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.

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She had been lucky in the battle – in fact all of Aurora Borealis had been lucky – that she had not been seriously injured, or worse – killed. Though Hellene had started training both her daughter and Sebring in the art of feeling, they had only scratched the surface. Hellene had taught them only the most basic of plants and had not yet taught them anything about the body nor anything more complicated. Were Hellene to die, the pack would be left without a suitable healer, and considering the amount of trouble that they had gotten into recently, that prospect would not bode well. Unfortunately, their last attack had been severe enough to almost completely decimate all of the stores that Halina had so carefully filled up before the winter had struck. The timberess could only hope that the winter would be short and that the herbs would start to regrow. If any more attacks came to the pack, Halina would have to search far and wide to find any medicinals.

Halina wanted to be ready and prepared, and so she had started looking – wanting to be ready just in case another catastrophe would hit. Already she had searched the entire shore of the lake, but what plants there were she had already collected… the rest were either buried in ice and snow or were too dead to work at all. Dried herbs, though less potent, worked well enough in a pinch. Rotten herbs, however, were useless if you were lucky and lethal if you weren’t. The few she had found had hardly been enough line her shelves. It could probably only treat one sick patient…

And so, the timberess had been traveling up the river, seeing if she could find any other sources of plants. Thus far she had come up with nothing, and so her directionality had changed, leading her up to the top of Staircase Falls. However, instead of a good store of herbs, she had found another varg, one that was seemingly talking to herself. “Are… you quite alright?

||Hellene|| ||I hold my own heart|| ||Aurora Borealis – Zeta || ||Adult|| || Mother to Khaleesi, Destan ||



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