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.


A Handmaiden's Tale

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Olya had hardly had time enough to recover after her run in with Siku upon the mountain top. She was used to being terrified, she was used to be scared, battered and bruised. Nearly from the time she had born it had been her only truth. The maned wolves had allowed her to stay with her birth mother only long enough for her to grow on the teat, and this time was given freely merely because it would have been difficult and a waste of time to raise newborns in any other way. Afterward, she had been indoctrinated into their culture and taught her true worth, which was of course nothing. Her kind - the commoners - were cannon fodder for the army, were entertainment for heroes and royals, and birth mothers for the next generation. Her kind were training dummies meant to instill a sense of confidence in the warriors, and a punching bag for any of the important wolves when they had a bad day, an alliance fell through, or for no good reason. Before Olya had been given as a gift to Princess Lilith as an early wedding present, she had been nearly all of those things. The scars that were painted upon her pelt, though well hidden underneath her hairs, told the tales of her training, the abuse... but luckily for her she had yet to be impregnated with the demon spawn of any of her abusers.

But never had she been so scared that she fainted. Although blacking out would have no doubt saved her from much of the pain and terrors that she had had to life through and have ingrained in her memory, but she also would have had no clue what happened to her. At least awake she could keep track of everything that happened to her. But up there on the peak of the mountain... the thought of the supernatural sent her over the edge. Not of the mountain, mind you, but it scared the living hell out of her. Most wolves were dangerous and cruel creatures, a fact she had accepted, but they were mortal and just vargs. But the thought that there was more - that there were things more dangerous than her abusers, that they would not necessarily die some day... it was a horrifying thought. It had turned out that Siku was not a ghost himself, but the fog upon the peak was so dense that his ivory pelt had melded into the thick mist and had allotted to him the illusion of disappearing and reappearing at will. The thought of a ghost existing sent her into a fit, her heart rapidly thrumming into her chest, her lungs gasping and heaving for air that would not come, until the lack of oxygen had sent her into unconsciousness. Even there she had not been relieved from her terror and she had been chased by more of the supernatural.

After awaking, she had once again been terrified of the towering hessian, but had eventually managed to survive her trip down the slippery slope of the mountain. The visibility had been low - the fog covered the majority of it, and she had had to keep her nose next to the earth in order to see the path she strut upon. Afterward, she had needed to find a way to clean the slight stream of blood from her forehead. Her skin had been sliced when she had collapsed, and the blood had long since dried. It was hardly visible upon her russet facade, appearing just as a darkened line on her pelt, but she could feel it there, crusting and sticking and pulling and reminding her what a coward she was. And, perhaps, what a fool she was. The only time she was ever brave was when she was protecting her mistress, despite the fact that Lilith was her owner. Although Lilith treated her kindly and protected her from the other wolves, she was still one of them. Was it foolhardy or stupid to protect her her the way that she did? Perhaps... but it was just the way that Olya was.

The maned wolf stumbled around, light headed and dizzy, not knowing exactly where she was going. She had had only enough time in this land to search out Lilith herself and then ascend that one peak... she did not know the rest of the place. Eventually, though, the sound of water entered her twin towers and they perked up, swiveling so as to latch onto the sound of it. It was right ahead, coming up just through the break of the trees. Olya cautiously pushed through the branches, shutting her shades so as to protect her delicate pools from the scratching bite of the needles, but when she she opened them, her bodice froze. There, upon a rock in a higher part of the falls lay another varg, and just like Siku on the apex and Kirastasia on the tundra, she was not pure of blood; not a kalak. Olya froze, unsure of what she was to do. She thought about running - sure she had not been spotted yet! - but as soon as she shifted her weight, the sound of a twig breaking gaze away her position. She winced and cowered down onto the earth, waiting for the punishment to come.

.:. I was a gift my my mistress .:. And though she treats me well .:. It's impossible to forget I'm a slave .:.
||Olya|| ||Handmaiden Loyal to Lillith|| || No heart || || No Pack || Slave ||


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