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Stripes is a minor villain in Erin Hunter's Warriors book series. He serves as the main antagonist of Outcast, the third book of the story arc Power of the Three.

History

Stripes is the leader of a large group of rogue cats who come to the mountains where an ancient group of cats known as "The Tribe of Rushing Water" have lived for countless generations. Although the Tribe initially assumes they are just passing through, Stripes and his group quickly make it clear that they intend to settle in the mountains. They relentlessly harass the tribe, stealing their prey and treating them like prisoners in their own land, with Stripes even calling them "a few scrawny, flea-ridden excuses for cats".

At one point, the Tribe cats, prompted by a former Warrior Clan cat named Stormfur, mount a full-scale attack on Stripes and his group, but are defeated. This leads Stoneteller, the Tribe leader to banish Stormfur and his mate Brook, blaming them for the deaths of the cats who perished in the battle. Afterwards, Stripes and his group continue to oppress the Tribe, growing more arrogant by the day.

However, two Tribe cats named Talon and Night later leave the mountains and ask Stormfur and Brook, who have joined ThunderClan, for help. After some consideration, they accept and head back to the mountains, along with several other Clan cats. When they reach the mountains, Stripes and three other members of his group spot them and prepare to attack, but upon realizing that they are outnumbered, they let them pass and even have the audacity to pretend that they never intended to attack them at all.

The Clan cats teach the Tribe cats better fighting techniques and encourage them to make borders for their territory. After this is done, the Clan cats, along with a senior Tribe cat called Crag go to the intruders' camp to tell them about this. Stripes faces the Clan and Tribe cats and inquires what they want. Brambleclaw, a big dark brown tabby tom who is acting as leader of the Clan cats, flicks his ears at Crag, and the latter explains that they want to end their conflict. He then pauses, expecting Stripes to comment, but the latter just jerks his head and insists for him to go on. Crag tells him about the borders they have created and policies they involve, but before he can finish, the trespassers' fur bristle, and their eyes blaze with anger. Stripes snarls at Crag that he has no right to any part of the mountains and no right to set borders, and any cat can take prey from where it desires. A Clan cat named Tawnypelt protests that this isn't fair, but Stripes interrupts her and states that this is about life or death, and if necessary, their life and the Tribe cats' death.

A Tribe cat named Splash asks Lionpaw if they are to fight now, and he replies that Hollypaw will give her a signal, but the latter does not have much hope avoiding a battle, as Stripes has made it clear that the trespassers have no intentions of respecting the borders the Tribe has worked so hard to put in place. At Stripes's challenge, Crag steps forward until the two toms stand nose-to-nose, and as he is about to warn him, Brambleclaw stops him, stating that it isn't the right time, as the trespassers outnumber them. Brambleclaw then faces Stripes and informs him that they will defend their borders, but it is his choice to cross them. Stripes agrees to bear it in mind, but states they will not forget that some of them don't belong. Hollypaw believes that he doesn't need to go on as he refers to the Clan cats, and it is obvious that he is planning to attack the Tribe as soon as the Clan cats leave, making them useless.

The Clan cats and the Tribe cats both later attack Stripes's group. During the battle, Stripes tries to fight Brambleclaw, but loses. After the fight stops, a badly wounded Stripes limps up to Crag and Brambleclaw, and dips his head. He rasps that they have won and promises to respect their borders if they leave his group's queens and kits alone. After some consideration, Crag agrees to leave them in peace as long as they stay on their side of the border. Stripes dips his head again, then waves his tail to lead his battered companions back into their camp.

Stripes's group is seen again much later in the book "Sign of the Moon". Although they have stopped harassing the Tribe, they still ocassionally cross the border and steal prey, only to be warned again by the Tribe cats. However, Stripes himself doesn't appear.

Physical appearance

Stripes is a large, pale silver tabby tomcat with amber eyes and dark stripes, hence his name.

Personality

Stripes is a cruel, arrogant, self-centred and amoral individual whose only goal in life is survival. He cares only about himself and his own group, leading them by no code of honour other than a life-or-death policy. As shown by his treatment of the Tribe of Rushing Water, he has no problems about blatantly stealing land or food from other cats and doesn't care a jolt if they starve or die. He is also extremely rude and haughty, as he nearly always speaks in an insolent manner, and has no respect or compassion for the rights and needs of others. These traits make Stripes a bully who is always willing to pick a fight. However, if the odds are turned against him, he will immediately back down and pretend that he never intended to fight at all if he can.

When the Tribe cats offered him a conditional peace offer, Stripes rejected it angrily, asserting that he would kill them all if nessecary for the survival of himself and his group. However, after he and his group were defeated in battle by the Tribe cats and the Clan cats, he realized that he'd been beaten and promised to leave them alone. He and his group kept their promise for the most part.

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