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.


Nothing that Occurs in Nature can be Unnatural

My Philosophy is That Worrying Means You Suffer Twice


The pain that was coursing through the young pup’s form was unlike any that he had ever felt before. It didn’t even compare to when he had been taken from his family and held captive by the Tempests. At least when that had happened no one had died and he was with the other rainbows. But now they had lost one of their own, and the connection that the Arcus Irae all shared made the feeling of losing Vera almost unbearable. If he hadn’t been able to feel the others and to find Losa, he was not sure if he would make it through the situation on his own. The emerald and purple brute leaned into the lighter colored femme as he felt her own pain. It was not long before Zawyne also found them, and the trio of rainbows leaned on one another for support, both physically and mentally. Scamander not only was emotionally reaching out to his fellow Arcus Irae, but his guardian would feel what he was going through. He may not know why the pup was hurting so much, but Vladimir would sense that he was in deep pain and needed the tempest. Mismatched purple and yellow orbs caught site of the older male approaching once Vladimir had found them. Scamander wished that he could be comforted more by his guardian, but he knew it could never be physical contact between them, as much as he craved it. He would have to stick with his other friends for that for now.

Vladimir immediately put himself between Scamander and Archangel, not yet knowing that this male held no threat to the, but just the opposite. The other male had been trying to protect Vera, and she seemed just as upset about her death as the rest of the rainbows did. Once the tempest realized that the nonmagical brute was no threat, he calmed down and spoke to Scamander and the rest of the rainbows. “What are all of you doing here? Do you not know that this is close to the vampire pack? I have no doubt that the vampire queen is caught onto each of your perfumes and is leading her hoard here to collect you.” The mixed color male unwound himself from Losa and Zawyne, moving towards Vladimir, just a small space separating the pair. Adara had arrived at this point at well, trying to calm down her half-brother and trying to comfort Zawyne as well. Scamander didn’t realize how much danger they really were in here, but now that Vladimir and Adara had joined Archangel surely there was no way that anything bad could happen to them now? As if to prove that they were not safe at all, a new wave of pain and fear washed over him. Scamander didn’t think it was possible for the pain he was feeling to get any worse, but that was proven wrong when he felt the terror and pain that Fallon felt right before she died. It was clear that everyone else, Adara included this time, felt it was well. How much more were they going to be exposed to before they were safe? Vladimir didn’t know what was going on though, having no connection to the teenage rainbow, and he turned to his own to determine what happened. “What now? What has happened now past the death of this one?” With tears in his purple and yellow orbs, he forced himself to say the words aloud. ”It was Fallon. She…she’s dead too.”
Zawyne then spoke to Archangel, voicing some of the thoughts that Scamander had about Vera. They could not just leave her here, she needed to be with them in peace. They really did need somewhere safe for them all to go. Vladimir agreed with Zawyne, telling them all they could come back to Dierne Hrof with him and Scamander. “We have to go… Do you understand? I don’t want you to end up like this one, I care about you like you were my own.” A whimper escaped the young male’s throat. The others had to come too, he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving any of them. His orbs turned to the tempest’s bright blue ones, seeing the concern and fear that he felt there. ”We can’t leave them though. We have to take Vera back with us. We can’t separate.” His eyes pleaded with Vladimir to understand that he couldn’t leave his family behind, because that’s what the rest of the rainbows were to him. Losa calmed his fears though with a few simple words, confirming that they would all go to the pack together. Archangel agreed to bring Vera as well, and the group began to head out, Adara agreeing to accompany them to the pack and then she would go find Fallon and bring her to them. She probably didn’t want to leave Zawyne right now, even though she was clearly mourning Fallon’s passing. His own emerald colored paws went forward, one paw over the other sluggishly, as if he didn’t want to move. And really he didn’t, it was painful to carry on knowing that they had lost two of their own.

But then things managed to get worse once more. The universe was truly testing how much these young wolves could handle when a third Arcus Irae death encompassed him. How could this have happened? A whine escaped Scamander as he frantically looked around, to Losa and Zawyne who would have felt the same thing that he felt. Fairuz was gone. Just like Vera and Fallon. That made three, three lives that were taken far too soon and in harsh and terrifying ways. Why was this happening to them? Weren’t they supposed to be safe in these lands? Panic washed over the brute and he stopped in his tracks for a moment, wanting to just give up and not go on. What was the point when they were losing friends at such a fast rate? Once more with tears in his eyes he looked to Vladimir for answers. ”Why is this happening? We’re never going to be safe here…” He looked to Losa and Zawyne with his last words, wondering what they were supposed to do now… But there really was only one option besides giving up, and once more the yellow scarfed brute forced himself forward, silently letting the tears fall.

Picture credit to the incredibly talented Pompeii!


**Scamander**Arcus Irae Titan**Pup **Protected by Vladimir**Violet**

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