|"That was the best thing ever!"|
|— Larchkit after swimming in the river in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 2|
Larchkit is a tiny, soft-furred dark brown tom.
He is born as Larchkit to Mapleshade, ThunderClan, and Appledusk, RiverClan, with his siblings, Patchkit and Petalkit. Mapleshade keeps their RiverClan blood a secret, allowing her Clan to think that Birchface was their father.
When Ravenwing finds the truth, he tells Oakstar, and Oakstar exiles Mapleshade and her kits. The exiled warrior tries to bring them over to RiverClan to give them a home, but Larchkit and his siblings drown in the river.
He, with his siblings appear as hallucinations to their grieving mother, who urge her to seek vengeance on those who attributed to their deaths.
In the Super Editions
- Mapleshade mentions to Crookedstar Larchkit, Petalkit and Patchkit, although they are not mentioned by name. She says that they had drowned while she was trying to get them across the river to RiverClan territory, swept away by the river. Their father blamed Mapleshade for their deaths. Mapleshade claims that they or their kin should have become RiverClan's Clan leader. If ThunderClan didn't drive Mapleshade across the river, they wouldn't have died.
In the Field Guides
- Larchkit, Petalkit, and Patchkit are first mentioned, though not by name, on Mapleshade's page. None of Mapleshade's Clanmates stepped forward as their father when they were born. When the medicine cat saw their father in the shape of their heads and the way they hold their tails, Mapleshade and her kits were banished from ThunderClan as traitors. In desperation, she and her kits tried to cross the river to seek refuge in RiverClan. However, the river had over-flowed from the leaf-fall rain, and although Mapleshade almost died trying to save them, the three siblings were washed away down the river. Mapleshade made it to the other side, but Appledusk blamed her for the kits' deaths after learning what happened.
In the Novellas
- Patchkit, Larchkit, and Petalkit are born to Mapleshade of ThunderClan and Appledusk of RiverClan, although everyone thinks that their father is the deceased Birchface. Three sunrises after they are born, the ThunderClan leader Oakstar visits him and his family in the nursery. Although their eyes are not yet opened, the kits cannot resist the smell of a strange cat and squirm towards the leader before he nudges them back towards their mother. When Frecklewish says she can clearly see Birchface in each of them, Mapleshade looks down at her kits, noting that they were not the same shade of brown that Birchface had been, but with the exception of Patchkit, who is ginger and white like his mother.
- Not too long after, Petalkit tells Larchkit to watch as she wrinkles her muzzle in concentration and grips a bundle of dry moss in her jaws. Larchkit grabs it off her and tosses it across the clearing before both kits scramble after it. Petalkit wins by a nose. Soon enough she end up destroying the dry moss. Larchkit protests she ripped it to pieces; it doesn’t roll now, and proves it by prodding the pile of brown with his paw. Rabbitfur wanders over to the kits, sniffing that they've killed it and asks if they want to play a different game. Larchkit mews that they would. While he teaches them the jumping game, Rabbitfur tells them to pounce at a stone, and Larchkit mews he’d have to grow wings to jump that far. Petalkit tries but doesn’t do well, so Larchkit gives a try. He looks very determined as he hunkers down, springing into the air, almost as high as Rabbitfur’s ears. He suddenly came down almost vertically, like an acorn falling from a tree, and Rabbitfur dodges out of the way to avoid being squashed. Rabbitfur tells him to watch out and Birchface managed to pounce without flattening anyone. Mapleshade jumps up to intervene. She hisses at Rabbitfur that she will not have any cat judge her kits before they are even warriors.
- She calls to her kits to go out out camp to stretch their legs. Following her out, Larchkit boasts that he will catch a badger while Petalkit retorts that she will watch the badger eat him first. Patchkit is frightened and Mapleshade reassures them before ushering them into the branches. Soon the kits burst out of the tunnel and stop dead, staring around. Larchkit breaths outside of the camp is really big. Mapleshade continues nudging them towards the path that led up to the trees. The kits scramble up the slope together, Petalkit in the lead. They look even tinier among the tree trunks. They want to stop and sniff every leaf and every mark on the ground but Mapleshade keeps them going. The undergrowth begins to thin out as splashing noises are heard. Larchkit asks what is that. He peers through the stalks, stumbling over a fallen twig and landing on his nose. Mapleshade whisks him back onto his paws before he could wail. She thinks she’s glad Rabbitfur didn’t see that, and she can’t deny that these kits are clumsier than their ThunderClan kin. His littermates stand beside him at the edge of the bracken as they look out at the dazzling river. Larchkit asks where did it come from, and Mapleshade explains she doesn’t know, but there is a gorge upstream.
- Patchkit, usually happy for his siblings to try something new first, jumps in first and his siblings soon follow. They race down the shore and plunge in. For a few strides their little paws dig into pebbles while the water laps at their fluffy bellies, then they are swimming through rolling water. Mapleshade feels a burst of love, and thinks they are half RiverClan for sure. Soon, Patchkit holds onto a branch and Mapleshade calls for Petalkit and Larchkit to help their brother. They are playing hide-and-seek in a clump of reeds close to shore. After a RiverClan patrol appears and Appledusk goes in to fetch Patchkit, Mapleshade calls to her other kits and they wade in, looking scared. Larchkit asks if they are in trouble and Mapleshade tells him to hush as everything’s fine. Appledusk brings Patchkit safely to shore and tells Mapleshade she took a big risk bringing them close to the boundary. Mapleshade meows she wanted to show them a river. She angled her body so that her kits were out of earshot, but could hear Larchkit asking Patchkit what it was like swimming so far out. Appledusk breaths they are wonderful. They are strong and brave, and are confident as any RiverClan cat in water. He straightens up and says he doesn’t want to see her or the kits near the river again. He glances once more at the kits before leaving.
- Milkfur calls from across the river what Mapleshade is thinking, bringing the kits, they could have drowned. Mapleshade herds the kits back into the bracken. They are bouncing on their paws, and Petalkit squeaks that was the best thing ever. Ravenwing suddenly appears, and asks what they are doing at the river, revealing he saw everything. The kits tumble over themselves to tell about their adventure. Larchkit mews a RiverClan warrior had to save Patchkit. Patchkit interrupts crossly that he did not, he was just resting. Mapleshade tries to stop them talking, but Ravenwing reveals he had a omen, and thinks it’s about the kits, that the kits do not belong in ThunderClan. He figures out Birchface is not the father of these kits, and reveals Rabbitfur told him of their poor stalking and pouncing. He figures that Appledusk is their father by the color of their fur and the way he spoke to her when he brought Patchkit back. Mapleshade hisses ThunderClan is blessed to have three strong kits, the truth will be revealed the right time. It’s not her fault everyone assumes Birchface is the father. Ravenwing insists the truth must come out, and that their Clanmates deserve to know. Ravenwing says his sorry for her kits, since they will end up suffering for the lies she has told. Mapleshade almost considers taking her kits and hiding them deep in the forest. She looks at Petalkit balancing an acorn on her head while her brothers try to knock it off. Mapleshade thinks ThunderClan will accept these kits and won’t hurt them.
- By the time the kits reach the path to the ravine, they are stumbling over their paws and Mapleshade encourages them on, hoping that she can settle them into the nursery before talking to Ravenwing. Larchkit squeaks he is hungry, and that his belly is rumbling louder than a badger. They push through the gorse tunnel, ducking their heads to keep the sharp twigs out of their eyes. Mapleshade follows while nudging Patchkit in front of her. Larchkit and Petalkit stop dead at the entrance, and Mapleshade urges them on. The Clan is gathering and waiting for them so Mapleshade points her tail to a clump of bracken at the edge of the clearing, and orders her kits to stand over there. They totter over in silence and huddle together. Ravenwing reveals to the Clan their father is in fact Appledusk. Frecklewish, Birchface’s sister, is furious and thinks Mapleshade and the kits don’t deserve to be called warriors. She calls the kits half-Clan creatures as the kits cower beneath the ferns. She says their father killed Birchface and Flowerpaw, and orders for them to get out. Mapleshade protests she has given the Clan three fine kits, and StarClan knows they need more warriors, and there they are.
- Oakstar tells Mapleshade they will never raise these kits within the walls of the camp, or within the territory. He orders them to take them and leave. Mapleshade protests that these kits belong to ThunderClan, and they have to let them stay. Oakstar shakes his head and growls no he does not. He reminds Mapleshade of the omen, and says these kits will bring nothing but danger. Frecklewish screeches to get rid of them and drive them out. Bloomheart growls they don’t belong here. Filled with anger, Mapleshade hisses they have betrayed her and her kits, and will live to regret this day forever. She stalks over to her kits, and sweeps her tail around them. She tells them this is no longer their home, and to come. She prods them back through the gorse tunnel and up the path. Mapleshade throws insults at her former Clanmates, and Larchkit mews those are bad words. She’s not supposed to say them. Mapleshade also snaps at her kits, telling them to forgot about ThunderClan and the nursery.
- They approach the river, and Mapleshade tells them they don’t need to swim all the way, since they can use the stepping-stones partway. Larchkit moans and says he doesn’t want to go swimming anymore, and that he wants to go home. Mapleshade snaps again that they have no home, and to forget about ThunderClan and the nursery. At the river, she reveals that Appledusk, the RiverClan cat that helped Patchkit before is their father. Larchkit wrinkles his nose and states that that doesn’t make sense and that their father can’t be from RiverClan, they're ThunderClan cats. Mapleshade tells them that they're half-RiverClan, that’s why they like water so much.. Petalkit asks if that is why ThunderClan are mad at them, and Mapleshade says yes, but they are wrong. She reveals her plan to live in RiverClan until ThunderClan changes their minds. All of the kits are nervous to cross the river, and Mapleshade nudges her kits, stating they need to cross before it gets dark. Mapleshade insists they’ll be fine, and herds Larchkit and Patchkit alongside their sister, promising to be right behind them. Patchkit goes first and Petalkit and Larchkit follow. They bob to the first stepping-stone and scramble up. They stand in belly-deep water, shivering. There is a sudden roar from upstream and a wall of water appears. Mapleshade screeches for them to hold on as the wave crashes over their heads.
- Mapleshade launches herself into the river. She grabs Patchkit then heads for Larchkit, who is clinging to a branch that is hanging into the river. Larchkit loses his grip though and splashes into the water next to Mapleshade after she lost Patchkit. Mapleshade sinks her teeth in his scruff, but the current is too strong; Larchkit is ripped away from her and is swept away with a tiny cry. Mapleshade is soon rescued by Appledusk, and he asks where the kits are. Mapleshade begs for them to save her kits, and Appledusk realizes they are in the river. Eeltail calls that if there are kits in there, then they are in big trouble. Appledusk promises to find them, and races away. Mapleshade prays for StarClan to save her kits, and that none of this is their fault. Take her if they have to, but spare them. Appledusk returns and Mapleshade asks if he found them. Appledusk meows he did, and Mapleshade asks where they are. Appledusk leads Mapleshade to their kits, where Eeltail mews they couldn’t save them. Mapleshade lies beside them and desperately lick each one. She urges them to wake up, they crossed the river, and they’re safe now. The bodies were limp under her grooming though, and all eyes stayed closed. Mapleshade wails that she is sorry, and she was trying to find them a new home, she didn’t know where else to go. She explains to Appledusk that ThunderClan threw them out, and they have nowhere else to go. Eeltail meows they need to take these kits to Darkstar as she needs to know about this. Appledusk tells they’ll take one kit each to camp.
- The RiverClan warriors gently pick each kit up and carry them slowly towards shore. Mapleshade waits for Appledusk to send the warriors ahead so they can mourn their kits together, but he doesn’t, not even asking what she named them. At camp, Appledusk explains to the Clan and Darkstar that three kits have drowned in the river. He looks at his paws and stammers he is their father. Darkstar asks if he knew about theses kits, and Appledusk nods, meowing Mapleshade told him she would raise them in ThunderClan. He knew he had made a mistake so said nothing. He meows that he can only beg for forgiveness. Darkstar queries what brought these kits tonight. Appledusk tells that Mapleshade’s Clanmates learned the truth and she had to leave. The kits were too young and the river is flooded, so they drowned. Darkstar mews that the loss of any kits is a loss to everyone. Darkstar decides that Appledusk has been punished enough by the death of his kits so doesn’t banish him. Mapleshade asks to stay with her kits but is refused. Appledusk blames Mapleshade for their death, and tells her to go away. Mapleshade begs she cannot leave them, they are everything to her. Appledusk growls and now they are dead, and repeats for her to get out of there. In anger, she hisses she went through the agony of bearing kits for him, and now he treats her like this. She runs away from the territory and collapses, dreaming of her kits spiraling away as they screech for help.
- Mapleshade wakes up, remembering the previous events and screaming in her mind for her kits. In her grieving state, she sees her dead kits hovering in her vision, wailing for help. Mapleshade whispers she can’t, and she is sorry. She thinks the water was too strong; it was not her fault her kits died. At the ThunderClan border, she remembers Ravenwing, and blames him for their deaths. She concludes that every breath Ravenwing took was a breath he denied the kits. She decides to take revenge for her kits and kill Ravenwing. In ThunderClan territory, she meets Nettlepaw, who asks where the kits are. Mapleshade explains they drowned in the river. Nettlepaw is horrified, explaining she is sorry about the kits. She reveals Frecklewish saw what happened but hoped she made it to the other side. She saw them fall off the stepping-stones. Mapleshade is shocked, rasping those kits were helpless and she did nothing. After escaping, Mapleshade settles down for the night, missing her kits and hoping their somewhere warm. In the morning, Mapleshade heads to the Moonstone, thinking her life as a warrior is over. She will dedicate every beat of her heart to avenging her kits.
- Mapleshade imagines Ravenwing’s body, he would bleed a river of blood, every drop spilled for her helpless kits. Mapleshade started to hesitate in the tunnel, but the echoing screeches of her kits pushes her on. At the Moonstone, while pinned down, Ravenwing asks what Mapleshade is doing there. Mapleshade snarls she is avenging the death of her kits, if she could kill him three times over she would, as three kits died. Mapleshade knows she has nothing to say to him, as nothing would bring back her kits. She bites down into his throat and kills him. Two other medicine cats arrive and bury him outside, but Mapleshade wonders what memorial there is for her kits. She sees it as cold wet dirt inside RiverClan’s territory. She digs up Ravenwing’s body for a hawk to eat. She thinks she has avenged her kits, and wonders if they were watching. She has killed him for them, and hopes they don’t see Ravenwing is StarClan. Suddenly too tired to walk, Mapleshade closes her eyes to see Patchkit’s and Petalkit’s drenched faces with eyes huge and pleading, mouths open as they wail for help. She notices Larchkit isn’t there, and wonders where he is. The voices echo again, and she wonders if she has only avenged one kit. She remembers Frecklewish had seen the kits struggling but has done nothing. She thinks Frecklewish needs to pay for the lost kits, and decides to take revenge for her kits on her too.
- At ThunderClan territory, Mapleshade feels a pang of longing but remembers what her Clanmates did to her and her kits, and her fury returns. She catches Frecklewish alone, and jumps at her snarling she let her kits die. She hisses that she prefers to watch helpless kits drown. Frecklewish stiffens, and rasps she thought the kits would be saved, she never meant for them to die. Mapleshade calls her a liar, and claims she bets she’s glad they’re dead. The she-cats fight, but an adder appears and bites Frecklewish. She begs for help, but Mapleshade growls like she helped her kits, and refuses to help. After fleeing, Mapleshade thinks that she has found peace for Petalkit and like Larchkit, her desperate cries have been silenced. She only hears Patchkit’s voice screeching for help in her ears now. Mapleshade pictures the final cat that has to suffer for the death of her kits. She soon reveals it is Appledusk, and thinks he never wanted his kits, so he let them drown. He could have saved them, and is sure he could have. She goes to RiverClan territory, and notes the river is slower and shallower than when she crossed before with the kits.
- Finally, she confronts Appledusk, blaming him for killing her kits, saying he must pay. Appledusk bares his teeth and blames her for killing their kits, making them cross the river. Reedshine, Appledusk’s new mate, arrives and Mapleshade tries to kill her, but Appledusk jumps in the way and is killed instead. Patchkit stirs beside Appledusk’s body and shrills she killed him. He holds his little tail in triumph and meows they are free now. He fades away and Mapleshade runs away after, collapsing. She waits to see her kits’ faces to appear and thank her for everything she has done. Nothing comes though, and she calls out, asking where her kits are. Myler, a kittypet that helps Mapleshade when she collapses sighs she should have left the Clans behind while she had the chance. Mapleshade thinks she could never leave, she swore to avenge the deaths of her kits.
- Goosefeather receives a vision of Frecklewish being bitten by an adder. She begs for help from Mapleshade, but Mapleshade asks sarcastically like she helped her kits so refuses to help.
- Though not mentioned by name, Nettlebreeze tells some apprentices Mapleshade's story. He mentions that she wanted revenge for the death of her kits, and decided to torture every cat she blamed for their deaths.
- Larchkit has RiverClan blood through Appledusk.
- Vicky thinks that the appearances of Larchkit and his siblings after their deaths were Mapleshade's hallucinations.
- Petalkit and Larchkit are mentioned to have the same shade of brown as Appledusk, who is pale brown, although Larchkit is called dark in the same chapter.
Please do not edit this gallery
Please do not edit this gallery
- Mistystar: Living (As of Lost Stars)
- Mosskit: Deceased, verified StarClan member
- Minnowkit: Deceased, verified StarClan member
- Willowkit: Deceased, verified StarClan member
- Silverstream: Deceased, verified StarClan member
- Reedwhisker: Living (As of Lost Stars)
- Stormfur: Living (As of Tawnypelt's Clan)
- Perchkit: Deceased, verified StarClan member
- Pikepaw: Deceased, verified StarClan member
- Feathertail: Deceased, verified Tribe of Endless Hunting and StarClan member
- Primrosepaw: Deceased, verified StarClan member
= Gender Unknown
- "None of her Clanmates stepped forward as the father of her kits, and the medicine cat recognized the proud, handsome RiverClan warrior instantly in the shape of their tiny heads and the way the held their stubby tails."
- —Narrator The Ultimate Guide, page 120
- "Our kits were perfect! But they drowned. After ThunderClan cast me out, I tried to carry them across the river to their father's Clan. But the water snatched them from my grasp and carried them away...Their father blamed me! And RiverClan cast me out, too."
- —Mapleshade about her kits Crookedstar's Promise, page 479
- "I’d have to grow wings to jump that far!"
- —Larchkit on jumping on a stone Mapleshade's Vengeance, page 22
- Larchkit: "I’m going to catch a badger!"
- Petalkit: "I’m going to watch that badger eat you first!"
- Mapleshade's Vengeance, page 23
- "Oh Appledusk! Our kits are half RiverClan, for sure!"
- —Mapleshade's thoughts after seeing her kits swim Mapleshade's Vengeance, page 24
- "They are wonderful. Strong and brave, and as confident as any RiverClan cat in the water."
- —Appledusk to Mapleshade about their kits Mapleshade's Vengeance, page 26
- "Those are bad words! You’re not supposed to say them!"
- —Larchkit after Mapleshade says Clan insults Mapleshade's Vengeance, page chapter 2
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 479
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 2
- ↑ Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 4
- ↑ Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 8
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 480
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 8
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 465
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 474
- ↑ Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 6
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 251
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 3
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 2