The great crack rang out and launched a flock of birds into the air. Silence followed before the crash came as the broken bough of the tree fell through the undergrowth, crushing branches and ferns. A dark shape stumbled through the destruction, lashing out with its claws. The wildlife stayed quite still, watching and waiting. It's voice finally filled the silence it had created. A twisted roar of pain as the beast stumbled and fell. Huge paws scratched at the ground as it tried to pull itself along. A deer darted from the woods and fled. The bear finally drew its shaking shoulders from the ground. Its fur was covered in dark spots. It wasn't the colour of its hide, but where blood had matted its fur. The roar became a growl and then a groan. The pitch of the voice changed, no longer reverberating through the trees. The bear twisted and writhed. It's body contorted in ways that shouldn't have been possible. Slowly, second by second, the bear began to shrink into the form of a man. Valthar was left curled up on the grass. The midday sun beat down upon his bloodied form. He had never seen so much green in his life; he had not known anything but the endless tundra.