|"You were right about the rogues, though, Onestar. We should have driven them from the edge of our territory moons ago. They have taken over my Clan."|
|— Rowanstar at the Gathering in Thunder and Shadow, page 356|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty three of Thunder and Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 23 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 351-367
- Twigpaw shifts her paws nervously, wondering if Violetpaw will be coming to the Gathering. She still feels guilty about leaving her sister in the ShadowClan camp. Beside her, three RiverClan apprentices, Wavepaw, Nightpaw, and Breezepaw, look around. Wavepaw mentions that it's their first Gathering, and Honeypaw sniffs that she's been to plenty. Cypresspaw shifts closer to her sister, saying that she didn't expect so many cats to be there. Wavepaw comforts the brown-and-white she-cat, reminding her that there's a truce, and they're safe. Brindlepaw meows a greeting to the silver-and-white cat, and Honeypaw barges in front of her, claiming that she met the other apprentices first. The WindClan apprentice glares at the she-cat.
- Twigpaw, hoping to hear the pawsteps of cats approaching the island, swivels her ears towards the tree-bridge, but hears nothing. She wonders where ShadowClan is, and if they'll be late again. Bramblestar and Mistystar are talking at the foot of the great oak, and Onestar has already taken his place among the branches. He appears to be avoiding the eyes of the other Clans, and Twigpaw wonders if he feels guilty about not giving ShadowClan lungwort. The apprentice worries that the sick Clan can't come due to too many cats being sick, and her worrying intensifies when she realizes that Violetpaw might be sick. She remembers how sick the other cats were, wondering if Oakfur, Wasptail, or any others were killed.
- As Twigpaw remembers the hurt look in Violetpaw's eyes as she left the ShadowClan camp, guilt rushes over her. She thinks to herself that she had to, for she belongs in ThunderClan. The gray apprentice wonders if she'll ever have the chance to explain her reasoning to her sister. Twigpaw glances at Alderpaw, wondering if he'd go and check on ShadowClan if they didn't show up, and if he'd let her go with him.
- Honeypaw's voice interrupts her thoughts; the she-cat says Wavepaw claimed that RiverClan cats learn to swim when they're just kits. Brindlepaw, shocked, asks if they drown, and the RiverClan apprentice snorts with amusement, saying they're born to swim. The mottled she-cat's eyes widen, and she meows that she hates getting her fur wet. Twigpaw is only half listening to the conversation, for her thoughts are still on Violetpaw. Honeypaw says that she's never even stood in a river, and Wavepaw shrugs, saying she should try it, rivers are fun, and fish are delicious. Cypresspaw offers to teach the ThunderClan apprentice how to swim, to which she shudders and declines her offer. The silver she-cat's eyes sparkle with mischief, and she nods towards the lake, asking if Honeypaw is scared. The yellow-and-white she-cat claims it's too cold, but Wavepaw insists that it's not, and they set off towards the water. Alarm jerks Twigpaw out of her thoughts, and she tells them they can't since the Gathering is starting soon. Honeypaw reminds her that ShadowClan isn't even there yet when suddenly, Onestar announces that the Gathering will start without them.
- Mistystar and Bramblestar stop their conversation and take their place among the branches. The ThunderClan leader looks as though he hopes ShadowClan will appear, but they don't, and he reports that his Clan has thrived. Mistystar announces two new apprentices: Wavepaw and Cypresspaw, and the mentioned cats shift self-consciously. Onestar is about to report when the long grass rustles; Rowanstar, Tawnypelt, and Tigerheart step out alone. Twigpaw notices blood drying on Rowanstar's pelt and realizes he's been fighting. She stares at the other two warriors, but they appear unharmed. Bramblestar beckons the ginger leader to join them on the tree, pointing out with relief that he's recovered from the sickness. Rowanstar leaps up into the branches, mentioning that his whole Clan has recovered.
- Mistystar, surprised, asks why he hasn't brought his whole Clan if they've all recovered. Rowanstar lifts his chin, angrily saying that they wouldn't come because they thought the other Clans betrayed them by letting Onestar withhold the lungwort they needed. Onestar growls that they never needed it, as they have recovered without it. The ShadowClan leader snarls that they recovered due to Harespring and Kestrelflight's compassion; they gave the dying Clan the herb. Shocked murmurs are heard throughout the gathered cats. Twigpaw stretches up to see Kestrelflight shrinking beneath his pelt, but Harespring stares impassively at the cats around him, revealing nothing. She wonders why Alderpaw had dropped his gaze, and why Jayfeather is puffing his chest out proudly. The she-cat assumes they had already known about this, but clearly Onestar hadn't.
- Eyes sparking with rage, the WindClan leader asks his deputy if it's true. Harespring responds that he couldn't let a Clan die, and Kestrelflight adds that StarClan said it was the right thing to do. The tabby's fur lifts along his spine, dragging his astonished gaze from the mottled tom to Rowanstar. Before he can say anything, Rowanstar meows to Onestar that he was right about the rogues; they should have driven them off moons ago. His anger melts away, and suddenly the ginger tom looks old, skinny, and dull; he reveals the rogues have taken over ShadowClan.
- Shocked mews come from the clearing, and Bramblestar pads closer, asking what he means. Rowanstar clarifies that before they left for the Gathering, the rogues entered their camp. Mistystar asks if there was a battle, and if there are many injuries, and shame glitters in the ShadowClan leader's gaze. The tom replies that there wasn't a battle, his Clan chose the rogues over him. Bramblestar, sounding puzzled, asks what he means. Rowanstar responds that they said that any ShadowClan cat that went to the Gathering tonight would not be allowed to return to the Clan. Twigpaw, staring at him in confusion, wonders where Violetpaw is, thinking that she couldn't have possibly chosen to stay with the rogues. She realizes that Rowanstar no longer looks like a leader, but more like a hungry, frightened loner.
- Curling his lip, Onestar says that he always knew ShadowClan were not better than rogues. Rowanstar glares, energy suddenly returning to his pelt. He claims that that's not true, and they have just made a mistake. Tigerheart calls that the truly loyal ShadowClan cats will come to their senses and drive the rogues out. Tawnypelt, her chin high, adds that the sickness has temporarily turned them into frightened kits looking for someone strong to protect them. Onestar flicks his tail, asking why they didn't turn to Rowanstar. The ShadowClan's leaders paws become steady, and he squares his shoulders. The tom responds that he has been sick, Crowfrost has died, and the Clan had no leadership, thanks to the WindClan tom. He adds that if he had given up the herb earlier, this wouldn't have happened.
- Twigpaw looks around to see the cats around her agreeing with what the ginger tom said. Even some WindClan cats are staring at Onestar accusingly. Bramblestar calmly meows that what's done is done, and until the others realize their mistake, the three ShadowClan cats are allowed to stay with ThunderClan. Tawnypelt hisses miserably, correcting him to say if they realize their mistake. The brown tabby blinks sympathetically, saying that he knows she feels betrayed, but it takes more than sickness and rogues to break the bond of Clanship. Onestar grunts that that's not true for ShadowClan. Rowanstar turns and bares his teeth, and Twigpaw anxiously wonders if he'll attack. He backs away, turning to Bramblestar and thanking him for letting him and his family stay in ThunderClan. Honeypaw huffs beside the gray apprentice, annoyed at the idea of ShadowClan cats in their camp.
- Twigpaw hardly hears the she-cat, for her thoughts are focused on Violetpaw. Panic grips her heart as she imagines all of the horrible scenarios that could have forced her sister to stay. Honeypaw asks if she's okay, noticing her bristling pelt; the gray she-cat whispers hoarsely that her sister is with the rogues. Her paws itch to see Violetpaw, to find out if she's okay.
- The next day, Twigpaw is approaching the ShadowClan border with Ivypool behind her. The warrior asks her if she's worried, and the gray apprentice snaps for Ivypool to imagine if this was happening to Dovewing. The silver-and-white she-cat doesn't respond, and Twigpaw says that she just wants to make sure her sister is okay. The apprentice feels hot; she doesn't like being disrespectful, but this is important. Ivypool asks what would happen if ShadowClan takes Twigpaw prisoner, as there's no Crowfrost to let her go. Fear churns in the short-furred she-cat's belly, but she replies that it's a risk she'll have to take, and she's fine with going alone. Her mentor replies that she won't let her apprentice cross the border alone, but Twigpaw doesn't want to get Ivypool in trouble. The warrior firmly tells her that she's not letting her out of her sight.
- Ivypool and Twigpaw stop; the warrior says that she doesn't like having ShadowClan cats in their camp. She continues on about how Tigerheart and Squirrelflight had been arguing that morning over patrols, and Rowanstar follows Bramblestar around like a shadow, giving him tips. Twigpaw flicks her tail, meowing that she thinks they're alright, and they'll hopefully be gone soon. Not sounding convinced, Ivypool says that she'd still like to see them gone, especially Tigerheart. This surprises the apprentice, and she asks her mentor why she wants that. The tabby cat doesn't meet her gaze, but replies that she doesn't think having him in the camp is good for Dovewing. Twigpaw is still puzzled, remembering the prickliness between the two warriors in one of their previous encounters in the forest; she says that Tigerheart doesn't seem so bad. Ivypool replies if only, asking the gray she-cat if she knows how it feels to worry about a littermate. She reveals that Dovewing and the dark tabby used to have feelings for one another.
- Twigpaw is shocked, asking her mentor if that meant they liked each other. Ivypool responds disapprovingly that she's sure it was more than just liking one another. She adds that since they're in different Clans, it never went anywhere, but it's not good for things like that to get stirred up. The apprentice continues walking, her mind spinning as she wonders if Ivypool can see that it'd be even worse to be separated from kin. She thinks to herself that she can hardly even worry about Violetpaw correctly because she has no idea what's going on.
- Nearing the border, the two cats slow, creeping around a bramble that sits on the scent line. Twigpaw narrows her eyes, wondering what the quickest route to the ShadowClan camp is. The she-cat begins to wonder if this is all a big mistake, when suddenly ferns shiver ahead of them, and pawsteps thump on the ground. Ivypool hisses for her apprentice to hide, dragging her under the bush.
- A ShadowClan she-cat purrs that Darktail looked like a confused badger organizing patrols due to the fact that he'd never had to send out so many. Twigpaw stiffens, recognizing the voice as Needletail's. She's walking beside a one-eyed tom; she tells him that Darktail should appoint him as deputy. The tom stops, gazing at Needletail, and reminds her of the last time he tried to challenge the black-and-white tom for leadership. The silver-gray she-cat silkily murmurs that he won't be challenging Darktail, he'll be offering to help. Whiskers twitching with amusement, Rain tells her that she would make a good deputy rather than him.
- Twigpaw hauls herself out from underneath the bushes, hoping that Needletail will help since the she-cat cares about Violetpaw. Ivypool attempts to grab the apprentice's tail, but the gray cat yanks it free of her mentor's grasp. Twigpaw exclaims to the ShadowClan she-cat that she has to help her, and she wants to speak to Violetpaw. Needletail is shocked at her sudden appearance, but responds that the ThunderClan apprentice's sister is in camp. The short-furred gray she-cat is persistent, ignoring Rain, who is staring at her in surprise. Ivypool emerges from the bush, apologizing for intruding. She says that Twigpaw has been frantic about her sister and really wants to know if she's okay. Needletail bristles, replying that she's okay, and asking if they think she'd let anything ever happen to Violetpaw. Determined to see her sister, Twigpaw meows that she has to talk to her; she realizes that the ShadowClan she-cat could be lying.
- Needletail frowns, saying she can't just go get Violetpaw for the apprentice. Twigpaw reminds her of the time she and Alderpaw would sneak them to the border as kits. An impatient growl rumbles in the ShadowClan she-cat's throat, so the gray apprentice leans closer. She meows that she understands if Needletail is scared of Darktail, and she's happy to go to their camp herself. Rain's gaze sharpens; he states that that would be brave of Twigpaw. The apprentice shrugs, telling him he wants to see her sister. Privately, Twigpaw is hoping they can't smell her fear-scent.
- Rain tells Needletail to go fetch Violetpaw and scowls at Ivypool. He asks if she's Twigpaw's mentor; the warrior says yes and lifts her muzzle. The tom tell her she shouldn't have let the apprentice come, to which Ivypool replies that there are some things you can't argue with. Needletail flicks her tail crossly, bounding away. Rain, amusement edging his voice, asks the warrior how the Gathering was, and if the other Clans missed them. The she-cat's pelt ruffles as she inquires why they would miss rogues. The one-eyed tom innocently asks if Rowanstar told them that they're ShadowClan now, and they're just like the other Clans. Ivypool protests, but all Rain does in response is twitch his whiskers. Twigpaw tells her mentor to ignore him, sitting down and watching the forest where Needletail left.
- The ThunderClan apprentice hears pawsteps, spotting Violetpaw running towards them. Twigpaw is excited to see her sister, but to her surprise, the black-and-white she-cat's eyes are filled with rage. The apprentice asks the gray cat why she came, for Needletail had to lie to Darktail and risk getting in trouble. Twigpaw wonders if her sister cares more about the ShadowClan she-cat getting in trouble more than seeing her. The green-eyed apprentice snaps that she could get into trouble too, but she had to know if Violetpaw was safe. The black-and-white she-cat responds that of course she's safe; she has friends around her. Irritation sparks beneath the ThunderClan cat's pelt, and she nudges her sister aside. Lowering her voice, Twigpaw asks if she's really okay, but Violetpaw gives the same answer, drawing away.
- Twigpaw offers Violetpaw a place in ThunderClan, staring desperately into her sister's amber eyes. Frowning, the glossy-furred she-cat asks why she would do so, as Twigpaw didn't want to join her in ShadowClan. The ThunderClan apprentice replies that she hadn't wanted to leave, but she's loyal to her Clanmates and couldn't leave them behind. Violetpaw reveals that she feels the same way about ShadowClan, telling her sister to go back to her own Clan. Staring at the splotched cat, Twigpaw asks if they're still sisters. The ShadowClan apprentice replies that she guesses they are, but they've each found their own Clan. The short-furred gray cat wonders if that meant they could never be together again.
- Needletail pushes between them, shoving Twigpaw and telling them to stop whispering. Violetpaw mews that it's okay, and they're done. Whisking her tail, the silver-gray cat tells the ThunderClan apprentice to leave. Ivypool pads forward, asking if everything is okay. Twigpaw begins to respond, but Needletail lashes out, slicing the short-furred cat's ear tip, repeating that she needs to leave. Ivypool leaps at the ShadowClan cat, but she wriggles free, glowering at the blue-eyed warrior. Panic flashes through Twigpaw as Rain pads closer, and she tells them to stop, as there's no need to fight. The two full-grown ShadowClan cats circle the ThunderClan cats, eyes slitted and growls rumbling in their throats.
- Violetpaw shoves Twigpaw away, telling her to run before she gets hurt. She and Ivypool hare away, Needletail and Rain in pursuit. The two stop chasing them after they cross into ThunderClan territory, staring at the retreating cats with their backs arched. Violetpaw is next to them, her eyes round with sadness. Twigpaw wonders if this is the last she'll see of her sister, saying a silent goodbye in her thoughts. She slows, thinking about how they had chosen separate Clans, and how their bond of kinship might not be strong enough to survive the decision.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 351
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 354
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 358
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 355
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 361
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 352
- ↑ Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 357
- ↑ Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 359
- ↑ Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, page 353
|Thunder and Shadow 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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