The Beginning Period of training a mentor should be working to establish their apprentice’s basic skills and prepare them for active duty and more advanced learning. Then mentor should take into account their apprentices actual abilities, not just their age, when deciding which level of training is suitable for their apprentice.
Generally this period encompasses the first few moons of training, where the basics are perfected and the young cat is prepared for more advanced training. They may be training beginning for one item, such as hunting, but be more advanced in other sections of their training. A young cat should expect to be completing the basics (in a standard situation) during their 8th moon (assuming they were apprenticed at 6).
Any files marked with ^ are currently unfinished.
Rites of Passage
A tour of the clan territory is a traditional first day activity for most apprentices (exceptions are at the digression of the mentor). This gives the apprentice an opportunity to see the entire territory and helps them become familiar with it.
Leaders and Mentors take pride in showing off the future of their clan by bringing a newly made apprentice to the earliest possible gathering. It gives the young cat a new perspective on the diversity of cats in the forest and helps prepare them for future encounters with these cats.
Beginning Level Apprentice’s Responsibilities
- Clear dirty bedding from elder’s den, sick den, nursery, and any other den at the request of the Medicine cat, Leader, Deputy, Senior Warriors or Mentor and replace with fresh.
- Run errands within camp for Deputy, Leader, Medicine Cat, Senior Warriors or Mentor as needed.
- Fetch and Carry within the camp for the Elders, injured and sick cats.
This period of training is devoted to the foundation of the basic warrior skills. The majority of the apprentices day is spent in lessons such as lectures in the warriors code or other rote learned knowledge, or practical lessons in topics like hunting with the rest of their time is spent primarily on tending to various clanmates in an attempt to imbue them with a sense of responsibility and modesty.
Apprentices in this age group are not expected, nor is it (generally) wise for a leader to include them on, patrols of either the hunter or border persuasions. They simply lack the knowledge and experience to execute such high pressure and potentially dangerous duties.
While developing basic skills, a Mentor should also see to instilling full respect and a basic understand of the code into their apprentice. The Warriors Code is the basic framework of a Warrior’s Life, and as such is an important part of early training.
Basic Hunting Training
The first step to learning to hunt properly is learning not only to identify prey scents, but to track using them and other signs left behind by your target.
The art of stalking is important, as being able to move without being seen or heard by your prey is an all important part. Without being able to make an approach and get close a cat has no chance of ever making a kill. Learning silent-pawfalls and to deal with the terrain of the clan lands while staying low to the ground and out of sight is key to good hunting. The art of freezing when the prey’s eyes or ears turn their attention to the hunter is also important.
^ Tactics ^
The intellectual approaches to hunting the various ‘basic’ species (Mice, Birds, Ect) is an important aspect of hunting knowledge. Knowing the things those species can do, and the best ways to approach hunting them helps make a cat a competent hunter.
Apprentice need not only to learn the areas of the body vulnerable to attack, but how to defend them. The neck, housing the spine, is always in danger of receiving a killing bite. The throat, filled with important veins and the windpipe is also in equal danger. Injuries to an eye can destroy a warrior’s depth perception, while injury to both sends an a cat to the Elder’s den. Leg damaged warriors put a drain on their clan and injuries without proper rest can lead to early retirement.
Quick treatment can save the life of a comrade when a Medicine Cat is too far away to provide immediate care. The aide that another can provide while the Medicine Cat is summoned can become the difference between life and death for the wounded. Every Warrior would understand the basics.
Fitness is important for a warrior. Learning to run, jump, walk, and be on the move all day long is important. Young apprentices should begin to build up the stamina to work all day long and then hunt the evening away and stand guard that night. During harsh times a warrior gets no rest, and an apprentice must be prepared for this.
Being able to relay information efficiently and effectively is an essential part of being a warrior. Passing along information about possible dangers or threats, not to mention just basic observations that can be of use to the Clan is something that they will need to do on a daily basis.