Glaesfaet Sceawere is the name gifted to the mother river that flows through the center of Blossom Forest, bringing life and sustenance to all of the lands. It breaks off in many places, giving birth to smaller streams and estuaries, but the main body flows from the lake high in the north in Dierne Hrof all the way south down through Uyaraut to empty into the ocean. It is a fresh water river, but down through Uyaraut, the salt water does taint it. In places, parts of the river are underground and run through caverns unseen from aboveground.

Water buffalo grace these shores - with plenty of meat, though at a dangerous cost. Many river trout leap upstream daily.

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behind darkness, beneath candles
IP: 74.199.21.5

❝thє shσrtєst dístαncє вєtwєєn twσ pσínts . . .❞

A string of delirious murmurs dribbled from Losa’s parted lips, drifting from the spaces between her fangs like crumpled leaves dropping off a dying tree. The wolfess lay prone and vulnerable in a bed of tall grass, limbs in a loose tangle, eyes squeezed shut as if blocking out a nightmare. Perhaps she was. Tremors wracked her dainty frame in regular intervals . . . her shallow breathing hitched . . . and although her pelt shimmered with impossible colors found nowhere else on earth, it was clear the streak of red skimming from her temple and down the corner of her mouth did not belong in her personal palette. One paw swiped restlessly upward to rub at the trickling blood, smearing it across the bridge of her snout. Another shudder rippled down her bodice and her muttering grew clearer—more urgent. “Zah . . . Zaffy? Zawyne? Where . . . are . . . you . . . Zawyne . . . Zawyne . . . ZAWYNE?! At last: a shout. Explosive as it left her lungs, jerking her awake. Losa snapped upright, shaking, disoriented, panting as if she’d run a marathon. Bi-colored eyes swept her surroundings with feverish intensity, as if the heat of her gaze could burn down the surrounding forest and reveal her beloved sister with a glance. Yet as much as Losa searched, as much as her diaphragm pulled in air through her nares to sift down a rich tapestry of scents, no sign of Zawyne clung to the clearing. In fact—the princess could smell none of the rainbows that made it past the portal. A panicked sob leapt in her chest. It took her three tries to successfully wobbled her way to her paws. “Za-Zawyne? Children? Anybody?

Her young physique had survived torment no Arcus Irae—no female—should ever have to endure. And for a creature that had been treated as a precious, breakable object, Losa stood as even more susceptible to injury than most. She was sore and exhausted and frightened and furious. Her heart felt as if someone had taken it in their jaws and crushed it into a thousand splintered pieces; even attempting to fit them together again, clumsy shards with their sharp mismatched edges, made her flinch at their jagged shattered-glass pain. The children are still in danger. I don’t know where my sister is. And my crown . . . my family . . . my home . . . Another small, pitiful wail crawled up her vocal cords, clinging weakly, and the pastel she-wolf hardly managed to choke it back down. She had committed a terrible, selfish act . . . but she had done so out of love. Did that make Losa’s sin more forgivable? Or did that make it somehow worse?

What kind of monster was she to reject the one the gods had chosen for her? Who was she to deny her Soulmate?

What kind of cruel gods would bind her to a male she did not love—could not love—in the first place?

The thread of blood painting her temple started to spatter fat rubies in the dirt by her forepaws, reminding Losa that she was not safe—NONE of them were safe. They had fled their homeland seeking freedom . . . except this “sanctuary” the portal led them to might prove just as dangerous as the world they abandoned. No sooner had the rainbow younglings bolted into the portal than the magic supporting it flung them apart like dust motes in the wind. Zawyne—her little living sunrise, her darling meadow-fire—had been right there by her side . . . until she wasn’t. Losa bit her lip and keened, tears now mixing with the lurid crimson marring her cotton-candy canvas. “I . . . I h-have to find them.” A stumbling step forward, pain lancing through each nerve. “I’m their caretaker now. I have to be their Princess. That’s why you’re still alive, you stupid thing . . .”

Weeping alone in a meadow would solve nothing. Losa had been dubbed Rionnag Air Imrich for a reason—when she wanted to find something, she went out and found it. Fear of the unknown had never halted her wandering before. It sure as hell wouldn’t now.

Her gait quivered and dipped as if she were a drunken thing—or a newly born fawn, her long violet-dipped limbs new and alien to her. Perhaps travel through the portal had been harder on her body than expected; that, or the punishment she’d been dealt had harmed her far more than she wanted to dwell on. Find Zawyne. Find the pups. Find Zawyne . . . Hours of this. One pawstep at a time. Ducking in and out of shadows, ears erect, hackles spiked with anxiety, heartbeat squeezing each time a new unfamiliar scent brushed by her muzzle. All the while, Losa concentrated on her core: that secret part of herself that all Arcus Irae shared, that special sense that connected them as if they were all diamonds on a necklace. Her core pushed her in the right direction, despite how she shied at the completely changed land around her. Before Losa could smell the trail her sister had left behind, she felt her. Little Zaffy. Her sunshine.

“ZAWYNE!”

The rosy lass might as well have been blind—she experienced a surge of “sister” so powerfully and so abruptly and so WONDERFULLY that the emotion destroyed everything else inside her. Losa sprinted—unseeing of the river that sliced into the earth beside her, unheeding of the canyon arching out over the vista, ignorant of the two males near her sibling—and skidded to a stop not a moment too soon, tears pouring from her amethyst portals. She instantly flopped to her stomach, forelegs on either side of tiny Zawyne, and began cleaning her with long careful loving strokes of her tongue. “Oh my stars,” the sylph cried between caresses. “My little Zaffy, my little beam of sunshine! I was so WORRIED! I’m so sorry, I didn’t know where you were, I should never have left you, poor baby . . .” Her blue-dusted muzzle nuzzled Zawyne between her ears, drinking in the special perfume that had been etched into Losa’s mind since her sister’s birth. Only then, hugging her sibling close, did Losa acknowledge the spectators in her reunion: a black male with red-flecked blue eyes, and . . . a Tempest. An Oferwederen. Her suddenly frigid glare cut between them before resting on the Tempest, her fur fluffed up with as much aggression as a sorbet-colored creature could muster.



❝ís thє línє frσm mє tσ чσu!❞

⦊⦊ the undercover princess | sister to Zawyne | heartbroken | without a nest | xathira ⦉⦉



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