A half-moon glowed on smooth granite boulders, turning them silver. The silence was broken only by the ripple of water from the swift black river and the whisper of trees in the forest beyond.
There was a stirring in the shadows, and from all around lithe dark shapes crept stealthily over the rocks. Unsheathed knives glinted in the moonlight. Wary eyes flashed like amber. And then, as if on a silent signal, the shapes leaped at each other, and suddenly the rocks were alive with the blood-curdling cries of battle.
At the center of the frenzy of knives, spears, and bows, a brown-haired man pinned a smaller man to the ground. He drew his head up triumphantly, his grip tightening on the smaller warrior's shoulders. "Oakheart!" his voice came out as a ragged snarl. "How dare you hunt in our territory? The Sunningrocks belong to ThunderClan!"
"After tonight, Tigerclaw," Oakheart smirked, his red-brown bangs falling over his eyes. "This will be just another RiverClan hunting ground!"
The sudden blaring of war drums echoed over the battle ground. "Look out! More RiverClan warriors are coming!" the cry, shrill and anxious, rose from the battle.
Tigerclaw turned to see sleek, dripping bodies sliding out of the water below the rocks. The drenched RiverClan warriors bounded silently up the shore, weapons raised high as they charged into the fray.
Teeth clenched, Tigerclaw glared down at Oakheart. "You may swim like otters, but you and your warriors do not belong in this forest!" he dug his nails into Oakheart's shoulders as he struggled beneath him.
The desperate scream of a ThunderClan woman rose above the clamor. A wiry RiverClan man had a knife at the brown-haired warrior's throat, all the while pinning her back against a tree.
Tigerclaw heard the cry and let go of Oakheart. Grabbing his fallen spear, he leapt to his feet and turned, bounding quickly over the slippery stones. He rammed his shoulder into the enemy warrior's, knocking him away from the woman. "Quick, Mousefur, run!" he ordered, before turning on the RiverClan man who had threatened her. Mousefur nodded hurriedly, one hand clutching at a deep wound on her shoulder, and raced away into the woods.
Behind her, Tigerclaw spat with rage as the RiverClan man raised his knife and sliced open the bridge of his nose. Blood blinded him for a second, turning the scene around him a ghastly shade of red. He lunged forward regardless, his spear driving deep into the enemy warrior's leg. The RiverClan man cried out and fell back, his eyes brimming with fear.
"Tigerclaw!" The cry came from a brown-haired man with a red ponytail. He dodged the fevered attacks of enemy warriors, his knife deflecting jab after jab deftly. "This is useless! There are too many RiverClan warriors!"
"No, Redtail. ThunderClan will never be beaten!" Tigerclaw screamed back, sliding to Redtail's side. "This is our territory!" Blood welled over the bridge of his nose, and he shook his head impatiently, scattering scarlet drops onto the rocks.
"ThunderClan will honor your courage, Tigerclaw, but we cannot afford to lose anymore of our warriors," Redtail urged. "Bluestar would never expect her warriors to fight against these impossible odds. We will have another chance to avenge this defeat." He met Tigerclaw's blazing amber gaze steadily, then reared away and leaped nimbly atop a boulder at the edge of the trees.
"Retreat, ThunderClan! Retreat!" he yelled. At once his warriors fell and struggled away from their opponents. Spitting and glaring, they backed toward Redtail. For a heartbeat, the RiverClan warriors looked confused. Was this battle so easily won? Then Oakheart yowled a jubilant cry. As soon as they heard him, the RiverClan warriors raised their voices and joined their deputy in screaming their victory.
In a deserted clearing, atop a jagged gray boulder, a single woman sat alone, staring up at the clear night sky. Around her, she could hear the cackling of bats as they hunted tiny insects and the quiet drone of a woodpecker as is pounded away at a maple stump.
A small dark-haired girl emerged from a dark corner, her footsteps quick and soundless as she closed the distance between them.
The woman turned her head slightly, eyes softening as she saw the girl. "How is Mousefur?" she asked quietly.
"Her wounds are deep, Bluestar," answered the girl, settling down beside her on the night-cool stone. "But she is young and strong; she will heal quickly."
"And the others?"
"They will all recover, too."
Bluestar sighed. "We are lucky not to have lost any of our warriors this time. You are a gifted healer, Spottedleaf." She tilted her head again and studied the stars. "I am deeply troubled by tonight's defeat. ThunderClan has not been beaten in its own territory since I became leader," she murmured. "These are difficult times for our Clan. The season of newleaf is late, and there have been fewer children. ThunderClan needs more warriors if it is to survive."
"But the year is only just beginnig," Spottedleaf pointed out calmly. "There will be more children when greenleaf comes."
The gray-haired woman twitched her broad shoulders. "Perhaps. But training our young to become warriors takes time. If ThunderClan is to defend its territory, it must have new warriors as soon as possible."
"Are you asking StarClan for answers?" asked Spottedleaf gently, following Bluestar's gaze and staring up at the swath of stars glittering in the night sky.
"It is at times like this that we need the words of ancient warriors to guide us. Has StarClan spoken to you?" Bluestar asked, turning her electric blue gaze to the young woman.
"Not for some moons, Bluestar."
Suddenly, a shooting star blazed over the treetops. The world suddenly flooded with white light as Spottedleaf watching. Blood-red flames rose around her, bathing her in their toxic light, scorching her clothes as she struggled away from the flames. Her bright amber gaze traveled upwards and lay on a young boy, his back to her. The boy turned slowly, the smallest trace of a smile lacing over his handsome face, before he was swallowed up by the flames.
Bluestar watched, but remained silent as Spottedleaf continued to gaze upward.
After a few moments, Spottedleaf lowered her head and turned to Bluestar. "It was a message from StarClan." Her voice was weak, and the distant look in her eyes was unreadable. "Fire alone can save our Clan."
"Fire?" Bluestar echoed, disbelief clouding her gaze. "Fire is but a tool for cooking food. How can it save us?"
"But," Spottedleaf whispered, closing her eyes. "If fire gets free, it is wild and powerful. You know that."
Spottedleaf shook her head. "I do not know." she admitted. "But this is the message StarClan has chosen to share with me."
The ThunderClan leader fixed her clear blue eyes on the healer. "You have never been wrong before, Spottedleaf." she murmured. "If StarClan has spoken, then it must be so. Fire will save our Clan."
Alright, this is the prolouge of my new fanfiction. X3 So, as you can tell, this will be the same story, but what would have happened if it was humans instead of cats. This is the same story, but I'm changing many things about it, including the Clan's laws, customs, and diet. However, I'm not changing names, and you'll figure out why later in the story.
I don't like this chapter, because it's pretty much copying the book word-for-word, except the human parts, of course. But the rest of the chapters won't be like this.