|Posted by Ember on June 4, 2015 at 9:55 PM|
This guide will explain the roles of the different positions in the clan, both in and out of the roleplay. There are variations from clan to clan for each position; explanations of these can be found in the clan descriptions on the The Clans Page. Thank you to Angel for editing this for me!
A leader is responsible for managing the day to day affairs of the clan, overseeing the training of apprentices, and maintaining order and discipline among their clanmates. They send out regular hunting patrols, perform ceremonies, call clan meetings as necessary, lead the clan in battle, accept new members into the clan, carry out all warrior tasks including hunting and border patrols, and maintain an active presence in the clan to manage disputes between members and make sure that the clan is running smoothly. A leader should stay up to date on plot planning blog entries and work to push the plot in the desired direction. Leaders are more at the mercy of the plot than other characters; their owners have less control over their actions and will on occasion have to break character in a pinch to make a plot point work. Leaders often do not live through their entire expected term and may step down or die in order to make way for new leaders if the plot demands it.
To maintain order and discipline, they may establish rules in addition to the warrior code. Examples of this in the roleplay are Hailstar’s policy of requiring cats to leave the camp only in groups of three or more, Sunkenstar’s ban on new kits, or Wildstar’s refusal to allow NightClanners to join his clan. Leaders are the cat primarily responsible for doling out punishments for infractions of these rules, the warrior code, or general etiquette. These can range from scolding to exile, common punishments include a warrior temporarily given apprentice duties, an apprentice’s warrior ceremony or kit’s apprentice ceremony being postponed, or any clan cat given an unpleasant task, such as collecting mousebile. Leaders should take care to make sure that the punishment is appropriate, while a cat could reasonably be exiled for attacking a clanmate, the same punishment shouldn’t be given for stealing prey before the elders and kits of the clan have been fed. Any punishments likely to change the course of the website-wide plot should be run through the website owner first. Leaders do not need the permission of a character’s owner to give punishments to their character for in character actions.
Leaders speak for their clan during gatherings. Important events that took place in the clan should be discussed, such as the appointment of new apprentices, warriors or deputies, as well as reporting on new kits, or significant deaths. As a rule of thumb, leaders should be careful to present their clan’s strengths and not their weaknesses. Gatherings are held on the second weekend of each month. A blog entry is posted in the week leading up to the gathering where leaders are expected to post the characters attending the gathering by Thursday evening. The number of cats that should attend from each clan will be listed on the blog entry; leaders should take care to make sure that every member with a character in their clan has at least one character in that clan attending the gathering. Leaders lead their clans to Hawk’s Tree Friday evening. Saturday afternoon the official gathering begins. The gathering should come to a close and the clans return to their camp by Sunday evening.
Leaders receive nine lives from StarClan when they receive their name; this is the only contact with StarClan by the clans that is allowed without the permission of the website owner. Who gives the leader their lives and what these lives are is up to the leader. By tradition, Moonstar gives the life of courage or wisdom, and the other lives are given by former leaders, deputies, medicine cats, and cats who were close to the new leader. Their nine lives do not allow them to live longer than a warrior, and they follow the same aging system as other cats.
One of the most important duties of a leader, both in and out of game, is to perform ceremonies. The ceremonies that need to be done in the coming month are listed in the Monthly Meow organized into three lists. Early month ceremonies should be done between the 1st and 10th, mid month ceremonies between the 11th and 20th, and late month ceremonies between the 21st and the end of the month. If a leader is unable to complete a ceremony on time, they are to contact their deputy to perform them. All ceremonies should be posted on the Character Updates page in the format provided immediately after being posted in the roleplaying forums. The characters being promoted in ceremonies should be posted in the order that they appear in on the Monthly Meows, clan pages, and the The Clans Page.
There is no system for how to assign mentors.A leader can do it however they prefer-- be it randomly, by what members they notice online together often, which characters they feel are most compatible, etc. Mentor or apprentice requests can be submitted to leaders. With each ceremony, leaders should check The Clans Page to see which apprentices lack members, as signified by a “???” where their mentor would be listed, and assign a mentor to any apprentices without one. Warrior names are chosen by the owner of the character. Before the ceremony takes place, the leader is to message the owner asking for the warrior name if it cannot be found on the owner’s profile character list or in the character’s description. In the event a character scheduled to receive their warrior name is up for adoption, the leader will choose their warrior name. Members can request, either in or out of character, for their character to become an elder at any point within the scheduled month. Any cats due to become an elder without having asked earlier are to be included in the last round of ceremonies of the month. The website owner chooses new deputies when one is needed. A few days before a leader or deputy is planned to leave the position Ember will contact the leader to let them know who this will be.
Deputies help their leaders manage their clan, acting in their place when the leader is unavailable, helping to carry out their orders, serving as an extra pair of ears and eyes around the clan for their leader, and offering advice to the leader as needed. Deputies may be asked by their leader to help with ceremonies if the leader is unable to do them, may speak for the leader in a gathering if the time for their clan to speak has come and the leader is offline, may call for a surrender if their clan is attacked and leader incapacitated, or negotiate with other leaders if their leader is unavailable. Unlike in the books, deputies on this roleplay do not need to have mentored an apprentice to be given the role.
Members who are respectful and helpful, who put clear effort into their roleplaying and participate in the roleplay as well as in out of character things like helping plan the plot, are members who are most likely to be chosen for deputy positions. Strive for good grammar and spelling, try to roleplay a variety of three dimensional characters, and make sure your posts are descriptive, ideally a few lines each in length. Like leaders, deputies are far more at the mercy of the plot than other characters, and may be asked to occasionally break character or leave the position if the plot requires it.
Medicine Cats and Medicine Cat Apprentices
Medicine cats act as healers and spiritual guides, advising the clan and the leader on the meaning of the Warrior Code, on traditions, and on signs from StarClan. They use their knowledge of herbs to treat the wounded and sick, watch the clan for signs of illness, gather herbs, assist queens, and attend medicine cat meetings. Apprentice medicine cats work under their mentors, completing simple tasks and carefully observing their mentors when they treat cats so they can do the same when they have received their full medicine cat name. Medicine cat apprentices should be instructed both in the ways of StarClan and of healing.
On the third weekend of every month, medicine cats and their apprentices meet at the Moonstone for a meeting where they are able to discuss recent events in the clan more freely than would be possible in a gathering. They do not communicate with StarClan during this time.
In the most demanding of situations, medicine cats may go to StarClan itself for guidance or receive a prophecy, however this is extremely rare. All communication with StarClan outside of leader ceremonies must be approved by the website owner.
Medicine cat positions are open to any member of the website who does not currently have a deputy, leader, or another medicine cat, has been active in the roleplay for over two weeks, and has not broken any major rules. These positions are given on the basis of who posts a character for the position first after it opens; members do not need permission to have a medicine cat or medicine cat apprentice. Medicine cats and medicine cat apprentices follow the same rules for promotion as warriors and apprentices, respectively. Upon request, medicine cats can receive their names at the Moonstone instead of being included in the same ceremonies as warriors.
Warriors make up the base of the clan. They are a large group of cats who have devoted their lives to serving the clan. Their daily tasks include border patrols, in which they mark the borders and challenge any intruders, hunting patrols, in which they provide food for the clan, and guarding the camp itself. Any member can create a warrior. Warriors remain in the position for a full eight months and become this rank three months after being born. Once the eight months have passed, they are expected to retire and become elders.
Warriors are assigned apprentices, younger cats learning to become warriors themselves. Members with warriors should take their apprentices out training as often as they have the opportunity. As mentors and apprentices may not be able to roleplay together often due to not being online at the same time or having their characters occupied with other plots, the training of apprentices is more of a clan effort than in the books. Warriors should periodically take other apprentices out training as well as their own, or give them some instruction when they are on the same patrols.
Apprentices are young cats training to become warriors. They are assigned specific mentors to help them learn the ways of the clan and participate in supervised warrior activities, such as hunting and patrols. As noted in the warriors section, apprentices in the roleplay are not often trained exclusively by their mentor, but by whichever cats are available while the apprentice is being played. Like kits, apprentices are known to have a mischievous streak, but unlike kits are often subject to punishments beyond scolding if they break the code or neglect their duties. Often this consists of unpleasant tasks such as helping to clean the elders of ticks or changing out the moss in their den.
Unlike in the books, an apprentice does not have to pass an assessment given by their mentor in order to earn their warrior name. All apprentices become warriors two months real time after they become apprentices, three months after being born. Apprentices cannot become pregnant in this roleplay. Any member can create an apprentice.
The queens are the expecting and nursing mothers of the clan, or cats who have chosen to support the other queens in caring for their kits, often after their own litters have become apprentices. They have a respected role in their clan, as they give birth to the next generation of warriors and leaders, and are expected to remain in the nursery and not fulfill warrior duties until their kits become apprentices to ensure they are properly cared for. During their time in the nursery, queens raise the kits together and teach them about the clan’s traditions, history, and of StarClan. Queens are allowed to leave the camp, however this is discouraged, especially if they go alone, due of the danger they are putting themselves in and for leaving their kits unsupervised. A queen remains in this position for six weeks total: two weeks are spent pregnant following the pregnancy being recorded on the Character Updates page, and one month from when the kits are born until when they become apprentices.
While leaders and deputies may have kits, it is frowned upon as raising kits would be a distraction from leading the clan. Medicine cats may also have kits, but they may face in game consequences as this is not considered acceptable behavior within the clans. Elders and apprentices cannot have kits.
Kits are the very youngest members of the clan, ranging in age from newborn to six moons, at which point they become apprentices. Loved and cherished by the clan, they are given prey first and are constantly monitored by medicine cats for signs of sickness. They live in their nursery with their littermates and mother and enjoy playing games and hearing stories from elders. They have no responsibilities within the clan, but are expected to remain in the camp and not become a nuisance to cats trying to work. However, they have a reputation for being mischievous as they grow nearer to becoming apprentices, playing good-spirited pranks on their clanmates and sometimes allowing their curiosity to carry them a step too far. Kits are very carefully monitored by the queens and their clanmates, however, it is unrealistic for a kit to be able to leave the camp without help from an apprentice or warrior. Kits remain in this position for one month real time after they are posted on the Character Updates page.
Be careful not to interrupt important plot points with misbehaving kits. As well as this, kits have soft claws and weak bites as well as being clumsy and unskilled, it is unrealistic for a kit to cause any serious damage to another cat in a fight. They do not realistically have knowledge of hunting or fighting beyond simple stances or tips that older cats have shared with them. Even loner kits cannot reasonably be able to live independently.
Elders hold a respected position within the clan as cats who have devoted many long moons to serving their clan, and, after reaching an advanced age, have retired. They are hailed as wise and strong cats whose advice is valued by their clanmates even if they’re known to be a bit grouchy. Kits often come to them to ask for the captivating stories they tell, often about legendary leaders and great battles of the clans. They clean and prepare the corpses of their clanmates after they have passed, masking the scent of death with lavender and other herbs. Elders may leave the camp to enjoy the forest or hunt, but do not participate in border patrols. Aside from defending the camp in an attack, they are not expected to fulfill warrior duties and are fed before the warriors and apprentices of the clan.
Cats become elders 11 months after they are born, eight months after becoming a warrior. At any time during the required month, they may speak to leader to request becoming an elder. Any who have not made the request by the last ceremony of the month will become elders in that ceremony. Elders may remain in this rank for one month before they are required to pass away.