Friday, January 8, 2010

Pitch: The Bear God

Upon his arrival back at Amberpine, Pitch handed over the seeds and the ashes to Thayreen, who took them eagerly. "I'll take those from you," she said, adding almost apologetically, "The corruptive power of these seeds is dangerous. I must destroy them right away." Then she took the bag and dumped the ashes out into her hand. Chanting a spell over them, she smiled. "Yes! Vordrassil's magic is still present in these ashes. There might be hope for Ursoc yet." Pitch couldn't help but smile back. "So what do I need to do, Hierophant?" he asked her.

"It is time, Pitch. Take these ashes and look for the furbolg that Kodian spoke of. If he went to seek Ursoc, he will be near his den, north of Grizzlemaw. You will need his help. You won't be able to defeat Ursoc alone. Once it is done, use these ashes to purify his spirit. Only then will we know whether our efforts have been in vain or not." Pitch stared at her, speechless, for a few moments. "You mean, kill him," he finally said, voice flat. "Yes," she replied. "It is the only way, Pitch. If you want to save him, you must kill him." He looked at her for another second or two, then without a word he turned away, shifted and flew off.

He didn't let himself think, he just flew as fast as he could toward where she had said the den was. Once there, he looked for Tur Ragepaw, finding the furbolg tied up near the entrance. Pitch swooped down and landed, shifting out and quickly freeing the furbolg. As he worked, Tur began speaking quietly. "When I learned about my relatives here in the North, I came to learn more," he told Pitch as the druid worked on the knots. "What I found was warring tribes acting against our very nature. I have no hope left, night elf." He shook his head with a sigh. "Even great Ursoc has been tainted by this cursed place. I've lost all hope."

Pitch finished with the ropes and stepped back, shifting to cat as he did. "We have the purified ashes of Vordrassil," he said to the furbolg. "If we can subdue Ursoc, we might be able to heal him." Tur raised his head, looking at the druid. "Yes, I sense Vordrassil's magic... free from any perceivable taint," he said, hope slowly growing in his eyes. "Please, let me help you. Fate brought me here, perhaps I can serve a purpose yet!" Pitch eyed him up and down. "I don't suppose you know how to heal?" he asked. Tur chuckled, then transformed, into a shape Pitch was familiar with, a living tree like his brother Alanon's. "I think I can manage that," he said.

They went down the short tunnel to the den together, Pitch quickly dispatching a few unfriendly bears along the way. Once inside the actual den, he changed to his bear form as Tur called out, "Ursoc, brother of Ursol and guardian to the furbolg tribes! Show yourself!" The bear god materialized in front of them, and Pitch had to bite back a cry. Ursoc was deeply corrupted, his huge form appearing rotted and diseased. He roared menacingly at them, and Pitch looked at Tur. The furbolg druid nodded to him, and he took a deep breath. Then, with a savage roar of his own, he charged the bear god.

The battle was brutal, and Pitch held nothing back. Occasionally he would feel a surge of energy as Tur channeled his healing magic into him, but most of the fight was simply trying to dodge Ursoc's blows, as he tried to strike back with his own teeth and claws. His uncertainty fell away during the battle, leaving nothing but his desire to overcome his enemy, like every fight he had been in before. After an indeterminable time, he realized that the bear god's blows were coming slower as he weakened, and Pitch redoubled his efforts. At last, with a final cry, Ursoc fell. Pitch stood still, blowing hard, then remembered what he was supposed to do. He shifted out and fumbled the bag of ashes out of his pocket, then with a silent prayer he cast them onto the corpse. He held his breath.

At first nothing happened, then gradually a huge form started materializing over the corpse. Pitch stepped back warily, wondering if he would have another fight to go through. The shape solidified, and Pitch gasped, then dropped down to a kneeling position, staring up reverently. Ursoc's spirit looked down at the druid, then spoke, his voice echoing in Pitch's mind. "I thank you both," he said. "The druids of old were wise to tear down Vordrassil, for its roots seep deep into the dwelling of an ancient evil. You know their kind as old gods. Beware Yogg-Saron, the beast with a thousand maws. His evil extends beyond Vordrassil's roots." With that, he began fading away.

Pitch blinked, half-reaching with one hand. "Ursoc..." he started to say, but the bear god was gone. He stared at the spot Ursoc had stood for a long minute, then looked around to find that Tur had left, probably to go back to his home. Pitch stood and walked out of the den, then looked around again, thinking. Ursoc was gone, but his spirit had been saved; that was something. Pitch felt his spirits lifting, remembering the sight of the god standing there, cleansed. His mission could be counted a success. He changed to a bird, then took off into the air. He needed to report back to Thayreen, then he could go wherever he wanted. He thought of Shaurria, and the other friends he had made in Stormwind, and knew what his next destination would be.

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