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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'Yes, how did you get your mistress away?'

"Oh. That is what you meant? I can answer that. There was always a plan of how to get her to safety-after all, she is the prized princess of the Faraway clan. Every pack in the clan wanted to have her as their next queen, because she is unique and beautiful. Farant, one of the alphas, was actually betrothed to her, and he was the one that gifted me to her. He was… He was my previous master. But he was killed here actually by his own son. But there were also packs from different clans that wanted her as well, wanted to steal her away. We could not allow that to happen, and so everything was well planned and organized. Her room was a cave in the system that had two entrances. The slaves that dug it out were instructed to make it just big enough for a wolf her size, so that tall brute warriors would have difficulty following her. It was a long tunnel, meant to take her well outside of her own pack glands. And we ended up using it-she ran and I collapsed the tunnel behind her. I stayed behind to hold them off as long as I could, and really the only thing I did was stayed so that they could beat me. I gave her enough time to get away though." Olya shrugged, then winced. Though her only open wounds were the ones from collapsing on top of the mountain peak, she was still battered and bruised from the beating that she had just spoken of. But she did not regret it… She had done her job. And she would have gotten a worst beating if she had not. But then… Her job was not over yet, was it? Lilith was not back with the clan yet, she was not safe. Still, Olya was intrigued by this Camille, and was not quite ready to go back to her mistress. And so, the conversation continued.

'Don’t worry, I’m sure if I had grown up in your situation I would be cautious of others too dear.'

Olya nodded meekly - she was still trying to get that not everyone is like she had. Well, there has been a different life for those with royal blood on both sides, but that was few and far between. Many have royal blood within them of course. Especially since so few of the Royal and ruling wolves were actually loyal to their mates. But all too often, the offspring of such pairings were kept in the pack as pawns. They were warriors, spies, or mere brood mothers. Only those with royalty on both sides were ever allowed to rule. And of those, only males were truly allowed to sit on the throne. If a female was the first born, then it would be her first born to rule. Of course, that was only if the king didn't die first- in that case, one of his firstborn sons would take over, if a different pack didn't take over first.

'Would you allow myself, a free wolf, to keep you company, until your mistress returns for you? '

Olya shook her head, but the nodded. It wasn't that she was saying no to the company, only that the others statement had not been completely accurate. " I would like to have your company, yes, because I would like to hear more about all of this. But you are wrong-two fold. The first is that my mistress will not return for me, I am to return to her. The other is that while you are free, you will not always be. If ever they come here, if ever make people seek to take over these lands, you will not to be free. No one will be free. They take and they keep and they plunder until they have everything that they want." Nearly immediately after she fell silent, she shivered and looked about quickly. She did not want another to hear what she had said. If anyone had, they would most certainly beat her for it, and she had been beaten enough recently and had no desire for a redo.

'Is that how you want it to be though?'

As she had before, she simply stared at the other with blank eyes, she did not know how to respond. No one had ever asked her before what it was that she wanted. She had never been given the option for anything. She was only ever ordered about, and when she was, she did what she was told. But that question-how did she actually want it to be? The thought of it was overwhelming, and she began to quiver and shake. "I… I… I don't know. I do not know how to answer that. No one has… Ever asked me that before. I have never been allowed to want anything. How do you go about… Wanting things? What is there to want to?"

.:. 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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