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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The pup had ran to her, and for a moment, Briseis thought that perhaps the darling femme was indeed trying to run from the vampires, from the pack, from the awful, evil queen. Briseis could not save herself, not yet... but perhaps she could save this pup. Draven had not ordered her against it - it was a good way around it all. Rampant thoughts scurried through her mind of how she could get this pup to safety - where could she put her to keep her safe? How could she keep her fed? She was her mother's daughter and embodied everything that Kahlan had once stood for - kind, caring, compassionate. She was perhaps naive in that she was incessantly optimistic... but the biggest problem was not that, but that up until now, she had thought the wolves of Caidir Olc only called themselves Vampires, that they were cannibals. But the "darling femme", instead of nuzzling against Briseis, latched onto Briseis' neck and dug her tiny little fangs directly into Briseis' throbbing jugular. If not for the shock and disbelief, the femme would have reared back and prevented the canines from ever reaching the firehose vessel, prevented the release of the venom. She could have continued to live a life of naivety and disbelief and been ignorant of the existence of vampires. But instead, she stood still, first from shock and then from the paralyzing effects of the Diosa's poison.

That is, until the pain began to well up inside of her.

She had briefly noted the tears, the sobs, the heaving, the gasping for air that came from Diosa. The apology. But she could not react to that because her body was collapsing to the ground, crumpling in a heap of convulsing limbs. Screams ripped from her lips, only her lips were not lips any more - they were pulled tightly up to the top of her teeth, exposing her pearls that were being swiftly covered with frothing saliva. Briseis had no notion of her surroundings, only of the pain ripping through her veins. She wished only that she could rip her own flesh and tear apart her veins so that it would stop. So that she would bleed out and this hell would end. Time had no meaning - the only thing that had meaning was her agony and suffering. She had no notion of how long she thrashed there, but when she came to, her eyes rolled down from the back of her skull. The orbs circled and swirled and flushed as she tried to catch sight of something, anything to get herself grounded... and finally when she did, it was on the little fae, the source of her pain. Briseis felt as if the world continued to spin, only instead of swirling around her, it now spun around Diosa. Briseis shook her head but immediately regretted it as she felt her stomach upchucking, heaving the contents of her stomach onto the ground in front of her. Frantically, she tried to inhale, but failed. The instinct, the need to survive finally got her to rise up off of the ground and she spit out the vomit that had clogged the back of her throat and closed off her airway.

Her limbs trembled from weakness and she could barely stand. She was no idiot - no, she was smart, and despite it all, she refused to freak out. She needed to think logically about this and about everything. She sent out her tongue and ran her tongue over her teeth, slicking down them and loosening her lips from being too tightened and stuck to her incisors. "So..." She began slowly, her mind needing to slow down in order to keep up with her lips. "... Vampires? You... you and all of them are vampires. Real... out of the myths and lore vampires. And you... you just fed on me?"

**Permanently immune to Vampire Poison**

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


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