This article contains major spoilers for the recently released book, River. Please proceed at your own discretion.
|"Nothing can stand against the force of water, just as nothing can defeat RiverClan warriors when we rise up together. But when trouble comes, RiverClan knows how to weave through the dangers, adapting to the changed world, just as the river flows around rocks and over waterfalls. We are grace. We are power. We are RiverClan."|
|— Leopardstar on RiverClan in Secrets of the Clans, page 40|
RiverClan is a group of cats that live in a part of the forest that is primarily wetland, or shores of lakes, rivers, and streams. Their founding leader, Riverstar, got his name due to the river that saved his life, so by extension the name was thought to be given to the Clan.
- RiverClan is one of the five Clans and consider StarClan to be their warrior ancestors. They used to live on the reedy, pebbly plain near a river with very few trees, but now live in a patch of land surrounded by two streams. RiverClan cats are known for their amazing skill at fishing and love for the water. They also love beautiful things and are known to collect rocks, shells, and feathers to decorate their dens. They eat mainly fish, but they also eat water voles, shrews, and mice. They are contented, sleek, well-fed cats with well-groomed fur. They are known to be clever and graceful but are perceived outside their Clan as being stubborn and lazy. Their long fur and glossy coats are an asset while swimming. RiverClan gets by in leaf-bare because, according to other Clans, they fatten themselves on fish during greenleaf in preparation for leaf-bare. RiverClan cats dislike adding birds to their fresh-kill pile. Sometimes other Clan cats call them "fish-faces", or "fish-breath". They are quite strong swimmers and move through the water as if they are part of it. Their lightning reflexes help them scoop fish from the bank. RiverClan cats often go well-fed, even during leaf-bare, and their sleek and handsome pelts are often something Twolegs are attracted to. Many Twolegs see this, and often take these cats to live in their homes, although RiverClan keeps quiet about it because many of those cats do not come back.
- Camp - A well-drained island surrounded by the river and reeds. The other Clans' fear of water means this camp has never been attacked.
- The gorge - A deep gorge cut by the river in the terrain, border with WindClan. Apprentices are forbidden to go near it.
- The river - A source of food and protection to the Clan. Sometimes, it is peaceful, while other times, it floods.
- Twoleg bridge - A bridge built by Twolegs that allows the cats to go to Fourtrees when the river is high.
- Beech copse - A training area for apprentices and warriors.
The whole camp is surrounded by reeds. In the central area, the cats lie and share tongues in the sun. In the tangle of one of the reeds, there is the warrior's den. It is also right next to the nursery. On the roof of the den, cats have woven in sparkling rocks and shells from the river. The light dances on them, making beautiful reflections. The river comes up very close to the nursery. The walls are built very thickly to prevent the nursery from floating away in a flood. The nursery is also close to the river so the kits can practice getting wet and sometimes swimming, helping them for when they become apprentices. Across the central clearing, the elder's den, leader's den, apprentice's den, and the medicine's den dwell. They are all in a tangle of reeds covered by a hard reedy roof.
The lake territory for RiverClan does not have any name by Twolegs. However, the Twoleg names for the borders are Littlepine Road, Littlepine Sailing Center, and Whitechurch Road. The territory includes the River Alba. Landmarks here include:
- Camp - Like the other camp, this camp is tucked away on a piece of land surrounded by two streams, making it well-defended.
- Greenleaf Twolegplace - During greenleaf, Twolegs come here to swim noisily.
- Halfbridge - A peculiar bridge that ends halfway in the water. Twoleg boats are anchored to it.
- Lake shore - RiverClan owns the south to western part of the lake shore.
The camp is full of lush trees and streams full of fish. There is a main stream that joins a smaller one, and on that triangle of land, RiverClan's camp resides. In the camp, there is a nest of brambles which is where the nursery is. It is strongly reinforced. In other thickets are the elder's and leader's den. The medicine cat's den is behind a thorn bush and overhangs the stream. The earth was washed away, leaving a pool in the roots and a hole in the bank. This is essential for the medicine cat who can store their supplies and get fresh water at any time. There aren't as many shiny things as in the old camp, but Twolegs often leave behind shiny things that the cats can use to decorate their nests. However, they have to be careful, as not all Twoleg things are safe for them.
- Riverstar is the founder and first leader of RiverClan. His deputy was Night, and his medicine cat was Dappled Pelt.
- Ripple spent his younger days in a park filled with cats, where they live peacefully together. One day, Twolegs come to the park and capture all the cats Ripple had known for years. Ripple and his mentor, Arc, escape, but Ripple is separated from Arc and falls into the river. The river carries him to safety, and Ripple changes his name to River Ripple to thank the river for helping him.
- River Ripple is a mellow and calm cat, and he lives peacefully by the river until the mountain cats come to the forest territories. He meets Gray Wing, Wind, Gorse, and Rainswept Flower, who think he is weird. River Ripple doesn’t interfere with the mountain cat’s business, but he draws their attention when he saves Clear Sky’s group from a fire. He then creates his own group by the river, and many cats join him, including Shattered Ice and Dappled Pelt. His group is later named RiverClan.
- When Moth Flight receives a message from StarClan saying that the leaders need to come to the Moonstone to receive their nine lives, River Ripple goes and takes the name of Riverstar.
- Hailstar is the leader of RiverClan before Crookedstar. His deputies were Shellheart and Crookedjaw, and his medicine cats were Brambleberry and Mudfur.
- Hailstar is a confident and respected leader. He sends RiverClan into many battles for Sunningrocks, and is not afraid to start border fights. He has a mate, Echomist, and three kits, Voleclaw, Petaldust, and Beetlenose.
- Hailstar watches Crookedkit as he grows up, and is proud of what he sees from the young tom. When Crookedjaw’s father, Shellheart, retires to the elder’s den, he makes Crookedjaw deputy. When Hailstar loses his last life to rats, Crookedjaw becomes leader.
- Crookedstar is the leader of RiverClan after Hailstar. His deputies were Timberfur, Oakheart, and Leopardfur, and his medicine cats were Brambleberry and Mudfur.
- Crookedstar is a noble and sensible leader who lead his Clan during the time of Brokenstar. His mate is his childhood friend, Willowbreeze, and he had three kits with her; Willowkit, Minnowkit, and Silverkit. However, Willowbreeze, Willowkit and Minnowkit die of greencough soon after the kits are born, and Crookedstar becomes very protective of his remaining kit.
- During Brokenstar’s reign, Crookedstar agrees to let ShadowClan hunt in the river, fearing that if he didn’t, his Clan would be driven out. When WindClan returns, he allies with ShadowClan to try and drive them out, as he liked having WindClan’s territory available for his Clan.
- Crookedstar’s daughter, Silverstream, starts seeing a ThunderClan tom named Graystripe. Crookedstar knows he can do nothing to stop it, and that he must wait for her mistake to catch up to her. Soon after, Silverstream dies giving birth to Graystripe’s kits, Stormkit and Featherkit. Graystripe takes the kits to ThunderClan, but when Crookedstar finds out that they’re Silverstream’s kits, he sends a RiverClan patrol to bring them back. Graystripe comes with them to RiverClan and lives there with his kits for a while, but ends up returning to ThunderClan.
- When the river floods the RiverClan camp, Fireheart and Graystripe save two of Mistyfoot’s kits. Crookedstar believes them when they tell him about it, but his deputy, Leopardfur, is doubtful. He lets Fireheart and Graystripe bring prey to RiverClan in their times of hardship. When the ThunderClan camp is destroyed by a fire, Crookedstar lets them stay in RiverClan’s camp.
- After a long leadership, Crookedstar loses his last life to Greencough, and Leopardfur succeeds him as leader.
- Leopardstar is the leader of RiverClan after Crookedstar. Her deputies were Stonefur, Mistyfoot, and Hawkfrost, and her medicine cats were Mudfur and Mothwing.
- Leopardstar leads RiverClan during Tigerstar’s tyranny. She is an independent leader, who allows little room for disobedience. She appoints Stonefur as her deputy.
- Leopardstar exiles Graystripe from RiverClan when he refuses to fight ThunderClan in a battle for Sunningrocks. She bands her Clan together with ShadowClan, forming TigerClan, mostly because she has a crush on Tigerstar. She is horrified with his plan to kill all Half-Clan cats, as he kills her own deputy, Stonefur. She immediately regrets joining TigerClan, and does not fight on Tigerstar’s side in the battle with BloodClan. She appoints Mistyfoot to be her new deputy, in honor of Stonefur.
- After this, there are many moons of peace. When Mistyfoot is captured by Twolegs, she appoints Hawkfrost to be her temporary deputy, but he is replaced when Mistyfoot returns. When the other Clans say that they have to leave the forest territories, she is adamant that RiverClan can survive off the river, but eventually admits that the Twolegs will destroy everything and goes with the other Clans to the lake territories.
- At the lake, Leopardstar receives a sign faked by Hawkfrost about Stormfur and Brook being obstacles to RiverClan’s success. At first she is skeptical, but banishes the two cats after Stormfur attacks Hawkfrost. When Sol comes to the lake, she helps Onestar attack ThunderClan using the tunnels. She then sides with the other leaders in demanding Sol be banished.
- When the lake dries up, Leopardstar’s Clan is heavily affected and guard the remaining water fiercely. Leopardstar loses her remaining lives during the drought and Mistyfoot succeeds her as leader.
- Mistystar is the most recent leader of RiverClan, succeeding Leopardstar. Her deputy was Reedwhisker, and her medicine cats were Mothwing and Willowshine, and later on Frostpaw.
- Mistystar was a wise and competent leader. When Mistystar travels to the Moonpool with Mothwing to receive her nine lives, she is shocked to learn that Mothwing does not believe in StarClan. She demotes Mothwing to an elder, but eventually comes to understand that Mothwing only wants the best for her Clan and lets her become a medicine cat again.
- When Twigkit and Violetkit are brought to the Clans, Mistystar suggests that ShadowClan take Violetkit and ThunderClan take Twigkit. Mistystar tries to protect her Clan during the reign of Darktail’s Kin, but she is forced to shelter in ThunderClan with Reedwhisker when her Clan is taken over by Darktail. She helps drive the Kin away, and temporarily closes her borders afterward to give RiverClan time to recover.
- Later, during an unusually harsh leaf-bare, Mistystar is troubled by the lack of connection to StarClan. When she tries to ask Bramblestar what it was like to come back from the dead, he grows defensive and says it’s a secret. Later, she exiles Harelight and Icewing for fighting with the rebels instead of with RiverClan. When the Clan leaders vote to kill Bramblestar's body, Mistystar votes with Squirrelflight to preserve it, but is outvoted by the three other Clan leaders. Later, when Willowshine ventured into The Place of No Stars in an attempt to rescue Squirrelflight, she was killed by Ashfur.
- Mistystar travelled into the Dark Forest to defeat Ashfur and was given the title of A Light in the Mist. After changes from the warrior code happened and cats began to question her, Mistystar collapsed in camp and later died after losing her ninth life. It was assumed that Reedwhisker would take her place, but after his mysterious death, StarClan chose Curlfeather, who was killed by dogs on her way to the Moonpool, leaving RiverClan without a leader and Mothwing and Frostpaw scrambling to protect their Clan.
History of ranks
- Dovestar's succession is unknown, but they appear in "Rules That Did Not Become Part of the Code" of Code of the Clans.
- Black Ear gave RiverClan its name.
- In The Ultimate Guide, Crookedstar says that in the lake territories, RiverClan first settled on the island, to make their camp. At first, the island was thought to be a Gathering spot, but there was no way to access it without swimming. However, when a branch fell, it created a walkway to the island, making it the new Gathering place, and leaving RiverClan to choose a new camp.
- "RiverClan is like the river. Always flowing, yet never changing."
- ―Mudfur about RiverClan Crookedstar's Promise, page 375
- RiverClan on the Warriors official website
Notes and references
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 48
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 5
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 40
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 14
- Revealed in Sunset, page 96
- Revealed in Battles of the Clans, page 39
- Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 58
- Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 59
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 82
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 41
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 42
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 43
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 86
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 47
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 49
- Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 155
- Revealed in Path of Stars, page 304
- Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 118