"This is not the season for losing warriors, Appledusk, I believe that you are sorry for what you did, and that you have been punished enough by the death of your kits. I will allow you to remain in RiverClan — but know that I and the rest of your Clanmates will be watching you. You will have to earn back our trust."
Eeltail mentions to her Clanmates that they need to take Mapleshade's dead kits back to their camp, as Darkstar needed to see Mapleshade. Appledusk mentions that he needs to talk with Darkstar when Reedshine gasps and asks if anyone had fallen into the river. Emerging out of the reeds on the far side of the clearing, Appledusk steps forward and explains that three kits had fallen into the river and drowned. Looking at his paws, he adds that he is their father. Eyes narrowed to slits, Darkstar asks what the tom is talking about. Appledusk begins to explain about him and Mapleshade, begging his leader for her forgiveness. Darkstar queries what had brought the kits there that night as she looks down at the tiny, motionless shapes. Appledusk explains to her how Mapleshade had attempted to bring the kits over, but makes it sound like it was entirely her own fault.
Although Darkstar acknowledges that the loss of any kits is a loss to them all, Darkstar is concerned about Appledusk, and asks if she will ever be able to trust him again, after his betrayal of the warrior code. Reedshine steps forward to say that no cat is more loyal than him, and if she is willing to forgive him for his mistakes, Darkstar should be able to as well. Waiting until the murmurs subside, Darkstar nods and adds that she believes he is truly sorry for what he has done, and that losing his kits was punishment enough. She allows him to remain in RiverClan, but adds that he will be watched carefully and have to earn the trust back that he has lost. Dipping his head so low he almost touches the ground, Appledusk promises he will never forget the mercy she has shown him. Darkstar gestures with her tail for Rainfall to help Splashfoot and Eeltail to bury the kits, as the accident of their birth was not their fault.
Mapleshade struggles to find her voice for a moment, and proceeds to ask if she may be able to stay there with her kits. Staring at her, Darkstar declines and continues that she will leave RiverClan territory immediately and never return, as she believes that the loss of her kits is also punishment enough for Mapleshade.
Vicky believed that she and Darkstar are the same cat but later revealed that they are different cats.
Vicky thinks that Darkstar was succeeded by Volestar, but she isn't sure.
Darkstar: "The loss of any kits is a loss to all of us. But you broke the warrior code, Appledusk. How can I ever trust you again?"
Reedshine: "There is no cat more loyal to RiverClan than Appledusk. If I am willing to forgive him for his past mistakes, then so should you, Darkstar."
Darkstar: "This is not the season for losing warriors, Appledusk, I believe that you are sorry for what you did, and that you have been punished enough by the death of your kits. I will allow you to remain in RiverClan — but know that I and the rest of your Clanmates will be watching you. You will have to earn back our trust."
Appledusk: "I will never forget your mercy Darkstar. Thank you. I promise my loyalty lies only with RiverClan, and my Clanmates."
Darkstar: "Rainfall, help Splashfoot and Eeltail to bury these kits. The accident of their birth is not their fault. They may lie in peace in our territory now."
Mapleshade: "What... what about me? May I stay with my kits?"
Darkstar: "No, you may not. You will leave this territory at once and never set foot across the border again. Like Appledusk, I believe that the loss of your kits is punishment enough. Otherwise, rest assured my warriors would have clawed your fur off for what you have done."