STARRY BEAR

 

MARCH 2022 ART PROMPT

On his journey back to headquarters, field agent Tulin made an accidental and unprecedented discovery about the starry bear. Included below is an account of his findings: 

 

"As overjoyed as I am about making this discovery, I am not entirely proud about how I came upon it. Shortly after packing up camp from my latest expedition I realized how much I had depleted my courage reserves. Though the saplings were quite harmless and in many ways endearing, being so close to the Black Forest for an extended period of time had deeply rattled me. All I wanted was to return home as fast as possible. And so, on the last leg of my journey along the Yenith Peaks, I decided not to camp for the evening.  I don't recommend anyone doing this. It was unwise, and only dumb luck saved me from a bad outcome. 

 

The trail was dark. Neither Nyx or Lyssa, our two moons, were shining that evening. They were both in the shadow phase of their cycle, overlapping just perfectly so that you could not see Lyssa, the smaller moon, behind Nyx. I didn't see the paw prints, nor did I hear anything that would have caused me alarm. So when I rounded the bend of the narrow path and into a small clearing I was not at all prepared for what I saw. 
 

Five starry bears were standing upright on their hind legs, towering like stone statues with their noses up in the air as they stared up at the sky. Luckily, I overrode my instinct to freeze, and managed to scramble up the closest tree. At any moment I was expecting to have five bears attempting to topple the tree, eager for a midnight snack, but nothing happened. They didn't even acknowledge my sudden intrusion into their space. As if in a trance, they slowly followed each other in a roughly circular shape, looking up towards the brilliantly starry sky, not once going back down on all fours as they shuffled around. 

 

Though they seemed completely distracted, I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to hurry up and leave before they snapped out of their mysterious trance. Starry bears are one of the largest species of bears in the Obsidian Grove, with male shoulder height typically hitting around 4' / 1.22 meters. And they can easily reach 9.5' / 2.9 meters when standing up straight. As well as being a sizable predator, starry bears are known to be quite aggressive, especially the males. Luckily, they typically stay in the mountains and away from human habitations, but a harsh or long winter will occasionally drive them inland in search of their first springtime meal.
 

This group before me included three males and two females. Both sexes were covered in grey fur that ranged from very light to very dark hues with distinctive small white speckles that gave them their "starry" look along their backs and sides. Some starry bears also have larger patches of white that occur on their feet, legs, face, or backside. Females, however, consistently have a large white patch on their stomachs. This paired with their smaller stature makes them easier to pick out from males. 

 

Unwilling to push my luck further, I quietly and carefully slipped out from behind the tree and backed out of their space. When I finally returned to headquarters, I spoke to my colleagues about the encounter. They were equally bewildered by the strange behaviour of the starry bears, but Wynna put forth an interesting theory. She believes it may have something to do with the fact that both moons were in their shadow phase, which only occurs once every 63 days. I am not particularly thrilled at the idea of risking my life to test her hypothesis, but we wouldn't be in this line of work if we weren't willing to risk a bit of danger in the name of miraculous discoveries!
 

P.S. I am editing this entry a couple months later. This "moon trance" only occurs on the evening of the shadowed moons. I was curious to see if there would be any effects when both moons were full, but all I got for my efforts was a very clear image of a starry bear chasing me before I was forced to climb up a tree. Thankfully, starry bear claws are straight and have evolved for digging, not climbing. Now that we are aware of this mysterious behaviour, it will be interesting to see if other creatures are also affected by moon phases.

Key Features: 

  • Both males and females are covered in grey fur that ranges from very light to very dark 

  • Both males and females have distinctive small white speckles that give them their "starry" look along their backs and sides 

  • Some starry bears also have larger patches of white on their feet, legs, face, or backside 

  • Females are smaller in stature and always have a large white patch on their stomachs 

  • Male shoulder height is around 4' / 1.22 meters, standing height is around 9.5' / 2.9 meters 

 
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HOW TO PARTICIPATE

 

To participate in the prompt, simply join our Discord and post your submission in the "prompt-submissions" channel. All past submissions will be gathered and displayed in our "prompt-gallery" channel.

Entries can take the form of sketches, paintings, sculptures, poems, short stories, photos, or even music! Choose whatever medium suits your art practice best.

At the end of every month, we will gather all prompt submissions and share them on our Twitch stream hosted every Saturday at 6pm MST.

Most importantly - we want you to have fun! We encourage you to use these art prompts as a way to stretch your creative muscles and practice your art skills.

Note: You can still participate in this prompt! Although it was released in March 2022, we accept submissions for all past prompts at any time in our Discord. Submissions for past prompts will also be included in the counting for the special Discord roles listed below.

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PARTICIPATION PRIZE

 

All participants will be granted a special Ecologist Discord role depending on how many contests they have took part in:
 
Novice Ecologist - 1 contest
Junior Ecologist - 3 contests
Senior Ecologist - 5 contests
Chief Ecologist - 7 contests