Forest bears are the largest and most powerful hunters in the forest, easily dwarfing lynx and wolf. A full grown forest bear weighs hundreds of pounds and its head reaches a mans chest when it is on all fours, standing on there hind legs, they tower over even the tallest man, the only land based hunter larger than them is there Northern cousin, the Ice bear. They have thick, dark brown fur which blends in with the earthen tones of the forest.
Forest bears posses immense strength, able to easily overturn huge boulders and even push down trees. Each of the bears paws is armed with five inch long claws that could decapitate a man in a single swipe, they have powerful jaws that can crush bone and four inch long canine teeth that can easily tear through flesh, they are also deceptivley fast, even with there bulk they can out run a human with ease.
Despite there fearsome weopanary, the majority of a forest bears diet is comprised of leaves, grass, berries, tubers, honey, fish and carrion, occasionally a forest bear will intimidate a smaller hunter to abandon it's kill. However, they can and do eat meat on ocassion, and with it's speed and power, few creatures can escape a forest bear on the hunt.
Bears are always regarded with caution by the forest clans, but a forest bear by nature is a solitary animal and it will try to avoid meeting other creatures as best it can, whether there are other bears or not. However, a bear that feels scared, threatened or feels that a human is trying to steal its food will attack without hesitation, so it is best to practice caution in bear territory. A mother forest bear with cubs is considered the most dangerous animal in the forest, for she will furiously attack anything that approaches them, and many unfortunate hunters have lost their lives when they unintentionally approached a female with cubs in heavy cover.
Aside from mothers with cubs, forest bears are strictly solitary, they come together once a year to breed then go their separate ways. The exception to this rule comes in Summer, when the streams and lakes of the forest fill with spawning salmon and trout. Forest bears congregate at the streams and lakes to feed on the bounty of fish, however, they do not cooperate, each bear fishes for itself and if another bear gets too close, a fierce fight will erupt.
Forest bears sleep through the winter months in caves and dens, living on the fat they have accumulated prior to hibernation and awakening the following Spring.
In the seriesEdit
The forest clans consider the forest bear to be a charismatic icon, and they both fear and admire it.
Due to the immense strength of the bear, the World Spirit decided it was unfair to other clans if one clan was to have a clan guardian as strong as it. There is therefore no Bear Clan in the world of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.
The main antagonist of the first book Wolf Brother is a demonically possessed forest bear. This bear puts the series into motion by killing Torak's father and forcing the orphaned Torak and Wolf to unite. Throughout the course of the story the demon bear rampages through the forest, killing anything and everything it comes across, growing in size and strength after each kill. Eventually, when Torak and Wolf engage the demon bear in a final conflict atop the mountain of the World Spirit, the bear has grown to gigantic proportions. The demon bear is finally vanquished when Torak gives the World Spirit the three pieces of the Nanuak, and in return the World spirit causes a huge avalannche which entombes and crushes the bear.
In Spirit Walker, Renn states that the events of Wolf Brother have left Torak with a fear of Forest Bears, so se knows he will avoid areas that Forest Bears inabit.
In Soul Eater Renn tries to disaude Torak from travelling to the frozen North by listing the various dangers of the North including ice bears : "even bigger than Forest Bears, and just as deadly".