The Forest Territories (also referred to as "The Old Territories") is the region that provides the setting for all six books of the Original Series Arc, the first three books of the New Prophecy Arc, and all books whose action takes place in parallel or before these. It consists of a vast and varied landscape, and it gives home to the five (later four) Clans that appear in the Warriors series.
Despite its name, only a small part of the region is covered by actual forest; mainly the eastern part claimed by ThunderClan as their hunting grounds. The rest are hills, grassland and marshes. A river, named River Chell, cuts through the region, making up the border between RiverClan and their two neighbors, ThunderClan and WindClan. A Thunderpath, named Windover Road by Twolegs, makes up the border between ShadowClan and ThunderClan. A smaller Thunderpath, named North Allerton Road, comes from the north.
According to an Erin Hunter chat, the territory was originally based on New Forest, a forest in the county of Hampshire in southern England, but as the ideas developed, it became more of a fantasy place and not the depiction of a real-world location (for example, New Forest does not have a quarry nearby).
In the beginning, the region was a wilderness, without predators or humans living nearby. After a time, cats arrived in small groups and began to settle down. However, they did not set up borders, and their territories overlapped, resulting in several bloody battles and many deaths. After a particularly ferocious battle, the survivors were confronted by the spirits of their fallen companions, urging them to unite and live in peace.
However, the cats could not agree who would lead them, so five cats, Thunder, Shadow, River, Wind and Sky, each demanded to be the leaders. In the end, they decided to separate into five groups, under the leadership of Thunder, Shadow, River, Wind, and Sky. The others cats chose to follow the leader that was going to a territory best suited for themselves. They developed the Warrior Code, and founded the five Clans - ThunderClan, ShadowClan, SkyClan, RiverClan and WindClan - dividing the hunting grounds between themselves, adapting to the conditions that reigned on their territories. The spirits of the fallen cats made up StarClan, ancestors who guided the living with advice.
Twolegs arrived soon, and constructed the Thunderpath that later made up the border between ThunderClan and ShadowClan, then built the Twolegplace, forcing SkyClan to leave their territory. Soon, the remaining four Clans had to leave as well, as Twolegs destroyed the region to construct a new Thunderpath, and later settled by a lake, the region being referred to as The Lake Territories.
The official map, presented above, is not entirely consistent with the regions presented in the books. A notable difference is that RiverClan's camp is described to be on a small island, while there is no such thing on the map.
ThunderClan claims the southeastern part of the region, their territory consisting of deciduous woodland, named White Hart Woods by Twolegs. Their camp is in a sandy ravine that used to be a riverbed long time ago, surrounded by brambles.
Landmarks in the ThunderClan territory:
- A small stream runs through the territory, close to the camp
- Near the camp is The Sandy Hollow, an area where apprentices do their battle training
- West of the camp is The Owl Tree, a tree that was always home to owls.
- East of the camp is Snakerocks, a clearing where prey and plants are abundant, but adders represent a danger. Next to the clearing is The Great Sycamore, a tall tree where apprentices learn to climb
- Southwest of the camp is Sunningrocks, a large, smooth stone formation by the river where cats love to sun themselves
- Far south of the camp is Tallpines, a controlled pine forest, grown for the purpose of wood for Twolegs, named Chelford Forest by them. In its middle, there is the Treecut Place (Chelford Mill), a logging camp.
ShadowClan claims the northeastern part of the region, their territory consisting of marshy and damp ground with few trees. It is bordered by a Thunderpath to the south that has a tunnel underneath that permits crossing into ThunderClan grounds. Their camp is in a hollow with muddy ground, surrounded by brambles.
Landmarks in the ShadowClan territory:
- South of the camp is the Burnt Sycamore, an ancient tree that was burnt by lightning long ago. ShadowClan apprentices learn their night hunting and quiet stalking at this tree.
- West of the camp is Carrionplace, a Twoleg dump called the North Allerton Amenity Tip, home to disease and rats. It provides ShadowClan with food during leaf-bare
- Southwest of the camp are two Twoleg tunnels that cross under the Thunderpath. One leads to Fourtrees; farther to the west, the second leads into WindClan territory
RiverClan claims the southwestern part of the region, on the right bank of River Chell. Their territory consists of open plains, and their camp is on a large, well-drained island, surrounded by reeds, that can be reached only by swimming (although such an island does not appear on the map).
Landmarks in the RiverClan territory:
- The river itself, a source of prey for the cats. It follows a gorge that comes to a waterfall (Druid's Leap), then continues through the plains. RiverClan cats can swim through it, but there is also a Twoleg bridge that makes crossing safe when the water is high
- South of the camp is Morgan's Farm, a Twolegplace with a campsite next to it
WindClan claims the western part of the territory, wedged between the Thunderpath and the river, consisting of rolling moorland named Windover Moor by the Twolegs. Their camp is in a sandy hollow, surrounded by gorse.
Landmarks in the WindClan territory:
- East of the camp is the Outlook Rock, a large rock from where the moorland can be overseen
- West of the camp is Barley's Farm, known to Twolegs as Windover Farm, where cows, sheep and dogs live
- South of the camp is an abandoned badger set, a source of prey
The moors are almost hollow with tunnels, some made by animals, others by underground streams. WindClan cats use them to move through their territory without being seen; those skilled in doing so were trained as tunnelers.
SkyClan lived in a woodland area in the far southeastern part of the region. Their territory was destroyed a long time ago, and little is known about it. Their camp was in a hollow, and a Twoleg Nest was built on it, where now the kittypet Smudge lives.
Fourtrees (known by the Twolegs as Druid's Hollow) is a clearing with four tall oak trees in the middle, used by Clans for Gatherings. It is a neutral territory, unclaimed by any Clan. All Clans have a direct access to it; they do not have to travel through other Clans' grounds to reach it.
Highstones is an abandoned quarry in the northwestern part of the territory, named Devil's Fingers by the Twolegs. It is an easily visible landmark. A tunnel in the ground contains the Moonstone, where leaders and medicine cats go to share tongues with StarClan. It is a neutral territory, unclaimed by any Clan.
In the southeastern part, there is a settlement named Chellford, known as The Twolegplace to the cats. It was built on the former SkyClan grounds. It was home to BloodClan, a ferocious group of rogues.
- Secrets of the Clans tells about only four Clans in the History, and SkyClan is not mentioned. It is unknown if SkyClan were among the founding Clans, or if they came later to the forest. However, Sky is mentioned as the founder of SkyClan along with the other early leaders in Code of the Clans.
- The Old Forest was based on the New Forest in southern England.
References and Citations
- ↑ Although only a part of the region is woodland, its "official" name is The Forest, as defined in Secrets of the Clans, page 80
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 As revealed by the official map in Secrets of the Clans and in all books where the action takes place in the Forest
- ↑ First Erin Hunter Chat
- ↑ Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 7-10
- ↑ Revealed in Battles of the Clans, page 62
- ↑ Revealed in Firestar's Quest, page 54
- ↑ Described in the first three books of The New Prophecy Arc
- ↑ Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 1