Honor of the Great Bear

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Honor of the Great Bear

Postby Talinor » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:35 pm

The moon rises overhead, full and mighty it fills the sky seeming so vast and close, yet still so far away. Low to the ground this night it has a hint of red across its’ giant surface. The blood moon some people call it. It is a moon to call out the spirits of the hunt and predator beasts in force to dance with their more fleshy cousins in an endless dance between prey and predator that has gone on long before man thought they were different because they walked on two and not four legs.

On the ground, one of these two leg walkers took in a deep breath of the chill air of winter. The air was cleaner out here, with just enough cold to give a bite to the nose and throat and remind him that he was alive. He was a tall man compared to many, full of powerful muscle that worked in fluid motion together as he walked. The bangs of his long, brown hair was tied behind his head with a simple leather strap to keep it from moving to much while the wind whistled. He traveled with a brisk pace as he moved further and further from the well traveled paths leading from the great city of Waterdeep. Soon he would be approaching the nearby reaches of the true wild; a small forest, yet unclaimed by the forged metal claws of the men of waterdeep. Here, if the spirits were with him, would he find a challenge worthy of the bear totem he hoped to make proud.

Low and fast, another long shadow among the many shadows of night, he traveled through the underbrush, dark eyes glaring down at the hard frozen earth seeking to read the story it might tell. He found many smaller tracks of the fleeting herd animals, but most of them were old and of a tale long ago. A few smaller prey animals had scampered about, but nothing truly a challenge enough to prove his strength to the spirit totems. He approached the icy cold of a small stream, to quench the growing thirst inside from all his travels when there it was; exactly what he was looking for…. the prints of a large bear frozen in the earth by the steam. His muscles grew tense with excitement, but he made them loosen and quiet down. It would not do to fail when so close. The intense eyes read the earth like the herdlanders might read one of their books, and soon he found himself looking toward the dark and quiet entrance of a cave. Kneeling down, the savage man gave thanks to the spirits and promised that he would not let them down, or die in the trying with honor. From his back he pulled forth a short spear from its’ hidden case underneath his cloak, and started the quiet stalk to the face of the cave. From close inside he heard the mighty sounds of the sleeping beast. But this was not a hunt merely for the kill; this was a hunt of manhood and challenge. He leaned low and picked up a large rock…and made his way back to outside the cave.

Taking off his cloak, the hunter prepared himself… then threw the rock inside the cave with all his might.

There was a moment or two of rock striking rock, (CLANG, CRACK!) followed by the bellowing ROAR of challenge. The savage hunter roared his response back as the once sleeping beast came hurtling through the mouth of the cave seeking vengeance upon that which dared wake him from his long winters sleep.

A blur of arms and motion, and spears were closing the space between hunter and beast. They stuck with the dull thick sound of tearing hide and metal against bone. In a breath the hunter had marked the beast with two wounds.. one solid upon it’s shoulder, the other tearing along it’s back, until it finally stuck into the thick fat of winter.

Rolling to one side, the savage hunter brought forth his mighty great axe, Rage of Predators..and prepared to face the physical cousin of the totem he respected. With a roar, the bear rushed forth and swung with it’s might against the standing foe. Claw of bear met with middle of great axe and both wielders roared in defiance as they pitted strength against strength.

But the man's roared grew, as his own rage was fueled like a fire by the strength of his ancestors (or so he thought). The stalemate of strength was ended by the barbarian spinning deflecting the might of the beast even as his hands slid down together to meet at the very base of the handle of the axe for a power strike. Fueled by the flesh of muscle and the fire of rage, the great axe cut deeply into the side of the bear.

Its’ “spirit” sharped heavy blade cutting through fat, muscle and flesh until it stuck deeply into the spinal column shattering bone, and ending the life of the once mighty beast.

A roar of victory was followed by sudden quiet, and the savage hunter went quickly to work. He would show honor to the great beast, by not wasting any that could be used. For a day he worked, cutting and preparing, scraping and collecting. Inside the cave itself was fashioned a small shrine of stone. The two spears that first struck the beast stuck into the ground on either side, the points up. Blood was collected in waterskin, and fang and tooth collected for all those who might follow the hunter in times to come. Wrapped carefully in the hide was flesh to consume later, and sinew and muscle to be used for binding and other uses later. Soon he was then on his way back to the great city of too many people, to place his things at Ashe’s forge and continue his work. Soon his blood sister would be told, a new shrine to bless for the spirit of the bear, a new tribe to grow and new customs to begin….
Talinor
 
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