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Aedon Durreah
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

I have lived in this place all my life. Within the shelter of the trees and in the shadows of the great lodge, my small dwelling was built, and there in the fields of Grimbeorn did I grow, and learn. Rarely did news of the outside world reach our ears. Within this glade all was peaceful and the sweet things which made life matter were plentiful and ever present. With my brothers and sisters, I tended the bees and other animals who lived and worked alongside us. And though we did hunt the evil creatures of the woods bordering our home, no thought was ever given to taking the life of those we tended. They were as family to us, and together we worked for the good of all. Sweet was the honey from our hives, and plentiful the grains of our fields. With this bounty we made cakes the likes of which would be the envy of folks in dwellings far beyond the borders of our lands. These tasty morsels sustained us and the shared making of them served to strengthen the familial bonds we shared.

And yet, as I have grown, I have begun to wonder what lies beyond the shadowed lands on the edge of sight. Many days have found me sitting on the edge thought, staring at the Carrock and to the lands beyond. In the late evenings, by the light of a Westering moon I have heard the howls of the wolves in the distance. And though I know through stories passed down from Beorn the Elder that they are evil in nature, still their howls stir within me a wildness, and an urge to range beyond the safety of this place. But in the lives of my people, I am still considered young. And Grimbeorn has said that in time, I may stand on the Carrock and then cross the river in search of purpose. This I know to be true, for our leader is honorable and truthful at all times.

The moon is high and full again this night, and its light shines down on our pond illuminating the surface. Within the reflection of the water, something has begun to stir. Fields and homes ablaze with fire, and the screams of those desperately seeking shelter from some onslaught echo in my mind. The cries of goblins on the kill mix with the blood curdling howls of wargs as they ravage the lands, leaving only death in their wake. I can feel their terror, my body shakes with each strike of a blade. It is as though I can feel the pain of those within the misty waters. and for the first time that I can remember, I am in fear for my own life.

I am shaken from this vision by another sound close at hand. The pounding of hooves signals the arrival of a rider on the scene. Cloaked in gray, old in years and yet with a strength which belies his age, Radagast the Brown has come to the house of Grimbeorn.


(to be continued)


(Get your Beornings ready. The Bear militia will be forming soon. A slow leveling RP group of bears fighting to defend Middle Earth, while at the same time playing excellent music to delight the masses as the Bearitones.)


Last edited by Aedon Durreah on 2019/03/28 8:34 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Carysta
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

I really enjoyed this Aedon and can't wait to read more!


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Aedon Durreah
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

Thanks Cary. It is also my hope that other members of the future Bear Militia and the Bearitones add their own tales here.


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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

Stretching with a loud yawn I made no effort to hide the fact it was nap time. It was a perfect day for a nap. The sun hung high and the azure sky begged to be used as a canopy. Rolling over amidst the grain stalks littered my hair giving an odd porcupine look. Perhaps that is how the elders know when I nap in the fields.

First order of business was to find lunch, or breakfast. Either way, food was top on the list. As human the beehives are difficult to reach, in bear form giant paws scoop out the golden nectar with ease. Giving thanks to the bees for their early offering I find the favorite knotted tree and climb high over the fields. The view is spectacular, I can see for ages.

Beyond our borders there are mountains, I see them often peeking over the foothills. They taunt me knowing I cannot roam those lands. The boundary to the village is strictly guarded. No one is to venture out, and until goblins invaded, not many came in. I, however, had the “wandering spirit”, my mother would say.

“You will never leave the village if you do not know how to defend yourself.”

Mother was right, of course, but I enjoyed the leisure of our small village home. I would practice sword and bow skills. Always in my mind I would think these were such silly things to know, I’m a Bear! Practice, practice, practice always practice until the weapons became as comfortable as claws and just as deadly.

My favorite, always, is the bow. It saves getting my hands messy when the foe drops far afield. Sometimes there is that desire to rip into the dark evil and tear it to shreds. Goblins, I hate them! The vile creatures do damage and destruction just for the pleasure of it. They hold no respect for the lands or those that dwell within. Merely thinking of them brings my hackles to full attention.

The creaking branch beneath me made me realize the daydream had become a vision. Eventually I would need to either answer the call or curb the desire for vengeance and bloodshed. For the moment, I will enjoy the perfection of the day, goblins will wait… I hope.
Aedon Durreah
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

What I had longed for, well, what I thought I had always wanted is coming to pass. Radagast brings with him news of war in the west, and the steady march of the enemy across all lands. Where once we had thought ourselves safe from all this, we now find that what happens to the lands beyond our borders will surely be in time brought to our threshold. Grimbeorn, in his wisdom is dispatching those of us willing and able to fight to aid the free-people. How will this work for us I wonder? Man, and the children of Beorn standing together to face the onslaught of a relentless foe. And if the battle goes in our favor, will these men then turn upon us? The wizard speaks highly of them, believes there to be honor among their ranks. Perhaps this is true, time will of course stand in judgement of the actions we take on this day.

I will of course go where I am sent. In my company will be many of my kin, including Djaque, the young female who tends the bees and chats at whiles with the flowers of the fields. I cannot help but wonder if she will return to her beekeeping and flower sniffing, or if he fate be to fall on some distant soil far from the Carrock and our fields. For me, I will miss tending the horses, and my evening walks through the fields of home. My small wooden dwelling as the moon rises high in the sky, and the fires of the great lodge where we gathered for the evening meal. Many a honey mead were consumed before the glow of our hearth as we shared tales of our daily toils and listened to Grimbeorn spin tales of the past.

Tonight, I will sleep in my own house once more. And plan to arise with the first light to enjoy one more walk through the fields of home. I shall remember every twist of the path, every flower and rock along the way. And I will savor the sweet fragrance of the grass as I lie upon it on the edge of the pond listening to the fish splashing just beyond the shore and the croak of the frogs within the tall reeds.


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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

Waking early to tend the bees was always my favorite time of day, other than meal times and dipping in honey times. Watching the sweet gray hues of the pre-dawn sky shift and stretch into brilliant sun made me smile. I listen to what the clouds say. They speak in tones of jubilation and refreshment.

This day there was a heavy tinge of metallic blue shackled the sky to earth. The air cried with the voices of terror and agony. My peaceful calm had a heavy anxious sorrow that lingered like fog. Our animals were edgy, even the bees acted differently. Something was amiss, and it was bigger than goblins.

When the Brown Wizard emerged the long house with Grimbeorn it was hardly a surprise. Of course he came here. There is a vicious world beyond our lands. We have been protected from that for generations. With the goblin attacks becoming more frequent and with more numbers, it was time to realize times are changing.

We have been called for council. Those of the tribe who wish to travel with Radagast were asked to step forward. Without thinking, I stepped into the center of the circle, but I was not alone. Many of us who are young and strong understood the gravity of the news we heard. We could all see the warnings that the Trees spoke.

There was a hush that fell over the village that night. It was not sorrow, but determination. We were not afraid of death, but of ruining the pristine beauty of our peaceful valley. For me, I knew I would never see my bees again. But my little sister was at home and would love them almost as dearly as I.

With a loud roar we joined our voices to proclaim in unity, “This land is OURS!”
We will not let it go easily, of that I promise!
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

Djaque's fight song... not really, but its cute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI2LP1aqSA8
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

As i sit in my camp site in the Vale of Anduin, I cant's help but wonder why I am here. I am unsure of Radagast's plans for me other to await for him here. He would only tell me all would be revealed in time, so all i can do is await for his return. At least it gives me time to reflect on the events that lead me to Ost Guruth in the first place.
I was very good at my choice of occupation and was quickly gaining noteriaty. Dwarves from the Misty Mountains would seek me out to fill their requests as they knew i would do so faster then any others in the area. They often paid extra for the expediancy.
With the impending war on the rise the most requested items in my line of business were the pelts of wolves and bears. As a frequent supplier of such items i knew the best places to aquire such items. I would spend several months a year between the frigid cold in the heights of the mountains and the hills and valleys of the Trollshaws.
On one such journey i made a stop in the settlement of Thorenhad for supplies. That is the day that my life changed for me. As i entered the market area i began making my way through the vendors buying this and that as i needed for my following trip. As i reached the last vendor i suddenly had a watering mouth and growling stomach as i could smell the sweet honeycakes the vendor had.
The vendor was something even sweeter to behold then her wares. She was a shade shorter then i was with long blonde hair. She had very light green eyes, a slightly large but slim nose and full pink lips. On her right cheek was some form of blue tribal tattoo that swirled up and under her eye. I was stricken by her overall beauty and in her poise.
I was pulled from my reminiscing by the snapping of a branch. I quickly picked up my bow and had an arrow nocked in less time then it took for me to stand fully up. I scanned the surrounding area looking for anything that was a threat. From the bushes of to my left a sudden movement had me spinning and drawing only to find i was aimed directly at Radagast.

(to be continued)
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

If one did not know better, they’d swear we were preparing for the annual picnic. The overhanging mood was still heavy, but there was a jubilation that lifted the spirits despite the errand. I caught myself humming to the bees as I prepared the hives. Even the flowers glowed brighter in the early dawn.

In my human form the bee hives are rather out of reach. As the bear, not only can the hive be reached, but a whole other layer of senses gets to play. The hive takes on such vivid colors and aromas it becomes intoxicating. Sticking in my nose gives a tickle unlike anything else. Wings of hundreds of bees flutter against my skin and fur whispering secrets and giggles.

I am always careful not to disturb them too terribly, but honestly I am compelled to poke my head in from time to time. Bees are life in the meadows, to be surrounded by their beauty and diligence inspired me to want to return. At dusk I gaze out to the flowers and hives to see them as they truly are meant to be seen. All their vibrancy and resilience will be what I take on this epic adventure.

It may be the last day I ever see this sight, but my heart sings at the chance at a new journey. The hope is that it won’t be terribly short lived. It would be nice to keep the feeling of life firmly embedded within my heart. The lovely voice of my younger sister as she joined my song would be a memory I carry that none could steal.

We collected in the courtyard outside the main house. Radagast was always a favored visitor, a bit quirky, yet always a pleasure to see. I did not hear well what was said, but the term “strangers” piqued my interest making me wish I had been paying attention. What manner of strangers were we to meet and how much did they know of our kind? Time would tell.
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I arose early. Perhaps in anticipation of the journey ahead, and maybe to spend what time I could within the confines of our glade. Breakfast, as always was already bubbling away in the pot hung securely over the flames of the hearth. Warm oatmeal topped with strawberries, and swirls of delicious honey stirred in. Some might see it as a simple meal, but to me it was a feast beyond measure. As I ate, I looked around the great lodge. I wanted to carry the vision of home with me. Home, we have been taught from a young age was that thing which offered us stability in our lives. And family was the life’s blood of the dwelling. I cannot help but wonder when I might sit here again before the hearth, trading tales with my kin. Deep within, I know I will one day return. When all is well with the world again, and peace returns to the boarders of our lands.

We set out while the sun was still new in the skies. It was believed that travel by day would be best for us until we neared the dwelling places of men. The path would be arduous for sure. Most of our company have never stepped beyond the grasses of home. But among us Grimbeorn also sent a few elders who have been known to ranger far and wide. Often returning with tales of far off lands and creatures we had only heard about in tales. As we passed through the glade, I touched every Oak Tree I could along the pathway to the Carrock. Each one sung to me of the history of my people. Over my head, the canopy of leaves called to me, reminding me to return home one day. As we neared the water’s edge, the Carrock loomed up large before us.

Seeming wreathed in water, the stone stood as a watchpoint for my people. The small path of stones led us from the shore, to the base of the Carrock where a small cave led us to the steps ascending the stone. The elders led us up the these till we all stood on the top and turned out sights towards the Misty Mountains in the distance. Many of us turned for a moment, and looked back towards the trees and grass of home. It was at this point that the elders offered those who wished to, the chance to return home. We all knew that once we crossed the waters of Anduin there would be no turning back. To their obvious approval, not a one of the younger among us turned back.

We stood there at whiles, looking towards the snow crowned mountain tops and imagined what lay beyond. We knew that on the edge of the Misty Mountains lay the great eyries of the eagles. In the foretimes, Beorn used to watch from the Carrock as the eagles soared high in the sky, swooping down to catch their prey. Many times, it was said that they stood guard, keeping the goblins of the mountains from over running the lands that lay around their hunting grounds. And once, many years past I had heard that the king of the Eagles and his vassals delivered strangers to the Carrock itself. After a time one of the elders grunted low, and we knew the time had come to depart. Making our way down the steps, we then crossed the river, and moved along the path that led us into the woods.

Home is behind, the world ahead.


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Standing atop the last of our home rock look outs gave the party one last chance to consider the sacrifice we offered. Gazing out at the peaceful rolling hills made my heart leap for joy and sorrow. Perhaps this would be the last image of these lands, at least in the innocence we carry.

It is long said “war changes a man”. I would assume they mean the broad term of humanity, even as a Beorning we carry Humanity in our veins. There is full awareness that this “adventure” will be harrowing and most of us will return irreparably altered. We fight a war we do not understand alongside strangers. My hope is that this effort will be of benefit and our names will not go unnoticed.

The sun kissed our skin reflecting the longing in our hearts. At the mention of returning home and not continuing I released a mighty roar. My glimmering shift brought my true form to the light. As the amber hues of fur greeted the breeze of our mountains my heart gave its final song to Home. Rising on back legs and pawing at the very wind itself, I called with a mighty voice my intention.

“I will continue to see this Finished!”

I had no idea who joined in my call, but I saw a quickening of footsteps. Returning to human form I took up my pony, who looked at me with his annoyed expression. The look in his face was that of an eye roll, complete with a grand shake of his head making the mane flop like wheat on a threshing floor.

“Don’t look at me like that, you would have been disappointed had I not expressed myself thus.”

Splashing through the river, my pony took delight in finding the deepest holes just to see how wet he could make me. He even had the audacity at one point to roll in a particularly festive eddy. He was fortunate that there was nothing terribly soaked in the pack with my honey cakes. On the far side of the river we came to an understanding. He would not chase swirling water, and I would not eat him.

Now the adventure can continue.
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Our trek towards the mountains took surprisingly little time. I suppose I had feared that the older among our company would slow us down, or that the cubs would spend too much time exploring and not enough time moving. Now, I will admit to wanting to do a bit of looking around myself. After all, this was my first time past the river’s edge of my home. I guess that I had always felt the need to wander, but with three months at our back now I longed for the comfort of home, and the fires of our lodge at the close of day.

Thus far we’ve seen little of the goblins that inhabit these parts. One of the elders said they cower before the might of the children of Beorn. But always, there is a feeling of being watched. As though the hills and trees around us had a thousand eyes marking our passage towards the Valley. Each night, we post a watch, and have made sure to include the young ones in this task. It is best they learn now while they are surrounded by family. The time may come soon enough when they can only depend on themselves to keep safe their lives.
Each day we wise, have something to eat, and then the journey continues.

Today, we arose to a red dawn. Blood red as though the heavens itself had been set ablaze. The elders huddled together talking in hushed tones, while those of at least thirty summers worked to keep calm you younger members of our group. One of the young females seems extra jumpy, and I cannot help but think that at the slightest suggestion, she would be willing to turn around and head home. After a time of uneasy watching, the elders stood before us and claimed that there must be a forest fire on the far side of the mountains. Yes, that must be the reason for the change in the skies. That night though, extra guards were posted, and in truth, most of the elders took this watch.

But morning came again, as it had day after day, week after week and month after month. We had been on an upward slope for some weeks, but now, it seemed as though our path was descending. Legs sore from the uphill climb were gladdened by the lack of muscle strain needed to move slowly down the path towards? The red sky of some days before was receding a bit, and ahead, a blue sky greeted us. The once rough and stoned path was now smooth. As though walking on polished stones. And on either side of the path, myriad wildflowers grew and chased the path as it would through trees and ever downward. There was a wonderful fragrance in the air, which seemed to encircle our heads, and beckon us onward. And then there was the odd scent, one I don’t remember ever catching before.
Elves!

At least that’s what the elders said it was. Our path wound around some time, and then rising slightly, started downward again. We followed it warily and yet with some sense of anticipation. Was the first leg of our journey coming to an end? The path began to twist and turn downwards, and we followed it carefully, making sure to keep the young between us for protection. As we came around the first bend in the path, the valley below opened up before our eyes. We stood for some time, gazing in wonder at the valley which we had been sent to find. Radagast has assured us that we would find friends among the elves, and help as we prepared for the next part of our journey towards the lands of men. On a signal from the elders, we gathered back from the edge, and looked towards the great house sitting at the edge of a waterfall.

“That is where we are going.”
Our leader said in a low growl.
“Stay close, and be prepared for anything.”

And with that, we slowly made our way down the path, and into the Valley of Rivendell.


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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

Well! Guess what I found. A Goat! He is a funny looking thing, to be sure, but what personality. He hates goblins. Not that I blame him any, I’m not a fan of them either. And he Loves berries. This is a goat after my own heart.

I cannot imagine that the elders of our clan were particularly thrilled with the spontaneous exploration done by my goat. They will thank me at dinner though. It was also a good chance to take a notice of the other creatures that wandered the forest. Some were the natural creatures one expects, then there were the odd prints. I was unfamiliar with the club like footprint. It was a barefoot creature but the size was disturbing.

Whisperings from the leaders piqued my curiosity. I must say, as beautiful as the forest was, I missed home. The creatures that made the elders nervous added to my reservation. So, for that reason, I kept hunting berries. If nothing else, the cubs would need the distraction.

Approaching a magnificent body of water gave us all a much needed rest. The water was crisp with the faint taste of stone. There was a great deal of rocks that had been uncovered. Some seemed scorched as if used for fire pits. Others glimmered with precious metals deep within.

Gazing into the clear water there was a turbulence that went beyond the swift flow. The stones at the bottom of the shallow river seemed angry and distraught. What would make such a place shimmer with fear?

I tried to approach a forest bear to inquire of the surroundings. Not only was he awfully lean, as in starving, but he was vicious. All the beautiful berries we collected, the bears should not look so gaunt, yet here they were. They looked as if they were starving. I tested the berries collected to make sure they were not poisoned. All smelled and tasted as it should. The puzzle grew deeper.

We continued up the path. For such beauty, the scenery was sinister. The elders said there was a wild fire, that may well be, however this was a fire like I’ve never seen. There had to be an entire forest engulfed to turn the sky crimson. I think we all knew it was more than what we were told, but none of us wanted to question it – or perhaps were more afraid of the truth.

There was a deep sense of restlessness as we made camp. I was thankful to make berry muffins, the smell alone helped inspire some degree of homemade comfort. For being one of the older members of the group, I took it upon myself to help keep the cubs as much out of trouble as possible. It gave me some degree of purpose, and was a good excuse to still be curious and have responsibility too.

Counting cubs had been my task most of the day. We had done fairly well not losing anyone, minus that one little mishap with a berry bush. In their defense, the briars were rather thick, and the berries were so plump and juicy. It was good that the only injury was a fairly deep scratch inflicted by large thorns. The lesson was learned and the wounds tended.

It took very little coaxing for the cubs to sleep close to me. Our fire burned low and the night was chilled, but exhaustion outweighed all else. Having cubs using me for a pillow gave little opportunity to listen to the elders speak. But I was awake and heard the return of a scout.

Morning would speak more of what needed done. We were close. To what, I was not certain.
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Now, I knew the story of Beorn the Elder like the back of my own paw. But ever since I had first visited Rivendell, some years ago now, this aged Hobbit had insisted on telling me his version of the story anyway. Told and retold, and retold, over each of my few sojourns in Rivendell (this Hobbit was perhaps a bit forgetful), scattered themes had fallen into place. Truth be told, it had been more than a bit eye-opening at first ... even without all the extra chatter about The Shire, and various nonsense about Trolls and Goblins.

The Hobbit's tale underscored a much larger yet nameless threat, one which had also been hinted at in the hearthside tales of Beorn the Elder long ago and the quiet musings of the residents of Elrond's house. A vague, sleepless malice ever stirred in the world, first under one name then under another, awaiting its time to strike. Meanwhile the free folk went about their lives paying little heed to dangers that were beyond their own borders, yet much closer than they even guessed. Certainly the Rangers knew all this, and much more, as did Elrond and his folk. But their cares lay far westward of the Misty Mountains. As if the Battle of Five Armies had ended all threats in the East. As if the Beornings and Dalefolk and scattered Dwarves and Elves of the East could all take care of themselves, by themselves.

She leaned upon one of countless balconies and gazed out across the valley with its many streams and waterfalls. How long had she lingered here in Rivendell, amongst the Elves and other travelers, biding her time with stories and learning? Perhaps too long? Where was that restless spirit which had sent her ever further from Beorn's Lodge until one day she simply didn't return thither? Surely the news from the outside world was no less grim than when she had first crossed the mountains. Yet still she returned to this valley or, increasingly, spent season after season under its eaves.

My nostrils flared. It seldom took me long nowadays to sense the presence of an Elf standing nearby, waiting, a respectful pace or two away. They were quiet, yes. But they still carried a scent. I slowly turned and bowed my head in customary greeting, then raised an eyebrow and tilted my head in question. Perhaps there was a new song or tale to be shared in the Hall of Fire? Their response was as surprising in its content as it was in its verbosity (Elves being reticent with outlanders by habit if not by nature).

"There are travelers," the Elf announced matter of factly. "Lately arrived from the East," they added after I raised the customary second eyebrow, a trace of mirth now at the corner of their eyes. "Your kin."


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  • main: Byrcha (pronounced: BUR-ka), Hobbit treasure-hunter

  • Landroval alts: Braxwald, Brenthiel, & Hathellaith (LMB); Belyndil (Ales and Tales); Yahr (Lonely Mountain Brewery); Byrkhild, Byrchette, & Byrchetta (Secret Pie Vault); Byrwing (Sisters of the Moon); Byraen.

Aedon Durreah
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re: Bear and Back again, A Beornings Tale

We have spent many days now in this place of elves. Some of the warriors like myself become restless, ready to move on. It is not that this is not a pleasant value, but the blasted elves spend so much time singing in the trees! How am I supposed to get proper rest? Grrrrrr I tried to knock some of them out of a tree by running my head into is several times. But this only caused them to laugh and cast the leavings of fruits and dates at me.
There was a meeting at Bear Rock tonight, and the elder says we will soon set out again. We have been advised that the way will be dangerous, and that some of the cubs gathered to our call will need protection. I pity the first singing elf that tries to attack us!
The Call to the Evening meal just sounded. Tonight, we will eat well and in peace. Tomorrow, a great adventure begins for us all.


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