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    Grumpy Bear
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Serpent Mound - 1. Gathering of the Lambs

Rieka peered through the doorway into the darkened room containing four small beds.  The children were all asleep as they should be at their age and at this hour of night.  She thought of the extreme efforts that had been expended in order to find these children, but the cost was necessary for the continuation of their way of life.

“I honestly thought that we would not find them this cycle,” Karhu whispered, walking up behind Rieka in the dim hallway.  “Even as the human population expands to consume all of the Earth, the numbers of new kindred being born each century grows smaller.”

“You know that the Tuath Dé will always provide, Karhu,” Rieka scolded. “After all these millennia and the strife that was required to bring them to the New World centuries ago, you do not think that they would simply allow the kindred to fade away to nothing.  There will always be a next generation, and every hundred years the price must be paid for the Tuath Dé’s benevolence.”

“I don’t think ‘benevolence’ is the right word to describe their actions,” Karhu replied.
“We find the kindred that they desire so that they do not rise up and destroy us all.  They are far from loving gods.”

Rieka quietly closed the door to the room containing the sleeping children, and then swiftly spun around and slapped Karhu across the face.

“Do no blaspheme in my presence again, Karhu,” Rieka spat as Karhu recoiled from her blow.  “Remember to whom you speak.  You may be bear and the largest among us, but I am wolf and I am Alpha here.  I am the loyal servant of the Tuath Dé, and it is I who will continue to bring their glory into this century and all the centuries to come!”

“Yes, Rieka,” the bear replied, bowing his head, “I’ve just witnessed the same rituals for centuries now, and I feel that there should be more to this existence.”

“Poor Karhu,” Rieka said, “You need a Mate to make you truly happy, don’t you?  If you are obedient and loyal, the Tuath Dé may yet reward you with one in this century.”

“The boy in that room could be an ideal Mate once he is older,” Karhu snapped.  “When he comes of age, I could breed him and show him the ways of the Bear.”

“You know that it is not his destiny,” Rieka snapped back. “Do not allow your personal need for sex to put all of us in jeopardy.  The boy has a purpose that is pre-ordained by the Tuath Dé, and we must see that through to completion!”

“Yes, ma’am,” Karhu replied, bowing his head once again. 

He should have known better than to argue the fates of the children that they had so painstakingly hunted down and brought to their village.  He turned and walked out of Rieka’s cabin and strode through the loose collection of structures that composed their community.  They had no collective name for their group, referring to themselves only as “The People” in conversation.  Although there were humans who had worshipped Tuath Dé in the past, they were long gone now, and as such their community did not consider the rest of humanity to be “people”, but rather the breeding stock which could potentially produce more lycans like themselves.

Rieka was the undisputed Alpha of their community, having risen to power following the death of her father back in the Old Country, and leading their assembly across the great ocean to the New World where they could settle and establish a new home for the Tuath Dé.  She led their group far inland after arriving at the shores of North America, until they reached a land where the rolling mountains stretched as far as they could see in each direction, and it was upon the mountaintop that Rieka selected that they carefully planted the clay pots bearing the essences of the Tuath Dé, watching as the spirits of the gods tunneled into the earth, creating a mound representing each of the divine spirits.

There were five Tuath Dé spirits dwelling within their mounds, four representing different were-kind, and the fifth the supreme ruler of all.  The inhabitants of their community represented the four were-gods of their mountain. 

There was the wolf-god, and in addition to Rieka, there were twelve other wolf-lycans living in their village, six males and six females in mated pairs.  However, it had been over a century since the wolf-god of the Tuath Dé had allowed any of the females to go into heat.

There was the boar-god, and there were six boars present within the village.  They were not as evenly matched as the wolves, having five males and only one female.  Boar-lycans tended to lean toward homosexuality, but Karhu didn’t know if it was nature or simply convenience that caused four of the five males to join as mated pairs.

There was the panther-god, and there were three were-panthers living in the community, all females.  These three lived together under one roof, and usually remained aloof and distant to the other members of the village, as felines tend to do, joining in the group’s activities, but seeming to be content as observers from the fringes.

The fourth was the bear-god, and of his kind there was only Karhu in the village.  It had been this way for two thousand years.  Karhu’s presence in the village was essential to maintain the balance of the four lesser Tuath Dé, and it was vital that a bear kindred child be found once every hundred years, but none of the rest of the lycans gave any thought to assimilating any other werebears into their community to be Karhu’s companions or even his Mate.

In fact, since coming to the New World, Karhu had not even encountered another of his kind, except for the kindred children they would find and raise once every century.

The fifth Tuath Dé was, of course, the Serpent.  The supreme deity who ruled over the other four gods and ultimately Karhu and the other People in the village.

Over the centuries, as humanity spread across the continent of the New World and seemed to fill every available space, the woods around their mountain remained untouched and remote.  This was not a coincidence, as the influence and power of the Tuath Dé manipulated the world outside of their sphere.  There were no roads in or out of the village of The People, and they could only be reached by an eleven-mile hike through the most remote part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest in which they lived.

The humans named their mountain Mt. Sequoyah, but The People just called it the Mount of the Serpent in honor of the Tuath Dé.

Karhu trudged between the cabins which were made of natural logs and topped with roofs of sod to better hide their existence from the human world and their recent development of satellite photography.  The last cabin in the cluster of the village was his where he lived alone.  He went inside and stripped his clothing before laying down on his bed to get some rest before the ritual at sunrise.  Now that they had acquired all four kindred children that the Tuath Dé required for this century, they would be taken just before dawn and each placed on the effigy mound corresponding with their species, bear for bear, panther for panther and so on.  At the first ray of dawn, they would be marked and claimed by the spirits, beginning the ritual that would culminate in each of the children’s 18th year.  Since they were all just four years old now, it would be an additional 14 years before the ritual would be complete, and the Tuath Dé would bestow blessings upon The People for another hundred years.

Knowing that he must get some sleep before the activities of the morning, he performed the only personal ritual that he had known for the last thousand years but would be sure to give him some measure of relaxation.  As he lay on his back, he began stroking his meaty cock, pulling the foreskin back and forth over the head until he grew hard, and the purple helmet was exposed.  As he continued stroking himself, he closed his eyes, and pictured the male werebear of his fantasy.  Tall and muscular, with a full beard and head of wavy chestnut hair.  He pictured this bear riding his cock and rubbing his hands along his hairy chest and torso as he bounced on Karhu’s thick pole.

Karhu quickened his pace as he beat his cock in a frenzy and imagined the bear of his dreams matching his pace as he impaled himself on the thick bear meat.  He cried out in a roar as he reached his climax, spraying his seed across his own hairy belly and chest, and caught his breath as the last remnants of his semen dribbled down across his knuckles still clenching his softening member.

He grabbed a towel from the floor next to the bed that was already soiled from use and wiped himself clean before drifting to a fitful sleep, thinking of the ritual to come in just a few hours.

****

Thirty minutes before dawn, Karhu stood in the hallway outside the children’s bedroom with Rieka, Everett the boar, and Namir the panther.  They entered the room, and each strode to the bedside of the child representing their species.  Karhu shook the young blonde boy awake, and as his eyes opened, he quickly looked around, trying to remember where he was and how he had gotten here.

“Who are you?” the boy asked.  “I want my Mommy!”

“Come with me now, child,” Karhu said, “We must go outside.”

“My name isn’t ‘Child’,” the boy said petulantly, sitting up and allowing Karhu to take him by the arm, “It’s Bernie.”

“Very well, Bernie,” Karhu replied, “It’s time to go now.”

The other three were already shuffling their children out the door, but Bernie was dragging his feet.

“I gotta go pee, Mister!” Bernie whined.

“My name isn’t ‘Mister’,” came the reply, “It’s Karhu.”

The boy thought about this for a minute as he was led outside.

“Karhu,” he asked, softly, “Can I go pee first?  Please?”

Karhu sighed and broke away from the other three leading their children through the forest to the mountaintop and the effigy mounds.  He took Bernie to an outhouse concealed among the trees.

“Eew! I don’t want to go in there!” Bernie cried, “It stinks in there!”

“What does it smell like?” Karhu asked.

Bernie blushed and looked down at his feet.

“It smells like pee and poop in there,” he whispered.

“Well then,” Karhu replied, “I guess you know what it’s for.  Go on in and take care of your business.”

Karhu waited outside while the boy was in the outhouse, listening to the splash of his urine into the pit below.  Soon after the splash tapered to a trickle, the boy came back out, wiping his hands on his pants with a disgusted expression on his face.

“I hope I never have to use one of those again,” he said. “Are you taking me to my Mommy now?”

“No,” Karhu replied.

“Why?” Bernie asked.

“Because your mother is not here,” Karhu replied.

“Then where are we going?” Bernie asked.  “It’s still dark out.”

“We are going to the top of the mountain,” Karhu replied.

“Why?” Bernie asked.

“Because that is where the gods dwell, and we are taking you now to meet them.”

“Why?” Bernie asked.

“Because they are going to put their holy marks upon you and claim you.”

“Why?” Bernie asked.

“Because…” Karhu began, but then stopped and frowned, “You ask too many questions for a boy of your age.  You are not meant to know all of the answers.”

Bernie walked in silence, just for a minute.

“My Daddy always answers all of my questions,” Bernie finally said. “He says that it makes him happy that I want to know everything.  Daddy is a big man with a beard, just like you, but I think you may be a little taller with bigger muscles.”

Karhu knew that the boy’s father would have to be kindred as well, which would explain his large, hairy appearance.

They emerged from the dense forest into a slight clearing at the top of the mountain covered sparsely in white pines.  Coiled throughout the clearing was the Serpent Mound, weaving between the trees and ending with its head in the exact center of the mountain peak.  At each of the cardinal direction points between the spirals of the serpent, were the Bear Mound, Boar Mound, Panther Mound and Wolf Mound.  As Karhu led Bernie over the spirals of the serpent, they saw the other three children already sitting naked within the center of each of the animal effigies, crying.

“Karhu,” Bernie said with a shaking voice, “I want my Mommy and Daddy.  I want to go home, now!”

“Quiet, Bernie,” Karhu replied, pulling off his shirt and pulling down his pants, “This won’t take very long.”

“I WANT MY MOMMY NOW!” Bernie screamed, and the other three children wailed and cried in response.

“SILENCE YOU LITTLE FOOL!” Rieka shrieked back at him. “Your Mommy and Daddy are dead!  Your home is burned to the ground!  You are ours now, and soon you will belong to the Tuath Dé!  Now be silent and wait for them to rise and claim you with their mark!”

Bernie looked over at Karhu with tears in his eyes.

“Is it true, Karhu?  Are my Mommy and Daddy really dead?”

“Sometimes Cub,” Karhu replied, his face an expressionless mask, “You shouldn’t ask questions if you don’t really want to know the answer.”

Bernie sat naked in the center of the bear effigy mound and cried silently.  As the first rays of dawn struck the top of the mountain, the mounds began to vibrate and Rieka began the ancient chant in a low monotone.  Steam seeped out of the ground and coalesced into the figures of the bear, boar, panther, and wolf.  As the children looked on in shock, the misty figures pounced, pinning each child to the ground, and searing the flesh just above their right hip.  The children screamed as Rieka continued chanting the words of the ritual.  As the sun rose above the horizon, Rieka’s chant reached a climax and the four spirits made of mist vanished as quickly as they had appeared.  In the center of each mound lay a crying naked child.  The two girls were branded above their hips in the shapes of the panther and wolf mounds, while the two boys were branded with the boar and the bear.

Rieka, Namir, Everett, and Karhu stepped forward and gathered the children into their arms carrying them back to their homes where they would rear them for the next fourteen years, conditioning them to fulfill their part in the completion of the ritual in their eighteenth year,

As Karhu carried Bernie home, the boy looked up at the bear’s handsome, bearded face.

“Karhu,” Bernie whispered, “If my Daddy is really dead, can you be my Daddy now?”

“It is my responsibility to raise you until you are eighteen,” Karhu replied without emotion.

“Can I call you Daddy?” the boy asked.

“No…” Karhu said, “But, if you wish to call me by something other than my name, you may call me…Papa.”

****

One year later…

Karhu shook Bernie awake in his small bed in the alcove off the cabin’s living room that served as the boy’s bedroom.

“Papa?” Bernie said, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, “What time is it?”

“It’s just after midnight, Cub,” Karhu replied. “Everyone in the village is asleep now.”

“Why are we awake, then?” the boy asked.

“Because you and I are going for a hike,” Karhu said, “I’m taking you away from here.”

“If we leave The People, where will we go?” Bernie whined, tears filling his eyes.

“I am going to take you to live with the humans again,” Karhu replied, “Just as you did when your mother and father were still alive.”

“Why?” Bernie asked.

“Because it isn’t safe for you here,” Karhu replied.

“Why?”

“Rieka has plans for you that are… not in your best interest.”

The boy thought about this for a minute as Karhu helped him get bundled into his warm clothing.

“Papa,” Bernie finally said, “Rieka says that me and the other kids are important for The People and the village.  If you take me away, she’s going to be mad at you.”

“Yes,” Karhu agreed, “She most likely will.”

“Then why are you doing this if you know you’re going to get in trouble for it?”

“Because, Cub,” Karhu said, “I’ve learned over the last year that I care more about you than the village, or The People, or even the Tuath Dé.  I have lived for thousands of years, but I cannot go on living one more day if it means allowing any harm to come to you.”

Karhu picked up the boy and left his cabin, striding quickly yet confidently through the forest.

“Where are we going?” Bernie asked.

“We are going to a human town called Gatlinburg,” Karhu replied in a whisper. “I have never been there, but I will find a safe place for you to rest, and I will leave you there.  When the morning comes, tell the humans that your parents died in a fire, and that you have been alone and lost in the woods.  Do not tell them about the village, The People, or your Papa.  If you keep those things a secret and tell no one, Rieka will not be able to find you again.”

“Don’t leave me Papa!” the boy cried quietly, “Stay with me in Gatlinburg!”

“I cannot, Cub,” Karhu replied. “I must go back to the village and accept my fate from Rieka and the Tuath Dé.  I am doing this so that you can be happy and safe among the humans again.”

“Don’t you love me, Papa?” Bernie wept.

“I have grown to love you more than my own immortal life, Cub,” Karhu replied. “And that is why I must send you away.  Whatever you do with this life I give back to you now, never come here to the village looking for me again.  Live your life with the knowledge that your Papa loved you so much that he had to set you free.”

The boy cried silently and buried his face in his Papa’s hairy chest as he was whisked through the forest.  He didn’t know what would happen the next morning when he spoke to the humans in Gatlinburg, but he trusted that Papa knew what was best.  Slowly, the steady footfalls of the big bear carrying him lulled him back into a deep sleep.

Copyright © 2021 Grumpy Bear; All Rights Reserved.
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Grumpy Bear's Werebear Tales

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

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Excellent first chapter; but I think that Rieka and the Tuath De' may actually be worse than Christopher....  Are you basing your version of the Tuath De' on the Irish Folklore; as what you have stated so far doesn't really line up with the Irish myths...

Can't wait to see where you take this one...  Will be along for the ride.

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9 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

Are you basing your version of the Tuath De' on the Irish Folklore; as what you have stated so far doesn't really line up with the Irish myths...

Good catch on that @centexhairysub.  I'm delving into a narrow and lesser-known facet of ancient Celtic paganism in order to create my own version of the mythology.  "Tuath De'" translates to "Tribe of the gods" and within that broad spectrum is a branch known as Celtic Animism.  This sect held the land, waters, and trees as sacred, and believed that certain spirits were closely associated with particular animals.

So, I've used that mythology as my springboard and adapted it somewhat to align with four known groups of were-kind in my fictional world to create a "what if" scenario to explore how those Celtic animal spirits could have survived the eons as the last of the Celtic tribe of gods by gathering an assembly of corresponding were-creatures as worshippers, and forcing them to perform the subsequent rituals that will be revealed as the story progresses.

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I want to know where this was hiding! I'm following Grumpy and I got no notification! I'm trying so hard not to fan-girl screech since the husband's sleeping, but AHHHHH! 

This is such a kick-a$# start! I'm so excited! I love Karhu! I hate Reika! Are were-serpents a thing? I hope so!!!

@Grumpy Bear! I'M FANGIRLING SO HARD RIGHT NOW!!!

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A very scary beginning to this tale.  Glad to know Gary and Bill are back.  Karhu is a loving and protective Papa for Bernie, but I don't think he will be around to see Bernie growing up.  Reika is an evil bitch and the religion they practice sounds very much like fundamentalism.  Looking forward to see how it all comes together, and who else we know will become involve.

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