|“||Mapleshade waited for Appledusk to send the other warriors on ahead, to find some excuse to be alone with her so they could mourn their kits together before facing the rest of his Clan. But he didn't turn back to look at her. He hasn't even asked what I named them.||„|
|~ Appledusk's reaction to his children's deaths.|
Appledusk is a minor antagonist in Erin Hunter's Warriors book series. He makes his only appearance as the antagonistic love interest in the novella Mapleshade's Vengeance, the origin story of Mapleshade.
Born in RiverClan, a group of feral cats skilled in fishing and swimming, Appledusk lived in a time of war, with a neighboring clan, ThunderClan. During a territorial battle for Sunningrocks, Appledusk caused an enemy warrior, Birchface to fall into a raging river. Birchface's apprentice, Flowerpaw attempted to save him, but failed and both ended up drowning. ThunderClan swore to kill Appledusk in revenge. Meanwhile, Appledusk was having simultaneous affairs with his manipulated victims; his Clanmate, Reedshine and ThunderClan warrior, Mapleshade, neither being aware. With Mapleshade speically, it was an illegal relationship as having outsider mates is forbidden by the Warrior Code.
When Mapleshade became pregnant with Appledusk's kittens; Patchkit, Larchkit and Petalkit, he was not willing to leave RiverClan to raise them, so he left Mapleshade alone with all the responsibility and consequences. However, he still forced the mother to sneak their kits to the border despite them being too young, so he can meet them once. However, ThunderClan's Medicine cat, Ravenwing spied on the meeting and reported it. That same day, Mapleshade and her kits were banished from ThunderClan's land during a storming night. While trying to esape to RiverClan, the whole litter fell into a river and got swept away. Mapleshade almost drowned trying to save them, but failed because of the overwhelming current. Watching the whole time, Appledusk made no attempt to help. When Mapleshade drags the dead bodies onto RiverClan's shore, she begs for help and shelter. When Appledusk reveals himself, he refuses to comfort his grieving mate and shows no remorse for his children's deaths, not even asking for their names.
After escorting her to RiverClan's camp, Appledusk blames Mapleshade for everything and calls his forbidden family a mistake, ashamed of them. His second mate, Reedshine is at first horrified that Appledusk lied and cheated on her, but he quickly maniplates her into forgiving him. While holding Reedshine, Appledusk publicly disowns Mapleshade as a mate and exiles her the second time that night. Reedshine also insults Mapleshade as she leaves. With Mapleshade out of the way, Appledusk immediately gets Reedshine pregnant to enforce his dominance over her.
Due to the trauma suffered, Mapleshade starts hallucinating her dead kits, screaming to be avenged. So she goes on a killing spree on those she blames for her kits' deaths. After killing Ravenwing and another ThunderClan warrior, Frecklewish, she confronts Appledusk. When he runs into her again, he still blames Mapleshade for the kits' drowning and gets into a fight with her. Despite killing Appledusk first, Mapleshade still dies later from blood loss due to her wounds.
|“||But what made it worse was the father of my drowned kits took a RiverClan mate! He promised he would only love me!||„|
|“||Now they are dead. Be thankful we have shown you some mercy, Mapleshade. Get out, before we make you leave.||„|
|“||You told me you loved me! I went through the agony of bearing your kits! And now you treat me worse than prey. You will regret this, Appledusk. That is my last promise to you.||„|
|“||You have not won, Mapleshade. Appledusk will live on in his kits, and their kits in turn. His spirit will not die. He will be part of RiverClan forever!||„|