It was, by all accounts, a very good day - with plenty of birds going about their business, as well as small, unwary mammals. It was the kind of day where no one was very cautious of what they were doing; making it the best sort of day for hunting.
Even though he was no longer a prey-hunter, Hawkspring still found his skills resting in providing food for his clan, rather than fighting. He had already found an unwary gopher as a plump surprise, and was in the process of burying it. And was in the process of stalking a squirrel when the small creature seemed to catch scent of...something.
With a frightened chitter, the squirrel took off up the nearest tree. With a cry of dismay, Hawkspring tried to take off after it, missing it only by a whisker and cursing his luck, before he realized something odd about the situation.
He had been downwind of the creature - he was sure of it. So...if he hadn't scared the squirrel away, something else did?
The fur along his spine rose as an unfamiliar scent reached his nose.
"Who...who's there?!" He stumbled, fully aware that he wasn't much of a fighter, but determined to make a stand then and there. "Show yourself!"
'Rat dung...' Magpie scored the ground with her claws in frustration. She'd been stalking the squirrel and had halted her progress when she'd smelled another cat close-by. Of course, the squirrel had seen her and darted away, and the other cat had sprang after it, missing its catch.
The cat smelled the same as the scent line she'd crossed over some time ago when she'd gone exploring. And she remembered the other cat she'd met earlier had told her there were four Clans. She'd been in MothClan territory before. So which clan did this cat belong to? Hmm...
"Why should I do that?" She asked where she hid, peeking suspiciously at the other cat from the bush she currently was hiding behind. "For all I know, you're going to attack me and skin me alive if I show myself."
She noted the brown tom had stuttered a little when asking the question. He didn't seem like a threat, and he was just a single cat, but she knew from experience that looks could be deceiving. Her sister, for example, could appear to be the sweetest she-cat, praising you and helping you when you need it, then flay you the moment you turned your back. She'd seen what cruel things her sister had done. She knew what happened when one trusted cats just because they seemed 'nice'.
She scented the air, trying to pick up any scents of other cats approaching. None so far. That was a good sign. It meant she wouldn't be outnumbered if she was forced to fight.
In the time it took to make his demands and stand his grounds, Hawkspring doubted himself; what if it turned out he was shouting at something that didn't understand him. What if it was a badger? Or foxes? Something that had about as much brain as a rock as far as he was concerned - but could easily just have him as a snack for daring to call him out.
But then it answered him. Which was, honestly...almost worse.
"Well...you're trespassing for one." He called out, standing his ground and doing his damnedest to keep the tremor from his voice. And it's rude. "This is Rootclan territory! So...so show yourself! Or I'll..."
What would he do exactly? Drive them off? He was a fighter when it needed to be, but decidedly better against squirrels and chipmunks than anything his own size. Or from above. But he hardly had that chance now.
RootClan, was it? That was one of the other Clans the other tom had mentioned; she recalled he’d said they weren’t very fast.
”You know... you’re not doing a very good job at convincing me you’re not going to kill me.” Magpie replied, raising an eyebrow. ”Now I know that this is your land, there’s nothing holding you back from doing so. I’m trespassing as you said.”. That was how it worked in the city; if another group of cats caught you in their territory, you were killed and left to set an example for others to see. She didn’t expect these Clans to be any different.
Cautiously, the rogue poked her head from the bush to where the tom could see her, looking him up and down warily from her good eye. ”You’re not very good at intimidation, though... you didn’t scare me anyways.” Not that a simple half-hearted threat would scare her; she’d heard and seen much worse than what the tom was saying right now. Still, though, she didn’t step out from behind the bush. Keeping her distance, she could get a head start if she had to flee in a hurry.
Kill her?! Hawkspring was taken aback for a moment, physically taking a step back as a look of confusion crossed his face. Any noble clan cat - or former tribe cat, for that matter - knew that you need not kill to get a point across. A show of force was enough, maybe a little posturing, a flash of fangs - and a few scratches if they were particularly thick-headed. You killed only to protect your life, or the life of your family; and seeing as his little siblings and parents wee back at the camp, he certainly didn't have to worry about that. He might not be good at threatening, but he was big; he was certain he could take her if it came to that.
As he stood there trying to think of a proper response, she actually peeked out from behind her bush. He could definitely pin her if it came down to it. In fact, he was certain one of his more rambunctious siblings - Shrikepaw or Turkeypaw, could have taken her down if the need arose. "I-if you knew what sort of backup I had coming, you'd jump out of your fur!" He snapped, puffing out his chest to make himself at least look a little more intimidating, though he deflated a bit as he continued.
"I wouldn't be killing you, though. Unless you give me reason to. You just have to leave, and...you better not hunt here!"
Now it was Magpie’s turn to look confused. A group of cats that didn’t kill others that trespassed? Such a thing was unheard of for her. Then again... that other clan cat hadn’t killed her either, but she’d thought it was just dumb luck. ”You cats are strange.” She replied.
Taking a look around, scenting the air, she couldn’t smell any other cats approaching. Was he bluffing, or telling the truth? Perhaps these cats could hide their scent; that could mean trouble for her. ”Well, I was trying to catch that squirrel, but you ruined that for me.” She glared up at the rodent whom she could see up on a top branch, chittering down at her. ’If I catch you, you won’t be laughing anymore... stupid rodent.’ She thought. She hissed at it, but it didn’t scurry away like she thought it would. It still sounded like it was laughing at her.
Rolling her eyes, she turned her attention back to the brown tom. He was larger than her, it was true. But he didn’t seem like a cold blooded killer. She’d seen cats smaller than she was that could easily shred her pelt. ”What’s your name, by the way? I met another clan cat about a sunrise ago. He said his name was Ocelot... somethingorother... you probably know him though. Spotted pelt? Doesn’t like other cats? Is a bit of a loner?” Slowly, she fully stepped out of the bush, sitting down next to it. Still studying him warily. Even if this cat wasn’t a killer, it didn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous. ” I think he said he lived in MothClan?”
Oh, he was strange? She was clearly nuts; but she seemed to be a relatively harmless nut. At least she seemed to be more wary of him. He had to remember that he was on his territory - he had a right to be there, more than she did...
"You can't be hunting on clan territory, anyways. It's against the..." He'd about to say 'the code', before he realized that was stupid - how was she supposed to know what the code was, as an outsider. They were all supposed to be lawless, as far as he was concerned. "But look - I won't say to anyone that you did. If I don't see it, far as I'm concerned, you didn't do it."
He settled on his haunches a few tail-lengths away; keeping his distance but making it pointedly clear that he was not going to be going anywhere anytime soon.
"I'm Hawkspring. And yeah...I don't exactly know anyone named Ocelot, but I do know Mothclan. We, uh...have crossed paths before. But this is relatively new territory for us." He admitted, quickly tacking on. "But it's still our territory, mind. I'm amazed they didn't try to take your fur, though. Mothclan is a bit of a stand-offish folk from what I've heard. I suppose...you have a name?" He asked, realizing that while she had asked him his, he still had no idea who she was.
Magpie raised an eyebrow. It was clear to her he had been about to say 'Rules' or something to that affect. That it was against the rules for her to hunt in their land. But she was hungry, and she wasn't about to go back to the twoleg settlement to hunt. Being there reminded her too much of the city she'd left behind, even if it was smaller and the air was cleaner.
Her stomach audibly growled, causing her to flatten her ears against her head, eyes narrowing and tail flicking in annoyance. She glared at a fluttering leaf that fell in front of her paws, unsheathing and sheathing her claws in irritation. Why couldn't she have just caught that squirrel? She was too proud to admit she was hungry to the other cat, however, so she just ignored it. She was used to it; it wouldn't kill her. This wasn't the first time she'd been hungry, and it wouldn't be the last. Instead she turned her attention to his statements. "This is new territory for you? Meaning you and your clan just moved here or something?" Hm. That was interesting. Why would an entire group of cats leave their previous home? Had the territory no longer been able to feed all of them? Or were there dangers they couldn't face? She had her own reasons for leaving the city she'd been born in. None of them she was willing to share at the moment.
And his name was Hawkspring, apparently. "Hawkspring, huh?" She mused, testing the tom's name out loud. "The other cat I met had a strange name too..." She looked him up and down. "You don't look like a giant bird. Yeah, you're big, but not that big. And I'm pretty sure hawks don't spring, they fly..." She'd never seen a hawk up close, but the forms she'd seen flying high in the sky during her travels here told her they were much bigger than herself. Able to pick her up if they managed to catch her.
Upon hearing the tom's comment on MothClan, she murmured. "Guess I caught them in a good mood, then." She'd never go so far as to say she was lucky; as far as she was concerned she'd never been lucky a day in her life. To hope that things were going to go well was just wasted effort. It was better to be prepared for things to go wrong than to wish for them to go right. The tom hadn't attacked her yet, so she assumed she was at least doing something right. And the tom was still waiting to hear her name. He'd probably want an answer from her. "My name's Magpie."
Although he was still somewhat on edge, he settled onto his haunches a bit as his legs grew tired the longer they talked. This stranger hadn't attacked him, so he'd show the same courtesy - besides, while he should have driven her away the longer they talked to least likely he seemed determined to do so.
"Well, I don't know how the naming thing is supposed to happen, honestly." He flicked his ear. "But I mean - you don't exactly look like a Magpie either. No feathers, no wings - so if you can be named Magpie, I can be named Hawk." Now, that had been his original name - or at least, part of it. Why was his name considered weird and hers not? "And spring? I, uh...don't know what it means but it was picked by my leader. It means I'm and adult, and, uh..."
Okay, he wasn't sure exactly why spring had been chosen for him. But it was an honor nonetheless.
"Maybe it's a little different if you're born outside the clans." He mused. "Whose lands...you're still on, remember. And you really shouldn't be. But I guess, since you hit on the head that we're kinda...newer? I'll let it slide. But I'm probably one of the few who will."
Magpie blinked. Looked at him as though he’d grown a second head. “So.... you had a different name when you were younger? You don’t just have one name through your life?”
How did Hawkspring even remember his own name, if that was the case? In her mind, changing names was utterly confusing. “And your leader picks your new names? How many have you had?” . A part of her was worried he would say five or anything larger than that. She’d only ever had one; there was never a need to change it.
She rolled her eyes as the warrior spoke again. “Yes I know I’m on your land. We wouldn’t be talking if I wasn’t, right?” Her ear turned to the left, and she looked that way to see a mouse scurrying by. Her eyes followed it for a while before it disappeared into the undergrowth again. Her senses screamed at her to chase after it, but she stayed where she was. She didn’t really care for the ‘No Hunting’ rule, but she didn’t care for being attacked because she killed some prey either. So she turned her attention back to the tom, tail flicking in irritation.
“Why do you live in a ‘Clan’?” She tilted her head, studying him with her eyes as she spoke. “Seems like a risky move, relying on other cats.”
What if they decided they didn’t like him anymore and wanted to get rid of him? There was more than one way to make sure they never came back to camp; an accident here or there, making a death look like a wild animal or another cat had done the job, or push them from a really high place and watch them fall. And what if they didn’t have enough food to feed everyone, so they chased cats out to fend for themselves? There were no scars that Magpie could see, so maybe they didn’t have that many battles. However that didn’t mean it was safe to put their lives in the paws of other cats.
Carried Home is a Warriors roleplay forum. We feature four clans - all four of which have futures that heavily depend on what your characters do - as well as a 50 word count minimum on RP posts, and a functioning currency and shop.
While most of the action does center around our four clans, members are also permitted to make loners, rogues, and kittypets. You can also make both StarClan and Dark Forest characters.