Welcome, members, to the start of Chapter 2.
We, first, want to thank you all for hanging in there with us while we worked at snail's pace, but we hope that the new opportunities that this chapter offers will make up for it.
I, also, want to thank all of the admins and admin-helper's hard work. Without them, this journal and the work we've put into the map would've been null and void. I especially want to give super-duper-special thanks to =crazy-hat
, and ~Tekaramity
, for helping so much with the map descriptions. Also, thanks go out to *KitsaniCat
for laying the groundwork of this journal story, and a big thanks to Tek for helping her out and writing the story in detail. All of the admins are amazing, round of applause for them please. (I almost typed 'applesauce' instead of 'applause', so why not offer them some applesauce, too?)
with the start of Chapter 2, the cats are moving into their new territory, and there should no longer be any RPs on the former territories unless continuations of old RPs. We've added plenty of space, larger neutral lands and Tribe territories, and we expect that everyone should have fun with them. We tried to spread things out evenly, and we're really proud, and hope you guys love it as much as we're beginning to.
You can start RPing on the new territory as immediately as right now
, so go, go, go forth, TGBers, and be awesome! Have your cats explore this new territory and stake their claims~
Also, for those of you non-members or current members who have a second cat or are concerned with joining, we're going to be opening spots up in the next few days.
Just as the last opening happened, there will be a preset background story you must fill for your character. Your character will have to be an exile, one who heard about the move the previous exiles were making, and while they wanted to join the Tribes, were unwilling / unable to make the journey, and decided to join now, since the Tribes had 'come to them'. Another journal will be posted on this topic later, whenever we open spots (probably in the next two days), but this is for you avid readers who read all the blogs and want to be ready quicker.
Uhm.. I don't know what else to say
As poster of this journal, I also want to congratulate all the hard work the admins have accomplished in making season two possible. While it has been slow, it's very exciting to see it finally happen. And congratulations to those who have waited so patiently for it to come too<3 I'll keep this short so you can all get on with reading the journal now<3 Bye~
CHAPTER 2.1: THE MIGRATION
"This is the necessary consequence of their folly."
The Spirit spoke without malice or pity. What was about to occur was neither a volatile punishment nor a baseless decision. This was natural judgment. The other Spirits whispered agreement without even speaking. Their elemental, ethereal forms, which normally indicated a somber and sullen watchfulness, were still faintly bristling in both anger and lament at the actions of the Tribes below them. The cats had started a most vicious war, a bloodbath of a war - and a final tipping point in the resilience of the southern land of Nandryx. Waters across the continent were deteriorating; patches of land had destabilized and cracked; numerous caves and tunnels risked collapse by the day. The sending of the Tribes northward, out of this battle-soaked region and into the land of the exiles they had shunned oh so many moons ago, was both a necessary course of action to preserve the cats and a suitable manner of justice, aimed at startling and humbling the Tribes enough to instill in them a resolute aversion to a third savage war. "Some of the mortals will decry their new homes," stated one of the Spirits. "Some of the mortals will indulge in reckless hunts and adventures," asserted another. "Some of them may become aware of their folly, however," suggested a third, "and those might become the guardians of a peace and harmony with their world," whispered yet a fourth. The initial Spirit to speak let out a sort of supernatural breath as it continued to observe the convening of the cats below. Earth, fire, water, shadow, and so on - the elements, and the connection to them that the Spirits had bestowed upon the Tribes not so exceedingly long ago, gathering as well in perfect synergy and migrating with them as the Spirits would shift their influence from south to north. At last, that first Spirit spoke up again, uttering a declaration that encapsulated the gravity of the situation:
"Trust has been lost. It is up to them to rebuild it. This is the necessary consequence of their folly."
The lightly-wooded region north of the Clearing of Light, lodged in the center of a Shadow/Earth/Air triangle, had never before played host to such a massive and steady influx of cats of all sizes and powers. From sooty Earth Tribe miners to lanky Air Tribe bone crafters, from the gem hunters of Water Tribe to the smiths in Fire, from the kits and the youngsters to the elders emblazoned with Yellow and Silver - all of the cats who lived on the southern continent of Nandryx were meandering up to this lightly hilly and forested section of the deteriorating land. Each of the Tribes had recently completed several tasks doled out by their leaders in the interest of securing their camps...well, after today, ex-camps...and organizing this migration. No one cat knew specifically what to expect in the northern lands; the cats who had lived in the current Tribal lands all their lives had never even spotted a glance of the region, while the former exiles had for the most part lived within relatively small sections of the place and had not spent their days traipsing across the breadth of the area from east to west and back again. Several dozen cats were about to embark upon an arduous journey into a new world for some, a former home for others, but all faced more or less the same unrelenting question: What will await us in the northern lands? "Be sure to keep together," meowed the prominent Silver-Fire to her Tribemates, "but feel free to chat amongst yourselves and with everyone else, from time to time, so long as you do not fall behind." She briefly glanced up into the sun-splashed sky. The atmosphere of the clean day reflected scant little of the anxiety that was surely plaguing many of her Tribers, to say nothing of those from other Tribes as well. Now was not the time to take in the scenery, at any rate - although Tzurai couldn't help but feel a light pang of melancholy at facing the prospect of leaving her lifelong home. The place was falling apart, sure, but it was still the land she recalled from her youth up through her rapid ascension into the role as the leader of the Tribe of flame, in both ember and spirit. The war had torn apart much more than just the bodies of several cats, though; no reasonable observer would deny that. The Spirits had decreed it, either way, and she would obey their command to the letter. That *is* what I believe. It wasn't clear whether that thought took the form of an affirmation - or an inquiry. Returning her purple gaze to the throng of cats around her, Tzurai padded a bit toward the front of the pack as a deep gray tomcat with a jagged silver tattoo encircling his mouth uttered solemnly to his Tribers, "do not expend too much energy if you can help it, for we don't know yet how far the trek will take us, and many have already traveled some distance to arrive at this spot." Silently agreeing with Tylluan's advice, for the most part, the two-tone Silver-Fire with black leg stripes and a scintillating tail bracelet padded several steps farther ahead before stopping and turning to face the multitude. The sun that beamed down upon them contrasted in more than one way with the breezy chill of the dry winter day. The she-cat set her ears alert and stilled her resolute tail. No longer should they idle. Tzurai opened her maw to speak - her final proclamation she would state within this expiring land.
"Cats of all Tribes, ages, genders, and callings, look about you at this place. These hills, these trees that surround you, this grass under your paw - this view should be the last you take in from a position of rest. Please, take a seat, if you so choose. The cats you see around you will accompany you to the northern lands, but these sights and these sounds and these smells will remain here, 'til the land itself gives way to the sea. Take a moment to affix them into your memories. Those will be the memories that sustain us as we set up our new territories and homes; those will be the memories that you will pass down to the generation that follows. Let this be a moment of silence and respect for the lives that we ourselves took, for the lives that the collapsing of the region has taken from us...and for the lives that still remain, to tread northward, toward the lands for us to inhabit as commanded by the Spirits. This is our final moment of peace, here. May we draw upon wisdom, in the new land, to preserve countless more."
Time and terrain would not prove kind to the paws and joints of the migrating Tribers. Their journey's path had first led them northeastward, threading a line between the former Earth camp and the abandoned Air territory, hiking through woods which housed prey that they could not afford to chase, no matter how burning the temptation. The supplies each Tribe had stocked appeared to the leaders to be more than what would be sufficient, barring any catastrophes. Emerging from the woods, the cats would cross a small hilly plain that hugged the water inlet to the east. Here, the Tribal leaders all quickly agreed to allow a few minutes for the cats to drink in as much as they felt they needed to sustain themselves. The sun was already advancing across the sky like a stripeless bumblebee, however, and a second swift agreement hastened the cats back into line again. The crowd itself probably resembled a swarm of cat-sized locusts or a sea of amorphous color, from a bird's view. With all of the bustle proceeding for hours, the veteran cats all did the best they could at maintaining order so that none of the kittens would stray too far and none of the senior cats would collapse from premature exhaustion. As the crowd swerved northward again, one final thin patch of trees, jutting up amongst even larger hills from before, threatened to sap the stamina of the weaker and frailer cats. Only the encouragement of their Tribemates and timely intervention by the various Healers kept the pack of cats moving at an acceptable pace. Finally, as they crossed past the final tree and exited the second woods, one imposing hill stood between the Spirit-directed Tribes and their first communal glimpse of their new homeland. Taking charge, the six Silvers moved up to the very front of the swarm, with the six Yellows falling in line behind them. Green-Airs, Pink-Earths, Orange-Waters, and Blue-Fires comprised only a fraction of the pack of cats that flanked them as they strode, cautiously yet resolutely, up the slope of the large hill that was likely sizable enough to hold a quarter or more of all of the cats gathered near to it. Each paw, whether white or black, amber or gray, elder or youngster, advanced in a messy harmony toward the peak of that hill. The sun was still hanging on, much like the wills and energy levels of the cats tucked beneath it. A step, another step, a step to rise from below and a step to rise above - and, then, finally, the first Silver-Triber to ascend to the top of that hill cast feline eyes toward the downslope, the valley, the horizon:
The northern lands.
From off to the east, barely audible, arrived the sound signaling the motion of water. To the northwest, down and away from the hill a fair distance, murmured a soggy-looking muck that could nary be discerned for either sand or swamp at the moment. Straight ahead, to the north, lay an inviting plain bordered by a thin set of trees. While the majority of the day's creatures had already retreated back into their abodes, a stray keer of a bird or chatter of a ground-critter leaped from the surrounding flatlands up to the ears of the Tribal cats that were viewing them, in awe, for the first time. A few former exiles nodded knowingly at the sounds and scenes, sniffing the air now and again. Perhaps they were trying to reacquire the scent of their favorite prey? - or, perhaps, the scent of a loved one left behind but a few moons ago. The spectacle left more than a few cats breathless and wishing they could spectate for the rest of the night. A few weary coughs and shivers from the crowd, however, jolted all but the most bedazzled cats back to the more pressing issue of splitting up and setting out for their assigned Territories. Without knowing where they would be, the Silvers knew where they had to go to reach them, and they knew they would recognize them when they arrived there. The Spirits rarely interacted with the mortal realm directly, yet the passing of their guidance down to the Silver-Tribers moved not of matter or energy but in mystery and whisper. Knowing that extended goodbyes at this point would only delay a much-needed sleep at the new camps, the leaders glanced amongst themselves and nodded a sharp agreement to disperse for now and to re-convene later, most likely once the Spirits had revealed their new gathering place to them to replace the Clearing of Light. With a plan set in motion by those immortal and unchanging, the Tribes of Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Shadow split off into the evening in five different directions. There would be much more time to admire the scenery after the comfort of sleep.
The Tribe of Air was the first to reach its destination. The Silver-Air, Aiolos, an ex-Exile well familiar with these lands, directed his Tribers to the northeast - whereupon, after a not excessively long walk, they came upon a wind-swept set of enclaves and an impressively large tree stump. Two Pink-Airs bounded forward to play at the base of the trunk while the rest of the Tribe moseyed on over toward the unkempt enclaves in an attempt to prepare them just neatly enough to make the night's rest a bit more pleasant.
The Tribe of Shadow likewise reached its new encampment before nightfall - somewhat ironic, that, noted their exhausted Silver, Tylluan. A network of tunnels and harsh rocks, set up against the western beachfront, appeared all too welcome to the bevy of tired Shadows who spent little time dawdling as they scouted the area for threats before retreating into the cave network, running cursory tests on its stability before choosing to sleep outside and back from the sea for the time being. There would be more time to verify its stability in the days to come.
The Tribe of Earth, motioned by its leader Zaeli to set out toward the north-northwest, crossed over a small river and past what appeared (and smelled) to be a rather expansive marsh to the far west before reaching a small pond still warm despite the wintery season. Past this pond awaited an impressively large hill made of rock and dust. Noticing the crevices and niches sprinkled across the hill's surface, even in the very faint twilight of the early night, Zaeli instructed her Tribers to fan out and settle up onto the hill itself for at least the current night.
The Tribe of Water trekked the farthest into both the land and the night to arrive at its new camp far to the north: over a large toppled oak bridge, through a large patch of woods that smelled strongly of quails and pheasants, and across a small body of water that encircled a lovely little island. River reeds and smooth stones dotted its edges. The serene grace of the island was not lost on the dainty Silver-Water, Vitani, who knew instantly that the Spirits had guided her and her Tribemates to the perfect place for them to reside.
The Tribe of Fire found itself led toward the north-northeast, between the territories of Water and Air. After crossing the same fallen oak that the Waters had crossed, Tzurai knew without knowing to veer off to the east. As she and her Tribemates emerged from the large forest, a faint warmth greeted them even in this, the coldest of four seasons. Warm rocks and soil met their paws as they traveled; thin wisps of steam waved a greeting to the incoming fatigued felines whose mouths tugged upward into faint smiles at the sight of a camp they could surely call their own. Tzurai instructed her weary Fire-kin to dispense with any formal den claiming for tonight and just stretch out solo or huddle together to sleep on whatever could supply the most shelter. It had been a most arduous journey indeed, this trek northward, but the journey to become true cats of the north had only begun. Soon would be the time for discussion, debate, and decision. For tonight, however, the Spirits and the stars beckoned the Fire Tribers to rest their aching bodies and to sleep - yes, to sleep - and, perchance, to dream of the new day that would welcome them with mystery, anxiety, difficulty....and hope. As she lay herself down, Tzurai lifted her purple eyes toward the unforgotten sky and whispered, "This is our first moment of peace, here. May we draw upon wisdom, in the new land, to preserve countless more."
Dawn lingered at the horizon, almost hesitating to bring the first day to light. Something yearned to prolong this moment of rebirth, letting it go on until finally, a sliver of sun spilled into the new land. The darkness fled from illumination, chased across the land as each territory was bathed in light.
Drawing herself to her paws, Tzurai gazed down at her sleeping kittens, the whole litter sprawled together in a knot of limbs. For several moments she stood in the unfamiliar setting, a foreign wind stirring her fur, exotic scents teasing past her nose. Shutting her eyes, the Silver-Fire turned away from the strange den and stepped out into the morning sunlight, feeling at least the familiar warmth along her coat. Lifting her gaze to the washed-out sky, she wondered briefly of the Spirits. Then, as with the night before, she let her instincts guide her.
Warmth on his face roused Aiolos. Lifting his head, the tom stared into the distance, letting his surroundings sink in. The almost reminiscent feeling of being in a new place reminded him of both the land he'd once called home, and how he'd come to adapt to a new territory recently. Now, he had returned-- and yet it seemed like another fresh beginning. The Silver-Air might not have yet felt completely at-home in his new role, but it was becoming increasingly familiar. Standing, he turned away from the sun and gave a slight start.
Uncharacteristically quiet, staid, Basil shifted her gaze towards the Silver-Air as he moved towards her. Without a word, she rose, and together they walked away from the sun.
A breeze brought with it the scent of flowers, grass, life. Vitani opened her eyes to beauty, vitality, essence. For several moments she lay silently as the sun rose above the horizon and warmed her fur. This, so unlike the territory she had recently inherited, was a healthy, lush land. This was a place she could contently allow her tribe to live off of, with certainty of safety. This was a land she could love and be proud of. Letting her eyes slip shut, not moving, the Silver-Water lay for another long while before something coaxed her to stand and guided her south.
Ears pricking, Zaeli lifted her head, looking skyward. A damselfly hummed softly by, drifting on a wind gentle enough that it barely stirred the she-cat's fur. The wild smell of their territory was almost invigorating; it seemed to breathe energy into the air around it. Shaking herself of a lingering weariness, the Silver-Earth stood and began yet another trek.
The cover of the caves did nothing against instinct. As the sun rose, something woke Tylluan. Luminescent yellow eyes opened into a pitch blackness. With the caverns facing the west, it still seemed as night in his impromptu den, but he knew it was dawn. He could hear the rest of Shadow-Tribe's soft breathing around him; sound carried in the caves, and it felt almost homey, despite the odd stones under his paws, or the unfamiliar way the noises echoed in the passages he wasn't used to. He would learn their paths, though, with time. Sliding to his paws, the Silver-Shadow stepped out of the darkness and walked.
"Light-Tribe is returning." Basil let her eyes drift over the gathered leaders. None of them could see any inflection in her gaze. Aiolos, the one leader who knew her at all, was silent; it was difficult to associate this sober-toned bombay with the eccentric, carefree she-cat he'd seen about his tribe.
"What?" Tzurai spoke slowly, leveling her stare on the other Silver. When there was no reply, she began to bristle. "You're taking our healers from us? Now? This new land is unfamiliar, there are dangers we aren't aware of, and you'll have us face it without the care of our healers?"
Something about the way Basil avoided Tzurai's gaze made Vitani think there was something about the Silver-Fire that she didn't want to face. Despite sympathizing for the bombay, though, the Silver-Water knew Tzurai was right; this wasn't the time to be stealing the tribes of their caretakers.
"No," the Silver-Healer meowed calmly, looking apprehensive as she bowed her head towards the Silver-Fire. "You will, all of you, always have the assistance and care of Light Tribe. But the time for us to live amongst ourselves again has dawned. The Spirits have given me council. They have shown me our territory."
More punishment. The resentful thought was like a ripple through the gathered Silvers.
"This land will bring forth many new beginnings," Basil continued, almost urging them to believe her. This was, indeed, the first time she'd shared the severity of leadership with the other Tribes. She was painfully aware that this wasn't the best first impression to make. "Eras will be born here. It's time now to reform Light-Tribe."
"The Spirits told you this?" Zaeli asked quietly, her eyes intense.
The Silver-Healer met the gaze evenly. "Yes."
"Then who are we go argue?" The Silver-Shadow broke in before anyone else could speak. Such a simple statement silenced all of the others for a brief moment.
"He's right," Vitani murmured, looking towards the others. "This is the will of the Spirits."
After another pause, Aiolos finally spoke. "Will you gather them, Basil?"
It was a surprise that made her suddenly feel like herself again. The name, while new, suddenly felt like home. From the meaningful gaze he shared with her, Basil knew that Aiolos had done it intentionally; reassurance from an unlikely friend. She appreciated it more than he could know.
"Yes," she meowed, giving each leader a look in turn. "Jazlyn and I will come to each Tribe--"
"Should we tell them?" Zaeli spoke up. Basil glanced at the Silver-Earth, contemplating. "Or else we should at least be there when you do. At least if we warn them, they'll have time to prepare."
"Alright." Basil nodded, suddenly feeling relieved of the weight on her shoulders. Now she simply had to get it done done, and that seemed much easier to her than confronting the other Silvers with the news of it.
"When will you come?" Tzurai asked, tail twitching.
"I'd like to give them time," Basil murmured, "But I feel like I can't afford much. Jazlyn and I will begin our circuit at midday tomorrow."
It seemed like plenty of time for the leaders, and they all agreed. After a moment's silence, Aiolos brought up the topic of territories, and Tzurai's ears pricked. "Where will Light-Tribe stay?" she meowed, turning to face the Silver-Healer.
Bowing her head, Basil indicated the ground beneath them. "Here will take the place of the Clearing of Light. It will be a part of Light-Tribe's territory. Our camp will be there," she continued, nodding to the area behind Tylluan.
"Will Light-Tribe exercise loyalty to itself now?" Vitani asked suddenly. It was surprising that no one else had asked yet. Indeed, oddly, it hadn't crossed their minds; healers had always been part of the Tribes in their time. Silently, the Silvers looked towards Basil.
"We will be an independent Tribe," she said carefully, "But we will remain neutral. Light-Tribe will always help any Tribe in need."
No one spoke. No one commented. And, after a moment, someone brought up territory lines; prey; jobs; neutral land. The leaders fell back to the thoughts they'd had coming into this new land. For several minutes Basil was silent, listening to the questions and concerns for a moment as a detached party. Then, shutting her eyes, she waited for some sign from the Spirits. Being a Silver had been almost easy up until now; the healers had lived with the other Tribes, and she'd barely had time to check up on them before the move. Now, she would really be a leader. Not the kind she was used to, that she had experience in, but a true leader.
"Basil." The bombay's eyes flew open and she glanced, startled, at the Silver-Fire. Tzurai gave her an odd look, flicking an ear.
"Ah..?" Her ears bristled in embarrassment and she hunched her shoulders a bit. "I'm sorry?"
"What you said before," Tzurai said, lifting her head and regarding the area they sat in. "This area-- shall we call it the Council of Spirits?"
The other Silvers seemed to have agreed already and, realizing she was expected to participate in these events now, Basil nodded quickly.
"Good." The Silver-Fire turned to the others again, and the adaptation of the Tribes into the new land began.