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The Warrior Code Origins

The Warrior Code is perhaps the most important part of life for a Clan cat, but these rules were not just decided upon without cause. Each rule of the Warrior Code has its own story that tells of the events which led to it being added. There were even a few rules that were suggested but never added to the Warrior Code.

This page lists all of these rules and events.

Rule One:

Defend your Clan, even with your life. You may be allowed friendships with cats from other Clans, but your loyalty must remain to your Clan.

Long ago, Ryewhisker, a tom from WindClan and Cloudberry a she-cat from RiverClan, who was also the daugher of the RiverClan Leader Emberstar, fell in love. Not long afterwards Cloudberry was expecting Ryewhiskers Kits.

At the same time RiverClan had been accusing WindClan of stealing fish from their territory. WindClan claimed it was a lie and said they had no interest in eating fish. However RiverClan continued to accuse them and shortly after WindClan attacked RiverClan over the accusations.

During the fight Ryewhisker defended Cloudberry from one of his fellow WindClan Warriors, Hawkfur, and said he would not let his Kits die to a WindClan cat. However while he was distracted, protecting Cloudberry, he was attacked by a RiverClan cat, and was killed.

During the next full moon after the tragic battle, the WindClan Leader Duststar called a meeting at fourtrees. He claimed that Ryewhisker would not have died if he had not been in love with Cloudberry.

He then proposed a rule, that all cats must always remain loyal to their own Clan over all else. This was accepted by the other Clan cats and this formed the beginning of the Warrior Code.

During the same meeting, the Leader of SkyClan, Birchstar, suggested that the Clans should meet at fourtress every full moon. This was also accepted and this started the tradition of the full moon gatherings.

Rule Two

Do not hunt or trespass on another Clan's territory.

Three seasons after the first gathering and the start of the Warrior Code, The Clans met at fourtress for the full moon gathering.

During the gathering, Whitestar, the Leader of ThunderClan and Brindlestar, the Leader of ShadowClan argued about how ShadowClan were hunting in ThunderClan territory.

The argument escalated and ThunderClan and ShadowClan were close to fighting, when suddenly a loud crack was heard and a large tree branch crashed down directly between the ThunderClan and ShadowClan cats, but amazingly not a single cat was hurt.

Stonestar, the Leader of WindClan said that the tree was a sign from StarClan. He then proposed a new rule for the Warrior Code, that no cat should hunt in another Clans terriotory.

The other Clan Leaders, including a hesitant Brindlestar accepted, and this rule became the second rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Three

Elders and kits must be fed before apprentices and warriors.

Splashheart, a young RiverClan Warrior and his former mentor Reedshine, were fishing on sunningrocks when a ThunderClan attack patrol entered the territory.

Reedshine returned to camp, and brought back Darkstar as well as several Warriors and they attacked the ThunderClan patrol.

Reedshine was badly injured, and RiverClan were losing, but Darkstar refused to be defeated and convinced her Warriors to keep fighting.

A mysterious she-cat called Aspentail joined the battle alongside Splashheart, shortly after which ThunderClan were defated and they retreated.

Aspentail then revealed that she was a StarClan Warrior, and was once a Warrior of RiverClan, she told of how she fought for sunningrocks before, and had come back to protect them again. Shortly after she disappeared and returned to StarClan.

Darkstar told the Warriors to catch prey for the Elders and Kits on their way back to camp, and said the victory was for their sake.

Splashheart agreed with Darkstar and pledged that he would catch the fatest fish and bring it to the Elders' Den in memory of Aspentail. He also vowed to become RiverClan Leader and to make a new rule for the Warrior Code, that Elders and Kits must always be fed first.

It is assumed he did later become Leader, as the rule later became the third rule of the Warriors Code.

Rule Four

Prey is killed only to be eaten. Give thanks to StarClan for its life.

Driftkit and Fallowkit, two Kits from ShadowClan were playing with a dead mouse during leaf bare. The mouse was the last piece of fresh-kill in the camp and when the Clan Deputy Sunnytail saw them, they were scolded by her.

Splashnose, their mother defended them, and Lilystar, the Clan Leader told the Kits what they did was wrong.

Suddenly a owl swopped down, and all of the cats scattered out of its path, but Driftkit was frozen with fear. Luckily the owl took the mouse they had been playing with instead of Driftkit.

Lilystar saw it as a sign from StarClan, that they are the ones who give them their prey and they can take it away again.

She decided to annonced at the next gathering that there should be a new rule in the Warrior Code, that prey is only to be eaten.

this later became the fourth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Five

A kit must be at least six moons old to become an apprentice.

Daisytail, a Queen from WindClan was watching her son Specklepaw as he was training.

At the same time, the Clan was preparing for battle with ShadowClan because of an ongoing conflict between their Clans.

Daisytail did not want to see her young son die in a battle before he was ready, so she decided to try and stop it.

Later, just before the battle was about to begin, Daisytail told the two Clans to stop the battle, she was supported by her friend Hawkfoot, a fellow WindClan Queen and Oakleaf, a Queen from ShadowClan, who both agreed it was wrong to make the young cats battle.

Hazelstar, the Leader of WindClan and Blizzardstar. the Leader of ShadowClan were intrigued and eventually agreed to Daisytail's proposal that young Kits should not be allowed to fight until they are ready.

Daisytail suggested a new rule should be added to the Warrior Code, that all Kits must be six moons old before becoming an Apprentice, and until that time would remain in camp with their mother.

Hazelstar and Blizzardstar agreed to suggest it at the next gathering. This later became the fifth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Six

Newly appointed warriors will keep a silent vigil for one night after receiving their warrior name.

Meadowpelt, a Medicine Cat from RiverClan was annoyed with the four young Warriors Snaketooth, Molewhisker, Nettlepad and Lightningpelt because they consistently dared each other to do stupid and dangerous things.

After a while, they took it too far and Snaketooth broke his leg trying to climb one of the four great oaks.

Shortly after the accident, Meadowpelt heard the Warriors planning to jump over the gorge. Concerned, he reported it to the Clan Leader Troutstar, and told him that he would seek advice from StarClan.

Meadowpelt went to the moonstone, where he had a dream where he was sitting in the RiverClan camp, simply listening and watching the Clan Warriors as they went about their duties.

This gave Meadowpelt the idea, a night of listening. After Meadowpelt returned to the camp, Troutstar took Meadowpelt's advice and the Warriors were ordered to stay awake through the night and watch over the Clan as they slept.

During the night, a fox tried to attack the camp. Nettlepad remained on guard at the entrance, while Molewhisker and Lightningpelt chased the fox away.

Meadowpelt was pleased to see that the night of listening had gone so well and he asked Troutstar to suggest it as a new rule of the Warrior Code. Every Warrior must sit a vigil after their Warriors ceremony.

this later became the sixth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Seven

A cat cannot be made deputy without having mentored at least one apprentice.

Featherstar, a Leader of WindClan appointed Acorntail as her Deputy after the former Deputy Pebblefur died.

Most of the Clan were unhappy with the choice and felt there were other cats who would have made a better Deputy.

Acorntail made many mistakes, such as choosing cats for patrols who had already been hunting that day, and he almost caused a fight with a ThunderClan patrol over a dead rabbit.

He felt ashamed and begged Featherstar to choose a new Deputy, but she refused. However she did agree he should have had more experience before becoming her Deputy, and said that it would have been better if he had had an Apprentice first.

Acorntail then asked to have Pricklekit as a future Apprentice, and in turn agreed to stay as Featherstar's Deputy, which Featherstar agreed to.

Featherstar later decided to suggest that a new rule for the Warrior Code, that all Warriors should have to have had an Apprentice before becoming a Deputy.

This later became the seventh rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Eight

A deputy will become Clan leader when the leader dies or retires.

Beechstar, a Leader of SkyClan was dying, and he appointed his son Mothpelt as the new Leader. As a last request, he asked Mothpelt to attack RiverClan, as he felt SkyClan needed to show their strength to RiverClan, because RiverClan would not be just be satisfied with his death.

Mothpelt, who was a strong and reckless Warrior listened to his father's request and prepared to battle, however the river was swollen from recent rain.

Robinwing, one of the senior SkyClan Warriors tried to stop Mothpelt from leading the Clan into disaster, but he refused to listen to reason and started to lead the Clan into the river. The SkyClan cats were poor swimmers and they were forced to hang onto rocks to stop themselves being swept away by the river.

Robinwing along with Maplewhisker, the Clan Deputy organised and lead the remaining cats to rescue the cats who were trapped in the river.

Later Robinwing requested Maplewhisker to take Leadership of the Clan and she said she would accept if Mothpelt agreed.

Robinwing later suggested that a new rule should be added to the Warrior Code, that the Clan Deputy should become the next Clan Leader, as they have the experience of leading the Clan.

This later became the eighth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Nine

After the death or retirement of the deputy, the new deputy must be chosen by moonhigh.

Snowstar, a Leader of ShadowClan passed away, and the Clan's leadership fell upon his Deputy Brightwhisker. However she had become sick with whitecough.

Redscar the Clan Medicine Cat insisted that Brightwhisker needed to rest and get better before she went to received her nine lives, or appoint a new Deputy.

However the next day, the Clan learned that Brightwhisker's whitecough had turned into greencough overnight and she had died in her sleep.

As the last Clan member with authority, Redscar called the Clan together for a Clan meeting to choose the next Leader. The Clan decided on two main candidates, Jumpfoot, an aggressive Warrior, who was supported by the other Warriors, and the calmer Mossfire, who was supported by the Queens.

Neither cat backed down and Jumpfoot decided they should fight for the leadership. The fight was ferocious and they both died from their injuries.

Mossfire's sister Flowerstem was shocked at what had happened, but she quickly took control when no one else seemed willing to. She organised patrols while Redscar went back to her den.

During the night, Snowstar appeared to Redscar in a dream, and told him that he needed to choose ShadowClan's new Leader and that the new Deputy must be selected as soon as possible, so that the inncodent would never happen again.

Redscar selected Flowerstem, and in order to convince the Clan without the risk of more fighting, he placed a stem of a snowdrop flower in the camp and claimed it was a sign from StarClan that Flowerstem should be the next Leader.

Flowerstem accepted and Redscar told her to suggest that a new rule be added to the Warriors Code, that new Deputies must be chosen before moonhigh.

This later became the ninth rule of the Warriors Code.

Rule Ten

A Gathering of all Clans is held at the full moon during a truce that lasts for the night. There shall be no fighting among Clans at this time.

During a leaf-bare the five Clans gathered for the full moon gathering.

Finchstar, the Leader of ThunderClan noticed ShadowClan was absent, but Reedstar, the Leader of RiverClan and Dovestar, the Leader of WindClan were unconcerned. However Hawkstar, the Leader of SkyClan said his pelt itched and he felt there was trouble coming, but Reedstar dismissed it as fleas.

The ShadowClan cats arrived, but turned on the other Clans and attacked them. Shocked, the other Clan Leaders jumped down to help their clans, but Finchstar was confronted by Ripplestar, the Leader of ShadowClan. Finchstar said the attack was unjust and cowardly, but Ripplestar refused to call off the attack.

Suddenly the clearing was lit up by a bright flash of lightning, and the moon was covered by clouds. Before Finchstar could react, Ripplestar fell from the great rock and died.

Finchstar announced to the Clan cats that it was judgement from StarClan, they had punished ShadowClan and Ripplestar for attacking the other Clans at a gathering.

Finchstar then declared that a new rule should be added to the Warrior Code, The Clans should be forbidden from fighting when the moon is full.

This became the tenth rule of the Warriors Code.

Rule Eleven

Boundaries must be checked and marked daily. Challenge all trespassing cats.

Poppycloud, a SkyClan Warrior took her son who was also her Appentice, Mottlepaw out hunting. They were close to the ThunderClan border and Mottlepaw accidently crossed into ThunderClan territory and two passing ThunderClan cats challenged them. One of the cats was Greeneyes, the ThunderClan Deputy, and she accused the SkyClan cats of spying and said she would tell Lionstar, the Leader of ThunderClan.

Poppycloud and Mettlepaw returned to the SkyClan camp and reported what happaned the Rowanstar, the Leader of SkyClan. The next day Lionstar, Greeneyes and another ThunderClan Warrior went to the SkyClan camp to confront Rowanstar about what happened.

Poppycloud suggested that the Clans should mark and patrol their borders as part of the Warriors Code. Rowanstar was intrigued by the idea, he dismissed the ThunderClan cats and decided to mention Poppycloud's suggestion at the next gathering, however as he began to leave Lionstar warned that if the rule was accpeted he would have the right to attack any cat who crossed their border.

This rule later became the eleventh rule of the Warriors Code.

Rule Twelve

No warrior may neglect a kit in pain or in danger, even if that kit is from a different Clan.

Graywing, a RiverClan Medicine Cat was patrolling the river near the gorge with two RiverClan Warriors, Brindleclaw and Foxwhisker.

They spotted three Kits clinging to rocks on the other side of the river. The Kits suddenly slipped into the river and Brindleclaw was going to jump in to save them but Graywing stops her and said it was not worth risking the life of a RiverClan cat for Kits from a rival Clan. Foxwhisker agreed, and dispite objecting, Brindleclaw also left them to drown.

However Graywing soon felt the guilt of her decision, and during the night she was visited by three StarClan Warriors in a dream. They revealed themselves as Runningstorm, Wolfheart and Smallstar formerly of WindClan.

Graywing asked if something had happened to Fallowstar, the current Leader of WindClan, but they told her he was fine. Graywing then recognized the three cats, they were what would have become of the three Kits she left to drown in the river, if they had been saved.

The three StarClan Warriors showed her the nursery where the RiverClan Kits were sleeping. Smallstar said that Kits are the most important part of a Clan and without Kits, a Clan may as well not exist.

Graywing woke up and told Ivystar, the Leader of RiverClan that she was going to take Brindleclaw and Foxwhisker on a patrol. They searched the river for the three WindClan Kits and found them dead. Graywing felt very guilty and admitted her mistake and decided she would ask Ivystar to suggest that a new rule of protecting Kits, no matter what Clan they come from, be added as a new rule to the Warrior Code.

This later became the twelfth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Thirteen

The word of the Clan leader is the Warrior Code.

Raincloud, a Deputy of SkyClan watched Darkstar, the elderly SkyClan Leader as he joined the other Leaders on the great rock during the gathering.

Vinestar, the Leader of ThunderClan announced that ThunderClan had recently had several new litters of Kits, and needed to expand their territory to support them.

Surprisingly, without arguement, Darkstar agreed to give ThunderClan part of SkyClan's territory. Raincloud objected to the discussion, but was silenced by Darkstar.

In response to the disrespect Raincloud showed to him, Darkstar then suggested a new rule should be added to the Warrior Code. The word of the Clan leader is the Warrior Code, and Vinestar and the other Leaders agreed.

Darkstar told Raincloud never to challenge him again and to reset the new border markers the following day. She listened but was concerned that the new rule could allow a Leader to change everything that that had become sacred to the Clans.

This rule became the thirteenth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Fourteen

An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win his or her battles, unless they are outside the Warrior Code or it is necessary for self-defense.

During a conflict between ShadowClan and WindClan, Mossheart, the ShadowClan Medicine Cat was healing an injured ShadowClan Warrior. She strongly disagreed with the constant fighting, yet was then informed of yet another battle near the thunderpath.

Mossheart then had a vision, where she saw her body and paws dripping with blood. She saw it as a warning that the Clans were in danger of drowning in a sea of blood.

She went to the battle and managed to stop the fight, with support from Swiftfoot, the WindClan Medicine Cat.

The Warriors returned to their camps, and Mossheart stopped to speak with Swiftfoot. they agreed the fighting needed to stop, and Swiftfoot suggested that they should go to the moonstone with the other Medicine Cats to ask StarClan for advice.

The next night, they travelled to the moonstone alongside Kinktail, the Medicine Cat of RiverClan, Quailfeather, the Medicine Cat of SkyClan and Prickleface, the Medicine Cat of ThunderClan.

At the moonstone Mossheart dreamed of the previous battle and saw Spottedpaw, an Apprentice that died in the battle. Spottedpaw told her that she could not stop Clans from fighting, however the WindClan cat who had killed him did not have to.

Mossheart woke up and talked with the other Medicine Cats, who had had similar dreams, which all gave the same message. Warriors do not need to kill to win a fight.

Kinktail questioned it with the exception of fights with rougues and predators, which Swiftfoot agreed with. However they all agreed, except in special circumstances, in Clan battles, a Warrior did not need to kill to win.

The five Medicine Cats took the idea to their Leaders, and suggested it become a new rule of the Warriors Code.

This later became the fourteenth rule of the Warrior Code.

Swiftfoot also suggested that the Medicine Cats should meet every half-moon to visit the moonstone and share tongues with StarClan. This began the tradition of the Medicine Cats, sharing tongues with StarClan every half-moon.

Rule Fifteen

A warrior rejects the soft life of a kittypet.

Lionpaw, a ThunderClan Apprentice woke up one morning and saw Pinestar, the ThunderClan Leader leaving the camp.

Lionpaw wanted to impress Pinestar with his stalking skills, so he followed Pinestar quietly, and followed him to twolegplace.

He saw Pinestar being pet by a Twoleg, but Pinestar saw him and told him that he was patrolling for Kittypets who might cause trouble, and pretended to be a Kittpet so the twoleg would not be a problem. He then asked Lionpaw not to tell anyone that he saw him there.

Several days later RiverClan were moving into ThunderClan territory after reclaiming sunningrocks. Sunfall, the ThunderClan Deputy was leading a patrol when he spotted the RiverClan intruders. He ordered Lionpaw, who was in the patrol to go back to the camp to get reinforcements.

Lionpaw returned to camp, but Pinestar was not there, so he told Thrushpelt, who lead a patrol to reinforce Sunfall's and his patrol.

Lionpaw knew Pinestar was probably at twolegplace, so he went to find him so he could report what was happening. He found Pinestar being pet by a Twoleg once again. Pinestar told him that he could no longer be Clan Leader and that he wished to become a Kittypet, and requested Lionpaw to tell the Clan he was dead.

Lionpaw was angry and told Pinestar, he should tell the Clan the truth himself. Pinestar agreed and returned to camp with him. Sunfall spotted them and reported that they drove off the RiverClan patrol.

Pinestar then called a Clan meeting, which the Clan expected to be about the battle, but to the their surprise, Pinestar told the Clan he was not ready to loose his last life, and wished to leave to become a Kittypet. Pinestar passed his leadership to Sunfall and said he would not leave if he did not think the Clan was in safe paws under Sunfall's leadership.

Sunfall regretfully accepted, and warned Pinestar that he could never return to the forest. Amused Pinestar said he wouldn't be surprised if the other Clan Leaders decided to add a new rule to the Warrior Code to reject the life of a Kittypet.

As Pinestar began to leave, his former mate Leopardfoot begged him to stay, at least to see their Kits Nightkit, Mistkit and Tigerkit grow up. Pinestar simple said he was not a father they could be proud of, but he would always be proud of them, especially Tigerkit.

Before he finally left, he walked up to Lionpaw and thanked him for making him tell the Clan his decision in person, and told him to tell Sunfall, that he would have made his Warrior name Lionheart.

Pinestar's suspicion was correct and the rule that a Warrior rejects the life of a Kittypet was later made the fifteenth rule of the Warrior Code.

Rule Sixteen

Each Clan has the right to be proud and independent, but in times of trouble they must forget their boundaries and fight side by side to protect the four. Each Clan must help the others so that no Clan will fall.

After the battle with the Dark Forest, the Clans were slowly beginning to return to normal Clan life, however it was not to last long as they were soon hit by a storm.

The storm caused the lake to flood high above it's banks and into all of the Clan's territories, forcing them to evacuate their camps and move to higher ground.

The Clan's suffered greatly from the flood, and many cats were lost. ShadowClan in particular suffered a lot, having lost almost all their territory to the water. Being weakened by the flood and hunger, ShadowClan began hunting outside their borders for food but were confronted by several aggressive Kittypet's who claimed the territory as theirs. Normally they would be no trouble for ShadowClan, but they were weaker than usual and had trouble fighting them off.

Tawnypelt, who was the mate of the ShadowClan Leader Rowanstar appealed to his brother Bramblestar for help, however Rowanstar was stubborn and told ThunderClan not to interfere. Despite the warning Bramblestar led a patrol to teach the Kittypet's a lesson behind ShadowClan's back, which they did successfully, although not without injury. However Rowanstar caught them after the confrontation and was furious that ThunderClan interfered.

Shortly after, badgers who had moved their set because of the flood moved into the territory near where the Kittypet's Twolegs lived. Tawnypelt, apologized for her mates rudeness and said they should be thankful, and once again asked for Bramblestar's help. Bramblestar was unsure of what to do, he had led a battle to help a Clan who was ungrateful and even got his Warriors hurt in the process, he was unsure of whether it was right to risk his Clan for the sake of another, especially one who said they didn't want help.

But Bramblestar decided he could not leave another Clan to be driven out of their territory. So he led a patrol and joined an attack with ShadowClan against the badgers. The battle was won, but Dustpelt, a ThunderClan Warrior was killed. Rowanstar thanked Bramblestar but told him they still had no right to interfere.

Still conflicted on whether he did the right thing and wondering if he did what Firestar, his former Leader would have done, he was visited by Firestar himself who told him about SkyClan, the forgotten fifth Clan who their ancestors refused to help when Twolegs destroyed their territory and who ultimately were lost until Firestar went to right their wrongs and restore SkyClan.

So during a gathering after the flood waters had reseeded, Bramblestar spoke to the Clan's remembering how the Clans united against BloodClan, on the great journey and in the battle against the Dark Forest and knowing that ShadowClan would have suffered heavily without their help, as well as knowing the mistakes of abandoning SkyClan, he proposed a new rule. The Clans should remain independent during peaceful times, but in times of trouble they should unite so no Clan is lost. The other Leader's agreed, although some like Rowanstar, rather reluctantly.

Rules That Did Not Become Part of the Warrior Code

Here are some rules that were suggested but never added to the Warrior Code, as told by Leafpool.

Only cats of pure forest blood can be Clan members

After a hard leaf-bare Featherstar of WindClan proposed a new rule to say that only pure forest blood cats could be in the Clans. The Clans had struggled through leaf-bare and only the fastest cats had luck catching prey. She blamed the non-forestborn for filling the Clans with cats who lacked the ability to run rabbit-fast. Ownstar of ThunderClan argued most strongly against her and claimed it would cause Clanmates to turn on one another, and that the Warrior Code was about loyalty, and the other Clans agreed and the rule was not added to the Warrior Code.

Clans can only eat the prey they are most suited to hunting

Robinstar of SkyClan suggested that the Clans should only eat the prey they were most suited to hunting: fish for RiverClan, birds for SkyClan, rabbits for WindClan and so on. But this was strongly protested as it was known that all the prey except maybe the birds of SkyClan had been known to suffer from sickness that either spread to cats or cut the number of prey drastically, so the rule was shot down and not added to the Warrior Code. Leafpool also said:

"Besides, all Clans welcome the chance to taste different kinds of fresh-kill when it strays into their territory - though RiverClan are welcome to keep all their slimy fish!"

All Clan cats must acknowledge that StarClan controls Clan life

Dovestar of RiverClan proposed the rule that all Clan cats must acknowledge that StarClan control Clan life and to deny the existence and power of the Warrior Ancestors would be to break the code. This rule was turned down also and not added to the Warrior Code. Leafpool explained it as:

"Being a Clan cat is not about being forced to believe something. We are allowed to think for ourselves, you know! It is not law that you have to stay in a Clan - cats may leave any time they wish if they no longer feel true to the warrior code or loyal to their Clanmates. As long as we believe in StarClan and the influence it has over our lives, accepting the warrior code is easy and loyalty comes as natural as breathing. You cannot force a cat to be faithful. That would be far worse than letting them be honest enough to choose a different path through life."

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