Glaesfaet Sceawere is the name gifted to the mother river that flows through the center of Blossom Forest, bringing life and sustenance to all of the lands. It breaks off in many places, giving birth to smaller streams and estuaries, but the main body flows from the lake high in the north in Dierne Hrof all the way south down through Uyaraut to empty into the ocean. It is a fresh water river, but down through Uyaraut, the salt water does taint it. In places, parts of the river are underground and run through caverns unseen from aboveground.

Water buffalo grace these shores - with plenty of meat, though at a dangerous cost. Many river trout leap upstream daily.


behind darkness, beneath candles

❝thє shσrtєst dístαncє вєtwєєn twσ pσínts . . .❞

Losa felt the effect of negative emotions the way a first time drinker might feel a hellacious hangover—her body aching and stiff from anger knotted in her joints and her brain pounding with residual echoes of terror and fury. Before Duma’s sudden, merciless coup, Losa never would have addressed a stranger the way she’d addressed Noctis. Her private snappy sarcasm had been reserved solely for her guards, but even then her sassy mouth and rebellious streak were attributed more to her wild spirit than a genuine mark of meanness in her soul. If this had been her kingdom several weeks ago, Losa would had greeted Noctis with a gracious bow and a gentle, gratified grin, her appreciation for not harming her sister radiating from her like warmth from a sunbeam. She knew better than this. She was better than this—the gods had made her so. A bitter sigh fluttered from between her teeth as the exhausted Arcus Irae princess walked, her mismatched eyes not daring to meet either the friendly Noctis nor her newly acquired Tempest, Aindreas. Zawyne had been right to scold her. Failure and shame weighed heavily in her chest . . . if only Losa could cut the ugly emotions out until she was as light as her lovely sunset sister, bouncing with the bright energy only pups possessed down the bank of the river.

Not trusting herself to say anything remotely intelligent or civil, Losa bit her tongue while they traveled. She dare not even raise her voice to join Zaffy’s joyous soprano shrill calling the other rainbows out of hiding—to worried the filth and taint clinging to her would somehow bleed into her lyrics. Aindreas . . . could he sense her unease? Losa kicked a pebble viciously and watched it clatter down the riverside until it jumped sharply right and splashed into the rushing current, sending water droplets glittering into the air. Of course he can . . . I am his ward, and he is my Ofer. We are joined. A light shudder of revulsion crawled down her spine: the sensation of a hundred spiders running right over her flesh. Goosebumps prickled under her cotton candy fur. She could feel Duma’s touch even now, hundreds of miles away and lost in an utterly new dimension. Their Bond throbbed inside of her like an open, festering wound . . . though as much as Losa wished she could blame her hideous attitude solely on this connection, she understood such behavior to be unacceptable. The peace and serenity that were an Arcus Irae’s birthright had to live SOMEWHERE inside of her still, right? Even if that goodness were struggling against its restraints and gasping for breath? Get ahold of yourself idiot. Losa kicked another pebble, and another, until she realized she was lagging behind the group and she trotted rapidly to catch up to Zawyne. If anything, you’re worrying Aindreas . . . the same Aindreas that you recognize, for some reason. And he recognizes YOU. Why can’t you focus on THAT mystery, instead of moping around?!

Anxiously, her heavenly windows began lifting slowly to see if Aindreas were looking her way . . .

“Young Scamander?” Losa blurted the lad’s name before she could stop herself, her heart leaping with delight upon finding the other rainbow’s resonance. His pure soul sang unique notes each Arcus Irae could “listen” to, a secret chorus that connected them all. Already the relief of seeing the dear boy alive and feeling his spirit so close had the uptight heiress melting. When his emerald-and-amethyst pelt rubbed against her legs, Losa leaned down so that she might cuddle Scamander closer, running her tongue between his ears like an affectionate older sister. In many ways, that’s exactly how Losa saw herself. She and Zawyne were related directly by blood—but magic tied all the rainbows together, and she’d never stop thinking of them as her most sacred responsibility. “Oh dear one, we’re glad too! You all were so brave . . . please tell me no one has tried to harm you here.” Portals of cobalt blue and striking violet suddenly speared toward the yellow-scarfed pup with scorching, passionate intensity—as if her naked eye could discern any sort of mark or scar he might be hiding form her. “Hmm . . . nothing broken, apparently. Have you found any other Tempests?”

Uncannily enough, as if to answer her question, the next creature to arrive was none other than a female Ofer. The misty wolfess greeted Aindreas and Scamander by name, causing Losa to double-take, before turning her attention to the two Arcus Irae faes. The very same aura of calm, strength, and fierce protection radiated from Adara as it did from Aindreas, though Losa did not experience the same overwhelming connection to this beautiful woman. Ever the ridiculously possessive older sibling, Losa stepped so that one lithe midnight limb stood in front of her delicate baby sister: a small barrier between the future Lorer and the Lady Tempest. “We are Losa and Zawyne,” the princess murmured formally, dipping her head toward her own chest and then toward her young treasure. “Are you Scamander’s guardian? Have you seen any other Arcus Irae? We’re missing a few of our party . . . I know they’re here, and I know they’re alive, but . . .” She swallowed hard, glancing toward Aindreas for support. Wait—why bother looking at this total stranger? It’s not like he knew her . . . not really. At least . . . not in a way that made sense, or that Losa wanted to ponder. “Their names are Vera, Fallon, Nyla, Fairuz, Eros . . .” A lump in her throat. Losa attempted to swallow again, and choked up instead, her royal façade crumbling slightly. “I lost them. They were counting on me, and I lost them all.”

❝ís thє línє frσm mє tσ чσu!❞

⦊⦊ the undercover princess | sister to Zawyne | heartbroken | without a nest | xathira ⦉⦉


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