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The Tunnels

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The Tunnels refers to a network of tunnels that run under ThunderClan and WindClan grounds in the Lake territories,[1] connecting them. The Ancients used them to test softpaws to see if they were ready to become sharpclaws: those who found their way out from the tunnels, passed the test and became sharpclaws; while those who got lost eventually died.[2]




Description

The tunnels are a network of tunnels that run under ThunderClan and WindClan grounds in the Lake territories.[1] They are dark,[3] and have rocky walls, dusty,[4] damp,[5] hard,[6] stone floors,[4] stale air,[7] and earth and stones above them.[8]

Mythology

The tunnels were used by the Ancients as a way to test if the softpaws were ready to become sharpclaws.[2] If a softpaw came out alive they became a sharpclaw. If they did not, they eventually died.[2] The successful and non-successful journeys through the tunnels were marked on a stick, by an ancient cat, named Rock.[9]

History

In the Power of Three Arc

Dark River

In the prologue, Fallen Leaves enters the tunnels following the ritual to become a sharpclaw. It is raining lightly as he first head downs into the tunnels. He eventually drowns there when the rain picks up and it floods, and he can't find his way out of the tunnels.
The tunnels are discovered by two apprentices, from ThunderClan and WindClan, Lionpaw and Heatherpaw. They meet in the tunnels every night, calling themselves the leader and deputy of DarkClan. Later, three WindClan kits get lost in the tunnels, and this almost starts a war because WindClan thinks ThunderClan stole the kits. Lionpaw, Heatherpaw, Jaypaw, Hollypaw, and Breezepaw go to find the kits themselves, and get trapped when the tunnels flood by rain pouring in from a hole in the roof. They are forced to jump into the underground river and flow into the lake to escape.

Eclipse

After WindClan supposedly leaves ThunderClan's territory. Firestar sends three patrols out to see if WindClan had really left. His patrol finds a tunnel entrance that was used by WindClan. The patrol starts to block it up, but his patrol gets ambushed, by WindClan warriors.

Long Shadows

Jaypaw walks in the tunnels in his dreams. When he is sent back to the time of the ancients as Jay's Wing he exits the same tunnels and gets promoted to a sharpclaw.
Lionblaze also uses the tunnels as a secret way to reach WindClan's catmint supply. Heathertail sees him using the tunnels and is enraged, but Heathertail, though reluctant, still lets Lionblaze escape.

Sunrise

Lionblaze and Jayfeather chase Hollyleaf after she reveals the truth about their birth at the Gathering. Hollyleaf, wanting to escape from ThunderClan, makes her way into the tunnels, and as she flees, the rocks collapse. Jayfeather, thinking the rockfall killed his sister, attempts to make his way towards the tunnels, but is blocked by Lionblaze, saying there was nothing they could do.

In the Omen of the Stars Arc

Sign of the Moon

During Dovepaw's warrior assessment, Icecloud falls into the tunnels, and needs help to get out. Later, a barrier is constructed around it to make sure that no other cat falls down into them and gets lost.
Jayfeather and Lionblaze decide to venture inside one of the tunnels and, when they find a tuft of Hollyleaf's fur, they take it as a sign that she's still alive. While he's around the tunnels, Jayfeather remembers Fallen Leaves and everything that happened to Fallen Leaves in the tunnels.
While hunting, Ivypool and Blossomfall also get lost in the tunnels, and Blossomfall gets hurt, but they are lead out by a mysterious cat.

The Forgotten Warrior

Lionblaze ventures into the tunnels when he is looking for an intruding cat that has been hunting on the territory. Sol appears, spooking Lionblaze and making him bang his head.
Later, Dovewing overhears Sol preparing some ThunderClan cats for a battle against WindClan. Dovewing and Ivypool go to explore the tunnels to see if they can find Sol, and they do. This time, Sol is talking to WindClan cats about a battle against ThunderClan. Owlwhisker hears the two cats, and a strange cat appears, telling them to follow her. She reveals that she is Hollyleaf, and she leads them out. She tries to escape back into the tunnels, but Lionblaze stops her and takes her back to camp.
Hollyleaf takes a patrol down the tunnels to train them how to fight and find their way out. Thornclaw appears to be very afraid, saying that going down into a tunnel is not natural. When he is down in them, he starts to feel claustrophobic, but Hollyleaf helps him. When they run into the underground stream, Hollyleaf says that the water level is low, as it is greenleaf. They train tunnel fighting skills, and how to escape if they get lost. Hollyleaf says that it is vital not to panic, and that there is always a way of telling which way is out.
When WindClan come to attack, ThunderClan force them into the tunnels, and they win. Sol then runs away, admitting that he only attacked the Clans as SkyClan refused to let him join them.

In the Field Guide Arc

Battles of the Clans

Webfoot tells a story about a lost tunneler, named Rabbittail, who got lost in the tunnels in the forest territories during a battle.
Heathertail then tells a story about the lost skill of tunneling, and how that when they moved to the lake the senior warriors declared that there were no tunnels under WindClan's new territory, therefore there was no need to train cats to become tunnelers, anymore.


See Also

References and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 75
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Dark River, page 4
  3. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 243
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 76
  5. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 244
  6. Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 246
  7. Revealed in Dark River, page 115
  8. Revealed in The Forgotten Warrior, page 196
  9. Revealed in Dark River, page 3
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