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SUNLESSCLAN
LORE
By ZandraArt on Tumblr
History
The Origin
In the beginning, there was nothing.
Then came the light, and with the light came the darkness. Yet no light can survive unbound, and as the moons wore on, the darkness began to consume the light.
The Creator did not like the destruction of its light, and cast aside the darkness to restore the light. After this, it bound the light into the sun and the moon and declared them to be holy, chosen by the Creator to reign over all.
The Creator went on to create more, the land and the sea and the plants and the animals. Yet eventually, it grew weary of the constant life, and so it turned back to its first creation to create twice more. And thus, Lei and Dao were born.
The First Chapter
Dao and Lei were perfect for one another, giving one another a balance that they could never hold alone. There was a depth to their love, a certainty that they were made for one another; and who could doubt it, when they never argued and spent every moment of their precious time together?
Yet Dao grew weary of Lei's constant chidings, and the arrogance that Lei had once found charming she now found nearly impossible to deal with. They fell to war, and for many moons, the skies grew dark under their wrath.
The only thing to temper their war was Lei's discovery: she was expecting kits- or, well, a single kit. She gave birth two moons after her discovery, to a solid black kit known as Hoku.
The Dawn
Dao and Lei were overjoyed at the birth of their kit, yet even still, they continued to fight- now over who would raise their daughter. Both thought it their right, and both thought the other incompetent, yet they refused to compromise. Eventually, Dao accidentally dropped his daughter down to the earth, where she was found and adopted by a former Clan cat known as Sunlessdream.
Sunlessdream renamed Hoku as Nightkit, and began to teach her in the ways of a Clan cat and of Dao and Lei- although no cat knew that they had a daughter, and, throughout Hoku's whole life, she never learned of her true identity.
As the moons grew on, Sunlessdream grew weaker and weaker, until she died. As her last words, she declared Nightheart to be a warrior, and begged for her to create a Clan with all Sunlessdream had taught her.
And so Nightheart did. She created SunlessClan, named in honour of Sunlessdream, and went on to become Nightstar, with Locustblaze as her mate and her deputy. Nightstar created all the laws and traditions of the Clan, most notably the Royal Family, and it is thanks to her that SunlessClan was ever born.
And so the story begins.
Monarch History
Nightstar
The Bringer of Truth
Nightstar, formerly known as Nightheart, was a striking solid black she-cat with heterochromatic amber and grey eyes. Nightstar was the daughter of Dao and Lei, yet was popular for her charisma and nobility, both traits that were very rare at the time. She built SunlessClan from the ground up, honoring the entire Clan to her mentor and mother-figure, Sunlessdream. She is viewed by the Clan with an almost worshipful fervor, and to speak ill of Nightstar is a sure way to get severely punished. Nightstar's heirs were Locustblaze, her mate, and Meadowtruth, who was her daughter and successor. She lost her final life in battle, serving her Clan to the very end.
Meadowstar
The First Follower
Meadowstar, formerly known as Meadowtruth, was a lanky, elegant dark brown and black dappled she-cat with bright green eyes. Meadowstar was popular from birth for her heritage, yet also gained a great deal of her own popularity due to her smooth tongue and wit. In many ways, she was similar to her mother, Nightstar, and served as a level-headed leader; however, she was quick to jump to war, and often acted before she thought. Meadowstar created the idea of sacrifices in the Clan, although they were not refined until Hollowstar's monarchy. Meadowstar's only heir was her son and successor, Drizzlewhisker. She lost her final life in battle.
Drizzlestar
The Forgiven
Drizzlestar, formerly known as Drizzlewhisker, was a dark brown tabby tom with white markings and bright green eyes. He was the first male monarch of SunlessClan, and by far the most Dao-influenced monarch the Clan has ever seen, taking on the vast majority of Dao's traits. He was unfortunately prone to violence, as his mother before him was, yet was also deeply wise, and grew to be far calmer, albeit more eccentric, later in his reign. Drizzlestar was the cat who ultimately isolated the Clan, leading them into their current territory, and refining many of Nightstar's traditions. His heirs were his brother, Brackenfoot, and his grandson and successor, Hollowbounce. He lost his final life due to old age.
Hollowstar
The Dark Truth
Hollowstar, formerly known as Hollowbounce, was a dark brown tabby tom with a white half-face and pale amber eyes. He was the most violent monarch SunlessClan has seen yet, trained by his mother before him, and led the warriors into countless unnecessary battles, and had an extremely short reign, only having led for six seasons. Not much is said to praise Hollowstar, although he was a warrior of extraordinary courage and a great intelligence, and, if raised differently, could have been one of the best monarchs the Clan has seen. His only heirs were his sister, Mahoganywatcher, and his brother, Mantisvenom, yet he was succeeded by his neice, Scorchveil. He lost his final life by the Clan's jurisdiction, slain by the current Sundancer, Ophidiandream, as an appeasement to the deities.
Scorchstar
The Cleansing Fire
Scorchstar, formerly known as Scorchveil, is a tall and elegant dark russet tabby she-cat with a white half-face and bright green eyes. Scorchstar is incredibly proud and arrogant, yet is still charismatic, with a fiery heart and a great deal of dedication to her Clan. Not much of her leadership can be said, as she has only been leader for a very short amount of time. Scorchstar's current heir is Rowanflicker. She has not yet lost any lives.
By ZandraArt on Tumblr
Religion
SunlessClan's religion has been created by many moons of woven paths, twisting together to create their current beliefs. They follow in the light of Dao, the god of the sun, and the shadows of Lei, the goddess of the moon.
While every feline worships both, they each have one they favor over the other; their patron deity will watch over them and protect them far more than the other deity, and they often offer more sacrifices to their patron deity. The patron deity of each feline is often obvious, chosen based off their personality and interests, yet not always. Additionally, their have been occasions of a deity taking a specific interest in a feline and proclaiming themself their patron, although this is extraordinarily rare.
There has only been one known case of a deity claiming a feline: Mottledflame the Great, who was claimed by Dao.
Very, very rarely, a feline will be naturally patronless. Any royals who are patronless are kicked out of the Royal Family, and all patronless felines are considered to be the lowest in the Clan.
Felines are capable of claiming a patron or being claimed by a patron anytime before they reach twelve moons of age, and are most often claimed between six and twelve moons.
After death, SunlessClan believes those who worship Dao after their patron go to walk on the sun, and those who worship Lei as their patron go to walk on the moon. Those who are patronless, however, are scattered through the endless empty space between the sun and the moon.
On the hierarchy, those with Dao as their patron god are marked with a sun [☀], those with Lei as their patron goddess are marked with a moon [☾], and those without a patron deity are unmarked.
Dao by Holly
Dao
Dao is the patron god of the reckless dreamers and fiery warriors, filling those who worship him with an unquenchable courage and fire. He is the favored patron of the Royal Family, with the majority of royals taking on traits of Dao and worshipping him; in fact, those who do not claim Dao are often considered to be lesser within the Royal Family. Dao himself is a ball of fire and energy, proud and energetic with a love of war and a very short temper, and is portrayed as a massive golden tabby tom with a glowing golden sun on his forehead.
Lei by Holly
Lei
If Dao is fire, the Lei is water, the patron goddess of the deep thinkers and reflective warriors, those who think before they act, and filling those who worship her with a deep-rooted wisdom and intellectual manner. She is the favored patron of non-royals, and holds a special place in the Clan's heart for her maternal nature and protectiveness over all. Lei herself is a calm and wise she-cat, full of empathy and heartache for all those who suffer, and is portrayed as a light silver tabby she-cat with a glowing white moon on her forehead.
By ZandraArt on Tumblr
Customs & Ceremonies
Ceremonies
The birth of a sunray occurs every time a royal member is born into the Clan. A small festival holds place, many using leaves, feathers, bones, and other small items to decorate their pelt. They all pay a visit to the new member/s and bring them a gift. At the end, it concludes with a feast, with the new parents having first pick of the prey.
The welcoming ceremony is held once a cat picks a deity. Those who are in the same group will celebrate with a great deal of feasting and partying, and the celebration will last all through the day or night, depending on the chosen deity.
All of the Clan gather precious items and rich prey for the gods for minor sacrifices. Putting it all together, they create an alter to give as a way to demonstrate their gratitude. The royals give a small speech, reminding the rest of the Clan of the history and events they've faced. These occur once a moon, and every feline is required to attend.
As for major sacrifcies, while the cats do not believe in sacrificing those within their own Clan, they hold no such cares with outsiders. They are not above going on raids far outside of their territory to find cats of all ages and backstories to sacrifice them, and often spend small groups of warriors to do so. These cats are charismatic, weaving stories of the glories of SunlessClan to convince them to come, yet ultimately are sacrificed to the dancers upon their return. Such events are grisly and rare, coming once every twelve moons; however, they hold sacrifices of prey once a moon. Every feline is required to attend all sacrifices.
Customs
The flower festival is held once a year during the beginning of spring. This is the time many collect flowers, each having their own meaning, and gifting them over to their special ones. It is also a way to declare the love for another. Many make flower crowns or end up decorating themselves with the flowers.
The shining star is a small competition held between the apprentices within the Clan. It includes challenges of hunting, sparring, and other skills important for being a warrior. All apprentices are tested on the same skills, regardless of their future faction. It tests their progress and those who win are admired and have a chance of getting their promotion faster.
One and for all is a competition held between the elder ranks- warriors and above. They spar, hunt, and test other skills for cats to rise to the top. Those who win are recognized and their respect within the Clan grows, and may receive additional rewards.
Face & Body Paint
Over the moons, the Clan has chosen to symbolise their standings with various designs of face and body paint. The cats use a mixture of river clay and water to create the paint itself, then dye it with various items, such as beetles, berries, flowers, dirt, and rocks. They do so by grinding these up to get to the actual pigment, and then just mixing them into the clay and water mixture.
However, the cats really only use the clay mixture for special occasions; their daily paint is mostly just the pigment stained onto the fur, to make it last longer, although it still must be redone every moon or so. Typically, the paint is put on by a close friend or family member, although not always.
The cats have only discovered how to make red, blue, and yellow from natural objects, yet they have learned how to mix these to create different colours. The most notable of these is black, which is created by a mixture of magenta, blue, and yellow.
The cats have also found a way to make white using crushed eggshells, which creates a pale creamy-white colour, and make brown using dirt.
The darker royal mark is used to symbolise royals who claim Dao as their patron, and is created by crushed blackberries, whereas the lighter royal mark is used to symbolise royals who claim Lei as their patron, and is created by a mixture of red and blue paints.
By ZandraArt on Tumblr

This format was created by Staggered Crowns exclusively for SunlessClan's usage and is not free to use. Credit goes to Holly for creating the Lei and Dao art and the face and body paint concepts. Credit goes to Valkyn for the customs and ceremonies. The banner was created by ZandraArt and is free to use with credit.

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