After moving into the Lake territories to be with the other Clans for the first time in decades, SkyClan thrived for a few moons under their aging leader Leafstar in the Abandoned Horseplace. There weren’t many places to climb trees or rocks, but it did the job for the time. After going through numerous deputies, all of whom she outlived, she appointed a young warrior (and her former apprentice), Branchleap, to succeed her when the time came. She lost her final life just 5 moons after appointing him.
Branchstar, Shadowheart Shadowstrike, Yurei
Though it took some time for Branchstar to become accustomed to leading SkyClan, he did so and kept the Clan bustling and happy during most of his term. While a leader, Branchstar took it upon himself to work on some special “Clanwide projects” he devised, to make sure his Clan stayed alive in some way if a leader following him went awry. (An omen from StarClan told him to worry about it in the future, so he acted.) These included creating a new nonverbal communication system exclusive to SkyClan cats, and would soon prove to be invaluable.
Branchstar’s leadership rotted about 3 years in, after his long-trusted deputy Shadowheart lost one of her legs and was forced to retire early. Being distraught about the loss of his best friend’s support, coupled with the increasing anxiety over the omen from StarClan moons ago, he neglected to appoint a deputy before the Moonhigh following Shadowheart’s departure. This sparked conflict within the Clan, and many cats began to lose faith in the Clan’s survival as Branchstar became more reclusive. Without a deputy keeping the Clan’s hierarchy solid, and without the previously-constant presence of their leader’s inspiration, SkyClan was on the brink of devolving into chaos when two warriors stepped up to take the task of bringing order back: the fierce Shadowstrike, and the kind Pebblepelt.
Branchstar eventually appoints Shadowstrike to be his deputy after much lone deliberation, but the damage was already done. Their loyalties and faith faltering, many SkyClan warriors decided to go rogue and pursue their own paths in the other 4 Clans, or go back to kittypet life - including even the medicine cat and Shadowstrike’s rival, Pebblepelt. Those who stayed felt the pain of Branchstar’s eventual betrayal, as he disappeared just a moon after promoting Shadowstrike. It was clear there was no longer a point to stay when Shadowstrike travelled to the Moonpool and was refused his lives as the new leader.
Abandoned by their leader and even StarClan themselves, SkyClan disappeared for a second time into the nether. It’s still unknown why exactly Branchstar disappeared, but whatever the reason, it left the Clans with 4 instead of 5 for another 2 generations.
0B, 0C, & 1st gen
Following SkyClan’s second official collapse, Branchstar’s previous actions left the Clan alive only through an intricate system of secret communication, where the cats who still felt loyalty to SkyClan after its fall could pass on knowledge of its existence and culture to their kits, as well as the right to be a SkyClan descendant. Written remnants of SkyClan’s history were passed down for 2 more generations, even during the trying times of the famine.
SkyClan was still technically nonexistent before and during the move; its former members and descendants were still part of the other Clans. The following events come after the move to the new mountain territories, aka very early into the 2nd gen.
On the night of the first Gathering since the Clans discovered their territories around the Mountain, a young and rebellious warrior named Whiteclaw takes advantage of ShadowClan leader Stonestar’s negligent authority and breaks away from his Clan, betraying it irreversibly while making a call to all the SkyClan descendants of other Clans to join him in rebuilding it. Many of them do make the choice to join him, and before he knew it he’d accumulated some of the strongest warriors from the other Clans as supporters.
As the Clans adjusted to the shocking news, the Gathering comes to a close and Whiteclaw and his supporters leave the Peak as a new unofficial Clan. SkyClan.
For the next half moon, Whiteclaw (now unofficially Whitestar) allowed his “master plan” to unfold. He semi-secretly occupied ShadowClan’s territory after breaking off, having given his cronies detailed instructions on how to stay hidden in the thick, wet forest foliage, as well as directions to their designated hiding spots scattered around. He appointed a deputy in the ex-WindClanner Falconswipe, and also appointed his senior warriors to protect him in their main base as it went on. An ex-ThunderClanner known as Nettledusk took up the position of medicine cat, and made sure to keep an eye on the weaker of the Clan during their hideout days.
When Whitestar felt he knew the forest like the tops of his paws, he gathered the fittest of his warriors and sent an ambush to ShadowClan. After a hard battle, the rogue warriors had driven ShadowClan out and deep into the north in due time. When the last warrior had been chased out, it was clear that SkyClan had successfully taken their new territory... by force.
In the moon to follow, Whitestar scouted out a new location for his Clan to camp (because using ShadowClan’s makeshift camp would have made his Clan an easier target) and settled into it fairly well. He even took a mate in Dawnleaf, a timid she-cat formerly from RiverClan. For just a moon, there was peace.
When Flaretail became Flarestar in ShadowClan, Whitestar was taken by surprise when they were ambushed in return. Unlike Stonestar, he stood his ground with his Clan and stayed put, just barely managing to drive them out. Falconswipe’s life was taken in the battle, so with a heavy heart Whitestar promoted Berrytail (an ex-ThunderClanner) in his place.
Whitestar led for a year after that. Eventually, it seemed every moon of that year brought another attack by ShadowClan, and every time it got tougher and tougher to fight off Flarestar’s onslaught. Whitestar, as stubborn and brash as ever, never relented even once to fight back and keep what he had. Every battle took another warrior’s life, and shortly after promoting his mate Dawnleaf to deputy for lack of a better candidate, his own life was taken.
Panicked and nearly helpless without their leader, SkyClan scattered to their old hideouts (by Dawnleaf’s orders) and gave ShadowClan a victory at last.
Dawnstar, Rockyspring, Nettledusk Shadebrook
Despite being a(n unofficial) leader, Dawnstar didn’t act like one. She appointed the strongest warrior left in the Clan (Rockyspring) to be her deputy, and then left him to essentially manage the Clan for her, in spite of his youthful inexperience and general lack of qualifications. It seemed that the only times Dawnstar would come out of her den would be to have ceremonies or attend Gatherings.
In the following Gatherings, Dawnstar was moreso a doormat than a diplomat. In an attempt to quell Flarestar’s aggression, she offered that ShadowClan could “borrow” SkyClan’s territory, and use it for hunting whenever they needed to, much to the dismay of the rest of her Clan. Eventually RiverClan got the same privileges after just asking threateningly, and it seemed the other Clans were only recognizing SkyClan as fools. Whenever Flarestar would demand more territory to “borrow”, Dawnstar would cave almost instantly, secretly fearful of any more attacks.
Although Dawnstar’s actions gained her some favor in the other Clans’ eyes (who were walking all over her during Gatherings), her own Clan expressed their displeasure with her all the time. She was despised by younger warriors who wanted to rebel and fight back instead of letting the other Clans use them, and older warriors disapproved of her cowardice after having such an inspiring leader in Whitestar.
In spite of this clear unhappiness, Dawnstar stayed shakily in power for a whopping 8 seasons after this, thanks in part to Rockyspring and his senior warrior friends. During the leaf-bare of the second season-cycle, an outbreak of Greencough cut SkyClan’s numbers in half, including Dawnstar and the medicine cat Nettledusk. Rockyspring, now an experienced warrior and deputy, took over as leader in her absence… with a score to settle.
SkyClan, as restless and desperate to take back their territory as ever, were ecstatic over Rockystar’s promotion. When he returned from their makeshift place to contact their ancestors with just 4 lives to give, his first course of action (after promoting Bravehawk to deputy, naturally) was to launch an attack on the plump and content ShadowClan.
The battle was hard, as the weather was cold with the leafbare’s snow still on the ground and the warriors of ShadowClan being so well-fed and well-trained, but when Rockystar managed to take out Flarestar in the battle, SkyClan’s victory was clear. They gave a public and personal announcement to the Clan that their territory is off-limits upon winning, and then proceeded home with their spirits high.
Drizzlestar, Hazelbranch, Ryewhisker
Drizzlefoot takes up the spot as leader after Rockystar’s death, receiving 9 lives at last and appointing Hazelbranch as his deputy. It takes a little while to adjust to having a new leader, after being “led” for so long by Rockystar (even before he was technically the leader), both for Drizzlestar and for SkyClan as a whole.