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The journey to the forest territories takes place in Moonrise and Dawn, when the cats who have traveled to see Midnight journey home.

Summary

Premise

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Overview

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Description

To the forest

The six cats start their journey home, to warn their Clanmates about the danger and to lead them to a secure place. They leave in the morning, and Midnight escorts them to the edge of the forest near the large Twolegplace, where they meet Purdy, and hunt for prey. They are attacked by foxes, but Midnight appears and speaks with the creatures, telling them that the cats are only passing through, and in the end, the foxes leave.
At the edge of the woods, Midnight tells that instead of traveling through the Twolegplace again, the cats should go towards the mountains, as it is a more direct route.[1] The cats protest, saying they rather go the way they came, and Purdy warns them about a danger, but Midnight insists, and the six cats finally agree. They say good-bye to Midnight and Purdy, and start off towards the rising sun.
The second day, the cats are already in the mountains, having a hard time climbing the rocky slopes. There is no clear path, and they are forced to follow winding narrow clefts, jump through large gaps, and often having to turn back to find another route. Tawnypelt starts to limp again, and Brambleclaw is worried about her. An eagle attacks Stormfur, but his companions save him. The next day, they reach what appears to be a dead-end and find a waterfall. They scramble upward, and cross the mountain stream that feeds the waterfall; Feathertail almost slips in the stream below, but Crowpaw saves her. It is apparent that Feathertail and Crowpaw have gradually fallen in love.
However, the stream floods and all six cats are washed away, plunging over the waterfall and plummeting into the pool below. They survive and manage to climb out, only to find some cats approaching menacingly, their fur covered with streaks of mud. They prepare to defend themselves, but the strange cats look excited to see them[2] and escort them to the Cave of Rushing Water, a cave behind the waterfall where the Tribe lives.

The Tribe

The Clan cats learn about the Tribe, their hierarchy, their customs and their life in the mountains. The Tribe cats welcome them to their cave and offer them food, and Stoneteller heals Tawnypelt's wound. The Clan cats rest and recover, helping the Tribe in various tasks, such as hunting. They soon realize that the Tribe are afraid of something, but unwilling to tell what is the matter, and Brambleclaw wonders why are they so secretive about it, and why are they acting so welcoming.
The six cats want to return as soon as possible to the forest to take Midnight's news to the Clans, but soon it becomes apparent that the Tribe do not wish them to leave. Finally, Stoneteller reveals that there is a prophecy about a silver cat that would deliver them from the menace of Sharptooth, a huge mountain lion. He believes that Stormfur is the said cat, and effectively keeps him prisoner. The other five cats are thrown out of the cave the next morning, and escorted to the edge of the territory. They return, however, after sunset, to rescue their friend; they smear their furs with mud and head for the Cave of Rushing Water.
As they arrive at the cave, they see Sharptooth entering and hear a terrible shrieking breaking out. They enter as well, tackling the two cave-guards at the entrance, and using the chaos to leave with Stormfur, with no cat trying to stop them.
They travel through the night in a cold rain, and Stormfur leads them out from the Tribe territory, knowing the surroundings from his hunting patrols with Brook, a Tribe cat he grew close to. However, he starts to feel guilty for abandoning the Tribe when they needed help the most, and starts to believe that he is actually part of their prophecy.[3] They try to take shelter in a cave, as they cannot continue in the darkness and rain, but meet three Tribe cats there. The three cats reveal that they were exiled from the Tribe as they could not complete a mission given to them by Stoneteller, to kill Sharptooth. Talon, one of the cats speaks about the fear the Tribe cats live in, and about prophecies that need to be fulfilled. Silverstream also appears in Stormfur's vision, and Stormfur finally decides to head back to the Tribe. The other cats are not happy about his decision, but reluctantly agree to return with him.
Stoneteller is initially angry with them, but eventually accepts their help. They devise a plan to kill Sharptooth, making it to eat prey filled with deathberries, but they don't have time to put it in practice, as Sharptooth appears in the cave. Every cat tries to take cover, and the mountain lion corners Crowpaw, but Feathertail dislodges a rock from the ceiling of the cave that kills Sharptooth. Feathertail dies from the impact as well, and is buried under a tree by the waterfall which, according to the Tribe, is a great honor. It is revealed that Feathertail was the silver cat from the prophecy, not Stormfur.[4]

Arriving home

The five surviving cats leave the mountains and travel through open moorland. They are shattered with grief and are subdued by sadness throughout the rest of the journey because of their companion's death, feeling no sense of hope and relief. After several days of traveling, they glance Highstones, knowing that they are finally home. Getting closer, they see that the destruction of the forest has already begun, some Clans were already forced to abandon their camps, and even Fourtrees were destroyed.
The five cats separate and return to their Clans, and they are first welcomed with hostility. The Clans are initially opposing to leave, and the chosen cats feel that their journey was in vain. However, the leaders eventually decide to heed Midnight's words after the forest becomes unlivable.

After the journey

The journey made the cats strong and lean,[5] and also brought them very close to each other. They share a special bond, and from then onward, they tend to do things together,[6] and the cats still look to Brambleclaw for leadership out of habit.

Characters

Brambleclaw

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Squirrelpaw

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Stormfur

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Feathertail

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Crowpaw

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Tawnypelt

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Quotes

"StarClan does not want me to say everything. Many answers lie within ourselves."
—Midnight Moonrise, page 36


"Neither prophecy is right. And neither is wrong. Everything depends on how cats interpret the prophecy. And whether the prophecy is fulfilled depends on what they decide to do about it. It is up to us to choose the code we live by. Your faith and your courage will tell you what to do."
—Talon Moonrise, page 238


"They had gained something very precious on that journey: a strong bond of friendship had been forged between them, stronger than rock and deeper than the endless water that washed against the cliffs where Midnight the badger lived."
—Narration Starlight, page 10

Notes and references

  1. It is not - according to the map, it is at least twice longer, and far more dangerous. Obviously, Midnight was in contact not only with StarClan, but with the Tribe of Endless Hunting as well, and directed the cats towards the Tribe, so they could fulfill the Tribe's prophecy. She even hints at this, telling about a path lying before them, and later the Clan cats suspect the same thing
  2. This is because they identify Stormfur as a cat from a prophecy of theirs
  3. As he was not one of the four chosen cats, so maybe his decision to join them was influenced by the Tribe of Endless Hunting
  4. The Tribe cats believed it was Stormfur because at their arrival, Feathertail's silver pelt was slicked black with water, and the Tribe took no notice of her
  5. Revealed in Dawn, page 37 and 44
  6. For example, exploring the lake in Starlight or traveling to help the Tribe in Outcast
Events in the Warriors series
The Prophecies Begin Battle for SunningrocksBrokenstar's tyrannyPlan 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 ThunderClanFireTracking a killer
Omen of the Stars Saving the lakeDrought in the lake territoriesFight for the borderWar with the Dark Forest
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questYellowcough epidemicThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallWatermint shortageFireBattle 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 badgersBattle of the gorge
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels
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