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WEREBEAR

The Werebear is related to the werewolf, but is even more fearsome. Many countries that were home to bears also had folktales of werebears. They were strong and powerful, with signs of human intelligence, and sometimes the skills to use weapons. In Norse history, the Berserkers were a group of warriors who wore bearskins and fought so wildly that they were thought to be werebears. Like werewolves, werebears only transform at certain times, usually linked to the phases of the moon. They often show signs of extreme tiredness once they return to their human state.

A WEREBEAR WILL OFTEN ACT in a bearlike way even in its human form. In one Native American story, a man called Red-breasted Turtle returned from his day's hunting with a deer to feed his family. Four times he killed a deer but was robbed of it on his way home. The man who stole the deer acted strangely, so Red-breasted Turtle lay in wait to see who he really was. He jumped out and killed the strange man by chopping his head off. As the man died, he transformed into a bear.

Trivia[]

  • Werebears are strong and fierce and extremely difficult to destroy. If one is killed, it must be burned, together with all the affected person's belongings, to stop it from coming back to life.
  • A dead werebear's bones, once burned, should be ground into powder. This powder may be used by a holy man as a cure for the werebear's victims. It can even bring the victims back to life.
  • The Berserkers got their name from the bear furs (serks) that they wore. The modern word "Berserk" means furious to the point of recklessness, or showing no fear.
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