Past Audition Biographies Nov 26, 2015 3:28:37 GMT
Post by stag on Nov 26, 2015 3:28:37 GMT
MAGPIESTAR OF RIVERCLAN
leader • 86 • tom • heterosexual
MAGPIESTAR was given the prefix MAGPIE for his black and white patched fur, reminiscent of the loud little bird. He had the suffix THORN for his sharp tongue and brusque mannerisms.
magpiestar was once a large stocky sort of creature. old age has thinned him down somewhat, though he still retains the strength necessary to lead his clan. his long hair gives him the appearance of great size and girth, something that often prompted teasing jabs at his eating habits from his late partner, willowbreeze. he has a number of scars criss-crossing his body, many of which he has long since forgotten the origin of. the majority of his body is covered in dark charcoal fur, excepting a stripe down his face and his chest/belly area. his thick fur requires much maintenance, which he rarely indulges in nowadays.
with his age, he has gained a bit of an "elderly" attitude. he tends to be a bit grumpy, but not cruel or unkind grumpy. it all is warm-hearted really. he gripes and complains, but there is usually a smile hidden on his lips and a glimmer in his eyes. he has a lot of experience and wisdom, due to his age, and a nearly indefinable level of patience. he is often looked to by younger warriors for advice and the such. he is much respected. however, the common opinion is that he should have retired, or at least be retiring soon. but magpiestar is stubborn by nature and absolutely refuses. he insists that he will "serve until he can serve no more".
magpie isn't withdrawn, he simply enjoys listening. he doesn't often have overly much to say. even in meetings, he keeps his words to a minimum. it isn't that he's haughty or detests speaking. but he was shy as a kitten and a young apprentice, and it never quite wore off. he can be conversational, and can even get downright "chatty" with his grandchildren and especially his youngest son. but for the most part, he is clear and concise.
though in coming moons his eyesight may fail him, at the moment magpie tends to rely on what he observes. he is always listening and watching - whether it be his own clan, or those outside the clan. with his great age, he believes the only way to retain stability is to be constantly aware. he is very perceptive and there is little that escapes his notice. he is especially in tune to the antics of his family who believe that they can get away with anything.
despite his unusual size, he was never much of a fighter. he has weight and strength on his sides, but largely avoids conflict. he tends to use his words, and enjoys games of wits. good back and forth banter is one of the few things that can get him to be truly talkative. in order to not repeat myself, he is also quite wise. age and experience have given him a number of things to dwell upon. he can often be found lost in his own thoughts, though he'll readily enough be drawn from them.
magpie takes after his mother in his pride. he's quite aware that his ego is a weakness and a great flaw, but is unable to help himself. he can grow rather aggressive when he feels he is being disrespected. though generally easy going and affectionate, he can become stern and will assert his dominance if he feels it necessary. he will rarely admit to injuries or aches and pains on the fear of being pressured into retirement. he jealously guards the secret of his number of lives and vigorously demands respect from his clan.
as linking to pride above, magpie is somewhat given to mood swings. one moment he can be quite at ease, and the next he'll be infuriated by something. his mood won't shift unprovoked, but he's rather easy to provoke if one pushes the right buttons. he attempts to control his temper. and he's gotten much better as time has gone on. but he can still be pushed into temper, especially by rudeness, disobedience, and cruelty.
magpie reacts very badly to comments on his age. he is fearful of becoming infirm, of his body and mind failing him. he won't reveal this and so will over compensate quite frequently. he also tends to read into comments too much. he can take a small thing from a fellow clan member or another leader and take it as an insult. in past moons it was willowbreeze who guided him away from foolishness. but without her, he is quick to ignite and defend himself, even unnecessarily.
this is a quality that has grown increasingly less present. as a younger warrior, like his mother before him, magpiethorn was incredibly ambitious. but now that he has achieved leadership, he is quite satisfied. he holds no desires to extend his power further. though he will certainly defend his current power. his only remaining ambition is to retain the pride and respect of his clan so that he may ascend the stars honored and remembered for his service.
- mental infirmity
- the dark forest
yewthroat, mother (deceased)
» deersprint, father (deceased)
» cricketsong, elder sister (deceased)
» basilnose, brother (deceased)
» starlingstream, younger sister
» willowbreeze, mate (deceased)
» minnowleap, daughter
» troutfoot, son
» patchpool, daughter-in-law
» thrushwing, son
» fallowspot, daughter (deceased)
» mousetooth daughter
» yewtail, neice
» pebblepaw, granddaughter
» sablepaw, granddaughter
» egretpaw, grandson
» littlepaw, son
» tawnykit, daughter (deceased)
yewpaw was the vision of realized dreams and ambitions from the very beginning. she had an uncommon seriousness about her, from the youngest of ages. where other kittens frolicked about the nursery, playing at being warriors, yewpaw spent her time largely alone. she watched the warriors, real warriors, training and going about their duties. she would stare at them, day in and day out. she was desperate to know what it was that made them noble, distinguished, powerful. as she aged, her attention turned to the deputy, then to the leader. she began to watch them each not individually, but as a metamorphosis of sorts. she began to realize that one led into the next. but only the most honorable, the strongest, most powerful, were set to walk that path. for not every warrior could be a leader in his own right. not every warrior was suited to such things. but she knew, with an absolute certainty, that this would be her future. she narrowed her eyes, focused her gaze upon the high rock, and that was where her sights stayed. they would remain there until the day she died.
yewpaw began her training under an older patched ginger tom by the name of sedgewhisker. he was experienced, but had overstayed his time in the warrior’s den. his training of her was poor, often halting. he was over-critical, and given to snapping for no reason. her training was slow, agonizingly so especially for the young she-cat who so desperately desired power and recognition. but under the tutelage of sedgewhisker, neither of these things was likely to come. yewpaw began striking out on her own, seeking lessons and training from other apprentice-less warriors. she would smile sweetly at them, careful to say that her own mentor was busy with some task or another. on most occasions he was fast asleep in his nest. so she supplemented her own training with a vicious intensity. she demanded perfection of herself. yet even with this supplementation, her progress was slow. she would not, infuriatingly, become a warrior until after her fourteenth moon. after her ceremony, where she earned the name yewthroat, her mentor was quietly ushered into the elder’s den. yewthroat, though, was not satisfied. though sedgewhisker may have found his rightful place, it had cost her precious time. more than that, it had cost her admiration in the eyes of her fellow warriors.
yewthroat was desperate to put her disastrous apprenticeship behind her. she was young, she counseled herself. she had plenty of time to prove her worth, her perfection, her utter superiority. every one of her fellow warriors, and a number of the elder apprentices, began to change before her. they were no longer companions and friends, but threats. they were challengers to her ambitions, rivals in her dreams. she was solitary, but content in her solitude. she had accepted it as a necessity, a condition of her triumph. however, there was one warrior, one young tom, quite determined to break her self-imposed exile.
deersprint had grown up with yewthroat. they’d been companions moons ago in the nursery. he had trained alongside her, and earned his warriors name a mere moon after she had. he’d watched her, and tried on numerous occasions to engage her in some form of conversation. whether she was simply oblivious, or had been purposefully rebuffing him, he could never tell. he persisted all the same. somewhere in between childhood and adulthood, he had fallen irrevocably in love with her. his companions thought it nonsensical. yewthroat was cold, aggressive and competitive. as far as they saw, there wasn’t a single redeeming factor about her. but deersprint was convinced there was something more, something beautiful and gentle beneath her ambitious exterior. and so, he began to court her.
yewthroat was at first utterly perplexed. she had never considered a mate, nor love, nor anything of the sort. she attempted to shoo him away, in a rather awkward fashion. but deersprint refused to leave. he was omnipresent, whether in bringing her dinner, or simply sitting at her side. he made it clear he had no intention of leaving. eventually, yewthroat began to capitulate. she reasoned that solitude wasn’t absolutely necessary. and perhaps the appearance of comraderie and companionship would raise her status in the clan’s eyes. ever-calculating, she viewed even her own romance as simply a stepping stone, an aid, towards leadership. at the age of twenty-five moons, she finally accepted deersprint as a mate. the two became a public established pair, much to the confusion of every cat who had ever come into contact with yewthroat.
over time, yewthroat genuinely warmed to deersprint. she never stopped pursuing power. she took every available patrol, every chance to parade herself before her leader and deputy. but at nights she always returned to deersprint, to curl up alongside him. after six moons of devotion, deersprint broached the topic of kittens. yewthroat quickly reacted negatively, passionately refusing to ever enter into motherhood. she insisted that it would destroy her, utterly rob her of her ambitions. for as was well known, a queen couldn’t be deputy. to risk pregnancy, motherhood, would be to give up everything she had ever worked for. but deersprint cajoled, he reasoned and pleaded. he insisted that pregnancy would be short, her time in the nursery even shorter. she could have both a loving family, and her dreams. under constant pressure, and love-filled gazes from deersprint, yewthroat again capitulated.
shortly after her thirtieth moon, she found herself pregnant. deersprint was overjoyed, and over-attentive. he spared nothing in making her absolutely comfortable, and as happy as she could be. yewthroat, for her part, refused to give up warrior duties. even with her belly swollen, she continued to patrol, to hunt, to volunteer. and this, to her surprise, earned her admiration from her fellow warriors. they whispered of her dedication, her responsibility and passion. yewthroat glowed with pride and pleasure. and when the time came to give birth, she didn’t resent her kittens as deersprint had half-feared she would. the litter consisted of three healthy she-cats. deersprint was delighted, not bothered in the least not to have a son. the eldest of these, and the only one truly relevant to magpiestar, was christened cricketkit. in moons to come, she would grow to be a unique beauty.
yewthroat abandoned the nursery the minute she could. the place was too stuffy for her, far too cramped. she opted instead to leave the majority of the parenting to deersprint. and though he wished his mate would spend more time with her growing kittens, he lavished on them all the love and affection that he had. the kittens grew quickly, romping around the nursery. yewthroat stopped by daily to visit her children, when not occupied by patrols and other duties. deersprint gave her space and time, focusing on his children. they grew all too quickly. soon enough they were ushered into the apprentice den. deersprint was left missing that love, that anticipation. he approached yewthroat again, appealing to her ambition. he reminded her of the respect, the pride she had felt. each new litter, he insisted, was a new generation of warriors for the clan. she was serving in every physical way possible.
this time, yewthroat gave in easily, eager to pave a smooth pathway to leadership. she became pregnant again. and as before, she refused to retire to the nursery. she hunted up until the moment she went into labor. she gave birth easily to two small toms and a still-born she-cat. the little child was buried solemnly without being named. she had never drawn a single breath. yewthroat remained in the nursery, recovering. she was surprised to find herself grieving for her little daughter. she spent time, lingered in her nursery nest with her two sons who had been christened basilkit and magpiekit. she allowed the two little toms to chase her tail, to roll about and squeak happily to their heart’s content. deersprint silently rejoiced, convinced that he was slowly but surely reaching the true yewthroat beneath her hard exterior. magpiekit was nearly identical to his mother, with round serious eyes. he spent his time nestled against her, sleeping quietly. yewthroat lingered in the nursery until her kittens were past their fourth moon, twice as long as she had previously. but eventually, her restlessness called her away.
magpiekit was left sitting and watching out the nursery opening, as his mother had once done. he scanned the clearing, waiting each day for his mother to return. he would watch her with pride as she brought back fish and mice, as she received praise from older warriors. he told whoever would listen about his mother. she would once overhear him brag that his mother would be leader someday, that she’d rise above them all. and her heart swelled. her ambitions fire lit in her belly and she smiled to herself. she was determined to make her son a prophet of her future. she visited him with little gifts, lavished love on him in a way she hadn’t for any of her other kittens, basilkit included. deersprint noticed, and attempted to make up for the attention. but inwardly he began to worry. basilkit and magpiekit grew steadily, both becoming strong and widely built like their father before them. soon enough, it was time for them too to move into the apprentice’s den. deersprint watched their ceremony with a heavy heart.
the day came, as it always must, when magpie and basil outgrew their nursery. deersprint proudly escorted his two sons to their ceremony. their mother was present, though she had strategically placed herself as close to the leader as possible. ever desperate to get herself noticed, even her sons’ ceremony was an opportunity. also present where the boys’ elder siblings, noticeably the recently named cricketsong. cricketsong, though she only knew her brothers in a peripheral sort of sense, had kept a close eye on them. unlike her father, she’d realized long ago that her mother’s priorities lay not with the family. she’d been on edge, waiting for the day when everything fell apart. luckily, it would not be this day.
as their names were called, basilkit and magpiekit stepped forward. before the entire clan, they became basilpaw and magpiepaw. basilpaw was apprenticed to a warrior named bearclaw, while magpiepaw was apprenticed – to the shock of all gathered – to the young cricketsong. while parents very rarely if ever trained their own children, elder siblings had stepped in as mentors on occasion. whether inkstar, then leader, sensed some dangerous balance within the family or had made the pairing as a random experiment was unknown. whatever the cause, the two were united. the clan erupted into cheers and yewthroat threaded her way through the crowd to stand near her son, puffing out her chest. perhaps, in a roundabout sense, she almost imagined they were cheering for her.
magpiepaw began his training with cricketsong. it was an awkward sort of match in the beginning. cricketsong wasn’t entirely sure how to approach her little brother. to make matters worse, yewthroat was an ever-present watcher. she dropped in on training sessions, discussed strategies with her son at length in the evenings. every moment she wasn’t on patrol (or parading before the deputy and leader), she spent with magpiepaw. yet somehow, in the mix of everything, basilpaw was forgotten. magpiepaw reveled in his mother’s adoration and attention. when yewthroat’s teachings conflicted with cricketsong, he found himself siding with his mother over his sister. he was nothing if not loyal, blindly loyal.
magpiepaw’s tenth moon came and went. his training was progressing quickly, what with the double attention of his mother and his sister. but yewthroat, now convinced that kittens were in fact stepping stones to power, was pregnant again. deersprint eagerly expected a third litter. with his mate barely around, he needed someone to lavish his love upon. basilpaw spent increasing amounts of time with his father, feeling abandoned and rejected by his mother and brother. magpiepaw, though, was sadly oblivious.
yewthroat grew round and heavy with kittens. magpiepaw neared the end of his training, having become far closer with cricketsong. however, his sister and mentor had grown increasingly frustrated and angry towards their mother concerning her interference. cricketsong’s only relief was that yewthroat was instructed to rest when the time came for magpiepaw’s final assessment. while some of his hunting was poor, and his attack skills needed honing, he managed to pass. as magpiepaw trilled his success, his mother went into labor.
as if this wasn’t chaotic enough, the clan deputy wrenwhisker retired. he had served his clan for many moons, and no longer felt he could shoulder the mantle of leadership. nor was he confident he could take over for mousestar, if and when such a time came. and so mousestar called a meeting, in which he would announce two new warriors – and a new deputy. yewthroat, struggling out from her nest, leaving a single infant daughter, came eagerly to what she believed would be her finest hour.
basilpaw and magpiepaw stood before mousestar, their hearts swelling with pride and anticipation. amid cheers and quiet congratulations, they accepted their warrior names of basilnose and magpiethorn. cheers erupted for the two young toms. in the back, their father and sister watched proudly. yewthroat, despite her swollen teats, had pushed her way into the crowd, ignoring her sons completely. her gaze was upon mousestar. her eagerness and expectation flowed from her in waves. this would be her hour, the time when all her ambitions were recognized. mousestar moved forward, announced with regret and much gratitude the retirement of wrenwhisker. a long speech was made. yewthroat unsheathed her claws, kneading the soft earth below her. mousestar finally announced the new deputy – whitetongue.
something inside of yewthroat broke. a wall built to keep her anxieties and self-hatred far away. yewthroat crumbled before the clan in disbelief, in shock and anger, and finally in utter hopelessness. despite her mate’s anxious pleas to leave the matter be, yewthroat insisted on speaking with mousestar. mousestar revealed that though yewthroat was an excellent warrior, her place was clearly as a mother. and as all knew, a queen could not be made deputy. yewthroat’s kittens, her family, had cost her her life’s ambitions. yewthroat turned on deersprint. she spat at him, accused him of undermining her, of deliberately destroying her. she cursed him, cursed what he had done. but what was more – she cursed their children. she saw them as the ultimate weapon, what had truly kept her from her life’s dreams.
magpiethorn, newly named a warrior, collapsed upon hearing his mother curse him. she stormed past him, abandoned him and basilnose. cricketsong and deersprint approached to comfort him, but he turned away. deersprint and basilnose returned instead to the newly born – and forgotten – starlingkit, their infant daughter/sister. cricketsong watched her brother go, with anger and hatred in her eyes – anger at what their mother had done. yewthroat fled the camp, seeking solace at the river. swollen with winter snow-water, it raged and rushed above normal levels. it was there that cricketsong found her mother, and finally released every pent up hurt. the two she-cats fought a bitter verbal battle. cricketsong finally lashed out her cutting words, what she had always resisted saying – yewthroat would never have been deputy. she had no honor, no nobility, no power. yewthroat was taken aback. she turned, bunching her muscles to spring across the river and away from her daughter. she landed on the first boulder, cased in ice. her paws slipped from under her. with a screech and a desperate scrabble, she vanished into the tumultuous waters.
hours later her body would wash up on the shore, to be found by a desperate patrol fetched by a guilty cricketsong. but nothing could be done for yewthroat now. she was mourned and buried. her short unhappy life had come to an end. she left behind four daughters, two sons, and a heart-broken mate. for all her imperfections, deersprint truly had loved her as dearly as anyone could have. magpiethorn mourned his mother desperately. he blamed his mentor and sister for his mother’s death. he was truly still a child, barely past his twelfth moon. he needed someone to blame, someone to hate, anything to not feel his pulsing grief and anguish.
magpiethorn would eventually recover from his mother’s death, though his relationship with cricketsong would never be the same again. he found solace in his infant sister, starlingkit. he became his sister’s protector, as his mother had once been to him. he watched her, cheered for her when she became an apprentice. he even hoped she might be apprenticed to him. but he was not so lucky. basilnose and deersprint remained close. cricketsong returned to the comfort of her littermates. the little family, brought together by yewthroat and her ambition, was fractioned by her death. in a sense, they became their own separate little entities. but her ambition, her pride and determination, would survive even after death. though he wasn’t aware of it yet – it would live on in magpiethorn.
shortly after his twenty-sixth moon, magpiethorn was assigned his first apprentice. she was a small dainty gray she-cat named willowpaw. she was already past her tenth moon, having been previously mentored by a warrior who had passed away of illness. magpiethorn took her on with no little enthusiasm. the seeds of ambition, of desire and pride, had already begun to grow. he was eager to prove what he could do, who he would be. he was eager to achieve what his mother had failed to do. it was all he could do for her memory. his little sister, now a new warrior named starlingcall, cautioned him against following the path that had destroyed their mother. but he couldn’t resist.
willowpaw was, for the most part, an exceptionally ordinary riverclan apprentice. she'd grown up with a number of siblings from a number of litters. her family had always been especially prolific. still, as a child willowpaw was often lost in the flurry of siblings and litters old and new. in many senses, she became a self-reliant sort of creature. she was independent to say the least, and had never had any particular bond with her littermates. she had simply preferred to do things alone, and namely, in her own very distinct manner. this, at times, made her slightly argumentative and more than slightly stubborn. her stubbornness was a quality her son troutfoot would later inherit, but that is a story for later on.
at six moons, willowpaw was apprenticed to magpiethorn. he was a quiet fellow, but optomistic and generally genial. he was easy-going, always up for a friendly debate, not nearly the strict disciplinarian that yewthroat had always been. there were some who wondered at mousestar’s choice. magpiethorn seemed rather young and inexperienced to be given a more "pig-headed" apprentice such as willowpaw. perhaps it was for her own amusement, or some roundabout method of toughening magpiethorn up. whatever the reasons, the two became an assigned pair. willowpaw kept her own reservations silent, though she had a number of questions about magpiethorn's methods.
as was to be expected, training sessions quickly dissolved into bickering. magpiethorn, it seemed, had endless patience. though he would become exasperated often, he never actually lost his temper, nor did he seem to resent training willowpaw. though she seemed quite determined to argue and inspect every aspect of his training. she, for her part, grew rather fond of magpiethorn. while she may have questioned his ability (was that really the best way to stalk a toad?), she had no ill will towards him and viewed him as a rather capable mentor. she was stubborn, but not given to anger or illogical bouts of temper. and so the two made a functioning, if odd, team.
willowpaw eventually completed her training, with magpiethorn conducting her assessment. he discovered, to his mixed chagrine, surprise and dismay, that she struck him quite suddenly as beautiful. he sat mixed in the crowd as she ascended to warrior status as willowbreeze. he, fifteen moons her senior, was unsure of how to approach this new dynamic in their easy relationship. he stayed in the background, largely withdrawing from willowbreeze. he had no wish to encroach upon the taboo against mating with one's apprentice, even if willowbreeze had long since ceased to be his apprentice. he watched her grow and mature, and bluntly reject the toms that came alone her way. as she had always been, she was incredibly particular.
she was also stubborn and forward. after about six moons of continued avoidance, she approached magpiethorn. she was now a full-grown she-cat in her prime, 18 moons old and growing in beauty. she hadn't changed a bit. she demanded to know why he was behaving the way he was, and quite clearly stated her beliefs that his new coldness was both foolish and detrimental to inner-clan politics. magpiethorn, both flustered and amused by her approach, stumbled through his words. eventually he managed to confess that he loved her, but found it inappropriate to act on such feelings. and with a slow smile, as she had as his apprentice moons ago, she questioned him. was he really sure that was the best way to go about wooing her?
the two took their courtship both seriously and slowly. in this one aspect, magpiethorn was even more stubborn than his would-be mate. he refused to give any signs of impropriety. but eventually they became a public pair. in truth, magpiethorn would have given willowbreeze the world. and willowbreeze wasn't above taking what she needed. at nearly 25 moons of age, willowbreeze became pregnant for the first time. she retired to the nursery as late as she could manage, despite nearly giving magpiethorn a heart-attack. the birth, it seemed, was rather smooth. her two sons were born first – troutkit and thrushkit. trout was substantially larger and stronger than his brother. but both were healthy. willowbreeze began to clean them, believing the ordeal to have finished. but later, with enough time to pass that the arrival was quite surprising, willowbreeze gave birth to a third kitten, a she-cat christened minnowkit.
it would be quite some time before willowbreeze became pregnant again. she and magpiethorn dedicated every waking moment to their children. though magpiethorn still harbored his ambitions, and strove to gain recognition, he would not make the same mistakes his mother had. deersprint, forever altered by his mate’s death, had retired early. the tom, though young, was losing his mental stability. half the time he seemed lost in a time long passed. he would often become confused, mistake some for familiar faces. too frequently, he asked where his mate might be. but deersprint delighted in his grand-kits, and doted on them whether he remembered their names or not.
only after their first litter had all become warriors – troutfoot, minnowleap and thrushwing – did willowbreeze and magpiethorn consider having another litter. willowbreeze knew enough about magpiethorn’s family history not to pressure him into fatherhood. she would rather have kept him, then have been left alone. but magpiethorn had worked to distinguish himself, had spent the twelve moons as their children grew on patrols and establishing himself as a growing warrior. after all, he was now fifty two moons old. he happily consented to another litter. willowbreeze quickly became pregnant and retired earlier (to save her mate the anxiety). magpiethorn continued to work. but unlike his mother before him, he had finally gained the notice of the newly risen robinflight, successor to whitetongue.
willowbreeze had only just retired, and magpiethorn passed his fifty-third moon, when mousestar called a clan meeting. the clan gathered with growing interest. robinflight had retired to the elder's den and as tradition required, mousestar would name his new deputy. magpiethorn seated himself just outside of the nursery. while he wouldn’t pretend he wasn’t eager to hear, he wouldn’t abandon willowbreeze. for though he wouldn’t know it for many more moons, something had changed. he had found the thing yewthroat never had, the thing that had ultimately undone her. he loved willowbreeze more than he could ever love power.
yet even with this revelation that hadn’t quite happened, it appeared the fates wished to smile upon him. the ancestors wished to guide him, or perhaps fulfill what his mother never had. whatever the reason, mousestar named magpiethorn his new deputy. magpiethorn accepted with pride. he rose to his new position, reveled in the power, in the respect and responsibility. though his life became far more hectic – organizing patrols and reporting to mousestar – he was truly happy. he had reached a state of nirvana, of perfect joy. this joy was only compounded when willowbreeze gave birth to her third healthy litter consisting of two daughters and a son. the kittens were christened fallowkit and mousekit. magpiethorn visited his kittens each day, though he hadn’t the time to dote upon them as his own father had. but willowbreeze loved them dearly.
magpiethorn slowly became engrossed in his duties as deputy. he trained another apprentice, began learning what it meant to lead from mousestar. for mousestar was not simply treating him as a second in command, but a final apprentice of sorts. he was grooming magpiethorn for leadership, to rule riverclan when mousestar ascended to starclan. in the meantime, magpiethorn became an uncle when his brother basilnose and his mate had a daughter. the beautiful she-kit would be named for their mother, and would eventually become yewtail. unfortunately, magpiethorn didn’t have the time to devote to his niece. not that he necessarily would have. he and basilnose had become like strangers since their mother’s death, perhaps even since before. basilnose lurked in the background in fear, watching and waiting for his brother to spiral down the same path their mother had. but it seemed magpiethorn was destined for something different.
rise to leadership
magpiethorn was deputy for a short eleven moons. mousestar, already old when he had ascended to leadership, had lost his lives quickly to illnesses. his body couldn’t fight off the diseases the way it used to, even with the lives of starclan powering him. shortly after magpiethorn passed his sixty-first moon, mousestar gave up his ninth and final life. in the wee hours of the morning, on the eve of spring, magpiethorn emerged from what had been mousestar’s den. the leader was dead, and it was time for a new king to rise. he climbed the high rock, calling the clan – his clan – to assemble below him. they gathered slowly, many rubbing sleep from their eyes. but when their gazes fell upon magpiethorn, they knew what had transpired. there was great mourning for their fallen leader. magpiethorn, having not yet travelled to the moonpool, named a young ____ by the name of ______ as the new deputy.
he departed for the sacred lands, leaving dawnfrost in charge. he left his dear willowbreeze behind, and his children – now apprentices, in their nests. when he returned, the father they knew would be gone. at the moonpool, he underwent a most sacred ceremony, the likes of which cannot be spoken. suffice to say that he was visited by his mother, who would finally be at peace now that her ambitions had been realized through her favored son. magpiethorn received his lives, and emerged from the cave as magpiestar, leader of riverclan. he returned to his clan in glory, to begin a new chapter in his life – one he believed would bring him joy and contentment. but he would find it would bring much more, not everything that he would wish upon his greatest enemy.
moons as leader
magpiestar led his clan with growing wisdom. as his dreams had been realized, his mother’s life fulfilled, his ambition and desire for power slowly melted away. perhaps it had never even truly been his, but only a figment of her spirit residing within him. but leadership aged him drastically. he took the weight of the clan, of their survival and thrival, upon his shoulders. he became more worn and exhausted with each passing moon. even willowbreeze’s love couldn’t strengthen him. he performed the naming ceremony for his second litter, welcoming them with proud wrinkled grandfatherly eyes as mousetooth and fallowspot.
gatherings became something he dreaded. the other leaders, so young in comparison to his seventy moons, spoke only of politics. their tongues were twisted, their eyes darting and suspicious. he realized that politics were a game, a never-ending game. he danced his part, but found that he increasingly trusted no one outside of his own clan. he often lost his temper, snapping at his fellow leaders, even warriors foolish enough to disrespect him.
as time went by, deersprint’s mind faded and faded, as did his body. eventually, nearing one hundred moons of age, the old tom died. he would be followed in the next succession of ten moons by his daughter cricketsong (84 moons) and his son basilnose (78 moons). fallowspot too, only forty moons, would die in a skirmish. magpiestar was left with only starlingcall, his most beloved sister. but among death there was also glorious life. he became a grandfather. troutfoot, one of his eldest sons with his mother’s stubbornness, fathered a litter of three kittens which included egretpaw, pebblepaw and sablepaw. the three kittens were magpiestar and willowbreeze’s pride and joy. that is, until willowbreeze discovered she was pregnant for a third – and final – time.
last 6 moons
willowbreeze gave birth a moon after troutfoot’s mate. unlike her previous litters, she only had two very small kittens. they came unusually early. tawnykit, a daughter, and littlekit, a son. tawnykit, weak and cold from birth, died within her first week of life, before her eyes opened. willowbreeze and magpiestar grieved heavily. magpiestar, however, was torn away from his mate’s side by the duties of leadership. his life descended into chaos.
he saw enemies and threats wherever he turned. it seemed as if every tree hid a shadow, a specter of death. and unlike every other previous danger, magpiestar couldn’t protect his beloved clan. moons passed, he reached his eighty-third moon. and willowbreeze, instead of regaining her strength after the birth, seemed to be on a downward spiral. magpiestar, however, didn’t notice. he was called away almost constantly, either attending gatherings or seeking some information. patrols began to skirmish as the forest fell into chaos. and still, willowbreeze grew sicker.
willowbreeze died three moons after giving birth. she left behind littlekit, still young and far too small. magpiestar, like his father before him, was brought to his knees. he grieved deeply for his one and only love. littlekit was his only solace. he spent hours with the little tom, simply sitting and whispering to him. his children, and sister starlingcall, comforted him. for their grief was a shared one. but it was littlekit, the mirror image of his mother, who brought magpiestar from his anguish. he summoned himself. though an exhaustion and sorrow had settled on his shoudlers – one that shall likely never fade away. he took on egretpaw as an apprentice, and made his own littlepaw an apprentice as well. but everywhere he walks, death seems to haunt his steps. willowbreeze, yewthroat, deersprint, cricketsong, basilnose, tawnykit, and fallowspot now lurk in every shadow, whispering his name on every breeze. with five lives still remaining, magpiestar has begun to wonder just how long he’ll wait before surrendering to their calls.