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.


Time heals all most things...I heal the rest

I just realized now - today - how different I have become.

When first I arrived in Blossom Forest, I was largely ignorant to the ways of the world. Our puphood pack was all that I knew of in terms of the inner intricacies of a pack, and immediately found out that that was not the way that most other wolves ran the pack. Ha! And that was another thing - the packs here actually had wolves to lead them. Ours was always so simple - we all worked together toward a common goal, a common good. Any who were counterproductive to this were forced from the boundaries by all. So successful were we in this, that there were few who needed to be forced out - afterall, all of us were terrified of that very thing. We were brought up to be specialists in one field, which worked well because we had wolves of other specialties to rely on. But on our own, we were quite at a loss. It was only because Athene and I left together that we were able to survive on our own. Afterall, I was terrible at hunting - at fighting at all really - but I was the one to stitch her back together whenever she was injured.

Which was why I had become so lost when Athene left Spring Grounds that first time, so long ago. Athene had played into the mentality of our pack, even though we were no longer there, and had refused to change. She had refused to teach me how to fight, and had said that it was not my place to do so. In the wild strange world I had relied on her for food, for protection... I... I was so unsure of myself. I was not sure if I would survive, and at that time, Spring Grounds was essentially vacant. And so the only logical thought I had was to join another pup. I dreaded the thought of such an action, as few understood or accepted me for my... well lack of social appropriateness. But if there was anything I was absolutely sure of was that I would not and could not survive on my own. Though they initially distrusted me, my one and only unique set of skills eventually proved my worth. But even then I was much the same - angry, stubborn, grouchy, clumsy...

Okay. So maybe I am still all of these things.

But I am no longer unsure of myself. I know who I am and more importantly I am happy with who I am. I am needed by the pack, but they also care about me. All of the traits that I was once self-conscious of were no longer something that I was ashamed of... for the members of the pack that I was close with found it endearing. Fuck knows why exactly... but I am glad. Still, even though I now consider this place home, I find that from time to time I enjoy the scenery of the rest of Blossom Forest.

This time I choose to stroll toward Staircase Falls, mainly because of Kalgalath's suggestion. Apparently it is his favorite place to visit and so I have no qualm with visiting it. I take it slow, knowing that it is xtra slippery right now. I have a tendency to trip, even under the best of circumstances and so I don't take any chances - I look where each step will go and only slow apply my weight to it - I don't want to trust any stone or step without due diligence. If any were around to watch me, no doubt they would have laughed at me...that is until I reached the peak and caught sight of the pup asleep on the ice atop.

I gasp and lunge forward, slipping on the footing but I manage to get to the pup. I nuzzle it softly to wake it up. My voice is soft, quiet - pups are one of my... well... many... weaknesses. "Hello, honey. Where are your parents?"


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


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