|"The past is the past. The future is fresh. You must forget all you have known, no matter how much you loved it, and choose paths that will carry you to a new dawn."|
|— Bright Stream to the early settlers in A Forest Divided, page 315|
Dawn of the Clans is a prequel arc of the Warriors series. It follows the Early Settlers as they move from the mountains down to the forest and start the five Clans, ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, SkyClan, and ShadowClan. It features Gray Wing, Thunder, and Clear Sky as the main protagonists.
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- In the mountains, the Tribe cats are starving, and some decide to leave to search for a better home. These cats, led by Shaded Moss, start searching for a place they can permanently settle. After Shaded Moss dies after being hit by a monster, Tall Shadow takes his place and the group eventually arrives at a moor. Soon, Clear Sky leaves to moor and leads a few cats to the nearby forest. There, he falls in love with a rogue named Storm. Jagged Peak, Clear Sky's brother, falls from a tree and permanently injures his leg, and is exiled from Clear Sky's camp. Turtle Tail leaves the moor to become a kittypet. After seeing how Clear Sky treats his other brother, Gray Wing, Storm leaves. She gives birth in a collapsing Twoleg den and dies, and Gray Wing takes her only surviving kit, Thunder, to Clear Sky. However, Clear Sky decides not to raise him, so Gray Wing brings Thunder to Tall Shadow's camp.
- Turtle Tail comes back to the moor pregnant with a kittypet named Tom's kits. A fire rages through the forest, and Thunder saves Clear Sky. Clear Sky's cats take refuge on the moor for a short amount of time, and Thunder goes to live with Clear Sky in the forest. Moon Shadow, Tall Shadow's brother, dies of burns from the forest fire, and Tall Shadow lets Gray Wing become leader while she grieves. After Clear Sky leaves Frost out to die because he couldn't contribute much to the group because of injuries, Thunder leaves with him and goes back to the moor.
- A few cats visit Clear Sky to invite him to a Gathering during full moon to discuss his obsession with protecting his borders. Turtle Tail's kits, Sparrow Fur, Pebble Heart, and Owl Eyes, get kidnapped by their father, Tom, who takes them to his Twoleg den. Thunder and Lightning Tail, and River Ripple rescue them, but also find Turtle Tail dead on the Thunderpath. At the meeting, Clear Sky starts a battle and kills Rainswept Flower. However, he can't force himself to kill his brother, Gray Wing, and ends the battle. Spirit cats appear and lecture Clear Sky and tell the cats to unite or die. Clear Sky apologizes. Then Acorn Fur joins Clear Sky's camp and Dew joins River Ripple, and the cats go home.
- A rogue named One Eye and Tom join Clear Sky's group. When Sparrow Fur tries to visit her father, One Eye almost kills her but Tom takes his killing blow, and One Eye is exiled from the group. Soon, One Eye chases Clear Sky out of his camp. Clear Sky takes refuge on the moor. They build a plan to kill One Eye. Meanwhile, Thunder falls in love with a rogue she-cat called Star Flower, who seems to like him back. When the battle with One Eye comes, it is revealed that Star Flower is One Eye's daughter and was using Thunder to spy on the group. Nevertheless, Clear Sky wins and takes the forest back. When he returns, Petal dies of an illnes. However, every other sick cat, from both the forest and the moor, is cured using a plant called the Blazing Star.
- A few moons later, the moor cats cast stones to decide where they would like to live. Clear Sky lets Star Flower live in his camp, and they become mates after a while. Thunder, who chose to live with Clear Sky, leaves to make his own group in the forest. Quiet Rain, Clear Sky, Gray Wing, and Jagged Peak's mother, arrives at the forest with Sun Shadow. Quiet Rain is ill, and when Clear Sky confesses what he's done to her, she disowns him. Right before she dies, she tells Clear Sky that she forgives him. Gray Wing returns to the moor. Later, Star Flower, who is pregnant with Clear Sky's kits, is kidnapped by Slash.
- After all the groups develop a plan and rescue Star Flower, she gives birth to Dew Petal, Tiny Branch and Flower Foot. Star Flower starts training the cats for a battle with Slash' group. Several cats are recruited from Slash's camp, and they join Tall Shadow, River Ripple, Wind Runner, or Thunder's groups. However, Red of Clear Sky's camp, who was thought to be a rogue with no relation to Slash, reveals to have lived in his group. Clear Sky tests Red and he stays loyal to him. Bee and Ember return to Slash, while all other cats are given double names. Slash takes Gray Wing and Slate's kit, Black Ear, and leaves him on the Thunderpath. Clear Sky saves his brother's son and brings him back to Gray Wing. Gray Wing renames Clear Sky's group to SkyClan, Tall Shadow's group to ShadowClan, River Ripple's group to RiverClan, Wind Runner's group to WindClan, and Thunder's group to ThunderClan, then dies shortly after.
- The Sun Trail begins with a group of cats known as the Tribe of Rushing Water, led by Stoneteller (formerly Half Moon), starving due to lack of food in their mountain home. Stoneteller receives a vision in which she is told that there is more prey if one follows the rising Sun. Later, when a young kit named Fluttering Bird dies of hunger, members of the Tribe vote to leave in search of food. A group of Tribe cats, led by Shaded Moss, decides to follow the "sun trail", as described to Stoneteller in her vision. Gray Wing, Clear Sky's brother, does not want to leave the Tribe, but when Jagged Peak, Clear Sky and Gray Wing youngest brother, who is still a kit, sneaks out of the Tribe's cave to catch up to Clear Sky and his group, their mother Quiet Rain becomes worried and asks Gray Wing to go follow as well, to which Gray Wing reluctantly agrees. Gray Wing finds Jagged Peak and saves him from an eagle, after which they catch up to Clear Sky's group. One of the journeying cats, Bright Stream, is Clear Sky's mate, and she reveals that she is carrying Clear Sky's kits. When the group stops to rest one night, a trio of eagles attempts to hunt the cats, forcing them to hide. However, while saving Gray Wing from an eagle, Bright Stream is carried away by an eagle; though she successfully kills, she falls to her death as a result. In the aftermath, a rift forms between Clear Sky and Gray Wing because Gray Wing believes that Clear Sky blames him for Bright Stream's death. However, later in the book, Clear Sky reveals that he blamed himself for Bright Stream's death, to which Gray Wing replies that perhaps it was no one's fault, and that the death was just a terrible accident. The journeying cats leave the mountains shortly after Bright Stream's death. While crossing a river, Quick Water slips and falls in, but Falling Feather saves her, revealing her swimming abilities.
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- A few moons (months) have passed since the events of The Sun Trail. The former Tribe cats have settled in, and Thunder is being raised by his uncle, Gray Wing. Turtle Tail returns from the Twolegplace (human town), after learning she is pregnant by an aggressive kittypet (housecat) named Tom, and that the twolegs (humans) will take her kits away. She shelters with Gray Wing's group, and after she asks, he agrees to be a father to her kits, becoming her mate. A forest fire rages through Clear Sky's territory, forcing him and his group to temporarily seek shelter with Gray Wing . While staying with Gray Wing, Clear Sky notices his son, Thunder, who he abandoned as a tiny kit, as Thunder is the son of Clear Sky and Storm, a rogue who lived in the forest before the Tribe cats arrived. He notices how Thunder has grown, and he eventually asks Thunder if he wants to live in the forest with Clear Sky. Thunder accepts the offer, wanting to get to know his father, and he stays with Clear Sky for a short while. After seeing how Clear Sky is power-hungry and uncaring about the needs of the individual (a fact that was clearly shown in the first book, when Clear Sky banishes his own brother, Jagged Peak, from the group because he has a broken leg), Thunder leaves, returning to Gray Wing and his group.
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|The Sun Trail|
|The First Battle|
|The Blazing Star|
|A Forest Divided|
|Path of Stars|
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- According to James Noble, an editor at Working Partners who assisted with the development of Dawn of the Clans, Gray Wing was originally supposed to die at the end of The Sun Trail but was pushed off to Thunder Rising due to the catalyst event happening too soon in the arc. However, Gray Wing's death was pushed again to The First Battle so the story could focus on Thunder's relationship with Clear Sky and Gray Wing. His death was pushed again to the end of the arc to continue the potential for emotional conflict and the editor team's attachment for Gray Wing.[blog 1]
Notes and references
|Warriors arcs||Dawn of the Clans • The Prophecies Begin • The New Prophecy • Power of Three • Omen of the Stars • A Vision of Shadows • The Broken Code • Novellas • Super Editions • Field Guides • Graystripe's Adventure • Tigerstar and Sasha • Ravenpaw's Path • SkyClan and the Stranger|