|"Brambleclaw vowed that no other cat but he would know the triumph of sinking his claws and teeth into Mudclaw's throat."|
|— Brambleclaw about Mudclaw in Starlight, page 307|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of Starlight. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 21 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 300-307
- Night falls as the ThunderClan patrol treks through WindClan land. Away from the shelter of the trees, an icy wind blows, with the promise of rain. The moon ahead shows behind the ragged clouds, along with a star or two. However, thick darkness covers the peaty moor, and the patrol has to scent their way.
- Dustpelt reports that there wasn't any border patrols, as he sniffs the air. Mistyfoot inquires that maybe the WindClan cats were defending their camp, but Firestar hisses quietly at them both. He tells them to stay alert, as they have no clue what they're getting to. The patrol reaches the stream that flows from WindClan's camp, and Firestar follows it for a bit, before he halts.
- The ThunderClan leader tastes the air, and Brambleclaw does the same. He is only able to pick up the strong scent of cats asleep, but no other scents. He is relieved to know that there isn't the sound of fighting ahead, only the wind, and the gurgling of the stream. Faint hope flickers inside his chest, and he hopes that Mistyfoot possibly made a mistake. Firestar, after a few heartbeats of silence, says that there's nothing. Brackenfur suggests they find Onewhisker and talk to him. Dustpelt makes a sarcastic reply, and Sandstorm murmurs agreement. The ginger she-cat declares it's best they return to camp. Mistyfoot's blue eyes gleam, and the RiverClan deputy reminds them of Leafpool's dream.
- Firestar points out that none of them can interpret it, and Onewhisker can rip their fur off if he wanted. Dustpelt snorts at his leader, stating he'd like to see him try. A gust of wind hits the patrol, almost knocking Brambleclaw down. In the distance, thunder rumbles faintly. Firestar prepares to lead his patrol back to the forest, and they turn to follow. Brambleclaw takes up the rear, his jaws parted, then stiffens as he catches one scent. The dark tabby recognizes it as Hawkfrost's scent, and calls for Firestar to wait. He gazes up the hill, and sees several dark shapes race down from the opposite direction, throwing themselves into the hollow. For a heartbeat, Brambleclaw thinks he sees Hawkfrost's broad head and powerful shoulders at the lead.
- A shriek rips through the air, and Firestar whips around, bounding up the hill. Brambleclaw races alongside the dark ginger tom, and they reach the hollow's edge. More yowls echo through the air, and the all he can see is a tangle of fur. He scents ShadowClan, and RiverClan, along with WindClan, but he isn't able to see who the cats are. Firestar hurtles down the slope, yowling Mudclaw's name, and the patrol hares after the ginger tom. Once they plunge into the fighting, Brambleclaw loses sight of the patrol. Before he can catch his breath, a cat barrels into his side, slamming him to the ground. The dark brown warrior twists, and finds himself staring into the angry gaze of Cedarheart, a ShadowClan tom. The dark gray cat hisses for him to stay out of the fight, but Brambleclaw finds no need to respond.
- He jabs Cedarheart's stomach with his hind legs, sending the enemy warrior staggering. He vanishes in the fray, which gives the tabby tom time to stand up. He prays to StarClan that he hopes Tawnypelt didn't involve herself with them. Brambleclaw is buffeted from both sides, cats slamming into him, screeching and clawing as they fought. He isn't able to see Hawkfrost, but does see another RiverClan tom jump into some gorse, claws extended. The mass of cats shifts, and he can see Onewhisker battling with Webfoot; the tabby's jaws are sunken into the gray tom's shoulder, while Webfoot rakes Onewhisker's side.
- As Brambleclaw prepares to join in, Mudclaw appears from the shadows. The dark brown tom flings himself forward, and Onewhisker is over thrown by Mudclaw and Webfoot. However, Firestar comes to help, hauling the WindClan deputy away from Onewhisker. Mudclaw shakes free, and mocks the ThunderClan tom, saying that he'll lead WindClan in Onewhisker's place. The two toms clash, landing on the ground, but Webfoot lunges, biting into Firestar's leg. Brambleclaw leaps, but he is flung down by a black RiverClan cat. He rolls across the ground, then engages in combat with the tom.
- He rakes the cat's face, a stab of relief hitting him that this cat isn't Hawkfrost. Pain scorches his side as the tom's claws meet their target, and fights panic. Brambleclaw imagines Firestar battling two strong toms, but then a surge of fear gives the tabby new strength. He forces himself up, sending the black cat fleeing with a strong bite. Distant yowling comes from over the ridge, and he recognizes it as Squirrelflight. A gleam of moonlight shows her running down the slope, Thornclaw and Ashfur at her side. Brambleclaw can only catch a glimpse of Firestar's flank beneath Mudclaw and Webfoot, but before he can reach, Squirrelflight dives past, throwing herself into the battle with a shriek.
- Webfoot flees, yet Mudclaw turns to fight her. Brambleclaw watches as the ginger she-cat rears up, claws slashing at the deputy, and he tries to bite her throat. The ThunderClan tom flings himself toward his flame-colored leader, relief flooding him as Firestar hauls himself up, disappearing into the throng again. He spins around to aid Squirrelflight, but she and Mudclaw already disappeared in the fighting cats that swayed. Crowfeather appears, and Brambleclaw fights alongside the dark gray warrior, his moves matched with Crowfeather's. He spots Mistyfoot and Sandstorm close by, fighting two RiverClan cats. Squirrelflight appears again, fighting against Nightcloud this time. Her side is bleeding, but she batters the black WindClan cat with her paws, teeth sunken into her scruff.
- Brambleclaw leaps over to help, before Nightcloud rips herself free, and flees. He demands to know what Squirrelflight is there for, and she retorts that she came just in case. The dark brown tom is glad she did arrive, and the two lunge at some ShadowClan warriors. At a twitch of her bushy tail, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight split apart, confusing their enemies by attacking on each flank. He pushes them together, which causes the cats to rake each other as they struggled to fight back. Squirrelflight praises his move, raking a ginger tom's ear. The tabby tom locks gazes with her, energy coursing through him; suddenly, two cats barrel between them, locked in combat. The ShadowClan cats flee, Squirrelflight hard on their paws.
- Breathing hard, he looks around. Reaching the other side of the hollow, the crowd parts to reveal a massive dark tabby: Hawkfrost. The icy-gazed tom pads toward him, but before anything can happen, a gray cat dashes over, throwing Brambleclaw to the ground. He shrieks, striking out with his claws, pain stabbing him as teeth sinks into his broad shoulder. The tom is able to shake himself free, and stumbles to his paws. Briefly, he sees Hawkfrost raking his hooked claws down a WindClan cat's side, before he loses sight as two other cats thrust themselves forward. Thornclaw, aided by Dustpelt, appears beside Brambleclaw, driving the invaders back.
- He realizes the tide has turned, and now the attackers are being forced up the slope. The dark warrior nearly reaches the top, before a flash of lightning bathes the clearing with yellow light. It gives him enough time to see Hawkfrost facing Mudclaw, outlined against the dark sky. Thunder crashes overhead, and rain hisses over the hillside, as the loud booms roll over the moor. Within only moments, his dark fur is soaked with water. As if at a signal, Mudclaw lets out a yowl, retreating, Hawkfrost hard on his paws. Two ShadowClan cats break free, heading for the ThunderClan camp. Crowfeather races up to Brambleclaw, blue gaze questioning. He orders the WindClan tom to follow them, and, without question, Crowfeather hares off.
- Brambleclaw tears off, pursuing Mudclaw. He reminds himself of the deputy's terrible actions: betraying WindClan, and trying to kill Onewhisker. The ThunderClan warrior vows that nobody but him will get to feel the triumph of killing Mudclaw, but does not stop to imagine fighting Hawkfrost.
Notes and references
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23|
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