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 sheep in a wolf's den

The Lamb Caught in the Lion's Den
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Her master had left her in the pack lands, but she could not stay there. It was no secret that the queen did not approve of her, did not like her. Precise had not yet figured out exactly what there and game was with her.… She was confused by their talk - they called themselves vampires and had been feeding on other wolves… And surely they were all related, being blessed with symmetrical red eyes… But she could not understand why they insisted upon that word. Was it preferable to cannibal? So naďve she was… So innocent in the ways of the world. Draven had yet to taste her blood, had yet to bite her. She did not know that when they said the term 'vampire', they meant it in every meaning of the word. Instead, she merely thought of her master like a demon, someone who abused her body yet somehow had sway over her mind. Even now, running from the pack, she knew she was not free of him. She had hopes of being free one day, but she knew it was not today. Something told her that she would be returning to the pack of her own volition. But at least she would have some time alone, and would have some time away from the sneering eyes of the queen. Briseis had not known where to go, and so she had wandered lackadaisically. Did it really matter? Even if she got lost, she knew that her feet would somehow magically bring her back to Draven‘s den. It didn’t matter… Not at all. And so she was content enough to stay with in the swamp, as long as she was not within the walls of Caidir Olc. Somehow, even just knowing that she was in a free land, she felt more comfortable. The shadows were not as dark, the wind was not as eerie. She could even pretend that all of this had been a bad dream, at least for a little while.

But just as she began to have brighter dreams, memories of a happier time, she saw upon the soft moss covered ground in front of her tiny paw steps. Briseis tilted her head - she had a soft spot for pups. She trotted forward, following the trail until she ran into the little one. It was one of the pups that the Queen had brought back with her to the cave... one of the pups that she had seen after Draven had dragged her toward the mouth of the cave and thrown her at the Queen's paws.

"Diosa? Darling are you okay? Are you trying to run away?"

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Ω Briseis Ω Draven's Slave Ω Caidir Olc Ω Azura Ω


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