These are the stories that were shared by the Grizzly Cubs and their allies
Daemon of the Grizzly Bears story “The Scout Leader”
It was not so long ago, but it was very far away.
There was an order of young explorers, ‘scouts’ they styled themselves, and their junior division were known as ‘cubs’. These cubs gathered together in ‘dens’, they went on ‘adventures’ suitable for their ages, gaining skills and accumulating life experiences. As they passed certain tests, their spirit animal changed to mark their growth. The last of the spirit animals was Bear.
One of the leaders of one of the dens was an implacable foe of the Unweaver (who shall not be named again in this story.) That leader did not know the foe by that name, but had devoted their whole life to defeating them. It was therefore with horror that said leader learned one of their charges, a Bear cub, was set to lose their parent to the unwork of the foe.
The cub was devastated, but took solace in the care and kindness and encouragement of that leader, who told them “Make your life a _celebration_ of your parent’s. So long as you _remember_ them, they live on through you. And always _fight_back_ against the work of the foe.”
The cub learned that hard lesson. Through the sting of grief, the cub felt a call to a different sort of adventure. One maybe not suited to their age in years, but apparently well suited to the kinship of their spirit.
Following the inner voice of their spirit animal, and putting one foot in front of the other, the cub came to this place, the Valley of Kuruk, a place of healing and wisdom, but not always to peace. The cub was surprised to find they were not the only child in the valley, and felt immediately at home, as if this destination was no accident.
With the help of the other bear cubs, the young explorer continues to live by the principles: Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back!
Audie Spade of the Grizzly Cubs “Home”
Hey I am just a girl who had the “Good Life” before finding myself wandering the wilderness lost, afraid and alone. I was a bit obsessed with Bagels and believe me they were abundant from “The Land of Plenty”. I soon found myself foraging the wild just to survive. One day out looking for food I came across a scraggly old woman with a bent cane but had the most peaceful smile upon her face. She motioned me over, so cautiously entrigued with this woman I moved a bit closer. She leaned forward and said, “How may I help you?”. I spoke softly and still a bit afraid, I said, ” Somehow I don’t remember how I became lost and out here alone. I have seen too much devastation in the wild places, too much of nature’s splendor ruined by the despoilers. As a result I need a family and a people who care about making changes to such things. A people who know how to affect change and fight for the causes they believe in. Wandering this wilderness has changed me”. “Ah” she said, “I have the perfect thing for you.” She handed me a vial of a purple swirly murky like potion. “Drink”, she said. I love the color purple so I took the potion and drank the entire vial.
Soon I felt myself swirling too just like the potion and enveloped by sweet smelling purple sparkling clouds, and then there I was in a camp by a warm crackling fire. I was met by bears, and saw other kids like me, happy with a purpose scurrying about all around me. I instantly knew I was Home. I still don’t have bagels but I do have Loki’s half- baked lopsided bread and my brother Sebi’s pancakes. 🙂 I was adopted. Home. I am home!
Tanner of the Grizzly Cubs “Family”
Hey, I’m T.. Tanner.. I don’t remember my birth parents, my first memories are of living in the orphanage in the big city of Lothridge. I remember seeing all the other boys come and go, but always being overlooked. I have two different color eyes, weird hair, was blind in one eye and deaf in one ear and would stutter a lot when i talked, which wasn’t often unless i was mad. I wasn’t what people were looking for..
I got in a lot of trouble and called stupid because it was harder for me to learn only seeing and hearing half of the world around me. The only person that showed me kindness was Mrs. Plume, the nurse at the orphanage. She’d help me when I got hurt by the bigger boys fighting, and tell me stories her grandmother told her of warriors in a distant land, and that being different was special. She taught me fighting wasn’t always the answer. She taught me to read and about plants and how to identify what was safe to eat and what wasn’t, and how to care for my wounds.
A few weeks before my 12th birthday, I got moved to another orphanage, I never got to say goodbye to Mrs Plume, they just took me. The new orphanage was all older boys on a farm, we worked hard and I got stronger and learned to farm and build.. I saw parents come and go but they took the older boys and soon realized they were after workers, not family. I decided to run away, and went back to Lothridge to find Mrs Plume.. The boys there said she had died after I left, so I ran into the woods heartbroken.. No one wanted me, and the only person that ever cared for me was gone..
I lived in the woods for a few weeks, and built myself a shack. But I started hearing my name whispered in the trees. I’d follow it, but it would just turn to wind and I’d go back to my camp.. Winter was coming soon so I decided to abandon my camp, and just follow the voices.. if I was going crazy so be it. I followed the voice and made camp again, the next morning I heard it again, and followed it..
One morning after breaking camp, I came to the ridge of a valley, just like Mrs Plume had described.. I rubbed my eyes and realized I could now see out of both eyes, and hear the birds out of both ears. Maybe I am crazy, maybe I’m dead, maybe I’m dreaming.. but my time here has been long now. It seems like yesterday, but also seems like a lifetime. Ive made new friends and new family. I almost never stutter.. Just when i get excited or nervous.. I’m finally wanted and feel love. Everything I’ve learned I get to use, and learn more every day. If its a dream I hope I never wake up! And if I’m dead, this is heaven. I WILL be brave and a warrior like Mrs Plume always spoke of! I will only fight for what is right, and help others like me to see we ALL have a place. For my fr. friends.. and my fa fa family!
Nat of the Grizzly Cubs “How the world got her lumps and bumps”
Before I left on my pilgrimage to the Valley, my grandmother told me this bedtime story of how the world came to be, so I thought I’d share it with all of you. It’s called ‘How The World Got Its Dips And Lumps’.
“Back in the beginning days, once upon a time, oh my Best Beloved,” she started, “there were no highest highs or lowest lows. No, there were only the flattest flats. All was flat for as far as the eye could see, and believe me, it was very Plain-To-See.”
“Yes, on that endless plain, you’d see even trees weren’t particularly tall, they were the squattest of shrubberies, because, what need to reach upwards towards the skies, when they were as close to the sun as every other thing?”
“There upon that plainest plain of the flattest flats, and the squattest shrubs, among those titchy trees, there lived a number of creatures.”
Seeing that I was about to interrupt, she stopped me, “Yes, yes oh Best Beloved! Do not worry, of course there were bears living there! For we all know that without bears, there would be no world at all. They are the bare minimum for a world to even be!”
“Yes, bears there were, but bears that weren’t. They weren’t as tall, nor as wide or as grizzly as the bears we know. These bears of before were the ursa minors to our ursa majors. You could say that every bear was a cub then! Hardly taller than the rabbits frolicking in the fields; in stature they had more of the hare to them than the bear!”
She continued, “But don’t be fooled by their size and standing, these cub-like bears of the plain were every bit as wise, and brave as the bears of the Spirit Valley …although perhaps a little more trusting in those plainer days.
So those hare-like bears – the cubs among the shrubs – lived with few cares, upon the flattest plains in the beginning days. And they shared those lands with other creatures, all of a similar stature. Second only to bears in their number were rabbits, although they were a little shorter in the ear than the bunnies of today and apparently less frisky, and second to them were the horses…
…well, perhaps it would be clearer to say that they were little ponies, of the kind which lacked the sort of long strong and slender legs that you might need to gallop away. But of course, there was little need to gallop in a world where you could see all around you. No need to be frightened where there was no one larger than you lurking behind a tall tree, ready to pounce upon you and sink its sharp teeth into your trembling skin.
Of course, not everything was perfect upon the flattest plain. There were very few fish to catch in the waters, because the rivers and lakes were little more than trickling streams and shallow sodden puddles. The fish that the cub bears caught were little more than fingerlings and fry, the most mini of minnows, and not good eating at all! Still, there were plentiful berries on the tiny trees and the weather was always pleasantly mild with few highs or lows, and so, on the whole, the cub bears were content with their lot nonetheless.
Not every bear was so content, of course, because how would the world have stories if everyone was happy with their lot and always stayed at home, washing their hands, making sensible decisions and never taking risks? No, Best Beloved, there is always a restless one in every tale, and so we come to meet the most restless cub among all the plain bears.
You must understand, oh Best Beloved, that in plainer times there was no need for names, but we must call our restless hero something, or else we’ll quickly lose track of who is who. But what name would suit this bear in mind? Ah, yes, Best Beloved, I have the perfect name…
We shall call him Hare-Bear, because among all the hare-like bears, he was the one who you’d most mistake for the Mad March Hare. Always running in circles and rolling around and asking why things were the way they were, and why they couldn’t be more exciting. To be honest, Best Beloved, sometimes even his own mother found this too much to bear!
So our tale of change begins on one such day, at the crack of dawn, when Mother Bear already had enough of Hare-Bear getting under her paws while she was barely awake. Yes, soon enough, she had sent him off to talk to Elders of the plain in the hopes they would give him a task to keep him occupied for the day and give her some peace.
Now, in those beginning times, so it’s told, the very wisest of creatures in the land were as one with a spirit of nature. Each of these wise spiritual Elders would commune with one aspect of the natural world. Earth, Air, Sun and Water.
Hare-Bear had no doubts about which Elder he wished to help, so he sprinted off with barely a thought, looking for the wise old rabbit who was joined with the spirit of the land. Now, ever the fantasist, Hare-Bear fancied himself to be quite beloved by the old rabbit, a kindred spirit with the spiritual elder. Why, he imagined, he was practically the son the old rabbit never had. Perhaps, he convinced himself, he would even inherit the role of Earth Elder some day!
But on feeling our restless and tiresome Hare-Bear’s carelessly sprinting foot falls shaking through the ground, the Earth Elder remembered how Hare-Bear asked so many questions, but never seemed to listen to any of the answers, and was possessed with a sudden urge to be even more at one with the earth. And so, Best Beloved, the old rabbit began to dig and dig and dig.
By the time Hare-Bear reached the Earth Elder’s patch, all that he found was a deep hole in the ground. Now, to Hare-Bear, this was a very strange hole indeed, he reached a paw into it and found that this hole didn’t have a bottom. It just kept going!
You see, Best Beloved, a rabbit living in a burrow may not seem like much to you, but in those plainer times, there were no highs and no lows, and so tunnels leading deep underground were something very new indeed!
Confused, Hare-Bear decided to look for the wise creature that was one with the spirit of the air instead. Oh, how he loved to spend time with the Air Elder; a dragonfly that darted around the place at head height, because of course, Best Beloved, there was no reason to fly any higher.
Soon Hare-Bear spotted the wise dragonfly hovering by a nearby shrub and ran over at bear maximum pace, and then, finding running so much fun, continued to run and skip and dance in circles around the Elder’s shrub.
But as Hare-Bear darted around the Air Elder, spinning his arms around in glee, paying no attention to his surroundings and generally threatening to cause a collision at any moment, the wise old dragonfly began to see the wisdom in rising above it all, and – you must understand, Best Beloved, for the very first time – the Elder began to swoop higher and higher into the sky, well out of the reach of Hare-Bear’s flailing paws!
Oblivious, Hare-Bear continued to frolic until he became dizzy and fell onto his back. Only then did he see the Air Elder spiralling up towards the sun.
Shocked at this confusing sight, he shakily stood back up and decided to go and see the wise old solar bear, the Elder of the Sun, in case he knew what had become of the Air Elder. Hare-Bear knew that the Sun Elder loved nothing more than to roll around in the mud, as this is a surprisingly effective method of staying cool in the sun – just ask a pig or hippopotamus, if you don’t believe me – and so that’s where Hare-Bear headed.
What a sight it must have been as Hare-Bear dizzily weaved, wandered and stumbled his way towards the Sun Elder’s mud puddle, only to fall face first into the puddle, splashing the wise elder with thick mud. Concerned that he had been so disrespectful to the wise old bear, Hare-Bear tried to use the puddle water to wash away the mud, but of course he just kept making things worse and worse until the Sun Elder looked more like a mud monster than a wise old bear.
What must the poor solar bear have thought as he found himself so caked in mud that he was unable to roll around, and so unable to stay cool? Yes, there was very little chill feeling from the Sun Elder at that moment, as the mud caked all around him and gradually began to bake harder and harder in the sun.
Poor old Hare-Bear tried everything he could to help, including covering the mud with grass and small twigs, mixing sand in with the mud, and when all that didn’t work, adding even more mud in the hopes of washing the rest away. But eventually, despite Hare-Bear’s many helpful contributions, the monster mud mound was several times taller then Hare-Bear and had baked as hard as stone.
At this point our flighty hero was beginning to worry that some terrible force was disrupting the spirits of nature. You see, oh Best Beloved, he was the type to jump to the most narratively dramatic of conclusions. And so he rushed off to see the sleepy black cat that was at one with the spirit of the water.
Usually Hare-Bear had little time for the Water Elder because in those days water was a little dull, being barely a trickle in a dry stream or a squidgy puddle under foot. Besides that, the Water Elder always seemed to be napping in the tallish grass whenever he’d visited in the past. Yes, no matter how much he’d danced around, clapped his paws, sung wake-up songs and pulled on the Elder’s tail, the cat had stayed firmly asleep. Why, if anything her eyes would be so tightly closed that you could have almost said she was frowning in her sleep.
However, this time Hare-Bear was determined to rouse the sleeping black cat from her slumber, after all this was an absolute Elder Emergency!
He barreled through the tallish grass to the Water Elder’s side and began to frantically yell the tale of how something terrible had caused the Ground Elder to dig impossibly deep under the ground, how something even worse had caused the Air Elder to be lost up in the empty sky, and how the evil forces of fate had conspired to trap the Sun Elder in a towering stone prison!
As he ranted and raved and tugged on the black cat’s ears and whiskers, he began to notice something very strange indeed. The Water Elder’s tail was beginning to rise, up and up until it was pointing straight up in the air, taller than any cub bear, any little pony or shrubbery. And rising up below that tall tail was the poised back end of the suddenly rather large-looking cat.
Then glinting points began to slide out from Water Elder’s paws, until she had knife sharp claws. Hare-Bear fell silent as his throat caught in a never-ending gulp. Then slowly, oh so very slowly, the black cat’s frowning eyes gradually began to open to narrow slits, and then into glaring marble-like eyes, until they were staring like daggers, right into Hare-Bear’s trembling, watery eyes.
And as the awoken panther began to pounce, with her ivory-white fangs bared, Hare-Bear suddenly wished that he’d stayed home to pick berries and fish for mini marsh minnows. But, of course, oh Best Beloved, by then it was far, far too late for Hare-Bear to wish for anything.
So, once the fierce flowing waters unleashed by the awakened Water Panther washed away the plainness of the plains, and filled out the burrows, and opened up valleys, and scattered all the scared bears and rabbits, and ponies and people around the world. While all that much yearned for excitement was happening, well, oh Best Beloved, there was no careless carefree Hare-Bear there to see it. No, not any more.
“And so,” my grandmother finished, “ever since that day of change, the world has been full of lumps and of bumps; of the highest high mountains and the lowest low valleys; nothing has even been quite so plain again, and now, oh Best Beloved, you know exactly why.” Then she snuffed out the lantern and stood from the chair to wish me a good night. Although, of course, I couldn’t sleep…
…Then later, hearing me toss and turn in my restless bed, my grandmother returned and said, “Oh my, best beloved, did things perhaps grow a little too exciting by the end of our story? As the world gained its dips and lumps, things stopped being so plain and mild, didn’t they?”
“Now, don’t fret, settle down, all is well. I know that things didn’t end so well for Hare-Bear, but what would a story be without some highest highs and lowest lows? Where would we be without tall tales of tall tails?”
“I think, oh Best Beloved,” my grandmother said, “that the world is better off with its tiny mice, great grizzly bears, and everything in between. We like our towering trees and soaring birds, we’re glad of our gushing rivers and crashing waterfalls, even though our less plain and mild world comes with wilder dangers.”
“But you must always remember not to be like Hare-Bear! Listen to the answers to your questions, oh Best Beloved, don’t go charging in without a thought! Never pull too hard on any tall tails you might find sleeping in the tallish grass…”
Then my grandmother stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “…oh… and, Best Beloved?” I looked up at her expectantly.
“…Stop bothering your grandmother first thing in the morning!”
And on the very next day she sent me off pilgrimaging to join the Grizzly Cubs here in Kuruk and help heal the world!
Tepic of the Grizzly Bears, formerly of the scattered Fox Tribes “The Water Panther”
Way back before the world was hardly started, all the Tribes lived in a peaceful valley far higher up in the mountains than where we live now. There was plentiful game for the taking, fruit on all the trees and tall stands of corn in the meadows. A clear river flowed through the valley, providing cool water and fresh fish. The Tribes lived in harmony and life was good.
Then one morning one of the Rabbit Tribe was found missing. They had been night fishing down by the river, but had not come back for breakfast time. All the Tribes joined in the search, but by nightfall no sign of the poor Rabbit had been found.
Two nights later, a terrible scream was heard down the length of the valley, and when the Tribes investigated, they found the torn and eaten remains of one of the Deer Tribe. This was the first time anything like this had happened in the valley, and each of the Tribes huddled together, looking over at the other Tribes with suspicion in their eyes.
The following days saw members of other Tribes vanish, sometimes with a few half eaten remains, sometimes with a pool of blood, and sometimes with no trace. Soon only the Bears, the Wolves and the Foxes remained intact, fear reigned in the valley, and the other Tribes looked to the untouched, wondering which of the Tribes was responsible for these terrible acts.
The Wolves snarled and growled at the unspoken accusation, the Bears shook their shaggy heads and ignored the looks, but the Foxes quietly spread out through the valley, watching, listening and waiting.
The next morning, down by the river, one of the Foxes lay dead, body broken but not eaten like the others, for as everyone knows, nothing eats Foxes. In the soft ground was a huge paw print, bigger than the print of any of the Tribes, and unlike any they had seen before.
The Foxes on watch did not understand how they had not seen or heard the assailant, but then one spoke up of seeing a darkness that blotted out the moon, another had heard a footfall as soft as the summer rain on new leaves, a third told of a movement in the tree tops, as if something was brushing through the branches.
They understood then that something new had come into the valley, something that was huge and dangerous. They gathered the elders of the Tribes and told them of their findings. The elders consulted together, and decided to band their warriors to oppose this menace.
That night, the warriors patrolled the valley, in large groups, knowing many would be needed to defeat whatever the creature turned out to be. Just before the moon dipped behind the hills, a cry went up, followed by a brief sound of battle. The other warriors ran to the sounds, only to find a whole band dead and dying, and the figure of an enormous black panther stepping into the river, vanishing silently into the gloom.
Each successive night, another band was cut down, by claws as sharp as the wind in winter and teeth as long and pointed as Grandmother’s stare. Nothing the warriors could do would stop the terror and the only good they were doing was to prevent their Tribes being hunted.
The elders gathered together and talked until they reached a decision, the valley was no longer safe and the Tribes would have to leave their home to find a safe haven far away. The question was how could they stop the monster from following them as they fled? The Chief of the Bear clan stepped forward and bravely volunteered his Tribe to protect the escape of all the others.
The next morning, all the Tribes packed up their belongings and headed down the valley, leaving their beloved home. Dusk was falling as the last of them stepped out of the mouth of the valley into the wide world beyond. Behind them they heard the sounds of battle, and a few hardy warriors from each of the Tribes waited to help when the Bear Tribe reached them.
They waited until the moon was high, but none of the brave Bear clan came out of the woods. Instead, they saw the treetops rustling and saw in the dark cover of the trees a pair of huge glowing eyes.
A soft, menacing voice called out to them saying “Run little ones, run into the world, this valley is now mine and mine alone, those you left to kill me are now dead, none are left alive. But remember this, one day I will tire of this valley and will come out into the world to hunt you once again.”
And so the tribes fled, scattering into the wide world, splitting into their different tribes, trying to find a safe place from the terrible monster.
But always, from every tribe, a few brave folk would return to the valleys below their old home, gathering together to keep the knowledge of the foe alive and to prepare for the coming battle. These folk took their name from the tribe that defended the rear and are called the Bears.
Black as night
Silent as the grave
Is the enemy
Tall as the trees
Stronger than an ox
The enemy’s name is
The Water Panther.
Freya of the Grizzly Cubs, formerly of the scattered Fox Tribe “The Wicked Bear”
The tribes were scattered to the winds by the evil water panther! They were forced across flat plains and hills, and left behind many honored dead. The tribes scattered in terror and spread across the lands.
The Bear tribe chose among them a new chief and changed their ways and grew strong again with time. Many chiefs came to the multitude of tribes while others were ravaged or fell apart.
There came to be one Bear who wanted to force the other tribes together to fight for their ancestral home back. He was not content with his place. He fought his way to power challenging all who stood in his way. After he rose to chief of his tribe he went after the other tribes of animals, not just his own kind. He was warned that the spirits would never stand for his dominance over the other tribes.
He responded with cruelty that the spirits would protect them then and struck them down one by one as proof the spirits would not protect them. He killed the leaders of other tribes and then refused to bury them. He refused to allow them to be eaten. Instead he hung their bodies out on long poles so the spirits could see in mockery.
The wicked bear laughed as he slowly lost his form. He had been cursed through his own evil and fell to his knees one night in pain as his fur and body grew to match the evil in his heart! Eventually he became the size of a mountain and went mad with hate! He attacked the area the Valley is now and tore it asunder and so it was that the great battle soon began against him and many allies he’d attracted with his brutality!
But we all know what happened to the Yeti, trapped in stone after the battle just as the waters almost came crashing down on us. But it is said his hate lives on and that is why the Yeti of the Mountain growls with deep evil even to this day! You can hear it almost like a horn sounding in the distance according to the ‘Yotes.
Brisby of the Grizzly Cubs, formerly of the Mouse Tribe “Song of the Great Battle”
~The days of the Great Battle is a tale I know well,
a war that against others we hope they seem pale,~
~The flesh-eating felinid Taihiihans with evil Yeti aligned,
Armed these monsters sought victims as they arrived,~
~We squeaked in panic until Kwa-Kuruk stood tall
we knew we must follow him or surely we’d fall~
~Kwa-Kuruk beckoned the tribes united as one
and called on the spirits to bring the dawn sun~
~The gods did answer the Bear Chiefs wild plea
and we watched as spirits manifested with glee~
~The Yeti and allies devastated all in their path,
the Coyote and Raven joined the powers of wrath,~
~the Bards and Guardians of Olde fought by our side
they charged into battle atop bears they did ride,~
~Ekhart the Dreamer had come up with a plan,
one that would test this newly formed clan~
~Misi the shifter did take the Ravens beautiful form
and deceiving the Coyote all but one Tah Tah was torn~
~The Yeti attacked and the water did bleed
into the Valley the falls were finally freed~
~Almost all lost everyone drowned away
but Eckhart’s plan had finally found sway~
~The Valley did tremble to one last deafening tone
as the wrath of the terrible Yeti turned to stone~
~The long days of the war came to a magical end
the Guardians and spirits needed time to mend~
~To claim victory without loss a lie would ring
but the day was won and the Bards did sing~
~Hail to the spirits, the Guardians, and friends
they fought the terrible felines, the Taihiihanins. ~
~The Unweaver does watch we know this is true
so alertness and vigilance are our greatest virtues~
~Let the song of our tribe continue without end
and beware his minions whose will grasp and rend~
~Together we stand now safe in our time
and thank you all for listening to this rhyme.~
Kiyaya of the scattered Coyote Tribe
Listen to dis tale of Yote, da Lonely Singer, Beloved of da Moon!
Before da land was even land, Yote roamed dis place, in da empty darkness alone and lonely…..but den dey saw a glimmering light, da gentle shmmer of Lady Moon, and dey knew dey wasn’t ‘lone no more, an’ dey sang a song of joy an’ love, da same song da Children of Yote sing today when moonlight dusts da land.
I tell you dis, so’s you know – dis da place Yote sang dat first song. Dis a holy place, a sacred place, an’ all dat happen here echoes through da ages.
But den others came, an’ wars was fought, an’ da land was torn an’ da valley made….but da Children of Yote still dwelled here an’ kept da sacred memory alive. Until da Water Panther crept from da shadowlands an’ wreaked her evil here.
She pretended t’be friend to all t’gain der trust an’ learn der ways, until she learned a secret of dis land – da healing waters springing from da land’s heart, da purity of Yote’s song of love for Lady Moon made real an’ flowing, filled with da Lady’s shimmerin’ light An’ da Water Panther lusted for it an’ vowed to take it for her own.
But der was one thing dat kept her at bay – da Water Guardian, an’ her power, dat kept da sacred spring pure an’ clean an’ flowing, an’ so watch over da Land an’ all dat lived within.
So she plotted, dat Water Panther, servant of da darkness, shadow made flesh. She could not defeat da Guardian head on, she hadn’t da power, an’ she din’t see a path t’take da waters an’ corrupt dem to her own ends…..until one day, she saw da first of da orphans dat came to da Valley, an’ in dem she saw a way..
See, da Water Panther ain’t strong like da bears is strong, she can’t call lightning from da sky or grow big as da Yeti t’squash her foes. But she *does* have a power, da power to corrupt minds an’ bend dem to her will. Da power t’make someone thirst so much dey throw demselves into da waters where she can quietly put a paw to der chest an’ hold ’em under ’til dey drown.
So in da orphan, she saw a chance, ‘cuz da Water Guardian had a particular love for children. She whispered into da child’s mind an’ sapped der will an’ twisted dem to be her servant, an’ sent dem on der way to see da Water Guardian with a gift. For da Water Panther brought with her da /uisge/, callin’ it da Water of Life, an; she bade da child bring it to da Water Guardian an’ bid her t’drink, that she might one day have children of her own.
An’ da Water Guardian, trustin’ da child an’ wanting one of her own, she drank. But she’d never tasted anythin’ but da healin’ waters she guarded, an’ da very moment da /uisge/ touched her lips, she fell drunken an’ senseless to da ground, helpless as da Water Panther pounced from hidin’!
It was over in a heartbeat, da Water Guardian slain an’ da Panther roarin’ her victory. “Da Spring is MIIIIINNNNNNNE!” she roared loud ’nuff dat it echoed fer days. But da Water Panther had forgotten da child, da little orphan she’d twisted to her will, an’ her roarin’ woke dem from da spell.
Dey saw da Water Guardian, broken an’ gone, an’ horror an’ fear filled dem, an’ dat child grabbed at da nearest thing t’hand – da top of da Water Guardian’s broken staff – an’ dey swatted dat Water Panther ‘cross da nose with it!
An’ der was a great flash, an’ da Water Panther’s body broken an’ she was banished for a time back to da shadows from where she’d come, havin’ t’slowly remake herself before she could do more mischief than whisper from da dark an’ twist children’s dreams.
Nobody knows what happened to dat child, or even what der name was. Da Yote dat saw dis happen only saw from afar, an’ her brain got addled by da flash when da stave struck da Panther’s nose. But da pieces of da Water Guardians staff, dat we do know what happened to. Da Witch gathered dem t’protect dem for da time dey was t’be used again, an’ she keeps dem to dis day.
But da Water Panther, slowly she crept back, an’ worked her subtle mischiefs, driving da Children of Yote from da land but for one, an’ sowin’ discord an sorrow among dose dat let her whisper to der hearts, amusin’ herself ’til she grew strong enough again ta once again seize da Spring of Healin’ Waters an’ keep da Land for herself.
An’ here ends da tale. Sing with me ta Lady Moon!
And as the children howled into the night, it came to be that Strifeclaw Guardian of the Earth Stone arrived and sent the entire area into a frenzy by guilt of appearance.