|"Our elders, and our elders' kin, and their kin before them, fought to keep Sunningrocks in our territory. Many of them lose their lives, giving up their last breath for stones that belong to us. Can we give up where they did not, turn tail and flee when they kept fighting so that their kits could hunt and play and bask on these rocks? Will you fight with me now, in honor of all our elders and unborn kits?"|
|— Darkstar speaking to RiverClan about Sunningrocks in Code of the Clans, page 34|
Sunningrocks is a rock formation in the old forest located on the eastern shore of the river. It is often the source of conflict between RiverClan and ThunderClan due to its uses as both a place for cats to bask in the sun, and to hunt prey.
- Sunningrocks is located to the eastern shore of the river in the forest territories. Along the shoreline of the river, the area is sandy. It is a large granite rock formation, with smooth gray boulders. On one side, it faces the sun, while the other side is sheer, overshadowing the river. The smooth rocks are flat, making them a desirable location for cats to sunbathe and rest. Within Sunningrocks there is cleft where cats are able to shelter in. In the rocks, prey is able to hide in small cavities between the boulders. Between where Sunningrocks and the forest meet there is said to be an abundance of prey nearby.
- Main article: Battle for Sunningrocks
- Due to its location, Sunningrocks often switches ownership between RiverClan and ThunderClan. Conflicts have spanned generations over the ownership between ThunderClan and RiverClan, having lasted from Oakstar's leadership, up until the Clans were forced from the forest territories. Most fights that break out over the rocks are border skirmishes, however, some skirmishes have been noted to be outright battles. These battles would often have casualties and would prolong the drawn-out fights over the patch of territory.
- Many moons prior to Firestar joining the Clans, Sunningrocks was submerged within the river itself. Over the course of time, the river's course changed, leading to the once submerged Sunningrocks to become exposed for the usage of the Clans. It led to elders tales being passed down that some cats believed that Sunningrocks were once submerged in the river itself.
This is a list of deaths, ordered chronologically, that took place at Sunningrocks.
Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!
- "Oakheart! How dare you hunt in our territory? The Sunningrocks belong to ThunderClan!"
- ―Tigerclaw to Oakheart Into the Wild, page 1
- A skirmish between ThunderClan and RiverClan takes place at Sunningrocks. After an intial confrontation, resulting in ThunderClan losing the rocks, they fight again. This second attempt ends with both Clans' deputies being killed, but ThunderClan claims ownership of the hunting grounds. In the following moons, tensions remain high between the two rival Clans. Fireheart also discovers the truth about Redtail and Oakheart's deaths at Sunningrocks, beginning to uncover Tigerclaw's treachery.
- When fire strikes the ThunderClan camp, the Clan evacuate to Sunningrocks, and later RiverClan's camp. As a result, Fireheart suspects that the RiverClan deputy, Leopardfur might want something in return for their chivalrous actions. His suspicions are confirmed after the passing of Crookedstar, and Leopardstar and a patrol fight over the hunting grounds. ThunderClan, however, remain victories and continue ownership over Sunningrocks.
- A pack of dogs take up residence in the forest, ThunderClan has to remove them. Fireheart instructs Bluestar, and his Clanmates to seek shelter above the rocks, despite her questioning. With the dogs defeated, and the death of Bluestar, Fireheart takes up leadership and begins sending patrols to Sunningrocks to look out for RiverClan activity. Firestar later spends time at Sunningrocks to think, unsure of what to do with the threat of Tigerstar and BloodClan in the forest.
- "Sunningrocks was the safest place to hide, […] Sunningrocks is as far from the Twolegs and their tree-destroying monsters as we could get within out territory, and close to what little prey is left in the forest."
- ―Cinderpelt to Squirrelpaw Dawn, page 43
- As twolegs begin invading the Clan territories, ThunderClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan, are forced to shelter at Sunningrocks to evade their destructive monsters. As the struggle to stay safe becomes harder, a decision is made by the four Clan leaders to leave the forest territories. From Sunningrocks, the four Clans depart the forest for good, leaving behind the territories.
- "The battle may have been won today, but RiverClan will never allow us to keep Sunningrocks. We will fight again before long."
- ―Adderfang to Thistlepaw Bluestar's Prophecy, page 193
- In Crookedstar's Promise, Stormkit breaks his jaw while fleeing from Sunningrocks. As the renamed Crookedjaw grows up, he engages with RiverClan's desire to claim ownership over the hunting ground. As the moons go by, both RiverClan and ThunderClan consistently gain and lose ownership of the Sunningrocks. One fight happens solely between Mudfur and Adderfang, due to the former wanting no more blood to be shed over the hunting grounds. When Crookedstar is named leader, he reclaims Sunningrocks for RiverClan.
- In Bluestar's Prophecy, ThunderClan loses Sunningrocks to RiverClan under Pinestar's leadership. The warriors of the forest Clan become unhappy with their leader's lack of action. Eventually, the red tom leaves ThunderClan and his successor, Sunstar, decides to take Sunningrocks back for his Clan. He does so in a peaceful manner to avoid bloodshed. Bluefur meets with her mate, Oakheart, at Sunningrocks with her kits so that she can give them up. After she becomes leader, Bluestar is left wondering if the extra territory is worth the fight.
- "We've been fighting over Sunningrocks for years, some cats say that the rocks were in the river once, so RiverClan thinks of them as theirs. I don't know about that—they've been on ThunderClan land as long as any cat in the Clans now can remember. But RiverClan won't admit they're ours."
- ―Sparrowpelt to Redpaw Redtail's Debt, page chapter 1
- In Mapleshade's Vengeance, it is revealed that Sunningrocks is a point of conflict between RiverClan and ThunderClan due to the death of Oakstar's son, Birchface, and his apprentice, Flowerpaw. Mapleshade reveals she is expecting Appledusk's kits despite this conflict, and is of the belief that their half-Clan heritage might end the fued over Sunningrocks.
- In Redtail's Debt, Redpaw accompanies a second patrol in order to fight off invading RiverClan cats at the hunting grounds. However, due to a run in with a hawk, and an overwhelming number of rival Clan cats, ThunderClan loses Sunningrocks. Redtail later becomes Bluestar's deputy after many seasons, and leads a patrol to remark Sunningrocks as ThunderClan territory. With a patrol consisting of himself, Tigerclaw, and Ravenpaw they encounter RiverClan cats at the rocks. Tigerclaw starts a fight, and Redtail accidently kills Oakheart in self defence.[note 1] Redtail himself is then killed by Tigerclaw, for the tabby's own personal gain.
- Mapleshade's Vengeance
- Pinestar's Choice
- Goosefeather's Curse
- Crookedstar's Promise
- Bluestar's Prophecy
- Leopardstar's Honor
- Spottedleaf's Heart
- Redtail's Debt
- Into the Wild (First appearance)
- Fire and Ice
- Forest of Secrets
- Rising Storm
- A Dangerous Path
- The Darkest Hour
- Firestar's Quest
- Graystripe's Vow (Then)
- Mothwing's Secret
- Twilight (Mentioned only)
- Sunrise (Mentioned only)
- The Forgotten Warrior (Mentioned only)
- The Last Hope (Vision or Dream)
- River of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Graystripe's Vow (Now) (Mentioned only)
- Secrets of the Clans (Retconned)
- Code of the Clans
- Battles of the Clans
- Sunningrocks has been misspelled as Sunning-rocks.
The following information is from sources considered non-canon or retconned.
- In Secrets of the Clans, a 2007 field guide, Sunningrocks is said to have been an island that only RiverClan cats could reach. It is also mentioned in the legend, "How LeopardClan Won the River" which tells the story of how LeopardClan got control of the river in the forest.
- (Indirect mention only)
- Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 123
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 1
- As revealed in maps where the story takes place at the forest.
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 58
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, chapter 3
- Revealed in Redtail's Debt, chapter 3
- Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 23
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 9
- Revealed in Dawn, page 43
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, chapter 34
- Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance
- Books spanning from Mapleshade's Vengeance until the The Prophecies Begin arc frequently depict the landmark as a point of conflict between the two rival Clans.
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, chapter 3
- This is depicted in the New Hunting Grounds map present in The Sun Trail, and subsequent maps listed in books belonging to the Dawn of the Clans arc.
- Revealed in Redtail's Debt, chapter 1
- Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 1
- Revealed in Leopardstar's Honor, chapter 4
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 57
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 241
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 222
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page prologue
- Revealed in Into the Wild, chapter 3
- Revealed in Fire and Ice, chapter 12
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 40
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, chapter 5
- Revealed in Rising Storm, chapter 24
- Revealed in Rising Storm, chapter 25
- Revealed in Rising Storm, chapter 29
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, chapter 15
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, chapter 16
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page prologue
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, chapter 25
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 304
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 311
- Revealed in The Darkest Hour, chapter 6
- Revealed in The Darkest Hour, chapter 25
- Revealed in Dawn, chapter 4
- Revealed in Dawn, chapter 13
- Revealed in Dawn, chapter 14
- Revealed in Dawn, chapter 15
- Revealed in Dawn, chapter 16
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, chapter 14
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, chapter 30
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, chapter 38
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, chapter 12
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, chapter 19
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, chapter 41
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, chapter 44
- Revealed in Mapleshade's Vengeance, chapter 2
- Revealed in Redtail's Debt, chapter 7
- Revealed in Redtail's Debt, chapter 10
- Revealed in Rising Storm, page 254
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 11
- Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 161