no grove, no dance, no sound || first death

Please see this announcement HERE for the rules and information on new regulations and additions!
It's with a heavy heart that we announce the shutdown of FeralFront. You can read more about this, as well as find a link to an alternative, great new place to RP, here:
If you'd like some free FeralFront memorabilia to look back on fondly, see this thread from Dynamo:
Some FeralFronters are having a thread to reminisce in character. You can find it here:
  • ShadowClan leader | black & ginger torbie | missing left eye | tags

    The sun is no more than a whisker beyond sunhigh. Shadows pool at the bases of trees, and at the bottom of the crooked elm Tansystar lays, her paws tucked beneath her chest. She watches over sparring apprentices directed by their mentors. Someday, sooner to come than one may think, they will be blooming into warriors. Right now, Tansystar stifles a laugh as one pins another against the ground with a triumphant shout. The progress of the apprentices’ training has always been an interest of hers, but it is rare for her to take the initiative and see said progress for herself.

    Then, a raven flutters by, hopping a few steps and flapping its wings pathetically, as if injured. Tansystar knows this game well enough to not try and pursue it. If one has just made a catch the raven would rather have for itself, it swoops down to play distraction while a second raven steals away what isn’t theirs. When done, the first raven takes flight, revealing the false injury for what it is. Attempting to catch this raven would be pointless, it’s well aware of her presence and is ready to take flight were she to get closer than a tail-length to it.

    It’s frustrating to be the victim of such a ploy, but amusing to see others fall for it. Tansystar looks over her shoulder, expecting to spot an eager clanmate hidden in the brush. Instead, it’s one of the wolves. An oversized pup, as subtle as a rockslide and as stealthy as a strike to a face, it plods after the raven in tired steps that betray for just how long the raven has been at this game.

    Fear douses Tansystar in cold, and she stands, and she wishes more than anything to shout a warning and to run away but terror grips her so completely. The wind isn’t moving favorably for her, and even with the wolf within five fox-lengths from her, the scent of it has yet to reach her. There is a flash of black from up in the trees, and then the raven pretending to be injured swoops upwards, presumably to join its companion. The wolf has its head thrown back, watching the two ravens until they disappear into the trees.

    Then, the wolf’s attention wanders. It sees the apprentices sparring and its interested, reinvigorated from its exhaustion with the promise of something new. The distance between Tansystar and the wolf closes by the moment, but it is not her that has her attention, and her only thought is that she cannot let it get any closer. She stands so still that she wonders if she must be invisible to it.

    Tansystar arches her spine and she hisses. The wolf’s eyes are on her now, and its ears twitch with interest.

    Her mind chants stupid stupid stupid.

    The wolf approaches her as she had approached various unknowns in her own life. Its steps are cautious but it’s leaned forward with curiosity. It towers over her and lets out a small whuff. Behind it, its tail is wagging. Tansystar, unsure of what to do, hisses once more, and the wolf takes a startled step backwards, as if she were a snake who’d just given a warning rattle. Its so big and its so young and its never seen something like her before, and it hasn’t an idea if she is dangerous or not, but is unwilling to take the risk of finding out.

    She hisses a third time and it takes another step back, lets out another whuff, and looks over its shoulder as if believing that the rest of its pack were present. Seeking a mother and a father far more experienced than itself, someone who would know what to do with one such as Tansystar. In the moment of distraction, Tansystar finds it within her to shout, “We all need to leave, right now!” and the wolf takes one last step backwards, uncomprehending of the words but understanding the urgency of the tone.

    Tansystar herself tries to run away. Her paws thump on the ground, and she realizes her mistake as soon as it is made. When she had stood her ground, hissing and threatening, she was a great unknown. A curiosity, but not one to risk any bloodshed over. In running away, she’s turned herself into something familiar. Just another smaller creature trying to get away, like a rabbit. She has given herself context to the wolf where before it had none, and she has set their roles as predator and prey. Now, the wolf knows how to approach her, and it knows how to approach anything like her.

    When she feels the heat of its breath on her heels, Tansystar turns once more and gives a final hiss, grabbing at the dynamic they had just moments ago, but the damage has already been done. In a moment it is gripping her by her middle and shaking her with such force that she is certain she has just felt something snap and-

    And then she is outside of her body, watching as the wolf drops her back onto the ground. She-- her body, is slumped and so incredibly small. Tansystar has always known she didn’t cut an intimidating figure, small and round and soft, but she’s never truly seen herself outside of the distorted reflections of water. She’s known herself as small, but StarClan, she’s small. It feels like the only thought her mind can conjure as the wolf scratches a measly pile of mud over her body, only partially covering her corpse.

    She thinks that the mud will be bound to be a pain to get out of her fur, and then she thinks of all the things to worry about right now, that was so far from the top priority, and then she falls into a fit of hysterics, laughing until her chest aches and no sound is escaping her, and then she is in StarClan, awaiting her body to be healed so that she may return.

  • ✧ // but i made it with you next to me

    Apprentices scrambling over each other to get back into camp is a sight that Icefeather has seen many times before, so it does not rattle her or alarm her when she spots a handful of them doing so just after sunhigh. But then the stench of fear hits her, and indigo eyes snap toward the youths, their wild eyes sweeping the camp for warriors - or even just cats senior to themselves. The former medicine cat is on her paws and in front of them in seconds, pulling at that calming personality she has cultivated over so many moons in the medicine den. The she-cat smooths their fragile, frazzled nerves and draws the cause of their distress from them.

    Tansystar. Wolf. Icefeather's heart lurches toward her throat and then drops into her stomach before she can vomit it up. She instructs the apprentices to stay in camp no matter what, alert the warriors, defend the elders and the nursery, just in case. Then she's through the barrier to camp, following the potent stench of fear the apprentices trailed behind them. She's no warrior, but Icefeather took her vows to Tansystar with nothing short of every ounce of truth in her bones. Through sickness and through health, in this life and the next. Even if the worst were to come from encountering a wolf, Icefeather would keep her vows the same way she kept her vows to StarClan until she passed the mantle to the next medicine cat.

    Now, Icefeather had seen many a leader in her time, had witnessed them lose multiple lives many times over. It was a distressing sight to be used to, but she felt less and less panic each time it happened, because her faith in StarClan was unwavering. Nevertheless, rounding a clump of underbrush to find a long-gone wolf in search of more prey, and her mate splayed over the ground half-covered in dirt was acidic. Panic seeped into her bones and fury lit in her belly as her heart pounded its way into her temples. Lurching forward, the white tabby began cleaning the dirt from Tansystar's fur, murmuring soothing nothings to her corpse, praying to StarClan to send her back quickly. She could only hope that whatever was clearly broken would be mended by StarClan and hadn't ripped multiple lives away from Tansystar so soon after her ascension to leadership.

    "Come back, my love," Icefeather murmured as she carefully cleaned the dirt away from Tansystar's face with shaky strokes of her tongue. "I'm here, you're safe now. You're going to be just fine, I promise. You know I would never lie to you."

    speaking thoughts

  • Tawnypaw had been out hunting when the wolf appeared.

    She wasn't close to Tansystar per se. After all, she was on a separate patrol, on a separate part of the territory. Much to her frustration, she hadn't caught much so far. apart from a skinny squirrel and an undersized mouse. Stagheart might like that, at least. It wasn't much, but she knew he liked them. She was about to catch another too, a little bigger than the other and much fatter, when Tansystar's shout rung out through the woods, startling the mouse into a nearby burrow. It wasn't close enough to be distinguishable, but close enough for Tawnypaw to recognize the fear in the leader's voice.

    What? Concern overtook the young she-cat's body as she stood up straight, turning her head towards the source of the voice. For a moment, she hesitated. Maybe she heard things wrong? She had been on a patrol, right? They would help her, right?

    She made her decision. No. I should make sure. That's what a good clanmate would do, right? Giving her tail a confident flick, Tawnypaw headed off in that direction, keeping her ears up to listen for anything else. "Tansystar? Are you okay?" And then she smelled it. Blood? That wasn't good. Still alert, Tawnypaw picked up the pace, her expression turning increasingly worried as the smell got stronger.

    By the time she arrived, the wolf was already gone, and Icefeather was scraping dirt off of a scarily familiar torbie pelt. Oh no. Tawnypaw rushed up to the pair, suddenly hit by a dreadfully familiar scent. "Did... did the wolves come back?" Tawnypaw's voice was little more than a whisper as she came up beside Icefeather, feeling a little sick as she spotted the bite wound on Tansystar's stomach and flank. Did just one of them do that?

    Tawnypaw's pelt began to stand on end, making her look much bigger than normal. "Why are they bothering us now?" They had left the ShadowClan cats alone before, even when they had come face to face. They had even taken a life from their leader--StarClan, she hoped it was only one. What if they come back? Swallowing back the concern in her throat, she gazed down mournfully of the scarily still form of Tansystar. "I'll... I'll stand guard." Her voice was choked, and uncharacteristically unsettled for the usually mature and feisty apprentice. "Just make sure that she comes back, please." icefeather was the closest thing ShadowClan currently had to a medicine cat, and Tawnypaw had to put faith in her. Tansystar was her mate after all. She wouldn't let her go so easy. That's what mates do, right?

    Dragging her eyes away from the unmoving body, Tawnypaw went to stand a couple taillengths away from the pair, sniffing around to try and find out where the wolf had gone. Quietly, she paced back and forth in that general area, keeping her eyes on the surrounding woodland.

    "speech" ; tags

  • You are enough...

    Firedawn, Senior Warrior of Shadowclan


    Firedawn had also been in camp when the apprentices arrived in a clear panic. The senior warrior was on her paws quickly, but not as fast as Icefeather was. Looking around to see if she could spot Rainface or Stagheart or Cananrysong, she turned and bolted out of camp soon after. The sight that greeted her made her freeze in her steps. Tansystar, motionless, cold, and half buried made something within the red somali break. The first instinct was to grieve. Her loner roots clawing at to the surfaces before she heard Icefeathers words.

    Come back to me, my love...

    That was right...leaders had multiple lives. Surely Tansystar would awaken soon? Firedawn would jump lightly at the sound of pawsteps and when Tawnypaw appeared her stomach twisted. "Tawnypaw." She called her apprentices name without really thinking but then moved over to stand beside Icefeather, "Should we carry her home? Or should we wait until she awakens?" The strain in the she-cats voice was clear, and her emerald gaze wouldn't leave her leaders face as worry was etched deep within her features.

  • owlpaw

    Owlpaw hears the chilling howls tearing through the air, a cold feeling settling into his bones. The apprentice's ears shot forward, hearing Tansystar's voice calling out to the clan. The chocolate furred tom ran towards his mother's voice. As he smelled the metallic scent of blood, he knew something was wrong. That's when he heard Icefeather's cries. "No...No." His voice barely above a whisper. "No. Not ma. Please not mama." The longhaired apprentice rushed towards the smell and saw Tansystar there.

    "Ma! No!" Owlpaw rushed over towards his family, running to the side of Icefeather. "What do we need to do, mama? What does she need? What herbs can we use to help her heal? She can't lose a life. No, no, no." His cries were pathetic, but he didn't care. He wanted the tortie to be okay. She needed to come back to them. For a brief moment, he saw a brown tabby lying in Tansystar's place. One that was familiar, but he couldn't place the name. Shaking his head, the body of his mother was back to normal. "Ma...come back...please."

  • ✧ // but i made it with you next to me

    Those that approached were shaken, grief-stricken, and their eyes turned to Icefeather, pleading and confused and - ah, yes. This was familiar. This she could latch onto, ground herself with the familiar responsibility of guiding a Clan in turmoil because that was what a medicine cat did when disaster struck and the leader was unable to. But she was a mother and a mate first now, so she swept one last assessing look over Tansystar before turning to press her muzzle comfortingly against the top of Owlpaw's head.

    "She's going to be just fine," Icefeather promised, loud enough for Firedawn and Tawnypaw to hear as well. Even if she didn't know for sure, she said it like she was sure. "We shouldn't move her until she's awake again. StarClan can heal some of her wounds so that she can come back to us, but we won't know what state she's in until she can tell us. For now, we protect her here."

    The white tabby still felt shaky, unsteady, in some regards because Tansystar was never still. She was never quiet like this. Even when she was at rest, or at peace, there was always some sense of minuscule movement or sound around the leader. To see her splayed and broken was...nauseating. Icefeather pressed her nose a little more firmly to the fur between Owlpaw's ears and tried not to dwell on that too much.

    speaking thoughts

  • ShadowClan leader | black & ginger torbie | missing left eye | tags

    When she comes back to herself, she is surrounded by her clanmates. Her eye, which had never closed, blinks and refocuses, and the world comes into view. She had been dead, and now she is not dead, and the unnaturalness of it all has never struck her until now. The fact that a leader has multiple lives was something she had grown up with, it was something that went unquestioned. Now, Tansystar twists her neck experimentally, finds the motion painful but possible. Shaken until her neck had broken. How many times has she killed mice in the exact same manor?

    Slowly, she shifts her weight until she can roll over and sit up, moreso because of the knowledge that she had just been fatally injured than because of any left-over pain. A part of it feels too easy, to come back like this, and a paranoid part of Tansystar worries that it wont stick. Tansystar moves her head experimentally again, half expecting something terrible to happen. It never comes. It's then that she is able to take in the presence of her clanmates, put names to scents.

    Tansystar would never wish to let Icefeather see Tansystar dead, but there is no one else she would rather see first upon her revival. Two feelings that Tansystar is uncertain what to do with, and she is uncertain what she should say, how she should act. Her clanmates are upset and scared because she'd been dead, and yet here she is, whole as she could possibly be, in no more pain than if she'd simply slept wrong, "I'm okay," She says, and is surprised to find it's the truth.

    Nearby are Owlpaw, Tawnypaw, and Firedawn. She wants nothing more than to comfort Owlpaw, soothe the worry from his face, but, "We shouldn't be, let us not stay here any longer."

  • You are enough...

    Firedawn, Senior Warrior of Shadowclan


    As Tanystar finally rose, Firedawn let out a breath she had not realized she had been holding. Relief would hit her like a hurricane, and the smile that adorned her maw would be evident of that. The senior warrior would press her nose against her leaders shoulder lightly, "Welcome back..."

    At her friends next words, Firedawn would nod sharply, rising to her paws and waving her tail to beckon Tawnypaw to her side. "Stay close, Tawnypaw.." Her tone was soft, as if she was worried that the wolf was still nearby and could hear if she spoke too loudly. Once they had returned home, Firedawn would press against her leaders side and whisper, "The wolves are closer to camp now...aren't they?..." She wanted to let Tansystar rest, but the clan would need a plan now, what were they suppose to do?....

  • Tansystar came back. Tawnypaw's attention was grabbed as the now comfortingly familiar voice of their leader entered her ears. Her head snapped towards the torbie she-cat, clear relief showing as her body relaxed. She took a few steps back towards the leader, forcing some sort of smile on her face. "Welcome back."

    Tawnypaw couldn't help but agree with Tansystar. They shouldn't be here. The stench of the wolf that had attacked Tansystar still flooded the area despite the beast being long gone. They were much farther from the border than they had been during the first sighting. Tawnypaw could be sure of something: these beasts were bold, and, as Tansystar's death had proved, they were dangerous. Worry creased her young face as she turned to look towards the area the wolf had vanished, her focus only stolen back by Firedawn's beckoning. Nodding, she walked over, keeping watch of the surrounding area out of the corner of her eye. Her tail flicked nervously behind her, her expression dutiful, but highly concerned. Matching Firedawn's quiet meow, Tawnypaw asked, "What... what are we supposed to do about them?"

    "speech" ; tags

  • ✧ // but i made it with you next to me

    She almost misses the moment that Tansystar comes back, but catches the refocusing and blinking eye just in time. Icefeather watches her mate test out her range of motion, sitting up slowly and seemingly detached for a few moments before finally seeming to find her way fully back. It's a process that Icefeather is all too familiar with, and she observes carefully. Tansystar's gaze seems to find Icefeather first, and though her faith in StarClan had lessened the worry of her mate's return, it still releases a tension in the former medicine cat's chest to see Tansystar upright and speaking.

    The others around them welcome their leader back with shaky voices followed by concerns about the wolves. The white tabby says nothing at first, simply moving to wind around her mate and press her cheek against Tansystar's shoulder. She can feel how disoriented and shaken the leader still is, so Icefeather takes over with a quiet, subtler air of authority - of one who used to hold a position of power and knows she no longer does so.

    "Let's get back to camp first. I'll take Tansystar to the medicine den to make sure everything is okay and give her time to reorient. Then we can make plans about the wolves. Until then, double the guard at the camp and make sure every cat knows to stay on alert."

    speaking thoughts