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This article refers to the lake itself. If you were looking for information on the territories around the lake, please view The lake territories.
The lake is the large body of freshwater in the middle of the Clans' new territories. It is named "Sanctuary Lake" by the Twolegs.
The lake is irregular in shape and large enough that a cat needs two full days to circle it. It is bordered by marshes in parts of RiverClan territory, and by hard ground in the rest. It contains an island where the Clans hold their Gatherings, with a fallen tree serving as a bridge to it. There are several Twoleg halfbridges scattered around the shoreline as well.
The lake provides a constant source of water for all the Clans, as even during droughts it does not fully dry up. It also provides RiverClan with another body of water to fish in.
There has been controversy between the Clans over whether the lake belongs to any one Clan, and it is still not clear. However, as agreed by the leaders soon after the Clans arrived at the lake, cats can travel across other Clans' territories as long as they stay within two fox-lengths of the lakeshore, making it neutral territory.
Twolegs visit the lake often in greenleaf, swimming and sailing in boats.
The lake starts flooding the territories due to heavy rain, and ends up flooding ThunderClan's camp. ThunderClan are forced to flee from their camp and shelter underground in the tunnels instead. The flood ends up killing cats, such as Blackstar, who drowns.
When the cats reach their new land after days of traveling from the forest, they look down to see the lake, in which there are several stars of Silverpelt reflecting in the waves. The cats look down and think that they have truly found their new home.
When Hollypaw wonders if Millie will go to an upcoming Gathering, she recalls how she and Graystripe had made the long, perilous journey to the lake to find ThunderClan. As they leave the camp go to the island, is seen rising above the lake. When Berrypaw rushes on the bridge to the island, he almost falls, but is saved by Brackenfur, and Berypaw's paws churn the air, his tail's stub rippling the surface of the lake. As Lionpaw crosses to the other side, he smells RiverClan from the shore, and guesses that they must have been heading down to the lake, but when he looks across the body of water, he doesn't see them. During the Gathering, Leopardstar mentions that the fish are returning to the edge of the lake.
When Cinderpaw and Hollypaw follow Lionpaw when he sneaks up at night, they see the ground slope away in front of them, down to the shore where the lake sparkles in the moonlight.
As Jaypaw travels to the Moonpool for the medicine cat Gathering, he notes that the level of the lake below them will rise with the extra water from the flowing stream. After they talk with StarClan and Jaypaw enters Willowpaw's dream, he tells Leafpool about how he went into the apprentice's dream and aw her swimming in a huge lake, much bigger than this one. When they talk about the dream to Firestar and Leafpool asks to help, Firestar refuses, and says that they live on the other side of the lake.
Later, when Leafpaw and Jaypaw collect mallow, Leafpool leads her apprentice down to the lake. Jaypaw hears Twolegs playing in the water, and shivers, remembering how he had fallen into the lake when Crowfeather had rescued him. Water babbles nearby, and Jaypaw notes that a brook runs down out of the forest into the lake. When the medicine cats stop at the shore, Leafpool notes that the lake is higher than she hoped. When Jaypaw finds the stick and shows it to Leafpool, she guesses that it is from the lake. She tells him to come help gather herbs, and Jaypaw can smell the lake mud on her paws. Before going, Jaypaw is anxious for leaving the stick in the open, in fear that it might be lost to the lake.
When Jaypaw enters Cinderpaw's dream and she shows him the old ThunderClan territory, Jaypaw thinks that it isn't ThunderClan, because it doesn't even feel like it is anywhere near the lake.
When Lionpaw wanders around ThunderClan territory alone at night, he thinks that the older warriors act as though they had created ThunderClan territory because they had brought the Clans to the lake.
On the way to another Gathering, the moon is noted to ripple on the surface of the lake. As the cats follow the edge of the lake, small waves lap at the shore and farther out, foamy crests glow in the moonlight. A gust of wind from the lake flattens Hollypaw's whiskers against her face as Berrypaw pads along a log lying in the shallows, but loses his balance and falls into the water with a splash, then races back to his Clanmates. During the Gathering, when Leopardstar says that RiverClan will stay on the island, she says that they will have enough food for the Clan because they have enough. However, the Clans argue, and Smokefoot says that a Clan will have to leave, and Hollypaw thinks that a Clan should not be driven from the lake. When Blackstar announces the ShadowClan news, he mentions that there are a few Twolegs by the lake, but none near their camp. On the way back to ThunderClan, the cats discuss how RiverClan is staying on the island, and when Dustpelt says that RiverClan might try to invade their neighboring Clans, Mousepaw protests that ThunderClan live on the other side of the lake from RiverClan.
Later, when Leafpool and Jaypaw collect herbs, a stream babbles beside them as if flows from the forest into the lake. Jaypaw remembers that this was where they had found the stick, and hadn't realized that they had come that far around the lake. He goes to the shore, trying not to step on the twigs and Twoleg rubbish washed up by the lake. When it begins to rain, wind whips in off the lake. Later that night, Jaypaw and Lionpaw go to the lake to find Jaypaw's stick. When they arrive, Jaypaw explains to his brother that he wants to keep the stick safe from the lake, but they can't find it, and Jaypaw fears that the lake has reclaimed the stick. Jaypaw approaches the water, but is afraid of the lake after his previous near-drowning experience. The next day, in training, Lionpaw is frustrated that Jaypaw had dragged him out to the lake the previous night.
When Brackenfur announces that they will do battle training, Hollypaw doesn't want to train for a battle that might end the four Clans living around the lake. She talks to Firestar and asks to help RiverClan, saying that RiverClan won't attack WindClan since they want to stay by the lake where they can fish. When Firestar doesn't want to help RiverClan, Hollypaw decides to travel to RiverClan, and once kin WindClan, heads downhill toward the lake, near the water's edge. It begins to rain and the droplets hiss against the surface of the lake. When she reaches Riverclan territory, Holypaw comes to the shore, where the trees' roots snake into the lake. Once on the island, Hollypaw travels along the shore, her paws occasionally slipping off the muddy bank and into the cold lake. Suddenly, rocks stretch ahead o her and reach into the lake, creating a causeway. When she finds Willowpaw, Willowpaw scans the shore on both sides of the lake before scrambling across the tree-bridge. Once on the other side, they climb up a slope and at the top, Hollypaw looks down at the lake that shines far below. When Twoleg kits come near where the RiverClan cats work, the warriors rush toward the lake.
Back on the island, when Hollypaw is told that she can't go back to ThunderClan, she gazes across the lake at ThunderClan. However, Reedwhisker walks her down to the lake to make her wash the otter-dung off her pelt. Hollypaw argues with Leopardstar to go back to ThunderClan, and points out the the warrior code says that she can travel two fox-lengths from the lake, but Leopardstar disagrees. As Hollypaw goes to sleep that night in Willowpaw's den, she heras the rain hiss over the lake.
Later, Jaypaw walks up the lake, and when he comes there, he notices that the ground around the lake is always different, unlike the forest. Jaypaw finds his stick and lying down beside it, soothed by the lapping of the lake, begins to dream. When he wakes up, there it rains, and waves pound the shore, driven across the lake by a fierce wind. The next day, Lionpaw recalls how Jaypaw had returned to camp just after dark, drenched, having fallen asleep by the lake.
When the five apprentices and three kits are trapped in the tunnels, Jaypaw watches the sightless cat from his dream with something slender and smooth, that Jaypaw recognizes as the stick from the lake. When the apprentices think of ways to escape the tunnels, Jaypaw thinks of how the stick had been in the cave, but he had found it by the lake. He realizes that the river must flow into the lake, and tells the other apprentices that. Jaypaw convinces the other apprentices to do that, and when Hollypaw swims in the river, she eventually bursts through the surface of the lake, and looks around the surface of the body of water for the others. She wades from the water onto the shore, and Jaypaw follows her out of the lake. Hollypaw is curious on how her brother knew that it would carry them into the lake. When the apprentices stop the battle, Jaypaw says that he is fine, and Hollypaw thinks that it is as though his quest had ended the moment they left the lake.
When the journeying cats meet Purdy, Squirrelflight says that they found a great place to live, and Tawnypelt adds that it is by a lake, with territory for all for Clans, and little Twoleg trouble.
When the journeying cats pass by a Tribe hunting patrol, Gray asks if they found the home that they were looking for, and Brambleclaw answers that it is a good place by a lake.
When Brambleclaw asks Lionpaw to come help set the Tribe borders, Lionpaw reminds himself not to be disappointed, as he had wanted to explore the world beyond the lake.
When Stoneteller tells his Tribe that they cannot survive there, Lionpaw wonders if they could come to the lake with them, but then realizes that there are way too many of them to join one Clan.
When the Tribe cats decide to attack the intruding cats during that night, on the full moon, Hollypaw thinks of how back at the lake, the Clans would be Gathering on the island, but she reminds herself that the moon has no significance for the Tribe.
When Hollypaw, Breezepaw, Lionpaw, and Pebble go to scare the intruders out of their den, Lionpaw has troubles climbing down a cliff, and when he finds it, his heart pounds to loudly that he thinks it must wake every cat from the mountains to the lake. After the battle, when Tigerstar and Hawkfrost had helped him, Lionpaw wonders if they really fought beside him in the battle, or if they are still stalking the woods beside the lake, waiting for his return.
When Rock talks to Jaypaw, the apprentice guesses that the Tribe cats before came here, from the lake. Rock is surprised and asks how he knows, and Jaypaw explains that it was in the pool in the mountains that the Tribe spirit showed him, an that they found another Moonpool, just like the one near the lake.
Dovepaw and Ivypaw run out to the lake and see that it has come back. They marvel at the sight before Brambleclaw shows up with their mentors and scold them.
When Mistystar travels through ThunderClan after going to the Moonpool, she admits that greenleaf had been harsh because they rely too much on the lake to survive without it. After the she-cats leave, Lionblaze and Jayfeather head toward the lake, where they can see RiverClan fishing on the other side. Jayfeather tells his brother of how he broke the stick, and when Lionblaze leaves, Jayfeather has an image of the stick's two broken pieces drifting farther from the surface of the lake and sinking.
When Ivypaw and Dovepaw are about to go to WindClan territory, Dovepaw feels for movement, and hears waves on the lakeshore and a ShadowClan kit waking across the lake, but no sign of cats.
After Dovepaw hears a dog, Firestar asks her how she hears things that others don't, and says that it is important, as it helped save the lake.
After Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw talk to Firestar about the prophecy, Jayfeather walks down to the lake and pictures it, hiding the stick in its depths, and he regrets destroying it. On a patrol, Graystripe watches water swirl down a stream, and he comments that it is hard to believe that the lake was once empty. As they later head to a Gathering, Foxleap worries about finding ShadowClan stench on their land, but Brambleclaw snaps that they are heading around WindClan's side of the lake, and that even ShadowClan wouldn't stray that far. At the Gathering, the cats discusst the return of the lake.
Later, as Blossompaw, Briarpaw, and Bumblepaw have their assessments, Cinderheart tells Briarpaw and Bumblepaw that they will hunt by the lake. When a tree is going to fall in the camp, after the other cats leave, Firestar tells Dovepaw and Brambleclaw that they can join the Clan who are sheltering along the gully on the way to the lake.
Later, Spottedleaf asks Brokenstar why he is training the cats from the Clans by the lake, but he denies it. When Lionblaze and Cinderheart go for a walk, Lionblaze heads toward the lake when they race and Cinderheart charges into the lake and stands in the waves. Later, Dovepaw thinks of how Jayfeather and Lionblaze expect her to do a lot, including spying on every cat around the lake.
Bumblestripe invites Dovewing out for a walk, and they sit side by side overlooking the lake for a while, and Dovewing says that she would prefer to walk, but then they decide to have a race on the shore. Dovewing is distracted by her senses coming back, and Bumblestripe wins the race.
As Sorreltail begins to kit outside the camp, she says that she only wanted to walk by the lake.