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.

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The cold winter air swirled around the femme, ruffling her snow white pelt. Soon enough she would blend in with the forest when enough snow fell. Paws padded through the trees as the femme was lost in thought, not paying any particular attention to where she was going. Her mind drifted to the incoming winter, and what it would hold for her and her pack. So far they had had pretty uneventful winters. It could prove to be a difficult and dangerous time, especially if there were pups left alone. But Dierne Hrof was not the type of pack to let others fend for themselves, they were family. If there was anyone in need every wolf within the pack would come to your aid. She was confident that the same would happen this winter too, though there were no young pups this time. Vladimir and his brother were the last litter that had been born within Dierne Hrof, and they were almost fully grown now. She was still surprised to think of him as their future alpha when he came of age. But she was Kalgalath’s son, so she knew he would be good at the job. Just as Aindreas has been since their father left.

Thinking of the day that Kalgalath and his mate left reminded Khaleesi of her mother. It had been a while now since she had seen Hellene, and she wondered what the sassy female was up to now. Probably stepping on others paws as she often did. A smile came to the white femme’s features as she thought of her mother. She thought for a moment that she was going to leave Dierne Hrof to stay with Hellene, but she had come to the conclusion, with her mother’s help, that she belonged in the pack. Even if Hellene was not there. And besides, if Hellene was not there then there was no healer in the pack without Khaleesi. After visiting with her mother for some time she found her way back home, nervous about what Aindreas’ reaction would be, but luckily he understood what she had needed to get from Hellene and accepted her back into the pack quickly. It never lost the feeling of home, even though she had temporarily left.

Khaleesi’s paws came to a halt for a moment when she finally took the time to look around and see where she had wandered off to. She was back at Laod Mor. The last time she had been here had been when she met Odin. She wondered what had happened to him, still feeling guilty that she had been unable to help him. The lands here were different with the winter cold though, less herbs and plants and some areas of muddy swamp frozen, or beginning to freeze. Paws carried her carefully, not trusting that the frozen areas would not give way and have her fall into the mud. Winter was still fresh so it did not have time to freeze things entirely yet. As she made her way through the marshy lands, still keeping an eye out in case any herbs had been suborn enough to continue growing, vocals of a stranger reached her audettes. She had been so focused on what she was doing that she had not heard or scented the other female. “You look lonely.” Khaleesi almost slipped when she quickly turned around to see the femme, who had the same bright green orbs as she did.

The other female did not seem hostile, and a smile appeared on Khaleesi’s kissers at the prospect of meeting a new friend. "Do you come out here often? It's prettier in the springtime." She nodded to the femme before she spoke, beginning to make her way closer to the water where the stranger was. ”Yes, I do actually. I come here to collect herbs for my stores when it is warmer. It is much nicer in the springtime, yes.” She smiled again, wondering what the femme had meant about her looking lonely. Was it just because she was here by herself? Or did she look sad and in need? Her brow furrowed for a moment before she introduced herself. ”I’m Khaleesi by the way.” Her eyes looked questioning to the stranger, wondering what her story was.

Picture Credit to Charity!

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**Khaleesi**Loveless**No Young**Dierne Hrof Healer**Young Adult**Violet**








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