The Bear's Kin
|The Bear's Kin|
|First published||30 October 2015|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||8 - ca. 12 February 3040|
|“||After a Clawing gone awry, two Ghost Bear warriors must keep their wits about them to survive.||”|
On a Clawing ritual that has been going on for at least ten days in the arctic tundra on Strana Mechty, Clan Ghost Bear warriors Ali and Oren are what remains of what was originally a party of six. Tegg died two days ago and the three others vanished into the tundra on the tenth day.
On 8 February 3040, they see an old Intruder-class DropShip land some ten kilometers from their camp under dubious circumstances and move to investigate. On their way to the DropShip they encounter a Ghost Bear lying in ambush under a snow drift, but manage to backtrack without being attacked.
Over the next few days, Ali and Oren feed pieces of Tegg's body to the Ghost Bear to make it tolerate their presence so that they may stand a chance of killing it with only their spears after all, all the while watching the DropShip which is taking water from a frozen lake. It is indeed a Dark Caste vessel and Ali and Oren are captured by its crew before long. The bandit leader, one elderly former warrior named Ruel, is hard and somewhat abusive; it doesn't help that Oren and Ali refuse to cooperate or even show respect. Ali has her ear cut off and Oren is stripped naked in the cold. After Oren implies other warriors from their camp would come to their aid, Ali is made to lead a group of bandits back to the camp. She leads the group towards the Ghost Bear who kills most of her captors while sparing Ali.
Ali returns to the DropShip where she kills the remaining crew and frees Oren. She could not bring herself to kill the Ghost Bear, observing that what she found in the snow was "family", but Oren assents.
- Star Captain Aletha of Bloodhouse Kabrinski
- Star Captain Oren, Clan Ghost Bear
- "Captain" Ruel, an elderly bandit caste leader
- Tion, a former Clan Jade Falcon elemental
- Point Commander Tegg, Clan Ghost Bear (deceased)
- Star Colonel Lars Bazso, Star Captain Caro Vong and Star Captain Merth (mentioned as the other members of the original Clawing party who vanished into the tundra; their fate is unknown)