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    —— 🎕 He'd expected being taken by Twolegs to be more unpleasant, in all honesty. They were supposedly the bane of the clans, monstrous creatures with no fur and white eyes and paws that were all tentacle-y, which all in all seemed nothing but bad news. But if being kept by Twolegs was really that awful, he wouldn't have taken this long to come back.

    Sure, he'd intended to escape much earlier. The day he'd been captured, in fact, plans to save his own skin had been most certainly in the works. But then they'd fed him, and washed off the dirt and grime and river-water scent, and given him somewhere cozy and warm to sleep. He participated in their game out of pure survival instinct, of course. Any happiness derived from the sudden and utter lack of need or responsibility, the freedom from freedom itself -- well, that was just a bonus.

    Complacency might have been the word, but adaptability sounded nicer. He'd adapted to new surroundings, braved encounters with fearsome beasts and his strange new life. It might've taken a while to kick in, but eventually the shame of becoming a kittypet did work its magic. Somehow, he now found himself in RiverClan again. There was a faded orange collar fastened painfully obviously around his neck, and his paws had become soft and unsuited to the rough earth. But he had made it.

    Although his pelt was bare of his homeland's scent, he strode forward with confident familiarity nonetheless. He was RiverClan, born and bred. This place was still his home. Wasn't it?

    // hey y'all! i'm bringing this guy back as a casual character. i tweaked his appearance a bit and finally settled on his personality (he's basically a stoner) but it's still canon that he used to be in riverclan so feel free to have your character remember him!

    —— 🎕 Streaks of sun had just begun to break through the heavy gray blanket of dawn overheard, settling on RiverClan's vast stretches of marshland and setting the landscape alight. He had responsibilities, of course, like any warrior. But when one had shirked their duties as many times as he had these past few weeks, what more harm could another day of lounging possibly do? It was his new routine, to wake early and then to wander the territory as he pleased, perhaps catching a fish or two by evening, if only so he would not return from a day of absence completely empty-pawed. But for now, it was the call of Sunningrocks and sunlit meditation which beckoned him above all else.

    But the promise of a solitary morning was soon broken when he arrived at the sprawl of boulders only to see an unfamiliar she-cat laying recumbant over them, her tumbling fur almost glowing, such a picture of careless, luxurious relaxation that he had to wonder if she was being purposefully provocative. He didn't need to have noticed her scent to know that she could only be ThunderClan.

    He had been a poor warrior lately, that was true. But his mind was as devoted to clan politics as any deputy, and he could never pass up some sort of intrigue in that regard. Not motivated by anger, but perhaps a sort of righteous curiosity, he strode towards the ginger molly. His golden gaze narrowed and a grin twitched the corner of his mouth, delighting in the chance to send the young warrior scurrying back to her camp. "Hello there, ThunderClanner," he intoned, one ivory claw idly tracing circles on the rock she was spread over. "You're a little ways away from your own territory, aren't you?"

    DUDE YEAH also,,,, asdfuasdfjalskdfj he might,,, join the cult cause me, the rper, is fascinated by cults and swan is basically just me at this point

    and yes, i did write that sentence specifically because i wanted them to have a thread. fite me

    —— 🎕 He glanced at Juniperpaw when she arrived beside them, a little too spaced out to have noticed her approach. "Of course you can come," he stated, his tone matter-of-fact and suggesting surprise regarding her uncertainty. Now that he had gotten over being shown up by her in front of the senior warriors, he had developed a lot of respect for the tiny, level-headed apprentice. She was clearly quite mature and smart for her age, and he was always happy to be friends with cats who knew when to just calm down and not take everything too seriously. He also simply found it amusing to be the largest cat in the patrol by far, towering over the small frames of Beewing and his daughter.

    Then Ashfall approached, that strange new warrior whom he had heard whispers about. His understanding was that she had escaped some group of religious extremists, and the whole concept sounded morbidly fascinating. He'd have to get more information out of her at some point. Maybe today, if he could get her alone. "Well then, that's probably enough of us for now. Want to head out?" He offered, glancing around at the gathered cats.

    —— 🎕 "Ugh," he suppressed a gag at the sight of the more rotten fish. He purred at Nightgaze's arrival, happy to see her out and about more often since her confinement to the medicine den. But at the same time, he couldn't help but feel even more embarrassed at the reminder that his adopted sister had made her way up the ranks to become leader, while for now he was being a barely competent warrior at best. It wasn't that he didn't like clan life, but how the days blurred together in his memory was worrying. Maybe this just wasn't where he belonged.

    —— 🎕 One tired amber eye blinked open at the sound of Beewing's call. He rolled over, letting the sun envelop his face in a warm, golden-hued kiss. Did he want to go hunting? Well, to be frank, it had been a while. He'd kept up appearances, spending long hours by the riverside or journeying off the territory's edges as he had when he still closely followed his duties. In reality, much of that time had been spent wandering or staring glaze-eyed into the water's clear current. There was something of a current in himself, too, oil-slick and muddy and filled with poisonous thoughts like the river had been not long ago. It was hard to find motivation to hunt when life felt so utterly meaningless. But it was the very least he could do to bring something back for his clanmates, even if it was just so he didn't get kicked out. So he stood, shook out his long pelt, and joined Beewing with a drowsy grin and a honeyed gaze half-lidded with sleep. "I'll come along," he offered, yawning. He wondered why the other tom looked so nervous, idly searching his remaining blue eye for any hints to his condition.

    —— 🎕 He'd clawed at his nest, dug himself deeper into the moss and waited, but sleep wouldn't come. Maybe it was just another one of those open-eyed nights, he thought while staring up at the den ceiling. He could make out twisty little patterns in the woven reeds, like constellations. Then, as if he wasn't fully in control of his actions, he found himself scrabbling desperately to his paws. It was too hot, too dark, too stale in the warriors' quarters - he needed moonlight and the dark, wide expanse of the night above him. His exit was ungraceful and careless, but he quickly calmed once outside in the peace of the night.

    Silvery threads of light rested over the camp like a spiderweb, washing his home in a gentle, dreamlike glow. His fur was stained a deep blue, and for a moment he felt that this was what StarClan's hunting grounds must look like. But all was not as silent as he had first thought. At the very edge of his senses there was the almost imperceptible sound of a child's shuddering sniffles and shaky breath, hidden within the frog-song and cricket's chirps drifting from the reeds.

    He followed the sound to a corner of the camp soaked in shadow, a wall he could not peer through but unmistakably held Constellationpaw's scent. "Con...?" He ventured, soft voice pressed softer by the weight of the blackness around them. "Con, what happened?" Then he could just make out the shape of the apprentice laying curled into himself and shivering, and he knew that he wasn't equipped to handle the situation. He couldn't think of what to say, didn't know what he should say -- so for now, he focused on the most straightforward problem before him. "You must be cold out here." He whispered, his smoky fur curling like the nightmare's plumes around Con's smaller body. Swanfeather had never been one for comforting others, but he knew he couldn't walk away now. He couldn't leave this poor, bright star to flicker despairingly in the hungering darkness. He knew what that was like, and it couldn't be endured alone.

    —— 🎕 Well then, this was shaping up to be a pretty straightforward day. Thank StarClan, he wasn't sure if he could come up with anything more complicated than a tour of the territory today. "It's the place where the clans meet for the Gatherings," he explained. "There's been some tension, so RiverClan hasn't attended recently, but it's still an important place to check out. We can go see the other landmarks after." He waved a paw dismissively. Details, details. Get to the fun part. "Okay, come on! You're an apprentice now, so let's get you in warrior shape. Come on, we'll run," he said, pausing for a moment outside the camp to arch his back and extend his forelegs in a gigantic stretch. Then he took off, clearing the river in a bound before racing off to the Twoleg bridge. He kept a pace that would take Nightfall some effort to keep up with, but would be doable. It felt good to run again, whiskers whipped against his face, the cool morning air sending his long fur streaming out behind him.

    aaaaaa this is such a cool idea get me in this cult

    this guy swan is currently going through an unaddressed depressive episode, feels purposeless/exisential crisis-y, very useless to his clan (rc), so he'd probably be pretty vulnerable to promises of getting a position of some kind of power, finding purpose, being meaningful etc etc

    please indoctrinate him

    —— 🎕 "Oh, right," he said, voice trailing off as he spoke. Well, great, now he just looked like an idiot. His gaze flickered up to Gladestar's sharp steel eyes for just a moment before returning to the ground at his paws. He found the leader, like most older warriors, intensely intimidating. He was happier to see the approach of Con, the studious boy with stars in his fur. He and Finchpaw were a sort of calming presence to the flighty warrior, keeping him feeling comfortable enough to stay and see what the medicine cats had in store. He had his own questions, but he didn't think they were quite ready to touch the air quite yet, especially not in front of his clanmates. But he would keep his ears perked for what everyone else had to say.

    —— 🎕 "Uh, hi!" He chirped quickly in his naturally soft voice, a little startled by how loudly Stormpaw's voice rang out. Did he just call me his mate...? It was probably just some more Outback slang, but he couldn't deny that for a moment his heart had skipped a beat. Hesitantly returning the tom's smile, he managed to meet the forest-green gaze before him with a little difficulty. He wanted to match the apprentice's confidence and energy, feeling excitement for the day ahead beginning to buzz in his chest, but his awkwardness around new cats was still getting the better of him for now. Just act casual. "Well, I guess it's time for your indoctrination into RiverClan," he shrugged, grinning conspiratorially. "We could start off with a tour of the territory, unless you've already seen most of it. Or maybe fishing, if you want?" He didn't feel quite the same need to act as an authority as he would with his younger apprentices, and was hoping his teachings could be more laid-back and collaborative with Stormpaw.

    —— 🎕 An uncertain golden gaze cast left and right at the beckoning call of the medicine cats. He had been wondering lately, about his purpose, and the life of warrior had begun to seem less and less like something he was any good at. Certainly, he hadn't felt very useful for some time now. But medicine cats... they were different. They had skills and knowledge no other cat did, so specialized and vital that he assumed they never had reason to question their own importance to the clan. Recently, he had come to wish that he had their lives, fantasizing that one day perhaps he too could become a healer. Of course, underneath all that dreaming there was the cold realization of the truth that it would never come to pass. But it was a reality he didn't want to admit, not quite yet.

    Other curiosities drew him closer still to the healer's den. He wanted to learn about herbs. A small, timid part of him even wanted to ask about strange, hopeless thoughts that had been swirling through his mind lately, if he had come under a curse of some kind from StarClan. Then there was Finchpaw, who he was always more than happy to visit. And Rootlegs, the older tom whose gaze he couldn't quite work up the courage to meet. It wasn't his fault that tall, lanky toms -- especially this one, his dark face in such contrast with those frosty green eyes - set his pulse racing.

    All these things brought him padding quietly up to the gathered medicine cats, feeling awkward and obtrusive. "Um, h-hi," he stuttered, grinning slightly. "What's going on here?"

    —— 🎕 "Oh! Um, I'm Swanfeather," he said, stuttering slightly. It was a bit of a ridiculous name, considering his dark fur, but he supposed there was such a thing as a black swan. Whether or not his mother had known that, though, was up for debate. "We should get back to camp now, huh?"

    —— 🎕 He gritted his teeth slightly at the kitten's tragic story. So young, and already abandoned. He was glad Ravensong was here, the nurturing mother of what seemed like half the clan, since he would never be able to muster a loving, parental tone so easily. It wasn't that he didn't ache for the child's pain, but emotional words had difficulty forming on his tongue in even the best of times. Instead, he gave Ravensong a quick nod and a small, tense smile, silently thanking her for taking charge. "There are many cats in RiverClan who aren't clanborn. I think you'll fit in just fine," he offered to Mist. It was more of a statement of fact than an empathetic reassurance, but it was the best thing he could come up with. Hopefully, the young one would be able to take solace in those words.

    —— 🎕 He had planned to spend his morning trekking to Fourtrees, followed perhaps by a nap nested in the crevices of the massive oak roots, or a sunny afternoon of chasing squirrels. Instead, his meditative, solitary walk had been harshly interrupted by the keening of Henpelt's irritated voice. His golden eyes rolled, teeth clenched in annoyance. He hadn't spoken much with the fiery former kittypet - he seemed like the type to stir up trouble wherever he went, and Swanfeather found that kind of thing intensely draining.

    Approaching the Twoleg bridge, he could see Henpelt and Silentsong facing off with an unfamiliar cat. This kind of thing happened a lot when the weather got warmer and the kittypets and loners ventured out of their dens to stumble into clan territory, and he was about to turn away from the event altogether when he noticed the glint of the sun on Henpelt's extended claws. He cursed the tom under his breath, and bounded towards the gathering of cats.

    "Hey! Henpelt!" He demanded, his long stride quickly carrying up to stand beside the other tom. "What's going on here? Keep your claws away if you can help it. Warriors don't start fights unless it's absolutely necessary." He supposed he didn't know the whole story, but the unknown she-cat hadn't taken up a battle stance. And besides, while he wasn't a senior warrior, he'd certainly been in RiverClan longer than Henpelt had, and he felt that gave him some authority in the situation. It was also something of a natural tendency of his to trust his own way, perhaps shoving others aside if he felt it appropriate. That certainly was the case now.

    —— 🎕 It was a hot afternoon, the kind of day that just begged one to blow off their responsibilities and pad off alone to do StarClan-knows-what. So he had, abandoning his attempt at hunting to wander through the farthest reaches of the territory, lost in a meditative trance that had left his attention to his surroundings far behind. It shouldn't have been a surprise, then, that the scents of cats around him had gone completely unnoticed. A marshy clearing before him held the sudden sight of Ravensong with an unfamiliar kit, and he debated joining them, unsure if the intimidating older warrior would chew him out for leaving his duties behind. Well, whatever -- if it happened, it happened.

    "Ravensong?" He said, his soft voice seeming loud in the still air. "Who's this you've found?"

    // for next time, dianemu: you might've realized this already but this is the OOC board, rp threads go on the main board

    —— 🎕 Training was eating up his days. Dreampaw, Nightfall, and now Stormpaw. It would be good, at least, to be spending a little more time around cats his own age. Apprentices were all too often loud and practically vibrating with their energy for life. Maybe that was something he could usually appreciate, but recently he had just found it tiring.

    Cool morning mist hung heavy in the air. When the sun rose, it would be burned away and the air would be hot and dry. For now, the cool slick of dew underfoot lifted the exhaustion from his shoulders. Even with how... empty he'd been feeling recently, the world's natural beauty still brought some glimmer of happiness to his heart. But approaching his destination, thinking of the day the laid ahead, some other feeling was also worming its way up from his guts. He'd been anxious on his first day with Dreampaw, but this was entirely different. It was something like fear, a fluttering like he'd swallowed a thousand tiny birds.

    He pushed the feeling aside. This was just another day of mentoring his clanmates, not more intimidating than any other. Stormpaw was just a friend. A strange, mysterious, fascinating, handsome... friend.

    Delphy   //i assumed swan's still gonna mentor this mans so uh yeah <3