The River is a legend about the creation of the river that courses between the territories of ThunderClan, RiverClan and WindClan. It features Cwen, Reoc, Prica and Hraed of the Great Clans. In character, it was first told by Silverdust to Cloverkit, to distract her of Roottail’s passing.
Out of character, it was written by Willow.
Many moons ago, when the Great Clans settled on the forest, they were told to honor their truce at Fourtrees. Doing as they had been told, the Clans prospered for a while, prey was plenty, and new kits grew on the forest. Unfortunately, their bliss did not last for long. The Clans faced a long summer – with no sign of rain, prey disappeared, plants died, fires spread through the camps. Kits went hungry when their Queens’ milk dried; overall, the Clans were as hungry as in the heart of winter. Even the great Fourtrees oaks had their leaves turning a dull brown, not of Leaf-fall, but of thirst.
In desperation, the medicine cats gathered by the Moonstone. They called for help from their ancestors, but to no avail. Instead of the soothing voices of their forbearers, their dreaming minds were filled with the kits’ hungry wails, mingling with the crackling of burning trees. Their ancestors could not help them on this matter.
It was a group of dismayed cats that left Mothermouth that night. Even Cwen, who had led the Great Clans to their new home, felt overwhelmed by their situation. Hraed mirrored her mood, but Reoc walked as high and proud as he ever did. It was Prica who looked around, scanning the surroundings, and remembered Reoc’s tearing at the ground. From Reoc’s claws Mothermouth and Highstones had been born – he could do something like that again. Water welled up from the depths, did it not? Excitedly, she explained her idea to the rest of the medicine cats. They could dig until they found water, and thus bring life back to the forest.
Her idea was soon accepted by the group, and the next morning a delegation of cats from all Clans gathered west of Fourtrees. Led by Prica, they started digging. Reoc was the most powerful of them all, and with each clawing he tore up a shower of dirt. Another group of cats piled the dug-out earth north from the digging area. Soon there was a hill shadowing the dug valley.
Day and night the Clans dug, and even Prica was starting to doubt the effectiveness of her plan when Cynelic, the leader of LionClan, tore savagely at the earth, on a desperate effort. Water burst forth – water! The cats scrambled up the northern hill, watching in wonder as that marvelous water rushed down the valley, flooding everything on its wake.
On a few days, life returned to the forest. The exhausted cats soon had their much deserved rest; prey came back, and life resumed its natural cycle. But as long as they live here, the clan cats will never forget how SilverFall Gorge and the forest’s river came to life.