Over the centuries many threats have sought to claim the mountain favored by The Pantheon, and in the ages past it would be children of those same Divine beings that thwarted such attempts.
Yet as centuries passed, and blood became diluted, such bold goals became more achievable. Or so at least some would have thought. The presence of the Primordials themselves became a rare occurrence, and even many of the guardian Spriggan began to wander off. Departing, and leaving their once sacred duty behind.
With sights set on all the mountain had to offer, an exiled Nephilm named Aryn would make his return. Cast away by his kin for crimes against humanity, he escaped to the Shadowlands for decades. Making use of his lifespan, he learned all that cursed landscape could offer.
When the time came it’s said a rift opened, and Aryn emerged with his horde. The last of Nemea’s children who remained swarmed this invading force, and one by one they fell. Their strength diminished to only a fraction of what it once was, they would not be enough. They pleaded and cried for their mother, to take notice, to help them in their sacred duty.
Even with losses the dark force pushed further towards the peak, until the final pass was all that lay before them. No more guardians to be seen, as only a bear rested at the entrance. Unnerved by the unnatural army arrayed before it, the beast roared it’s defiance, filled with fear, and yet with little room to run.
It was then that the prayers of Nemea’s dead children would be answered. The Goddess herself extended her hand to that ‘guardian’ of the pass, instilling within it a fragment of her own essence. An act that to the Ursidae would be known as The Founding. Aryn sensing this change would order a charge, but where men had failed Nemea had chosen a new form of guardian.
Standing upon two legs the bear known forever after as Pyrin would inherit the shape of a man, and within his grasp a club would form as a final gift from the Goddess. It’s in that small pass that Aryn’s forces would fall. One by one until only the Nephilim himself remained, filled for the first time with fear as Pyrin’s roar shook the earth beneath.
Through a rift he fled, and it was then that the Ursidae came to be. All since being direct or indirect descendants of the first, whether by blood or blessing. It’s said that humans dedicated to guarding the natural world, or Nemea herself can seek out Pyrin’s presence and undergo a similar transformation.
The Ursidian Faith and Traditions
Generally all Ursidae respect the full spectrum of the Pantheon, but as is due give their utmost reverence to Nemea herself. It’s common practice before hunts to pray for her blessing, and should a kill be had a portion of its flesh offered back to nature as an offering to the Goddess.
Ursidae revere the natural world, and despite the generations that have passed since the time of Pyrin, hold an unrelenting desire to defend it. For any Ursidae that even manages to practice any of the ‘foul arts’ would find themselves physically sickened as a result, as the blessing of Pyrin would turn against its bearer to eradicate the perversions of nature and the symptoms would become visibly apparent even on their flesh.
The Black Hunt
At least once a generation, the greatest among the guardian Ursidae gather with a single goal in mind. To venture into the depths of the Shadowlands in chase of the fallen Nephilim that fled from the first Ursidae so long ago, and to prove themselves still worthy of Nemea’s blessing.
Dedicated Human followers of Nemea or Pyrin have the option to undertake a pilgrimage to prove their sincerity, a journey that will test the hearts of those involved as well as their dedication to protecting the natural world. Most such journeys are unsuccessful, but there have been some who have returned with the blessing of the Goddess and welcomed among their new Ursidae kin.
Racials - OOC
PASSIVE: A slight increase to Block damage reduction. By holding guard for 3+ seconds, you activate a special that wargs your character into a bear temporarily, granting slow immunity.
URSIDAE NATURE: Significant +HP shield. However while it's active you cannot dash and movement speed loses -1.