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.


Sheep in the Wolf’s Den

All around me are familiar faces...

...look right through me...

...look right through me....
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Briseis had no flame left with which to fuel her fire, her hatred for the darling right in front of her. Yes, she was a vile creature designed to feed on the blood and suffering and pain of others. But it had not been Diosa’s choice to become so, and she took no pleasure in it. Brie wished that she had a magical crystal, or some other way to change this poor girl‘s fate into something more pleasurable… But she knew it wasn’t possible. The gods had made Diosa this way, and no matter what it was that Briseis desired, she would have no power to change it. And so instead, pity had made its way into her heart, pity and empathy. After all, her own mother was a creature chained by fate as well, and though she was not magical in any sort, she was chained by a medical conundrum not of her choosing. At least Diosa knew well of her curse… Kahlan could not claim the same. No, her mother was a prisoner to her own mind, to a mental break that had split her in twain. And only one of her two halves was privy to the truth of it. How could Briseis have pity and empathy and understanding for her mother without also extending that same courtesy to the wolf in front of her? The two specimens were different, surely, but also very much the same.

And so Briseis chose the highroad, and chose instead to learn about Diosa instead of hating her blindly. What was done was done, it was in the past. They could say nothing more on the matter, at least not fairly. Diosa had not been looking to feed on Briseis, but rather, Diosa’s hunger had driven her to do so. And now the pair of them must move on, must focus their energy on surviving another day in this world, in the wilderness where life was not fair, and every turn led to another danger. Still, Briseis was greatly weakened from the experience… It was the equivalent of a human donating blood… Only more was taken percentage wise than would have ever been considered safe. She was weak, with out strength… Yet she still knew that she had to return to Caidir Olc by dawn. The salt and peppered lass had stumbled and fallen, muddy water splashing onto her face and freezing her, stinging her gaze, while she tried to make her way back. Before she could loosen a whine, she noted that immediately Diosa was at her side, encouraging her, supporting her weight so that she could stand again. And for some reason, perhaps a naïve, stupid reason, Brie felt thankful and gracious to her previous attacker. After all, Diosa answered every question that Briseis had asked without complaint, had been honest with her about everything.

And so, together, the two of them started making the long trek back to Caidir Olc. The entire way, Briseis thought of nothing other than vampirism. Despite her predicament, the salt and peppered lass had hopes that one day she would escape it all, that she would be free. She wanted nothing other than to restart her original task, her initial goal - to find her mother. Perhaps if she explained everything to the Kahlan personality, the mind’s two personalities would meld together to become one… The next question, of course, would be whether her mother would win out against her brother. But the more twisted, uncomfortable question to ask was as thusly - which persona did Briseis wish to win? The only one she had ever known was her father, or rather her uncle. It was so awful to think of him as her parent, considering that it was her mother‘s body, but a male character. He had taught her everything that she knew… And really she had never even met her mother. Briseis would like to think that she would be most happy if her mother did emerge from her long lasting coffin unscathed… After all, that had been her plan with her uncle. What was that what she really wanted? But no matter what, she would never have a chance to find out if her plan would work, would never have the chance to meet her mother at all… Unless she got out from under the depressing claw of her captor. And so, along the drawn out path back, Briseis came to learn as much as she could, with the hopes that would help her someday. Her gaze turned to Diosa once more.

I wish for you to tell me what you know of all of this. How vampires are made, how they are destroyed, and how the entire little pesky thing that I am trapped with works. How did I become a Mesmer? What keeps me as so? And what do you know about feeding, about survival? And where did you all come from? I do not mean to sound morbid, but there is a vampire that I would very very much like to no longer live… Or at the very worst or perhaps best, considering and depending on which perception you do have, disabled.

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Ω Briseis Ω Chained to Draven Ω Slave of Caidir Olc Ω Azura Ω

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