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Rootpaw (OA) "What does that mean? If you try really hard, do you think you could be a bit more obscure?"

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This page contains Mapleshade's personality and relationships. It contains conjecture due to being based off of general novel themes, and all statements must be sourced.

Personality

Mapleshade was once a brave, compassionate and loyal warrior, kind to other cats and willing to fight any enemy she encountered. As a result, she was held in high esteem by her Clanmates, who believed she would one day become deputy and then leader. Mapleshade was ambitious and enjoyed their admiration.[1]
However, Mapleshade had kits with a RiverClan tom named Appledusk. She tried to keep it a secret, but ThunderClan found out and banished her, leaving Mapleshade heartbroken, angry and feeling betrayed. While trying to cross the river to get to RiverClan, Mapleshade’s kits fell in and drowned. Appledusk and Darkstar then rejected her too, and these traumatic events left a huge mark on Mapleshade. She became cold, vicious, ruthless, manipulative and obsessively vengeful, her psyche distorting to the point of insanity. Having lost everything she cared about, Mapleshade believed she had nothing left to live for, and her only goal was to take revenge on those who had ruined her.[2][3][4] She even turned her back on StarClan, whom she previously had great faith in, now deeming them weak for following the warrior code so strictly,[5] and when she dies, she goes to the Dark Forest.

Relationships

Appledusk

Mapleshade: "You killed our kits, and now you must pay."
Appledusk: "What are you talking about? You killed our kits, making them cross the river. Let Perchpaw go and get out of here before call for a patrol."
Mapleshade: "You can have that useless lump of fur back. But you’ll have to fight me first."
Appledusk: "Mapleshade, I don’t want to fight you."
Mapleshade: "I'm not giving you a choice!"
—Mapleshade and Appledusk’s confrontation Mapleshade's Vengeance, page Chapters 8 and 9
Appledusk was once Mapleshade's mate, breaking the code to see her. At first, he loved Mapleshade, being relieved when she was unharmed after a battle at Sunningrocks and proud to father her kits. He respected his mate's choice to raise them in their mother's Clan.[1] While separated for moons, Mapleshade poses as Birchface's mate without Appledusk's awareness, due to the fact that she needed a cover story. She remains silent when Birchface's sister plans to have the kits get revenge on Appledusk for their supposed father’s death.[6] Appledusk was uneasy when he discovered Mapleshade allowing their kits to swim at the RiverClan border, warning her it was risky.[7] Later that night when his ThunderClan family was swept away in a flood, he risks his life to save them, though only his mate survives. He is shocked when Mapleshade admits they crossed purposefully. Ultimately blaming her for their kits' deaths, he values his loyalty to RiverClan more than her, and refuses to support her when she asks for a place in RiverClan, even stating that he never wanted to see her again.[8] For this, Mapleshade swore revenge on him, convinced he'd allowed the kits to die.[9] While Mapleshade was in exile, Appledusk moved on to a new mate, Reedshine, who became pregnant with his second litter.[10] Despite this, he and Mapleshade still had complicated feelings afterwards. In their confrontation, Appledusk refused to fight his former mate, and Mapleshade attampted to kill the pregnant Reedshine in a twisted attempt to maintain ownership of Appledusk.[2]

Patchkit, Petalkit and Larchkit

"She had avenged her kits! Were you watching, my precious kits? I killed him for you! I hope you never see Ravenwing in StarClan. He should be in the Place of No Stars for all eternity."
—Mapleshade on avenging her kits Mapleshade's Vengeance, page Chapter 6
Mapleshade loved her kits with all her heart, especially Patchkit, who was the most attached to her.[6] However, she was overconfident in her Clanmates' faith in her and her kits, planning to reveal their half-Clan origins at the "right" time, and believing that both ThunderClan and RiverClan would accept them for who they were, despite their origins. This extended to the kits themselves, as Mapleshade assumed they could be loyal to RiverClan and ThunderClan equally. To prove this point, she causally took her kits to the RiverClan border to swim and speak lovingly to Appledusk.[7] When this event gave Ravenwing evidence to unveil the secret prematurely, she initially remained optimistic; however, she and her kits were exiled from ThunderClan as traitors, due to their father's accidental paw in the murder of Birchface, Oakstar’s son.[11] Mapleshade was both heartbroken and enraged by her Clamates' reaction and vowed vengeance for their betrayal.[8] In her desperation to get her kits to safety, she attempted to bring them to RiverClan, only for them to be swept away in the river due to their fatigue and young age. Mapleshade tried to rescue them, caring more for them than for her own life, but was unable to do so in time, and they drowned.[8]
After RiverClan then cast her out too, Mapleshade went mad with grief, and had hallucinations of her dead kits telling her to avenge them. She killed three cats, one for each kit; Frecklewish, who didn't help the kits as she assumed the Riverclan patrol would, and Ravenwing, who revealed her secret due to an omen from StarClan. For the third victim for Patchkit, Mapleshade had become delusional in her goal. She attempted to kill a pregnant Reedshine based on her own jealousy, rather than any connection to the kits' demise, to which Reedshine had none. Ironically, Mapleshade succeeds in her original plan by unexpectedly killing Appledusk, who couldn't save the kits, though she couldn't be satisfied knowing Reedshine's litter would live on. After dying from a fatal wound by Appledusk's apprentice, Mapleshade expected to be thanked by her kits in StarClan. Initially confused about being in the Dark Forest, Mapleshade quickly embraced it as she could carry on targeting Appledusk's kin and did not mind being separated from her kits. [2]

Reedshine

"Don't come any closer! What you have done here is more terrible than anything a Clan cat has done before. But you have not won, Mapleshade. Appledusk will live on in his kits, and their kits in turn. His spirit will not die. He will be part of RiverClan forever!"
—Reedshine to Mapleshade Mapleshade's Vengeance, page chapter 9
Mapleshade has harbored a deep hatred for Reedshine that only grew after she was exiled from ThunderClan. In RiverClan territory, Mapleshade launches herself at Reedshine, attempting to kill her out of her fury and envy. When Mapleshade murdered Appledusk, Reedshine, who was pregnant with his kits, told Mapleshade that Appledusk would live on in his descendants, and that she had failed.[12] Even in death in the Dark Forest and after her revenge, Mapleshade could not let go of her pain and hatred for Reedshine and Appledusk, and all of ThunderClan and their descendants. She targeted Reedshine and Appledusk's descendants, namely Crookedstar[13], and the descendants of ThunderClan, and eventually all of the Clans.[14]

Crookedstar and Tigerstar

"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
As part of her dying wish, Mapleshade swore to continue her revenge on the descendants of her victims, achieving this by attempting to turn Oakstar’s grandson, Tigerstar, and Appledusk's great-grandson, Crookedstar, into tortured killers like her.[2] From the Dark Forest, she patiently manipulated them throughout their whole life, slowly revealing her nature and abusing them.[15] Merely valuing them as pawns to cause widespread suffering, Mapleshade guided them to become tyrannical leaders and in doing so, damning themselves to join their tormenter in the afterlife. Much to Mapleshade's frustration, she only succeeds in corrupting Tigerstar, with Crookedstar being able to break free.[13] When Tigerstar joins the Dark Forest, Mapleshade finally sees him as equal to her.[16]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 9
  3. Revealed in Pinestar's Choice, chapter 2
  4. Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 6
  5. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 380
  6. 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 2
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 3
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 4
  9. Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 8
  10. Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 7
  11. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 480
  12. Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance
  13. 13.0 13.1 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise
  14. Revealed in The Last Hope
  15. Revealed in Tigerclaw's Fury, chapter 7
  16. Revealed in Omen of the Stars
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