And we did it! Another Gathering has Gathered, another set of contests rocked, another set of Otters TTOwning, and let’s not forget the latest set of art and fiction!
Without further ado, lets dive into the scores and see who rocked the hardest!
The Official Contests
Name That Character: We got going with the classic Gathering game, throwing out character information and getting the teams to guess which character it is. This contest set things up closely, with the Otters and Weasels both scoring 2 points and the Ferrets and Stoats both scoring 1. Everything to play for!
Riddles: We danced with some riddles after this, and it became clear that this was the day of the Otter. Having travelled ahead in time to seize the answers from our hands, they scored 3 points with the Ferrets following behind them with 1.
Book Bok: Hosted by the super-chill and ever-awesome Flame That Shines Like Sun, an invaluable contributor to this month’s Gathering! How did it pan out? Again, the Otters pushed their lead even further, scoring 5 points with the Stoats a little way behind on 1 point. What would happen next? Would Jayfrost use her aptitude and brilliantly extensive knowledge to steal all the points to come? We were soon to find out the answer!
This, then, left the scores looking like this:
|Relatively Excitable Stoats||2|
|Time-Travelling Otters||10 (Otteriffic!)|
The Guest Contests
This glorious segment is brought to you by your almighty Flame!
The One Hosted By Amberstorm: And then, Amberstorm started the guest contests off with her super-fun Guess That Kit contest, where she made up a kit with the appearance and names of the parents smushed together. We all had to guess who the parents were! With this, our Otterly victories continued thanks to Jayfrost’s amazing skills, though all teams did well.
The One Hosted By Iceflower: Secondly, Icy carried on the guest contest legacy with her stoatally awesome Who Said It competition. With this one, she graciously gave us a quote from one of the many many many cats of the series, and we had to quote who quoted that quote. The Otter’s streak continued!
The One Hosted By Flame: And then Flame leapt into the fray with her Warriors Anagrams contest! Warrior names were scrambled up, and they had to be unscrambled in order to gain a point for the winner’s team. Points were beginning to get more distributed across the four here, and everyone did well.
The One Hosted By Wavepaw: And last but not least, Wavepaw jumped in with her radtastic Name That Kit competition! Wavey gave us some descriptions for kits, and we had to give the kit the best name we could! With this, the points were more evenly distributed, with all of the teams gaining at least one point. The Ferrets did particularly fantastically!
|Relatively Excitable Stoats||8|
|Neon Weasels||3 (Sorry, Weasels)|
And now it was time for the grand finale!
Fan Creation Contest
We’ll have a winner for both fan art and fan fiction this time! Get excited, because the works this time were top notch, the very definition of top notch, in fact. Third place gets 3 points, second place gets 5 points and first place gets 7 points!
In third place, Lupinepaw’s excellent composition, which can be seen sitting as the post image! Well done in the time allowed! Great work, Lupine! That’s 3 points to the Otters!
In second place, Bramblefire’s masterpiece with excellent feline structure, netting the Stoats 5 points!
And finally, in the first place, bringing 7 points to the Weasels (woo Weasels!), it’s Lionpaw’s hand-drawn mastercraft!
Now, things get more tense, and the scores look like the following (they’re getting closer together!):
|Relatively Excitable Stoats||13|
The grand finale, and because we have a joint first place this time, we can start right out with second place! Bringing 5 points to the Weasels is Stonestripe’s superb piece of fiction, tHE tALE OF tHE hORRIFIC sPIDERS!
Stonestripe padded back to camp, a plump mouse in her jaws. Though she knew her Clan needed this mouse, especially at this time of year, she couldn’t help but stop to take in her surroundings. The leaves on the trees had just started to turn red and orange. A bird warbled in the distance, it’s song echoing through the forest. The air was crisp and fresh, and a slight breeze ruffled her pelt. As she watched, one leaf floated down, twisting and twirling until it landed near her paws. And the sun was about to set, bathing the forest in a golden glow.
She closed her eyes and dug her claws into the ground. Any other time, this would have been a peaceful moment. Any other time, she would have stopped to play in the leaves. Any other time, she would have gleefully shouted her love of leaf-fall to the whole forest.
But right now– no.
Her eyes snapped open and she forced herself to start walking again. Stonestripe couldn’t allow herself to get distracted. After all, she was one of the only warriors of BlogClan that hadn’t yet been… infected.
From the time of the last half-moon, BlogClan cats had been mysteriously falling ill. If ‘falling ill’ was even what you would call it. Cats were limping or even being carried into camp, more and more frequently, gasping in pain. They all had at least one lump under their fur, which seemed to be the cause of the infection. Later, the nausea and vomiting kicked in. Poor Kat and Winterpaw were working themselves into the ground, but couldn’t figure out what the infection was or how to treat it.
Stonestripe glared at the forest. As if they didn’t have enough to deal with, since leaf-bare was creeping closer every day.
As she approached the camp, she heard raised voices and wailing. She raced inside, nearly crashing into Iceflower. “What’s happened now?” Stonestripe gasped, dropping the mouse.
Icy’s eyes were wide with shock. “It’s– it’s Flame,” she stammered.
Stonestripe’s heart sank. The first cat to be infected was Wavepaw. Then Gladepaw, Goldenpaw, Jetclaw, Sandyfoot, Stormy Sea, Cypresswind, Lupinepaw, Hazelburrow, Emberdawn, Amberstorm, and now Flameshine?
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here for a Clan meeting!” It was Jayfrost, calling the Clan to a meeting. Stonestripe felt a prickle of worry. If Jayfrost was calling the meeting, what had happened to Cakestar? Had she been infected too?
The crowd of BlogClan cats surged forwards, and Stonestripe joined them, tossing her mouse on the fresh-kill pile.
“I’m sure you have all heard that Flameshine is now infected as well,” Jayfrost began. “It’s very sad news, especially when the Amberstorm was infected only this morning. But I’m afraid I have worse news.” She paused. “I have discussed this with Kat and Winterpaw, and the healthy senior warriors, and we believe BlogClan has the right to know this. We couldn’t really have kept it from you for long. So I have to sadly inform you that Cakestar… has gone missing.”
There were many shouts and gasps. Somecat near the back fainted.
“Great StarClan,” Stonestripe heard Kat mutter as she rushed towards them.
“All right, calm down everyone!” Jayfrost yowled into the chaos. “I’m sending a patrol of the warriors we can spare to find them. Sundance, take Iceflower, Stonestripe, Airwave, and Lionpaw! And be careful! Flowerstream, come with me!”
And with that, she jumped into the crowd of panicking cats.
Stonestripe hurried over to Sundance, where the other cats were waiting. They all looked worried. Sundance waved her tail, and they raced into the forest.
They hadn’t been gone long when something very brightly coloured jumped out at them. The cats gasped and jumped back. Stonestripe fell down. It looked like a weasel, but it was neon coloured.
“How… what… why?” Sundance stuttered.
The neon weasel just shook his head. “I can help!” it said, and with a neon flash it teleported the cats to a dark place.
Giant neon spiders were in the dark place, and to the cats’ horror, they were holding Cakestar captive!
“The spiders are the infectors!” the weasel shouted. Before they could do anything, the weasel exploded and all the spiders died. Cakestar was free and provided them with an antidote she had found, which was why she was captured in the first place.
They all lived happily ever after except the dead weasel and spiders. The end.
So now, in joint first place are the following! Firstly, Jayfrost with the story Desperate Times, again a great showcase of top notch writing! That’s 7 points to the Otters!
Deep in the forest, the wind was howling, rain slicing through the gaps between trees and pounding against the forest floor. Two cats struggled through the rain-sleek undergrowth, the mud tugging at their paws and weighing down their soaked pelts. When they had left their camp behind that morning, the skies had been gray, promising rain, but neither cat had expected the vicious storm that had broken out.
“Jayfrost, we should head back to camp,” the red-brown she-cat called over the howling wind. She had lifted her head, trying to see her Clanmate through the thick sheets of rain.
Jayfeather gazed at her Clanmate, feeling her pelt shiver all over as her sopping-wet fur clung to her frame. “But the Clan needs to eat!” she called back, flattening her ears as the wind shrieked. “We can’t go back with nothing Cakestar!
Leaf-fall had fallen on the forest some days ago, and prey was even scarcer than usual for that time of year. The leader and deputy of BlogClan had decided to go hunting that day, determined to bring as much prey back to camp as possible to boost the morale of the other cats. Their Clanmates were already struggling with having been turned into camp, and most of them were young – they needed to know that they could still survive here.
“We won’t be much good to them drowned,” Cakestar pointed out. “And what kind of prey would be out of their nests in a storm like this?”
Jayfrost knew she was right, but desperation was taking over. She gave a lash of her tail, pleading, “Let’s try one more place, closer to the river. Maybe something will have gotten stuck in the mud there, or fish will be out.” A loud CRACK of thunder tore through the air, making both cats jump. Jayfrost was shivering again, and not just from the cold. She was as scared of being out in the storm as Cakestar, but she couldn’t bear the thought of coming back to camp defeated. She was supposed to be the deputy of BlogClan. How could she ask any cat to follow her lead if she couldn’t provide for them?
Cakestar watched Jayfrost a few moments longer, then sighed. “Very well,” she mewed. “I want to bring prey back as much as you do. But let’s make it quick – the Clan will need us back.”
The deputy felt both relief and fear as she fell in beside her leader, letting Cakestar lead them towards the river. They followed a gentle downward slope, struggling to see through the thick rain. Jayfrost stuck close to Cakestar, shivering and praying that she hadn’t just led them to their doom.
Finally, they came upon the river. Jayfrost could barely see it through the rain, but she could see how the ground was low and even with the river here, rising up to steeper walls above the river further down the bank. The dirt and grass next to the river had been reduced to thick mud.
Suddenly, she stiffened, her gaze falling on something moving in the mud. “There!” she hissed to Cakestar. A water vole, stuck in the mud.
Jayfrost fell into a hunting crouch, her belly fur against the cold, wet mud as she drew herself closer and closer to her prey. The vole was squeaking and squealing as it tried to free itself, so distracted that it didn’t even notice Jayfrost closing in on it.
And Jayfrost was too distracted by the vole to see the other animal closing in on her from the water.
As Jayfrost pounced on the vole and caught it between her teeth, something hard slammed down on her back. She was sent rolling, scrambling to get back onto her paws with the vole still hanging from her jaws. As she tried to stand, something heavy landed on her, keeping her pinned. There was a dreadful snarling in her ears. When she finally brought her head around to look up at her attacker, she found herself face-to-face with a broad, flat face, a rounded muzzle with bared fangs, and beady eyes. She took in the rounded face and small ears with surprise. An otter!
The otter bit down on her neck, making Jayfrost want to shriek in pain. But something stubborn was in her; she refused to loosen her grip on the vole, instead scoring her claws across the otter’s shoulder. Jayfrost heard a furious battle cry, and the shriek of the otter as Cakestar landed on its shoulders, sinking her fangs into the back of its next. The otter reared back, roaring furiously, giving Jayfrost enough time to wriggle free. The otter thrashed and fought, finally throwing Cakestar free. The leader landed with a hard thud, and didn’t stir. With a triumphant roar, the otter turned on Jayfrost, taking off at a run towards her.
Jayfrost’s pelt bristled with fear. Without a second thought, she turned and ran, the otter chasing her away from Cakestar. The vole still hung in her jaws, but she was too panicked to think about dropping it. She pelted away, her paws throwing up mud and water as the fled further upstream. The walls of the riverbank were rising here above the river, and she was close to the edge.
Something sharp clamped down on her tail, making her yowl. Jayfrost whirled to face the otter, striking out hard with claws at its face. It released its grip on her tail, but quickly tackled her, sending both cats tumbling. Suddenly, the ground seemed to drop from under them. Both otter and cat were sent tumbling down the edge of the riverbank, shrieking as they landed into the raging river.
Jayfrost was slammed by a wall of water, sent tumbling end over end as the current dragged her down. Desperation and fear nearly consumed her. No! I can’t die like this! Struggling to control her fear, the she-cat kicked out strongly with her paws, finally managing to break through the surface of the water. She gagged and coughed out water, gasping in lungfuls of the air. The current nearly dragged her down again, and Jayfrost had to fight to keep afloat; it was clear that if she didn’t find land soon, she was going to drown.
Suddenly, she saw the otter again. It was wailing in fear, the current too strong even for it, but it was swimming more strongly than Jayfrost. After a moment, she realized that it was heading straight for a narrow stripe of land beside the steep walls of the riverbank.
Without a second thought, Jayfrost began swimming towards the otter. She was nearly dragged under again as a wave crashed over her, her limbs quickly growing weak from the effort, but she forced herself to keep going. When she was close enough to the otter, she clamped her jaws down on its thick tail. The otter growled, but didn’t try to fight her off. Jayfrost let the otter drag her to the narrow shore, only releasing her grip when her paws touched dry land.
Once they had reached the narrow strip of land, the otter whirled on her, seeming ready to start the fight again, but even that much movement nearly made it trip and fall back into the water. It regained its posture, then simply stood glaring at the cat. The strip was barely wide enough for one cat to stand on comfortably, though luckily it was long enough for both. The wall of the riverbank was too steep and sleek with rain for them to climb, and the river’s current was too strong for them to swim to safety; their only hope was to stay on the strip. Stuck at a stalemate, the two enemies stood glaring at each other for several moments.
Jayfrost let her hackles lie flat as she really began to think. She had no idea how long the storm was going to last, but it was clear that escape would be impossible during the storm. Cakestar was gone, and would probably be unable to find her deputy during the storm. The only thing she could do was wait here until the storm was over, and pray that the otter wouldn’t try to push her into the raging river.
She finally released the grip on the vole in her jaws, letting it fall into the mud in front of her paws. “Mousebrain!” she hissed, lashing her tail. The otter gave a snarl at her tone, but didn’t react otherwise. “Cakestar was right. This stupid vole isn’t worth drowning.”
After a moment, she glanced up at the otter, thinking. It had attacked her and tried to steal her prey, but she supposed she did owe it for dragging her to safety. And she knew from being a human that not all animals that were enemies with wild cats were inherently vicious. Maybe her best course of action was a peace offering.
She grabbed the vole between her teeth again, then tossed it lightly, so it landed in front of the otter. It blinked its beady eyes, clearly confused, glancing between the vole and the cat. “Go on, take it,” Jayfrost mewed aloud. She knew the otter couldn’t understand her words, but she hoped it would understand her tone was friendly. “I guess I owe you.”
The otter hesitated a moment longer, then lowered itself onto its belly, grabbing the vole between its paws. As it began to eat, Jayfrost started to groom, trying to get some of the mud out of her fur. She finished some time after the otter finished eating. When she looked up again, it was gazing at her, not with the hostility from earlier, but a cautious curiosity.
Jayfrost noticed a small cut on the otter’s leg – probably from the fight. “Here,” she mewed, rising slowly to her paws. The otter drew back its lips to show its teeth, but didn’t move to attack as Jayfrost slowly approached it. “Let me.” She shivered as she got closer to the powerful animal, but forced herself to sink onto her belly right in front of it, lowering her muzzle and beginning to lick the wound. The otter paused, seeming confused, as Jayfrost began to groom its wounds.
Once Jayfrost had cleared the blood and mud from all of its wounds, she pulled back. “I wish I had some herbs,” she mewed aloud, “but I’m no medicine cat. None of them look very deep, though.”
The otter stared at her blankly for a few moments. Then, when Jayfrost lifted her head, it jerked its flat muzzle quickly towards her throat. Jayfrost stiffened, almost expecting to feel teeth sinking into her throat again, only to relax as she felt a tongue rasping over the wound on her neck. The otter was grooming her now, cleaning the blood and mud from the wounds that Jayfrost had been unable to reach herself. When it was done, it pulled its muzzle back, blinking at her.
Jayfrost gave a small purr. Though the storm still raged on, and the raging river threatened to sweep them away at any moment, she was beginning to feel less afraid. “Maybe we can make it through this together after all,” she meowed.
Jayfrost blinked groggily, flinching as bright sunlight hit her eyes. Her belly felt wet and cold; she wondered if rain had leaked into the warrior’s den again.
Her eyes flew open in shock as the memories of last night hit her. Hunting with Cakestar, being chased by the otter, escaping the river, and finally falling asleep on the strip of land. She was close to the otter now, the other animal already awake. She could feel the otter’s gaze on her, curious, but not hostile.
As Jayfrost glanced around, she quickly realized the storm was over. The sun was shining from a cloudless sky. The ground was still sleek and wet from the rain, but the river was calm again.
Jayfrost felt a fierce rush of joy. “The river’s calm!” she mewed aloud, making the otter perk its small ears at her joyful tone. “We can swim out of here!”
It took a few moments, but the otter seemed to understand. They wasted no time. Together, they stepped out into the water, swimming downstream, back to where the ground was level with the river. The otter reached the bank first, turning and watching Jayfrost as she scrambled back out of the water and onto land. She gave a quick shake of her pelt, sending water droplets flying. “Thank StarClan,” she breathed. “We’re out.”
Now that they had escaped, Jayfrost suddenly began to wonder whether the otter would consider their truce over, and would attack. But the animal was watching her calmly, seeming to wait for her to do something.
Suddenly, a memory flashed in Jayfrost’s mind of Cakestar being thrown off of the otter during the fight, and not stirring again. “Cakestar!” she gasped. “I have to find her. If she’s hurt, she may not have made it back to camp.”
A crazy thought began to come to the she-cat. She wasn’t sure if Cakestar was in the same place where she’d landed, or if she’d crawled off somewhere else to be safe. But if she wanted to find her leader, she would need all the help she could get. Quickly, Jayfrost sat, unsheathing her claws and beginning to quickly sketch something in the dirt. The otter watched curiously as Jayfrost made a not-perfect-but-close-enough sketch of Cakestar. Recognition flared in the otter’s eyes, giving Jayfrost a brush of hope. Next, she mimed sniffing, with her muzzle along the ground, as though following a scent. Then, she looked at the sketch of Cakestar, then back at the otter. “Will you help me find her?” she asked aloud. She could only hope that she had made the otter understand, and that the otter would be willing to help.
The otter blinked at her for a few moments, its expression impossible to read. Then, with a lash of its thick tail and a chattering sound that Jayfrost couldn’t understand, it began to lumber off, heading along the edge of the river. Jayfrost followed, hardly daring to hope.
The cat and otter worked together, sniffing along the grass and mud for any sign of Cakestar. As Jayfrost sniffed a nearby clump of ferns, the otter suddenly gave a bright chirping sound, making Jayfrost look up. It was standing near a patch of mud, which was scuffled and disturbed. Jayfrost gasped as she saw a few strands of red-brown fur in the mud. “She was here!” she meowed.
Jayfrost could barely make out a scent from the mud, but the otter seemed to know where to go, leading Jayfrost up the slope, back into the treeline. It stopped near a clump of brambles. As Jayfrost approached, she quickly realized that the brambles masked the entrance to a den, while smelled faintly of badger. Her breath caught. Hardly daring to hope, she called out, “Cakestar?”
For a few moments, there was nothing. Then, a red-brown face appeared from the den’s entrance, amber eyes wide with shock. “Jayfrost?” Cakestar rasped.
“Cakestar!” Jayfrost purred with joy, bumping her muzzle against Cakestar’s in joyful greeting. “Are you okay?”
“I’m alright, just bruised,” the leader grunted. She got to her paws, pushing her way out of the den. “I was limping, and I didn’t think I could make it back to camp, so I found this old badger den and I hid… wait.” The leader had finally caught sight of the otter, standing placidly behind Jayfrost. Cakestar’s hackles began to raise, her eyes narrowing. “That thing is following you!”
Before Cakestar could attack, Jayfrost stepped between her and the otter. “I know, Cakestar,” she said in a careful tone. “It’s not going to hurt us – it helped me find you.”
Cakestar’s eyes flew open wide. “What?”
Briefly, Jayfrost explained how they had survived the storm together, and how the otter had helped her track down her leader. Cakestar seemed flabbergasted at first, but as she listened, she began nodding slowly, her hackles lowering. “When I saw it chasing you again, and I couldn’t find you again, I thought it had killed you, or that it had drowned,” she admitted. “But I see now that I was wrong.” She stepped past Jayfrost, coming to stand before the otter. The animal seemed wary, gaze flicking uncertainly to Jayfrost, before Cakestar dipped her head to it. “Thank you for keeping my deputy safe,” she meowed clearly, “and for helping her find me.”
The otter seemed to understand. It dipped its head to Cakestar as well, glancing over at Jayfrost again. The warrior lowered her head as well, saying, “Thank you.”
The otter gave a final chirp, then turned and lumbered again, tail waving behind it as it disappeared into the ferns. Jayfrost watched it go, feeling oddly sad at the loss of her friend, and relieved that they had both survived.
After a few moments, Cakestar finally mewed, “Let’s go home.”
And then, bringing in 7 points for the Weasels, it’s Iceflower’s fantastic slice of writing! Brilliant stuff!
Iceflower skidded to a halt. The orders rang in her head. Find Cakestar. Find Cakestar. She whipped her head around with a sigh. “Honestly, could you be any slower?” She muttered. Three, two, one. . . A rainbow-coloured weasel let out a horrified squeal as it smashed face-first into a tree, getting his (Her? It?) head stuck in a hole. It wiggled around, twisting violently. “Get me out!” It shrieked angrily. Iceflower frowned and poked it with a paw.
“Fine. And what should I call you? I keep calling you the slow, rainbow rat in my head, but it seems rude.” Iceflower snickered as she gripped the creature firmly and yanked it from the hole. The tiny thing shook itself and glared up at her. “I don’t call you the big, blubbery, fluffy. . . Monster.” The weasel sniffed. “If you must know, I’m Beat.”
Iceflower tilted her head and started walking. “Beat?” She meowed, feeling rather puzzled.
“Yeah. Beat. I like music.” Beat meowed. Iceflower shrugged. That’s one weird weasel.
“We need to find Cakestar. Sundance and Goldenpaw have probably already picked up her scent.” Iceflower meowed determinedly.
“And you think I haven’t?” Beat meowed, offense flashing across his tiny, neon-striped face.
“Yeah. Sure. You got the scent. Whatever.” Iceflower said. “I’ll find the scent mys-” She broke off as Beat stopped in front of her.
“I found the scent ages ago. Follow me.” Without another word, the weasel raced off, leaving Iceflower behind.
“Hey!” Iceflower snapped, running after it. Sure enough, she found Cakestar’s scent trail. That little weasel had been right.
Beat sat at the foot of a tree, looking very proud of himself. “She’s up there.” He meowed, puffing out his tiny chest. Iceflower scowled and hopped up the tree.
“Come on out, Cakestar.” She meowed.
There was no response.
“Cakestar?” Iceflower meowed, jumping onto the next branch.
A pile of moss was balanced on the bark, looking fresh and green. Iceflower lowered her muzzle and inhaled.
It smelled of Cakestar. It must have been her bedding.
And it carried the faintest scent of Flowerstream.
Iceflower growled and jumped down, glaring at Beat. “We’ve been tricked. Flowerstream must have planted the moss there. Let’s go.”
Beat’s face fell. “I thought I got the scent. I was so sure of it. . .” He trailed off sadly, focusing on the ground.
“Come on.” Iceflower grabbed Beat – much to his surprise – and placed him on her back. “We’ll never make it if we don’t go faster.” She meowed.
“Wait.” Beat hissed. His tiny ears flicked up.
“Honestly, Beat. It’s probably nothing.” Iceflower mewed. Then she heard it as well.
A thin wail, coming from the river. “Help me. Help me.”
Iceflower shook her head. “It’s probably another trick.” She meowed. “We’ll head for the pine forest.”
Beat’s brow furrowed. “No, I think we should check it out. It sounds like someone’s in trouble.”
“No. I told you, it’s probably Emberpaw trying to trick us.” Iceflower snapped.
“If you won’t go, I will.” Beat hissed, scrambling down her back and racing off.
“Beat! Come back!” Iceflower yowled, haring after him. “We can’t win unless we find her together!”
She stopped by the river, gaze darting around for a flash of colour. Nothing.
“Iceflower!” Beat squealed, thrashing in the water. He was heading for a pile of reddish fur, tangled and wet. “I found her!”
Iceflower’s jaw hung open in disbelief. “What happened? Cakestar can swim!” And I can’t.
“Never mind that, help me!” Beat ordered, sinking tiny claws into Cakestar’s fur and tugging her free of the slimy water plants she had gotten stuck in.
“I can’t swim. I’ll drown.” Iceflower meowed. She whipped around and grabbed a stick from the riverbank, stretching it out to Beat. “Grab it.” She mumbled.
Beat obeyed, taking the stick in his jaws and dragging Cakestar along as Iceflower reeled them both in.
By now, cats had gathered on the shore, jaws open, eyes wide. Some had attempted to join in on the water rescue, but didn’t get far before they were ordered back by Flameshine and Hazelburrow, both looking equally distressed.
“I found her!” Willowpaw shrieked.
“Help us,” Iceflower growled, still holding the branch, which was crumbling in her grip. “We have to get Cakestar.”
Beat shivered, looking up pitifully. “Please.”
As if StarClan had ordered them, dozens of cats and other creatures alike splashed into the water, helping to push Cakestar and Beat to the bank.
Otters bobbed in the water, tiny paws propelling Beat and Cakestar toward Iceflower. Wavepaw and Sunpaw both grabbed the breaking branch and helped give it one last tug.
Cakestar, trembling and wet on the pebbles, looked up. Her eyes glittered with gratitude. “I got stuck in the plants,” she rasped. “I thought nobody would find me. Thank you.” She coughed up a mouthful of river water, shivering. Sundance beckoned Winterpaw and Kat, while Jayfrost stepped forward.
“This was supposed to be a fun competition, to see which team could work together. You’ve all saved Cakestar, and proved that anyone can work together, no matter what species. We shall feast tonight. All of us.” Her gaze landed on the ferrets and stoats, weasels and otters.
Iceflower stared at Beat, awe and guilt in her bright green gaze. “I’m sorry.” She meowed. “I let the competition get in the way.”
Beat smiled up at her, fur plastered to his sides. “That’s okay.” He said, and his tone said he truly meant it.
Iceflower smiled as well and purred.
“I never should have doubted you.”
At this point I want to thank everyone who came to the Gathering, it was wild and great fun and it’s nice to see that Gatherings stay fresh and exciting after all this time! The fan fiction and fan art has been brilliant, and it’s been great looking at all of this great stuff! So, on the whole, thank you for everything, you group of committed and talented people!
Onto the final scores, then, and this time, they look like this:
|Relatively Excitable Stoats||13|
So that means that the Otters won this month’s Gathering! Congratulations Otters for your many successes and your great work! And the same to the other teams, with the Weasels clawing back many points with an excellent showing the fan creation contest! Well done to all the teams, you all did super!
Again, thank you for coming and I hope you had a great time!
Get ready for the Ferrets to storm the next Gathering and come out victorious, though…
*Thunder rumbles and lightning stabs*