Disclaimer: I do not own Warriors. The rights to Warriors belong to Erin Hunter. This work of fiction may not be redistributed without the authors' permission.
Author's Note: A one-shot in the style of the short stories found in the Warriors Field Guides. I've always wondered what drove Webfoot to side with Mudclaw; this is what I've come up with. I hope you enjoy it. :)
Webfoot Speaks: An Uneasy Alliance
You must be the cat Onestar mentioned. If our leader has welcomed you into our camp, I suppose I must, as well.
What's that? You want to know what made me support Mudclaw? How dare you ask me that? What business is it of yours?
Oh, fine. I suppose it doesn't matter that you know, if you care so much about it. Sit down and I'll tell you.
Mudclaw was a great deputy, fierce and loyal to WindClan. He had worked hard to gain such a high position honestly. Yes, he was ambitious, but ambition is nothing to be scared of. We're warriors; we're supposed to be proud and dangerous.
He gave so much to the Clan through endless battles fought and caring for every member of the Clan as if they were his own kits. He made sure every cat, from the youngest kit to the oldest elder was well-fed and happy. It came as no surprise when Tallstar appointed him after the death of our old deputy, Deadfoot, in the great battle for the forest.
Immediately, he made sure every cat trained hard, so we would never be defeated again as we were when ShadowClan drove us from our territory and when TigerClan attacked our camp. We were WindClan; we were the fastest cats in the forest, but even that had not saved us in those attacks. We also needed new battle moves and physical strength so the slower, bigger cats from the other Clans would never overwhelm us again. He turned our size into a weapon with the new skills he developed. I remember how he would often think of new skills while the Clan ate, forgetting his own hunger as he worked out new battle moves.
When Tallstar grew ill, Mudclaw was there for him, taking care of everything so that all Tallstar had to worry about was getting better. He worked harder than ever, eating nothing and barely sleeping while he scoured the territory for prey, organizing patrols, training warriors and apprentices and assisting Barkface in tending to Tallstar.
When the Clan discovered that Tallstar had appointed Onewhisker as deputy just before he had died, most of us were furious. How could he do such a thing to his loyal deputy after he had done so much for him and WindClan? Onewhisker had no experience; how could we trust him to lead? Worst of all, it was Firestar of ThunderClan who announced the news, ordering WindClan cats to be silent as he told us that our leader was dead and had appointed a cat with no experience as deputy.
When Mudclaw came to me with a plan to take over as WindClan's leader, I hardly hesitated to help him. StarClan had sent no sign to us that there was a Moonstone-place in this territory. At the time, I believed they would have if they had truly wanted Onewhisker to be our leader. I helped Mudclaw quietly gather other warriors who sympathized with him and we began to make plans. We didn't want Onewhisker dead, just driven from the Clan. He was still our Clanmate.
One day on patrol, Mudclaw drew me aside and confided in me that he had spoken with Hawkfrost of RiverClan of our plans. At first, I was shocked. How could he betray his Clan by telling a RiverClan warrior of our plans? I listened with growing unease as he told me of Hawkfrost's plans in RiverClan. Though Mudclaw did not care for the son of Tigerstar, he knew that Hawkfrost had power over cats of all Clans; he was well-respected and could bring other cats to our aid.
Despite this, I felt uneasy as more plans were made. If this had been treason before, it was worse than that now. I remembered how Tigerstar had conspired with rogues and led them into battle against ThunderClan and I felt more and more uneasy. I voiced my concerns to Nightcloud, but she scoffed at me, calling me a coward and a traitor. From then on, I stayed silent and did as Mudclaw told me. I had to trust him to do what was best; there was no other option. Even if I had told Onewhisker, he might have driven me from the Clan for conspiring against him or the others might attack me.
When the Moonpool was discovered, our plans were almost forgotten. Perhaps Onewhisker truly was StarClan's choice of leader. Yet Hawkfrost insisted we not change course; it was his idea to attack the night before Onewhisker went to the Moonpool. He gave a speech that inspired us all. It was all I had to cling to that night.
It was hard, turning my teeth and claws on my own Clanmates, using the moves Mudclaw had taught to all of us. We had grown up together and trained as one; this was as hard as fighting my own littermates. Yet I knew that I was doing the right thing in supporting Mudclaw. He was the right cat to lead WindClan.
When StarClan sent the lightning to fell the tree and kill Mudclaw, I was confused. How could they kill their chosen leader? Yet the truth dawned on me that my unease had been warranted; StarClan approved of Tallstar's choice after all.
I know that Onestar is the cat chosen to lead WindClan, but I cannot help but think that Mudclaw could have done better. Onestar has made us strong, but perhaps Mudclaw could have made us stronger. Yet he was the one who turned away from his honest path to the dark one the he walked up until the night of his death. Whatever good deeds he had done before, he was wrong to turn against the leader appointed by Tallstar. As was I.
There, now you know why I supported Mudclaw. You may judge me how you will; StarClan knows my heart and their judgment is the only one that truly matters to me.
If you are heading for RiverClan, you must be careful. Hawkfrost's plans may have been foiled by the other Clans, but I fear that he will cause more trouble in the future.
May StarClan light your path.