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.


The Final Option

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The archetypal Byronic hero, Néphe is sarcastic, cynical, and witty but also vain, arrogant, and full of angst. He has always given the impression of holding most others in disdain but is really quite chivalrous toward faes. His charisma, good looks and charm have made him quite the ladies' man and he is somewhat promiscuous. He never forms emotional attachments for more than a short period of time, if at all. His was a domineering and bullying father and taught him that "to love is to destroy". And that is exactly what he has continued to live by.

Beneath Néphe's flippant exterior lies a soul in constant torment. He is filled with a deep-seated rage that he keeps in check most of the time and which he channels into fighting. While many often sleep around to calm their nerves, Néphelim relaxes by getting into fights. His conceited exterior hides a deep inner hatred. He has a strong moral core but also exhibits sadistic tendencies and at times he can be extremely vindictive though often he is being cruel to protect those he loves. So when a creature such as him, is met with something so delicate as this what are they to do?

He stared at the small girl in utter wonder. A feeling he didn't even know existed within himself. His subtly bi-colored orbs were like dishes as he observed her while she seemed to regain her bearings. His head was tucked ridiculously between his front legs to see her on her own level, and as she unsteadily emerged from beneath him he followed her with his nose nearly touching her frame, taking in her new kind of scent. She then met his eyes with her own, they were an amazing purple hue, something else he had never experienced before and he lost his breath in that moment. He froze in place. What WAS this astonishing creation before him? His thick tail hung low and still, his oversized masculine frame towering over her while he danced his nails in the soft wood; absentmindedly assessing her every move. To love is to destroy the thought played through his mind like an annoying gnat. He shook his massive head, stepping off the roots he had balanced on and back to "dry" land. He placed himself, perhaps subconsciously, between her and the death trap he had just saved her from. Again, he refocused on her tiny colorful frame as she shakily made her way up onto another root. He chuckled inwardly as it seemed she may have been bringing herself closer to his height. He considered her words, unsure how to respond at first. In fact, he was so caught up in her appearance he had barely noticed she had spoken save for the little bells he heard in the back of his head.

The large brute sat down somewhat distractedly, still not wanting to take his eyes off her. He didn't know if she could turn into some kind of raging, rabid killing machine! Best not to risk anything and just keep his eyes on her. He tilted his great skull to the side and twitched his right ear again.

"What, exactly, is a Vera? Or is that what you are named? If that is your name then what is your being?... and for the record, it's one thing to wander with a companion or perhaps in your small case an army (he chuckled to himself), but for one such as yourself to wander alone is an easy way to get hurt... or worse killed"

He nodded to her meaningfully, taking in her scent again and assessing the shaking of her limbs. It seemed she was in some kind of distress. She had smiled to him with the kindest smile. A girl with such apparent kindness should never be in distress. He flicked his tail, weighing the odds again that she could be a bloodthirsty killer. He lowered his head to her in a type of bow.

"I am Néphelim. A Tundra wolf with a long story, from considerably far away. "

He looked away from a moment, not wanting to give anything more away.

"This land... your world is very new to me and quite frankly I'm a bit confused.
I have not seen any other rainbows as you call it, nor do I know what a Tempest is. If it is help you need I am happy to lend a paw or two... though I do have four"

Are you completely insane?! he thought inwardly. Who the hell are you being so sickeningly sweet all of a sudden?! You're acting like a damn child, this is how you get hurt he shook his head vowing not to get attached. She seemed hurt, she was just about to die via mud, and she was tiny... and colorful. She needed help. He could help her. End of story. He sat watching her, taking a moment as he awaited her reply to actually look at her colors. Compared to his tattered ebony body, she was literally rainbow. Her body basically a flower. Pink body, seemingly blue paws beneath the drying mud, a blue face? He just couldn't stop staring like a total oaf. Deep down he was beating himself to a pulp, this is what he was taught to steer away from and he knew it. To love is to destroy, compassion in any form will get you killed. It was as if he had completely forgotten himself in this moment, overwhelmed by awe and curiosity. But curiosity killed the cat. Better to just help her out and be on his way. That way no one gets hurt.

Somewhere in the night a quiet professional is waiting.
He does not care that he is tired.
That his hardened body is sleep deprived.
He is unbroken and vigilant in his task.
Somewhere this warrior is the final tripwire.
Somewhere this weapon of war will not ask nor give quarter.
He is..... The final option
Male || Lone || Teen Photo and Table by Pompeii


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