Backstory ideas for The Witcher school of bear (all rights CDPR)

If you are looking for defense over speed, the School of the bear is right for you. Being a member of the School of a bear, you know what quality armor is. You know that since you are slow, you are well protected, you can take a punch, but also you can give a punch. And if your opponent is running away, your advanced marksmanship with a crossbow will get everyone who runs away from you.

Short introduction
School of the Bear was one of the known splinter fractions of the order created by Alzurand Cosimo Malaspina in the 10th century. They settled in the Amell Mountains and established contacts with dwarves and gnomes of this region. At the peak of their power, they often traveled to Skellige, both due to its amount of monsters and the Islanders' mindset akin to their own.
The School ceased to function after the Bears failed a contract to destroy a cabal of vampires.
There are three generations of witchers coming from this School, while the third generation was experimental, and there were only two members who survived Trails. First Generation was composed of the ten witchers, including Gerd and Junod of Belhaven, initially living in a Bear Keep, but due to instability, they left the Keep. The second generation was composed of 5 witchers also, and extensive marksmanship training was introduced. The third generation was supposed to be more than ten witchers, but only two survived the Trials, and blueprints were burned afterward. After the internal division of the School, some witchers bonded together and moved to Mons fort, where a third-generation finished training, and additional mutations were used. Currently, only three witchers of the second generation and two witchers of the third generation are still alive. Rest is declared either dead or MIA.

Third generation (Brief Intro)
The third generation of witchers from this School is made of two twins (brothers), who both survived trails and became witchers. Since they were experimental generation, new potions and elements were tested on them, most of them of the unknown origin. Eight kids died in a process, while two siblings survived. The whole project was regarded as a failure on every level. But when the testing in the field arrived, twins proved that they are one of the most advanced witchers in the field.
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To learn more about the third generation and school of the bear I will post a story called Destination Unknown. I plan to post more stories starting with the Third generation and ending with the second. I post a couple of stories between.
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Mons Transire

Mons Transire is a small fort/outpost on a border of Kovir, defending a mountain route to the kingdom, from which it got its name. Mountain Pass. Small, compact, and hard to reach and is part of the border system. Kovir was expecting an invasion, which never arrived. There is one mine which was closed, but witchers still go there. Fort was kind of left in ruins, the only citadel survived. Ruins of the houses can yet be seen from the top of the walls. Sitting on a hill and kind of build in a mountain, it provided an excellent place to continue a school of bear tradition. There was only one path to the fort, so defending it is easy. It had two rings of defense: the main wall and the inner wall. Walls were situated in a circle, while back held by a mountain. On top of the hill, there is a beacon to alarm other forts. Citadel/keep was behind the second ring and halfway built into a mountain. In a double ring, there were a couple of buildings, including the forge, border station, and more. On top of the citadel, there is a ballista. For two gates, there were two gatehouses, and each door had two portcullises to stop the invading army, and gates were offset of each other. The main entrance was in the middle, and the inner one was on the right side. Battlements were also included in a square shape on a first ring, but the second ring had rounded ones.
The first ring had 4 (one of the bastions is a bell tower for alarms) bastions, and the second had only 2. The first ring is badly damaged, but the second is intact, while two bastions survive on each ring. Citadel is also intact. Well is in a second ring close to the keep, where is also a shooting range, barracks, and double storage. Trees were cut out in a 2-mile radius for better visibility. It could hold 500 men at any time. The full loaded fort was around 900 men. The whole fortress is white, only gates are grey, to kind of blend with the mountains during the winter.

Fort proved to be durable, but it was expensive to maintain, so the Kovir kingdom left it in ruins. Luckily the grandmaster Cadby from the second generation, negotiated a deal with the king after he cleaned up the royal palace from an old demon. As a part of the agreement, the king gifted a fort to a grandmaster with all the blueprints. The second generation had a place again. When moving leftovers from Bear Keep, the grandmaster was crushed by a giant log, which fell on the road and killing both grandmaster and his horse. After moving into the fort, Averey, one of the witchers, assumed command. No one objected because they knew that Averey was a good pick. This is were the Trails continued for a third generation and maybe for future ones.

Now they're only a few witchers left. Grandmaster Averey, Darren, Aldith ( some witchers are missing)from the second generation and Orion/ Warden (twins/brothers) from the third generation.
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This artwork of Orion and Warden was provided by... I am looking for you, so I can give you the credit.


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Destination Unknown
Chapter 1 Mons Transire

A tall figure approached a gate to the main hall. The shadow from the arch above the gate concealed his appearance, but only the light reflection of the bear medallion gave away his position. He turned on the spot when he heard a horse. Looking through the gate, his green eyes saw another figure approaching. Smiled showed on his face when he recognized a hilt of one of the swords and by the bear medallion. It was his twin brother. He started walking towards him. Orion jumped down from his horse and moved him into the stables. He put down the saddle and set it aside. After he was done, he approached his brother, Warden.
"I am starving, is food ready ?" Orion asked Warden.
"Darren is preparing something. Welcome back, brother," Warden shook Orion's hand.
"It is good to be back. When Averey contacted us, I tried to get here is as soon as possible," Orion put down his travel cape and folded it in his arms.
"Follow me, brother," Warden showed Orion the way.

Warden opened the door, but Orion entered first. The main hall was situated middle of the citadel. Here was the life of witchers. There were parties, games, and social life. But now, it was sort of empty. The light from windows created interesting, twisted shadows from all the relics. The rooms of the witchers were on the second floor of the citadel. Orion stood there for a moment. Warden noticed it, but he did not say anything.
Darren prepared food in the kitchen, singing one of the songs, what he learned on the road. He was also a witcher from a second generation and mentored to Orion and Warden. He finished their training with new grandmaster Averey when they moved out of the old school. Averey was standing in a corner, fixing an old picture. Hall was filled with memories. Averey waved at the twins. It has been several winters, yet he still sometimes forgets who is who.
"Food is ready!" Darren yelled from the kitchen.
Everyone moved to the round table to the middle. Daren brought two chicken wings plates. They sat down and started eating.
Averey said: "Thank you again for coming. Aldith is on her way, and I learned that Aldis had betrayed us. I don't know if Orion and Warden remember him. This mage used to live with us, but one day packed his belongings and left. That was five winters ago. Now he showed up with three Kovir Regiments and one peasant unit counting fifty archers. This makes it around five hundred men. I am hoping that Aldith will tell us more when she arrives,"
"My twin here has an idea. Tell us, Warden."
"When I was returning here, I came across a fiend cave. What If we lured him out right into the Kovir regiments to buy us some time? I am sure peasants will run away, and it will take them a lot of men to kill him. Just throwing an idea on the table," Orion proposed an idea.
"That is insane, but it may work," Averey said, "I consider it. We still have to wait for Aldith. Then we vote."
"Darren, I don't remember you being a chef, where did you learn how to do those wings?" Warden asked.
"I was in Novigrad, and there was this dwarf. He showed me how to do those chicken wings. And from that day, I do not complain."
A couple of hours late

All the witchers stood up at the same moment. They cleaned a table and brought dishes back to the kitchen. Then, Darren, Warden, Orion, and Averey walked out of the main hall into the central courtyard.
"Always amazes me how this fort was built. And we got it so cheap—things you create, for things which never arrive, "Darren said.
"Alright, we have three things to do today, check the gate in a second ring, check the ballista if it is still workable, and we need someone to go and either fish or hunt because we have almost no food. Warden, you check the ballista; Darren, you go hunt with Orion, and I will look at the gate," Averey issued the commands.
"After you are done, meet me in a warehouse, and don't forget your horns. Just in case."

Top of the Citadel

As Warden thought, ballista was still there. He climbed the last stairs and entered the roof area. The strings twisted into skeins were put on the bolted storage, just as they left it. Warden took the ropes and mounted them back on the ballista. He picked one of the bolts, pulled out of his knife, and wrote on the bolt: Too late if you are reading this! He loaded the dart into the machine. Warden pulled a string onto the ratchet and fired. Dart whistled in the air and disappeared. Warden forgetting about recoil was hit in the stomach and flew 2 yards backward, landing on his back with no air in his lungs. He stood up and gasped for the atmosphere. After a short moment of struggle, he continued his work as usual. After moving darts closer to the ballista, he looked over battlements to see what is happening. Darren and Orion were gone, and the grandmaster was nowhere to be seen.
" I guess I will go to see where Averey went," Warden said to himself. Before he closed the door, he looked at the mountains behind him. Mountains are full of new things worth exploring. He closed the door on a roof and disappeared into the hall.
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The second tower

Averey approached stairs to the second level of the gatehouse when he heard a long whistle. He looked up, and for a moment, he saw a dart flying in the air. Averey giggled and opened a door. Behind those doors, there were two levers, one for each gate. He was just about to press the bar when he saw smoke in the distance. Averey ran down the stairs, through the gate, into the bell tower, run upstairs, picked hammer, and started ringing for alarm.

"Damm, they already here. I hope Darren and Orion can make it back safely," He said to himself.
Averey ran down from a bell tower, back into the second ring. He stood in front of the well where Warden was awaiting him.
"So, what is a plan?" Warden asked.
"Get to them…" Suddenly, Averey collapsed on the ground.
Warden caught him at the last second.
"Got to get him into his room before it is too late," Warden yelled out loud. He picked grandmaster, kicked the door into the main hall, and ran into the grandmaster room and lay him on a bed. Grandmaster's room was filled with relics, paintings, and a large bed that occupied the middle of the room.
"Grandmaster, wake up!" Warden was getting nervous since he did not know what to do.
Averey opened his eyes for a moment and whispered: "There is only one person who can help me. In a warehouse, there are teleportation rings. Pick two. Set one for Vizima and the second one here. Once you get into Vizima, look for a hospital. There is supposed to be a person named Shani. Short, red hair. She knows me. Bring her here and tell her that I have the thing ready. Now, use Axii and put me to sleep."
"If you say so, Averey, I will try," Warden whispered.
With his right arm, he did an Axii sign. After a moment, Averey fell asleep. Warden strolled out of the room and closed a door. He ran upstairs. When he got to the roof, he opened a door, grabbed a spyglass, and started scanning the area, awaiting Darren and Orion.

In a forest close to Mons Transire

Darren and Orion were lying on the ground, sneaking towards a large deer.
"Alright, Darren, take the shot," Orion whispered.
Darren aimed a crossbow at the deer's head and took the shot. The dart, after two seconds, hit the deer in the head.
"Nice shoo.," said Orion, when he was interrupted by a roar, which echoed in the forest.
"Quickly, grab a deer and take him to the fort, and I will investigate," Darren yelled at Orion.
"No, I am going with you," Orion replied.
"Alright, let's make it quick." Darren whistled, and his stallion appeared. Orion loaded a deer on a horse and stallion quickly disappeared.
"Roar came from the South," Darren pointed in that direction.
"Let's roll," Darren said.
"I wonder what it is. Sounds like a fiend," Orion thought out loud while running.

ten minutes later, Kovir scout camp

"Well, I see what happened. Kovir scout units moved to the fiend territory, fiend attacked, a lot of people died, some ran away, and fiend somehow got hit by a dart from a ballista, which is not here, hit his third eye, right in the head bleed out and died. On a dart, there is written Too late if you are reading this. Well, too late for the fiend," Darren summarized.
"You missed something. Here are a bear medallion and silver sword," Orion yelled from the corner of the camp.
"Footsteps are going the way we came from." Orion pointed into the forest.
"Alright, a cart is here, and I hear a horse close by. Orion, follow tracks, I load the cart with useful things, and we meet at Fort," Darren said.
"Alright, right on it," Orion grabbed a medallion and pulled out his silver sword. He waved at Darren and vanished between the trees.

Somewhere in a forest

"Please be Aldith, please be Aldith," Orion whispered as he was running and following footsteps.
He came across a small pit, where giant Serapede attacked a wounded Aldith. She looked tired and almost dead. Orion yelled and jumped into the hole. In the air, he aimed a sword at the Serapede head, and he hit his mark. Serape started dancing, and after a minute, the bug fell on the ground. Orion walked to it, picked his sword, walked back to Aldith.
" Hey, do you have one of those teleporting circles?" Orion whispered, and Aldith pointed at her backpack. Orion opened it and pulled out the ring. It was set to Mons Transire. He grabbed Aldith and broke the circle. A flash appeared, blinding anyone in a 10-yard radius, and they were gone.

Mons Transire

Warden looked down and saw a Darren sitting on a cart, which was fully loaded with stuff, waving at him. He ran down the stairs.
When he got out, Darren asked him: "Where is Averey?"
Warden answered:" He is in his bed sleeping. When I checked the ballista, I came down. Since he was nowhere to be found, I sat on the well. In a moment, I hear a bell, and then I see Averey running towards me. When he arrived, he started saying something, but then he collapsed. I got him into his bed, and he told me where I need to go to find a cure for him. I don't want to repeat that, because Orion is standing right behind me. You tried to scare me, but it didn't work this time," Suddenly, a stone hit a Warden right in his head. Both Warden and Darren turned and saw pissed Orion with Aldith in his arms.
"Quickly, put her next to the grandmaster, a bed is big enough," Warden yelled at Orion.
"So, what are we going to do?" Darren asked when both bodies laid in front of them.

"I am going to Vizima, as Averey told me. There is someone who can help them. I try to be back as soon as possible." Warden said to the witchers.
"Attack was canceled. I found an order to retreat and never go back when I was looting the camp." Darren said, "and someone took down a fiend in one-shot. On a bolt, there was written: 'Too late if you are reading this.'
"Well, I can add a fiend to my collection," Warden smiled.
"Go," said Orion," and come back safe."
"I will; I always do," Warden said. He went downstairs, picked his backpack, and took a food and repair kit for his swords. He snapped the ring, and no flash appeared. Warden vanished into the air.
"Alright, Darren, I am going to sleep too. Meet me in a couple of hours." Orion said to Darren.
"Good idea," Darren agreed with Orion.
"We shall meet in the hall and talk then, and I will process it."
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I merged your threads. It's not the best idea to create multiple threads with the same purpose. But if you want to share your ideas, feel free to continue here.
I merged your threads. It's not the best idea to create multiple threads with the same purpose. But if you want to share your ideas, feel free to continue here.
It doesnt let me to make one big post, so I had to split it
Splitting isn't the issue. Creating several threads is.
As said before, if you post here in this thread it's fine.
Also you could just upload your text (for example with google docs or drop box) and post the link here.
It says there is a symbol limit. So I had to split it

This doesn't apply to the threads, only to the posts. 10,000 characters per post. If you hit the limit, simply split up the story into 2+ posts, but continue posting in the same thread.
Chapter 2 Too Convenient

A bright light appeared in front of the Hairy Bear Inn. Everyone inside jumped out of their seats, running outside, towards the bright white light. After a solid minute, Warden appeared. Everyone stepped aside.
"Sorry, just passing through," Warden said. "Can anyone point me to the hospital?"
One small girl grabbed his hand and said:" Traveler knows where the hospital is."
"I am sorry young lady; I don't know, I am new here," Warden replied.

She just kept saying that one sentence and ran away. Since everyone figured that no show would be here, they all returned inside. Warden stood there for some time, thinking about her saying. He started walking down the alley. He turned right, and he went up to the stairs. In front of him, there was a blacksmith's shop.

He walked to him and said: "Good day sir, I am just interested if you know this person. Short red hair, she is a doctor..."
The Blacksmith looked at the Warden: "Yes, I know her. Shani. She treated my wife. She lives ten houses down the street. It has a red bird on top of the roof: the second floor, door to the right. The thing is, she travels a lot. Maybe she is there, perhaps not. "
"Thank you very much," Warden thanked the man.
"One more thing," Blacksmith said," I see that you are a witcher, and you carry a bear medallion. I admire your work, and I have respect for that. You are putting your life on a line for us. Not that many people respect that. Tonight, my buddies and I will have a drink for you. Good luck, a witcher."
"Thank you very much, call me Warden. Its been a while since someone said thank you." Warden introduced himself.
"I will probably stop by later; I need to get some stuff fixed."
"For you, my friend, "blacksmith said,' it will be for free." Warden shook his hand and started walking.
Blacksmith yelled at him:" Hey, witcher, one more thing. The Snake syndicate is picking payments today, be careful. If you find Shani, tell her that I am saying hello."
"You got it, sir," Warden replied. He showed him a thumb up.

Warden walked down the street. Everywhere he looked, it looked like a Judgment day. In one of the houses, there was an art studio. But doors were locked. Since Warden never saw an art studio, he walked to the door and knocked. He turned when he heard someone talking behind him. He turned and saw three people approaching the door. Each one had a snake pin on their shirts.
"Get out of the way," the middle human yelled at him, apparently a leader of the group," it is payday. Pay, and we will leave you alone."
Warden noticed the thread and made a fist behind his back with his right arm.
"What do you guys want from this artist?" Warden asked.
"His protection payment is due," one of the figures replied.
" You guys see that he is poor. The studio is in bad shape, and you are trying to get everything he owns? What is he paying for? Protection? You know that is illegal." Warden tried to reason with them
"Yea, and who follows the law here? Only idiots." Said the middle man.
Warden thought in his mind:" I have three options, either I can leave them and go for my business. Or I can beat them up or kill them. Or I can pay for an artist's Rent."
"Did you know that I am his new security?" Warden pointed at his medallion.
"I guess you are going to die witcher," The leader replied," Get him, boys!"
Humans on both sides started approaching while the leader stood back. Warden took a knife and threw it at the leader. Dagger whistled in the air, between two humans and hit the leader right in the face. He fell backward on the ground. Two seconds later, Warden threw a Samum bomb. He turned around, and both opponents lost their sight for a moment. That moment, Warden punched one in the liver, which resulted in an immediate knockout. While the second one was regaining a vision, Warden draws his sword and chopped his head off. All of this happened in 5 seconds. One of the men started slowly standing back on his feet. Warden kicked him back on the ground.
He put his sword on man's throat and told him:" Don't you ever harass these people. In this city, I am the order. I have the law on my side. Tell your boss that I am going after him. Tell him that when I find him, I chop both of his arms, legs, and his tongue. I cut his ears, and I blind him for the rest of his life. I break his back, so he won't be able to move again. And I start with you. You can tell me everything you know about this guy. I can tell when you are lying, so tell me the TRUTH!" Warden yelled so loud that many windows and doors opened. A lot of people started approaching Warden, and this man and they formed a circle around them. Even some guards were standing there, but they didn't do anything yet.
"Please, witcher, don't hurt me. They have my family. I must collect the debt so that he can release them. The boss goes by the name Aldis. He lives close to the main gate. That is all I know. Now let me go." A man started talking.
"You could have lived, but you lied. You don't have a family. You are trying to appeal to my emotions, so I can let you go. That is not happening. Say your last words." Warden growled.
Warden lifted him with one arm and pushed him on his knees. He lifted his sword, and with one precise swing, he cut his head off.
"Go into your houses and feel safe. I am going to clean up this city from this syndicate," The crowd dispersed, and guards still didn't do anything.

An older man with a long beard and long hair shook Warden's shoulder. Warden turned, an old man told him:" Thank you very much, a witcher. Please come to my studio so we can talk."
Warden followed the older man inside of his studio. It was only one giant room full of paintings. In the middle of the room, there was a giant canvas hanging from the ceiling. Half of the image showed the Siege of La Valette Castle. So far, the painting was very detailed, showing brutality from both sides. On one of the towers, there was a dragon spitting fire all around him, burning men alive.
"I heard about that dragon. He almost won a battle for defenders, but something forced him to fly away." Warden touched the painting.
"It was a horrifying battle," An old man said: "As a defender, I knew we lost the moment they made a giant siege tower. Temeria had upper had from the beginning. When they breached into the town, that was the last time when I saw my wife and kids," …old man broke down and started crying.
Warden just stood there looking at the painting. He was there, but not here. In his mind, he was switching from both sides, living the siege all over again. After some time, Warden sat down, and a man said: "As my thanks to you, come back in one year, and this painting will be yours."
"Thank you very much, sir," Warden said, "I will be back."
He walked outside and closed the door. Those bodies were still there. Warden looted all their belongings, which wasn't that much, and continued walking down the street. Someone grabbed him by his shoulder and pushed him into the back alley. Warden recognized a knight who caught him. It was Orion's old friend Alston.
"Orion, you put up an impressive show. That will teach them. I am available to help you if you need anything," Knight said to Warden, not knowing who is it.
Warden extended his arm and told him:" My twin is Orion, I am Warden. But thank you, and I am going to need your help."
"I am sorry I didn't know," Alston was surprised. He did not know about Orion's twin.
"As a knight, how, many men you can assemble under your command right now?"
"Around twenty," Alston said.
"Good, meet me in one hour in front of the Blacksmith down the street. In 2 hours, we are cutting the head of the snake."
Warden, you are doing more stuff than some people ever do in this city." Alston waved at Warden and left him.

The house was there, as Blacksmith said. Something was just odd. A door was kicked, yet Warden's medallion wasn't humming. He drew his steel sword and entered a house. The blade reflected some of the light into the house when Warden came. We walked up to the stairs to the second floor. On the door, there was a note. It said Rent is due now a doctor. Warden kicked a door and entered the apartment. The apartment was destroyed. He opened a living room first. The bookshelves were damaged, the table was flipped, and chairs were tossed around the room. Warden walked to the bed. A lady was lying there, sleeping. She matched Averey's straightforward description. He put his sword back to the sheath and picked one of the chairs from the floor and sat next to the bed. He whispered: "Shani?"
Warden looked around and saw the papers on the ground. He picked one of them. It was an order for Shani to go to Kaedwen. Warden looked back and forth between the documents and Shani's face. He saw a dried tear. He put papers down and touched her shoulder and shook her gently. She turned and opened her eyes. Warden saw a current of emotions in her eyes. He was shocked and surprised at the same time.
"Warden?" Shani asked,
"How do you know my name?" Warden jumped.
"I know you by that sword. That hilt is only one of its kind. I heard stories about you and your twin. What was it? Destination Unknown?"
"How do you know all of this?" Warden was still processing, but he got the answer from Shani.
"Averey told me. How is he?" She asked him.
"That is why I am here." Warden said, still surprised, "He doesn't feel well, and he requested that you should come and see him. You know what to do. And he has a thing for you."
Shani slowly sat on the side of the bed.
Warden stood up. "Let's meet in the Bear Inn in two hours, and we will talk there. I have a job to do,"
"Good luck, Warden," Shani said.
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Well, in that case unfortunately the only thing you can do is write the text somewhere else and post the link to it. Google Drive or Dropbox is usually pretty good for things like that.
1 hour later

Warden was waiting for the blacksmith to finish polishing his steel blade when heard footsteps. He looked down the street and saw Alston with some men. When they got closer, blacksmith handed him his sword. He did not putt his sword into the scabbard; instead, he kept it ready.
"Alright, men listen to the witcher," Alston said to the small unit.
" Good afternoon, we have one hour to cut the head of the snake. I have the place of the leader of the Snake Syndicate. We are leaving now. Follow me." Warden took the lead, following by Alston and the rest of the men. Halfway through the street, a large group of men blocked their way. Witcher rose his left fist, and the unit stopped.
"Good afternoon, ladies, where are you going?" The leader of the other group said. He was tall as Warden.
" I am looking for Aldis," Warden replied.
"You found him. What do you want?" Aldis replied.
Warden checked his medallion. It wasn't humming, but the bear's eyes were glowing red. He founded a wanted man. Warden turned his head and whispered to Alston:" Move shield men upfront. I look like they have bows and crossbows. I am going to finish this. Stay behind those shields. Once I am done, we are going to eat."
"Warden be careful," Alston said, and Warden moved to the front. Aldis jumped down from the barricade. Something just didn't feel right. It was too convenient. Warden switched swords, from steel to silver. He heard a primal scream and knew that something is not valid. He widened his stance and braced for impact.

Mons Transire 2 hours earlier

Darren was sitting on an old barrel, observing Orion, how is he dumping dart after dart to the target, hitting it with accurate shots every time he shoots. He was always impressed by how advanced Twins are. He turned around when he heard footsteps. He saw Aldith, strolling towards him. He quickly stood up and rolled another barrel so that she can sit too. When Aldith got to the barrel, she sat down.

Darren asked her:" How do you feel?"
Aldith replied:" Better than before. Always when I am here, I just sit on a chair close to the window and I am looking through the mountain ranges. It is calm, refreshing and you can reflect on what did you did. Not going to lie, I like this place way more than Bear Keep. That environment was just so hostile. I understand that as Bears, we are not supposed to be this close to each other, but it helps. Good thing that we found out about those trade deals between Grandmaster and that mage. He was slowly poisoning and destroying our tradition. Cadby tried to warn him, but only a few listened. Luckily for us, everyone abandoned the Keep. So, we took Orion and Warden and finished their training here. That contract on vampires almost killed us all and still gives me nightmares. We weren't coordinated, and only a few escaped the trap. I thought that we are gone forever. Once we settled here, we found a temporary peace. And we meet every year here. It creates a strong bond between us. Once we get Averey to feel better, we need to start training new witchers. It is good that I got it off my chest." Aldith finally finished.
Orion was standing there, listening to the whole monologue. He walked to the Darren and Aldith and asked:" Is it true?" Orion asked.
Darren replied:" Yes, Orion, it is. All witchers are either dead or missing."
"You know what ?" Aldith said to both Orion and Darren.
"Yes ?" Darren asked, surprised. Aldith would never start a sentence like that, so something is going on.
"I tell you later." She said and stood up.
"I hate you." Orion was angry.
"Damm right," Aldith turned back.
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Three and half hours later in Hairy Bear Inn.

In the back of the Inn, Warden and Shani were talking like old friends. No one interrupted them, since the sign of the witcher in an Inn, moved everyone out and a group of soldiers and knights were sitting and drinking carelessly.
"Are you ready to go?" Warden asked.
"Yes, I am ready," Shani replied.
"Before we go, I want you to ask something," Warden asked," I saw the order for you to move to the battlefield. But I saw on your face that you don't want to go there. I can only assume that something or somebody is holding you from going there. What is it?"
"Let's just say that there are a lot of things to take," Shani replied quietly.
" " I understand," Warden said," you don't have to tell me everything."

Warden turned his head when he heard footsteps. Door into the Inn opened, and three humans entered. Warden's medallion hummed a little bit.
"Shani, time to get out of here." Warden pulled a teleportation ring and broke it in half.
A bright light flashed in an Inn, blinding everyone who was there. Warden and Shani vanished into the air.

Chapter 3 Stories of the Walking

Somewhere in Kovir Mountains

"I kind of forgot that teleportation rings work on an approximate location. So, you are pretty much entering the trust relationship with that ring. We are a day of walk away from the fort. Only what we must do is to follow this path and, and on a crossroads, we will camp. If we pass the crossroad, we will be camping in a forest, which is not a good idea. In the morning, we will turn left." Warden was explaining Shani directions when they landed in a mountain.
"I don't see the problem here, at least we will walk, and we can talk more." Shani replied, "so did you finished the thing in Vizima?"
"After I left you, I met with my friend, who rallied some knights and men, and we started walking down the street. We came across the barricade, where my medallion detected the target. This guy named Aldis jumped down. From his mouth, I heard a primal scream and released a blast on me. I rolled to the side and realized that he is not human. When I switched my swords, he started acting crazy. He started walking backward and shaking. With Axii sign, I calmed him down. When I approached, he was still shaking. I lifted my sword when I noticed that there is a hole in his chest. Through that hole, I saw something eating him from inside. I knew he was dead already, so I pierced my sword through that hole. When I lifted my sword, a glass-looking worm was dead at the end of my blade. I burned it with Igni. Instead of catching fire, worm vanished into the air. Members of that syndicate quickly changed sides and were sentenced to interesting ways to die." Warden finished talking about the events.

"Now, Shani, you say something." Warden encouraged her to speak.
"Warden, trust me, I have a lot of questions. For example, how did you become a witcher?"
Warden wasn't sure if he could answer this question, but what could happen?
"One day, we just found ourselves in a witcher school and began training. There were 8 other kids. But in the end, Orion and I were the only ones who survived the training. I cannot tell you anything but know that training was tough. Halfway through our training, we changed places and we ended up here in the mountains. Here we finished training and became witchers. Averey asked us when we were getting our medallions, what makes witcher a witcher. Orion replied that it is a Need and I said that it is ideal. He smiled and handed us medallions. We went into the armory and got our armor and swords. And this is what I have today." Warden was talking, and then he changed the topic.
"How did you become a doctor?" Warden asked.
"I am not a doctor, just medic. I studied at Oxenfurt academy, and after many years, I became a dean of the department of medicine." Shani noticed a Warden's face and knew what he is going to ask.
"Dean is ahead of the department. Think of Dean as a grandmaster. I have my clinic in Oxenfurt." She smiled.
"So, how did you meet Averey?" Warden asked.
"Averey had a class about self-defense, so I attended, because why not. I passed them, and he started privately tutoring me. He saw potential in me. But one day, he disappeared, and he never showed up again. He has a picture in my office, a self-portrait."
"I didn't know that Averey was part of the Academy." Warden though out loud.

They came across an old, rusty bridge, and Warden pulled out a crossbow. From the quiver, he pulled a bolt. From his backpack, he pulled a rope. He tied a thread on a bolt and loaded a crossbow. He joined one end of the line about rock and aimed at the tree on the other side. He pushed the lever and bolt whistled through the air and hit the tree.

Warden's medallion started humming. Eyes of the bear lighted red. Warden knew that something big is coming.
"Shani, use my steel sword." Shani grabbed a Warden's scabbard and pulled out the sword.
" " I hope those self-defense classes will pay off," Warden told Shani in a quiet voice.
His silver sword was ready in his hand. The ground started shaking, but both kept their balance. The bridge collapsed and fell. When both looked, where the old bridge was, there was a giant snakehead looking at them.
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Mons Transire at the same moment

"How did you beat me again? I had a numerical advantage." Orion slammed a table again.
" That snake is overpowered," Aldith laughed.
"You are just bad, Orion." Darren was rolling on the ground, laughing too.
Orion looked up. He heard a horse, but no the ones in the stable. On the road, moving closer to the fort. He stood up and listened to a wheel, getting stuck in a hole on the road.
" Looks like we have a lost merchant going to our fort." Orion pointed at the gate.
Everyone jumped when they heard a child laugh.
"I assume it is a family," Aldith said. "Orion, open gate."
"Are you sure?" Darren asked her.
"Yes, I am." Aldith's confidence spoke for her.
Orion started walking towards the gate tower. Once he got there, he went upstairs and pulled one lever. Gate started opening.

Orion looked through the window. He saw a cart. On a coach, there was a man and a woman. The man was a young knight, and as Orion assumed, his wife was with him. Their kids were playing in the back of a cart, which was loaded with personal belongings. Both looked like they were 25-30. Behind them, another horse was following them. On a horse, Orion noticed an armor set, tools, and necessary stuff. They got to the gate. A man drew a sword and jumped off the cart. Orion went downstairs and stood in front of the young knight. He saw bravery in the knight's eyes, ready to defend his family from every thread. Aldith and Darren got there too.
"Welcome to Mons Transire a fellow traveler.s'" Aldith started talking, "please come inside with your family."
Darren noticed a surprise on a knight's face. He whistled, and the cart moved inside of the courtyard. Darren went upstairs and closed a gate. The wife and kids jumped off the couch and moved to the knight. When Darren got back, Orion brought more barrels so that everyone can sit.
"Alright, time to break the ice. I am Aldith, this is Darren and guy sitting here is Orion. As you can tell by the medallion, we are witchers." Aldith introduced the crew.
A young knight replied:" I am Chanse; this is my wife, Sabina. Our kids are Atkins and Alice.
" Nice to meet you guys," Darren said, "there is one more witcher, his name is Warden. Our grandmaster's name is Averey. We will help you unpack, then come inside the citadel, we have some food, and we can talk more."

A half-hour later in a dining hall

"So, what brings you guys here?" Warden asked Chanse while they were eating deer and fish.
Chanse replied:" When I was sworn as a knight, my father gifted me a small fortress. We lived a happy life, not luxury or wealth, but decent. I had everything in my life. Wife, two kids. A paradise. I went to serve as required and I followed the codes of chivalry. We were fair to the people who we were sworn to protect. And they liked us in return. I know it is a rare sight to see honorable knight these days. One day, some villagers brought in a wounded witcher. Since I cannot refuse an injured person, we took him in. His name was William. He slept for three days straight. When my servants were helping me to put him to bed, I took his medallion. When I noticed an animal on a medal, I slightly panicked. It was a cat. The rumor was going around that these witchers are hired assassins and bounty on these guys is high. I hid his medallion in front of everyone. That night when I went to sleep, I showed my wife a medal. She told me that, we will see when he wakes up. I put two guards to guard his door just in case. On a third day, he woke up. I was already sitting there in a full armor set. I told everyone to get out, except my wife. I moved to this bed and showed him his medallion and told him to explain himself or I submit the bounty and kill him. But I noticed something. This guy was different. He looked like an assassin, but his behavior and talking pattern proved to me differently. He was sick of the assassin's reputation and wanted to clean his name, so he took a contract to prove people wrong. But something went horribly wrong and he barely escaped. Wounded, he somehow got to the village, where villagers found him—the next thing that he remembers, when he woke up, and I had a sword on his throat. I gave him a proposition. You can either leave and get killed by an angry mob, or you can stay here, get a new name, and serve me. And I will clean your old name. He looked outside, where a group of villagers were waiting and said that he agrees to my conditions, thus one of my dreams come true. I found a friendly Witcher. People weren't excited about my decision, but the witcher proved them wrong. He cleared the entire village from ghosts, spirits and cleaned up half of the forest. He even painted on canvas which I never saw in my life, witcher painting. He painted our small fort, my family and everything that was worth the look. Last week thou something happened. When I was galloping around my property and William was with me, we noticed a cloud of smoke coming from the village. I told him to go check it out and I went to get my armor. When he got back, he said that an angry mob is killing everyone who likes me. He told me that he had prepared a cart for me and I should leave. The mob will be here soon. So, we packed our belongings and he told me that everyone else ran away, including guards, and we are alone. We took everything that we needed and starting got away from the fort as far away as possible. A mob showed up. Many of my friends turned on me. William decided to stay and fight back. I told him, no, but he refused to listen. So, I shook his hand and said to him that his name was cleaned, and we will remember him. We heard a scream, and he waved goodbye. That was the last time we saw him. When we got to the Kovir border, we thought that we are safe. But instead of the mob, bandits were on us. Two days ago they almost got us, but a giant snake showed up and scared away everyone. Afterward, he told us to follow this road, which brought us here." Chanse finished his talk, and Sabina picked off where he finished.
"You have to trust us." Sabina tried to explain their situation, but witchers already made up their mind.
"I trust them," Orion replied confidently.
"I second to that," Darren and Aldith said it at the same time.
"Come, we will show you where you guys will be sleeping," Aldith said.
"Darren cleans the table, and Orion closes the gate. It's getting dark. And then lock the gate to the citadel. We will meet here with Chase, and we will finish our talk."
"Thank you, guys, you are kind," Sabina said. She grabbed her kids, and Chanse took their belongings. Kids were following them upstairs.
" Orion, I am interested to see how this will turn out," Darren said to Orion.
"Same here, buddy, same here." Orion grabbed the jug, took a sip, and returned it.

Sunset at the crossroad camp

Warden was sitting on the ground, looking at the sunset over the mountains. The campfire was shining into the dark, while they were looking at the sun going down.
"Not going to lie, that was a pretty intense adventure. Jumping off the cliff to prove trust. That was a little too much. Adventure of the lifetime." Warden said. "Same here, that was intense. But the reward was worth it." Shani said while looking at the old book in her hands.
"What knowledge is in that book? I hope it was worth the jump." Warden smiled, "Even more interesting was that ship on a top of that mountain. How can a ship land on a top of the mountain? I found a lot of useful stuff, which will help me later. That snake was helpful after all. As in a medical profession, you guys are really hooked up on snakes. Why is the snake again the symbol of medicine?" Warden asked.
"I have no idea. I knew, but I forgot." Shani said a little ashamed. "Why do you guys have a bear symbol?
"Why do we have a bear symbol?" Warden said out loud.
"Every witcher school has a unique mark. School of Viper works on unpredictability, Cat is more precise and agile. And Bear is a force to be reckoned with. We are not that fast, yet in my heavy armor, I still retain pretty decent movement. We are one of the two schools which uses crossbows. Second is Cat. Most of us from this school are loners and sometimes we don't like each other presence. Averey once found witchers from our school fighting to the death. He did not have a chance to speak. Since our original Keep was left behind, some of us joined forces together and found a new home, despite our differences. That is where and my twin completed training. And that is where we are going." Warden said, and he regrets later saying some things.
"Alright, I take the guard, and you sleep. We leave in the morning and at lunch, we will be there. It will be a small hike, but I believe that we can make it." Warden explained the plan for tomorrow.
"Technically, you don't have to, a rock covers our back, and we can put out a fire," Shani suggested.
"Well, it is on you woman," Warden said, while he was laying down next to Shani.
"Good night." Shani turned her back to the Warden.
"Good night," Warden fell asleep, and after a long day, he finally rested in peace.
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Midnight at Mons Transire

A lamp was giving some light to the dining hall. Darren, Aldith, and Orion were waiting for Chanse. Sitting around the table, they were discussing the future.
“We need Warden back as soon as possible. We need to fix Averey and start to do something. I don’t know what, but something.” Darren said slightly louder.
“I understand you, but what about them? I don’t think that Averey will kick them out, after all, they are not lying. You guys feel me what I am trying to say.” Orion joined the talk.
” We all understand you, Orion” Aldith put her hand on his shoulder, “We just need Warden back and that Medic or Doctor, or whoever this person is."
"I have a feeling that we need to be out there helping people, no matter what they think of us.” Orion looked deeply into the Aldith eyes when he said it.
“Here comes the man of the hour” Darren pointed at the stairs where Chanse was walking down.
“Sorry, for keeping you waiting for witchers, kids didn’t want to go to sleep. Can my wife join us? We do everything together.” Chanse said it the moments he sat down.
“No problem,” Darren said.
Chanse whistled and Sabina joined them at the table.
“Since everyone is here, let us begin” Aldith started a discussion, “First, what we need to talk about is you guys. What are you planning to do here? All of us voted so you guys can stay.”
Chanse started:” We don’t know. We barely escaped. Since you guys are witchers, we assumed that we can help somehow. Our payment will be that we can help here. This is a military fort, so it needs a lot of hands to function properly and you guys will be able to run everything according to your principles. And if the situation calms down, we will return to our original place.” Sabina finished what Chanse started.
”That seems fair. And don’t worry, we are not going to train your kids as witchers, this decision is up to you." Darren joined the discussion.
“Aldith, Orion, do we agree ?” Both Orion and Aldith raised their hands.
Orion started talking:” Our next thing to discuss is that when my twin comes, he brings someone who can help. Grandmaster specifically asked for this person. Once Grandmaster is functioning again, we are going to have new recruits. We are going to find new witchers, who are going to join us. Each one of us leaves two weeks apart and we meet in 3 months at this place. You guys in meant time can stay here, just don’t go to the laboratory. You are free to visit everything expects the laboratory. If you go there, you die. The gas will kill you. Our lungs are resistant, yours are not, so keep that in mind. When we come back, we will need your help thou. So, what do you guys think?”
Everyone raised their hands.
“We will talk tomorrow." Darren closed the conversation, "I hope Warden arrives tomorrow, so we can finish this talk."
”Tomorrow after breakfast, we meet at a top of the citadel and finish our talk. This time thou, your wife cannot be with us. I hope that it is understandable.” Orion said it with good intention in his mind.
“I understand,” Sabina said,” may I just ask, can I find a lute around here?”
“Probably in storage. We will find it tomorrow.” Orion said, “Good night everyone”
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Morning at the crossroads

Warden opened his eyes. Sun was going up slowly. The fire was out, and the morning breeze started to appear. He looked right and saw Shani still sleeping. He gently shook her. She opened her eyes. Warden stood up and started packing his belongings. He never felt that fresh in his life before.
"Rise and shine, Shani. We have a long way ahead of us. I would like to make it at lunchtime." Warden stood up and stretched.
"Good morning to you too, Warden. I had a fascinating dream last night." Shani cleaned her eyes and joined Warden.
"Well, let's hear it on the way," Warden said enthusiastically.
"Please lead the way," Shani replied. They turned left and started walking. Warden was holding a crossbow in his hands, just in case.
"So, tell me about your dream," Warden asked.
"In that dream, I was climbing a mountain closely following you. That snake was right next to us. We were climbing to that boat. But my hand slipped, and I started to fall. You turned and grabbed my hand. You were holding me above the alley, where people, dwarfs, and elves were living in harmony. I saw a city, where everyone was friendly, no plague, no harm, just a perfect world."
"Did you see any monsters?" Warden asked.
"Yes, they were outside of the city walls, fighting each other. Witchers were also behind the walls, fighting with monsters, keeping people safe. But there were some witchers, who were fighting their friends. As we were holding on that rock, a snake transformed into an elf and kicked your hand. We both started falling, behind city walls, where the fight was. You had your sword in your right hand, while you were holding me in your left hand. And then you woke me up."
"Well, I am not a mage, so I cannot say what that dream meant. But I can only make assumptions."
Warden whispered to Shani. "Keep walking. Someone is following us. Don't look around. He has a crossbow, but he is not taking a shot. He is waiting. Or he is just new." Warden switched bolts in his crossbow.
He noticed another group, hiding in the bushes. "Shani, stay behind me. I noticed around 15 bandits aiming at us and hiding in bushes. Just walk as nothing happened."
A bandit approached them from the front. The rest of the group formed a half-circle in front of them. "We are you going, lads?" Leader asked.
Warden replied: "Me and my wife here, we came from there, and we are heading there. And if you excuse us, you are standing in our way."

"So, what are the conditions to move forward?" Warden asked, but he knew the answer.
"You either pay 1000 orens, or you will die." Leader replied. Warden scanned the group of bandits. He noticed that 5 of those were seasoned fighters, and rest are just there to make a quick buck.
" Why would you ask for Orens, when you are in Kovir? Or we can fight, you and me." Warden challenged the leader.
"No, I gave you my proposition, and I am becoming impatient. Your call."
"Darling, please step back," Warden asked Shani.
"I guess someone is going to die today." The leader yelled at him and spat at Warden's feet. "Get him, boys."
Warden dropped his cape and pulled the sword. The heavy armor reflected light on bandits, and bear medallion started glowing red. He felt adrenaline going through his veins. His face turned red. He released a primal scream from his lungs and began dashing, slicing, cutting through the group. Bandits, who were dumb enough to get into his path first, were cut in half from the head, all the way to their feet. A leader rolled from his approach, while a couple of bolts were shot at him. Warned turned his torso and deflected two bolts, while third got stuck in a shoulder pad. After two minutes of slaughter, only Warden and leader stood on their feet. All around them were parts of the bodies; some men were trying to crawl away, some were bleeding to death, some begging to stop. The leader started shaking. Warden approached the leader and cut both of his legs and arms off. He dropped on the ground in inhuman pain. Warden turned when he heard Shani screamed. One bandit kidnapped her and started to run away. Warden pulled his knife, and with one accurate toss, he nailed him right into the back of his head. He walked towards him and picked Shani. Still red in his face, Warden turned and caught a bolt right into his hand, saving Shani from the fatal shot. He broke the bolt and threw a Samum bomb, blinding the bandit. He picked a knife from the other bandit and threw it right into the man's face.
Shani was just standing there, unable to say anything.
Warden walked to the leader and told him: "Someone is going to die today. Where is your camp ?"
The leader slowly replied:" From a place where we ambushed you, walked a mile, and you will see the camp."
"Thank you," Warden smiled and cut the bandit's head with one clean swing.
"What did he tell you?" Shani asked.
"There is a camp, a mile out of here. We will go there and we will check it out. Screw the lunch, I am finishing this first. Are you joining me?" Warden asked and extended his arm towards Shani.
" Well, I feel safe with you, so count me in," Shani replied.
"Lets roll" Warden pointed toward the forest.
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