The Stick is a small branch with its bark removed and a series of claw marks along it. It was found near the lake by Jaypaw and serves as a portal to a group of ancient cats that resided around the lake in ancient times before the Clans came.
- In the prologue, Fallen Leaves is about to leave on his journey to become a sharpclaw. When he meets Rock in the tunnels, it is shown that Rock is holding a stick. Later, when Fallen Leaves never returns after drowning in the flooded tunnels, a half-mark is made on the stick showing that Fallen Leaves had entered the tunnel, but had not returned.
- While traveling around the lake in search of herbs with Leafpool, Jaypaw finds the stick. It is noted that when Jaypaw felt the stick with his paw along the long scratches, he could hear voices whispering to him. He then gets frustrated, since he cannot understand the murmuring of the ancient cats.
- When Jaypaw, Lionpaw, Hollypaw, Breezepaw and Heatherpaw are searching for Sedgekit, Swallowkit and Thistlekit in the tunnels, Rock appears to Jaypaw with the stick. He makes five long lines and three smaller ones, making Jaypaw panic, because he knows that the cats that did not survive are the lines that were left uncrossed. He then notices that Rock then scratches through those same lines, indicating that they will make it through the tunnels alive.
- As Jaypaw goes to look for the stick, he feels it bobbing up and down, floating in the lake. He tries to grab it, but goes to far in and can no longer reach the shore, because he is too far away. He starts panicking and cannot hold himself above water. Luckily, Firestar sees Jaypaw and saves him from drowning and gets the stick for Jaypaw. He asks why this is important. Jaypaw tells Firestar it's a medicine cat thing. Firestar doesn't understand, guessing it is just a medicine cat thing, because there are a lot of secrets medicine cats have to keep and not even share with their leader, so shrugs it off and asks where Jaypaw would like him to to place it. Jaypaw, not being able to see, feels around the shore until he finds a firm tree root, safe from the water even at high tide. He points to the tree root. Firestar places the stick under the tree root, and takes Jaypaw home.
- Jaypaw is supposed to be collecting herbs, but he gets distracted and starts looking for Rock's stick. Instead of hearing the voices whispering to him, he hears nothing. This frustrates Jaypaw because he wants to know what life was like for the cats that lived around the lake long ago.
- When Jaypaw lies by the stick and places his nose on it as he goes down to the lake, he finds himself with the ancients as Jay's Wing. It is later noted that when getting his medicine cat name, he hopes he will not be named Jaywing.
- Jayfeather goes to the stick when he takes Mousefur and Longtail out to walk. He tries to reach Rock using the stick, and ask the old cat for answers, but Rock only says that the stick isn't the answer to everything, and that the answers lie within his own Clan. Mousefur interrupts and Jayfeather swiftly kicks leaves and debris on top of the stick, to conceal it from sight. Later, Jayfeather wants to get out of camp to go find the stick, and see if Rock would tell him any more.
In the Omen of the Stars Arc
- At the beginning of the book, Thornclaw finds the stick and begins to use it to help Berrynose and Spiderleg out of the mud after they get stuck in it. However, Jayfeather suddenly erupts from the undergrowth and protests, warning Thornclaw to make sure that it is unharmed. Eventually Thornclaw gets Berrynose and Spiderleg, and later Rainstorm, a RiverClan warrior, out of the mud with it.
- Jayfeather uses it to contact Rock, asking why he didn't tell him the truth about his real parents. Feeling betrayed when Rock doesn't answer, Jayfeather destroys the stick by breaking it over a sharp rock and instantly regrets it.
- When Dovepaw and Ivypaw are out going for a walk in the forest, Dovepaw steps on splinters left from the broken stick.
- On a patrol, Ivypaw steps on the stick and gets a splinter in her paw pad much the way Dovepaw did. To prevent any further injuries, Brambleclaw decides to get the stick out of the way and tosses both of the broken halves into the lake. As this happens, Dovepaw hears a cry of pain from Jayfeather. She thinks that Leopardstar's death pierced him.
- Lionblaze questions Jayfeather about why he broke the stick. Jayfeather expresses grief over the stick. He mentally asks himself why Rock couldn't tell him about the prophecy concerning the "three". He looks into Lionblaze's thoughts and sees him playing with Heathertail. Jayfeather sees Rock where Heathertail was sitting. Lionblaze and Heathertail seem not to notice Rock. But then Lionblaze scolds Jayfeather, because he noticed him looking in his memories. Lionblaze then walks away, leaving Jayfeather behind.
- The stick appears when Jayfeather, Lionblaze and Dovewing all share a dream. Rock blames the Three for giving up before the battle has even started, the pieces of the stick fall off of the ledge where Rock is. Jayfeather's attention is fixed on the pieces of pale wood, and Rock tells them that the warriors marked on the stick were brave, going in and out of the tunnel. Jayfeather replied that some didn't, referring to Fallen Leaves, whose death is marked on the stick.
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 3
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in Dark River, page 61
- ↑ Revealed in Long Shadows, page 184
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 161
- ↑ Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 43
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 302
- ↑ Revealed in Eclipse, page 66
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 216
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 154
- ↑ Revealed in Eclipse, page 63
- ↑ Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 22