The River Chell is the Twoleg name for the river that runs through the old forest in the first and second arc of the Warriors series. It runs from the old forest all the way into the SkyClan gorge far away from the forest. To the Clans, it is known only as "The River."[1]



The River, as it ends by the SkyClan gorge.

The river serves as a boundary between ThunderClan and RiverClan territories,[2] and also between the RiverClan and WindClan territories,[3] where it flows through a very steep gorge.[4] Fat, brown bulrush heads and dense reed forests are said to jut out of the river, along the bank.[5] SkyClan made their camp near the source of the river in Firestar's Quest after being driven out of the forest by the four other Clans, hoping it would give them the food they desperately needed.[6] The river is said to be huge, as big as the ThunderClan forest camp.[7] In greenleaf, Twolegs bring their boats, and their kits frighten all the fish while they swim, making it harder for RiverClan to feed themselves.[8] It is a source of prey and protection to the RiverClan cats, seeing as it is close to their camp.[9]


When the ancient Clan's roamed the forest, LeopardClan owned the river.[10] They were granted sole hunting rights to the river.[10]

Location history

The river changed its bed during a flood, long before the plotline of the books. Sunningrocks used to be on an island, and RiverClan cats used to swim across the river to get to them.[11] After the river bed changed its course, ThunderClan claimed the rocks, but left the river and the fish in it to RiverClan.[11]

Book mentions

In the Super Editions

Moth Flight's Vision

Coming Soon

Tallstar's Revenge

When Hopkit becomes very sick due to an infection in his blood, Barkface mentions sweet sedge, which RiverClan has. Talltail accompanies him to the RiverClan camp, and soon both cats arrive at the riverbank. Talltail asks if they'll have to cross the river, and Barkface responds that they could signal for a patrol. They wait, but a patrol doesn't arrive. The two cats conclude that they must cross the river themselves. They appear fine while their paws touch the bottom, but the water becomes deep, and Barkface disappears beneath the surface. Talltail clumsily attempts to go after him, but the brown tom resurfaces, now swimming strongly. They finally make it out of the river soon after. After they receive their medicine, Hailstar orders Rippleclaw and Ottersplash to escort Talltail and Barkface back across the river. Hailstar warns them of heavy currents as they depart. As Talltail crosses the river, a current almost drowns him, but he bobs up to the surface with Ottersplash's help. 

Crookedstar's Promise

The river becomes flooded from heavy rain that occurs during a storm. It floods the camp, forcing RiverClan to move to higher shelter. This alters the camp so much that they are forced to rebuild. Duskwater is swept away in the flood, and it is highly assumed that she drowned. After the floods, leaf-bare frosts grip the river every night. Stormkit falls in the river, and it is revealed that the flood had killed so many fish that river prey was now scarce.
To complete Volekit's dare, Stormkit walks along a slippery branch over the river. A magpie arrives, knocks him off balance, and he falls in. Meanwhile, leaf-bare frosts grip the river every night. Hailstar comments that the flood had battered the fish on rocks or left them stranded on the land, and now river prey was scarce. When deciding whether to fight ThunderClan, Brambleberry adds that the flood took away all her herbs, and her store will stay empty until newleaf. Rippleclaw is mad, and says that RiverClan might as well give up the rest of their territory. Echomist says that ThunderClan would never try to cross the river. ThunderClan takes control over Sunningrocks, which angers Stormkit. When he and Oakkit venture out of camp, they see Goosefeather on the other side of the river. When he frightens them, Stormkit falls off the stepping stones and into the water, causing his life-altering injury.
Crookedkit crosses the stepping-stones to go visit the Moonstone, and passes by the cliffs. Petalpaw tells Graypaw that the river gets frozen in leaf-bare, and it is possible for a cat to walk on the ice if a warrior has tested it first. When Crookedpaw and Willowpaw are fishing in the river together, ThunderClan warriors arrive, and say that they should enjoy the river while it's still theirs, threatening to take that, too. However, they never execute this threat.
When RiverClan tries to take back Sunningrocks from ThunderClan, they cross into ThunderClan territory over the river. After Snowpaw and Bluepaw send Crookedpaw over the ice in his defeat, the rest of RiverClan retreat over the ice too. To stop the ThunderClan battle patrols from crossing over the frozen river, a few warriors stay behind and smash the ice with their hindpaws.
RiverClan are seen many times swimming in the river, catching prey, and relaxing in the waters. The river is noted to be fairly abundant in fish.

Bluestar's Prophecy

On Bluepaw's and Snowpaw's first day as apprentices, Sparrowpelt promises to take Snowpaw to the river. Bluepaw can't imagine what it would look like, as the only water she had seen was from puddles and moss. She only knows that the river is wide and flows through the wind like trees. On the day of the battle between ThunderClan and WindClan, they follow the river near the and to the camp. Bluepaw notes that it is as big as the ThunderClan camp itself, and stretches endlessly in both directions. They soon get to the gorge, and Stonepelt explains to her that it is where the river falls down from the moorland and cuts between two cliffs of rock. Along it is the path to WindClan territory.
When RiverClan tries to take control of Sunningrocks, ThunderClan refuses and battles them. They drive them back against the icy river and defeat them. RiverClan cats crush the ice with their hindpaws so ThunderClan warriors can't follow them.
There is a battle between RiverClan and ThunderClan at Sunningrocks. When Bluefur takes Snowfur out of the nursery, they play fight, and Snowfur tumbles into some berries that stain her fur. Bluefur offers to take her down by the river to wash it off, as she wants to make sure Oakheart hadn't come back. Snowfur consents, as she could use a drink. Once they get there, Snowfur presses Bluefur to tell her about her chasing off a RiverClan warrior, and she quickly finds out that Bluefur likes him, running away from Bluefur.
Sunstar leads a patrol to RiverClan to tell them Sunningrocks is theirs, and he leads a patrol across the river. Bluefur is scared of the water, and as she jumps on the stepping stones, she remembers the prophecy that water will destroy her. As Thrushpelt lands near her, he comments that that wasn't so bad, and he doesn't know why RiverClan cats bother with swimming. Later, when Bluefur is expecting kits, she looks into RiverClan territory to see if she can see Oakheart, and notes that the far bank of the River had been stripped by leaf-bare frosts. After Bluefur gives birth, she gives her kits names that remind her of the River. Later, Bluefur meets Oakheart near the river and turns over two of her three kits: Mistykit, and Stonekit. However, Mosskit dies in the snow on the way to the river.

Firestar's Quest

Firestar and Sandstorm sit watching the river whisper past, dappled with starlight. Firestar happily looks at the rocks, then seeing that there were cats in the river, desperately swimming, being washed away by the swirling current. He blinks, and the vision is then gone.
At a later Gathering, Leopardstar reports that Twolegs bring boats onto the river, and their kits scare off all the fish. However, the river is low this season, and not many Twolegs are there.
Firestar gets a vision of SkyClan following the river, and the familiar tang tells him that this river is the same as the one in the territories. As he watches, one of the kits falls in and gets swept away by the current.
When Firestar and Sandstorm wake up from the start of their journey to rebuild SkyClan, three male Twolegs start walking up the river bank towards them. The Twolegs bring fishing poles. Firestar and his mate run away from them, still following the river. During their walk beside the riverbank, the air starts to get hotter. Sandstorm manages to catch a water vole in her claws before it can scramble into the river. In the river, beside a crowded Twoleg nest kits are seen shrieking with joy and throwing stones into the river.
When the two journeying cats come out of an abandoned nest, they come out to find the river level had risen fast, and was churning with muddy brown waves that slopped against the top of the river bank. A surge of river water sweeps Firestar clean off a path, and his paws. He is pulled under the cold river, but soon manages to keep his head up. The river's mighty waters separate Firestar and Sandstorm. The water surge carries Firestar away from the bushes, but soon recedes.
After the river stops the cats realize they went too far, and soon turn back to find the river once more. From following the river, the two cats find that at the river's source is where Ancient SkyClan broke apart and where the new SkyClan must live.

SkyClan's Destiny

While Nettlekit, Plumkit, Creekkit, and Rabbitkit play, Nettlekit strays too far and collapses into the river. His father, Waspwhisker, saves him. Plumkit is blamed, but all kits are warned to stay away from the river from then on.
Later on, during a bee attack, all the cats have to jump into the river to avoid getting stung. Tangle refuses to go under, but Lichenfur dunks him anyways.

Hawkwing's Journey

Coming Soon

In the Dawn of the Clans arc

The Sun Trail

When Gray Wing and Storm adventure through the forest, they come to a stream that chatters over stones, its surface glittering in the sunlight. They cross using a dead branch and Gray Wing asks if its the stream that joins the river near the big rocks and Storm answers that it is. Gray Wing mentions he went there with his brother, Clear Sky.

More Coming Soon

Thunder Rising

Coming Soon

The First Battle

Coming Soon

The Blazing Star

Coming Soon

A Forest Divided

Coming Soon

Path of Stars

Coming Soon

In The Prophecies Begin arc

Into the Wild

There is a battle for Sunningrocks, in which the deputies of the Clans, RiverClan and ThunderClan, both die in the battle. The deputies are Oakheart and Redtail, and Oakheart is believed to have killed Redtail, and Tigerclaw, avenging the death of Redtail, says that he killed Oakheart.
At the battle at Sunningrocks, RiverClan warriors swim across the river to attack the fighting ThunderClan warriors. Brokenstar claims ShadowClan needs RiverClan's fish in the river during the Gathering, because they have so many cats to feed.

Fire and Ice

Nightpelt, the new leader of ShadowClan now that Brokenstar has been driven out of ShadowClan, still believes that ShadowClan needs the fish in the river, but Crookedstar says that his offer does not stand any longer.
When Deadfoot and Onewhisker bring Firestar and Graystripe back home, they run into a RiverClan patrol. It turns into a fight, where the ThunderClan and WindClan cats are greatly outnumbered. A ThunderClan patrol ends up finding them and outnumbering the RiverClan cats. During the battle, Fireheart notices Graystripe and Whiteclaw tussling too close to the gorge. Whiteclaw slips at the edge of the gorge, and falls to his death in the river; Graystripe's attempts to save him fail. An angry Leopardfur tells the ThunderClan and WindClan cats that the battle would be settled another day.
Later, Graystripe falls into the river while chasing a water vole. He is rescued by Silverstream of RiverClan. She remarks that RiverClan "doesn't like having their river poisoned by dead cats". The two begin to start to have feelings for each other after that.

Forest of Secrets

On a patrol to find a way to get to the Gathering, Fireheart attempts to cross the flooding river on a flimsy branch. Tigerclaw yowls for him to watch out, but a wave sweeps Fireheart into the river. It is then apparent that the river is unsafe to cross.
Later, Fireheart has to cross the river to meet with Mistyfoot and Graypool. He and Graystripe end up saving Mistyfoot's young kits in the flood. They would have been lost if the warriors had not braved the waters to rescue them.

Rising Storm

When Bramblekit is clinging to a tree branch, Fireheart saves him, and the flaming tree rolls down the hill and into the ravine.
Fireheart tells the rest of the ThunderClan cats the must cross the river to escape the fire that was chasing them from in the ThunderClan camp. Sandstorm is the first cat to venture into the freezing river, and at first it taken under, by losing her footing. She soon regains her balance and her head bobs up to the surface. Dustpelt and Cloudpaw go next, though hesitating before wading into the ravine. Smallear is the next to cautiously reach the water's edge, hesitating for a long time, as if he is unsure whether he will make it across or not, being an elder. Fireheart pulls him into the river, and he wails. Leopardfur is standing on the bank of the river, and grabs Smallear from Fireheart. The rest of the ThunderClan cats cross safely.
When Leopardfur sees Patchpelt lying dead on the ThunderClan side of the river, she swims confidently across, and brings the elder to the RiverClan side of the river for a burial.

A Dangerous Path

Graypool runs into Tigerstar near the Twoleg Bridge across the river, and accidentally falls off when she becomes frightened, hitting her head on a rock and dying.
When threatened by the dog pack, ThunderClan lays a trail to the gorge where the last cat on the trail would lure the pack into the gorge to drown. Fireheart was the last cat in line and was almost to the cliff when he was attacked by Tigerstar. The ShadowClan leader escaped after the dogs caught up, and Fireheart was caught. Fireheart would have died, but Bluestar appeared and hurled herself at the lead dog, who went over the edge. The dog dragged Bluestar in with him. Fireheart leaps into the gorge to rescue his drowning leader, almost drowning as well, but Mistyfoot and Stonefur came to their aid. The RiverClan cats pull Bluestar and Fireheart out of the river onto the shore to safety, and stay by the river as Bluestar dies. Goosefeather's prophecy becomes true as she is destroyed by water.

The Darkest Hour

Firestar, Graystripe, and Ravenpaw all cross the river into RiverClan territory to rescue the half-Clan cats that are being held prisoner by TigerClan. A ThunderClan patrol fights the TigerClan patrol on the stepping stones in the middle of the river.

In The New Prophecy arc


Tallstar reports at a Gathering that there was no rain in his territory at all, and a unknown cat calls out that the river borders their territory. He says that the river runs through a deep sheer-sided gorge, and Onewhisker fell in. He was said to be okay though. Leopardstar allows WindClan to drink from, but not fish in, the river, though she says the river is low, and barely supports her own Clan. Hawkfrost and Blackclaw are noted to be hostile to WindClan and their new privilege.
When a ThunderClan patrol smells WindClan, they go down to Fourtrees to investigate. Dustpelt reminds them that WindClan are aloud to drink from the river. When they see WindClan cats, they all fall silent and can hear the river water slapping on the banks, which in nearby. They remind the WindClan patrol that their only aloud to drink from the river, and not steal prey, so the WindClan patrol leaves ThunderClan territory.


Mudclaw, Tornear, and an unknown tabby tom are chasing Leafpaw and Sorreltail so that they purposely cross onto RiverClan territory, in an attempt to get back to ThunderClan territory. Mothwing scares the WindClan cats away and treats their wounds near the water.
Later in the book, Reedpaw falls into the river, where he hits his head and receives a gash on his shoulder. Leafpaw saves him with the help of Spottedleaf.
The river is also mentioned when Mothwing is teaching Leafpaw how to fish. However, Hawkfrost comes and Leafpaw runs away to avoid a conflict.


The last time the River Chell is ever seen in the series again is when the cats are leaving the forest - and the river is almost empty due to many Twoleg activities going on in the forest, causing the Clan cats to move.

In the Field Guides

Code of the Clans

A patrol of RiverClan cats is patrolling along the gorge area of the river when they see three kits hanging on to the opposite side of the cliff. The three kits fall and drown in the foaming waters. Later, the patrol comes back and fishes the three kits' bodies out of the river to take them back to WindClan. This event brought about the law in the warrior code that states a warrior must never ignore a kit in danger.

In the Novellas

Mapleshade's Vengeance

Coming Soon

See also

References and citations

  1. All of the book's maps
  2. All of the book maps
  3. All of the book maps
  4. The Forest Territory map
  5. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 9
  6. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 65
  7. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 119
  8. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 41
  9. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 41
  10. 10.0 10.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 161
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 11