Like all my other well conceived and brilliantly executed plans, I saw no reason why Woody and I shouldn’t go to Deep Ravenswood and sneak up on some bears with the intent of stealing their hides. As I put it to him, what could possibly go wrong? Clearly I’m a well established warrior with plenty of skills and magic at my disposal, not to mention some rather tasteful yet protective armor and of course The Sword of Smiting and Devastation. Further, we would be a fighting as a duo, which needless to say, would give us the advantage in whatever course of melee we found ourselves.

Woody was eager to set the plan in motion, since like so many of his chest mimic brethren, he felt compelled to take a bite out of something. And, since I would rather it be some unsuspecting woodland creature rather than my own backside, this was deemed the best course of action. We hence readied the blades, loaded the repair kits, stocked up on a couple of key reagents and set about the task.

Our first forays against the bear populous went shockingly well. They were caught unaware just as I predicted, and as expected, it was two against one. Perhaps that teeters a little on the dishonest side, to tilt the odds in our favor thusly, but as I see it, they have those tremendous claws, those ghastly teeth and of course a sizable reach on the both of us. It seems only fair to cheat. But only a little. It wasn’t like we formed some sort of brute squad and oppressed them. That wouldn’t be very sportsman like to be sure. Indeed if we observe, Woody has no thumbs, so if we are going to go about the business of hair splitting and fair play, I am mitigating the advantage of the bears and leveling the playing field for all sides. That’s the proper way of looking at things.

Our pelt raiding was going quite well, but Woody, in his rather overzealous manner, bounded into the woods and disturbed a disagreeable congregation of bears. This invoked their ire and soon we were fleeing across the plains to save our meager lives. I was fleet of foot, but Woody, not having feet, was soon swept up and captured by the mob. Not being one to leave a chest behind I circled back to render aid.

The bear mob was indeed ferocious and proved to be worthy opponents, but when fire meets fur, it’s usually the fire that wins. Woody and I were quite battered and bruised but victorious. It was a close call and we would both have to fortify our resolve before we pressed on. It was a good time to dress the bears we had before us, but this was interrupted by another group of bears that did not take kindly to our activities. As my back was turned I was mauled savagely and took many injurious blows before I was able to stagger to my feet and ready my weapon. Woody, who was on lookout caught several of his own deadly blows. Before I could get close enough to render healing, he was crushed by one final, decisive, claw clad blow that rendered him lifeless. This left me to face the hazards alone. I was also emotionally scarred by seeing Woody beat down with the bear hand.

Regrettably, the odds were now against me, but I still had a secret weapon. I made my retreat with lightning speed. I was gaining ground but losing health. Those wicked bears were still able to bite and gnaw me in the nether regions even as I made my escape. Spying a rock directly ahead, I set my course for salvation. However, in my exuberance and desire to remain alive, I miscalculated the height of the rock and with a thunderous crash that echoed through the trees, I came to an immediate halt and found myself with a personal view of the dirt.

The last thing I recall was the sound and blurry vision of the bear bounding toward me, teeth bared, with nary a thought of mercy in his eyes. Then there was darkness.

I awoke some time later with Woody nowhere to be seen. I had been done some grievous harm and vowed my revenge. However, I will need to rethink my decision making paradigm. I clearly need to straighten out my sword before going on the offensive again. And Woody’s zest for running into the woods and biting anything and everything in his path will have to be curtailed. That sort of behavior is dangerous.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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