ShadeClan's history is divided into four eras; Origins, the Golden Age, and finally, the Revolution. These cats have a long and deep history with the territories and highly regard this heritage. Stories are common in ShadeClan cats and these eras are used to define the important parts of the Clan's formation. ShadeClan is currently entering its fourth era which has yet to be named, but, the leader is Spiderstar, and some believe she will rewrite ShadeClan's past.
ShadeClan was said to have been the first Clan to be officially founded. It was founded by four former members of a group known as Helheim. These cats were Eiríkr, Hel, Valkyrie, and, Myrkr. Together they worked as a team to create the early foundations that set them up for generations to come. Sadly, Hel passed away a few seasons after the founding, but, she and Eiríkr had already set in stone traditions and customs that would be carried on in her honour.
Now, the beginning of this settlement wasn't without its struggles. A lot of the first issues stemmed from power struggles between Eiríkr and some of his cats. It is safe to say that the founder was able to remain in his position and continue his reign for the years to come. He was known across the territory for his need to conquer and this alone made him a fearful opponent. Other issues came from two other Clans that had slowly started forming, and Eiríkr knew that change would have to be made if ShadeClan would survive. He and his remaining co-founders continued their work of creating borders, patrolling them, and quite literally, leaving bloodstains to be found.
ShadeClan in their early days were notorious for killing trespassers or unfaithful cats. This stemmed from the Clan's semi-connected history with the Helheim, as those cats were notorious for killing unloyal cats to promote unwavering faith in those who remained. Eiríkr committed the most crimes out of the early cats, and many knew it too. It wasn't long before rumours started about the lengths he would go to, just to have power of those around him.
note: this is where the rivalry between shade and moon begins
The Golden Age
The tom became a notorious lady's man and supposedly fathered multiple litters. He actually fathered litters with both Myrkr and Valkyrie without either of them knowing. However, his relationship with Myrkr was strained and eventually, after she gave birth, exiled her for treason. She left behind his firstborn son, Agnar who would be his true successor. Valkyrie would give birth to his only named daughter, Brynja, whilst fostering the kittens left behind by Myrkr. As his brood grew up, he saw that his son had a mind much like his father and suggested the idea of a deputy too. Eiríkr saw the wits in his son's idea and allowed the younger tom to pick his deputy. Agnar chose his half-sister, Brynja, as the two were quite close despite their different maternal heritage. So with these new ranks, a new era was brought into ShadeClan and these ranks remain the same in the modern Clan.
Agnar succeeded his father following the founder's death. Agnar had a successful rule and was able to father his own children. Some say the tom's leadership would've been completely different without the help of his sister's deputyship. It is believed that Valkyrie passed away not long after Agnar fathered his own kits, and with her death, all the founders of ShadeClan are deceased.
By the middle stages of his rule, Agnar was already the father to two toms, Gunnar and Vidar. Originally, just as his own father had done, Agnar named his firstborn as heir. However, Gunnar was killed whilst protecting the Clan's territory and this also happened to Brynja who met the same fate. The middle-aged leader was forced to name his second son as heir and also name a new deputy. He decided to name an older cat, Unnr, as his sister's successor. Eventually, Agnar would come to pass due to a mysterious illness in the mind and would leave the Clan in the paws of his second son.
Now, the last couple of leader's fall into an interesting time for the Clans. Vidar was lucky enough to have lived during what some cat's called the Revolution. The Revolution was where the leaders of the three Clans all met for the first time in generations with no intent of murder or usurping the others. This meeting was held to lay down necessary rules that would allow less bloodshed and so that there could be law. These laws would become what the modern Clans know as the Warrior Code. Vidar was also present to learn of a naming system so that Clan cats could distinguish themselves from loners or rogues. ShadeClan was still using their old names that had been there for generations. He started the new generation in ShadeClan by taking on the name of Murkfang and later Murkstar upon the discovery of their Star Ancestors. Most of ShadeClan followed in his pawsteps by taking on new names, however, some of the older cats kept their names due to their attachment to them. It should be noted that Murkstar seemed to have had the worst luck with keeping deputies. Over his entire leadership, the tom had, including Unnar, four cats serve with him. Eventually, Murkstar lost his final life to the sinking terrain in the southern reaches of ShadeClan territory.
His daughter, Nightflower became Nightstar and some regarded her as ShadeClan's heart. She had a slightly different outlook on how to rule a Clan and she had her best friend, Adderclaw by her side following the passing of Owlfur. These two managed to create a new era of cats aligned with ShadeClan. Nightstar essentially followed in the pawsteps of Agnar and made the Clan even better in a way. She managed to become one of the most beloved leaders in the territories because she was able to uphold her family's desires, but, not without sacrificing her own morals to do so. It is said that towards the later years of her leadership she spent a lot of it teaching her eldest daughter, Spiderclaw, what makes a leader and how to survive in the world their ancestor's had created. It is suspected that these motherly actions are also what gave her the nickname of ShadeClan's heart and ShadeClan's mother.
After the death of Nightstar due to her advancing age, her eldest daughter, Spiderclaw succeeded her leadership. It was said upon her accession to the role of leader that Spiderclaw would have big paws to fill due to the history of her family and their ties to the land.
Traditions & Customs
Over the years, ShadeClan has been known to have quite a few traditions and customs. Most of them are from the early days of their founders, Eiríkr, Hel, Valkyrie, and, Mrkyr, due to the way they were raised in their former group. However, Eiríkr and Hel, are more notably credited with the formation of these traditions. Listed below are ShadeClan's most notable traditions and customs.
The oldest known tradition of ShadeClan is that a leader's successor is their first born child, regardless of gender. A leader must still name a deputy to help them keep the Clan running functionally, but, their deputy cannot succeed them. If a leader dies before they can produce an heir then the Clan must nominate the cat they believe should be the leader. This alone has not happened, but, it is assumed that it would be a messy affair.
ShadeClan also uses a different rank system to the other Clans. They have what they call the obvious High ranks such as; the Leader, Deputy, the Heir, and the Healer. Below that are the Common ranks. These consist of soldiers, trainees, and queens. Soldiers and trainees are ShadeClan's equivalent of warriors and apprentices. Kittens become trainees at six moons and are made into Soldiers at fourteen or more moons, dependent on how well they've progressed in training.
These cats are expected to serve as soldiers up until their deaths. ShadeClan has no retirement option for their senior soldiers, who don't get any special rank either. A soldier is a solider according to these cats. This custom has created a weird culture from these cats as their 'elders' don't get the respect they basically deserve until they die. Only then is a cat commended for their service to ShadeClan.
An interesting tradition this Clan has adopted is that every few moons they will celebrate their ancestors and those lost to them. Though the exact celebration can depend from leader to leader, most have the entire Clan, save for the healer and one or two soldiers, hunt so that they may gather a feast. Said feast is held at moonhigh and the whole Clan remembers their former loved ones or simply the early ShadeClan cats who had given their lives so that the Clan can endure. It is described as a beautiful and emotional night for some and it remains to be their most intricate and spiritual traditions.
A queen usually only has one litter. Maybe two if the first litter dies (or if only one kitten survives). After that, a repeat queen is seen as lazy and looking for attention. She is only perceived as lazy due to the notion that she may just be wanting to lay around and nurse cats all day instead of helping the Clan more directly. Even those more maternal cats know that they are expected to have one or maybe two litters in their lifetimes. Having too many children can again result in muddy blood for the Clan.
It’s considered poor taste to name a kitten after someone. The main reason is that, as said above, a prefix is meant to give a cat their own identity as well as describe their colour. To name your kitten Snake- after your mother, for example, is seen as putting unfair expectations on them and bogging them down with someone else’s memories before they even have a chance to make some of their own.