Night lays upon the forest as no moon, yet the stars of Silverpelt shed their frosty glitter over the trees. At the bottom of a rocky hollow, a pool reflects the stars and the air is heavy with the scents of late greenleaf. A wind sighs gently through the trees and disturbs the pool's quiet surface. At the top of the hollow, the fronds of bracken part as a blue-gray she-cat steps delicately from rock to rock, down to the water's edge. She seats herself on a flat stone that juts out over the pool, raising her head to look around.
As if on signal, more cats appear, slipping into the hollow from every direction, padding down to sit as close to the water as they could. The lower slopes fill with lithe shapes gazing down into the pool. The first arrival rises to her paws, announcing that a new prophecy has come; a doom that will change everything that has been foreseen in the stars. On the other side of the pool, another tom bows his head, agreeing that he has seen it as well and that there will be doubt and a great challenge. The first cat continues, meowing the foretold prophecy: Darkness, air, water, and sky will come together, and shake the forest to its roots.
Another voice meows that a great storm is coming, the word storm being repeated and passed around until it appears that thunder rumbles through the ranks of watching cats. As the murmurs die away, a lean black cat speaks from near the water's edge, asking if nothing can change what is about to happen, not even the courage and spirit of the greatest warrior. The blue-gray cat replies that the doom will come, but if the Clans meet the challenge like warriors, they may survive. Lifting her head, her gaze travels around the hollow. She meows that they have all seen what must befall and they know what must be done: Four cats must be chosen to hold the fate of their Clans in their paws. The cat then asks if they are ready to make their choices before all of StarClan. As she finishes speaking, the pool's surface ripples, though there is no wind to make it shiver, then goes still once more.
The cat who had spoken second rises to his paws, starlight turning the fur on his shoulders to a silver color. He meows that he will begin, glancing sideways to meet the gaze of a light-colored tabby with a twisted jaw, asking Crookedstar if he has permission to speak for RiverClan. Crookedstar bows his head in agreement and the tom goes on that he invites the cats to see and approve his choice. Staring down into the water, the tom remains motionless as the rocks around him.
Then, a pale gray blur appears on the pool's surface and all of the cats crane forward to see it more clearly. The blue-gray cat murmurs, staring at the shape in the water, asking Oakheart if he is sure. Oakheart's tail tip flicks back and forth, meowing with amusement in his tone that he thought that his choice would please her. He asks Bluestar if she thought that the cat was not well-mentored, in which Bluestar's neck fur rises as if she had been challenged, declaring that the cat was excellently mentored. Her fur returning to a flat state, Bluestar asks if the rest of StarClan agree.
A murmur of assent rises from the watching cats and the pale gray shape vanishes from the water, leaving it clear and empty once more. The black cat stands up and pads to the very edge of the pool, announcing his choice for the cats to see and approve it. A tawny-colored, lean shape appears in the pool and Bluestar gazes at the image for moments before nodding, agreeing that the cat has strength and courage. Another cat calls out to Nightstar, asking if she has loyalty, in which Nightstar's head whips around, claws digging into the ground in front of him, asking if the cat is calling her disloyal. The answer shoots back, declaring that if they were, there is a reason for it as the cat was not born in ShadowClan.
Bluestar calmly states that it could make her a good choice, because if the Clans cannot work together currently, they all can be destroyed. She adds that it might take cats with a paw in two Clans to understand what has to be done. Bluestar pauses for a moment, but after no more objections appear, she asks if StarClan approves. Though there is some hesitation, it isn't too long before soft meows of agreement come from all of the assembled cats. The pool ripples briefly, but when it stills, the tawny shape is gone.
Another cat gets up and approaches the water's edge, limping on one stubby, twisted paw. He rasps that he thinks it is his turn and asks StarClan to see and approve his choice. A gray-black shape forms in the pool is difficult to see against the reflection of the night sky, but the cats peer at it for sometime before Oakheart exclaims that the cat is an apprentice. Dryly meowing that he has noticed, Deadfoot is told by another cat from the back of the crowd that he can't send an apprentice into such danger. Deadfoot retorts that he may be an apprentice, but the cat has courage and skill to match many warriors and that he might one day make a fine leader for WindClan.
Bluestar points out that one day is not now and that the qualities of a leader are not necessarily the ones that the Clans need to save them currently. She asks Deadfoot if he wishes to make another choice, in which Deadfoot's tail lashes furiously and his neck fur bristles as he glares at Bluestar. He insists that it is his choice and asks Bluestar is she, or any other cat, dare say that the tom is not worthy. Bluestar's gaze goes around the circle, asking StarClan if they approve. She reminds the cats that every Clan will be lost should one of the chosen cats weaken or fail.
Instead of a murmur of approval, the cats mutter at each other in small groups, casting uneasy glances at the shape in the pool and Deadfoot. Deadfoot stares back with fury in his eyes, his fur fluffed up so that he looks twice his size, clearly ready to battle any cat who challenges him. As the murmuring dies away, Bluestar asks the cats if StarClan approves, and the assent arrives, but it is low and reluctant and few cats did not speak at all. Deadfoot releases an ill-tempered growl as he turns and limps back to his place. When the water is clear once more, Oakheart tells Bluestar that she has not yet made her choice for ThunderClan. Bluestar agrees that she hasn't, but is ready now and meows for StarClan to see and approve her choice. She gazes down proudly into the pool as a dark tabby shape forms in the depths. Oakheart stares at it and stretches his jaws wide in a silent mew of laughter, telling Bluestar that she never ceases to surprise him.
Her tone showing she is nettled, Bluestar asks why, meowing that he is a noble young cat, fit for the challenges that the prophecy will bring. Oakheart's ears twitch, asking her if he said he was not. Bluestar holds his gaze, not looking at the other cats as she demands if StarClan approves. When an agreement comes, strong and certain, Bluestar gives Oakheart a tail flick of contempt, looking away. She raises her voice, meowing to the StarClan cats that their choices have been made and soon, the journey must begin, to meet the terrible storm that will be released on the forest. Ordering the cats to go to their Clans and make sure each cat is ready, Bluestar pauses, eyes blazing with a fierce silver light as she says that they can choose a warrior to save each Clan, but they cannot help them beyond that. The blue-gray she-cat finishes that the spirits of all the warrior ancestors may go with the journeying cats, wherever the stars may lead them.