Amarune's Adventures: Rise of the Bear King
Vorpal Dice Press
Rise of the Bear King
Six years ago, in 1485 DR, Icewind Dale’s Tribe of the Bear was led by two chieftains: Wolvig Barrundson and Günvald Halraggson. The Ice Witch rose to power in Icewind Dale and Wolvig followed her, leading his people into evil. The Ice Witch fell, as all tyrants do, and Wolvig fell with her. As the last remaining chieftain, Günvald Halraggson was declared the Bear King and has spent the last six years rebuilding his people. To this day, the Tribe of the Bear is treated with wary suspicion from both the people of Ten-Towns and the other barbarian tribes, outcasts even in a land of outcasts.
A tenday ago, the Tribe of the Bear was given a sign: while hunting, they came across a mighty bear. Larger than any mortal bear, the tribe’s shaman Sindri declared this bear to be a Totem Bear, a sign from the spirits of the renewed strength and fortune of the Tribe of the Bear.
The tribe celebrated until nightfall came. At dusk, a corrupted bear rose from the ice. The Tribe of the Bear was no stranger to such creatures, undead monsters corrupted by the necromantic residue left over from the long-destroyed Crenshinibon. This monster, however, displayed remarkable intellect and savagery as it made a direct attack on the tribe’s Totem Bear.
The tribe managed to slay the corrupted bear, at some cost. But the next night, it rose again and resumed its assault on the Totem Bear. Each night since, the corrupted bear has risen to attack the Totem Bear, no matter where the tribe moves or how they kill it. Each night, more warriors fall to the beast, and the people grow tired from the constant moving and fighting with no time to rest or properly hunt. The tribe’s shaman Sindri fell during one such assault.
Secretly, the corrupted bear is more than a simple undead. The spirit of Wolvig Barrundson, made restless with rage, is assaulting the Totem Bear to destroy those who consider him a shameful part of their history. As long as Wolvig’s rage holds power, the corrupted bear can never be slain on the material plane.
Halvard, son of the shaman Sindri, suspects that there may be spirits involved. The barbarians of Icewind Dale distrust and fear magic, but Halvard has been trained by his father to know and respect the spirits. He does not know the spirit is Wolvig; he only suspects that some malevolent spirit is at work. He has proposed a journey into the spirit realm to face this evil spirit.
Unfortunately, Günvald has refused Halvard. To enter the spirit realm is the ability of a shaman, and Halvard never formally claimed the mantle. He would need to conduct a difficult ritual to become a shaman, but the tribe cannot spare the help until the nightly threat to the Tribe has passed. Günvald has ordered Halvard to fight as a barbarian, not to waste his efforts on magic. Günvald orders this without malice in his heart; he respects spirits and shamen, but is quickly losing able-bodied men to battle the corrupted bear.
Despite this, Halvard reached out to the spirits for guidance and followed them to Bryn Shander, capital and largest city of Ten-Towns. He seeks capable fighters to aid him — not with the corrupted bear, but to claim a victory in battle over one of the Dale’s mighty beasts that he might gather the components to become a shaman and enter the spirit realm.
Date Published: September 18, 2020
Last Modified: September 18, 2020
Authors: Steve Pankotai and Amarune's Almanac Team
Artists: Shiah "Cinder" Irgangladen and Nathanaël Roux
Editor: Ryan Langr
Graphic Design: Nathanaël Roux