Bears are large mammals covered in dense fur, have large non-retractable claws, broad paws, and heavy heads and shoulders. They have acute senses, short tails, and are omnivores, feeding on everything from live prey to fish, to fruit, berries, and yes, honey. In the real world, the bear is the largest of the land predators, only outsized by marine predators such as crocodiles, sharks, and the toothed whales. Bears are solitary creatures, with the only social group being the short lived relationship between a mother bear and hear cubs, which they are notorious for defending.
Bears are unique in that they are slow predators, unable to mount impressive bursts of prey catching speed. They also lack specialized teeth. A polar bear and a black bear are basically the same tooth wise. As a counterpoint, the large hunting cats have teeth that have been specially adapted to hunting their particular prey. While the cat might be considered the superior hunter, they have never enjoyed the widespread range of the bear.
In fantasy the bear is much maligned, left to camper's horror stories, Winnie the Pooh, and the now infamous 'Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!' More flashy monsters appear in its place, carnivorous giants, ogres, trolls, wyrms and other glitzy monsters with kewl powerz and nifty abilities. Being the third most adaptable mammal, behind the wolf and man, the lowly bear would more than likey be able to find or make a place for itself in a fantasy realm at large. So I present the scroll of bear species for the grand realm of Aterrizar.
The Black Bear
The smallest and most common of the Terran bear species, the black bear is also common in Aterrizar, ranging across the lower portions of the continent and especially in the kingdoms of Falhath and Zehin. It is not an apex predaotr in these regions, often outsized by other bear species and the rare dracomorph species. However, this doesnt limit the danger of the black bear. Of the bears it is the most likely to encounter humans on a regular basis, the most likely to engage poaching livestock, and the most likely to attack humans.
Real World species included for completeness
The Polar Bear
Few do not recognize the pale fur and inquisitive faces of the polar bear. An equal in size and power to the brown bear, the polar bear lives exclusively in arctic conditions where it's primary food comes from the fat reserves of seals. Unless a game ventures into the blinding cold of the north, these massive predators are unlikely to be encountered.
Real World species included for completeness
The Brown Bear
Also known as the kodiak and grizzly bear, this is the largest of the Terran bears. It can easily stand on its hind limbs, towering over even the tallest of men. It is an equal in size and strength to an average giant. Its claws are huge and it can kill most medium sized creatures with a swing of it's massive bone breaking paws. It shares domains with the smaller black bear which on occasion ends up as the brown bear's dinner.
Real World species included for completeness
Dzu Teh, the Blue Bear
This animal, known only from a pair of hides recovered from the Himalayas by Sir Edmund Hilary is an elusive and pale blueish-gray bear. Despite a number of expeditions to find it, and the yeti, no evidence other than the two pelts have been forthcoming.
Scrasamax's Blue Bear
The blue bear haunts the slopes and valleys of the Thorondrim mountains, foraging and hunting among the alpine heights. Its domains rarely cross those of the larger brown bears, but the blue bear is adept at avoiding discovery and is nearly impossible to track. Natives of the region, hardy mountain folk and goblins call it the Ghost Bear for its uncanny ability to vanish and remain undetected. It is an ambush predator that primarily feeds on mountain fish and the common Gorals of the Thorondrims.
The Golden Bear
A sub-species of the brown bear, the Golden Bear is found in areas that are rich in natural magics. The bear has developed a taste for the flesh of enchanted plants and animals and as such has developed a resistance to many of their innate magical defences. While in all aspects a normal bear with a somewhat blonde coat, it has a magic resistance against innate magics of 30%. Spells and cast spells face a lower 20% magic resistance. Lastly, the bear has a 90% resistance to animal controlling magics, sleep spells and the like.
This diminutive bear species seldom reaches more than 200 pounds in weight and is often mistaken for a tailless dog. It is a very adept tree climber and primarily eats honey and honey producing insects. While this is it's primary food, it will not turn up it's nose at an unfortunate tree-dweller caught off-guard. This species is more common in the western lands, and in some of the Half-elf kingdoms they are frequently kept as exotic pets.
The Striped Bear
Named so for its brindled coat, this bear is light brown with dark brown and black barring. This makes the huge predator hard to pick out in it's native domain of The White Lands. It breaks up it's shilouette in the foliage, leaving most prey shocked when it suddenly appears with a crushing blow to the back or skull. The Hyloidians consider the animal to be a magical one as encountering one of these elusive animals is said to be a great and powerful omen. Many a Hyloidian shaman or blacksmith has gone on a quest to stalk one of these bears to gain insight to a known problem. While often the simple act of focusing on the bear and the hunt is enough to trigger some sort of inspiration, some report an almost magical sense of lucidity that comes from encountering the bear. This unfortunately doesnt occur when the bear encounters a human, few realize a bear has seen them, and those who are seen by a hungry bear are often never seen again.
The ancient Thorondrim mountain range hides many secrets of the Old World. Among them is the cave bear. Now nearly extinct, these massive, ferocious beasts, were once feared, revered and even worshipped by the early races of Man. For it was this ursine giant which Man first encountered when he began to explore the myriad caves of his mountainous homeland. Much larger than a grizzly or polar bear, the cave bear subsists on a typically omnivorous diet, but has a preferance for meat, the fresher the better. Unlike its smaller, evolved and adapted cousins, the Cave Bear has no fear of Man. Incidents are extremely rare, but few mountain climbers and explorers have lived to tell of the experience of accidentally stumbling on an inhabited cave of one of these fearsome, primal creatures.
The Common Bear is found almost everywhere in Arth, FirstLand, SecondLand, Northern ThirdLand, and MaskLand. There size and shape stays fairly standard (about that of a larger black bear), but with a greater range of fur colors. Common bears stand around three feet tall at the shoulder. Male Common Bears may grow 20 to 40 percent larger than females, and can grow more than six feet long (1.8 M) and weigh up to 650 pounds (300 kgs). The smallest male is about 200 lbs (100 kgs). Females rarely reach the larger sizes.
On FirstLand they have been shaped to be slighty smaller but range from white, to grey blue, to a woodsy brown. In SecondLand they come in golden/ blonde and black. Thirdland has a polyglut of colors in the few biomes they are ranging in. Maskland bears are the smallest and blackest of the bears.
These are found only on ThirdLand and only in the Northern Dwarven Mountains. Competing with some serious predators for food has created a powerful creature. These creatures, to the terrestrial eye, are a mix between a Kodiac Bear and a Gorrilla. They are 5 feet (1.5M) at the front shoulder, 3 feet (1M) at the rear. When standing they can reach nearly 9 feet (3M). They are 1100 lbs (500 Kgs) of muscle, fur, and fang. Rock Bears are solitary cave dwellers, only living in small family groups for breeding cycles. Their coloration cycles through the year, running from white/ light grey blue in the winter, to brown/black in the summer.
The Inner-Range Bear
Bears were common in the forests and hills of Bukdek in the time before the ancient Yorae Dynasty. But during that ancient empire, many of the large predators of the Bukdek region were hunted nearly to extinction, including bears, who have become almost totally unknown to the majority of Bukdeks. This has remained largely true through the time of the Commanderies and the Bukdek conquest(though between the Dynasty and the Bukdek Empire some sections of the land have become depopulated and filled again with wilderness).
A large exception to this is the wild and still-untamed region of the Inner Range, stretching from Peninsular Bukdek in the south (on the edge of the Southern Republics) into the midst of the continent. In this lawless wilderness can be found the great animal known as the Inner-Range Bear, or chakwurng dul-barg as it is called in Temak.
Inner-Range Bears are enormous, generally standing about 6 feet at the shoulder. It is rare for them to stand on their hind legs (it is theorized that their immense weight would make this painful) but they are known to rear into a slouching pose when threatened. They are covered in very shaggy brown-black hair, with a very stiff horripilation on the spinal-shoulder region.
The male Inner-Range Bear has a pair of very large sabre-tusks which jut from its lower jaw. The larger these tusks, the older the bear.
Sort of a mix of dire bear and sabretooth; I like to put an interesting spin on terrestrial animals for my settings
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Great job Scras
A decent reminder, with the hope of more bears added one day. A little expansion on its behaviour, stronger and weaker points would be useful as well.
love posts like this! A zoological expose of a world! Can I add a bear?
add all you want
nice one could i also add a bear? ...
A very Good Idea. The two Arth Bears will be forthcoming.
I like this parade of bears, I might add one of my own later.
Add it now Cheka
Finished the Arth Bears.
Hmm... I could add the Kerrenese Bear. Of course, that is a six legged saurian, that runs about 900 lbs, and fills the same ecological nitch as a bear (with similar morphology). It also hibernates in dens, the main characteristic it shares with the Terran Bear.
...and Bears! Oh my!
Bump. Love bears.
Good BUMP, good collection.
My, this is a great scroll! And how I missed it, no idea.
Need to add to my to-do list here.
I love bears
"Bears are unique in that they are slow predators, unable to mount impressive bursts of prey catching speed. "
That is statement is not true here on earth. For about 100 yards a grizzly bear, for example, can run up to 30-35 mph (look it up). How fast is the average horse moving at a gallop?
Between 35-50mph, and can maintain that speed for more than a mile (I own 3 race horses). Bears are ambush predators since they can only maintain that speed for a short distance. Alligators are similar, they can move really fast but for only a few dozen feet. The basic idea is that a bear isn't going to chase their prey over distances, which makes sense given that bears live in forested areas and not out on the plains.
A horse that tops out at 50mph is a fast horse. I would say 35 mph is a fast horse. How long does it take one of your a horses to reach a speed of 35 mph?
35 mph would be a pretty average speed for most of your horse breeds, they are all bred to move, being a flight based prey animal. You r race bred horses, like thoroughbreds, arabians, and race quarter horses can exceed 35 pretty easily and run in the 40+ range. And I think most of the horses can hit their full speed in a matter of a few strides.
At a full gallop a normal sized horse can cover more than 20 feet in a single stride. The race horse Man'o'War could cover 32 feet in a single stride.
I don't think a bear could catch even the slowest one of these guys.
So would you consider these horse that can hit their top speed in a few stride capable of impressive bursts of speed? You wish to make distinction between ambush carnivores and animals that chase their prey over distances, what are examples of these? For how long can a cheetah chase its prey? Do other other forest hunters such as tigers or jaguars mount impressive burst of speed? When writing nonfiction pieces such as this should we include references for the facts we are reporting?
However, I agree, based on my limited knowledge I don't think a bear would attempt to or succeed in running down and attacking a healthy race horse.
Bear are omnivores, they eat berries, roots, and when the opportunity presents itself, protein. What have you seen more; bear eating salmon or chasing down an animal other than a stupid hiker or camper? Polar bear catch their prey at the edge of the ice, they don't swim down seals. They don't run down deer or the like. Can a bear run? Yes, all animals except elephants can run (ie all four limbs off the ground at one time) but they don't have to. If you still have issue with my sentence I will simply delete it from the submission.