An Ode to Cataclysm Bears

Oh bears, you are such wild animals. Your fighting tactics are natural and agile, your forms lithe and jiggly. You do not fear dragons, nor do you need any of that clumsy plate armor or those distasteful walls of steel to protect you. You fight in your skin because, as any good guardian should know, your natural strength is the only thing standing between a bear and death.

Experts in adaptation and reaction, if invaders were to break down walls in the middle of the night, you would be the ones to chase them off. You will undoubtedly wake up to the crashing and burning; stumbling out of bed. Even if your humanoid bodies are tired and confused, the feral instinct will take control. Within a second’s notice your smooth skin will give way to dense hair, nervously chewed fingernails will harden into dreadful claws. Bones grow; muscles expand. The soldiers will still be strapping on breastplates when the bear is already out the door, ready to tear out the intruder’s throat.

Wild beasts of the forests, you do not get groggy or tired. You cannot afford weakness. In the wilderness, all that matters is survival. Honor or sacrifice will do you no good as a mangled corpse on the forest floor, and you know this. Wild things have no legacy to worry about. Either you are strong enough to survive, or you die.

Children of Nature, you know one cannot see clearly with a metal visor over his eyes. You know one cannot easily dodge an opponent’s swing while weighed down by armor. You know one cannot find his enemy’s weaknesses when his only weapon is a fancy rock tied to a stick. No, you bears are free from such restraints. With practice and training, your hides can deflect mightier blows than any steel and disperse more formidable spells than any shield. Nothing can compete with the strength Nature has provided you. Even Deathwing has cowered to your fearsome roars.

Savage defenders, when facing down an evil-doer, you will find their critical weaknesses, and when you do, even their once-deadly cleaves will simply slide off your hides and nick no more than a handful of hair. You are untamed beasts, used to the harsh realities of the wild, and your claws cannot idly rest while taking a beating. Such is the primal fury that Nature gave you, in that your best defense is a strong offense.

Vengeful protectors, even if violent menaces do manage to land a strike, it will only make you stronger. Your bear claws will be reinforced by savage hatred, and your shoulders more resistant to pain. It’s a cycle of anger that only ends in the enemy’s death. Rage and ferocity will have the final say in revenge.

Nature’s always-hungry aggressors, the enemies of the wild way never fare well after an encounter with you. You will tear open your foe’s skin, lacerating their muscles so that they will never stitch together, even if they somehow survived the battle. Their blood will pour out, and the taste of it only empowers you. You animals thrive off of bloodlust. Blood is survival.

Deadly dreamers, no one near a feral bear is safe, not even your allies. Standing eight feet tall at times, those arms can topple any human or humanoid species. The sheer mass behind your claws will rip through steel. A blood raged bear cannot be controlled. Yet despite your size and strength, your paws can perform feats of dexterity that would surprise the most agile rogue. If given the choice, you’d rather eat a nice lunch of raspberries than kill a rabbit. You are defined by the elegant contrast of serenity and ferocity, just like Nature herself.

Ancient survivor, once the battle gets tough, your instincts will tell you what to do. You’ve survived for centuries without tools or civilization; the only thing you can rely on is the code your ancestors left behind. Bears cannot afford to question their instincts, as they have been reliable for eons.

And as always, Nature provides for you bears. You couldn’t be what you are now without her guiding hand. Even as you enter the blood frenzy, even as the last scrap of humanity fades away, she is there for you. Healing you, soothing your wounds. Bears are guardians of her empire.

Wild children of the Cataclysm, the world is healing, but that will only bring new challenges. Don’t forget to say hello to your new bear friends. They’re not lucky enough to be protectors of nature and they’re more fat than ferocious, but I think you’ll get along.