[Fiction] A stirring address to the sentient bears


I wrote the following speech in preparation for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign, in which we’ve just stumbled across a bunch of bears granted sentience by some wizard they then ate. They are not happy with this sentience and are trying to deal with the existential quandaries it brings.

This speech — delivered by my half-orc Paladin, Quigley McShoogleflooper — is intended to sway them from their inaction and convince them to accompany us to the city of Sideboob, our current destination. I adapted the end a bit from Aragorn’s speech in the third LoTR movie.

Oh, brave friends! You who have been cursed with cruel sentience by an uncaring magic! Hearken to me, for I bring you tidings of a great darkness which sweeps this land.

A doom has come upon this world. For countless years we have inhabited an age when a man or goblin or sentient bear could sleep soundly knowing the cruelest visitations inflicted upon them could come only at the hands of their fellow creatures. This is an age of giants, an age of daring deeds and brazen plans hatched in sunlit halls — an age of hatchback Ford sedans. This age is now under threat.

A plague grows to the south, where the Empire broods and undead things crawl with dry rustles through the darkness. This plague does not spread by conventional means: the stoutest shield or most farflung cave cannot insulate you from its evil. It is a plague which abhors the mindless and corrupts only those who think, the ranks of sentient creatures who you, o noble bears, have the unhappy cause to count your own. Do not think you shall be spared because your sentience is newly born; it will find you and corrupt you as you lay shivering in the night, cursing the small invisible gnomes which brought you to this fate.

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of bears fail, when you forsake yourselves and break your bonds of sentience, but it is not this day. An hour of fur and shattered claws, of gnashing teeth against the darkness as the age of bears comes crashing down! But it is not this day!

This day we fight!! By all that you hold dear in this crumbling, broken world, I bid you stand, Bears of the Forest!

We travel to Sideboob! For things to do, and things to smell, and things to poke around in for a while and then decide they’re not very interesting! Come with me, Clawed Crusader! Come, and face your destiny laid bear!

Image credit We Bare Bears (aired on Cartoon Network, created by Daniel Chong)


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