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.


Valar Morghulis: All Men Must Die

What do we say to the god of death? Not today.


The gray and white femme felt more embarrassed than anything else. She knew that Rom was a friend and that he would not blame her for what had become of her, but she still felt like she should have been able to do more. She had been trained to fight, but it was clear now that she was either still too young or too small to be of much use. She was almost full grown, and her musculature was growing back after the weight loss that had occurred from her injuries and the healing process she had to go through on her own. Nymeria would make sure to use this as a learning experience, to better herself and become a stronger and better fighter than she had been before. To train and practice to ensure that something like this would never happen to her again. Whatever it was that had happened to her, she still was not sure. She did not want to be weak as she had been recently.

When she told her friend that she didn’t know what happened to her, she saw his attention perk up before he continued his inspection of her. Even though he did not have his eyesight that didn’t stop him from giving her a very thorough inspection of every inch of her, seeing where her injuries were and where her scars were already forming. At his prompting she got back to her paws, limping slightly over to the water of the falls, the cool water flowing over her limbs. She spoke to him again, her vocals trembled as she admitted to her feelings, the anxiety obvious in her vocals. And then the kalak did something that was very unlike him, he began to groom her, helping to remove the dirt and dried blood from areas that she could not reach herself. Nymeria had learned that Rom was not the touchy-feely type of wolf, that he preferred his space and did not show physical affections to others. But here he was, gently using his teeth to clean out her fur. At first she stiffened, afraid that if she moved he would back away and stop, but after a few moments she leaned into his touch, not thinking about anything as she just let him clean her, feeling safe again now that she was with him.

Romulus broke the silence between them as he began cleaning up the caked on blood and dirt from her shoulder, “There’s nothing wrong with you, Nymeria. But you must know what your own body goes through. Remember it. If you are afraid of recalling it, don’t be. I’ll keep you safe for the time being.” His words meant a lot to her. She knew that they were friends but he had never offered her protection like that, but then again she had not needed it before. Or so she had thought, she was not sure if she still needed it or if she was safe. She still did not know who had done this to her, or why and she was not sure if they would come after her again. If they did, then having someone looking out for her would be a good thing. The femme was afraid to try and figure out what had happened, the last flashback she had making her feel weaker than she had ever felt, at least emotionally, and she didn’t want to show that weakness to the brute. But then again he had told her not to be afraid to recall what had happened, and she felt safer and more comfortable with him than anyone else. So if she couldn’t talk to him then there was no one she could talk to.

And so Ny closed her orbs, trying not to focus on what Rom was doing, and tried to remember what had happened, to open up any parts of her mind that she may have been blocking out, whether on purpose or not. Her subconscious had put up blocks, making it so she did not remember what had happened, so she could focus on healing and surviving, and not being traumatized by the past. But she needed to know what happened to her in order for her to be whole again. When she focused on the day that the incident happened it became a little easier. She remembered where she had been, and then it hit her, she had been here, at the Falls. And she had been kidnapped. Her bodice froze at the realization, anxiously looking around as if the kidnapper would come out of nowhere and take her again. He had been darkly colored, and seemed to care about why she was upset. It was right after Lady died, and the pain of that made the memory worse. But then he had turned on her, lunging at her and pushing her under the water. She remembered the fear and pain of not being able to breathe before she passed out under the water. When she came too again, it was cold, and there had been snow all around her. The demon had moved her, taken her, up the mountains somehow and in the snow, now like a cave. And the brute himself looked different, now entirely white and his face terribly scared, half of his muzzle gone. Ny still had no idea what he wanted with her when he began to attack her, dislocating her limbs so she could not run away, ripping into her bodice with teeth and claw when she tried to fight back and crawl away. The femme didn’t realize that she was now shaking against Rom, both with renewed fear and with anger. She had done nothing wrong to this brute, so why had he gone after her?

”I remember what happened, but I still don’t know who it was.” Her voice was shaky at first, but evened out the more she talked. ”It was a large male. He came here, where I was, right after Lady died. At first he was darkly colored, but then he attacked me, and held me under the water until I passed out. When I woke up, I was in a cave in the snow, and he looked different. He was white, and half his face was scarred and half his muzzle basically gone, one eye wasn’t there either. And then…he did this to me. I don’t understand why.” Her vocals got softer towards the end, unsure of what to do now. She was still ashamed of what had happened, and couldn’t meet Romulus’ features, so she stared into the water and stood there, unmoving, unsure of what to feel.


**Nymeria**Ess**Loveless**No Pups**Moondown Shadows**Older Teen**Sister of Lady, Grey Wind, Summer, Rickon, and Ghost**Violet


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