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 elseóexcept 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 mireóor 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 Morís 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.


The Cry of Destiny

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As soon as Kahlan began to tell the opposing fae of the recent events, Kirastasia's facade had fallen into one of concern and she had ran to Kahlan, nuzzling against her. 'Oh, Kah . . . that sounds terrible. Iím so sorry. I had no idea.' Kahlan was not surprised, for not many did. After Moth had passed, the strength of Saw Tooth had seemed to die as well and so most packs had left Saw Tooth to its own demise. News of the volcano would have spread, but perhaps not that it had destroyed the pack after it had erupted. Kahlan could feel tongued carresses smoothing her pelt, trying to soothe her fears and emotions. Kahlan could feel her stress withering away, if only because the weight of the entire pack was no longer on her shoulders. No longer was she taking care of all of its members. No, for the first time in a long while, someone was instead taking care of her. 'I donít even know what to say. Is there anything I can do for you? Anything at all? I know itís not the same . . . nothing could ever be the same . . . but youíre welcome to stay with me.' Kira had lowered her gaze from Kahlan and stepped away, but the fae immediately moved closer to Kirastasia, closing the space between them.

She was lonely, and that fact could not be denied. She missed having a body next to her at night, having a friend to talk to about everyone, having an Alpha to rely on to lead her in life. So Kirastasia's offer was, not only attractive, it was one that Kahlan simply could not refuse. All the better, that Kirastasia had known Kahlan before - who she was, what her morals were. Kirastasia would never let her stray, and she would keep her on tract. Kahlan had felt a darkness welling up within her, it's tendrils seeping throughout her veins and grasping purchase wherever it could. The darkness had yet decided upon no name, be it Depression, Wrath, Sloth, Revenge... It was new and unformed and had not yet fully formed. But she knew that if she gave herself over to it completely, she may never return to her previous angelicness. She would become one of the seraphim, her wings clipped, never to regrow. But with Kira as her lifeline, even if she floundered, she would always be able to crawl her way back up.

"Are you sure that it would not be an imposition? I do not want to crowd the space in your den, or get in the way of life. I am sure that your mate would not be happy if I joined you in your den, taking away from your personal time." Kahlan had only assumed that Kirastasia had obtained a mate by now. She was beautiful and unique, not to mention sweet and skilled - a true catch. But the other thing that she had not thought about was the possibility that Kirastasia had joined a pack. True, she had been absent from Saw Tooth's borders for a long while, but she assumed that Kira was simply stretching her boundaries. Either that, or that she had returned home to Malignant Felicity. With the fall of Saw Tooth had also come the fall of their information trade, and so the ess had no sense or knowledge of Carnivals' fall from power. "Where exactly is your den, dear?"

The term of endearment sent off Kahlan's sorrowful memories once more. The night that Kahlan had dug a den until her paws bled, a den for her and Kenshin. He had taken her that night, stealing her virginity with the fleeting sign of a thin stream of blood. But when Kirastasia's brother Kavik had attacked her, the pups that had begun to grow in her womb had been injured. The next day she had been racked with pain and contractions, and two sweet, innocent babies had left her. Premature and stillborn, she had dug them a grave and without a word to anyone, buried them. But she had named them so that she would never forget them - Kalil and Kashia. A tear began to roll down her facade at the thought of them... The only pups she had ever whelped, and may ever whelp again. 'You aren't alone. I will be here for you. Always.' Kahlan shook her head, worried that this was too much for her friend. "I will only be a burden to you..."

||Kahlan|| ||Kenshin Broke my Heart|| ||Beta of Saw Tooth Refuge|| ||Adult||


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