to rear upwards. Darktail sinks his teeth into the ginger tom's neck, flipping him over as he tries to free himself, teeth still clinging to his neck. Rowanstar finally frees himself and turns on the rogue, but Darktail is quicker and gets underneath him, unbalancing him and slicing his muzzle. Tawnypelt and Tigerheart join the fight and start driving Darktail back towards their Clanmates, but stop when they realise that none of ShadowClan is moving to help. The fight ends, with Rowanstar still declaring that they will be going to the Gathering when Violetpaw asks what they will do now. With only Tawnypelt, Tigerheart, and Rowanstar leaving, Darktail claims leadership of ShadowClan.
More Coming Soon

Shattered Sky

Darktail and his Kin battle against the Clans as they attempt to drive out the rogues. During the battle, Twigpaw sees Onestar pinning the rogue leader down, slashing his face with his forepaws, but Darktail barely struggles against the WindClan leader, and gasps for breath. When Twigpaw thinks about how Onestar must be taking revenge for the life he lost against the rogues last time, Darktail heaves himself up, and Onestar tumbles to the ground, before staggering toward the WindClan leader and murmuring something into his ear. The white rogue falls to the ground again, and Twigpaw notices his chest and flanks smudged red from injuries.
Soon after the fight, in which the Clan cats lost due to Onestar retreating, Violetpaw sees Thistle and thinks of the new cats Darktail had brought in, silently asking when it will all end before going to see the rogue leader with Needletail. Darktail is seen stretched out, his flanks heaving with each breath, with pain in his eyes. The white tom eats the coltsfoot Puddleshine instructed Violetpaw to give him, and he is mentioned to have raised himself and lick up the pulp before sinking back down, growling about how badly Onestar hurt him, saying he was a far fiercer fighter then the last time they fought, adding he is a mange-pelt. He takes some deep breaths, the coltsfoot easing his breathing, and gives Violetpaw a long stare, making her pads prick, before he tells her how well she fought, telling her she was a credit to the Kin here, making the young she-cat relieved and warmed at the rogue's praise. Then Needletail puts in that she was afraid to hurt Twigpaw, her littermate, but instead of being angry, Darktail says how hard it must have been to choose between her littermate and the Kin, and that he's proud she made the right choice.
Rain then enters the den, greeting the rogue leader with a nod before asking how he's feeling, and Darktail simply says that he's better before talking about Grassheart, with Darktail asking Rain if he thinks she's a traitor. Violetpaw leaves the two rogues to talk, but decides to bring her leader some prey. She witnesses Rain attempting to kill Darktail by covering his nose and mouth, and Violetpaw hears him making a terrible choking noise, while struggling weakly. When Rain approaches Violetpaw after realizing she saw him attempting to kill Darktail after his body fell limp, Darktail attacks Rain in a flash of white, slashing Rain's neck with a single blow. The rogue leader watches as the gray tom falls at his paws, convulsing as blood streams from his neck. He then raises his gaze to a horrified Violetpaw and admits that he always knew Rain would betray him.
Later, when Needletail and Violetpaw are hunting, the sleek silver she-cat asks Violetpaw how Rain died again, and Violetpaw explains that Rain tried to kill Darktail, and he only did it to defend himself and her, apologizing for her friend's loss. She suggests they go hunting because Darktail wanted them to bring prey back, and Needletail mutters she doesn't want to hunt because he says so. When the two she-cats return to the camp, and find that Thistle and Roach have brought kittypets to the Kin as recruits, Darktail emerges from his den and bounds over to meet them, greeting them politely and welcoming them to his camp. When the ShadowClan cats come over to see what the kittypets are doing there, Pinenose asks what's going on, and why they're here, making Darktail lightly say, with menace in his voice, that the kittypets are the Kin's guests, and the Kin will always be kind to their guests. The white rogue beckons for his cats to gather around for him to address them. He informs them of how the Clan cats proved themselves to be hostile and that they attacked the Kin, and that he decided that the rogues could use some allies from Twolegplace. He goes on to not directly mention the kittypets, and that they will show them hunting lessons and adventure, and how fun it will be to live with the rogues. Darktail finishes his speech by saying he's sure his rogues will show the kittypets a good time.
Then the rogue invites them to introduce themselves with a flick of his tail. After the kittypets are done introducing themselves, he meows cheerfully that he thinks they should swear a promise of friendship to protect and defend each other from the vicious Clan cats. The kittypets follow Darktail into the center of the camp, and he orders them to repeat the oath after him, which they do, and then he tells them its time to seal the blood pact. Darktail goes to each of them in turn after Raven reassures the three kittypets it would only be a drop of blood, and pierces their pad with his claw. The rogue leader then assigns the kittypets to one rogue each, the rogues being Raven, Sleekwhisker and Violetpaw. Later, when Loki, Zelda and Max attempt to leave the camp to stay with their Twolegs for the night, he comes over, noted to be looming up beside Zelda, and asks what's this talk about leaving before turning to Violetpaw and saying that they have so much more to teach their kittypet friends. When she agrees, he looks back at the kittypets and asks if they want to stay, his voice is warm and friendly as he attempts to win the three kittypets over, telling them they're very welcome.
When Max and Loki disagree, he is seen to look surprised and slightly offended, asking them if they forget they sealed an oath of kinship to the rogues. His voice changes to cold and calm after Loki questions about being part of the Kin, and the rogue simply says that the bond between cats willing to spill blood is greater then the blood that bonds cats, and the white tom successfully wins them over. Darktail goes on to say he needs them for a few more days, mentioning that tomorrow they'll learn how to fight. Zelda asks how likely it is for fights to happen, and Darktail replies that anything can happen. He dips his head to the kittypets as they are escorted away for the night, politely telling them good night.
When Dawnpelt attempts to leave the Kin by sneaking away, she is caught by Darktail, and the two argue. Violetpaw hears their voices, and she realizes the cats' tones are angry, before she can make out what Darktail says, it being telling Dawnpelt if she doesn't want to be with the rogues anymore, that she isn't one of the Kin. His voice begins to fade as the two cats recede into the distant. In the morning, he and Raven wake up Violetpaw, along with the rest of the Kin, just as the gleam of dawn was slipping into the sky. He leads his rogues through the ShadowClan woods in silence, before emerging on the edge of the Thunderpath that separated them from RiverClan territory. The white leader orders Zelda and Loki to be quiet after he hears them talking, going on to tell them that there will be plenty to eat after defeating RiverClan, as the rogues will have a big feast. Anger flashes in his gaze as Zelda goes on about how her housefolk used to have feasts, putting hers in the garbage and making her go get it. Through gritted teeth, Darktail orders her to be quiet, and that's its time to claim the Kin's new territory.
With a swish of his tail, he beckons the three kittypets away from the rest of the Kin, while Sleekwhisker brings the two elders, Oakfur and Ratscar. He explains to the kittypets and elders that they will be the first cats to fight, before being interrupted by Violetpaw, and turns a menacing gaze on the apprentice. Violetpaw rapidly goes on about how the kittypets don't have much fighting experience, and he pauses. The rogue then assures the kittypets that it's an honor to be the first cats to attack in a battle. Darktail smoothly tells Violetpaw that she will have the greatest honor of all, that she will be fighting by his side. Mistystar and some RiverClan warriors emerge from the border of RiverClan territory, and she demands what's going on, but Darktail doesn't reply. He then gives the order to attack, and the kittypets and elders spring forward. Before Violetpaw can help, he blocks her path, telling the apprentice not yet. When the RiverClan warriors are confused, Darktail gives the real battle cry, and his Kin rush at Mistystar and her warriors. Violetpaw thinks of when Darktail explained that the RiverClan cats would be at a serious disadvantage, because they were the most badly wounded in the battle before; then the rogue leader meows to Violetpaw that its time to have some fun, and he races into the battle.
Darktail goes for Mistystar himself, his claws outstretched, but Reedwhisker jumps in his way, and the two toms wrestle, their legs and tails flailing. RiverClan gives in, and Violetpaw sees Darktail standing right in the middle of the Thunderpath, his white fur noted to be soaked with blood, with a firm stance and proud angle of his head. He raises a paw to his mouth and licked a clot of thick red blood off him before flinging his head back in a yowl of victory, his Kin joining in. When the caterwauling died away, he tells Mistystar to take her mange-ridden Clan away, stating that this is Kin territory now. When Mistystar glares at him, telling the rogue she'll be back, he simply flicks his tail dismissively, saying that he's terrified. Before the RiverClan leader can lead her wounded warriors away, Darktail steps forward, asking her where she thinks she's taking those cats.
He hisses that the wounded stay with him, then adds that unless she's going to fight for them. Reedwhisker tells Mistystar they aren't worth fighting for, and Mistystar tells the rogue leader he should at least allow her to take the bodies of her fallen Clanmates out for a burial. Darktail's mouth twists into a sneer, calling the dead warriors carrion and to forget it. Mistystar gets ready to attack Darktail for calling her dead Clanmates carrion, but Mosspelt stops her, saying that's what he wants, and the RiverClan leader takes her living warriors away, surrendering. Darktail sneers at her that she can cross his territory on the way to ThunderClan, calling them weak and tenderhearted so they're bound to take Mistystar and the rest of RiverClan in. He growls good riddance to them before ordering the prisoners to be round up and put into a place that will hold them.
Darktail is later seen in the middle of camp, with the still badly injured RiverClan prisoners in front of him, while he forces them to say the oath of kinship to the rogues. Violetpaw thinks of the rogue leader, that he wouldn't feed the prisoners until they pledged their loyalty to the Kin by saying the oath. Reedwhisker is the only one who hasn't given in for a few days, but eventually the RiverClan tom can't handle it any longer, and says the oath. Darktail growls, asking him what he said, and he didn't quite hear him, telling him to say it again, louder. Humiliated, Reedwhisker obeys, and Darktail flings a couple of scrawny mice for the prisoners as Sleekwhisker and Raven herd them back into the thicket. He looks satisfied as he nods at the guards before turning away. The rogue calls to Violetpaw just as she was going to find Needletail, and he tells the apprentice he needs to talk to her in a friendly voice, making Violetpaw think that when he uses that voice, he's the most dangerous. When she pads over to him, Darktail meows about how he heard some herbs are missing from the medicine den, and how he's afraid one of the rogues stole them. Violetpaw looks at him, and his face is noted to be calm, there is something malignant in the depths of his eyes. He goes on to tell her that if any cat is hoarding the herbs for their own use, he needs to know about it, also stating that it's not fair for one cat to keep the herbs for themselves and that the herbs are to be shared among the rogues.
The white rogue goes on to smooth his ear with a paw, saying that he thinks sharing is important, and that he's sure Violetpaw knows. Violetpaw is confused by this, thinking that Darktail only shares when it suited his own needs. She assures him that Alderheart and Mothwing came to collect their herbs, and he calmly meows that it makes a lot sense, but puts Violetpaw on edge when he says he has one question. Darktail asks which cat told the two medicine cats that it was okay to come to his territory and leave with the herbs, and the rogue tom's voice is friendly, but his eyes are cold and hard. He stares at Violetpaw for a while after she said she's not sure, and that they just agreed. He calmly tells Violetpaw she's not in trouble at all after she asks him, and then asks if they both have an understanding. Darktail says that they were both kits nobody wanted. She protests, but he moves closer to her, so close that his breath riffles her whiskers, and purrs that he knows that feeling well, and when one feels unwanted, they'd do anything to protect the ones they care about, going as far to lie to protect them.
He says he feels a special connection to her, but reminds her that it doesn't mean he could make her life very unpleasant if she goes on lying to him. Darktail then adds that its not just her he could punish for her lying. When Violetpaw doesn't say anything again, he persists who said it was okay to give the herbs away, mentioning Puddleshine, then Needletail. Violetpaw steps away from the rogue leader, but he stills holds her gaze intently, until he asks her if it was Needletail. He bends his head closer to her, saying he only wants to know the truth, and he won't punish Needletail since she was always loyal, her being one of the first cats to join him. When Violetpaw quietly admits it was her, Darktail politely says thank you, even though his gaze flashes with anger, and he calls to Needletail after seeing her entering camp with a vole in her jaws. Approaching her swiftly, he grabs the silver she-cat by the scruff roughly and throws her to the ground. He blasts her with questions angrily, asking if she's loyal, or like Rain, and why she gave the herbs away. Violetpaw wails, reminding Darktail that he promised he wouldn't punish her. Darktail coldly retorts that she's not being punished, he's simply helping her, before turning back to Needletail and stating that if she's not happy with the way he's leading, she can leave, just like Dawnpelt. Hearing this words, Violetpaw suddenly comes to the conclusion that Dawnpelt never made it to ThunderClan because Darktail killed her.
Darktail's gaze is full of rage when Violetpaw lets out a shriek of horror, and he spins around to look at her. The white rogue softly and menacingly asks her if she wants to leave too, then adds that he doesn't want cats that aren't loyal, to be here. Darktail turns his questioning gaze onto Violetpaw after Needletail assures the rogue leader she wants to stay, and Violetpaw replies she wants to stay too. He nods, saying its good, and that Violetpaw has passes his test, because of course, he had known all of this already, before asking if she thought Raven would keep it from him. Darktail looks at Needletail and adds that because she betrayed him, she will be living with the RiverClan prisoners before calling to Roach and Nettle, beckoning them with a flick of his tail. The two rogues obey and at his order, drag Needletail away. The white tom blocks Violetpaw's way as she tries to follow, and his tone is friendly and smooth again. He tells Violetpaw she's proved herself good and a loyal kit, unlike Needletail or Puddleshine, who gave the herbs away willingly that belonged to the Kin. He adds that he said he wasn't going to punish Needletail, but then says that Puddleshine deserves punishment before stalking off to the medicine den.
Later, Darktail appears again with his Kin as they gulp down prey. He teases Violetpaw, purring that he's never seen a pigeon disappear so fast, his eyes gleaming as he looked up from the rabbit he was eating, saying that maybe she'd like some of this rabbit too. Violetpaw replies that she doesn't think she can finish her prey, and politely refuses his offer. The white rogue meows to let him know if she changes her mind, and asks that we can't have her starving. Darktail narrows his eyes, and his muzzle tenses with anger after Scorchfur suggest they give some prey to the half-starved prisoners, as its their responsibility to give them prey, but quickly relaxes as he replies to him, saying that of course he's feeding the prisoners, asking if he has any reason otherwise. Darktail rises to his paws, padding over to Scorchfur and thrusting his face close to the ShadowClan tom's, asking calmly if he doubts his ability to lead the Kin. Then the rogue leader goes on to mention that maybe he's not really his Kin, saying that not every cat is, and then asks if he would be happier somewhere else. Scorchfur blurts out that he doesn't want to leave, and that he doesn't doubt him, as he knows best.
Darktail stays still, staring into Scorchfur's eyes for a long while, until he gave a nod and padded back over to his rabbit, close to Sleekwhisker. Darktail calls to Scorchfur after he tries to walk away, telling him not to go, as the prisoners' den needs to be cleaned soon. After the ShadowClan cats walk away, and Sleekwhisker asks when all of them will leave, Darktail turns a hard gaze onto the she-cat, reminding her that she was a ShadowClan cat once. She then moves closer to Darktail until their pelts are brushing, but Darktail fixes her with a sharp look, and she moves away from him. He snaps that she shouldn't wish for that, as they need more rogues, because the Kin are still outnumbered by the Clan cats. Darktail is mentioned by the RiverClan prisoners when Violetpaw brings them prey, saying he's the cruelest cat ever. Darktail then calls to Violetpaw, telling her she needs to hunt since the fresh-kill pile is getting low.
Later, when Violetpaw had slipped poppy seeds into his and his closest Kin's prey to get the prisoners out of camp, she calls to the rogue leader, telling him she has prey for him. He emerges from his den, licking his lips as he says good and exclaims how he's starving. He calls to Nettle and Roach after telling Violetpaw they can eat over there. The rogue twitches his whiskers as Violetpaw informs him she's going to get some rest, and asks her if she wants to eat with them, and he has a concerned look on his face as he looks at her after Violetpaw meows she already ate. But he simply shrugs and turns around to go to his Kin. When Sleekwhisker catches Violetpaw trying to see if Darktail and his closest Kin ate the prey and fell asleep, the yellow rogue shoves the apprentice into his den, and he can be seen fixing her with a baleful gaze. Darktail gazes down at Violetpaw, quite calm, and his eyes were dreadfully gentle. He asks Violetpaw if there's anything she'd like to tell him, and when she attempts to sound innocent and asks him what, he reaches behind him and slides a leaf towards her, that had poppy seeds on it, and responds that what her plan was, calling it a little trick.
Darktail says its very funny after the apprentice says she doesn't have any idea what the poppy seeds were, and explains that he wasn't sure either, so he talked to Puddleshine. He says that the medicine cat was helpful, and told him they were poppy seeds, and were powerful enough to put a cat to sleep. He pauses for a moment to look at the claws on one paw, and continues, saying it was interesting that the poppy seeds were found in the prey she had brought for him and his closest Kin. The rogue leader seems to loose his temper, shaking off his calm demeanor, and snaps at her, telling her not to waste her time pretending she didn't do it. He tells her that Sleekwhisker saw her doing something suspicious to the prey and was smart enough to tell them before they could eat it. Darktail lets a menacing growl rumble in his throat as he goes on about how its almost impressive about how good she is, lying and pretending she was a friend when she was really an enemy, adding that it must be the time she spent among the useless Clan cats. Then he says she must have something to do with the missing queens and elders, since he knows everything that goes on with his Kin.
The white rogue notices Violetpaw's shudder of terror, thinking he will kill her, and he says that he won't kill her, as killing her wouldn't be enough punishment for her traitorous act, the act she almost pulled off. He orders Roach and Raven to bring her out of the den, and he heads for the prisoners' den. Darktail enters the den, and drags Needletail out by her scruff. When Needletail demands what's happening, he softly purrs that she has betrayed him by trying to put him asleep with poppy seeds. He informs her she is the cat who must pay for Violetpaw's treachery, but that she's doing the other prisoners a favor, as there will be more prey, ending his words with a mrrow of harsh laughter. Then Darktail and Sleekwhisker grab hold of Needletail, dragging her across the camp. The two muscular rogues pin her down, before hauling her up and dragging her on. Violetpaw realizes they are being lead to the lake, and she remembers when Dawnpelt and Darktail argued.
The rogue leader turns to face Needletail and Violetpaw as they stop at the lakeshore, asking why they are so scared, telling her there's nothing to worry about, and then says her good friend Needletail will be punished instead of her. Darktail jumps suddenly, sinking his claws into the she-cat's shoulders and drags her backwards into the lake water, and Needletail starts striking out at the white tom. Suddenly, he pushes her head under the water with a powerful spasm of his forelegs. Out of desperation, Violetpaw wails that she did try to put him to sleep, and his eyes flicker with curiosity, before releasing Needletail, jerking his muzzle at Sleekwhisker to step back as well, and asks Violetpaw why she did it. After the apprentice confesses to the rogue leader, he lets out a mrrow of mockery, asking her if it's true. Darktail then signals to Sleekwhisker, and the two rogues jump on Needletail, pushing her back under the surface of the lake.
When Violetpaw cries not to, he turns his malignant gaze onto her, and calmly says that killing Needletail is a better punishment then killing the apprentice herself, saying that she's so attached to this treacherous cat, she's more scared of her death then her own, adding that he wants her to feel the grief of losing the cat took care of her. Darktail bitterly meows that he can't believe Violetpaw and Needletail would by loyal to him and the Kin, as she was one of the first Clan cats who gave him any notice, and that she would have helped him build something, but he was wrong, as she got involved with Rain, calling him a traitor. He says that Violetpaw is just as disloyal.
His menacing gaze softens suddenly, and he meows that maybe Violetpaw is right, and maybe he should give Needletail another chance. He steps back, and motions to Sleekwhisker to do the same. When Needletail resurfaces, he tells Violetpaw calmly that they've been discussing the situation, and that the other closest Kin to him have agreed to give Needletail a second chance, saying its not fair to let her take the punishment for Violetpaw's mistake, asking the silver she-cat if he's right. The rogue leader pauses for a moment, then continues that he's happy to spare her life if she does something for him, that being killing Violetpaw herself, but clearly didn't expect her to listen, and when she rasps to bring the apprentice to her, he exchanges surprised looks with his Kin. Then, she pounces on her, but tells her to run, and attacks Roach and Raven. Darktail begins to splash out of the lake, and is one of the cats to kill Needletail.
The prisoners rise up against the rogues, and when the Clan cats come to aid the prisoners, Darktail can be seen by Alderheart to be racing towards the camp from the lake, his fur is soaked and dotted with blood. He gets piled up on by the Clan cats, and fights back, but retreats after realizing he is outnumbered, and flees the camp with the rest of his Kin towards ShadowClan territory.
When Darktail and his rogues attack WindClan, the white tom is battling with Onestar. He yowls the command for his rogues to stop attacking, and he is standing nose to nose with the WindClan leader, his flanks swelling with heavy breathing. He taunts Onestar, saying he's mouse-hearted, and calls him a coward and says that a kittypet can fight better. Onestar doesn't move his gaze from Darktail, and says that this rogue's word is not to be trusted, because of what he's done, raiding camps, killing Clan cats, kept prisoners. When Onestar accuses Darktail of this being over territory, Darktail's eyes are lit with an evil gleam, and he says it always was about the territory, it being fair that he hands over some WindClan territory, since what he did to him, before turning to address all the Clan cats.
He says he knows something about him that will set every WindClan cat's fur on end, and before he attacks again, he says they should know what kind of cat Onestar is. He yowls and the fighting breaks out again, and Squirrelflight flings the rogue away from the WindClan cat after grabbing him, and gets ready to slash his throat, but Darktail struggles away, calling for a retreat. Before the rogue leaves, his eyes are full of hatred as he tells Onestar that he'll be back, and to be sure of it, then leaves. He is mentioned again as Onestar reveals he is his father, and that he didn't let Darktail join WindClan when he was a kit, which turned him into a cold and bitter cat with deep desire to destroy the Clans and their their way of life.
When the Clans devise a plan to get rid of Darktail and his rogues once and for all, Darktail is seen snarling orders at his Kin as ThunderClan attacks their camp in a single line, but none of the rogues are focused enough to hear him. Twigpaw sees Onestar facing Darktail against a flash of lightning, and then the rogue takes a violent swipe at the WindClan tom's face, sending him sprawling. As more thunder rolled out, Darktail yowls to retreat, saying that any rogues who are smart enough will come, as they deserve to survive. The rogues break free and flee after Darktail, including some of the young ShadowClan warriors who stayed with him. He flees with his Kin towards the lake, and RiverClan rises up from the water, cutting them off. Most of the rogues abandon Darktail in a desperate attempt to escape, until he is the only one left, and is facing Onestar. The two toms circle each other, with rain and thunder rolling out onto the lake. Onestar taunts him, saying he should have stayed as a kittypet, which enrages Darktail, and he springs, colliding into each other in a tangle of soaked fur, teeth and claws. Darktail and Onestar wrestle, rolling down the lakeshore and into the water, one on top of each other. The two fighting cats gradually move into deeper water, and the two sink under the water, and don't resurface.
He is thought of by Violetpaw when Loki and Zelda are returning home, thinking they were very brave to stay until Darktail had been defeated, and how they were once carefree, but will never forget what they experienced under Darktail's reign. It is said that neither Onestar nor Darktail resurfaced after the two toms sank under the water, and Kestrelflight mentioned that Onestar made up for all his past mistakes when he rid them of Darktail. He is lastly mentioned by Rowanstar when he says they need to get the stench of Darktail out of their camp.

Darkest Night

Despite his death, Darktail's actions continue to affect the Clans. Some cats, mostly RiverClan, blame Rowanstar, and ShadowClan as a whole, for the suffering they endured under Darktail, as Rowanstar failed to deal with Darktail and ShadowClan chose to join the cruel rogue leader. The ShadowClan cats are shown to be deeply ashamed of their decision to follow Darktail, as their decision nearly destroyed their Clan, as well as the other Clans. Harestar, the new WindClan leader, reminds the Clans that it was Onestar's rejection of his son that brought about Darktail's vengeance. However, he asserts that Darktail chose his own path, that he chose to be a cruel murderer, and that the Clans should remember that Onestar sacrificed himself to destroy Darktail so as to put an end to his cruelty. Mistystar accepts this statement, but nevertheless closes RiverClan's border so they can have time to recover from the damage caused by Darktail.
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River of Fire

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The Raging Storm

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In the Super Editions

Hawkwing's Journey

Darktail first appears when Hawkwing is alone on the edge of SkyClan territory, grieving for his dead brother, Duskpaw. The rogue asks if Hawkwing is a Clan cat. Darktail then learns that Hawkwing's brother died in the fire, and expresses his sympathy. The black-tailed cat also claims that he saw the fire but didn't know there were other cats inside. He asks if he could get treated by one of SkyClan's medicine cats. After a bit of thinking, Hawkwing agrees, and goes to fetch Echosong. While eating his herbs, Darktail says he lived near other Clan-like cats and then mentions ThunderClan. Hawkwing, surprised, then thinks he could be part of the prophecy. He asks for Echosong to go get Leafstar. After a little talk, Leafstar politely invites Darktail into the camp.
After Darktail tells SkyClan about the other Clans, they get excited, and Leafstar decides to send a quest to try and find the other Clans. The quest is made up of Hawkwing, Billystorm, Pebblepaw, and Blossomheart. Darktail appears willing to go, but is held behind by Echosong because she says he is unfit to travel. The white tom gives them directions on where to go; he tells them they'll cross an area populated by badgers but assures them the place is long-since abandoned.
The quest fails when badgers attack the group and kill Billystorm. The remaining cats return to the Gorge. They blame Darktail for lying that the badger den was abandoned. Leafstar defends him, saying he fought bravely when raccoons attacked the camp a few days ago. Darktail apologizes on behalf of his false directions, which ended in tragedy. Hawkwing starts to think twice about Darktail, so he angrily accuses the rogue of meaning to harm them. Leafstar steps in, stating that Darktail made a mistake, and everyone but Hawkwing agrees. The gray tabby starts to lose control over his anger, and Leafstar decides to punish him for his raging temper, and she makes him search through the herb stores, which only makes Hawkwing angrier at Darktail.
The next day, Darktail walks into the medicine cat den while Hawkwing is sifting through the stores and says that sooner or later, his pain and anger will calm down. Hawkwing asks how he knows anything about pain, and after a bit Darktail tells him that he had a friend who he grew up with and played with. One leaf-bare, when prey was very scarce, his friend grew weaker, and weaker, and he eventually died. Hawkwing feels guilty for dismissing the rogue so easily, but still shows signs of distrust. Darktail claims his friend would still be alive if they were in a Clan because he observed that everyone in SkyClan takes care of each other. He then volunteers to lead a new quest, to make up for Billystorm's death. Hawkwing asks how SkyClan would trust him because he almost killed everyone on the last quest. Darktail says that if something attacks, he will put himself in danger. He also says he has met a cat named Rain and that Rain was going to join the quest and provide guidance. That makes Hawkwing not trust Darktail even more. But then, Darktail says that he has made a decision that he would take Hawkwing on the quest. Hawkwing says Leafstar probably won't agree to let him go because he has a bad temper. Darktail disagrees, and says that the one quickest to swipe the claw is often the cat most likely to survive. Later, Darktail introduces Rain to Leafstar and Sharpclaw. After he introduces Rain, he somehow gets Leafstar and Sharpclaw to let Hawkwing go on the quest.
A thin drizzle begins to fall at dawn when the quest sets out. It is comprised of Sagenose, Firefern, Rain, Darktail, Hawkwing, and Harrybrook. Right before they leave, Darktail promises to Leafstar that he will succeed. After a while, they encounter cows. They then see a huge Twoleg den, also known as a barn to the Twolegs. Darktail suggests that maybe the Clans sheltered in there. The patrol goes nearer to the barn and meets Toad, one of Darktail's friends. Darktail asks Toad if he has seen a large group of cats lately, and Toad replies that he saw a huge crowd of sleek, well fed cats shelter in a barn but didn't mess with them.
Hawkwing wants to investigate the barn, but two vicious dogs break through a bush, held by their Twolegs with leashes. The Twolegs purposely let go of the leashes, and the dogs charge toward the cats. As they run away, Darktail orders them to climb trees. They all manage to get up a tree but Toad falls from his branch. Stunned by the impact, he is too slow to react to the attacking dogs. While Toad is being mauled, Darktail tells the rest of the group to use this as their chance to escape since the dogs are distracted. Hawkwing is shocked by Darktail's heartless response and asks about Toad; Darktail says there is nothing else they can do for him. The rest of the group safely escapes.
Darktail grieves for his lost friend while the others decide what to do next. They decide to search around the barn area but to stay clear of the barn itself. They search for the whole afternoon, but find nothing. Firefern blames Darktail for messing up, and the white tom confesses, admitting he messed up the directions and failed again. Darktail is determined to search the barn, whether he lives or dies trying. Sagenose stops him. They then say it is time to admit failure of the quest. They leave the barn because it is too dangerous to stay there, and they rest at a holly thicket for the night. They set off at the crack of dawn the next day, and Darktail asks Hawkwing if he is worried. He says he is worried because he will admit to his father, Sharpclaw, that he failed the quest. Darktail comforts him, saying that the grudge between him and his father will gradually stop.
Sunset had arrived by the time they approached the SkyClan camp. The group notices the scent markings in the area are stale. They suspect trouble and rush to the gorge. They head into the medicine cat den, and Blossomheart says that the raccoons attacked again while they were gone and that Leafstar lost a life during the attack. Sharpclaw comes and he says he wants to talk with Hawkwing and Darktail only. They head into the den and see Leafstar lying on a bed of moss. Sharpclaw asks how the quest went, and Hawkwing and Darktail have to admit that they failed again. Hawkwing explains what happened, and Sharpclaw turns to Darktail, snarling at him because Darktail said he knew the way but didn't again. Darktail apologizes.
The next day, Leafstar calls a Clan meeting. She says, to change the strategy of the game, that patrols will be larger from now on to deter the raccoons from attacking the Clan a third time. During the meeting, some cats glare at Darktail and Rain, thinking they are both untrustworthy. Waspwhisker then asks what if the problem is inside the camp, and everyone turns their heads to Darktail and Rain. Darktail speaks up, saying he never meant to hurt the Clan but has accidentally made mistakes. Sharpclaw says that rogues don't belong in the camp, and Hawkwing speaks against his father, saying that he is a true asset to the Clan. Hawkwing then leaves the meeting and storms back to his den.
Later in the day, Hawkwing spots Darktail. Darktail is heading to Twolegplace, and Hawkwing decides to follow him. He goes and finds scraps of Twoleg food on the ground. Hawkwing then assumes he is looking for food. Darktail wriggles under a fence, and soon comes out with wrapped Twoleg food. He passes within a few inches of Hawkwing, who is hiding underneath a bush. Darktail drops the food and bounds back to camp. Hawkwing follows, skeptical of Darktail.
The next day, Darktail is assigned to the dawn patrol. Waspwhisker, the leader of the patrol, criticizes Darktail because he is walking too loudly. Darktail mutters that he's sorry. After, they scent rogues. They crouch down, and soon, a black she-cat and a ginger tom appear followed by two tabby she-cats. Waspwhisker asks Darktail if he knows these cats, and he says he has never seen them before. Another silver-gray tom appears. Waspwhisker confronts the rogues and asks who they are and why they are here. Waspwhisker tells them to leave, and they refuse, so the deputy engages in a battle with the strays. Hawkwing fights the ginger tom while Darktail battles the other tom. Darktail moves so fast, the silver tom is not able to lay a claw on him. The silver tom then orders a retreat, and they withdraw from the fight. After the fight, Hawkwing says to Darktail that he saw him in Twolegplace yesterday. He admits he has a taste for Twoleg food.
They head back to camp and report the rogues to Leafstar. The Clan erupts in panic, and Leafstar has to yowl to maintain order. She says that they should not panic or it will cause more trouble. Some cats suggest they drive away the rogues immediately and others say no, and once again, the Clan turns into chaos. Leafstar hisses, saying they are more vulnerable if they send a patrol to drive the attackers off. She says if the prophecy means they have to find Firestar's kin, then there is no question, but Tinycloud says it has lead to nothing but trouble. Darktail interrupts, and he asks Echosong if she can get more information about the prophecy from StarClan. Echosong says it doesn't work that way. She admits she doesn't know what will happen to SkyClan, and all the cats fall silent. Leafstar then speaks up, saying that they will protect the camp, and she ends the meeting.
The next day, after the dawn patrol returns, Sharpclaw asks Hawkwing and Darktail to go on a patrol with him. While Sharpclaw watches all the other patrols leave, Darktail asks if Hawkwing has seen his friend this morning and he points his ears toward Pebblepaw. Hawkwing is embarrassed, and Darktail says he knows that he likes her. The white rogue says that he should confront Pebblepaw and talk about his feelings to her. Hawkwing says he is not avoiding her, and Darktail says he knows he is lying. Before Darktail can talk to him any more, Sharpclaw calls for them to head out. After a bit, Sharpclaw manages to catch a mouse, and Darktail comments that he never even scented it. Hawkwing scents a vole, and starts to crawl toward it, but Darktail flings himself onto the vole, crushing it. Hawkwing and Sharpclaw then see a rabbit, and start to creep toward it. Hawkwing chases after it and kills it, and Darktail congratulates him. However, the gray tom wonders if Darktail didn't like it if him and his father work together.
After the patrol comes back, Darktail heads off to talk with Rain. Hawkwing decides to follow Darktail's advice and speaks to Pebblepaw. That night, the rogues sneak back into the camp, and Hawkwing wakes everyone up. It is during this fight when Darktail displays his true intentions, and kills Bouncefire. He then goes to attack Sharpclaw, but Sharpclaw senses him and sidesteps, letting Darktail smash into a rock. Sharpclaw asks how he could betray SkyClan. Darktail regains his balance, and snarls that he was never part of SkyClan. Darktail waves his tail, and Rain starts to creep to Sharpclaw from behind. They both kill Hawkwing's father, leaving the gray tom is absolutely devastated. He asks why Darktail has turned against him and his Clanmates, and Darktail says he never turned against them and that his plan was to destroy SkyClan all along. Hawkwing keeps asking why, but Darktail ignores him, and he asks if he would like to join his group of rogues and that he would be made deputy. Hawkwing refuses, and tries to attack him, but Darktail sidesteps, and is lost to sight in the darkness. The fight still rages on. Hawkwing is very angry at Darktail. Eventually, the rogues deal so much damage that Leafstar orders SkyClan to retreat from the gorge. Darktail and his rogues successfully conquer the gorge.
Darktail doesn't appear anymore, but is mentioned several times.

Tigerheart's Shadow

Tigerheart recalls a dream where Darktail led his Clanmates into battle against SkyClan, and although they followed his orders, the cats had hollow eyes. During the battle against the enemy Clan, the ShadowClan cats fall one by one, while Darktail slips in and out of the shadows, encouraging the warriors onward to fight harder, but never joining in.
In the manga, Berryheart escapes after Darktail attempts to drown her, but worries greatly that her daughter, Needletail is truly loyal to the cruel rogue leader. She meets Slatefur, but he points out that Darktail seems to like Needletail, before the black-and-white she-cat sets out from the lake territories.
Berryheart travels away to the Twoleg greenleaf place, where, a few days later, she encounters her mate, Sparrowtail. He informs her that Darktail has Needletail prisoner now, and everything's falling to pieces. They later reunite with Cloverfoot and Rippletail. Cloverfoot is shown to greatly regret their decision to join with Darktail, and asks why they even supported him to begin with. Rippletail asserts that they merely went along with him when he said he was the strongest, but Cloverfoot reminds him that because of what they did ShadowClan is gone now. They admit that it was a terrible mistake to follow Darktail, and wonder if the Clans will ever forgive them.

In the Novellas

Tawnypelt's Clan

Tawnypelt mentions Darktail several times, recalling what he had done to her kin, other cats, and the Clans.

Pebbleshine's Kits

Pebbleshine explains to Olive and Milo that Darktail deceived SkyClan into being his friend, but later drove them out in a vicious fight. She adds that SkyClan now has to find the Clans by a lake. When Pebbleshine is reunited with her Clanmates in StarClan, she notes how Sharpclaw was killed by Darktail and his rogues.
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