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.



Be careful of what you touch lest the grave be what you lust

She had hopes, high hopes, that Spring Grounds would return to busy activity now that Pierce had taken over the throne. That perhaps some semblance of order would be formed, where each member was considered beneficial to the pack as a whole and was expected to pull their own weight. Yes, they should be able to call upon one another in times of need or emergency, but in the times in between - of utter normality and calm, they should all work together to prevent calamity. Perhaps she would mention to him the need for segregation of each faction, to ensure that each member had at least one trade for them to be proficient in... though honestly Athene found that she would much rather have each member be an expert in one faction, but some skill was better than no skill, and she imagined that she would have to compromise for what she wanted versus what she could realistically obtain. For in this land, few followed the old traditions that her pack had... if any. For in her pack, only one pup was allowed to survive each littering - they were allowed a few weeks of training, but then were forced against each other. It ensured that only the strongest survived to be the future of the pack and that the meaning of death and war was well understood early in death. It was something Athene truly believed in... and as she thought back, she remembered her earliest of days... when her eyes had only just opened. The first week had been strenuous for a pup, and she was pushed to her limits without a true realization of the reasoning.

. ˚:. .: .˚ :˚. .˚ :˚. .˚

The week had finally come to an end and Athene was utterly tired. Each day she had spent time with a different master, learning the basics of each faction. From her father and mother how to kill... quickly while dodging other attacks - it was important to be quick, he had said, so that her siblings would no suffer and so that she wouldn't tire. From the herbology master, which herbs to use to heal herself and hurt others. From the hunting master how to catch small prey without much effort, and how to chew it up as her parents normally did for her. From the spy master, the key tactics of subterfuge to fool her siblings into trusting her. From the assassin master how to hide and lay traps to kill her unsuspecting siblings. From the navigator master how to find her way and pick out places to rest... and finally from the spiritual master how to find herself and center herself. Seven days was all she was given for training, and then one of rest with her family. Her parents pampered her, feeding her, grooming her, and comforted her. In their embrace, Athene and her five siblings cuddled and relaxed, trying not to think about what the next day would bring.

But eventually daylight broke, and each of them was carried by one of the masters. It seemed random to them, but they had been each paired with the discipline in which they had seemed most proficient. For the few hours it took to travel to their location, they were lectured once more on how to win, how to kill, how to survive, each master secretly hoping that theirs would be the one to win so that another would join their faction. And when finally they were placed down, it was in a strange land that they had never been in. Pack members and strangers they did not know - for their sister packs and distant relatives had come to help surround them, to keep the pups in. Athene had found out that hers was not the only litter to be tested... and watched silently as each litter was marked with a different color by the herbologist - hers was marked a bright yellow along their back with buttercup pollen - and each litter was instructed that they could only harm another of their own litter. And then her siblings were taken away, to start in a different location. But they were to be on their own until only one pup of their litter remained. No help could be obtained from the adults... no matter the consequences.

And thusly started their first hunt.

. ˚:. .: .˚ :˚. .˚ :˚. .˚

Athene shook her head to try to loosen from her mind their cries, their screams. And found that she had wandered far from Spring Grounds. A smile crossed her kissers silently as she began to ascend the slippery rocks of the falls. Each step had to be carefully planned to prevent her from slipping to her doom... but about halfway up she came upon a scent that she knew. Her grin grew to a smirk and she skittered to the side, away from the falls and into the woods so she could increase her speed, hoping to get ahead of him. Their last meeting had been so intriguing, so amusing, and she found herself interested in how they would interact this time around.

Paws scrambled against loose soil, and she changed her tactics to instead leap from root to root, her daggers digging into the soft bark for traction and to soften each of her motions... and her honeys did not miss his form as she passed him going up the same slippery slope she had previously been ascending. Athene went a bit more ahead before hiding herself in the brush at the fall's edge, waiting patiently for him to fall into her trap... and when he did she leapt out of the brush at him, hoping to knock into him and send both of them flying into the gentle eddy of the cascades, one of the only spots that was not affected by the strong, dangerous current.


There have been no replies.

Post a reply:
Password To Edit Post:

Create Your Own Free Message Board or Free Forum!
Hosted By Boards2Go Copyright © 2000-2018
Our Sites: Wedding address collection  Wedding thank you wording