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The plan to divert the dogs was carried out in A Dangerous Path, in which a trail of dead rabbits were carefully placed to lead to ThunderClan's camp by Tigerstar, for a pack of dogs to follow and kill the cats who resided there.[1] After the rabbits were placed, Fireheart found out what the plan was, and began to develop a plan that would stop the dogs from arriving to the camp. [2]

Fireheart and the other Clan cats that he had been picked help him lead the dogs over the gorge in RiverClan territory.[3] At first, the plan works smoothly, until the pack leader catches up to Fireheart and grabs his scruff, shaking him violently.[4] Saving Fireheart's life, Bluestar comes to his rescue, slamming against the pack leader.[5] The force of her impact has the dog release Fireheart from its grip, and it falls over the gorge - but not before it grabs Bluestar's leg and brings her down with it.[6]

When the dog and Bluestar hit the water, Bluestar begins to drown, but with the combined force of Mistyfoot, Stonefur, and Fireheart, they drag her out of the river.[7] Despite Fireheart believing otherwise, Bluestar is dying. With her final words, she asks her two kits to forgive her, as they had spent their entire life believing that Graypool was their mother, until they found out Bluestar was actually their mother and had given them up to RiverClan. The two warriors forgive their dying mother, and Bluestar, after naming Fireheart the new leader of ThunderClan, lets go of the last life she had been clinging on.

Summary

Premise

Several cats, including warriors from WindClan and ThunderClan, had reported scenting dogs around ThunderClan's border, alongside dead rabbits. Eventually, this led to accusations against WindClan about them stealing prey. However, Fireheart stopped a battle between the two Clans, and assured the leaders of WindClan and ThunderClan that dogs were most likely the culprit of the prey stealing. Fireheart ended up leading a patrol towards Snakerocks, where dog scent was fresh, and he and other cats figured out that Tigerstar had been killing rabbits and laying them down to create a trail towards ThunderClan's camp.

Overview

Fireheart had managed to stop a battle between WindClan and ThunderClan by assuring the respective leaders, Tallstar and Bluestar, that dogs had been stealing the prey that they accused each other of stealing. After, two apprentices, Swiftpaw and Brightpaw attempted to investigate what was stealing all the prey, but they end up encountering dogs, who killed Swiftpaw and severely injured Brightpaw. Fireheart then investigates the area in which they had been attacked, and realized that dogs were indeed hiding there, and that there is a trail for them to follow. Fireheart and the ThunderClan cats end up outrunning the dogs and killing the Pack Leader, keeping ThunderClan safe.

Description

Pack pack, kill kill

Both Bluestar and Cinderpelt, ThunderClan's medicine cat, had received dreams of a "pack pack, kill kill," message, which leaves Fireheart puzzled. He cannot figure out the meaning, but believes it may have something to do with a disaster that will enfold the forest.

Attempted battle

During a Gathering, Bluestar accuses WindClan of stealing rabbits from their territory, using the logic that only WindClan eats rabbits. Tallstar denies the accusation, but turns it around, accusing ThunderClan was stealing prey from WindClan. Bluestar plans to attack WindClan, but Fireheart, believing that it is an unnecessary and pointless battle, manages to enter WindClan's camp in order to speak to Tallstar. He tells Tallstar of Bluestar's plans, and arranges a meeting at Fourtrees to discuss the matter in a peaceful manner. Tallstar tells Fireheart that they would need a messenger to get the invitation to Bluestar, and Fireheart decides that Ravenpaw should send the message to Bluestar.
Bluestar ends up agreeing to meet with Tallstar. Fireheart assembles a patrol to accompany her, and they travel to Fourtrees, where they meet Tallstar. Bluestar, at first, is suspicious that it is an invading party, due to the size of Tallstar's patrol, but still asks Tallstar about what he wants to talk about. Tallstar asks Bluestar if they can make peace, and Bluestar snaps at him at how they can make peace with prey stealers and rogues.
Mudclaw attempts to spring forward, but Onewhisker stops him. Fireheart pleads with Bluestar to do what Tallstar said, and Bluestar steps closer to Tallstar. Tallstar swears by StarClan that WindClan had not hunted on their territory, and Bluestar sneers at an oath by StarClan means nothing. Tallstar, although visibly perplexed, swears on other things that Bluestar may hold sacred. He adds that WindClan had not stolen prey, and brings up that it may be dogs or rogues, but not WindClan cats. Eventually, Bluestar accepts Tallstar's words, and sends her cats back to camp.
Bluestar is furious at Fireheart for organizing the meeting behind her back and disobeying her orders, and decides he needs a punishment. Her punishment to him is for him to continue being Clan deputy, deciding that a traitor leading a Clan of traitors would please StarClan.

Swiftpaw and Brightpaw

Jealous that their denmate, Cloudpaw, had been made a warrior prior to them, the two apprentices decide to investigate the true source of the prey stealing. They believe that, if they found the true thief, Bluestar would indeed appoint them warriors. Sneaking out in the middle of the night, they travel to Snakerocks and are attacked by dogs. Swiftpaw is savagely killed, and Brightpaw is severely injured.

Finding the apprentices

Once learning of the apprentice's disappearance, Fireheart assembles a patrol to look for the apprentices. They find them at Snakerocks, but Swiftpaw is dead, and Brightpaw is clinging to life. Brightpaw manages to whisper out, "pack pack, kill kill," which was the message Bluestar and Cinderpelt had received.
Brightpaw is brought to camp, while Swiftpaw is buried. Believing that Brightpaw was dying, Bluestar gives her a dying warrior ceremony, naming her Lostface out of anger towards StarClan. Although the name is cruel, and cats are hesitant that Lostface will survive, Cinderpelt works tirelessly to save her, although she cannot do anything about her missing eye, her shredded ears, and the missing half of her face.

True source

Longtail reports to Fireheart that he had scented Tigerstar at Snakerocks three times. The pale tabby had returned there earlier, to see what Tigerstar had truly been doing. He adds that he found something that the deputy needed to see, and requests for him to accompany him to Snakerocks. Fireheart believes that this is a trap for Longtail to corner him with Tigerstar, and he shoots down Longtail's idea. Longtail then goes to Whitestorm to try to tell him what he had found, and Fireheart overhears him saying that dogs were living at Snakerocks.
Fireheart walks over and asks if he had seen them. Longtail counters that if he is going to accuse him of plotting against him again, and Fireheart apologizes, but requests him to elaborate about the dogs. Longtail tells him that there is an entire pack of dogs, and when he had scented Tigerstar, he thought he should warn him about the danger, and wanted to know what he had been doing there. He adds that he found out - he had seen Tigerstar dragging a dead rabbit, and leaving it outside a cave entrance at the rocks. He then says that he saw a creature, the largest dog he had ever seen, and much more savage looking than dogs Twolegs kept, snatch the rabbit and drag it into the cave. He then had heard barking and growling, and he had managed to understand the words as "pack pack, kill kill."
Fireheart is horrified, as that had been the words in Cinderpelt and Bluestar's dreams, and the words Lostface had uttered out. He realizes that the dogs must have been who attacked Lostface, and they must have been what StarClan had been warning Bluestar and Cinderpelt about. Fireheart realizes that this is not a single dog, but an entire pack of savage creatures which would cause destruction and risk the balance of life in the forest.
The flame colored tom asks Longtail to confirm that if Tigerstar was indeed feeding the dogs, and Longtail confesses that he does not know - he only saw Tigerstar dropping the rabbit and jumping on top of the rock. Fireheart realizes that the dark tabby is linked to the dark force in the forest, and inquires Whitestorm what he thinks. The white warrior replies that they must investigate, and adds that he wonders how much Darkstripe knows about this. Fireheart then decides that he will take a patrol to Snakerocks at dawn the next day, and would find up what Tigerstar was doing.

Patrol

Fireheart takes Whitestorm, Sandstorm, Longtail, Cloudtail, and Graystripe to investigate Snakerocks. He sees a dead rabbit in a clump of bracken, and Longtail assumes that the pack had been killing again, but Sandstorm notices ShadowClan scent. Fireheart concludes that Tigerstar was killing the prey, but had left it there. He orders Cloudtail to go back the way they came, and search for dead rabbits. Fireheart sees another rabbit a little way from where he had seen the first one, and Graystripe finds another one as well.
Longtail tells Fireheart that the dogs lived in the cave. Fireheart muses that the dog would leave the cave, and see the rabbit in the bracken. Then the dogs would see the second one he had found, and then the one Graystripe had found. Realization hits Fireheart as he realizes that Tigerstar had led a trail of rabbits straight to camp, and both Sandstorm and Longtail are horrified. Fireheart exclaims that they must break the trail, and Cloudtail comes back, reporting that he and Whitestorm had found two more rabbits.
Fireheart suggests that they dump the rabbits in a stream, but Whitestorm points out that the scent will still stay - which means, regardless if the rabbits were there or not, the dogs would still follow the trail and still end up in ThunderClan's camp. Fireheart still insists that they will move the rabbits, and hopefully, that would slow the dogs down. He adds that they must go to camp and warn their Clanmates so that they can evacuate.
Sandstorm suggests that they leave the rabbits in one place, thinking that the dogs would pause and eat them. Whitestorm says that it might be better to keep them closer to the cave, which would maybe stop the dogs from coming to camp. Fireheart says that there is not time, and that the dogs could be on their way already. As they run back to camp, Fireheart fears that they may be too late in stopping the dogs.
Once they enter the ravine, Cloudtail sees a dead body in front of the entrance, which they realize is a cat, Brindleface. Distraught, Cloudtail asks Fireheart why she was killed, and Fireheart replies that it was because Tigerstar wanted the pack to get a taste of cat blood.

Evacuating the camp

The patrol bring Brindleface's body to camp, but there is no time for mourning rituals, as they must evacuate every cat as soon as possible. Cloudtail hisses that he will flay Tigerstar, but Fireheart warns them that they need to deal with the dogs first.
Fireheart reports to the camp what they had found, including Tigerstar's plan in his statement. He tells his Clan that they must evacuate to Sunningrocks, and once they are there, they must climb the tallest tree they can find. He explains that if the dogs follow them, they will think they lost the scent on the rocks, and they would not look for them.
Dustpelt asks what they will do about the pack, and Fireheart realizes that the pack was too strong for them to attack directly. He gets an idea quickly, and exclaims that they will steal the trail. Fireheart tells him that they would let Tigerstar lead the dogs to the camp, but they would be there, waiting to take them to the gorge, due to the fact that any animal could drown there.
Fireheart goes on, saying that they would need to lure the dogs over the edge. He collects Graystripe, Sandstorm, Mousefur, Longtail, and Dustpelt, along with Fireheart himself. Fernpaw and Ashpaw go up to Fireheart, asking the flame colored deputy if he would allow them to come, as Brindleface was their mother and they wanted to avenge her. Whitestorm agrees that they should come, as their anger would make them fearless.
Cloudtail asks if he can come, and Fireheart tells him that he has to look after the Clan, to make sure they survive. Cloudtail eventually obeys, assembling the cats to go to Sunningrocks. Fireheart sees Darkstripe, with Bramblepaw and Tawnypaw after him. He races up to the three, demanding what Darkstripe is doing. The dark tabby explains that he does not think Sunningrocks is safe, and was taking the two to better place. Fireheart, furious, demands to know what better place he knew of, and if he did, why he did not share it with the rest of his Clan. He accuses Darkstripe of taking the two apprentices to Tigerstar, adding that the ShadowClan leader would not want his kits to be eaten by the dog pack. He adds that Darkstripe was taking them away before the dog pack could get there, and that he and Tigerstar had arranged this at the last Gathering.
Fireheart goes on, saying that Darkstripe disgusts him, as he had obviously known about the dog back, and he never said a word to any cat. He demands to know if Darkstripe has any loyalty to his Clan, and Darkstripe protests that he did not know about the dog pack, only that Tigerstar asked him to take his kits to him. Fireheart questions the two apprentices about what Darkstripe had said to them, and Bramblepaw tells him that Darkstripe had ordered them only to go with him, as he knew a good place to hide. Still furious, Fireheart demands to know why they obeyed him, if he was Clan leader now, or maybe their mentor. He orders the three cats to follow him, and tells Brackenfur to keep an eye on both apprentices, and Whitestorm to look after Darkstripe.
When Bluestar wakes up, Fireheart explains to her the entire situation, including the plan he had devised. Bluestar concludes that StarClan had sent Tigerstar to destroy the Clan, and Fireheart tells her that they will not give in. Bluestar finally agrees to lead her Clan to Sunningrocks, and Fireheart asks Whitestorm to look after her.
Fireheart looks back at the warriors who stayed, and is reminded of the last time the Clan had to evacuate camp, when a disastrous fire had blazed through it. Three cats had not come back, but he realizes that these thoughts would only lead him to panic. He knows that he has to be strong, for the sake of his Clan. He asks his cats if they are ready, and orders them to go.

Outrunning the dogs

Fireheart orders Ashpaw and Fernpaw to wait at the top of the ravine. He tells them as soon as they see the dogs, they must run for the gorge. Sandstorm would be next in line, and once the apprentices see her, they must climb a tree. When the dogs pick up Sandstorm's trail and run, Fireheart says that they must head for Sunningrocks. He tells the two that the Clan is relying on them. Fernpaw promises that they will not let him down.
Fireheart tells Sandstorm that he does not want the apprentices to run too far, and that she will need to get a good start on the dogs. He adds that she is the fastest cat in the Clan, so if she does so, she will be able to give the rest of the cats a chance. Sandstorm tells him that he can trust her.
The rest of the cats wait to receive their orders, and Fireheart begins handing them out. He takes his warriors along a line that stretches to the gorge, leaving all of them at regular intervals. Once he and Graystripe are left alone, he tells Graystripe to hide a way's past the RiverClan border. He says that if all goes well, Mousefur will lead the dogs towards him, and when they come, he must head for the steepest part of the gorge. Once he does, Fireheart will be there, waiting to take over the dogs towards the final stretch.
Graystripe points out that his path would be on the RiverClan border. He asks what Leopardstar would think about that. Fireheart tells him that with any luck, Leopardstar would not know about it. Fireheart finds a way into RiverClan territory, and although it is silent, he is still wary. He sits there, trapped in his thoughts as he waits for the dogs to race towards him.
The flame colored tom sees Graystripe running towards him, with the dogs on his heels. Praying for StarClan to help him, Fireheart races out of his hiding spot, knowing the dogs will come after him. He wonders what he will do when he gets to the gorge - originally, he would have slipped at the edge of the gorge at the last moment so the dogs would dash straight over the edge - but due to the distance between the dogs and him, it may not work. Fireheart imagines he will have to leap over himself, and he thinks that, if it saves his Clan, that is exactly what he will do.
Fireheart continues to run as the dogs chase him. He hears them shout, "pack pack, kill kill," and he is frightened by the words. However, he continues to run regardless, knowing he must save his Clan.
A heavy weight barrels into Fireheart, pinning him to the ground. The weight asks him if he is going somewhere, and Fireheart realizes that it is Tigerstar.

Attack and a rescue

Fireheart tries to fight Tigerstar, but the dark tabby hardly moves. He snarls at Fireheart to greet StarClan for him, but Fireheart retorts only after him. Tigerstar releases him, doubling back and leaping up the nearest tree.
Before he can wonder what was going on, Fireheart feels the ground shake and hears a loud roar. Knowing that he is unable to do anything else, he shuts his eyes and prepares to die as the pack leader looms over him. The dog's teeth grabs into his scruff and starts to shake him. Fireheart flails as the dog continues to shake him, and Fireheart yowls in despair. He panics, knowing that his plan has failed and this would be the end of the Clan. He begs StarClan to help him, but Fireheart is suddenly released, and falls on the ground.
Fireheart sees Bluestar ramming into the side of the pack leader. The force of the ThunderClan leader sends the dog staggering to the very edge of the gorge, saving Fireheart's life. The soil under the dog's weight crumbles, but before it can fall, it grabs Bluestar's leg in its teeth. With Bluestar still in the dog's jaws, it falls over the edge, bringing the Clan leader down with it.
Two other dogs slip after their leader, as they could not pull up in time. The rest of the dogs, seeing the fate of their packmates and leader, flee into the forest.

Bluestar's sacrifice

Fireheart climbs down the gorge to try and retrieve Bluestar, after seeing her head bobbing and realizing she is still alive. However, the torrent is sweeping her downstream, and she is too frail to fight it. Telling her he is coming, Fireheart leaps into the river and tries to help her. He grabs Bluestar's scruff and attempts to swim with her in his jaws, but she is too heavy for him.
Barely conscious, Fireheart knows that he is about to drown. But, Bluestar's weight is lifted from his jaws, and he sees Mistyfoot grabbing Bluestar's scruff. He hears Stonefur's voice, who urges Fireheart to let go of her, as he and his sister have her now. All three cats, with Stonefur and Mistyfoot holding Bluestar, are able to make it to the shore of the river.
Bluestar is laid to the side, her jaws parted and water trickling out of them. Fireheart asks if she is dead, and Stonefur is about to reply, but he is cut off by Graystripe's warning. Fireheart turns around to see Tigerstar running towards him, but Graystripe leaps in front of him, warning him to not go any closer.
Fireheart is frustrated because he knows everything that happened was because of Tigerstar. He gets up, about to attack Tigerstar with Graystripe, but Mistyfoot yowls that Bluestar is still alive. After warning Tigerstar to stay away, Fireheart comes over to where the Bluestar and her kits are. He talks to Bluestar, whispering that she is all right now, and he is here.
Bluestar whispers to Mistyfoot and Stonefur that they saved her. Mistyfoot urges her to not talk, but Bluestar talks regardless. She asks them to forgive her for sending them away. Watching, Fireheart wonders if the two will turn on her. Bluestar goes on, saying that she owes Graypool, their adoptive mother, so much, and their father, Oakheart, as well. She whispers that if she had made a different choice, the two RiverClan warriors would have given all their strength to ThunderClan. She asks them to forgive her.
Mistyfoot and Stonefur forgive her. Bluestar purrs with delight, and Fireheart sees her closing her eyes. He asks Mistyfoot and Stonefur if they can get their medicine cat, but Stonefur gently tells him that it is too late, as she is on her way to StarClan. Fireheart protests, telling Bluestar to wait a little longer.
Bluestar murmurs if Oakheart had come for her, and says that she is ready. Fireheart protests again, feeling his difficulties with Bluestar fading away, remembering the noble leader she had once been; her wisdom and inspiration as she mentored him when he was a new apprentice.
With her last words, Bluestar tells Fireheart that she had fought her last battle. She confesses to him that, when she saw the strong helping the weak at Sunningrocks, she realized that her Clan was still loyal, and StarClan had not turned their backs on them. She tells him that she knew they could not face the danger of the dogs alone. She reminds Fireheart of the prophecy she had received, "fire will save the Clan." She tells him that he is the fire that will save ThunderClan, and he will be known as Firestar.
With her goodbyes finished, Bluestar closes her eyes, and lets go of the life she had been clinging on. Fireheart is horrified at the death of his leader, and is shocked that he is now the Clan leader. However, he knows that the threat of the pack is gone, now that the pack leader is dead. He knows his Clan is waiting for him, and tells Graystripe that it is time to go home.

Strategy

Coming Soon

Aftermath

Scourge had known Tigerstar's plans of the dogs, and once finding out that it had failed, admonishes him for it. Lostface gets her name changed to Brightheart, and although she is still forced to live with the terrible scars the dogs had given her, she eventually accepts herself for who she is. The dogs never return to the Clans.

Legacy

Dogs continue to be feared, and the sacrifice Bluestar made is still remembered by the Clans. When dogs invade WindClan territory in the lake territories, ThunderClan cats bring up the pack in their old camp. They are afraid that it may be on the same level of severity, but they find out it is not - although the memory will still live with them.

References and citations

  1. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 284
  2. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 285
  3. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 298
  4. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 301
  5. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 304
  6. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 305
  7. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 306


Events in the Warriors series
The Prophecies Begin Plan 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 ThunderClanTracking a killer
Omen of the Stars Saving the lakeWar with the Dark Forest
A Vision of Shadows Alderpaw's questThe Kin's campaignShadowClan's downfallBattle 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 badgers
Novellas A predicted starvationRavenpaw's travels