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.


i saw an angel become the devil

The emotions flooded over her within mere seconds; cascading down every crevice of her unhinged mind until it was overcome by the tinges of sadness, regrets and guilt. Rosia could feel the weight of it all pressing down not only on her obsidian body, but on her somehow still beating heart. She hadn't done this in a while- letting her mind be free to explore the darkest parts of her life. Usually she had pushed them to the back, refusing to let them come forward. She refused to let the confused, emotional side of her personality intervene on her sinister warrior side. But on slow, inactive days like today, it was the only way she could remain sane. The obsidian lass' thoughts began to drift, and so did her senses. The once near sounds of the wind rustling through the leaves and the trickles of water from the Falls were now distant as she let her mind succumb to the flashback of her first time back in Blossom Forest since Tamlin had died.

Rosia found herself padding through the forests; dead trees lying on the ground overcome by copious insects crawling and buzzing around them, oblivious to the cruel world outside. She could hear other wolves nearby, frolicking happily about with their loved ones while she continued on with her head drooped with sorrow. At the time, Rosia knew she had one mission; to go back to Bright Moon and apologize to the pack. For leaving them in a time of need. She needed forgiveness from Venga, the kindred spirited wolfess for whom she called one of her dearest friends, and Misty, another who although she wasn't close to, had always held a place in her heart. She needed the comfort of knowing that the pack did not despise her for leaving, and would take her back into their home..her home. But as the broken vixen neared the pack grounds, her heart began to sink. The lands seemed vacant. The only sounds that accompanied her was the wind in the trees and the sounds of her paws hitting the terra firma. It took Rosia a while to realize that she had entered the pack's domain many yards ago; there was no distinct markers on the borders. In fact, there were no borders to speak of. The smells of the once thriving pack were now missing. Rosia's heart skipped a beat and her legs began to shake from weakness as she collapsed in the realization that what once was her home, was now a vacant area of land. The wolves that she once called her family were gone, and once again, she felt all alone...

The charcoal maiden's pity flashbacks and thoughts were interrupted suddenly by the sound of splashing water. Black eyelids open to expose emerald orbs as she searched the area for the sound. Rosia was snapped back into reality; her emotions subsiding back into her mind and bringing her back into her mentally healthy facade. Her eyes focused finally on the shadow shape of another wolf cooling in the rapids of the falls. She couldn't tell how big the wolf was, however, being that he was half in the water, but from what she could see he was a male, on the verge of adulthood. Rosia watched silently, wondering how the male would do within the rapids-was her careless and foolish enough to loose his footing and fall victim to the slashing waters?

It was only a few minutes before the brute realized she was there, and Rosia raised her head to look at him as he cautiously approached. She watched as he carefully placed himself as close as he could get without being swept away by the rapids before he stopped a little ways off. Smart boy. His words reached out to her over the sounds of the water now, just audible enough for her to catch what he was saying. Sparking up conversation with a stranger? Rosia chuckled lightly to herself; maybe her amusement and entertainment for the day had just arrived. Without getting up to move from her perched spot on the platform, the maiden called back to him. "Nothing more soothing than the sounds of the falls, and nothing more comforting on a hot day like today than to surround yourself with cold water." Rosia stood up now, shaking out her pelt before returning her gaze to the male. "I came to collect my thoughts, they've been in a terrible jamble lately. How about you?"



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