History of the Clans

Discover how the warrior Clans came to be

Many moons ago, the forest was a wilderness, untamed by territories. Cats came into the forest, drawn in by the soft rustlings of small creatures, shadows under the water, and the sudden commotion of birds’ wings in the trees. The cats lived in small groups, not yet Clans and there were no borders set down. The cats fought constantly, fearful that prey might run out and that their overlapping territories were being threatened. It was a lawless, bloody time for the forest, and many cats died.

One night, when the moon was full, the cats agreed to meet at a clearing in the forest surrounded by four great oak trees. A terrible battle followed, and soon the ground was wet with spilled blood.

Many cats died that night. When the survivors awoke, all around them they saw the spirits of their slain kin, no longer torn and bloodied but shining like fallen stars. The survivors huddled on the ground, and, as the spirits spoke, they saw terrible visions of the future. They knew that the fighting had to end.

“Unite or die,” said the spirits. Four cats–Shadow, River, Wind and Thunder–came forward claiming that they could individually unite the forest with their strengths. The spirits of the slain kin spoke again, “The forest is big enough to feed all your families and many more. You must each find other cats like you, choose a home in the forest, and set down borders.” At that moment, the moon broke free of the clouds, revealing a circle of starlit spirit-cats around the edge of the clearing–StarClan. A white tom spirit-cat stepped forward. “If you do this,” he meowed, “we will reward you with eight more lives, so that you may lead your Clans for many moons to come.” The StarClan promised to watch over the Clans from Silverpelt, a crowded path of stars that swept across the night sky, and to visit the Clan leaders in their dreams and to guide them on their journeys. The spirit-cats proclaimed that all four Clans would meet at the full moon once a month at the four great oak trees for a night of truce.

Thunder, River, Wind, and Shadow were pronounced warriors by the spirit-cats. “From now on, you will live by a warrior code. Your hearts will be filled with courage and nobility, and if you must fight, it will be not for greed, but for honor and justice.” And so the age of warrior Clans began–ShadowClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ThunderClan.

There was not always peace between the Clans, but that was to be expected–cats are born with claws and teeth for a reason. Still, as long as they lived by the warrior code, their fallen ancestors would watch over them and guide them through their lives.