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.


s w e e t as sugar

Her massive opposite must have heard the pained breath that exited the small creature’s throat, because it was almost immediately that his bulky frame had risen so that his thick cranium would close in and invade the short amount of space that separated him from Vera’s own colorful and tinier silhouette. A light giggle would erupt from the colorful fae as the demon took in her foreign perfume, his heavy air ruffling the top of her pastel robes as he deeply inhaled and exhaled, and causing random tufts of her fur to stick up childishly. He then lowered the upper portion of his heavy frame to the earth, his slightly differing spheres studying Vera hard and intently.

Despite her reassurance and tolerance for her pain, it was obvious that Néphelim was well aware of the delicate girl’s injuries. He addressed her immediately on the subject, informing the small pup that he needed to care for her wounds before they continued to converse, but that he would love to heard more about her later. His massive form rose from the ground, his tall silhouette resembling what would seem like a large tree to Vera due to their size difference. As he pushed himself up, Vera could swore that she even felt a small breeze from his movement.

For a moment, Vera’s frail figure would stand to attempt a wobbly and uneven step towards the male, but her action was interrupted as his oceanic spheres surveyed the surrounding area hurriedly, as if the large beast was in search of something. She watched him, her blue and pink façade contorted into an adorable expression of puzzlement as he maneuvered first to the ledge where he had originally rescued the girl from, from what she could only assume would have been her end. Then, her cranium would twist and turn to observe him briskly approaching the root that she had just abandoned. What on earth was he looking for?

Then the great secret was revealed to the tiny being as he placed himself once again before her. She needed food and water, and of course, she was filthy. She needed to be cleaned. This all she understood, so for once, the girl’s small maw dared not to open or argue with the dark beast. Vera was reminded abruptly of her father whenever Néphelim spoke in his moment of concern; the bluntness of his lyrics causing the girl to want to gently fold into herself as she was not accustomed to such a tone. But he was only worried, Vera knew. She recovered from the discomfort a moment later when her new friend offered her one of two options. The first was to stay and wait on his return, and the second was for her to venture out with him upon his back to retrieve the food and water. There was never any doubt that Vera would choose anything other than to journey with him, so immediately, her high voice chirped in, “You said that I shouldn’t wander alone… and that includes you, Néphe! You said it's dangerous! So I’ll go with you. And I promise that I’ll hold on really tight!” She offered a tired smile to the male.

“I think I know what kind of area the rainbows would be in…,” her tiny and colorful cranium tilted to the side as she considered where her small and peculiar similars would be. Then a realization hit her and she remembered that she had left out a very important part of her story. She realized what kind of area that another creature might dwell in, as well. And it seemed like she had found herself to be in it. She frowned softly to herself as she turned to survey the darkness that enveloped the couple, briefly looking to reassure herself that they were, in fact, alone. Then she turned her attention back to him, her purple hues searching to meet Néphe’s oceanic ones. “But that reminds me… I may have forgotten about something else. There’s another being in this land too... I felt it when I arrived. But I wasn't really sure...” The "something else" that Vera sensed earlier was definitely something worth recognizing.

She took an uneasy step closer to her shadowed friend, her contrasting, colorful frame meeting with Néphelim’s own as she gently leaned against a singular one of his dark and tall pillars. The silhouette of the small girl relaxed almost immediately into his. “I’ll tell you what I… what I think I know. But for now, I’m ready to go when you are!” she beamed softly at the significantly larger male, awaiting his next action.

vera .x. princess .x. pup .x. no heart .x. no home .x. arcus irae

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