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.


In The Darkness I'll Find Stars

Camille listened as Olya questioned what she meant, apparently, she had confused the lass. In truth, she had thought that Olya had “escaped” up until that point. The reality was that she had simply gotten her mistress to safety. Yes, how did you get your mistress away? It was better to just have her explain that, it would still help the blue-eyed lady understand how she came here. Was this Lilith character treating Olya fairly? Still, she didn’t like the idea of power the unknown ess had over the maned wolf before her. Movement from her current social companion had her noticing the other huntress moving closer toward her. Of course, there was still a noticeable distance, not that Camille was insulted by this. After living the way she had, it brought no surprise that the delicate being was careful.

The way she looked around while pressing herself close to the ground told Cami her first instinct was to run from danger. She didn’t want Olya to feel like she was a danger. Hopefully her laying down would calm her. The first thought that crossed her mind was that she didn’t want the other wolf to leave. Olya’s mask was readable at this point, and she felt guilty.

Camille wasn’t upset in the least, she was trying to be careful not to scare Olya and make her leave. Don’t worry, I’m sure if I had grown up in your situation I would be cautious of others too dear. She choose the word cautious, feeling it was better than timid. Cami had noticed the look of shame upon the other’s mask, and wanted to erase it with her words. It would upset her if the red lady was uncomfortable for the rest of their conversation.

The shutter at her question was noticed, and she almost spoke again to tell the other she need not answer, but Olya’s maw was parting to speak already. Black towers flicked toward her as she spoke. So, her mistress didn’t want her around? It was cruel to leave a vulnerable companion alone, at least that is how Cami saw it. Should she be so quick to judge when she wasn’t there to see it? Olya didn’t necessarily seem scared of Lilith, not like when she mentioned that male from earlier, but more like loyal. Hold on…did she just say a ghost? The idea seemed farfetched, but she didn’t disrupt the explanation being given to her.

Ahh, soon enough it made sense as Olya explained that it wasn’t a spirit after all. Her wound must have reopened or something when she ran, it would explain the dried blood there now. That or the male hadn’t had enough time to properly clean it before Olya ran. Her heart went out for the girl when she said she had worse. Would you allow myself, a free wolf, to keep you company, until your mistress returns for you? That was probably really forward, but the idea of her getting hurt because of someone else really concerned her. Maybe that was why she offered her company without hesitation. Hopefully Olya wouldn’t think her crazy for it. Perhaps she could even get the other girl to want to live free as well.

Even though she had done her best to explain her free life, she wasn’t sure if Olya could understand it. Mainly because she had never experienced freedom herself. Camille wanted to suggest that she do it, but she wasn’t sure if that would be wise right now. Not to mention freedom meant the choice of being alone…would it be wise for the her to travel alone? A glance was given to her slight injury. Mayhap that had just been a case of bad luck.

Olya seemed to be lost in thought, and she couldn’t help but to wonder what was going on in her mind. Asking how she felt about being a slave had seemed like a safe question, but the way she shook her head and looked confused suggested otherwise. How can a slave not feel? All creatures had feelings! Still, she remained patient and attentive as Olya continued on. Even when the pause came Cami still didn’t speak, it was obvious that the maned wolf before her still hadn’t finished speaking her thoughts. Or rather what she had been forced to think from her masters. When she asked if Cami meant her opinion, she gave a tentative nod, hoping it would encourage her to speak her own mind. It saddened her a little to hear that she had no right to have an opinion, mainly because Olya really believed that. Was it wrong of her to wish she could show the other girl what she was missing out on? Is that how you want it to be though? Should she have asked that? Oh well, it was too late to take it back now.


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