Race - The Ursines

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It is debatable whether Ursines or Felines formed the first true nations among the Beasts, but there is no doubt that the first Beast whose name we know was an Ursine: Beowulf, fabled first King of Midgaard. Though little is known for certain, and much is no doubt exaggerated about this semi-mythical figure, it is accepted that Beowulf was a real Ursine, likely a young chieftain of one of the tribes of Ursine before forging that race of Beasts into a nation. The legends say that when Beowulf was a chieftain, a great monster known as Grendel roamed the countryside, despoiled the forests, and drove off or consumed the moose that the Ursines hunted for food. Beowulf, resolving to slay the foul creature, ventured forth, found where it lay at night, and slew it in a great battle full of thunder and fury. When Beowulf returned, all hailed him as a great hero, and soon he was held first in esteem among tribal chieftains.

Three moons later, another, even greater monster appeared, despoiling the forests, driving away the moose, and even raiding villages of Ursine to sate its hunger. Once again, Beowulf went forth to hunt the monstrosity, finding the cave within which it dwelt. Though the creature was not there, Beowulf found within it the rotted corpse of Grendel, and realized that the monster he hunted now was Grendel's mother. She had retrieved her child's corpse and brought it back to her lair. Beowulf gathered up the corpse of the Grendel, climbed up the hill within which the cave mouth opened, and there hung the corpse over the opening.When Grendel's mother returned from feasting on a moose, she saw the corpse hanging over the cave mouth and grew possessed with the greatest of rages. Charging forward, she roared her fury at the defilement of her son, and fell into a great pit which Beowulf had dug. She was howling with rage as Beowulf, hidden on the hill above the cave mouth, pushed boulders off the ledge he rested on, crushing Grendel's mother in the pit below.

Beowulf climbed into the pit, hacked off one of the creature's horns, and brought it back to his people as proof of his victory, after which they hailed him as a conquering hero and proclaimed him the first King of Midgaard, and Lord of the North. For half a dozen years, Beowulf ruled the Ursines of Midgaard wisely and well, and the nation prospered. Few spoke a word against him and those chieftains who challenged his right to rule were quickly taught otherwise, for Beowulf was ever a mighty warrior, and was quick to swing his mighty axe, which was called Frostfang, and whose handle was forged of the horn he took from Grendel's mother.

It was then, as the Ursine's sun was just beginning to rise that the Dvergar first struck, rolling like a wave over northern Midgaard, crushing and burning all in their path. Beowulf led his people in many battles against the Dvergar, but here history becomes unknowable in a jumble of war and chaos. It is said that Beowulf fell in battle, a ring of Dvergar bodies lying around him, but no knowledge remains of where he fell or indeed, of Midgaard at all for almost a century after.

One of the two oldest Beast cultures known, the Ursines of Midgaard are a warrior-nation through and through, having fought periodic wars against the evil Dvergar of frozen Nidavellir for thousands of years.

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