The time had finally come. The time Seawatcher had to come to acknowledge that her kits were ready to become warrios, that they were ready for the next chapter in their lives. Or well... they believed themselves to be ready - Amaryllispaw being especially persistent in proving to Seawatcher that she was ready for her full name. And yet Seawatcher wanted to be sure. She wanted her kits to be ready not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Especially with the dark age they were living in right now. The Creekclan warrior had the greatest expectations for her kits. The bar she mentally set for them being the product of her worry and wanting to show her inferiors that just because she was leader didn't mean she favored her kits. If anything she put more pressure on them, pushing them to do better, be better. Any less would considered half-assed. However, despite this Seawatcher would love her kits all the same. They didn't need to be the greatest warrior of Creekclan, they were her babies - even if not biologically speaking. A secret still needing to be told. 'Perhaps soon... after they become full fledged warriors,' Seawatcher thought to herself, a sour taste forming in the back of her throat. "All good in time..."
The Mossy Clearing was as good as any place to evaluate her kits. She needed to be sure their training hadn't suffered from everything going on, especially since these would be the first warriors she'd name as leader of Creekclan and if she was perfectly honest she already had a few ideas on names. Finding a sunny patch the large silver molly laid down, spread out comfortably as she waited for her kits. She had told them she wanted to talk to them after they finished with their apprentice duties.
The inky male had a rather busy sunrise; he had spent the better part of the sunrise patrolling borders and then met up with a warrior for a hunting session. The warrior had been a surprise to Larkspurpaw; she had a sassy nature, a trickster like himself. The tom wondered if perhaps he had found himself his first real friend. Training had been his number one priority and with the move, friendship had not really been possible. Still, it made him happy that maybe now, he was finally finding some time for friends.
Larkspurpaw did not forget the meeting with his mother. The hunting excursion with Palilaflame had proved to be a valuable experience as he caught some prey for the elders and kits too. After depositing the prey into the camp, he made his way eagerly towards the mossy clearing. The large inky trainee did not realize that he was about to walk into an evaluation, although it certainly made sense. Larkspurpaw merely thought it was a catch up with his family; an opportunity never the less.
The dark male approached the clearing, weaving out of the way of low, overhanging branches. The silver molly caught his eyes; she was sprawled out on the moss, relaxing. "Hey mum!" He called. The energetic tom approached his mother and respectfully greeted her with a gentle, but very brief nuzzle. "How have you been?" He asked as he took a step backwards and sat down. The tom's sister shouldn't be far away, but he figured he and Seawatcher might as well catch up. It had been a little while since they had spent quality family time together after all.
i owned every second that this world could give. i saw so many places the things that i did. with every broken bone, i swear i lived.
[attr="class","bandittext"]The morning had been... uneventful. At least, by Amaryllispaw's standards. She'd patrolled, as was expected, and even made time for an unnecessary training session with Onefeather in hopes that her mother would see the effort she was putting in. Not that it necessarily surprised her, but the impatient apprentice was aware of the way her mother held she and Larkspurpaw to very different standards than the rest of the apprentices. Under Stoatstar's rule, she assumed that she would have been a warrior by now. Instead? She was being sent on missions to help the clan. Missions that were getting more and more boring by the day. She hated them, but performed at the top of her ability for fear of her mother stopping her from becoming a warrior. The frustration was building though, and she was quick to snap on other apprentices who showed excitement in their own warrior ceremonies that were surely right around the corner.
However, Seawatcher had asked them both of her kits to meet her today, so maybe this was the day she was finally waiting for. Amaryllispaw felt she more than deserved it and was the best apprentice in all of OneClan - even superior to her brother Larkspurpaw, and carried herself as such as she trotted toward the meeting place where she found Seawatcher and Larkspurpaw exchanging greetings. However, she did not greet either of them as warmly, part of it due to the growing frustration she felt toward Seawatcher and part of it because she wanted to appear like she was ready to be a warrior. And warrior's didn't need their mothers fawning over them like little kits.
"Seawatcher, Larkspurpaw." She said with a faint smile, dipping her head in greeting as she approached, light green eyes focused on Seawatcher, hoping to see some indication of why they were here. Slowly, the lanky feline lowered herself to sit before her brother and mother and waited to learn why she was here.
A content and happy purr rumbled from the silver molly when her son nuzzled her, however briefly it was still welcomed. "Tired as you can imagine, but otherwise I'm fine. How about you, dear?" Seawatcher asked politely as she sat up and gave the inky male a quick, affectionate rasp of her tongue on his cheek. She smiled coyly, knowing neither of her kits exactly liked her being touchy with them and while Seawatcher understood, it was still hard to reign in her love. That's not something that just goes away and despite them not being her or Eagleheart's kits, she had raised them as such. What Oceancloud was missing by not spending time with them.
It was rather unfortunate (or fortunate depending who you're asking) that Amaryllispaw appeared, greeting the pair with a small smile on her lips. "My love!" Seawatcher grinned out before sitting up completely and quickly giving her daughter a nuzzle. Amaryllispaw had grown colder and distant from the silver molly, a coldness born from frustration at her predicament. She was aware of her daughter's frustrations and anger, but if the leader was being honest she did not believe Amaryllispaw to be completely ready for warriorhood. Seawatcher felt that the lanky, smaller molly had a bit more growing to do. But perhaps she'll fill in once the responsibilities of being a warrior set in? It was definitely not something easy to decide on the flick of an ear. It was a reason why she had decided to assess her kits, unbeknownst to them at the current moment.
She truly hoped her kits would excel, every mother would wish for their success, however, Seawatcher was also Creekclan's leader. She'd have to act as such and remain as impartial as possible. Favoritism wasn't an option, thus the molly expected a little more from them. With a flick of her tail in a motion to follow, Seawatcher trotted off in the direction of the flooded creek. Instantly she was in leader mode, all traces of affection wiped clean as she leveled her kits with her intense saffron-colored eyes. "Follow. We'll be meeting up with Mousechaser and Waspfur at the flooded creek." Seawatcher spoke over her shoulder, not waiting to see if they'll follow.
After those simple words, the silver molly traveled in silence, lost in her thoughts as she observed the receding moss and tall stalks of cat-tail and brush appear. The babble of the creek could be heard a short distance away, signaling that they were close to their destination. Shortly after the bright pelt of Waspfur lounging in the reeds could be seen and next to her sat Mousechaser, stiff and stoic as ever.
Upon reaching them Seawatcher bowed her head in greeting before turning towards the trailing apprentices, sitting next to the wiry brown tom. "I'm sure you both have an idea on what is happening. It's high time you both took your assessments." She spoke coldly, detected but the warm glow in her eyes reflected her pride. "That being said the both of you will be working together to defeat Waspfur and Mousechaser in a mock water-fight." Seawatcher tipped her head towards the two warriors sitting next to her. Mousechaser simply dipped his head in greeting towards the apprentices while Waspfur gave a large toothy grin, green eyes glowing with excitement. "Work together," the massive silver molly leveled a pointed look towards Amaryllispaw. "Do your best, fight your best." She looked at the two younger cats before continuing, "claws sheathed at all times." With that said she dismissed the two warriors and apprentices with a wave of her tail. It was a simple command. One to let them know to get ready.
Waspfur jumped to her paws before wadding into a calmer part of the water, Mousechaser close behind. The water was deep enough that more advanced moves could be performed, yet it was shallow enough for both Seawatcher to observe unhindered and still have some mobility. The water reached Waspfur's sides, Mousechaser being swallowed more thoroughly. Settling in battle positions the two patiently waited for the apprentices to join them.
"Begin," Seawatcher called out, watching with an impassive expression on her face.
The words barely left the leader's mouth before Waspfur was launching towards Larkspurpaw, attempting to using her body as a battering ram to knock the inky male off balance. Mousechaser hung back, observing Amaryllispaw - waiting on her to move first.
WHAT IS BEING TESTED?: Partner Battle (2 v 2) INSTRUCTIONS: Larkspurpaw and Amaryllispaw are to work together to defeat Mousechaser and Waspfur in a mock water-fight RULES: Claws sheathed! Larkspur and Amary are to demonstrate quick-thinking and teamwork capabilities. Both apprentices will also demonstrate their skills in water-based combat specific to Creekclan. Please refer to the Clan Tactics Cheat Sheet for information on how to execute an attack. CATS PARTICIPATING (BESIDES APPRENTICES) Mousechaser (NPC; opponent in battle), Waspfur (NPC; 2nd opponent in battle), Seawatcher (observer) NOTES ON NPCS: Mousechaser is a small wiry and boney tom with cold brown eyes and mud ticked tabby fur; he is quick and agile and known for being calculative. Waspfur is a large brawny she-cat with bushy mottled red fur and green eyes; quick to agitate and impulsive, she is notoriously deceptive.
Larkspurpaw felt himself grinning at his mother's words. The inky feline had been on the verge of worry about her. In the past few moons there had been a lot of changes, many involving Seawatcher. But, he was glad to see her and hear that she was doing well albeit tired. "Good," he chirped back. "I've even managed to make a friend or two since the merge," he explained. Larkspurpaw hoped his mother would like hearing such news. After-all, the ebony apprentice had been focusing on training and nothing but since he was a kit. The time for friends was scarce and rare. The development of his new friendships hadn't caused training to lack though. Or, at least not in his mind. It meant hunting with warriors, warriors with more experience.
A stormy feline quickly joined the two. Her smokey grey pelt almost matching Seawatcher's; her stripes seeming thicker and her eyes a fern hue rather than gold. Larkspurpaw always saw her as a smaller copy of mother with minor differences. The two molly's looked great, he thought as his sister greeted them both with such formality. Larkspurpaw nodded gently to his sister, grinning as she settled down beside him. The tom sighed to himself, noting her formality. The she-cat seemed to carry herself with such confidence and such a high ego. He hoped his lovely sister was taking criticism when she needed it and had been taking others advice.
Seawatcher began to trot off towards the creek, the feline suddenly in leader mode. It dawned on him that this was no social chat. Although he felt a pang of disappointment, it was quickly replaced by delight as he wondered if it were time for his assessments. Perhaps he would finally become a warrior. The midnight hued tom prayed that his training would be enough, his extra hunts and endless drive. The tom quickly rose and followed after Seawatcher. Larkspurpaw padded in silence, but thoughts darted around his mind. Even a sensation of worry. But as they neared the creek; the trickling of water caused his ears to prick up.
The silver molly explained the rules as the small group caught up to the seasoned warriors; Mousechaser and Waspfur. Larkspurpaw gave them a gentle and kind nod; almost a form of thankfulness for their assistance to help with the assessments. The assessments seemed simple enough; two vs. two. Larkspurpaw had always preferred fighting and battle training as opposed to hunting. But the water element made him uncomfortable. Luckily he had his sister to help.
"Okay, I understand," Larkspurpaw replied. The young tom swallowed hard; a dry lump feeling swelled in his throat. He hated water. The constant fear of drowning always present on his mind. Inhaling slowly, he took a step forward; allowing his paws to become touched by the bubbling water of the creek. He stood in the water and nodded. Face your fears. A partner fight.
Larkspurpaw held his breath, eyeing up the opponents with caution. The tom wasn't sure what best fit would befall himself or his sister. Perhaps since he was was boxy and heavy, he ought to fight Waspfur; giving his sister, who was slender and tall, a chance at the more agile feline. Agility and speed were downfalls of the inky tom. "I'll take the heavier of the two. You're faster and quicker than I am," he whispered to his sister as he shook out his pelt and formed a battle position.
Begin. In that moment, Larkspurpaw dashed forth and suddenly thrashed his front paws into the creek, sending water flying up into Waspfur's and Mousechaser's face. The perfect distraction. In the flurry, the tom hopped forward and brought his paw down explosively onto Waspfur's head. Larkspurpaw had wanted to spring at the 'enemy' but he wanted to keep close to Amaryllispaw and base his moves off hers.
i owned every second that this world could give. i saw so many places the things that i did. with every broken bone, i swear i lived.
[attr="class","bandittext"] Amaryllispaw fought the urge to cringe away from her mother as she was nuzzled affectionately, but the scowl on her face said just how she felt about the affection. She wasn’t a kit anymore and snuggling up with mother was one of the last things on her mind. While she would do her best to hide the protests from her mother, the protest was clearly visible in her eyes. Curbing the swell of enthusiasm that welled inside the slender feline as Seawatcher explained that today would be their day for assessment, the tabby simply nodded, her green eyes dancing with excitement but her posture remaining surprisingly rigid.
You’re not a kit anymore, don’t act like one. She snapped at herself, holding her head high as she walked beside Larkspurpaw and listening carefully to the instructions being provided. Water sparring against Waspfur and Mousechaser. Perfect. She thought to herself, making a mental note of everything she knew about the two warriors - though admittedly it wasn’t much. She knew that Waspfur was more like she was, impulsive and quick to anger, but she was quick to dismiss that detail, certain it would be a detail she could overlook. Afterall, Amaryllispaw was the same way and she was always able to come out on top in her sparring matches (or at least the ones she felt were important). The ones she lost, she dismissed as being the luck of her opponent and figured it was because she couldn’t win every fight.
Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as Larkspurpaw nodded his greeting to the warriors and mirrored the movement, though it was far less genuine when it came from the marbled molly and her gaze flickered impatiently back to her mother who was still explaining the rules. No claws, as per usual. It seemed silly to expect them to fight without their claws against seasoned warriors, but the apprentice merely dipped her head again in understanding, remaining silent and soaking everything in.
Her brother’s voice interrupted her thoughts and her green eyes darted to his face quickly as he mentioned taking on Waspfur. It seemed silly to think that Larkspurpaw would handle either of them in this water, especially since she knew his disdain for it. But she wouldn’t argue, and instead would make quick work of the older tom and then loop back to help him if she had to. He just needed to stay afloat long enough for her to do so, so to speak. “Just don’t mess up.” She said shortly. There was no whisper of good luck and her words were definitely not ones of confidence toward her brother. Amaryllispaw did not want to fail this assessment and she certainly wouldn’t fail because of her brother’s abilities (or lack thereof).
As Waspfur barreled forward toward Larkspurpaw, she maneuvered quickly away, gracefully darting into the water and out of the way. She moved downstream, creating distance between the two who had already engaged in battle, her light green eyes darting toward the slender tom who was eyeing her back. They moved each other, circling slowly in the water. She noted the way the water came up over the tom’s shoulders and he had to strain at some moments to keep his footing on the smooth rocks below. Despite that, he still moved gracefully and she almost couldn’t tell when he had to swim and when he could touch the ground. But after a couple of moments, purposely driving him to deeper water where she could still easily stand on the river’s bottom, she noted the way his gait changed and he was propelling himself forward - gracefully - in the water using his powerful hind legs and tail.
He could move faster swimming than she, unfortunately, and her height made swimming here nearly impossible. She’d need to drive him to deeper water to be able to compete. Her eyes locked on him as he swam toward her and just before he’d connect with her, the tom’s head disappeared underwater. Thankful for the clear creek, she was able to see his attack coming, even though it was terribly fast. He connected with her and while the blow was powerful, the tabby feline let out a grunt as it connected, but she didn’t move much. Other clan cats or weaker apprentices might have been thrown by that move, stumbled in the water, and been knocked off their paws, but Amaryllispaw stood strong, rearing on her hind legs and slamming them downward toward the tom as he tried darting away underwater. She didn’t need a clean hit, but slamming her paws into his back would do the trick. She’d use her size to slam him into the smooth rocks beneath the surface and pin him there, only letting up enough to ensure that he’d get a gasp of air before pinning him back down under the water.
The spash of water was definitely a good move on the inky apprentices part, however, Waspfur was close enough to the tom that it had little effect on her besides drenching her thick fur and weighing her down. What she couldn't say she fully expected was the paw coming down on her head, especially when Larkspurpaw moved with such speed not normally expected of a cat his size. Even she was not that fast. That didn't stop the barreling moment Waspfur had, especially since Larkspurpaw was right in her trajectory and didn't have the foresight to move out of the way. Her original plan of attack was a tad sloppy, her shoulder clipping him instead of hitting him head on with her stunned mind. She made sure to attempt to jump out of reach, hoping to smack him in the face with her wet and weighed down by the water before turning around once again to regain her sensibility. "Nice move there furball, but don't think you've won yet!" She grinned at him, a jovial lilt to her voice as she eagerly awaited his next move.
Mousechaser was aware of what Amaryllispaw was doing. Driving him back into deeper water to make attacking and fighting in general more difficult for his smaller frame. However, he was used to this kind of thinking and had developed a way to counter it whenever another thought to push him. A disappointed sigh escaped him as he kept his features carefully blank, not wanting to give away just when he was swimming and when he was actually touching the ground. He decided he had enough waiting and one moment he was above water and the next he was swimming under. His lean figure and smaller stature made it almost too easy to propel himself forward, a cloud of mud clouding the water with the forcefulness of his actions. Though it wasn't enough to fully obscure him like he wanted and had hoped for, not kicking up enough to make him disappear completely. Any trying to do so now would jeopardize his speed and the efficiency of his attack. He connected, but the force he mustered wasn't enough to actually topple her as he wanted. He used his momentum to push off her with his hind legs, trying to get out of her reach before she could pin him underwater. He was expecting a counter-attack and barely managed to avoid her crushing pin, her paws instead slamming in his back as he swam away into shallower waters. The brown tom backed into Waspfur, placing himself strategically next to the larger she-cat while still facing Amaryllispaw. To be truthful Mousechaser didn't fully understand why the two apprentices split up when their mother clearly told them it was a partner battle. He had humored Amaryllispaw by letting her think she had pushed him into a corner, forcing him to rely on Waspfur more than he would. He only sowed this idea by making out the blow she delt him to be bigger than it truly was. Yes, it stung, but he could deal with the pain. The favoring of his other leg was just a facade, leaning against his clanmates side was just a trick. One he hoped to sell with the pain shining in his eyes even as he regarded her coldly analyzing his next best move.
One thing Mousechaser doubted the two knew was that despite Waspfur and himself being total opposites in terms of personality, they complemented each other and were in fact, close friends. They were a force to be reckoned with whenever they did a partner battle, easily being able to tell what the other was thinking before said ideas were put into action. This was no different as he gently rubbed his tail under the water against Waspfur's leg.
Waspfur had felt the small body of Mousechaser press up against her and intuitively understood what he was trying to tell her. She gave Larkspurpaw a grin before speaking. "Seems we'll have to put this little fight between us on hold." She said before both warriors picked the front half of their bodies up and slammed down into the water, hoping to cause a big enough wave to both to distract their opponents and blind them. Then the two switched opponents so Waspfur was now fighting Amaryllispaw and Mousechaser was fighting Larkspurpaw, backs still against each other as they protected each other's flanks.
Then almost like a silent word was spoken to each other both launched forward. Mousechaser used his speed to his advantage, trying to connect blow after blow in a quick, rapid three-strike succession, hoping to confuse Larkspurpaw and push him against a boulder. Each time he moved forward to land a strike he always used his momentum to push back out of reach and in a new position to strike again, keeping his back towards Waspfur as he both guarded her flank against Larkspur and guaranteed she protected his from Amaryllis. While Mousechaser was fighting Larkspurpaw, Waspfur faced off against Amaryllispaw and capitalized on the shock that would no doubt accompany her switch with Mousechaser. She didn't allow Amaryllispaw to recover and instead moved to perform an underwater sweep. The water may have come up to her belly fur, but that didn't matter much when she attempted to swipe Amaryllispaw's out from under her with a powerful hit from her front paw. Hoping to trip her Waspfur then proceeded to use the force of her blow and momentum to perform an underwater clinch.
Slight irritation prickled at the back of the tom's neck as his sister bluntly told him not to mess up. The confidence she held in his capabilities made him shake his head in annoyance. As if he would genuinely try to mess up? Did she not hear Seawatcher say that the two needed to work together? Great team spirit, Amaryllispaw. Larkspurpaw held his thoughts of irritation to himself though. He knew the objective of the assessment and he wouldn't let his very own sister influence him with doubt. Larkspurpaw trusted in his abilities; he had trained long and hard, and despite the feelings not being mutual, he respected his sister and her tactics as well. A shame you think so little of me, he thought as his eyes slid from the silver molly.
The tom felt the rush of battle seep into his veins; excitement and adrenaline had his heart pumping wildly. His blow landed skillfully on top of the warrior, despite the tom's 'water splash' having near no effect, but did it really not have an effect if Waspfur hadn't seen the front paw blow coming? As she came barreling towards him, he tried to jump, but he felt the clip of the feline's shoulder smack him hard, pushing him back slightly.
A quick glance the battle field to Amaryllispaw told Larkspurpaw everything he needed to know; the she had distanced herself from himself and Waspfur. He soundlessly cussed to himself, frustrated at his sister's attitude. She was one and truly a lone wolf. Larkspurpaw wanted to close the distance in with the two pairs, so he could hop between the two opponents, but with his main focus on Waspfur. That had been his plan all along, but perhaps he had not communicated his ideas clearly enough to the silver molly..
The young apprentice quickly slid his gaze back to Waspfur and readied himself to attack; immediately determining how he could close the gap between the two pairs, but in that moment, she spoke..A slender force had come up beside her. "Brace yourself!" He howled to his sister as he instinctively stiffened his body, his back legs slid backwards to hold himself sturdy as water sloshed all over his pelt, drenching him from head - to - toe.
Although there was water everywhere, the confusion tactic had been less successful than the duo had intended. Larkspurpaw, having been readying himself to attack, had already formed a fairly aggressive stance. As the flurry of blows came towards him, he ducked and threw himself aside, managing to dodge the attacks. But, alas Mousechaser was quick and had managed to back him into a boulder. Larkspurpaw felt a growl surge up in his throat. Within that instance, he propelled himself forwards. He needed to get closer to Amaryllispaw. The tom sprang at Mousechaser who had Waspfur loosely at his flank. The tom's paws were outstretched, however he had intentionally spun his spring and came flying past the tom's side, a powerful whack of his front paws aiming to collide with Mousechaser's shoulder and side. As he landed nimbly on Mousechaser's left, he dashed forward and tried to pin the slender warrior with his heavy ebony paws.