|"This is going to be so great! Our first full-moon Gathering!"|
|— Alderpaw's excitement on his first Gathering in The Apprentice's Quest, page 24|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter three of The Apprentice's Quest. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 3 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 37-55
- Alderpaw sits outside the apprentices' den, grooming his pelt in preparation for the upcoming Gathering. Although an apprentice for half a moon already, Alderpaw laments that he hasn't been able to catch any prey yet. While he feels he hasn't done too badly, and has kept up with his chores, a part of him is still jealous of Sparkpaw, who never came back without prey and found it easy to learn battle moves. He wonders what would happen if he and Sparkpaw weren't apprentices at the same time, and thinks that if that were the case, he wouldn't constantly compare himself to his sister.
- Sparkpaw soon appears, bouncing on her paws and clearly excited about getting to experience her first Gathering. She asks Alderpaw if he's ready, and he springs up, saying that the night will be great, since they get to be at their first Gathering. Sparkpaw adds that they get to be introduced to the other Clans as well, and she can't wait. The apprentices join Bramblestar and the rest of the cats that are crowded around the tunnel entrance. Alderpaw's anxiety gets the better of him on the journey, though, and he hopes that he won't do something to embarrass himself in front of the other Clans.
- On their journey to the the lake, Alderpaw hears an owl. Trying not to shiver, he turns to his mother, Squirrelflight, and asks about the large creatures. He asks if they are big enough to snatch up a cat, and Squirrelflight calms his worries by telling him that the owls that live in the woods aren't large enough to attack a cat. Molewhisker, who is walking on Alderpaw's other side, tells his apprentice that he will take he and Sparkpaw hunting at night someday, due to there being many interesting creatures that are out at night, instead of during the day. Suddenly, he hears an excited squeak from Sparkpaw, and he sees little lights flickering on and off in the darkness. Sparkpaw asks what they are, and Cherryfall explains that they're called fireflies, and that they are bugs that light up just like stars.
- Sparkpaw and Alderpaw shoot off towards the lights, batting at them with their paw. They are soon reprimanded by Squirrelflight, who reminds them that they are on their way to a Gathering, and they must behave perfectly. The two cats apologize to their mother, and Squirrelflight stalks off in front of them, clearly annoyed with her kits' manners. They soon arrive at the edge of the lake, and meet Onestar of WindClan and his cats. Bramblestar greets Onestar respectfully, and lets the WindClan leader and the rest of his Clanmates pass before heading onto the island where they hold their meetings.
- Emerging into the clearing, Molewhisker and Cherryfall point out the leaders and deputies of each of the other Clans. Alderpaw sees Rowanstar, ShadowClan's leader, jumps onto the Great Oak to join Onestar of WindClan, who Alderpaw had met earlier. The two are then joined by Mistystar, who leads RiverClan. Cherryfall explains that the deputies sit on the roots of the tree, pointing out Harespring, Reedwhisker, and Crowfrost as the deputies of WindClan, RiverClan, and ShadowClan, respectively. Squirrelflight joins them, and the Gathering soon starts, but not before Alderpaw has the chance to meet cats from the other Clans. Cherryfall offers to introduce Alderpaw and Sparkpaw to some of the other Clan cats, but they decline, and Cherryfall decides to sit down near a tabby she-cat who looked to be from WindClan.
- Alderpaw is angry with Sparkpaw, and the young cat would have much preferred that Cherryfall introduce him to other cats, instead of having to introduce himself. Sparkpaw says that she won't hide behind Cherryfall like a kit, and the two soon find themselves in the presence of a silver-gray she-cat with white chest fur. She introduces herself as Needlepaw, and says that her companions next to her are Sleekpaw and Beepaw. All three are ShadowClan apprentices, and Needlepaw has had the chance to come to a Gathering at least one other time prior. When Sparkpaw says that she and Alderpaw are from ThunderClan, Needlepaw teases the two new apprentices, saying that they must want to boss all the other cats in the forest around. Alderpaw gets defensive, but Needlepaw assures him that she was only joking. She goes on to say that WindClan get scared and run away, and RiverClan are fat and lazy.
- Sleekpaw licks a paw and draws it over her ear, thinking that it's stupid. She says that what Clan you're born into doesn't decide what you're like. She says that ShadowClan cats are just as bossy as ThunderClan cats, and before Sparkpaw can argue, Rowanstar's voice rings throughout the clearing, signaling the start of Alderpaw's first Gathering. He takes his seat next to Needlepaw and her Clanmates, and turns his attention to the four leaders. His companions make snide comments throughout the entire Gathering, although they do not get reprimanded by their Clanmates for their behavior.
- Rowanstar invites Mistystar to speak first, and she happily announces that the lake is full of fish, and that RiverClan now has four more members, saying that Lakeheart has given birth to four kits. Rowanstar then tells Onestar that it is his turn to speak, and the WindClan leader announces that prey has been good on the moor. Onestar also announces that some rogues have passed through their territory, and Crowfeather lead a patrol that was sent to keep an eye on them. He suspects that the rogues have since made their way out of the area and pose no threat. Bramblestar soon has his turn to report, and he announces Alderpaw and Sparkpaw's apprenticeship. They are meet with cheers from the other Clans, but these soon die down as Rowanstar steps forward to speak. He proudly states that Stonewing and Wasptail have gotten their warrior names, and that there are four new apprentices. Beepaw, Sleekpaw, Juniperpaw, and Strikepaw have been apprenticed to Dawnpelt, Tigerheart, Stonewing, and Wasptail, respectively. Onestar objects to this, but his comments are hushed by Rowanstar, who says that ShadowClan warriors are ready for anything.
- After the four leaders are done discussing their news, Rowanstar speaks again. He addresses all cats present, and says that the medicine cats have news to share, and something that, until now, has only been discussed with each Clan's leader. Kestrelflight, WindClan's medicine cat, steps forward, and leaps onto the roots where the deputies sit, and announces that each medicine cat has had a vision, and a prophecy, that is vital to all Clans. Clamor grows loudly throughout the clearing, and Jayfeather of ThunderClan stands up and lashes his tail. Snapping, he tells the Clans to shut up and listen. Kestrelflight continues to speak, and says that Firestar spoke to the medicine cats first, and that the Clan cats need to embrace what they find in the shadows, for only they can clear the sky.
- Harespring, and many other cats, speak up, and want to know what is going on. The medicine cats admit that they don't know yet, and voices rise up, many of them questioning what they could find in the shadows and what the prophecy means. Ratscar, a ShadowClan elder, hisses that respect for senior warriors should be embraced. Beepaw and Needlepaw laugh, and the white she-cat murmurers that Ratscar is always saying that. A RiverClan apprentice speaks up next, asking if it had anything to do with the blue feathers that she uses to decorate her nest. She is silenced by an older tabby, and Alderpaw believes it could be her mentor.
- The prophecy even has the leaders confused, and Onestar speaks up, saying that in their old territory, they had many shadows. His eyes are filled with sorrow and memories as he says that all of that was lost when they left the forest. Soon, Mistystar speaks up, and her voice is warm and sympathetic as she asks how they could find their territory. Mistystar stretches her tail out to comfort Onestar, by resting her tail on his flank. Cloudtail, a senior warrior of ThunderClan, speaks up, and wants to know if the prophecy applies to all Clans, or only Jayfeather. The blind medicine cat says that Firestar's message was for all Clans.
- Alderpaw becomes uneasy with every cat discussing the prophecy and what it could mean. Sleekpaw mews that she thinks prophecies and StarClan is just ridiculous, and dismisses them. Alderpaw and Sparkpaw exchange shocked glances, and wonder if Beepaw and Needlepaw were shocked too. The two cats don't seem to be, as they burst out in laughter a few heartbeats later. Pelt prickling with unease, Alderpaw glances at the medicine cats over near the Great Oak. As he turns, he sees Leafpool looking straight at him, and wonders what he could have done wrong.
- Unnamed tabby she-cat
- Unnamed RiverClan female apprentice
- Unnamed RiverClan tabby warrior
Notes and references
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 37
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 38
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 46
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 39
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 40
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 42
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 44
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 45
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 50
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 51
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 53
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 52
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 41
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 48
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 49
|The Apprentice's Quest chapters|
|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 • Chapter 24 • Bonus Scene|
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