Bearly a Scratch

24th of Miraman, 918
The Arktos hosted a cult ritual today. For as long as I can remember, I’ve known I was going to become a bear hunter for Bitterfork. This season marked the year I became an adult, and as a man of the village, I now have the right to petition the Shaman, Belen, for an initiation rite.

But he took one look at me and refused! The hypocrite! To judge me when he knows full well the Founder, the Sotera, was just a young woman when the bear spirit found her worthy!

Fortunately for me, some Outsiders arrived at the Ritual Chamber as Belen and I were arguing, and they convinced him to let me try. Brave adventurers by the names of Elathean, Treyal, Argwin, Gallus, Fitz, Faerum, and Aniara came from all over the continent!

25th of Miraman, 918
The kind Outsider, Argwin, volunteered to fulfill Belen’s conditional requirement to allow me a chance at initiation: to see the grizzly up close. The brave Outsider, Fitz, tracked down the mighty bear and Argwin took me to him. The bear was truly magnificent! May the bear spirit find me worthy.

21st of Scarlattan, 918
I’ve spent several weeks following the bear now. But I think today is the day. I will prove myself worthy of the bear spirit.

I took the dagger gifted to me by the Outsiders and sought out the grizzly once again. The Shaman coated the blade with the same toxin the Sotera used on her blade almost two millennia ago.

22nd of Scarlattan, 918
The bear fought well. But so did I!

Familiar faces heard my screams of pain and showed up to help the Shaman tend to my wounds. After praising my feat, Gallus placed a vial of healing elixir into my hands. Treyal covered me with a cloak, while Fitz gave me a moss tattoo. Argwin left an offering of curatives.

With their help, I will heal. For I am worthy.

22nd of Valnuary, 918
This day shall forever be seared into my memory as one of my proudest moments. The Shaman officiated my Initiation Ritual as Outsiders looked on. This is the first time Outsiders have been permitted to witness one of the cult’s most sacred rites.

After completing my vows to the Arktos Hodos, I was welcomed into the ranks of the bear hunters. Belen, so impressed with the bear spirit within me, has taken me on as his apprentice. Under the wisdom of the Arch Arktos, and with the mighty bear spirit made manifest in me, I, Zosime, will protect the village of Bitterfork without fear!

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Summary: After aiding a young man in his quest to join the bear hunters of Bitterfork, adventurers gained a rare glimpse into the traditions and practices of the local Bear Cult.