The caves are where it all started. They allowed the first wandering wolves access to the land of Blossom Forest, and afterward housed the monster that had threatened the earliest of inhabitants. The heroes had slain it, yes, but in doing so had also closed off one of the pathways in the caverns, magic blocking one of the many exits to Blossom Forest. But over the years, the original spell has weakened and now the way is clear. What will not only crawl out of the caverns, but erupt from it? The caves now thrum with the ever growing magic wellspring as it spreads out into the land. It is from here that the first vampire of Blossom Forest was corrupted, and it is here that any subsequent vampire will be born. To traverse its paths is dangerous - there is an almost impenetrable darkness, and in that abyss lays many secrets - hidden holes one could fall through, weakened floors, and then of course there is the labyrinthe itself. No one knows what the deeper levels hold - no one has traveled them and survived to tell tales. Not even those who call this place home dares to test their luck by going in deep, deep, deeper. The magic exuding from this place has rearranged the lands - moving packs, changing the terrain. Here the cave looks the same but it is not - it is more dangerous than ever. In addition, outside the mouth of the cave the sacred stones that once stood erect in another place now stand guard. They are colored the most beautiful arrangement of jewel tones, and almost appear to be made of gems themselves, no longer the dull grey they once were. It is within them that all official fights must take place - at the Blican Orlege. Welcome to Drylic Cofa...

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Filius was still panting by the time Mizuki caught up, scaring the rabbit deeper and dropping down beside him. Courteously reigning in his sprawling limbs, he regarded her absently for a moment, still caught up in the rush of adrenaline and the scent and thrill of live prey. She had marvelous eyes. Most wolves grew out of their puppy blue into something much less exciting and much more fathomable; darker yellows and tame browns and slate greys that, while bland, were infinitely more practical. With her eyes bright colors stuck out like the skin of poisonous frogs, vividly threatening and starkly beautiful, noticeable and exposing a corner of her soul his stomach leapt to observe. His own had always been an object of his affection, an apex of jealousy and the occasional rebuke. And although they weren’t as fantastic as either her ocean depth or Hestia’s icy glare, they shone amber-red in the light and bled dark orange at night and had yet to betray their pigment to the noxious hand of disease.
Once his tongue stopped sticking to the top of his mouth and the only mildly irrational fear of suffocation passed Filius licked the raw cold from his nose and stared passionately over at Mizuki.
“Good. Great. Wonderful. Amazing. Fantastic. Stupendously well. .” He paused, growing briefly serious before a dazzling smile split his face.
“Yeah, I’m definitely good.” He was getting out of breath again, running on lingering fumes and unable to repress the edgy babble of syllables. He would have continued on, embarrassing the both of them with his eerily detailed knowledge of the insides of a wolf and how detrimental it could be to put too much stress on healing wounds to the overall stability of its life, but Hestia’s daunting presence was more than enough to sooth his nerves. It was only ever when they were apart that their natures twisted. Whether it be for the worse, inspiring his anxiety and her viciousness, or the better, prying him away from the sullen shadow she often cast and saving her from the constant feelings of distress and vulnerability he exuded, he liked to think of them as two halves of a complicated whole. With her standing nearby his entire world calmed, settled and purred.
Filius huffed, standing on wobbly legs and folding himself into Hestia’s side—or, trying to. It ended up with his shoulder jammed between her ribs while he sat hunched and scrunched, half sitting in an attempt to make himself seem smaller than she was and, ultimately, succeeding in nothing but looking silly. He knew it, too, feeling not quite as uncomfortable with it as he might’ve been before Hestia put on such an outlandish show earlier and rendered this a minor discomfiture in comparison.
He listened to her proposal, feeling his jaw ache in recollection of live bone snapping between his teeth, and eyed the barely visible brown fluff ravenously. Whatever brief, shallow connection he’d felt with it wasn’t strong enough to deter him from prey.
“I would love that. You’ll get it for me?” He knew he wouldn’t be up to digging the thing out himself, not fast enough that there would be a chance of catching it. But Hestia, on the other hand, she was lethal.

BECAUSE I AM THE SUN,
AND I AM THE MOON.
I WILL SWALLOW YOU WHOLE,
I WILL SPIT YOU OUT,
I WILL BURN YOUR EYES,
AND I WILL CAST AN EVERLASTING DARKNESS,
OVER THIS BARREN FUTURE,
THAT YOU CALL HOPE.




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