Sit down and listen for a bit. It would be insulting if you left without first hearing a tale of the true leaders and our path to the present. Legend has it that we, the bears, came from the great ore mine of the gods upon Nirakam, one of the last places to be inhabited by the gods before they left. In days long past, the bears of Nirakam would often travel in small groups, typically three in number. It was all they needed to suppress the clans of other races. The male would rule, while the geldmale enforced the laws. Twas the female the clan would go to for mercy. They made slaves from these clans, and leading was easy. Those were the days that the Twelve walked with us, even the great Muarionak, the first bear.

Then the small clans started making weapons and armor and fought back. It just meant it took more bears in any one group to do the same job. The other races started moving out of bear territories, spreading into the unknown beyond the swamps. This left just a few large clans in our land with few positions of power, but many who wanted to be in charge. We started fighting amongst ourselves. Now, we bears have a lot of pride, but our heads aren't so thick that we'd kill kin over something like a leading position. No, there was fighting, but little death.

An old and strong bear developed the weapon we use today, the axe. Not only that, but he started cutting deals and trading with otters, and got his paws on a rare ore that makes for a very sharp blade, good for cutting through flesh and hide. We started making axes and using the hide we cut up for making armor and adorning it with the pelts of our foes for intimidation. Muarionak crafted Dueclaw, an axe he claimed could cleave a tome. Then he had Gruftiot imbue his axe with a power long since lost to time.

The bears' land was surrounded by a dank swamp. The crocodiles called this swamp home, and it was rich in food and resources. Between the need for space and supplies, and the grudge over Kahkurn slaying Muarionak, our elders saw fit to lay waste to those in the way. In an effort to get past the swamp, they carved up crocodiles on their way, using the bones of the dead to make a drier walkway for the bears that followed behind. It wasn't long before they came across a massive and mystical temple belonging to the cowardly crocodiles, a useful place to set up a base. The crocodiles' leader called for a cease in the fighting to negotiate with the bears. The negotiations did not end well for the crocodiles, and the fighting resumed. Only this time time, the crocodiles were without their most powerful reciter and two of his guards.

The crocodiles were quickly enslaved, and the bears made it to the lands of the eagles. Now, eagles aren't so mystically inclined, but they are good at hiding. So good that, for much of their travel, the bears saw none of them. The eagles aren’t ones for conflict, but when an army moves through your lands, it's hard to ignore. One night, as the army rested in the thickest part of the forest where it was easy to defend, a gorgeous – for an eagle – female eagle sneaked into the hut of the leader and woke him. Her words were sharp and soft. She let him know that, had she wished it, he would already be dead. He realized that, if one eagle could get into such a well-defended camp and right to his bedside, more could get in and out just as easily. He agreed that none of the eagles would be attacked in exchange for passage through the eagle territory, and from then on, the eagles have been acting as the eyes and ears for the bears.

With the information relay in place, the ruler of the time had his army split amongst his four most trusted generals and sent them to subdue the rest of Nirakam. Each army would later split again to cover more ground. They were able to strike when and where the other races were weakest thanks to the eagles. Slaves were taken into the swamps and the Great Bear Empire soon formed.

The empire spread halfway across Nirakam, and during this time, the bears came to discover translocation, the ability to move oneself and others from one point to another. It was eventually determined that, not only can the translocation crystals take you places unknown, they can be used to return places that are known. In addition, they devised a trick to activate a crystal as if one were headed somewhere without actually going there. The bear's then-leader set his sights beyond grand Nirakam, to the verdant moons, where strange other races lived with primitive forms of communication. Even a great leader can become overzealous when faced without any opposition for a long time. This zeal would lead to the downfall of the rightful leaders.

Eventually, the slave races figured out translocation for themselves, and slaves started to flee. Others used the crystals to attack cities who had set up around crystals for ease of trade. Attacked from within, without, and now with the loss of workers and soldiers, the Great Bear Empire fell. It would not be until the days of Benock that the bears would once again rise to power.

After the empire fell, bears lived as near-equals with the other races until the High Warden's conquest, during which we were made a slave race to the foxes. Recently, Lord Benock's skill and luck lead to the freedom of the bears and many other races. Thus began a rather dark chapter in our history, the Great Purging. From the end of the Great Purging to the present, bears are still driven to eliminate the foxes, but our support has been waning.


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