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"Her vision had become reality, but it hadn't been a warning of disaster. Instead, through the danger and destruction, Willowshine understood that it was all for the best. The fire, and the courage and generosity of the approaching cats, would force RiverClan back into the community of the other Clans."
Willowshine’s thoughts in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, page 23

RiverClan's fire took place in River of Fire and destroyed RiverClan’s camp.[1] It resulted in them reopening their borders and rejoining the Clans.[2]

Summary

Premise

RiverClan, ThunderClan, and WindClan are all suffering from a bout of belly sickness, which results in a shortage of watermint.[6] As the shortage of herbs grows, Willowshine wants to ask the other Clans for help, but can’t due to RiverClan’s borders being closed.[7] Before the fire, Willowshine receives a vision of RiverClan's camp burning,[8] but it’s waved off by Mistystar.[9] She worries about the prophecy the medicine cats had received earlier, “The dark sky must not herald a storm," and thinks it’s connected to her vision.[10] Willowshine worries about what will happen as tensions rise in RiverClan’s camp, due to Mistystar’s refusal to open RiverClan’s borders after what happened with Darktail.[9]

Overview

During a large storm, lightning strikes and starts a fire in RiverClan’s camp.[11] A ThunderClan patrol headed by Bramblestar goes to help, and they join with some WindClan cats. The cats work together to make a log bridge, which allows for Mistystar and several of her cats to escape to safety.[3] Meanwhile in SkyClan’s camp, Leafstar orders her cats to bunker down for the storm. Tawnypelt challenges her, saying that they must help, and when Hawkwing agrees as well, she gives up the argument. SkyClan sends a patrol to RiverClan, and Hawkwing offers them shelter in ShadowClan’s old camp. They travel back to SkyClan, and once Leafstar is informed of the situation, she agrees as well.[4] At the next Gathering, RiverClan rejoins the other Clans, and requests help to rebuild, which is granted.[12]

Description

Willowshine’s vision

While walking through camp, Willowshine receives a vision from StarClan. Her surroundings light in fire, and heat sears her whiskers. She is terrified as she takes in the vision, realizing that the scene before her displays RiverClan’s camp being burnt to ashes.[13] Willowshine tells Mistystar about her vision of fire, but the blue-gray leader isn’t convinced. She thinks that the sickness will pass, and waves off the vision. The medicine cats try to convince her otherwise, but the leader won’t reopen RiverClan’s borders. Willowshine worries about the sickness, needing herbs to treat her Clanmates. She thinks that they must not let the dark sky herald a storm, and thinks that her vision of fire is further proof RiverClan should open their borders. As she and Mothwing leave Mistystar’s den, Willowshine envisions the clearing in flames.[5]

Lightning strikes

A storm starts up, and a bolt of lightning strikes RiverClan’s camp, starting a fire.[11] Alderheart alerts Bramblestar of this, and the leader assembles a patrol to help.[3] Cats begin to flee, and Mistystar orders everyone to evacuate. Mothwing helps sick cats out of the medicine den, and Willowshine sees that ThunderClan is coming to help. Mistystar shoves her from behind, but she shows her leader this, and the she-cat stares at them. She bounds away, and Willowshine starts helping her other Clanmates.[5]

Rescuers unite

As the rain stops, Twigpaw worries because it would've helped put the fire out. The patrol runs along the lakeshore, and join Gorsetail, Nightcloud, and Brindlepaw from WindClan. The two patrols race together towards RiverClan and stop at the border stream. A barrier of fire made by a fallen tree blocks the normal exit from camp, and cats flee into the lake. In the midst of the flames, a group of injured cats and Mistystar huddle beside the water, with the leader refusing to leave them behind. Alderheart declares that they need to get to those cats, and the cats look for solutions. They see a log lying in the mud and collectively push it in place to form a bridge. Finpaw yowls at the group of RiverClan cats, gaining their attention. They stream across the log, and Mistystar thanks Bramblestar for his help.[3]

Doing the right thing

Meanwhile, as the storm intensifies in SkyClan's camp, Leafstar orders her cats to shelter. They begin to retreat to their dens, but Strikestone points out a red haze in the sky, signaling fire. While many of the SkyClan cats follow Leafstar’s orders, Tawnypelt says that Clans help each other in times like this. She says that they must help, and goes against orders. Several of the former ShadowClan cats offer to go with her, and Violetshine and Hawkwing agree as well, and form the patrol with Leafstar’s dubious consent. The patrol of cats go out to the forest, heading for the lakeshore. As the patrol gets closer, they start to hear the screeches of panic-stricken cats. The patrol meets a small group with Willowshine, Reedwhisker, and a few others. They recount that lightning started the fire, and more of their Clanmates escaped a different way.[4]

No cat left behind

More RiverClan cats join the larger group, pulling themselves from the lake. Mistystar hesitates to leave any cats behind, but reluctantly agrees that they can’t stay by the lakeshore. A desperate yowl sounds from the other side of the stream, the cats look to see a badly burned RiverClan apprentice tottering towards the bank.The apprentice attempts to reach the log to cross the stream as the flames leap up in her face, yowling for help. Twigpaw darts back across the log and grabs Softpaw, swings her backwards, launching Softpaw high above the flames.[3] The apprentice lands on the log and regains her balance and scurrying across. However, when Twigpaw tries to come back across, she falls into the stream. Shimmerpelt, Mallownose, and Finpaw rescue her, and she thanks them when on shore. Mistystar says her thanks as well, and touches the apprentice's head with her nose. Twigpaw struggles to her paws, feeling warm with pride. As RiverClan’s camp continues to burn, the cats wonder what will happen now.[3]

Seeking shelter

The cats begin to discuss what to do, and each of the clusters of RiverClan cats gather together. Bramblestar announces that they’re planning to split the RiverClan amongst WindClan and ThunderClan’s camps for shelter. Tawnypelt suggests that they shelter in ShadowClan’s old camp, and Hawkwing agrees that the idea seems sensible. They travel back to SkyClan, and Leafstar is informed of the situation. Hawkwing tells her that he offered, and she agrees that RiverClan can shelter there. Mistystar offers her thanks, and the SkyClan leader is appeased.[4]

Rejoining the Clans

On the night of the Gathering a half-moon later, Mistystar steps forward, thanking every Clan for their help during the fire. She says that they are ready to rejoin the Clans, and would appreciate any help they can get in rebuilding their camp. Cats question if RiverClan is using the other Clans, but the leader says calmly that her Clan needed time to recover after the damage inflicted by Darktail, but are now ready to return to the other Clans. Tree asks what Mistystar needs help with in her Clan, and she replies that they need help clearing debris, and herbs. Each Clan leader promises to send a patrol to help on alternating days, and Leafpool offers to bring medicine supplies.[12]

Characters

Mistystar

Mistystar is RiverClan’s leader, who has the Clan’s borders closed so they have time to recover from Darktail’s damage. She waves off Willowshine’s vision, and thinks that the sickness plaguing three Clans will solve itself.[5] When lightning strikes the camp and starts a fire, Mistystar stays with a group of her injured cats. A ThunderClan and WindClan rescue patrol push a log bridge into place, and the RiverClan cats escape safely. Mistystar hesitates to leave any cats behind, but reluctantly agrees that they can’t stay here.[3] Tawnypelt suggests that they shelter in ShadowClan’s old camp, and so they travel back to SkyClan and inform Leafstar. She agrees that RiverClan can shelter there, and Mistystar offers her thanks.[4] Later at the Gathering, Mistystar thanks every Clan for their help, and announces that they are ready to rejoin the Clans. She asks for help in rebuilding, and fends off concerns about her using the other Clans. Each Clan leader promises to send a patrol to help on alternating days, and Leafpool offers to bring medicine supplies.[12]

Willowshine

Willowshine is RiverClan’s medicine cat, and receives a vision from StarClan, which displays RiverClan’s camp being burnt to ashes.[13] She tells Mistystar about her vision of fire, but the blue-gray leader isn’t convinced. Willowshine and Mothwing try to convince her otherwise, but the leader won’t reopen RiverClan’s borders. The medicine cat silently disagrees, and thinks that her vision of fire is further proof RiverClan should open their borders. Later, she once again Willowshine envisions the clearing in flames.[5] When RiverClan is escaping from the fire, she is with Reedwhisker's group. She says that Mistystar and some others escaped and went towards WindClan, and reports that her herb supply has been destroyed.[4]

Twigpaw

Twigpaw is a ThunderClan apprentice who came along with Bramblestar’s rescue patrol to RiverClan. When lightning starts a fire in RiverClan’s camp,[11] Bramblestar assembles a patrol to help. They leave immediately, and join Gorsetail, Nightcloud, and Brindlepaw while along the lakeshore. The two patrols race to the border stream, seeing a barrier of fire blocking the entrance to camp. They see a group of injured cats and Mistystar huddle beside the water, and push a log across the stream to form a bridge. They escape across the log,[3] and more RiverClan join cats the larger group, pulling themselves from the lake.[4]
A desperate yowl sounds from the other side of the stream, the cats look to see a badly burned RiverClan apprentice tottering towards the bank. The apprentice yowls for help, so Twigpaw darts across and grabs her, launching the she-cat high above the flames and to safety.[3] When Twigpaw tries to come back across, she falls into the stream. She is rescued, and once on shore, Mistystar says her thanks to the ThunderClan apprentice.[3]

Tawnypelt & Leafstar

Leafstar is SkyClan’s leader, and Tawnypelt is a former ShadowClan cat, whom many of her former Clanmates look up to as a form of leader. As the storm intensifies, Leafstar orders SkyClan to shelter. Cats begin to retreat to their dens, but Strikestone points that a fire has started. While many of the SkyClan cats follow Leafstar’s orders, Tawnypelt says that Clans help each other in times like this. She insists that they must help, and goes against orders along with several former ShadowClan cats. Leafstar gives her dubious consent, so the patrol forms and goes to RiverClan. The patrol meets a small group with Willowshine, Reedwhisker, and a few others, who tell what happened.[4] The cats begin to discuss what to do, and Tawnypelt suggests that they shelter in ShadowClan’s old camp. They travel back to SkyClan, and Leafstar is informed of the situation. She agrees that RiverClan can shelter there. Mistystar offers her thanks. Leafstar confronts Tawnypelt, telling the she-cat that she can’t undermine her authority ever again. The tortoiseshell agrees, much to the dismay of many of the former ShadowClan cats.[4]

Characters involved in the fire

RiverClan


ThunderClan


SkyClan


WindClan


Quotes

"We must help. I can't imagine a Clan leader refusing help to save their Clan."
—Bramblestar to Gorsetail River of Fire, page 168


Tawnypelt: "Maybe it's different for SkyClan, since you're not used to having other Clans around. But we can't let another Clan suffer, if they might need our help."
Leafstar: "Are you implying that SkyClan cares kess for other Clans than ShadowClan does? Because that isn’t true. We care about all the Clans, but my first responsibility is to SkyClan…. And I just ordered you to go inside!"
Tawnypelt: "I’m sorry, Leafstar, but I can’t. I’m going to find out where the fire is, and see if another Clan needs help."
—Tawnypelt and Leafstar River of Fire, pages 179-180


"As she gazed up at the blazing sky, she saw shapes beginning to form within the fire. Flames roared through shrubs and thickets; trees burned, giving off a whirling shower of sparks. A tall birch creaked and tilted, then fell with a crash. Shapes scattered away from it, black against scarlet, and Willowshine recognized the figures of fleeing cats."
—Willowshine’s vision River of Fire, page 5

See also

References and citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in River of Fire, page 170
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed in River of Fire, page 193
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 13
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 14
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, chapter 2
  6. Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, page 3
  7. Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, page 15
  8. Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, page 5
  9. 9.0 9.1 Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, page 16
  10. Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, page 10
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 12
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Revealed in River of Fire, chapter 15
  13. 13.0 13.1 Revealed in River of Fire: Bonus Scene, chapter 1


Events in the Warriors series
The Prophecies Begin Plan to divert the dogsBloodClan's invasion
The New Prophecy Finding MidnightA new homeWindClan civil warAmbush of the badgers
Power of Three A Tribe in needAssault on ThunderClanTracking a killer
Omen of the Stars Saving the lakeWar with the Dark Forest
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallBattle for the stolen kitsShadowClan versus SkyClan
Dawn of the Clans The first battleFollowing the sun trail
Super Editions Talltail and Jake's excellent adventureSkyClan's revivalA storm of epic proportionsBlood, water, and badgers
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels