1. Mudstar - Endurance
2. Sheepcloud - Humility
3. Patricia - Love
4. David - Nobility
5. Heronpaw - Mentoring
6. Thunderstar - Bravery + Courage
7. Sageflower - Strength to act without fear or judgement
8. Ivynose - Happiness
9. Berryflower - Confidence + Trust
Redcloud's Leader Ceremony
Redstar, as he was already called by his new Clan, trekked through the snow, shivering despite his thick fur. Maybe he should call himself Redcloud until he knows StarClan chose him? Yeah. He'd do that. Redcloud knew Flat Rock was just ahead, but how much further must he travel? He glanced up at the dark sky, seeing the stars shining brightly. He wished he had a moment to stop and admire them, but he knew getting back to New Autumn's camp with his lives and official name was more important.
At last, jumping over a downed tree, Redcloud came to Flat Rock, very near the cold, slow moving little river. He made his way to the rock, his paw pads sufficiently numb, and scrabbled onto the rock. As his paws touched the rock, his body seemed to lock up for a moment. He shook it off, then sat, staring up at the stars. After a while, the moon hovered directly over Redcloud's head. Redcloud's eyes closed, and his head drooped. Still sitting, he drifted to sleep, as if the moon's height triggered a deep slumber.
Redcloud opened his eyes, standing in a grassy field, surrounded by fog at the edges. The fog, as well as the clear air around him, shimmered slightly, like someone had shattered the sun into billions of pieces, no bigger than the ends of his whiskers. He felt the pressing weight of silence bearing down on him, making the tabby tom very anxious. A figure padded out of the fog, followed by eight others. He could only make out the face and features of the first cat; a ticked tabby. Redcloud was going to ask them where he was, but he had a very strong feeling he knew, and he'd look like a fool if he asked if it was true. He dipped his head to the tabby, who now came to a halt in front of him.
"Welcome to StarClan, Redcloud. I am Mudstar, the AutumnClan leader before Tigerstar. StarClan has come to you, as you'd hoped, to grant you guardianship of this new Clan. With this life, I give you the gift of endurance. Use it well in the most trying of times, and know you can make it through," Mudstar said, touching her nose to Redcloud's.
Completely unprepared by the force of the new life entering his body, Redcloud's muscles seized and cramped, as if someone where twisting them like brambles around a den entrance, or rather like he'd just run the borders of AutumnClan a thousand times. Redcloud was left gasping for air as the next cat approached him, this time, he noted through the now dull, but strong, ache, it was a black and white cat.
"Hello, Redcloud. I'm Sheepcloud, Mudstar's daughter. With this life, I give you humility. Use this gift and remember the members of a Clan are all equals, regardless of status or amount of lives," Sheepcloud meowed softly, touching her nose to Redcloud's. This life was much less painful; this time, it felt like he'd gone through vigorous battle training. Whatever, what a breeze.
Redcloud waited as the next cat padded up to him. The first two were cats he'd never met before, and he wondered, a bit distractedly, if he'd see any of his childhood housepet friends, or even any of the rogues and loners he'd seen while travelling. Back to reality, Redcloud's heart skipped when his mother's face came into focus.
"Mom? You're in StarClan?" Redcloud asked, not entirely sure if his voice was working properly. His throat and tongue felt dry and scratchy, but apparently his voice was in perfect condition, as his mother closed her eyes for a moment, in a cat's form of a smile.
"Of course, Patri- err, Redcloud. I am here to see my son as he grows into the leader he was born to be. With this life, I give you the gift of love. Never forget how much the cats around you feel for each other, and for you. Use this life to hold on to the love you have for Rosestorm, and never let go," Patricia said, touching her nose to her son's.
Redcloud immediately felt like he was being torn apart, like clumps of fur were being yanked out, his bones broken, his insides bruised and battered. The life was, by a longshot, way worse than the first one, but its gift carried a heavy weight. His legs shook and trembled as he struggled to keep standing. Again, he somehow found his voice. "Thank you Mom. I suppose I'll see you in my dreams... Wait, is Dad here?"
As he asked, a pale ginger and white tabby tom padded up to stand next to Patricia.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world, son. With this life, I give you the gift of nobility. Use it well as you lead your Clan in the ways of StarClan and the warrior code." David meowed, touching his nose to his son's. This life came with no pain, and soon he was facing both his parents for the first time in two years.
"Thank you, Mom, Dad... I'll make you proud," Redcloud vowed, reading forward unsteadily to nuzzle them both. "You already have," his parents meowed, returning the gesture.
Redcloud's parents padded back, to the line of cats who'd already given him lives. The next cat was significantly smaller than the others, and Redcloud realized they were an apprentice.
"Greetings, Redcloud! I'm Heronpaw, one of Tigerstar's former apprentices. With this life, I give you the gift of mentoring. Use it well as you teach each member of your Clan new things," the little grey and white she-cat meowed. The life rushed through him as the others had, but he noticed each one hurt less and less, with the exception of the life his mother gave him.
The next cat was one of the largest cats Redcloud had ever seen; the white tom with black paws approached him, beginning right away, "I am Thunderstar, leader before Mudstar. My leadership was short and unsatisfactory, and I have no doubts yours will be the opposite. With this life, I give you the gifts of bravery and courage. Use them well to protect the things you believe in." The life felt like sharp stabs in his flesh, all over his body, all at once. He couldn't decide if it was painful or just uncomfortable. Thunderstar padded back to the line of cats without another word, switching places with a diluted tortoiseshell.
"I'm Sageflower, one of the very first members of AutumnClan. With this life, I give you the strength to act without fear or judgement. You've received two very similar lives tonight- as you live, you will see the differences in these gifts," the she-cat meowed, her voice soft as silk. The life felt like a gentle nudge, and like being knocked into a tree all at once, which honestly confused Redcloud more than it hurt him.
Next was a very familiar face; Ivynose! He hadn't seen the cat since before they'd gone missing. With the realization that they were in StarClan, Redcloud's heart dropped. "Hello, Redcloud. Long time, no see, eh? With this life, I give you happiness. Know that no matter how glum life may seem, there's always something, or someone, around that can warm your heart," the black cat touched their nose to Redcloud's. This life felt like the first time he'd seen Pearpaw, and when Rosestorm had agreed to be his mate, and when Redcloud watched Rosestorm being herself, without her noticing he saw, and it felt like a warm sunbeam during a beautiful new-leaf day. When he opened his eyes, the blissful feeling dwindling, a ginger and white cat was in front of him.
"I'm Berryflower, a former queen of AutumnClan. I died just a bit before you joined. With this final life, I give you the gifts of confidence and trust. Use them well as you build your Clan to be great," the she-cat meowed, touching her nose to Redcloud's, giving him his last life. Redcloud couldn't pinpoint exactly how it felt... other than pretty intense.
The line of cats stepped forward once more, with Mudstar leading. The cats stopped walking, but Mudstar faced him again, as she had when he arrived.
"I hail you by your new name, Redstar. Your old life is no more. You have now received the nine lives of a leader, and StarClan grants you the guardianship of New Autumn. Defend it well; care for young and old; honor your ancestors and the traditions of the warrior code; live each life with pride and dignity," Mudstar declared, touching Redstar's nose one last time.
The air around them seemed to erupt with chanting of hundreds of unseen StarClan warriors. "Redstar! Redstar! Redstar!" they shouted. Redstar flattened his ears, but twitched his whiskers in contentment.
The StarClan setting faded suddenly as Redstar woke up, but the chanting rang for a moment in the crisp morning air. Redstar stood and stretched his limbs; all the soreness and tiredness was gone, and he felt stronger, and more ready to take on leadership than ever. With that, the red and white tabby tom bounded off to meet his Clan as Redstar, a nine-lived leader with StarClan's blessings.