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.


d e m o n s

r o e V y

they plan and they plan . . . they search and they search . . .

The slumbering maiden awoke abruptly, as if she’d been merely skimming the edges of sleep with her paws rather than dreaming deeply but a heartbeat before. Roe actually jumped backward in order to make room for her as she stood; the queen was achingly feminine, curves making her frame soft and pleasing to the eye, but the lad sensed a powerful musculature hiding under the silken ivory coat. What’s more, the wolfess seemed to know it, too. Her luminous portals bored into his face like those of an eagle: fearless and just the smallest bit frightening. This was not a female who lacked the capacity to defend herself. Without having to ask, Reo understood that if he put a single toe out of line this pale fae could probably smack him into the dirt without breaking a sweat.

And WOW, was that a turn-on!

Utterly unfazed by the notion that the lovely amazon was likely older than himself, the little peacock immediately stuffed his initial intimidation beneath his enormous ego, narrow chest puffing out and skinny tail arching handsomely over his spine. His hatred of the cold momentarily stepped aside so that his shockingly foolish libido could come out to play. Isn’t this why he’d been wandering around in the first place? To flirt?

Actually . . . no. It had been to look for food, right? Oh well. Flirting was more fun than breaking your nails over a rabbit, anyway.

“Sorry for waking you,” the boy purred, the deepness he’d purposefully lowered his voice to registering as a rich bronze in his mind’s eye. He recalled the sweet rosy hue of the femme’s breathing and wondered what she was look like when she spoke. “I was just wondering . . . what you were doing out in the open? This isn’t exactly the safest place for a pretty thing like you to be all on your lonesome.” And here he honest-to-god wiggled his eyebrows, vulpine muzzle curving into a smirk he considered devastatingly fetching. The idiot.
.:. youngling .:. lover to none .:. no allegiance .:. no family .:.


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