This page is the home of Felis silvestris’ background information, but places much of its emphasis on the roleplay and setting history. As a consequence, it will be heavily reliant upon the activity of our members, and change as the roleplay progresses. Updates will occur on a semi-frequent basis, so we advise that you check in from time to time – particularly if you have been absent for a couple of weeks.
Although we are fans of, and draw inspiration from, Erin Hunters' 'Warriors' series, you will notice that we do not use any of the canonical cats or clans. Upon reading our backstory you will further discover that the clans do have historical links to said clans, but our roleplay occurs many generations after the final 'Warriors' arch. Whilst you are largely free to devise your own bloodlines, do note that the canonical lines are virtually extinct, and no cat is able to trace their blood back to cannon characters.
On a similar note, please be aware that our in-character timeline begins six-seven generations after our clans had fully settled into the valley, so the events preceding their arrival are little more than legend. Whilst it is possible that some cats are directly descended from our NPC Founders, such claims are mere speculation on the side of those who voice them, and should not be taken seriously.
Currently, Felis silvestris is home to four clans - the cats of the Valley. Time is beginning to make these felines distinct from one another as they adapt to their respective homes. Currently, the most extreme of these changes is arguably the property of Waterclan, but Treeclan, Stoneclan and Mudclan also lay claim to certain unique traits. Each clan is also the proud owner of its own hunting specialities; tactics specifically developed to make the most of their territories varying bounties. It should be noted that each cat is a master of only one of these tactics, though it may have some skill in one, or even two, others, and specialities are usually passed directly from mentor to apprentice.
The cats of the clans have led easy, untroubled lives for generations; leafbear has long been mild, prey plentiful and battles largely limited to small scuffles over borders. Long-term feuds and rivalries, each begun in the days of their ancestors, have weakened and largely faded from memory, leaving only a very few clinging to past wrongs. Now cats of all clans meet at their borders with little need for unsheathed claws, and inter-clan friendships are growing more common, and ever stronger, with each passing moon.
Better, the cats are secure in the knowledge that this time of peace will not pass, for this is a peace won by tooth and claw and their valley home is largely inaccessible to those living beyond their lands. Their safety is ensured by a towering, impenetrable ribcage of mountains and a spine of unbroken water; their tentative friendships guarded by a reluctance to slide back into the bloodshed so prominent in their past. Theirs is a peace made permanent by their refusal to dishonour the ancestors that once fought so hard for their sakes.
Unfortunately, nothing is truly permanent.
Now, with the clans further than ever from memories of their past, an ancient force has begun to regain its interest in the happenings of the mortal realm. The cats are growing incautious, taking their peace for granted, and, beyond the reach of the light, shadows are beginning to stir…
Generations ago, when Firestar was still counted amongst the legendary heroes of feline kind, four clans lay within the ruins of a once prosperous land. They had been bought there countless seasons before by a chosen few, and had long identified themselves as the Lake Clans, just as their ancestors had once been the Forest Clans. Despite the passage of time, they still clung to their old codes and traditions, but these had been worn down by hardship; were but a shadow of that which existed in the elder’s tales. Theirs was now a rough and violent existence, for prey had long been failing and unseen tensions had painted mistrust into their leader’s eyes, making deceit and suspicion the order of their lives. Border fights were vicious and frequently deadly and few apprentices survived long enough to become warriors; a situation that dulled everything with a permanent cloud of grief, and bred enough rage to ensure that there was no escaping the endless bloodshed.
Until, that was, a young warrior named Cloudheart decided that enough was enough.
The tom had once been an avid fan of the elders stories and decided that these held the answers to their problems. Guided by this belief, he set himself to the dangerous task of rooting out a few equally discontent warriors from the other clans, eventually managing to catch the attention of three of his contemporaries. At his biding these cats –Birchfur of Riverclan, Smokeclaw of Shadowclan and Whitetail of Thunderclan - slipped away to meet with him on the island that had once been home to clan gatherings, and together, to their surprise, they discovered that their differences were not as great as they had been led to believe. Eager to share their discovery, the four cats began coaxing their young peers to these illegal meetings: were delighted to find that their numbers grew with every passing moon.
But all was not well.
Somehow the clans discovered their meetings and caught them in the act; fell upon them, and each other, with a savagery that put all past battles to shame. Many bodies were left in its wake and the gatherings were put to a bloody end, their one-time participants either slaughtered on the island or placed under camp arrest. Tensions were higher than ever after that, for the warriors well-meaning actions had pressed a new mistrust into the hearts of all cats, leaving leaders to look upon their followers with the deepest suspicion, and clanmates to doubt the word of even the most trustworthy of their number. This new strain made intra-clan scuffles the normal order of things and wore down clan loyalty until no cat could be sure which felines they should count as friends, and which they should view as enemies. Worse, it soon became clear that something must give; that some event must reunite them, or destroy them once and for all.
It took one night to decide it. One terrible act to seal their fates.
Each clans kits and queens were slaughtered – their bodies left in the centre of the camps, where there was no hope of hiding them. The senseless deaths shook the clans, finally sending them into free-fall. There was no way of identifying the killer, for the cats had been slain in their sleep and the scents destroyed by the reek of blood, and it wasn’t long before every cat was laying the blame on each other. The last threads of loyalty were severed and the cats fell upon each other, fighting as bitterly as if they were life-long enemies, and paying no attention to the pleas of those who had kept their minds.
That was when Cloudheart, sickened by what he saw, finally turned his back on the leaders and clans of the Lake.
The tom was quick to remove Windclan's few remaining apprentices and hide them beyond the Lake borders; fed them and taught them single-handedly even as he sought out the three who had once helped him test the lost gatherings. It took some doing, but somehow he managed to gather the three around him again, and together they threw themselves into the apprentices care, applying themselves to a life based around a purer form of the Lake Clans Warrior Code – the code as their elders remembered it. Thus regathered, Cloudheart set himself and his peers a rota of hunting, teaching and searching, charging all four of them to the task of finding the surviving members of their original bid for peace and bringing them into their new group. Progress was slow, for those cats had been scattered by the violence, but, gradually, word spread via their old covert network and the warriors gathered around those who they now knew would free them from the bloodshed.
But there was a catch. Their old secretive network was not as secure as they had believed, and it wasn’t long before the fours summons reached ears that were never meant to hear their words. The young cats remained unaware of this fact until it was already too late, and were beyond shocked when a queen and two elders, each carrying a tiny kit, staggered into their makeshift camp. They bought with them a tale of fear and flight; spoke of how one elder had caught the message and all had followed a returning ‘disciple’ of the four – threw themselves at the mercy of these cats who had never meant for them to arrive, and lacked the experience to properly handle such situations.
They expected to be turned away.
They were not. Though they had played no part in the gatherings, and the queen had fought against them when they had first been found out, neither Birchfur, Cloudheart, Smokeclaw nor Whitetail could summon the heart to drive them off. Instead they wordlessly took the little group into their care, then withdrew from their young followers and settled into the second of what would eventually come to be named the Founders Meetings. They debated and planned throughout the rest of the day, finally emerging as sombre, determined shadows as the sun began to sink from the sky. Pausing only to appoint guards and reiterate their pledge before all their followers, the four cats vanished into the night and returned to their clans for the final time, bearing with them their promise to neither give in nor return until their missions were accomplished.
Cloudheart returned to Windclan’s ruined realm and searched the wreckage of his one-time home for surviving elders and recent kits, convinced that no warrior would accept his proposed peace. Unfortunately, he found that the slaughter of the clan’s cats had continued even in his absence, and in the end he could find only one queen – a wreck of a she who lived in constant fear for the life of her unborn kits – and her grizzled elderly guardians. To his surprise, these cats then introduced him to a tiny pocket of warriors whom had turned their backs on the bloodshed and dedicated themselves to their defence; convinced him that he could trust him with his very life. Thus reassured, and pleasantly surprised, Cloudheart led Windclan warriors into his clan of survivors.
Smokeclaw, he who had first answered Cloudhearts calls, dared to step back into Shadowclan territory, where he faced instant death for the charge of betrayal. He was less fruitful in his search, finding only a small battle-scarred band of toms and the two kits they defended, and being faced with felines who did not want to talk. These cats had been moulded into savage creatures by their desire to protect the kits, and in the end he had no choice but to fight for the right to be heard; managed to defeat the tom that led them and force them to listen to his words. Fortunately, Smokeclaw bore brains as well as brawn, and his promises of a better life – a battle-free future for those kits – soon destroyed the last vestiges of their resistance. The tom searched no further: knew that these cats carried all the muscle needed to defend the other survivors.
A greater challenge faced Whitetail, for she faced a clan divided, not by battle and suspicion, but a clash of certain ‘teachings’ dragged from stories of their ancestors. These had been warped until it was virtually impossible to see the truth, and the resulting disagreements had torn several irreparable rifts within the clan. Worse, most of these cats had grown decidedly bloodthirsty in the ensuing fights, and she soon saw that she could take with her only the most innocent and valiant of her one-time clanmates, or else risk bringing destruction upon those who had already fled. In the end she returned with a single warrior and a rag-tag gang of orphaned kits and grim-faced elders.
But of all the four, it was Birchfur who faced the biggest and most dangerous part of the operation, for Riverclan had ridden out the storm; were complete…but not whole. When he returned to his one-time home it was to find that the clan was being ruled by an iron fist, its cats beaten into submission by rigid controls on fresh-kill and brutal slashes of tooth and claw from a favoured few. This clan, of all clans, held the greatest desire for freedom, but also the least chance of gaining it – the most to lose should they act and fail. As a result it took several moons for Birchfur to find his way around his x-leaders defences, and several weeks more to break through the cats’ fear, but eventually he convinced a senior warrior to take a chance. With this cats aid he managed to extract nearly half his clan from their leader’s tyranny and whisk them into the night, very nearly giving his life in the process.
Taken together, the four, their followers and the rescuees represented barely a quarter of the remaining Lake Cats, but the four knew that time had already run out. There was no longer enough prey to support them, and they knew that at least one clan would soon be on their trail, meaning that the group could no longer remain where they were and expect to survive. This had already been considered by Birchfur, Cloudheart, Smokeclaw and Whitetail, who convinced their assorted cats to follow them away from the Lake Territories, and out into the wilds beyond, almost as soon as all of their number had returned. To their surprise the cats followed them with little question or resistance; the four had become their unspoken leaders.
The lakeside refugees travelled together for several seasons, every cat working together to ensure the survival of all. Where possible they honoured the old warrior code, using the elders as their lawkeepers and teaching their youngest as they travelled, but there were parts of this code that could not be upheld. It wasn’t long before the younger warriors were forming friendships and taking mates, often ignoring the constraints of the old clans, and no cat could explain to the kits why they should not be friends – just as they could not keep their elders from mingling freely, or their few queens from sharing the burden of rearing young on the move. It wasn’t long before they stopped trying, recognising this to be a natural, even essential, step, and all but discarding their old clan ties.
These were hard times, and it often seemed that none of them would live long enough to see them find a new home. However, more through luck than design, the cats finally stumbled across a valley and saw in it the perfect place to rebuild. It was more than large enough to support their needs and well-defended by mountain and sea; was so rich with prey that it was clear it would support them for many generations to come. Even more remarkably, their scouts bought back the news that the lands already seemed to be divided into four roughly equal sections – a phenomena that was taken as a sign. The long-silent Starclan had guided their leaders here; they were meant to become Cats Of The Valley, to start anew and follow the code as it was meant to be.
Their conviction merely grew when they learnt that that these four lands converged upon a dip that was more than large enough to hold them all; a dip that glowed beneath the full moon that had once watched over the Lake Clan gatherings.
Prompted by this spreading conviction, and knowing that it was expected of them, Birchfur, Cloudheart, Smokeclaw and Whitetail again withdrew to hold a meeting. When they returned it was to call the cats together and hold the first gathering the Valley had known, then inform their followers that they would split into four new clans, and that it was the right of every cat to decide to which clan they would belong, and which amongst them would stand at their heads. This was the Meeting of Division, when Mudclan, Stoneclan, Treeclan and Waterclan came to be, and Cloudheart, Smokeclaw, Whitetail, and Birchfur were voted the Valleys first Clan Leaders.
Though each cat vowed to be loyal to their new clan, none of them could forget that their friends and one-time allies now dwelt in what had now become their rival clans. As a consequence they were all reluctant to spill even the smallest amount of blood over those disputes that met them as they settled in, and it seemed that they had finally found their much-desired peace; that war would never again strike them down. Unfortunately, they failed to consider the emotions of the many rogues and lones that had been forced from their homes by their arrival – neglected to see a threat that existed right beneath their noses.
This fact was violently bought home to them barely four moons later, when an army of discontented rogue cats fell upon them in the middle of their third gathering. These attackers struck the newly named Valley Cats with a ferocity they had not known for many moons, and very nearly destroyed them, for they had yet to find the organisation inherent in fully established clans. However, they were soon rallied and offered a fighting chance when their founders leapt into battle, tackling their attackers with a skill and bravery that would later become the stuff of legends.
The resulting bloodshed was terrible to behold, but nothing in comparison to what they felt when, in the wake of a bloodcurdling shriek, they turned to see Cloudheart lying at a rogue cats paws. The once noble tom was almost unrecognisable beneath his wounds – he had clearly given his all for his cats – and he was dead long before any of his allies could reach his side. This was a sight that should have destroyed them, but instead it gave them rage, the strength of vengeance, and lent to them a ferocity that put even the Rogues to shame. These violent cats soon broke under the force of the attack and were driven from the Valley; an event that would forever be known as The Purging.
Their work done and anger spent, the Valley Cats regathered around the fallen founder and joined their voices together in shared mourning for their dead. Though the tom had never gained nine lives, for the medicine cats had not yet found a place from whence to share tongues with Starclan, the remaining Founders bowed to their follower’s wishes and renamed him Cloudstar, first leader and hero of the Valley Cats. He has remained such throughout the countless years that have passed, and is spoken of with awe to this day.
Later, to the Valley Cats mingled relief and dismay, they finally discovered the Moon Cave and were able to send their leaders to gain their nine lives, but the occasion was shadowed by grief, for none could forget that it had come too late for one of the original four. Shortly after this event, the leaders bowed again to the wishes of their cats and forged a number of treaties beneath Starclans gaze – treaties that help to ensure that the events of the past will never be repeated within the present day.
June 13th, 2013 ~ Felis silvestris was created
June 29th, 2013 ~ Felis silvestris opened to the public
:: Pre-Roleplay ::
The Dark Days
The Meeting of Division
The Mooncave's Discovery
The Night of Treaties
General clan life
:: June 29th, 2013 ~ Round One: Whispers ::
2nd July, 2013 - Roleplay began.
30th November, 2013 - Kits, Elders, Leaders & Med. Cats being having odd dreams. Waterclan Deep Hunters notice something new prowling the Deeps.
17th December, 2013 - Warriors, Queens & Apprentices begin having odd dreams.