When solid ground grows soft with emerald moss and rivulets of black mud, and coffee-colored water pours slowly around the trunks of densely carpeted trees, this marks the beginning of Laod Mor: the swamp of Blossom Forest. Time itself seems to slow to a soporific crawl . . . the humid jungle air grows stagnant, thick with the scent of rich flooded earth and an abundance of green things that can be found nowhere else—except perhaps Caidir Olc. In some areas of the swamp, water rises so high the only way to cross it is to crawl across fallen logs or massive roots arching from their liquid beds; in other places a wolf might wade easily through the mire—or find a fortunate stretch of mostly dry earth. Pieces of the great river, Glaesfaet Sceawere, also slice through from time to time: small falls that feed into surprisingly clear pools, only to terminate into tar-like pits. Of course, Laod Mor’s beauty shines brightest at night. Here, fireflies gather at all times of the year . . . suffusing the shadowy place with millions of twinkling lights.

Those looking to hunt here of course find a myriad of water prey, including caiman, turtles, fish, crayfish, otters, and toads.


til' death do us part [Devil and Valkyrie]

Vingi was, to say the least, pleased. Like a ghoulish shadow, he trotted silently after the brand-new surrogate alpha, his easy strides keeping a constant distance between their raven forms without issue. While he moved, he analyzed, his gleaming emerald eyes fixated on the magnificent form of the Queen's most ferocious falcon. Devil May Cry was, to be frank, a terrifying specimen. Even to Vingi, a wolf that thrived where danger lurked and would dance where angels feared to tread he was someone to be wary of. A large, muscular wolf with a sharply tawny gaze, Devil is physically imposing. But it is not physical attributes that make the shadow-king so fierce. Vingi himself is evidence enough that the amount of brawn a wolf has does not necessarily relate to how dangerous he will be. Devil May Cry is strong, yes, but is not his strength that makes him so deliciously, delightfully dangerous . Rather, it is the cruel, razor-edged mind that lurks within that creates the threat – the ripped body and slavering canine jaws are just a bonus for the killing machine.

The stealthy pair are tracking Carnival, the wolf who had claimed alphaship when it seemed that Queens would never return. The potentially - definitely- insane she-wolf is not the marvellous, deadly creature that his previous lady had been, but she had survived life in a place as deadly as Malignant Felicity for about as long as he had, so she obviously was not someone to be trifled with. He had been present when she made her claim to the throne, and had not even thought of making a move to stop her. On the ontrary, the idea of another taking the decaying seat had brought some hope to him. The pack of Malignant was a great beast, but without a head the wolves within laid low, allowing the land to go near stagnant. Murderers and scoundrels would hardly patrol the pack lands like obedient, upstanding citizens when they were free to frolic instead. He was hopeful that the new boss would motivate the tame hawks, sending them out to create carefully controlled chaos and the like. Hell, Vingi would have settled for a meeting.

For now, however, he is pleased. Devil May Cry, one of the most amusing wolves around, had chosen him as a partner for this mission. As they stride together, the chocolate and black brute knows with an amused certaintly that he is being evaluated just as he is evaluating. Vingi does not know what Devil sees when he looks at him. Does he see the slim, handsome form of a ebony wolf with a chocolate dipped muzzle and stilts and judge the slender frame as a weak one? Or does he look beyond the prettiness and see the wiry muscles shifting underneath that flawless coat and the perpetually amused intellect shining in the almond shaped eyes on that shapely face? It hardly matters to the dark boy. Although constant underestimation can be a bit insulting, in the past it has made things terribly easy. For that, the trickster has come to find joy in his role as a wolf in a convincing rug of sheepskin.

He slides evenly to a stop behind a bush not far from where the interaction that they are to be watching is going down. There, the two wolves crouch, listening and watching and judging each movement, each word, of both the Lady Carnival and the new recruit. After Vingi's gaze has rested on the russet-stained maiden for several moments, he hears his escort draw a deeper breath beside him, as if to speak. An ear flicks toward the black stallion next to him in time to catch the set of lyrics. It's a question. Green eyes meet golden for a moment as Vingi contemplates, then vocalizes, his pleasant voice soft so it does not carry over to he alert predator of which they speak. “This one has potential, although little focus at the time. She has rage, which makes her most malleable... At the very least, she will make a good toy, and at most, she will impress us with competency. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, is it not so?” His words are uncharacteristically frank, but he does not wish to play verbal games with this demon when he could be spinning webs or watching them being spun around the lovely lady in question.

And Carnival is a master spider when it comes to weaving those webs, although this time she vanishes before the lamb could be brought fully into the fold. Vingi is disappointed as she disappears into the darkness that birthed her, but soon his interest in the scene is rekindled as the lord by his side steps forward to take the stage. Vingi feels the expression of a smirk taking over his face, acknowledging the action that the other male will be taking. His facial blanks a moment later as his fellow hawk moves forward. Vingi sticks to his side, his aloof, supportive pose adding to the dramatic power of the speech, although he cannot help the slight, curious tilt to his head as he regards her as if she is a particularly interesting slide found in a lab. He holds his tongue, simply watching, as Devil runs the show, but allows his silky speech to flavour the air at the very end of his superior's questions.

“You'll find that we can be quite persuasive...”

stock by FIGG manbearpigs - a deviantart source.


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