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Briarstream for Medicine Cat of ShadowClan

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Question #1 : Essay Question

Question:

Provide a brief rundown of the personality and history of the character in question, making sure to explain where major personality traits came from, and to include those traits you think qualify the character as the Medicine Cat.

Response:

Briarstream never wanted to be the Medicine Cat, but was rather forced into it after an unfortunate encounter with a fox that left her with a singular eye. Unfortunately for Briarstream, the singular eye that the fox left her with rendered her as somewhat of a liability for the clan, as her coordination was severely effected by the loss of her eye. Most cats in her position would be forced to become a premature elder, but be it through the “divine will of Starclan” (which offends Briarstream just thinking about it, as this felt like far more of a punishment) the leader and Medicine Cat of her clan took pity on her and deemed her the Medicine Cat apprentice.

Briarsteam (who was Briarpaw, at the time) excelled at her work as a Medicine Cat, but took no pride in the work. Yes, she seemed to have a natural talent with the herbs and aiding her sick and wounded clanmates… but everything else about the position she loathed. Starclan had forced her into this position, and now she was expected to relay their signals and words to her clanmates? She was offended at the thought, paying little mind to what they spoke of or the signs they attempted to conjure. Luckily for her, at the time, she was only the apprentice, but soon she would be forced to actually interpret all signs and symbols for her clan, and her mentor worried about that day.

As she had a knack for the actual “seen” duties of a Medicine Cat, Briarstream was eventually promoted to a full Medicine Cat, and following the death of her mentor she was Shadowclan’s only Medicine Cat. As she was supposed to have a profound connection with Starclan, many of her clanmates (as well as the leader and deputy) would often come to her to see what she had been told, only to be met with scoffs and something along the lines of “why don’t you make your own destiny instead of relying on the dead?”. This, understandably, frustrated a lot of her clanmates, to the point they desired to have the she-cat stripped of her position… but unfortunately there were no trained or proper candidates to take her place so the position stuck, much to the clan’s (and Briarstream’s) dismay. Now, largely no one really respects her as a position of authority, despite having a rank in the clan. She is largely just seen as an angry, bitter cat, who is only approached if you absolutely need something from her.


Personality

Briarstream herself is… almost exactly what the clan sees her as: bitter, angry (at herself, the cats who decided that this life was better for her, and at Starclan), and is also somewhat of a dreamer. The she-cat had always dreamed of being a Warrior and still sometimes fantasizes about it during her personal herb gathering trips, where she pretends to stalk prey or prepare for some kind of ambush (only to undershoot her jump to her made up target). The thing about her forced position that hurt Briarstream the most was the inability to have kits, as she had always desired all the things in life that she-cat warriors were able to have. She still feels the resentment bubble inside her every time she assists with a delivery of kits to a mother, and every time she sees the small faces as she changes a mother’s bedding in the nursery. She desires love, in it’s purest form, and longs for the chance that she knows she will likely never have.

Briarstream is not the typical cat most people picture for the Medicine Cat role. She is harsh, blunt, and quick to push you out the door once you seem better or she has properly tended to you. She prefers to be alone with her thoughts, or doing some sort of busywork like sorting the herbs. However, if you can catch the she-cat on the right subject (usually something warrior related) she instantly lights up with a newfound sense of curiosity as well as a charming and wily sense of humour that can charm most people that properly get to know her (although most of the clan prefers to keep their distance unless they need her at this point. Most just know her as “harsh, but good at healing”). As she is often left to her own devices in the clan unless she is needed, she takes the opportunity to wander the swamps around the territory for exercise, or to stock up on herbs. 

Despite being harsh towards much of her clan, Briarstream does have somewhat of a soft spot for apprentices. Especially those that are forced into the “dirty work” of the clan as their daily duty (such as cleaning the Elder’s Den), as she sees so much of herself in those curled up mouths and squinted eyes as the cats begrudgingly do their assigned duties. 

Question #2 : Role Play Situation

Question:

Reply in-character to the following post.

The two apprentices snarled at each other in anger, the fur on their necks raised and their tails fluffed up like bottle brushes. As they circled, they spat insults back and forth. “Unreasonable mousebrained fool!” the gray tabby tom called Shadowpaw hissed. “I don’t understand why you just won’t leave me alone!”

“You’re the one who got us in trouble!” The speaker spitting this insult was the long-haired half brother of Shadowpaw known as Greypaw. The two were born to different Queens around the same time, but both by the same tom, named Fogpelt. This had led to the two kits echoing their individual mother’s competitive pushes for their kit to outperform the other. “Leafclaw was hunting with BOTH of us. It’s because of your incompetence that we have to tend the Elders’ ticks!”

Response:

Briarstream had not had a visitor to her den in a while.

This was good, actually. Despite being unable to heal, it was always pleasant when a Medicine Cat did not have to tend to wounds or ease the sickness of a cat. However, Briarsteam enjoyed the solitude of the den. She knew the clan disliked her and that was perfectly alright. She did not much like herself, or rather, what she had become after being forced into this role, either. She placed the herbs neatly into the walls lining the den, ensuring that everything had a proper home and nothing was out of place. She may not win any “friendliness” awards, but she could certainly win an organization award. She nodded to herself, stretching her back before hearing the shrill voices of apprentices.

“Unreasonable mousebrained fool!” The first voice spat, filled with malice. Briarstream slowly walked to the door of her den, peeking outside to see two apprentices arguing. ‘Ah’, she thought to herself upon seeing who the two were, ‘it’s the half brothers again’. The two were born relatively close together in two different litters, but they were both sired by the same tom. As such, their two mothers had placed it upon the young toms to one up each other. The first voice, coming from a grey tabby tom spoke up again. “I don’t understand why you just won’t leave me alone!”. Briarstream continued to watch in curiosity, she did not really know these two toms. Actually, she had only interacted with them as kits during their deliveries and bedding changes, but even then she could see the seeds that the mothers were planting in these poor cats.

The other tom spoke up: “You’re the one who got us in trouble!” he hissed back, scowling at his half brother. “Leafclaw was hunting with BOTH of us. It’s because of your incompetence that we have to tend the Elders’ ticks!” Briarstream raised an eyebrow. She had known for a while that the ticks were in full swing during this season, but it was somewhat of an odd punishment to make the apprentices tend to it. She felt somewhat sorry for them, as she knew how it felt to be pushed into something you do not want to do. She slowly prowled out of her den, towards the two apprentices. 

“Dealing with the ticks?” She asked, already knowing full well what the angry apprentices would answer. “Nasty things. Make sure you get the entire body out… INCLUDING the head, you also have to make sure you bite real hard to kill them.” She knew she shouldn’t fully get involved, as she was sure Leafclaw and the leader were ensuring this got done, but the least she could do was offer some advice to make the work a little easier.

Question #3 : Role Play Situation

Question:

Reply in-character to the following post.

Leafclaw had been feeling unwell, and coughed as she approached the Medicine Cat’s den. Once greetings had been handled, she began in a somewhat weak voice. “Yesterday I was okay, but it rained again. Today I can hardly breath through my nose and I’ve been…” she didn’t finish the statement, but it seemed that her illness intended to speak for itself has the deep chested hacking that erupted from the lithe she-cat must have been what she had been about to refer to.

Response:

Shadowclan camp was always muddy after rainfall. 

Briarstream hated it, she hated the feeling of the wet muck between her toes and she hated it more when the muck was brought inside her den. The rain had finally stopped, but the cloud coverage was still immense, leading to the mud not solidifying back into dirt. 

Briarstream had just finished scooping the disgusting liquid slop back outside when light footsteps padded their way into her den. Her eyes narrowed, seeing Leafclaw standing in the doorway, mud and dried dirt clinging to the fur on her legs and paws. Briarstream sighed, wondering what the she-cat could possibly need to be making a mess of her den before a low cough emitted from her mouth. Briarstream forced a smile, acknowledging the she-cat.

“Leafclaw, what brings you in?” She murmured, still fixated on the cleaning she would have to do after the cat was on her way. Leafclaw’s voice was weak, raspy, and somewhat gravely. 

“Yesterday I was okay, but it rained again. Today I can hardly breath through my nose and I’ve been…” suddenly she erupted into a deep hacking cough that came from deep within. 

“Please, I can’t fall sick. Can you turn around?” Briarstream spat, not fully thinking about her tone before rummaging through the herbs. “Likely Whitecough, probably brought on by the sudden change in weather.” She pulled some Thyme leaves out from the shelf, carrying them to the she-cat. “This should help the cough and your plugged nose,” She spat it down to her side, not wanting to face the she-cat head on, at risk of contracting the contagious virus. She watched as the she-cat chewed the leaves, occasionally making a face from the strong taste. 

“I’d also like to keep you in my den, as the risk of infecting your denmates is too high.” Leafclaw nodded, and Briarstream narrowed her eyes. “I would also prefer if you cleaned your paws before walking in here next time… but I suppose it can’t be helped.” She raised herself to her haunches, turning to the she-cat before exiting the den. “I’m going to get us some prey, make sure you drink lots of water.” She barely had the last word out of her mouth before her body was out of the den. 

Other Notes from the Applicant

I largely like the idea of a possible forbidden romance for Briarstream and would love to make it happen sometime in the future. I would also love to eventually get her an apprentice, as I feel like it might “soften her” so to speak. 

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