Bear and Polar Bear, from Serpent Isle manual
|First appearance:||Ultima I|
|Last appearance:||Serpent Isle|
This article is about a type of creature. For a character from the SNES-port of Ultima VII, see Bear (NPC).
Bears are large omnivorous mammals which have adapted to a variety of habitats on more than one world.
Hill Bears and Brown Bears
The Sosarian hill bears and their cousins which stalk the southern forests of Serpent Isle are similar to the ursids of Earth, standing between five to nine feet in height and weighing as much as 1,500 pounds. The bears of these lands typically sport shaggy brown or black fur, and go through a torpor-like hibernation cycle in the winter seasons. Equipped with immense strength, strong jaws and a thick hide, an average bear is more than capable of dispatching an unarmed human opponent.
Unlike their cousins on Earth, however, the bears of old and new Sosaria are far removed from the shy solitary creatures of the Terran forests, who can be easily startled by simple shouts and yells. While terrestrial bears have posed a threat to those who interfere with their young or venture too close for their comfort, the bears of Earth in no way match the unprovoked ferocity seen within the ursids of these lands, with the forest-dwelling hunters attacking any human who ventures within sight of them.
In the north lands of cold worlds such as Serpent Isle, polar bears can be found, remarkable for their white fur which allows them to blend in with the arctic landscape. Unlike their relatives in warmer climes, polar bears tend to be near exclusive carnivores, as their harsh environment furnishes them with little by the way of vegetation.
On Serpent Isle, these beasts of the wintry north prove just as vicious as their southern relations, often attacking without provocation in fashion most dissimilar to their Terran analogues. Furthermore, the polar bears of New Sosaria have little aside from their coats which differentiate them from the bears of the forest, whereas on the Avatar's homeland, it is said that arctic bears are substantially larger than all other breeds, and hold position as the largest land-dwelling predators of that world.
In Ultima IX, two polar bearskin rugs can be found, though their origin is unknown.
Bears in Eodon
In the hidden valley of Eodon, there exists a multitude of strange and exotic fauna. Numbering among these are the cave bears of prehistoric record; largely vegetarian mammals of a size much the same as their descendants who do little in the way of invoking combat. Nevertheless, the cave bear can still hold its own in a fight if attacked.
The Eodonian cave bear is also one of several mammals found on Eodon that will yield edible meat when skinned with a knife.
Bears in Symbolism
Within the lands of the Savage Empire, the bear constituted an idol of strength, and following one within a dream at crucial moments would aid in manifesting one's desire for physical prowess. The bear also figured into the totemic Clans which divided the city of Monitor on the Serpent Isle, with an order of knights taking on the name of the bear to evoke their defensive strength in defending the goblin-besieged city.
|“|| The Hill Bear towers over the tallest human and is armed with saber-like claws capable of rending even the stoutest plate armour in a single blow. The species was first sighted on the slopes of Mt. Drash, but hath since spread throughout the land. These creatures are extremely ill-tempered and will attack without provocation.|
|“|| Ursus spelaeus. Family Ursidae. The mighty "cave bear" first appeared in the outer world some two million years ago, in the Pleistocene era and survived well beyond the Ice Age. A large bear, it is still not as large as certain modern bears. The bears observed in the Valley of Eodon seem content to subsist on grubs and vegetable matter, but the natives are certain that it will kill quite effectively if provoked.|
|“|| This ursine creature stands well over a man when fully upright. Able to easily rend flesh with their teeth and claws, bears are quite fearsome opponents, especially when their lairs are threatened.
Like its brother from warmer climes, this bear is a terrifying predator. The most notable difference between these and ordinary bears is the color of their fur, white as white can be. Polar bears usually inhabit the cooler regions of the land and hibernate longer than do other bears.