Icy flakes of snow floated lazily towards the earth as the faint rays of morning sun began to stretch across the territory. Any snow that managed to navigate its way through the maze of branches above, melted soon after contact with the now sodden forest floor. The woodland was still quiet as much of the woodland had yet to stir. That was, spare the eerie sound of wings beating as a ebony crow flew amongst the pine canopies. Stormy couldn't help but think the dark avian was following them, but her better judgement suggested that its instincts simply drew it towards the stench of death that seemed to hang like a cloud around Gorgeclan's camp.
Stormyskies pushed ahead as the bitter Leaf-Bare wind stung at her nose and amber oculars, but the large femme barely took notice. Her mind was still whirling from the events of the previous day. The gossip that has begun to resonate throughout the camp did little to ease her concerns and only left her with more questions. Being asked to take a patrol out was undeniably a blessing in disguise. She needed some type of distraction and the others would probably benefit as well. She glanced over her shoulder to be certain the rest of her party was close behind. Sure, They could all handle themselves, but the umber hued molly couldn't shake her unease stemming from the possibility that they encounter the very same threat that cost Coyotecall a great deal.
"Lets head towards the river." Her voice called out as her gait picked up to a trot now that her target had been set. Perhaps it was her subconscious steering her as far from the crumbling rocks as she could get, but she told herself that it was imperative to ensure the boundary between Moorclan was secure. Given the weakened state of their clan they could not afford to risk any prey being stolen.
Death by disease was not something Pearfrost was familiar with. Even through her violent apprenticeship and kithood under Bonestar, Pearfrost had seen cats die at the claws of others. However, she had always been a healthy cat despite her runt size. How a cat could die to something no one could fight or see, and so quickly in such a grotesque manner, was bewildering to her. Even this cold little heart felt a shiver of fear at it.
And so she was silently glad that Stormyskies led them away from the Crumbling Rocks. The bitter wind of leaf-bare was a lot harsher on Pearfrost's light coat and small frame than most cats. She dug each paw into the ground in case the wind carried her away as it did the last remaining leaves on the trees. She could not help but feel the tension and awkward silence among the patrol. So the disease had struck fear into more hearts than her own, she realized.
"What a day," she remarked through her teeth as the icy breeze ruffled her fur. "I don't know how MoorClan handles it on such an open territory."
Normally Pearfrost was not the cat to converse with, but Stormyskies was a cat she held no grudge against. Pearfrost would offer what morsel of sociability she had left.
[attr="class","bandit2"]●Why, StarClan, do you hate me so? The black tom-cat thought to himself as he made his way begrudgingly from the warmth of the warrior’s den. Only a day prior he’d received an apprentice and now he was sent off on a morning patrol - two of his least favorite things in all of his responsibilities as a warrior. Not that Spiderstrike was particularly fond of any responsibilities that came with being a warrior - he did them with minimal complaint. In truth, he didn’t know why he bothered as his family was terrible and had never been there for him and the clan had never done anything to try to force their paw. If anything, the way he saw it was GorgeClan deserved to be knocked down from their pegs a little more than they had when Bonestar had taken the reigns. But alas, here he was on the cold, snowy morning, making his way toward the group gathering at the entrance of camp with his jaw clamped tightly closed.
His yellow eyes scanned over the gathered cats, pausing only to really study the large she-cat who was heading their patrol this morning. They were around the same size, though the black tom found himself standing up a little straighter to appear larger. Whatever it was about Spiderstrike and his own pride, he wasn't sure that he - or anyone else for that matter - would understand it. Clearing his throat to signal that he was impatient and ready to leave, he followed the group at the rear as they made their way out of camp. His eyes narrowed against the frigid breeze, attempting to protect the yellow orbs but to no avail. The only saving grace he had was that the way they watered was not seen by anyone as he’d decided to bring up the rear. His eyes slowly traced across each feline, pawsteps slightly slower than the rest of the group, leaving him trailing behind. He heard the call of the she-cat leading them, and then heard one of the smallest spoke up, her teeth practically chattering.
“It’s MoorClan, they’re probably too stupid to realize it.” He said gruffly, his deep, gravelly voice nearly lost under the breeze. Turning his gaze out toward the river, he watched patches of ice that had frozen along the riverbank break off with it’s raging speed. He had always found it funny how the river never completely froze over. Carefully, he moved past his clanmates now and began making his way closer toward the boundary line, his massive paws sinking into snowdrifts and leaving him up to his chest in the cold crystally substance. “Stay back, Pearfrost. If you fall into a drift, I’m not helping you out.” He called over his shoulder, ignoring any potential protest that may have come after it.