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Swallowtail of RiverClan - Sunrise by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff Swallowtail of RiverClan - Sunrise by Jayie-The-Hufflepuff
This is Swallowtail of RiverClan.
Name: Swallowtail
Gender: Female
Clan: RiverClan
Rank: Elder
Mother: Sedgecreek
Father: Voleclaw
Sister: Greenflower
Brother: Heavystep
Mate: Hawkfrost (formerly), Voletooth
Daughter: Duskfur
Sons: Beechfur, RippletailPouncetail

I might figure out parents to list for her some other time, but for now, I'll just leave that blank. I wanted to draw more of the Tigerstar family (especially since Duskfur needs a new ref sheet for Silent Sacrifice), and the RiverClan portion of that branch of the family is descended from Swallowtail and her kits with Hawkfrost, so I needed to design her first. So here is Swallowtail's design. ^^

In terms of her lineart, I decided to give her a nice, thick pelt since she's RiverClan and most of them have sleek fur. She's described as plump, and I tried to get that across here as best as I could. I'm not always great at drawing plump cats. :P But I tried. It seems that RiverClan cats tend to be plumper than cats in the other Clans, but I feel like Swallowtail might be particularly so. Her tail isn't the fluffiest ever, but it's fluffy, so maybe that's why she was named -tail, or maybe she had some habit of sticking her tail out while hunting or something... I dunno. :P It doesn't look much like a swallow's tail, and I was too lazy to come up with another reason she might have been named that.

Since I already designed Duskfur as a classic tabby (though her design, which will be uploaded soon, has changed rather drastically from her old ref sheet), I decided to make her mother one too, to contrast more with Hawkfrost. She's got a nice classic tabby pattern, with a dark tail-tip. She's described on the wiki as very dark brown, so I definitely tried to get that across and make her darker than most of my dark brown families *coughtheTigerstarfamilycough*. She's also described with green eyes. I was going to give her sort of de-saturated green eyes, before I remembered she has a grandson, Lakebird, who has green eyes, who hasn't really got anyone else to inherit them from in his family tree (not unless you go all the way back to Pinestar, I guess). So I gave her the same shade of green eyes as Lakebird. They're super-saturated and a bit on the blue side, but I honestly think they look good on her. Maybe not the most realistic, but they really pop out from her very dark, de-saturated pelt.

As I've said before, in the universe of my fanfic series EOTW, Swallowtail was the mother of Hawkfrost's kits. I feel like Swallowtail maybe had some confidence issues as a young warrior, perhaps because of her plumpness, and maybe she was a bit slower than the other warriors and not the faster swimmer or best fisher in the Clan. So when she developed a crush on the strong, popular warrior Hawkfrost, she wasn't really sure how to act around him. But Hawkfrost is a smart cat, and was quickly able to realize Swallowtail's interest in him. He didn't find her to be the most impressive warrior in the Clan, but there was something pretty about her eyes and her stripes, and he knew there were benefits to taking a mate in the Clan. It would strengthen his ties to the Clan in the eyes of his Clanmates, as well as demonstrating his compassion.

More important to him was the idea of any kits that could be gotten from the relationship. Kits would solidify his place in RiverClan, by mixing his blood with RiverClan blood, and kits could carry on his legacy. So, with all of this in mind, he courted Swallowtail. She was amazed that the popular tom was interested in her, and quickly fell for him - though they kept their relationship secret, in the beginning, as Hawkfrost wanted to make sure kits could be born from the union before committing. It wasn't much longer before Swallowtail was expecting kits.

Swallowtail was happier than she'd ever been in her life in those brief moons leading up to her pregnancy. However, once she moved into the nursery, Hawkfrost seemed to lose interest in her. He still spent enough time with her to assure her of his affections, but rarely visited the nursery, and seemed happier to talk about how strong their kits would be than their own relationship. This lack of attention from her mate, as well as the last few moons of being close to him, allowed Swallowtail to start realizing just what sort of cat she'd become mates with. Underneath his flattery and smooth words, there was an undercurrent of ambition and selfishness. He bragged about what strong leaders their kits would be one day, and how he would teach them to follow in his pawsteps - he even seemed to hint that one day, Leopardstar wouldn't be around anymore, and he'd be the one to lead the Clan.

Hawkfrost had little regard for Swallowtail now that she'd played her part and was expecting his kits - that lack of regard was what kept him from being careful in what he let slip about his hopes for the future around her. Swallowtail didn't know whether Hawkfrost would actually do anything to take power violently in the Clan, but the way he talked began to scare her, as she finally realized just how ambitious and cruel Hawkfrost could be. It hurt her to realize the cat that she loved didn't care about her at all, and was ambitious to the point of cruelty - but she couldn't just think about herself and what she wanted anymore. By the time the kits were born, Swallowtail had made her decision - she wanted Hawkfrost to have nothing to do with raising their kits. She told him as much not longer after the kits were born. By this point, Hawkfrost had visited the nursery often enough to see what hard work it took to raise kits, and how needy and loud they could be, so he was quite happy to give up the responsibility of raising them beside her. He planned on telling them their true parentage later, when they were old enough to not need him to hold their paw anymore, and when he could teach them to follow in his pawsteps. Swallowtail was heartbroken to give up the cat she loved, but she knew that he would  corrupt their kits if allowed to raise them, and she couldn't let that happen, no matter how she felt about Hawkfrost.

Hawkfrost died when his kits were still apprentices. Swallowtail was horrified, but not surprised, to learn what he'd tried to do to Firestar and Brambleclaw. She continued to keep the secret of her kits' parentage until they were full warriors. Then, one day, she took them aside and told them who their father was. They were shocked and horrified, but Swallowtail assured them that who their father was didn't have to define their lives. She told them it was now their choice what to do with the secret - they could continue to keep it, or they could tell whoever they wanted, and she wouldn't stop them. Duskfur, Beechfur, and Rippletail  talked for a while before deciding to tell Mothwing, so she could know they were kin. Other than that, they chose to keep the secret. Beechfur told Gorsetail, and Duskfur told Reedwhisker, and Rippletail may have told his mate, but that was it. The secret may have come out some time later, but I'm not sure.

Moons later, Swallowtail started to notice another cat in her Clan who wanted to hunt with her often, and who comforted her when she was sad. She was afraid to let herself be with another cat, after realizing how wrong she'd been about Hawkfrost. But Voletooth had none of Hawkfrost's ambitions, and he actually cared about her and made her laugh. Swallowtail decided that she wanted to let herself be happy, and that she didn't want what Hawkfrost had done to rule her life any more than she had let it rule the lives of her kits. So she became mates with Voletooth, and birthed one more kit with him - a son, Pouncetail. She retired to the elder's den, and lived the rest of her life happily.

And there's a mini-essay on Swallowtail's life in my EOTW fanfic 'verse. :P
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