|"You must promise me that you will be loyal to your Clan above all other things. What you want for yourself is nothing compared to the needs of your Clan. Nothing, remember? Do you make that promise?"|
|— Mapleshade demanding Crookedkit's fateful promise in Crookedstar's Promise, page 116|
Mapleshade is a large, thick-furred, tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with a fluffy tail, a white muzzle, and white patches. She has a massive, scarred head, a scarred, broad muzzle, and face, ragged, patched, matted fur, and amber eyes.
She is a ThunderClan warrior named Mapleshade under the leadership of Oakstar. Against the warrior code, she falls in love with the RiverClan warrior Appledusk, who had previously caused the death of Oakstar's son, Birchface. After bearing Appledusk's kits, Frecklewish assumes that because Mapleshade had named no tom as the father, the kits must belong to her deceased brother, Birchface. Mapleshade allows Frecklewish to believe this, and the golden she-cat consequently spreads the news throughout the Clan. However, ThunderClan's medicine cat, Ravenwing, soon becomes suspicious of the kits, observing their dissimilarity to Birchface, and culminating in him witnessing Mapleshade meeting Appledusk at the border. He reveals her secret to the furious Clan, causing Mapleshade and her kits to be exiled. Distraught, she tries to take her kits to RiverClan, but they drown when attempting to cross the flooded river. In RiverClan territory, Mapleshade is turned away by Appledusk and the RiverClan leader Darkstar, who blame her for her kits' deaths. Heartbroken and overflowing with rage, Mapleshade swears revenge on every cat who wronged her, and promptly becomes a rogue.
Mind crawling with hallucinations of her drowned kits, Mapleshade falls into insanity due to her grief and guilt. She stalks Ravenwing on his journey to the Moonstone and murders him, leaving his body to be eaten by scavengers. She leads Frecklewish to Snakerocks to and watches as an adder clamps onto her face, blinding her before she slowly succumbs to the poison. She makes her final quest to RiverClan where she sees Appledusk with Reedshine, who is already expecting his kits. Outraged, she attempts to murder Reedshine, but Appledusk jumps in the way, and he takes the blow instead. Mapleshade is then mortally wounded by his apprentice, Perchpaw who tries to pull her off of his mentor. She drags herself to a barn and dies of her wounds.
Mapleshade's blind fury causes her to join the Dark Forest. She becomes ruthless, cunning, and aggressive. Still bent on revenge, she manipulates cats from different Clans, such as training Thistleclaw and attempting to turn Goosefeather against ThunderClan, though the latter fails. She also haunts Appledusk's great grandson Crookedjaw and makes him promise to her that he'll put his Clan before anything else. Mapleshade trains him and manages to make him Clan leader, but all the while takes everything he loves away from him. She exclaims that his punishment is complete after he loses all of his family, but Crookedstar insists to her that he has his Clan and is proud to be their leader. Mapleshade also creeps into the mind of Tigerstar.
She trains many apprentices in the Dark Forest in preparation to fight the Clans, including Ivypool. She fights in the Great Battle for the Dark Forest and tries to kill Sandstorm, who had everything Mapleshade ever wanted: a mate who loved her, and wonderful kits. Spottedleaf intervenes but Mapleshade destroys her spirit, leaving her to fade into nothingness. Ultimately, Mapleshade retreats with the remaining Dark Forest residents, her quest for revenge still unfulfilled.
In the Super Editions
- When Stormkit falls and breaks his jaw at the stepping stones while escaping from Goosefeather, he sees Mapleshade, although she is not named in the text. She tells him it wasn't his time to die as she looks down at him through the river, then she disappears.
- Stormkit, having been recently named Crookedkit, runs away from RiverClan, and Mapleshade appears in a dream and advises him to go back home. She asks Crookedkit to make a promise, saying that he can become stronger than his Clanmates, as long as he follows the warrior code and remains loyal to his Clan above everything else. Crookedkit excitedly promises, and Mapleshade tells him he has a great destiny ahead of him. Crookedkit constantly thinks about how he is being mentored by a cat in StarClan, and she gets him under the impression that she is doing him a favor.
- Crookedpaw is finally made an apprentice, and he is eager to finally train with Oakpaw, his littermate. Mapleshade constantly reminds him he must be loyal to his Clan, as he had promised. She tells Crookedpaw that he couldn't be friends with Willowpaw, because she would distract him from his training. Crookedpaw gets mad at Mapleshade as she says this, and continues to be friends with Willowpaw.
- Mapleshade continues to train Crookedjaw even after he becomes a warrior, saying that his training isn't over yet, and that he is still her apprentice. Crookedjaw is luring a dog away from the RiverClan camp when his mother, Rainflower, dies on the riverbank. He wants to fetch Brambleberry and try to save her, but Mapleshade tells him to keep fighting, and that he needed to save the rest of his Clanmates. Crookedjaw reluctantly joins Oakheart, leaving Rainflower to die. Oakheart is angry at Crookedjaw for leaving her, saying if Crookedjaw had stayed with her, Rainflower might have survived.
- Shellheart steps down from his position as deputy to become an elder, and Hailstar interprets a misshapen, crooked-jawed squirrel on the fresh-kill pile as a sign from StarClan saying Crookedjaw should be the new deputy. Mapleshade later reveals, though, that she had created the omen.
- Shredtail, while training with his apprentice, Thistleclaw, reveals to Crookedjaw that he was not training in StarClan, but the Place of No Stars, the place where dead cats' spirits went if they didn't make it into StarClan. Upon hearing this, Crookedjaw is furious with Mapleshade for lying to him, but Mapleshade smoothly points out she never said they were in StarClan. Crookedjaw refuses to listen to her from that point on.
- As Hailstar battles for his life with rats, Mapleshade tries to kill Hailstar in an effort to make Crookedjaw Clan leader, but he refuses to let her kill his leader. Hailstar dies from severe wounds, though. Mapleshade does not approve of Willowbreeze and Crookedjaw being mates as she says he is breaking his promise to her. After Crookedstar's leader ceremony, Mapleshade appears to him. She tells him that both of them kept their promise and asks him if he is going to thank her. When Crookedstar turns away, telling her to leave him alone, she tells him that he cannot run away from her.
- Willowbreeze dies shortly after delivering her kits, and two of the kits also die from the sickness that had killed Willowbreeze. Crookedstar is very angry and depressed, as he knows Mapleshade and his promise to her are to blame. He visits her in a dream, and tells her that he lost Rainflower, Shellheart, Hailstar, Willowbreeze and two of his three daughters, Minnowkit and Willowkit, due to the promise he made. She acts innocent, saying it was a sacrifice he had to make to become the greatest warrior ever, reminding him that he promised. He then tries to fight her, but she stops him by telling him about her terrible past; ThunderClan exiled her for taking a RiverClan mate. She tried to take her kits to RiverClan, but they drowned in the river. The kit's father blamed her, and she was rejected when she tried to join RiverClan. Her former mate then had kits with a RiverClan queen. They had a daughter, whose son was Shellheart, the father of Crookedstar and Oakheart. She told Crookedstar the reason she sought revenge on him was because StarClan had destined him to be a great leader, yet she believed that he should not even have been born and it should have been her kin who had a great destiny. She tells him she was testing him to see if he was weak like his kin, and she tells him that he is. Mapleshade doesn't bother him after that, and Crookedstar improves his relationship with his remaining daughter, Silverkit.
- In the manga at the end, Crookedstar sees his daughter, Silverstream, with Graystripe, and hears Mapleshade's words ringing in his ears. When Silverstream dies, Crookedstar sees Mapleshade in a dream where he was on the border of StarClan and the Dark Forest. She tells him his punishment is now complete, and he has lost everything. Crookedstar tells her that she is wrong, and that everyone he has lost is waiting for him in StarClan while she has nothing and no one. That is the last time he saw her.
- Mapleshade doesn't appear in this book, but is briefly mentioned once by Crowfeather, who regards her as a horrible evil.
In the Omen of the Stars arc
- When Ivypaw is chasing after Antpelt in the Dark Forest, she knocks into Mapleshade, who retaliates by pinning the apprentice down. Mapleshade threatens Ivypaw until Hawkfrost steps in and tells her to back off. She obeys, growling at Hawkfrost to try and keep his visitors under control, then stalks off. As she is leaving, Ivypaw notices that Mapleshade is almost completely translucent, and can see through her to the trees beyond. Hawkfrost comments that Mapleshade had taken residence in the Dark Forest for a long time, but she would fade completely soon. Ivypaw believes him as her glowing figure fades into the outlines of the trees.
- Later on, Mapleshade taunts Ivypaw when she tries to wake up from her dream in the Dark Forest. Ivypaw, frightened, asks why Mapleshade wouldn't just fade away. Mapleshade replies that she isn't going anywhere until she's settled some scores, then tells Ivypaw that she is training her that night. She forces Ivypaw to try and knock her paws out from under her when she's neck-deep in river water. Ivypaw tries, but Mapleshade pins her down underwater. Ivypaw struggles until she kicks a rock with her hind paws, and she is able to swim away from Mapleshade.
- Mapleshade is briefly seen after Ivypool wins a fight with Thistleclaw during a training session. She tells Thistleclaw that he had lost the session. She talks with Ivypool and tells her that she had her doubts about her in the beginning, but trusts her now. She also reveals that a battle between the Place of No Stars and StarClan will be soon. Ivypool later tells her sister, Dovewing, that she has a reputation for being one of the oldest cats in the Dark Forest, and many cats, including Tigerstar, are said to respect her.
- While Ivypool is visiting the Dark Forest, she runs into Tigerheart, who is listening to Mapleshade talk about the end of the Clans. Ivypool notes that she has begun to fade into mist, and she looked even paler than before. Ivypool reflects upon how terrified she'd been of Mapleshade when she tried to drown her in a training exercise. As Mapleshade is talking, she stops suddenly, saying she smelled fear. Ivypool is afraid Mapleshade would come for her, but instead, she turns on Snowtuft, and, after insulting him, knocks him away.
- As Brokenstar holds a Dark Forest meeting, Mapleshade is noted to be standing with Tigerstar and a few other Dark Forest warriors. When Brokenstar is interrupted by Hawkfrost, claiming that Ivypool wished to speak, Mapleshade hisses, and doesn't seem too happy with the sudden intrusion.
- After Hawkfrost sends the living cats home, he meets with the senior warriors of the Dark Forest to discuss about the final battle, including Mapleshade. Ivypool comments that she could see the trees almost perfectly clearly through her. When they discuss ideas, Mapleshade plots to kill the kits in the Clans first. She believes that if the kits died, the mothers would have nothing left to fight for.
- Mapleshade attacks Sandstorm, claiming she had everything Mapleshade ever wanted: taking a mate who loved her, having kits that she could watch grow up and one day have kits of their own, and respect from her Clanmates. Mapleshade believes that StarClan stole all that from her, which results in Spottedleaf coming to defend Sandstorm, yanking Mapleshade off of her. She taunts Spottedleaf about why she would save the cat that stole Firestar's love from her, to which she retorts that Sandstorm never stole Firestar, and that she made Firestar happy. Mapleshade then attacks Spottedleaf and slices her throat open, killing her. While Firestar grieves for Spottedleaf, Sandstorm chases Mapleshade out of ThunderClan territory.
In the Field Guides
- She plays a major role of Crookedstar's page. Mapleshade walked in Crookedpaw's dreams, making him promise that he would put his Clan above everything else. She let him assume that she was from StarClan, and Crookedpaw saw no trickery behind this. Mapleshade trained Crookedjaw hard, honing his skills, and expecting Crookedjaw to watch as one by one, the cats he loved most were taken away from him. Mapleshade tested Crookedjaw's love for Willowbreeze by luring a Twoleg kit to Willowbreeze, causing her to be captured. Crookedjaw rescued her, knowing exactly what Mapleshade has done. Urged on by Mapleshade, Crookedjaw went to help other warriors instead of rescuing Rainflower, who died. Mapleshade made the prophecy in the fresh-kill pile that shows Crookedjaw will be the next deputy, and that night, Crookedjaw finally realized that Mapleshade indeed walked in the Dark Forest, and Crookedjaw vowed to never return. Mapleshade never let Crookedjaw go, and made his world slowly fall apart. Thanks to Mapleshade, Crookedstar achieved everything he wanted, and lost everything that mattered.
- She has her own page. It has been mentioned that Mapleshade was once a loyal apprentice and a bold and skillful warrior. It was believed by some that she would be leader one day. However, she made the tragic mistake of falling in love with a cat from RiverClan, named Appledusk. She kept this a secret by meeting him near the river, sneaking out at night with no cat noticing, but then one day she gave birth to his kits. The medicine cat deduced that Appledusk was the father of Mapleshade's kits, which caused an uproar to ThunderClan and they banished Mapleshade from the Clan forever for betraying the Warrior Code. The former ThunderClan warrior had no choice but to cross the river along with her kits, but the swelled water swept them away. Mapleshade almost drowned trying to save them, but they were already gone. She made it to the other side, but to her horror Appledusk blamed her for the accident. He wanted nothing more to do with Mapleshade, and RiverClan refused to let her stay, not even for just one night.
- Alone now, from ThunderClan, RiverClan, and even Appledusk, the cat she loved most, Mapleshade had no choice but to live as a rogue. She felt a strong sense of hatred for RiverClan and ThunderClan, for the way they treated her. However, she could not get revenge while she was alive, so when she died and became a Place of No Stars wanderer, Mapleshade watched over Crookedkit and his life, rejected by Rainflower, cut off from his Clanmates, and stepped in. She promised to make all of his hopes come true in return for one thing: that he would hold his Clan more precious than anything else in the world. After some time, Mapleshade trained him to become the warrior she had been, believing that she stole everything he loved the most. She forced Crookedjaw to watch Rainflower die, Oakheart falling in love with Bluefur, and Willowbreeze and his kits dying from greencough. After Crookedstar's last surviving daughter, Silverstream, fell in love with Graystripe, she died giving birth to Graystripe's kits. This satisfied Mapleshade, knowing that a RiverClan cat suffered just as much as she did. After the Clans moved to the lake, Mapleshade followed and plotted with the other Dark Forest cats to use discontented warriors in the living Clans in the greatest battle of all. Mapleshade wanted all of the Clans to suffer just as much as she did, believing that she did not deserve what had happened to her.
In the Novellas
- Unknown to Tigerclaw yet, Mapleshade talks to him inside his head. As Tigerclaw is defeated during a failed attempt to kill Bluestar, Mapleshade screeches he lost to kittypets and fools. She taunts some battle skill he showed, and that Thistleclaw should clout his ears for letting himself be beaten by a star-crazed old cat and a kittypet. Tigerclaw lashes back Thistleclaw wouldn't have taken on the leader of ThunderClan, and if he didn’t let Bluestar become leader, none of this would have happened. Tigerclaw thinks he could have been the best leader ThunderClan has even known, and Mapleshade purrs better than his father. Pinestar betrayed his Clan and son when he became a kittypet and left. She tells him he would never walk away as a leader. Injured and exhausted, Mapleshade asks where the moss that lines his nest is, and where are the feathers. She asks if that will be his life, huddled in the dirt and starving because he is too weak to hunt. As he dreams, Mapleshade hisses he is too slow and to not let Bluestar and Fireheart catch him as they'll crush him like a bug. Tigerclaw roars never and wakes up. He starts searching for the cats that fought alongside him in the attack. Mapleshade asks if fought is the word, and states they more like turned tail just like frightened kits. She lectures that Tigerclaw was a fool to trust them.
- Tigerclaw protests he had no choice, but now he has no Clan allegiance it will be different. When offered food by the cats that fought beside him, Tigerclaw wonders what he should do. Mapleshade comments Bluestar would search for the weakest elder and give it to them. She asks Tigerclaw if that's the leader he wants to be. As Tigerclaw loses some control over the group of former ShadowClan cats, Mapleshade asks if he is sure they know he's in charge. She whispers if they don't believe that they need him as much as food and shelter, he is nothing to them. Tigerclaw admires Stumpytail's note of defiance when they talk of their former Clanmates, and Mapleshade says that kind of loyalty can serve him well. He confronts some of the cats of his group, silently daring them to admit their loyalties are more to their Clanmates than him. Mapleshade whispers he should kill them where they stand. She later admits he cannot challenge their loyalty, so encourages Tigerclaw to use it for himself, if ShadowClan is weak, that poses no threat to Tigerclaw. She urges him to remember that mercy is a sign of great power. Clawface tries to nap before training, but Tigerclaw stops him. Mapleshade says he did the right thing. They cannot make any decisions on their own, not unless Tigerclaw wants them to feel more powerful than him. Tigerclaw tenses he vows silently never.
- As Tigerclaw gains ShadowClan's trust, she says they are starting to need him as forests need rain. He congratulates him on his work. When a ShadowClan hunting patrol in ThunderClan territory want to flee, Mapleshade tells him to make them think it's his decision to flee, not theirs. Otherwise it would be the dumbest Tigerclaw has ever done. A battle starts and afterwards, Mapleshade whines he retreated and should have kept fighting. She tells him to never start a battle he cannot finish, and calls him a fool. As Tigerclaw dreams, he finds himself in a dark place and wonders if he's in StarClan. Mapleshade tells him this is the Dark Forest and welcomes him. Tigerclaw asks if this is StarClan and Mapleshade spits that place is full of cowards who cling to the warrior code like ants to a leaf in a puddle. Tigerclaw asks who she is. With a purr that sounds like two dead branches sliding together, she says she's been watching for a long time, and ShadowClan needs a fearless and powerful leader, he can give everything they want and more. She starts walking away and Tigerclaw bursts out what he means as he doesn't know her. Mapleshade finally reveals her name, and explains she walked beside him all his life, laying out her destiny. She explains much waits for them, and urges Tigerclaw to be patient.
- As Tigerclaw talks to Runningnose, she tells him to tread carefully as he is stepping on the thinnest ice and cannot fall through. As Tigerclaw offers to help ShadowClan more, Mapleshade warns him to not overdo the humility as it's very convincing. Tigerclaw basks in cheers and Mapleshade urges him to remember that moment, and it's what power feels like. Tigerclaw feels frustrated at Deerfoot, and Mapleshade whispers for him to be patient as there will be time to deal with him later. She expresses her opinion of Nightstar, saying the deceased leader was as weak as a newborn kit and warns Tigerclaw to not think ShadowClan didn't know that. Runningnose invites Tigerclaw and his group to join ShadowClan, and Mapleshade points out if he's among ShadowClan cats he will win them over quicker. As Tigerclaw worries about a fire in ThunderClan, Mapleshade points out it is the Clan that drove him out and forced him to become a rogue in favor of a kittypet. Tigerclaw protests he wants to finish them himself, not a forest fire doing it for him. A false prophecy prompts Runningnose to choose Tigerclaw as the new leader. Mapleshade screeches they did it and she did promise it would happen.
- Mapleshade is first seen on her way to a Gathering. A WindClan warrior hisses at her, telling her she walked on his tail. She apologizes and plunges deeper into the crowd of cats. Meanwhile, Oakstar speaks about how ThunderClan's warriors tracked some adders to their nest and blocked the hole with stones. A ShadowClan elder grunts and states they were lucky not to get bitten. Another cat remembers an apprentice, Marshpaw, was bitten by an adder on his first patrol. Mapleshade goes by some RiverClan cats who snarl at her and remember the day one of their warriors, Appledusk, struck a ThunderClan cat, Birchface, so hard that he fell into the river and drowned. His apprentice, Flowerpaw, leaped in to save him, but died along with him.
- Mapleshade is interrupted by Appledusk, the RiverClan warrior. She is happy to see him, and demands to know where he was in the past few moons. Appledusk replies that patrols had doubled, and he was unable to sneak out of the camp; he promises that he will see her tonight. Mapleshade tells Appledusk that she is expecting his kits. Appledusk is delighted, and Mapleshade tells him to not see her until she has given birth. A RiverClan warrior, Reedshine, calls Appledusk away. When Mapleshade sees the two cats padding away, heads close, she silently tells Reedshine to leave Appledusk alone, adding that she has the kits to prove that he is hers.
- The next morning, Mapleshade is woken up by Nettlepaw, who tells her that Beetail wants her on the dawn patrol. When Mapleshade stumbles out of her nest, Nettlepaw asks why she is so slow, and Mapleshade teases him, asking him what he thought Deerdapple would do to him if he had spoken to her like that. Embarrassed, Nettlepaw admits that she would probably make him search for ticks for a moon. When Beetail beckons Mapleshade to join the patrol, Mapleshade tells him she is expecting kits, and Beetail excuses her from patrols, congratulating her awkwardly. Frecklewish runs up to Mapleshade and asks her about the kits. When she asks if Birchface was the father, Mapleshade doesn't reply, and Frecklewish enthusiastically tells Mapleshade that she is happy that her brother would live on through Mapleshade's kits. When Mapleshade lies down in her nest, Frecklewish lies down beside her, promising that she will care for Mapleshade. Mapleshade reminds herself that she never said Birchface was the father, and that it was Frecklewish who assumed so. She believes this is a chance given to her by StarClan to hide who the father of her kits is.
- Later on, Mapleshade delivers two toms and a she-cat and names them Larchkit, Patchkit, and Petalkit, respectively. As she nurses, she asks Frecklewish to fetch her water. After Frecklewish leaves, Ravenwing tells Mapleshade that she has made Frecklewish feel like life is worth living again with the birth of her kits. Mapleshade buries her muzzle in her kits, murmuring that they are her gift to ThunderClan.
- Three sunrises later, Mapleshade is visited by Oakstar and Frecklewish. She tells her kits that Oakstar is their leader. Her fur prickles with discomfort when Oakstar reminds her that they are his kin. When Frecklewish returns with a mole, Mapleshade thanks her for bringing the fresh-kill and shares the names she gave them. She explains to Frecklewish that each is their own warrior and do not need Birchface's name. Oakstar says that ThunderClan is blessed to have Mapleshade as a queen, and Frecklewish remarks that she can't wait to see RiverClan's faces when they hear about the kits. Mapleshade then suggests that she herself should inform them, especially Appledusk. Frecklewish growls that she shouldn't talk to him, but Mapleshade objects, saying that she has to so she can show Appledusk how strong Birchface's kits are. Oakstar states that it won't do any harm to let RiverClan know and show them that ThunderClan has more warriors to defend what's rightfully theirs. Mapleshade points out that that the warrior code stipulates that they must show mercy to warriors that they've defeated. Frecklewish hisses that Appledusk didn't show mercy to Birchface and Flowerpaw. In Mapleshade's mind, she thinks it was an accident and Birchface fell. She then thinks that Flowerpaw should've never followed him. But she doesn't say anything, making sure no one suspects that she loves Appledusk. Frecklewish says that the kits are the best things that have ever happened to the forest, but Mapleshade thinks that the kits are hers and she should leave them alone.
- Two moons later, Mapleshade is watching her kits play. Rabbitfur practices with them on their pouncing, comparing them to Birchface, but instead they struggle. Mapleshade starts to become nervous and covers for the kits, but Rabbitfur is unimpressed. Mapleshade hisses at the elder for his criticism and takes them for a walk in the forest. They instantly take to the river and swim in it. Mapleshade is bursting with pride and love, thinking they truly are half-RiverClan. Patchkit rests on a twig in the middle of the river and is too exhausted to swim back. Suddenly a RiverClan patrol consisting of Spiketail, Appledusk, and Milkfur appear and are none too pleased to see the kits. Appledusk says they're no threat and swims over to Patchkit, giving him back to Mapleshade. He scolds her for bringing them so close to the border, but tells her he's proud of their kits and her.
- After the patrol leaves, she's stopped by Ravenwing who saw the whole encounter. Ravenwing reveals to her he received an omen of a tiny stream with three pieces of water reed and deduces her kits were fathered by a RiverClan cat, Appledusk. Mapleshade is horrified. She swears to reveal the truth eventually, but Ravenwing tells he can't let her lie to their Clanmates and he can't lie either. Mapleshade desperately pleads to him, but Ravenwing insists. Mapleshade watches him walk away, scared of her uncertain future. She tells herself ThunderClan will accept these kits.
- Later, Mapleshade is demanded by Oakstar to tell him who the kits' father is. She boldly announces who the father is, and because of this, is exiled from the clan. Mapleshade leaves, vowing revenge. Mapleshade then seeks out refuge in RiverClan by crossing the river, but this plan cuts short when her kits are swept away and drown in the rapid current, despite Mapleshade's efforts to save them. Mapleshade is blamed by Appledusk for the kits' deaths, and the RiverClan leader denies Mapleshade's pleas to stay in RiverClan, even for just one night, and is even more horrified when Appledusk denies loving her and tells her to leave. She hisses that they will regret their decision, as she had done with ThunderClan.
- After this, Mapleshade stumbles out of the clan boundaries, and after wandering for some time, collapses in some musty hay. All she can think of is her kits screeching for help. That next morning, Mapleshade wakes up coughing and feeling sick, wondering where she is, but she quickly remembers what happened with ThunderClan and RiverClan. She then sees a black and white tom who identifies himself as Myler. He asks if she is alright and she hisses at him saying she's fine. She looks around for a place to get out of the barn, and then suddenly an image of her kits appears, wailing for help.
- Mapleshade heads toward ThunderClan territory, staying just outside Clan boundaries. Upon reaching and crossing a bridge, she remembers how her kits drowned. She is about the cross the border, but freezes. She realizes that because she had been exiled, she'd be treated as a rogue. She pictures Ravenwing, the ThunderClan medicine cat, and believes that her kits drowning is all his fault. Mapleshade becomes enraged, and the sounds of the forest fade, and her vision blurs. Stumbling and extremely thirsty, she splashes through a stream, unable to muster enough energy to drink. She flops down into a narrow ditch next to a holly bush that reminds her of her home.
- Mapleshade walks along the territory as long as she can, and collapses. Nettlepaw finds her, and knowing how sick she is, secretly gives her herbs. Nettlepaw reveals Frecklewish was watching when Mapleshade was crossing the river, but didn't help, allegedly believing RiverClan would help. Mapleshade is enraged by this, and after Nettlepaw is called away, Mapleshade is still fuming over Frecklewish. Mapleshade figures Nettlepaw won't tell on her, and she deceives a plan to attack Ravenwing.
- After the herbs strengthen Mapleshade, she leaves to go to the Moonstone. She catches a rabbit on WindClan territory, confusing a WindClan hunting patrol, and leaving Mapleshade with the prey. She finally reaches the Moonstone, and waits for half moon to rise. When Ravenwing appears, Mapleshade waits until he enters the cave. Ravenwing suspects someone is following him, but he keeps silent, as well as Mapleshade. Finally, she drops into the hunter's crouch, and to his shock, she lunges at him. She tells him if she could, she would kill him three times. She finally kills him, and leaves his body outside for the hawks. But his body is spotted by Larkwing and Sloefur, WindClan and ShadowClan medicine cats, respectively. Larkwing asks what happened to him, and Sloefur reveals he's dead. Larkwing says they can't leave him there, and they drag him back up to the surface. Mapleshade waits for the rest of the day, wondering if the medicine cats will come back. They don't, and when dawn arrives, she exits the tunnel. She finds Ravenwing's grave and digs it up. She looks up at a circling hawk and thinks to herself that he can be its next meal.
- Mapleshade bounds away from the grave, asking if her kits were watching as she had killed Ravenwing. She hopes they never have to see him in StarClan, and thinks that he should go to the Place of No Stars. She crawls under a hedge, exhausted, when she hears two of her kits, Patchkit and Petalkit, crying out for help. They appear in front of her, drenched. She wonders where Larchkit is. She hears the voices again, and figures out that since she had only killed once cat, only one kit had been avenged. She bitterly asks StarClan why they're doing this to her.
- An image of Frecklewish appears in her mind, and Mapleshade deduces Frecklewish also caused her kits' deaths, as she didn't help them. She plans to kill Frecklewish, or wound her. Like Ravenwing, she needed to pay for what she did. She realizes killing her will be difficult, as she only leaves ThunderClan to go to Gatherings, and when she was in the territory she was never alone. Mapleshade wonders how to trap her, and trips on an ivy tendril that looks like a glossy green snake. It reminds her of Snakerocks, and she decides to lure Frecklewish there.
- She goes near ThunderClan territory and finds a patrol, but none of them are Frecklewish. She finally finds Frecklewish, and lures her to Snakerocks by dragging a dead mouse along the ground. She removes the stones that are meant to block the adders so they can get to Frecklewish. Mapleshade leaps at Frecklewish, blaming her for her kits' death. Frecklewish threatens to get a patrol, but Mapleshade taunts her by saying she'd rather watch innocent kits drown then fight. Frecklewish reveals she thought they would be saved, and spits she wishes Mapleshade is dead as she betrayed her brother's name. She lunges at Mapleshade but instead stumbles and is bitten by an adder. Frecklewish begs for help as she goes blind, but Mapleshade refuses to help, saying spitefully that she didn't help her kits and hides as a patrol comes to help Frecklewish. They try to save her eyesight even though now they are without a medicine cat. Mapleshade realizes that even if Frecklewish survives, she'll be blind forever, so flees the territory. Mapleshade only can hear the wails of her weakest kit, Patchkit, and is ready for the last cat to die for her kits. She goes to RiverClan territory to kill Appledusk, certain he could have saved her kits and instead let them drown. She doesn't know the habits and patrols of RiverClan, so plans to watch them and learn. She doesn't need to though, as Appledusk arrives below Mapleshade's tree with his apprentice. He gives Perchpaw a hunting lesson before Reedshine arrives, and it is revealed she is carrying Appledusk's kits. Mapleshade is furious, hardly noticing two of her claws snapping off. The three RiverClan cats wonder away eventually, and Mapleshade is even more determined to avenge Patchkit.
- Mapleshade falls asleep, but wakes up to find Perchpaw playing around instead of collecting moss like he should be. Mapleshade grabs him and holds him down until Appledusk comes in search for him. Perchpaw threatens that he is a RiverClan warrior, but Mapleshade says that he is just a stupid apprentice, and forces him to stay quiet. When Appledusk finally arrives searching for his apprentice, Mapleshade reveals herself and insists to Appledusk that he killed their kits, and he must pay. Appledusk, however, says that Mapleshade killed their kits by making them cross the river and threatens to call for a patrol. Mapleshade says he can have Perchpaw back, but challenges him to a fight. Appledusk, saddened that she would want to fight him, refuses to and at that same moment, Reedshine walks in. Mapleshade leaps at her, screeching Appledusk is hers and the queen and her kits must die. Appledusk jumps in front of Mapleshade and she claws his throat, killing him. At the same moment, Perchpaw jumps on Mapleshade and bites her neck, but slides off quickly. Patchkit appears at Appledusk's body, and announces that she did it and he and his siblings are free before disappearing. Mapleshade staggers forward, begging for him not to leave, but Reedshine threatens her. She says that she has not won as Appledusk will live on in his kin and his kin's kin. His spirit will not die but live forever.
- Growing weaker, Mapleshade claims she will haunt his kin, and says her vengeance is not finished, it will never be finished. She flees and Perchpaw tries to follow, but Reedshine says to let her go and die alone. Mapleshade doesn't feel pain as she makes her way to the barn again. She closes her eyes, waiting for her kits to come and thank her for what she has done for them but it was only darkness. She thinks she can see Patchkit's face but it's only Myler again. Myler drags Mapleshade to warmth and tries to stop the heavily bleeding wound Perchpaw gave to her, but there is too much blood. Knowing there is no chance for Mapleshade to survive, Myler offers to stay with Mapleshade, but Mapleshade refuses, saying she doesn't need anyone. Myler thinks she is wrong, but leaves Mapleshade alone. Mapleshade dies of her wounds, and finds herself in the Dark Forest. A voice, who refuses to show themselves welcomes her, and states she is to walk alone in her blood-soaked memories. Mapleshade is not distressed but triumphant. She was there because she endured, and there would be others like her. She plans to train them to punish the Clans she left behind. She thinks from the Place of No Stars, she can make more suffering than ever, and punish Appledusk's kin. As Mapleshade promised to Reedshine, her desire for vengeance will never sleep.
- During a vision of kittypets attacking a ThunderClan patrol, a voice whispers behind Goosepaw, saying the kittypets are stronger than he thinks. Not revealing her name, Mapleshade’s eyes are filled with delight as she watches the battling cats. Goosepaw asks who she is, and Mapleshade twitches her ears, asking if she’s been forgotten so soon. The vision suddenly disappears along with Mapleshade.
- Mapleshade appears again in another vision, telling Goosefeather he has been lucky. Goosefeather retorts, saying that he was attacked by a badger and his sister thinks he is a freak. Goosefeather recognizes her as the she-cat from the other vision, and asks again who she is. Mapleshade twitches one ear and says she would be insulted he doesn’t know but can’t blame ThunderClan for wanting to forget her. She claims to know everything about Goosefeather and about his visions. She asks why he is worried about the future as he needs to live in the present. The tortoiseshell says he needs to learn to fight or any cat can defeat him whenever they want and there is no better warrior to teach him. Goosefeather points out he can ask any of his Clanmates for help, and refuses. Mapleshade reminds him that even his sister didn’t offer to help after he was attacked by the badger. Mapleshade suddenly springs at him with unsheathed claws. Goosefeather trips and Mapleshade tells him to do it again but duck sideways so he can take her weight on his shoulder. She tells him if she keeps his hind legs underneath him, he can flick her off. She steps back and waits for Goosefeather to be ready before attacking again.
- Mapleshade only gives a little blow to Goosefeather before crashing onto her paws. She cries better, and tells him to try on her. Goosefeather protests he only wants to defend himself, but Mapleshade hisses that he’ll be useless if he cannot take the fight to his enemies. She explains attack is the best form of defense. She tells him to come to her and watch what she does. She stands to the side and trips Goosefeather with her tail. She hisses to try again and he’s making it too easy. She tells him to act like he means it and pretend she clawed her mother’s eyes out. Goosefeather responds immediately and makes a blow on her neck. Mapleshade is satisfied with that move, and teaches him a few other moves. Goosefeather rakes her pelt, and Mapleshade promises he won’t want to fight her for real. She decides she’s done enough, saying he cannot fight a badger but can hold his ground against a cat. Goosefeather thanks her, and Mapleshade teases to not go practice on Stormtail. Goosefeather is shocked she knows about him, and asks her name. Mapleshade finally reveals her name to Goosefeather.
- Goosefeather receives a vision of the past. He sees Mapleshade facing off with Frecklewish and eventually leaving her to die after being bitten by a snake. She then approaches the medicine cat, asking what is wrong. Goosefeather asks if she really did leave a cat to die like that. Mapleshade admits she did as she hates every ThunderClan cat. She will not rest until she has had her revenge. Goosefeather is confused as Mapleshade helped him before. The tortoiseshell reveals she has no need to punish as StarClan has already doomed him. Goosefeather is frightened by these words and begs her to come back but Mapleshade walks away and vanishes.
- Spottedpaw dreams herself into the Place of No Stars, and goes to find Thistleclaw. She sees him in Mapleshade's training sessions, pummeling a light brown tabby she-cat. Spottedpaw tries to step in and stop him when he deals a killing bite, but he snarls at her. She is too late, and the she-cat fades from beneath her. Spottedpaw is bewildered, and when Mapleshade orders Thistleclaw to get rid of her, he leads her away from the scene.
- Mapleshade is mentioned by Nettlebreeze, when he's telling the apprentices about her story. He tells them how Mapleshade wasn't going to rest until she had tortured every cat that she blamed for the death of her kits. He then mentions that Mapleshade came back looking for one cat in particular, Frecklewish.
- Daisypaw then begs the warrior to tell them what happened when Mapleshade found Frecklewish, which Nettlebreeze crouches down and continues his story, saying that Mapleshade had found Frecklewish patrolling by Snakerocks. Mapleshade had forced her into a pile of stones where snakes were hiding, and one of them spat venom right in Frecklewish's eye. Nettlebreeze talks about how Bloomheart had found her, and he explains how they couldn't do anything to save her since Mapleshade had killed Ravenwing without an apprentice to take over.
- After he finishes the story, he claims that if Mapleshade isn't in the Place of No Stars, there is no justice, which the apprentices agree, faintly shaking their heads and repeating what he had said.
- Vicky doesn't think that Mapleshade was medically insane, but was driven mad by grief and feelings of betrayal, and that led to hallucinations that her dead kits were urging her to commit murder.
- There has been much confusion over Mapleshade's description. She is often described as ginger-and-white as well as often described as tortoiseshell. Vicky cleared this up, confirming that Mapleshade is indeed a tortoiseshell, and changing Patchkit's description slightly to match her.
- She has mistakenly been mentioned with green eyes.
- She is said to have broken the jaw of a pike in order to make Crookedjaw deputy, although she had actually broken the jaw of a squirrel.
- Although listed as a RiverClan cat in The Ultimate Guide, Mapleshade was never accepted into RiverClan, and was rejected upon seeking refuge after the death of her kits and exile from ThunderClan.
Please do not edit this gallery
Please do not edit this gallery
= Gender Unknown
- "I will never forget this. You have betrayed me and my kits. You will live to regret this day forever, ThunderClan, and that is a promise."
- —Mapleshade when she is exiled Mapleshade's Vengeance, page chapter 4
- Mapleshade: "Don't take any notice of that old fool."
- Goosefeather: "I may be an old fool, but at least my heart is true. My heart isn't soured by bitterness or guided by revenge."
- Crookedstar's Promise, page 236
- "So what? If she can't keep herself safe then she's no use to you. Your loyalty should be to your Clan, not her! Your Clanmates are lying injured in camp yet you sneak off and risk your life to save a warrior who can't even outrun a Twoleg! She should be ashamed that she caused so much trouble. You should be ashamed that you deserted your Clan on a fish-brained mission! Did Hailstar say you could go? No! He told you to wait. Your disloyalty makes me sick. Cats who betray their Clan should be banished. They should live as rogues and loners because that's what they are!"
- —Mapleshade to Crookedjaw about Willowbreeze Crookedstar's Promise, page 311
- "Can you imagine what that feels like? To be rejected twice? To be a loner when all you tried to do was love? But don't worry, I made them pay. I looked for revenge whenever I could! Why do you think I'm here?"
- —Mapleshade to Crookedstar Crookedstar's Promise, page 480
- "Why would you want to go to StarClan? That place is full of weak-willed cowards who clung to the warrior code like ants to a leaf in a puddle. You will find much better company in the cats here, Tigerclaw."
- —Mapleshade's opinion on StarClan Tigerclaw's Fury, page chapter 7
- "My name is Mapleshade. I have walked beside you from the day you were born, guiding your paw steps, laying out your destiny before you. For now, you don't need to know anything else. Much, much more lies ahead of us, Tigerclaw. Be patient, and you will find out everything."
- —Mapleshade to Tigerclaw Tigerclaw's Fury, page chapter 7
- "You have everything that I wanted, Sandstorm! A mate that loved me, kits that I could watch grow up and have kits of their own, the respect of my Clanmates! I should have had all that!"
- —Mapleshade to Sandstorm The Last Hope, page 314
References and citations
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 380
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 479
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 480
- ↑ Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 9
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 120
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 4
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 115
- ↑ Revealed in Goosefeather's Curse, page 156
- ↑ Revealed in Night Whispers, pages 263-264
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 7
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Revealed in Night Whispers, page 77
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 80
- ↑ Revealed in The Last Hope, page 11
- ↑ Revealed in The Last Hope, page 8
- ↑ Revealed in The Forgotten Warrior, page 125
- ↑ Revealed in Spottedleaf's Heart, chapter 5
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Revealed in Tigerclaw's Fury, chapter 7
- ↑ Revealed in The Last Hope, page 254
- ↑ Revealed on Vicky's Facebook
- ↑ Revealed on Victoria Holmes's Facebook Page
- ↑ Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 118
- ↑ Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 383
- ↑ Mapleshade is listed under RiverClan's character list in the table of contents, just after Crookedstar.
- ↑ Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, page 31
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 2