|Official Name||Grey Bear|
|Common Nicknames||Fishing Bear, Elder Bear, Ash Bear|
|Habitat||Southern Regalian Archipelago|
The Grey Bear is one of the more common bears in Aloria, inhabiting the southern regions of the Regalian Archipelago. Known for centuries by the locals, they once ranged as far as Calemberg but hunting has reduced them to now only live in and around their homeland. Grey bears are notable for their grey fur, and they teach their cubs the ways of the world while carrying them around on their backs.
The Grey Bear was first sighted in the Forriesta Natal centuries ago by the early kingdoms of the Regalian Archipelago. In the Kingdom of Eerstwald specifically, it was viewed almost as a companion or contrasting force to the Gold Fur Fenneque of the same region due to the dichotomy of gray and gold pelts on the two forest creatures. Unlike the Fenneque however, the Grey Bear spread beyond the Forriesta Natal and by 71 AC, had even made it as far north as Calemberg. Unfortunately, the Skagger Wars and various other conflicts that broke out throughout the next hundred years brought an end to this distant spread. However, the animal still survived in the southern areas of the Archipelago where it can be found to this day.
The Grey Bear is an average sized bear with large claws, grey fur that lightens throughout its lifespan, and very round faces and heads. Its face is a bit on the round side, and it has a large black nose and ears. The Bear’s eyes are small and round with a light brown color to them and they also have a black snout. The claws on a Grey Bear typically get up to three to four inches when measured along the curve, and it possesses strong, large teeth, particularly the canines and incisors inside of its mouth. On average, a Grey Bear ranges between six and eight feet in total length, and weigh between 200 and 400 pounds. Their hibernation begins in late fall and ends in early spring, during which they exhibit nearly no body activity beyond breathing and circulation.
The female Grey Bears tend to be larger than the males, along with having bigger paws and rounder snouts and heads. The females are heavier, considering that both genders have the same average length. A full grown male usually weighs between 200-300 pounds, and a female between 250-400 pounds. Male Gray Bears primarily carry the young cubs on their backs before they have learned to walk, while female Gray Bears are more likely to handle the search for food.
Life Span and Development
The bear starts out as a cub with little to no fur, but a dark grey pelt grows quickly over the first two weeks of its life, after which its claws slowly begin growing out as well. After these two weeks, a Gray Bear’s parents will begin carrying it on its back through their daily responsibilities, such as foraging for berries and fishing. After several months of following their parents, the Grey Bear cub will begin to imitate, though often unsuccessfully, the actions it sees the parent take, and after about a year begins to understand how to correctly fish and forage. Shortly after, it begins to break off from the family, though due to the community-based nature of the Grey Bear it will stay in contact and nearby. The average lifespan of this ursine is 20 years, but a Grey Bear can reach its full size by age seven, which is also when the fur takes on a more noticeable light gray color.
The Grey Bear is, in all senses of the word, a wild animal. While the animal is not particularly dangerous, like any wild animal it becomes hostile if threatened or provoked. However, if a Bear without a group is found, it bonds to a new community quickly. This means Grey Bears have the potential to bond with a group who know how to correctly behave around them. It also practices another communal behavior in the wild: the way it raises its young. The Grey Bear parents take their cubs along when foraging for berries and fishing, the two pillars do their diet, which is how the offspring learn to survive on their own in the future.
Territory and Groupings
The Grey Bear operates in small familial units, and the young bears are usually heading out of the cave with their parents as soon as they can cling to their backs. They aren’t particularly territorial, as the bears tend to group together in clusters of familial units.
- Grey Bears are seen as naturally wise and serene creatures given the pension of their hair to grey, similar to that of any Human race.