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 great beast continued to stare at her in complete awe once he had finished speaking. He listened intently as she replied, speaking of tempests and some princess. These things she spoke of, this thing that she was, Arcus Irae. They were not of this world at all. They weren't just from another land a few miles away. That was impossible. Completely impossible. He shook is head and flicked his ear once again as he went deep into thought. She asked him about wanderers in this land and a perplexed and almost pitying expression crossed his face.

"It's a bit more than common miss Vera, at least where I was raised, small things that wander get eaten or stolen to be used...Though I guess I can't speak much for this particular land, with magical creatures running amok like you I imagine it could be even more dangerous"

He looked at her, shutting his mouth quickly after realizing he had gone off on a tangent about the scary and dangerous world. He worried he might give the tiny butterfly of a wolf a heart attack. Instead she seemed to be looking at him with sadness. She was probably noticing his tattered body. He had hope the darkness of the wood might hid it better. His body was in fact covered in ugly scars. Usually they were better hidden during the winter months under his thick coat. But it was just going into fall now and his coat was just starting to change, seemingly leaving most of his battle wounds open to the world. The most noticeable was the hair loss along his underbelly, where nothing but black skin was left. He had no shame in his scars. They all told a story, they all taught a valuable lesson. He could do without people's usual reactions of disgust though. She didn't seem disgusted like most others though, she seemed sad. Curious. To love is to destroy there was that thought again, dancing across his mind.

Néphe cleared his throat, shaking off her look and wanting to speak to the tale she had spun for him. He wondered if she knew exactly how far from home she really was. Or perhaps she had no clue at all. Poor little thing. She needed to find her pack of rainbow butterfly creatures... what was it?.... Arcus Irae. Well it certainly had a fun little ring to it at least.

He had simply been listening to her for a time, until she mentions something called a Tempest. It caught his ears like a hook in a fish's mouth. What was a Tempest? She had hesitated for a fleeting second when saying they were good. He didn't know why but he was incredibly curious about them. Perhaps it was his own protective instinct. But she finally stopped herself, as if she didn't want to say anything more. Disappointment tugged at his soul as he wanted to know absolutely everything about the light fae.

When she agreed to his company he stood up and bowed his head again to her, trying to ignore her request for his own story. He hated telling others about his life. Not that it was all that bad.... his father had been harsh but he had only ever meant to teach Néphe valuable life lessons. He stretched his massive body and came up again next to her as she adorably stood on her toes in excitement. He looked at her in amusement, a small sideways smile dancing across his thick black lips. His ocean blue and sea green eyes stared into her tiny innocent purples. This was going to be very interesting.

"Well then, miss Vera. I shall guide you to whatever destination you wish to reach. "

He nearly started to walk away when he realized he had absolutely no idea where he should be headed and he remembered how shaky and fragile she had been before. He huffed a deep sigh and sat down directly in front of her again. Even with her on root he was a bit taller than her. She glowed with soft color in the thick darkness. It was truly a sight.

"Are you sure you are okay to travel? These swamps are quite deep and unforgiving... and you seemed a bit unsteady when I pulled you from that mud, should we stay a moment longer? Perhaps you could tell me more about this princess... and these tempests. If you need me to I would also be happy to carry you upon my back.... I mean... If you wanted"

Just like a freaking child. He even sounded pathetic talking about carrying her upon his back. Pshh, his father would have been disgusted.

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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