Fir Chilis is the name given to the dense string of forested land that fills much of Blossom Forest. There are two different populations, depending on where in the land you are. To the north lays the deciduous forest, full of maples, oaks, birches, and beeches. To the south lay a coniferous forest full of pines and firs. No matter where you are, the trees shelter you from the sun and the rain and the snow. Take care not to get lost in the woods however - you may never find your way out. There are other dangerous here too - predators waiting for their own prey. While the land is prosperous they do not pose too much of a threat, but whenever famine or drought hits, they will attack anything... even other Putnar.

Those looking to hunt will find the forests well stocked - there are white-tailed deer, turkeys, red squirrels, chipmunks, mermots, and moose.


little ghost

run . . . run . . . run . . . away

Perhaps Lady Fortune had finally decided it was time to show mercy, for instead of tearing himself away from her in disgust or snapping at her like a crocodile breaking from the deceptive calm surface of a pond, Hurricane merely continued to cradle Losa under his jaw like a breakable baby bird. Her relief at his welcoming response squeezed her throat into a silent sob, celestial portals misting over at the incredible emotion swelling within her. There was no way to explain this with logic, so it must be magic. There was no way to pull herself from the firm expanse of his chest, so this must be a spell. Something unfurled tentatively in the slender dancer’s bruised heart, a tiny ray of light she almost didn’t recognize. It told her that salvation rested at the end of this dreamlike path they’d stumbled upon. Hope.

He couldn’t necessarily promise her that he wasn’t “pretending,” given that the poor soldier barely seemed to know himself right now—much less what truly lurked beneath storms of aggression he could not control or a confusion thick as midnight fog. Perhaps all of this was a lie. Maybe Losa was the one acting on false impulses, her thoughts and actions the cruel fabrications of someone else tugging on her puppet strings. But the emotions spearing into her breast felt real enough . . . so she had no choice to but to trust that when his gravel-worn words fell upon her audits, he meant them. Regardless, neither accursed wolf was about to simply leave. They remained together for most of the day, like two travelers hopelessly lost in the dark that had discovered companionship at last. Why escape one another to wander alone? As misery loves company, so their enchantment found comfort in mutual turmoil . . .

Well, turmoil and physical contact.

Her craving for touch stunned the shy girl. Once she had experienced the protective strength of Hurricane’s embrace—the hardness of his musculature under the thick ink-colored pelt, the way her skull seemed to fit perfectly under the angle of his jawbone—Losa reacted the way a drug addict might. She needed this. More of it. The pair moved back toward the lake, stopping right at the edge where the forest faded into sunlit banks, and at all times Losa was touching Hurricane: her tail coyly stroking his flank, her shoulder occasionally bumping into his side, her injured paw sometimes mis-stepping to brush against one of his. It wasn’t even a necessarily romantic urge that drove her toward this silliness—she just hadn’t had physical contact with anyone in so long that for a while it had been difficult to think of herself as real, and not some nightmare consciousness doomed to suffering. Forgotten was the white ghost who’d shared his den with her a few moons ago. Her broken mind had erased him as soon as she’d wandered from his shelter in another daze. But Hurricane was here and solid and real and his voice was warm leather and polished stone and the mere thought of being alone again made Losa’s heart quicken with terror.

The unlikely pair ended up snuggled around each other in the cushion of leaves blanketing the forest floor. The innocence of their contact could only ever be replicated in fairytales; Hurricane never once moved toward the young princess in any manner even vaguely resembling lascivious intent, and she took pure enjoyment in the defensive mass of his warrior’s frame shielding her from harm. Trying to sort out the sharp pieces of their memories was too painful, so they resorted to innocuous chatter about everything else. Birdsong. The fresh green of new growth. And soon even these conversations lulled into a relaxing, companionable silence that drifted off into a replenishing slumber Losa had not experienced for a long, long while.

+ + +

Whatever the hex on Losa’s mind was, it seemed to work its insidious magic right when the lass closed her eyes to sleep. Whatever clarity she grasped at while awake was tangled and muddled by fearful dreams so that when the sun rose she was right back where she started. In hell.

Early dawn had lightly touched her eyelashes and the tender bird opened her celestial portals with a slow sigh. She went to adjust her position—and realized that she was almost completely surrounded by the massive physique of a shadow-hued gladiator. Usually this sort of unexpected situation would burn her alive with terror . . . yet after a handful of seconds, Losa’s heartbeats remained even and relaxed. She did not fear this colossal creature, even though she did not immediately recognize him. And then, blinking, the girl knew. “Hurricane . . .” her lips whispered. Who he was, she had no idea. But she knew his name with absolute certainty. And if she knew his name, he must be a friend.

Well, a friend deserved breakfast, didn’t he?

Careful not to stir the dreaming titan, Losa gracefully extricated herself from his full-body hug (or at least as gracefully as she could, as it appeared as if she’d somehow sustained a deep injury along her side) and padded into the woods. The sylph could hunt, though not particularly well while gripped in fugue; it was why she’d teetered on the brink of starvation all these weeks. Her sensitive nares picked out the scent of a rabbit in no time, and she started wandering in its general direction, footsteps soft and uncertain as she traveled.

Eventually the damsel had meandered quite far from her original location . . . and she’d also forgotten what had driven her out here in the first place. She frowned, recalling a delicious warmth surrounding her in comfort . . .

A distant crashing noise drew her attention back toward the direction of the lake. Losa froze, abruptly scared, dusky hackles lifting slightly along her spine—and then she saw him, the thundercloud king from before, and she saw that his lanterns were a bright ferocious yellow that could also be gentle and he looked as if he were looking for something frantically—

“Here!” Losa called, almost instantly clamping her maw shut. Why had she just given away her position? Fool! But she parted her velvet jowls once more, in case the fearsome dragon hadn’t heard her, her delicate paws already trotting closer. “I’m right here! I was looking for a rabbit, and I forgot what I was doing. Good . . . morning?” Her tail hovered near her ankles, unsure . . . yet wagging, hopeful that he would say something. Once she stood close enough, her pulse fluttering nervously in her throat, Losa swallowed hard and summoned all her bravery. “Good morning, H-Hurricane.”

lost . . . lost . . . lost . . . my . . . mind

【Daughter of a Dead Pack – pining for none – no ties – no future – LSVK】


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