Hello fans of CrIsis, tis your lovable Bard Terramore Gleba here, reporting from the Tri-Arcanum Guild in Wisdom. I thought I would try and do an exposé on the talk of the realm and do interviews with the members of Crisis. As I thought it would be the easiest, journalistically, I decided to follow and observe Master Ursus and then try and interview him. How truly had I deceived myself, as you will see. Let us begin.
‘Twas the evening of the 21st and Lord Xerx’ses were just elected head of the Weaver arm of the Guild, the night prior. I waited outside the of the new office and quarters of Lord Xerx’ses for the massive beast that is Ursus (as a human he is the same height as I, but he still makes me look frail and weak standing next to him, I won’t relate the issue when he is a bear). All of CrIsis were having a celebratory dinner with the guild Rules Master, Sire Rincewind.
It was a couple of hours when my quarry emerged from the room and rushed down to the second floor. It took every bit of my considerable speed and stamina to keep up with the mighty beast. I was thoroughly winded when he finally stopped at one of the taverns. I felt this was my chance to observe and maybe talk with him. I usually engage unwilling participants when they have imbibed; I get more honest answers this way. ‘Twas for naught as he quickly convinced the bar maid to give him TWO, not one, but TWO large barrels of very strong mead (I could tell from the markings on the casks that it was very strong indeed). He grabbed both, one in each hand mind you and again rushed out headed down the stairs. My thoughts were “Oh no not again, I just caught my breath from the last jaunt”, but I mustered my strength motivated by the every driving need for journalistic necessity. Well as the halls were mostly empty and my quarry literally filled the hall it was not difficult to pursue even though he widened the gap greatly with every massive paw stomp (I could almost fell the reverberations in the dense marble floors.) Well he finally stopped in the sub-basement of the guild, which houses the massive training arena for the guild.
I have spent quite a number of days here myself, wagering on the exploits of the trainees, as this is a no-holds-barred arena (meaning all battles are battles to the death, though the death is never too permanent, for almost all). Well, as I rounded the last corner I heard a massive bellow which halted me in my tracks as it sent a phenomenal shiver of fear down my spine. I soon realized the source Master Ursus. It seems he was headed down to partake in the battles previously referenced (There has been much talk amongst the more infamous warriors here in the guild, that the last time he was here, he managed to literally wipe the arena floor with many, many competitors. They say it was extremely gruesome and there were some that almost weren’t able to be brought back.) The bellow lasted for an eternity; I could feel it in my soul. I slunk back around the corner, fearing for myself just a little. After he stopped the bellow he let loose a torrent of foul language that I shan’t repeat for even this worldly bard was blushed at hearing such vulgar language. The main thing I remember was he was going to feed someone their own foot, whilst still attached, and then make him eat the excrement of the initial feeding. The rest was far too disturbing even for the most foul-minded drunken sailor to hear, and I had to soak up every last detail for journalistic purposes (I had a nightmare whilst resting, before penning this tail).
Well after the extended tirade against whomever, he was off again and he was headed in my direction, whilst usually brave and wanting to get the story, I was fearful, I thought I would be a target of the rage and hid flat against the wall. The blur of fur rushed past and I could feel the heat of his rage as he passed. Interesting tidbit, whilst running he is able to drink (and I presume eat) as he was taking large swigs from the barrels he was carrying. Back to the story my friends, well he rushed back up the stairs and I pursued as best as I could (I will have to remember to train more if I wish to chase such quarry again). Once back up on the second floor he went from tavern to tavern looking for someone, continuously taking massive swigs from the barrels. Another interesting tidbit, I have heard of his prowess whence it comes to imbibing, and he was proving it tonight, for the most part. As I caught up to him in one of the taverns (wow this is much harder than I expected, I remember thinking), I witnessed him produce a tiny flask from his large bag he keeps tied around his waist (you would think it slowed him down as it drags the floor most of the time) and put a single drop into the replacement barrels he purchased as he had drained the previous two. I was able to barely make out the emblem on the flask and recognized it immediately: DEMON’S BREW. Well he was off again like a flash, looking for someone in particular; as I caught up to him in the next tavern, I heard him asking for the Arena Master, the responses where not to his liking as the vitriol pouring from his mouth was as disturbing as before. He continued moving from tavern to tavern looking for his quarry, but to no avail.
I then witnessed the strangest occurrence I have ever seen in my entire career. Someone stopped him dead in his tracks; he was a stone statue, so suddenly I almost ran right smack into the back of him. I was aghast at this occurrence, what could possibly put any fear in this massive beast. He then tried to slowly back away, almost stepping on me, if not for my quick reflexes I surely would have been crushed and this tail would not be told. Well, the person of his anxiety saw and recognized him (how could you miss a seventeen foot bear carrying two barrels of mead), and approached him surprisingly fast for his stature. Master Ursus seemed to panic even more, franticly looking for an escape route. No such luck as the Monk Leh-Rhy (I recognized him from the previous exploits of CrIsis) was quickly upon Master Ursus and battering him with endless questions and tedious babble about some books that CrIsis was supposed to find and Master Ursus’ lack of attentiveness to the need and importance. It seems Master Ursus was stuck and began walking away slowly and aimlessly with the Monk in tow. I pondered ending my pursuit, but this was too thought-provoking to not observe. Well at this point it was well into the wee hours of the 22nd and Master Ursus had thoroughly imbibed on not only the strongest mead I have ever known, but also on the truly deadly DEMON’S BREW.
As he walked aimlessly around with Monk Leh-Rhy endlessly badgering him, Master Ursus giving nods of the head and grunts that were entirely unintelligible, I slowly realized that Master Ursus was getting thoroughly sloshed. As completely mind-numbing and tedious as this exchange was (I swear, this Monk could make a Dragon want to run and hide with his droll, dreary dialogue), I thought it would never end, until… Monk Leh-Rhy stumbled onto the last topic he might ever voice. As they walked Monk Leh-Rhy absent-mindedly mentioned Master Ursus’ upcoming nuptials, this was a massive mistake. The Beast stopped dead in his tracks and began to tremble uncontrollably; the Monk continued chattering away for a few moments about Ursus’ beloved Ansa before he realized what was happening. The Beast’s rage finally came to a boil and he swung the large barrel at the Monk, fortunately he was so tanked-up that he tripped and only managed to catch the monk with the roundest part of the barrel, barely making contact, it still knocked the Monk halfway down the hallway. Something must have taken over as the Beast was about to pursue his new quarry, he instead stopped and just began to wail (I swear he was crying tears at one point) and bellowing one word over and over and over…ANSA! This went on for an eternity, the Monk quickly recovered and ran back to his side, begging profusely for him to stop, attempting to apologize for disturbing him in any fashion; to no avail. The caterwauling was loud and incessant, echoing up and down the hallway to the point of excruciating reverberation. I swear my ears started to bleed. I could no longer hear the Monk either. At this point my journalistic integrity failed.
Normally I would let events occur as they should, but something about this manifestation was different and I had to step in. Some guards at the very far end of the hall were on full alert and started to head this way. While I can normally sneak around well I do have a little trinket which aids me in my exploits; it renders the wearer absolutely silent even if they speak. Well I used it on the Beast, the instant silence was almost deafening in contrast to the cacophony or before. Amazingly, this didn’t stop Master Ursus from continuing to wail and bellow Ansa’s name; as I could still see him mouthing it with extreme gusto. The only pause was to chug more DEMON’S BREW laced mead; which just made him more unreservedly attempt to thunder his angst. The Monk recognized me and attempt to converse with me; I gave him a stern stare which actually shut him up for a moment. I explained that he was going to help me get Master Ursus’ back to his quarters. I couldn’t think of a way to coax the beast down the hallway, but the Monk also had his own special trinket, which he used on the Beast. It made him hover ever so slightly above the ground. Well the both of us grabbed a side of the cord around his waist and began to slowly walk him back to his quarters.
A note, as we moved through the halls, one of the less experienced gifted mind seers must have been trying to eaves drop on the strange event, because as we approached him in the hallway, he grabbed his temples, fell to the floor and began writhing around, as though he had gone mad. When we passed, I looked back and saw that he had recovered, well that should teach him to not eavesdrop on the wrong situation, maybe. Poor fella. Well we got Master Ursus quickly and safely to his room, the Monk removed the magic that allowed us to move him and we tried to shove him through his door. Yeah, that was very stupid on our parts, he didn’t budge. It was several moments when he finally pawed at the door, knocking it off the hinges, and he entered his room, he absent-mindedly placed his barrels on the floor, picked up the door and jammed it back into the opening; all the while silently wailing, bellowing and mouth ANSA. I waited a moment to ensure he didn’t leave and thought I heard someone on the other side talking, but as I think about it is as though I was dreaming that last bit.
An exposé on CrIsis, part 1, The Beast and Hero that is Master Ursus, by Terramore Gleba