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Rhystian Bearkin - The Mountain and the Mother Bear - Printable Version

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Rhystian Bearkin - The Mountain and the Mother Bear - GraveError - 11-12-2021

The Mountain and the Mother Bear
[Image: 75ae2f8fd0feeaab0fb323e61ef0c43c.jpg]

"A tribe of wildkin were suffering from a famine. The local game found on the plains had grown sparse, and the food was barely enough to ration out. Farther and farther up the mountains they had to trek, farther into the cold, harsh, inhospitable terrains to find any sort of food. Foraging what they could. Hunting what they could. The winter had grown long that year, and for it, the people suffered. A group of young hunters, eager to prove themselves, eager to bring home a village's bounty, traveled up into the Mountain.

As the snow fell, thicker and harder, the hunters had spotted movement in the distance. The sense of starvation pushed them farther. Faster. Up the mountainside, into the cold. Thereupon they found a cave, chasing down whatever creature it was they thought they saw. And inside, they found... A cub. A single cub. It was cornered, it was crying, and the hunters that saw it stayed their hands. They were all cold and hungry themselves. But a child is a child, no matter what animal it is. Was this the movement they saw? They had thought they'd seen so many more.

Just as they were about to call this hunt a failure and turn home dejected, they had found their retreat cut off by a pack of wolves. Though exhausted, they knew this cub behind them could not defend itself. A wild run for safety could have saved them. But they could not leave without saving this cub; they could do nothing but raise their bows and blades. They defended the little bear.

The battle was longer and more brutal than it had any right to be. The hunger and cold was settling in, the air too thin to grow accustomed to. By the time they had fended off the wolves, each hunter there was beginning to succumb to the mountain. They would die here. There would be no food. There would be no saving. There would be no hero's welcome. But, one by one, those hunters would rouse from their slumber; Surrounded by the warmth of thick fur. The feeling of a heavy heartbeat against them. The Mother Bear, they called her. She stood twenty feet high on hind legs, her maw covered in scars. Her claws strong enough to rend stone. But she did not strike, did not harm. She cradled them until their strength could return, shielding them from the cold. Though she saw them in their weakness, bloodied and surrounding her child, She protected them.

All that was in this cave was the carcasses of slain wolves, a Bear and her Child, and the chill of a Mountain. Yet still, the hunters returned home with food in hand. Food enough, at least, to survive the famine. A second visit up the mountain would find more corpses. A third, as well. Every fortnight, they'd travel to find more meat left by their Benefactor. Predators and prey alike, all dead in the mouth of the cave the hunters had awoken in; For a Mother never abandons her Young. Even if She could not eat, She knew her children could. To be protected, and protect in kind. It was that virtue that the Mother Bear admired. Patience. Protection. Power. Community. And those hunters were changed for reflecting that virtue. She spoke not a word, but the new Bearkin understood what the Mother Bear valued most; To protect your kin, to defend your hearth, to find strength in what you must keep safe.

As the Bearkin grew in number, they made a point to always travel into the mountains, to leave a bounty in return for Her protection. And they would tell the tale to their children- Of the Mountain and the Mother Bear."

Far away from the land of Kal Azul where the ursine wildkin thrived, a different breed of the Bear had taken root in Rhyst. They were few and far between, most being chosen in colder climes closer to Isegrad. Their people gathered in low numbers, their communities never becoming much bigger than a hamlet. Rhystian Bearkin composed of much smaller groups, focusing more on the value of close familial bonds, strong senses of community, and the moral imperative to protect one another. These are the children of the Mother Bear. Those who channeled her strength did so sparingly, resorting to her power only in times of duress. As such, many perceive the Bearkin of Rhyst to be far, far, far more docile than their Kal Azul cousins. In truth, their guardian spirit revels in showcases of personal strength; The best battle is the one that is over before it starts. They resort to intimidation at first to size up attackers, preferring not to resort to violence unless absolutely necessary. Not to say they don't have the strength to back it up, but they prefer to mitigate the risks before having to assert dominance.

The values named off in the old folktale dictating their origin are still alive in a traditional Rhystian Bearkin group. Be Patient with your friends and family. Offer Protection to those in danger. Show Power when it is necessary. And put your Community first. It's no wonder they have been able to live for as long as they have when they live such simple lives, and even less wonder why their numbers are so few - The Mother Bear chose her own sparingly, and did not feel it necessary to exert Herself. After all, she and her kin should be hibernating. Plus, staying tight-knit and close to your kin ensured survival already, so it was rare for their numbers to ever dwindle over time...

Though, things are far more different for the Bearkin and their Guardian Spirit of Kal Azul...

RE: Rhystian Bearkin - The Mountain and the Mother Bear - Tattles - 01-05-2022