No matter the fact that the tom was tempted to pace out of site of his clan, tail lashing and muscles tense as adrenaline and anxiety pushed him to do something more active than just sit and talk, there was no hesitation as Spiritstar ascended the woven trees of Moorclan's camp. Times had been trying indeed, and while no more had fallen to the Spore within their clan since Paleberry, that did not mean it had ceased being a threat, nor that they were safe from other dangers.
Spiritstar had known leadership would not be easy, yet he had hoped never to make such announcements.
Pressing his own worries aside, the raven leader steeled himself, and by the time he had stepped out onto the thickest branch to be well within his clan's view, his head was held high and proud despite the somber note to his expression. "Cats of Moorclan, the time has come for us to gather and look upon our future as one," Spiritstar called, voice ringing clear across the moor as he watched his clanmates gather. Those who had been within the tree had descended as soon as his single snowy paw had set upon that particular branch, however he watched patiently as the remainder ducked out of tree hollows or bounded closer from the grasslands.
Some knew what to expect, others did not. However, he had heard the whispers since what had happened to Orchidpaw, and he knew well enough that his urgent meeting with Applecloud and Skywhisper the day before had certainly drawn a few eyes. Holding firm, the tom swept his gaze across his settling clan, and spoke.
"With Leafbare's arrival, hardships are to be expected," he began, playfulness set aside for something smooth and somber. "However, the loss of our medicine cat apprentice was not one that we predicted - as many of you must have heard by now, today we mourn Orchidpaw. She fought bravely despite her young age against the dog that attacked her in the White Forest, and while we do not know where it took her, we can be assured that her spirit looks down on us just as bravely from Starclan."
With the stars absent in the morning, the tom merely bowed his head slightly, allowing a moment of silence to pass at the news of the fallen apprentice. Once it had passed, however, Spiritstar drew his clan's attention once more with a raise of his chin and a whisk of his tail. All eyes returned to him. "While I wish this was the only news I had to give you today, sadly this is not the case," he went on. "As you may have noticed, a few cats have been falling ill lately. We have noticed that a common thread among these sicknesses is a musty odor, though the symptoms remain inconsistent. Should you encounter an earthy, musty smell that only you can sense, alert Skywhisper immediately - it is unclear if this sickness is contagious, however for the safety of the clan, it is best to assume it is. Should multiple cats catch the scent at once yet no one seems ill, then report to myself or Applecloud right away."
Tail whisking behind him, the tom directed his gaze briefly toward his fellow high ranks, giving them a brisk nod, before pale eyes returned to the clan below. "The source of this illness is unclear, but we do know this - it has reached the other clans, and can indeed be fatal. However, while we mourn those who might have fallen to this, we relish those who have encountered this illness and returned to full health, as some of you here have - they are our sign of hope that this Spore cannot overcome us." The leader's tone was firm, certain, leaving no room for argument that they could get through this. They would.
"Leafbare brings to us as well a shortage of prey, and while we have encountered such before, we ask that this moon we remain especially vigilant of what we hunt and eat," there was a heavy warning to his tone, though his voice did not falter. "it has come to attention that this Spore may well be carried by prey itself, though this is no certain fact. While we dare not limit what we eat, we ask that you inspect your prey carefully before eating it, or giving it to anyone else. If you encounter a musty smell from any prey, bury it immediately outside of camp and let Skywhisper, Applecloud or myself know right away."
Nodding firmly, Spiritstar brought the meeting to a close, his faith shining strongly in his eyes. "While times are far from easy, we must hold onto our faith. As confirmed to Skywhisper at the Starpool, Starclan continues to watch over us in these troubling times. We are Moorclan, and we are strong. The time has well since passed, when we would bow to our hardships, so we must carry on with our heads held high, and live every day with the pride and determination we intend to be known for."
With that said, the leader descended the tree to stand by his deputy's side, signalling the announcement over.
Notes | Open to all of Moorclan - please take note this occurs BEFORE the gathering Tagged | applecloud, skywhisper, MOORCLAN CATS