Where once the southern border of Blossom Forest was made by Leisure Lake, the magical rearrangement of the lands has laid there instead a vast, uncrossable ocean. The shore differs as you travel along it. Tall mountainous cliffs arise on the western part and at one point, the large river that runs through Blossom Forest opens up at its tributary into a well sheltered cove. As you come more eastward, the towering peaks shorten into rocky foothills. A large section of the shore is inaccessible to most, as Uyaraut has claimed it as their own. But if you skirt around their territory, the hills disappear, swallowed up into the land until it is as flat as the eye can see. The vibrant greens dull into short and dry browns and tans, and the land dries and cracks apart until it melds into The Waste - the desert that forms Blossom Forest’s easternmost border.

For those looking to hunt here, there are of course the fish within the ocean, along with crabs, seals and urchins. For on the shore, there are seagulls, herons, and ospreys.




“Where’s the cooperation from you, my king?”

The question, innocent enough, had the unravaged side of Kershov’s mask tugging upward, white velour lifting just enough so that the sharp points of dagger teeth gleamed bright. Frekari had learned he would accept no disobedience within the pack, yet she felt safe enough to continue their verbal fencing, her lyrics all silken sheets and biting liquor. Once again the Ice King held his ground when she slipped from his grasp; he let her press against his ribs, her fox-colored banner cupping his throat like a scarf, his patience that of a crocodile with a bird hopping along its back. Frekari had given him no reason to punish her. This time. And though she appeared to believe there was nothing else to her—no secrets worth dangling above his head, no strengths she wanted to dazzle him with—Ker refused to believe that the kalak was as shallow as she presented herself to be. As much as wolves wanted to believe that they were experts of themselves, the stone-hearted warlord knew that certain tests could reveal hidden qualities previously thought nonexistent . . . the way maggots might chew away a rotting carcass to unveil beautiful bones.

The challenge remained: what sort of tests should he put Frekari through?

He peered into those lovely brown eyes, calculating. The risk of breaking this beautiful creature could not be flippantly overlooked . . . but how easily might Kari be broken? And if he pushed her too far, did she possess some inner light that would help her bounce back—saucier than ever? Perhaps the pretty moth had already realized she was pinned beneath the Czar’s will . . . and now awaited the next poke of a needle, unsure what she herself was feeling.

Kershov decided to test her most obvious defense: her sarcasm. Let us see what else you have in that arsenal.

“My cooperation . . .” Still unmoving, Kershov made his posture melt, the predatory rigidness he usually held himself with slackening to give the impression of vulnerable relaxation. As if Frekari’s sex appeal had affected him deeply, dangerously, as it had probably done to plenty of males in the past. Chips of solid onyx took on a softer, thoughtful quality, roaming the elegant sculpture of Frekari’s face like they couldn’t determine which feature to focus on: her eyes, the pert apex of her muzzle, her lips, her brow. He dipped his skull just enough that her banner was trapped gently between his neck and his chin; the Alpha held himself very still, although he still gave the impression that he’d very much like to nuzzle into that tail and bury his snout in its softness. “What would you ask of your Ruler, my dear? The council is open—I can only deny a request that has been spoken.”


【Free – tied to none – father to Kirastasia and Kavik – LSVK】


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