The water around the lake is icy cold, but refreshing. The island's shore is very rocky with some thorns rooted in them, and from the shore, the island changes into a lush miniature forest, made up of dense bush and trees around the edge.. In the center of the island lays an open patch of grass with a giant oak tree , which is where the cats go for the Gatherings, and the leaders sit on the lower branches of the oak to address the cats , with low-growing branches. A fallen tree lays across the lake from the mainland to the island , and cats use it as a bridge to reach the island for Gatherings. 
Mothwing discovers the island while she and the other medicine cats are looking around the lake for herbs. She says that it would make a great Gathering place, but the other cats object, because they can't swim and dislike water. She asks Cinderpelt if she can go to take a look at it, but she's the only cat that does so, due to the fact that the other cats can't swim. When she returns, she is excited to say that the island is perfect; prey is plentiful and it's huge, and there's a giant oak toward the center in an open stretch of grass.
Littlecloud disagrees, saying it's perfect for RiverClan, not the other Clans. She then suggests that RiverClan could use it for their camp. Leafpool wants to ask her if there was something unusual about the island, like a odd-shaped rock, to signify the presence of StarClan, but she puts it off.
When they return to the temporary camp, Mothwing tells Hawkfrost about the island and agrees it would be a great place for a camp, but other warriors, like Mistyfoot and Leopardstar bring up the troubles of getting elders, kits and queens who are expecting kits swimming to the island.
When Mudclaw launches his rebellion against WindClan'sleader, Onestar, and storm breaks loose and lightning strikes a tree on the island, crushing and immediately killing Mudclaw. This tells the cats that Onestar is the cat to lead WindClan; but it also provides a way for non-swimming cats to get to the island for Gatherings, and so, from then on, the island is used at the Gathering place.
The Clans hold their very first Gathering here - and all cats are allowed to explore. It is found out by Squirrelflight and Ashfur that there are some tiny fish swimming in the lake around the Island. During the Gathering, Onestar reports that Crowfeather, Ashfoot, and Tornear drove a fox from WindClan territory. Leopardstar reports that there has been no sign of a badger they recently drove out, and that RiverClan has a new warrior, Voletooth. Leopardstar also claims the marshes around the horseplace area, where the Clans gathered before they found the Island. Firestar reports that they have seen no sign of Twolegs, and Blackstar reports an abandoned badger den. At the Gathering, they make new rules, such as ThunderClan being able to cross WindClan territory to get to the Island for Gatherings, but they must stay two fox-lengths at the shore.
At the next Gathering, Firestar reports about a loner, Daisy, joining ThunderClan with her kits, Mousekit, Berrykit, and Hazelkit, and he announces a new apprentice, Birchpaw, with the mentor of Ashfur. Leopardstar reports about a Twoleg poison in their territory, and that Ivytail and one of their kits died, but no more, thanks to the ThunderClan medicine cat, Leafpool, who came to help RiverClan's medicine cat, Mothwing. Blackstar also reports of help from ThunderClan, as they aided them in driving away two kittypets who killed one of ShadowClan's apprentices, Talonpaw and tormented the other warriors. Onestar is outraged, and yells at the other Clan leaders for accepting help so easily and saying that ThunderClan is not above any other Clan. When no clouds cover the moon, Onestar is convinced that he is right.
At the Gathering, Leopardstar reports that one of their elders, Heavystep, has died, due to greencough, and that Mothwing, the medicine cat, has taken on an apprentice, Willowpaw.
Mothwing also reports of a dream she had, fishing in the stream, and she saw two pebbles that didn't belong there, that were different colors and shapes from the rest. The two pebbles made the stream splash and ripple so it couldn't flow properly, but the current grew faster and faster until it took it away and the stream went back to normal.
When she is confused about the meaning, Hawkfrost speaks up, saying that the meaning looks clear to him, that there are two things stopping the smooth flowing of RiverClan. When all the cats in the clearing are chattering quietly, Voletooth gets up and asks if it means RiverClan's visitors, Stormfur and Brook.
Tawnypelt isn't happy about this and starts clawing at the grass and saying they better not harm her friend, but she is cut off by Hawkfrost who tells her to stay out of his Clans business, and it sounds to him as if StarClan wants Stormfur and Brook out of RiverClan, but Mistyfoot disagrees and before the argument becomes a full-on fight, Mothwing stops them and tells them that it wasn't clear enough, so she'll wait for another sign.
Many quarrels break out at this Gathering, especially about ShadowClan needing more territory so that they can get more prey, because Twolegs have come into their territory, and were scaring away all the prey,
After clouds mask the moon, the Gathering breaks up.
At the Gathering, Onestar announces Breezepaw as a new apprentice. Blackstar announces Ivypaw as a new apprentice, and taunts Firestar over a piece of land he handed to ShadowClan, which Firestar calls "prey-poor". During the Gathering, two cats come into the island, and at first, the Clans start to chase them out, believing that they are rogues, but it turns out that one of them is Graystripe, Firestar's best friend, whom had been captured by Twolegs in Dawn. His companion is his mate, Millie, whom is a kittypet, and made the journey with Graystripe from the place he was captured to the Clan's new home.
At another Gathering in the book, when the ice is melting from leaf-bare, all the cats look weak, hungry, and hostile. A ThunderClan apprentice, Berrypaw, gets into a fight with a ShadowClan apprentice, Owlpaw, but are stopped by Brambleclaw. Leopardstar speaks about the hardships, the late frosts, the Twoleg menace, and wonders if it is a message from StarClan, and Blackstar even accuses Firestar of weakening the Clans with his non-forest blooded cats, and that is why StarClan is letting them suffer. However, Onestar disagrees, and sides with Firestar, whom disbelieves Blackstar and Leopardstar. Squirrelflight suggests, to brighten every cat's spirits, a Daylight Gathering, which all the cats would meet in daylight to celebrate the arrival of late new-leaf, to share training methods and skills.
During the Gathering at the start of the book on the island, Blackstar reports that Tawnypelt gave birth to three kits, Tigerkit, Dawnkit, and Flamekit. The older warriors are surprised at the name Tigerkit, since it was the name of a blood-thirsty, power hungry murderer in the old forest, Tigerstar. Also, during the Gathering, Lionpaw meets up with a WindClan apprentice, Heatherpaw.
ThunderClan arrive at a Gathering to find out that RiverClan has a small problem and had to evacuate their camp, and they must stay at the Island temporarily until their problem is fixed. Curious, and concern that her Clan is planning for a false battle against WindClan, Hollypaw goes to ask her friend, Willowpaw, about their problem. Willowpaw tells her that the Twoleg kits had started coming to the RiverClan camp, but they were working on their problem. Hollypaw promises not to tell, and while leaving, she is chased by a dog back to the RiverClan border, to be found by Reedwhisker, who takes her to see Leopardstar. Squirrelflight ends up coming to the island to retrieve Hollypaw.
At this Gathering, all the Clans seem to be keeping to themselves; and when ShadowClan comes as Blackstar and a loner, or "traveler" named Sol, Blackstar declares that ShadowClan will no longer attend Gatherings. Every cat is shocked, and Blackstar reveals the reason why; Sol had persuaded them not to believe in StarClan.
When silence falls over the clearing, Blackstar tells the cats that it was the living cats who found the lake, the living cats who hunt for food, and when Blackstar reveals that Sol had foretold that the sun would disappear, and Sol asks how the cats didn't know, since they share with their ancestors. Blackstar and Sol then retreat from ShadowClan's apparent last Gathering.
As ThunderClan's warriors are crossing the fallen tree to the Gathering, they notice something in the stream... a dead, gray body is wedged in it; Ashfur; the ThunderClan warrior lays dead, blood around his throat. His former apprentices, Birchfall and Lionblaze, sit vigil for him. Some cats believe WindClan cats had killed him, while Firestar believes Ashfur was just a very unlucky cat.
After the Gathering cats return, Hollyleaf tells Lionblaze that Firestar didn't mention Ashfur's death at the Gathering.
At the Gathering, Hollyleaf speaks up, from ThunderClan, revealing that she and her brothers, Lionblaze, and Jayfeather, are not the kits of Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight - but the kits of Leafpool, the ThunderClan medicine cat, and Crowfeather, a WindClan warrior.
When this is revealed, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight break up due to the fact that he now knew the truth. He can't believe that Squirrelflight lied to him, and Leafpool steps down from medicine cat to become a warrior.
It is noted that because of the drought, the water around the tree-bridge and the island is shallow enough to walk through. At the Gathering, Toadstep and Rosepetal are announced as warriors. Leopardstar also announces that all the fish in the lake are theirs, due to the fact that RiverClan don't eat anything but fish, and there is a drought, meaning the streams are dried out and prey is hard to find. At another Gathering, Firestar tells the Clans about organizing a patrol to go upstream and find what was blocking the water. Both Blackstar and Onestar agree, but Leopardstar disagrees, saying he just wants to send away her strongest warriors so they can take the fish in the lake. However, Mistyfoot manages to talk some sense into Leopardstar, whom changes her mind, but Mistyfoot announces it for her. Firestar declares that the Clans will survive.
Onestar speaks first at the Gathering, saying that any tresspassers on their land will be dealt with severely, referring to Dovepaw and Ivypaw, whom had recently roamed the borders to check on Sedgewhisker, one of the WindClan cats that accompanied Dovepaw in the quest to find what was blocking the lake, after she got hurt by a dog. Mistyfoot speaks next, now Mistystar, the new leader of RiverClan. She announces Reedwhisker as deputy and the death of Leopardstar and Rippletail, and the return of Petalfur. Blackstar goes next, reporting of too much activity on the ThunderClan border, almost brewing a fight, until Firestar announces the birth of Cherrykit and Molekit. Firestar leads ThunderClan away, warning WindClan and ShadowClan to think carefully before they accuse ThunderClan of something they didn't do.
The lake around the Island is now ice, having ThunderClan cats like Foxleap and Blossomfall crossing it to try to go to the Island. At the Island, WindClan is wary, and the rest of the Clans are hostile, not even wanting to share tongues. Mistystar reports of tough leaf-bares and the frozen lake being hard to fish in, but the bad weather had not kept them from training, and that they are thankfully free of sickness. After Onestar reports of how they have improved their tracking skills, Blackstar announces that after the death of Russetfur, Rowanclaw is the new deputy, and he reports of a sickness that almost killed Littlecloud, but they found a remedy. Firestar challenges Blackstar, telling the Clans about how he took an apprentice hostage to trade her for healing herbs, and that a true warrior should ask for what he wants.
On the island at the Gathering, Onestar announces that a WindClan apprenice, Whiskerpaw, is a now a warrior named Whiskernose. Blackstar announces that Littlecloud, ShadowClan's medicine cat, had contracted whitecough, but the the infection had cleared up. Dovewing and Bumblestripe react, says that he was actually dying, and ThunderClan had helped him recover. Mistystar reports that the RiverClan apprentices, Troutpaw and Rushpaw had been made warriors, named Troutstream and Rushtail. Firestar announces that the ThunderClan's apprentices, Dovepaw and Ivypaw, had become warriors, Dovewing and Ivypool.
At the Gathering, Firestar reports that Hollyleaf returns after running away in the book Sunrise. As Blackstar is reporting, Dawnpelt asks for permission to speak, and when she gets it, she shouts that Jayfeather is a murderer, backing up her claim by saying that Jayfeather helped the water drown Flametail, her brother. The ThunderClan cats yell out in their medicine cat's defense, but all the leaders from the other Clans agree that Jayfeather should be suspended from his duties until they prove his innocence. ThunderClan leaves the Gathering quickly.
The cats are relived that Jayfeather, suspected murderer of Flametail and suspended from his medicine cat duties, did not attend, and taunt the ThunderClanners for it. As the Gathering starts, the Clans discuss strange scents in their territory, scents from each Clan and even former Clanmates, but after accusing the other Clans, they eventually decide it was just rogues whom picked up the other Clans' scents from traveling in their territory.
The four leaders converge on the Island with their medicine cats, Lionblaze, Dovewing, and Jayfeather. Firestar informs the leaders that the Dark Forest is planning to attack and that Ivypool was spying there for them, and they decide to join together as allies to fight against the darkness, and to send two or three cats to each other cat's camp at dusk.
The Island is described in this book. It is just off the shore of RiverClan territory, and because it was impossible for young cats and elders to swim to, so StarClan made a tree fall to form a bridge from land to the island, and now, the Clan can use the bridge to get to the Island every moon, and that there, they can meet in safety, on neutral, sacred ground.
In Dustpelt Speaks: How StarClan Gave Us a New Gathering Place, Dustpelt remembers when looking down from the hill and seeing a dark shape on the near end of the lake, telling himself and Ferncloud that it was an island. He remembers Hawkfrost saying it was a perfect place for the RiverClan camp, but StarClan had other plans. They wanted the Island to be the place of the Gatherings, a neutral place for the Clans to meet, like Fourtrees. Dustpelt describes a bolt of fire striking on a tree and brought it crashing down on the lakeshide, crushing Mudclaw and making Onewhisker the new leader of WindClan, also making a bridge. Every full moon, the Gathering takes place at the center of the Island, surrounded by bushes and trees. The Clan leaders look down on all the Clans from the branches of a tree, their deputies on the roots below. Dustpelt concludes his story by telling the reader that it's a strong and safe place, and best of all, it belongs to all Clans now.
As Graystripe and Millie travel to the Clan's new home, they look over from a hill and see the Island, dominated with cats. Graystripe believes that the Clans have made their new home here and they would be on the island because it is the night of the full moon - the night of Gatherings. The two travelers go down the hills and onto the Island, where they are first almost chased off for believing they are rogues, but then they are recognized by Firestar.
It is a bitterly freezing night in leaf-bare when the Gathering is held, and Leopardstar says that Gathering should finished before all the cats are frozen to death. Blackstar admits ShadowClan is very weak during the severly cold leaf-bare, and WindClan also says that they are weak with hunger and cold. ThunderClan says that they are having problems finding prey, but this is untrue, since ThunderClan is actually quite well fed
Firestar calls a Gathering before the full moon, and when all the cats arrive, they share from each Clan's leftover fresh-kill. Tornear of ThunderClan voices his thoughts on the matter of the two RiverClan warriors on ThunderClan's land, saying that if they can catch prey by crossing the borders, then they'll do it, but it's not the other Clan's problem that ThunderClan can't protect their teritory.
Firestar is about to leave the Island when Mosspelt of RiverClan makes him stay. As he pads back into the clearing, he hears cats snarling, and what sounds like cats bounding, getting ready to plunge into battle. He sees Tornear and Blackclaw of about to begin battling. He stops them, and Otterheart says that StarClan have arrived, and that they approve of this Gathering. When the cats begin to fight again, Jayfeather says that they should hold a vote; where each cat gets to place a stone on a pile. This method of which he attainded from the Ancients called the casting of the stones, though he doesn't say this.
Blackstar votes first: for individual leaders, as does every ShadowClan cat up to Rowanclaw, Tawnypelt and Snowbird, who all vote for Firestar.
Of RiverClan, Mistyfoot, Mosspelt, Otterheart and Pouncetail vote for Firestar, as do Mintfur and Reedwhisker. Leopardstar votes for individual leaders.
WindClan's leader, Onestar votes for Firestar, but Nightcloud, Ashfoot and Tornear vote for individual leaders.
Most of ThunderClan, including Sandstorm, Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, vote for Firestar, and Dustpelt, Thornclaw, Cloudtail and Brightheart vote for individual leaders.
The stones are laid out in two lines and Firestar's is just longer, and so the Clans unite under one leader for leaf-bare til the first green bud of new-leaf.
End of spoiler warning
In Brightspirit's Mercy, it was humoured that the cats sitting on the tree at the head of the clearing used for Gatherings on the Island used a stepladder to climb up there.