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A Deputy Ceremony is when a Clan Leader names the Clan's new deputy. This happens when the previous deputy dies, retires, is exiled, or is promoted to leader. According to the Warrior Code, a new deputy must be appointed before moonhigh that day.[1]


Process

The leader calls a Clan Meeting, and performs the ceremony by announcing these words:

Leader: I say these words before StarClan, so that the spirits of our warrior ancestors (or former deputy name) may hear and approve of my choice. The new deputy of (Clan) is (warrior's name).[2]

Exceptions

  • Occasionally, a Clan leader does not announce the new deputy before moonhigh. This can be because: they are physically[3] or emotionally[4] unwell, or they are unsure whether the previous deputy is alive.[5] If the ceremony is not performed in time, it is sometimes seen as a bad omen (i.e. when Fireheart was made a deputy late because Bluestar was ill).[6]
  • If the deputy dies in battle, the Clan Leader might choose to appoint the new deputy whilst still fighting, instead of waiting to return to the camp (i.e. when Firestar made Graystripe deputy whilst fighting BloodClan after Whitestorm died).[7]

Origin

Originally, there was no rule in the warrior code that said that a new deputy must be announced before moonhigh.[8] Then, a ShadowClan leader, Snowstar, died, leaving his deputy, Brightwhisker, in charge of ShadowClan. Brightwhisker wanted to go to the Moonstone to receive her name and nine lives, however, her medicine cat, Redscar, advised her not to, as she was sick with whitecough. Redscar left her to sleep for the rest of the night, but when he returned to her the next morning, he found that she had died without appointing a deputy to succeed her.
The rest of the Clan then argued over who should be the next leader. A warrior named Jumpfoot stated that he would like to be leader, and although several other cats supported him, one of the queens criticized him for being too aggressive and said that Mossfire should be leader instead. A fight broke out between Mossfire and Jumpfoot, and they both died by each other's claws in the end.
In his sleep, Redscar was visited by the former ShadowClan leader, Snowstar. Redscar expressed his worries about ShadowClan, and Snowstar asked him who he would like to be the next leader. Redscar said that Flowerstem, Mossfire's sister, should be leader, as even though she watched her sister die, her only thoughts were to help her Clan. Snowstar approved and told Redscar that he can convince the rest of the Clan of this choice if he used the right words.
Redscar then left a flower stem in the middle of the camp and said that it is a sign from StarClan. The rest of the Clan accepted this and Flowerstem was appointed leader.
Redscar said that he will tell Flowerstar to appoint a new deputy before moonhigh, so that no leader is left without a deputy for more than half a day.[9]

See Also

References and Citations

  1. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 8
  2. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 51
  3. Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 87
  4. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 296
  5. Revealed in Dawn, page 124
  6. Revealed in Rising Storm, page 17
  7. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 297
  8. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 86
  9. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 92


Hierarchy and Groups in the Warriors World
Clan Hierarchy KitsApprenticesWarriorsDeputiesLeadersQueensEldersMedicine Cats
Ceremonies VigilApprenticeWarriorDeputyLeaderElderMedicine CatName Changing
Tribe Hierarchy To-BesCave-GuardsPrey Hunters‎Kit MothersHealer/Stoneteller
Miscellaneous General Clan InformationGeneral Tribe InformationCat Names
Other Groups LonersRoguesBloodClanCats of the ParkThe Early SettlersClear Sky's GroupTall Shadow's Group

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