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Bear Civilization by Seth Deitch
Bears evolved Intelligence?
There are many factors that go into creating Intelligence, we think. Humanity could be a freak of nature, an accident, for all we know. But let us consider a world in which the dice were rolled, and came up with two separate species evolving Intelligence, eventually having two civilizations of two different species!! Let us explore this world more.
1 Million years ago
The Kurile Current shifts farther north, allowing the warmer Kuro Shio to flow along the entire cost of the Japanese Islands. A rain forest climate similar to that of the Pacific Northwest develops, along with what could be called the world's richest fishery right at the coast. In response, a native species of Bears has moved to live closer to the shore, depending on the abundant fish for the majority of their diet. During the winter, they make use of natural caves along the coast.
50 Thousand years ago
A very primitive culture has developed in the Aqua-Bears. They have developed into small, family based clans that work together, under the command of the Alpha Male. In addition to this social change, the Aqua-Bears themselves have evolved a 'sixth' finger that acts as a thumb, and use their hands to form symbols, part of a primitive language.
40 Thousand years ago
The Aqua-Bears have lost most of their body hair, and have stream lined their body. Their hand language has become more detailed, with few sounds as most communication is done hunting under the water. Tools to help with capturing fish have begun to be made. Winter is the only season that the Aqua-Bears spend a large amount of time out of the water, still hibernating despite the fact that the temperature does not drop that much. Hibernation is now a result of the fish migrating to a different area during the Winter.
35 Thousand years ago
Agriculture starts for the first time in the Aqua-Bear culture. Before going into Hibernation, mushrooms are specially planted in the cave to provide some food during the Hibernation, and when Spring comes. Other plants are attempted, with some success, but the mushrooms are used the most.
30 Thousand years ago
Contact is made between the Aqua-Bears and the Humans, or the Under-Dwellers and the Small Pups, as they call each other. Because of the different ways of living, there is little competition except along the coast. The introduction of the Bow and Arrow to the Humans allow them to secure the woodlands, allowing the coast to remain Aqua-Bear.
20 Thousand years ago to a Thousand years ago
The Aqua-Bear culture continues to develop. A counting system based on 12 develops, although math is something rarely used and remains primitive. Pictograph writing also develops, putting down the silent hand symbols that have been used for thousands of years. Religion starts, a belief in one supreme goddess that is the creator of all living things, and the many other minor gods and goddesses. Despite the goddess being the supreme creator, Males are still the dominate of the two genders.
3550 B.C. (5,550 years ago)
The rather peaceful existence between the Humans and Aqua-Bears comes crashing down. The volcano Kikai off southern Kyushu erupts, and soon it is followed with other volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. To both the Aqua-Bears and the Humans, it appears to be the end of the world. Ash covers most of Kyushu and other Southern Islands, where the bulk of the Human population is located. At the same time, the waters cool as the Kurile Current returns, driving the fish southward and away from the islands.
Without the Aqua-Bears, it could have been possible for the Humans to become one of the most advanced pre-agricultural societies, depending on Fishing as their main source of food. But because of competition from the Aqua-Bears on the cost, the majority has settled in the interior, while the Aqua-Bears settle the coast. Instead of being advanced Fishermen, they are rather primitive Hunter Gatherers whose only advantage is the Bow and Arrow. With most of the Southern Islands covered in ash, the Humans there move northward, running into the Humans already there. The population density created causes high competition between the different Human tribes. Similarly effected are the Aqua-Bears. With their source of food cut off, they are forced out of the water to the only source left, the interior. The island of Honshu has become a battleground between the different clans of Humans and Aqua-Bears. Two species enter, one species leaves. The Human have the Bow and Arrow, but without that they are no match for the brute strength of the Aqua-Bears. In addition, the Aqua-Bears work together naturally with the years of evolution from hunting fish.
There is another group of Humans, which needs to be mentioned. While the majority of the Humans are very primitive Hunter Gatherers, a small group had been fishing in territory not settled by the Aqua-Bears. Although small in number, they are an example of what all of the Humans could have become if it were not for the Aqua-Bears. Without agriculture, they have a very developed culture, without rival during their time period in the art of Pottery. Sadly, these Humans were at the very center of the destruction. It is unknown what happened to them, but it is thought that there was a great Exodus. Pottery similar to these People, called the Cords because of their style of pottery, has been found in the Pacific Northwest of America, Southern China, Papua New Guinea and even in Tibet. It is interesting to note that in all of these locations, there are very old myths and legends that speak of Beast-Men that appear very similar to the Aqua-Bears. This is still just speculation at best.
4,000 Years Ago
The natural instinct of the Aqua-Bears to bow down to one Alpha Male has given them an advantage over the Humans. While the Humans still work together in small family clans, attacking other Humans and Aqua-Bears a like, the Aqua-Bears have already condensed into large 'kingdoms.' Ritualistic fighting between the Alpha Males of the different clans each Spring decides the social order of the clans. Although they are not one 'kingdom' yet, few clans are not part of one. Working together, the Aqua-Bears have brought their knowledge of agriculture with the mushrooms and other plants to the interior. Meat, mostly Deer, Rabbit, Snake, and Duck, is added to the to the diet of mushrooms, berries, and other plants. Females have taken on a large role in Religion, and general administration, while roles in War and Hunting remain Male. Humans as evil creatures created by the Aqua-Bear version of Satan, a jealous daughter of the Creator Goddess who gave birth to the Aqua-Bears, has become a central theme to the religion
3,000 Years Ago
The unification of the Aqua-Bears into kingdoms has given them an advantage over the Humans. Fighting between the two species is very brutal, with the Humans being utterly destroyed unless they flee. Hit and run tactics have been taken up by a few of the Human tribes, but it only delays the end result. The Aqua-Bears shall push the Humans out of the Islands, and rule completely. A word on the fighting of the Aqua-Bears. In short, they are the perfect soldiers. A Celtic berserker is put to shame by one Aqua-Bear. The natural downward slash that the Bear uses to attack has brought about the use of wooden clubs, or often just the claws of the Aqua-Bear. Yet unlike the Celts and other 'barbarians' the Aqua-Bears know their place, and will follow orders given by their superiors. Without the Humans, a feudal (sorry for having to say the word) like society springs up. Despite the supreme authority of the head Alpha Male of the Kingdoms, at this time about four, there is a very fluid social ladder. If you can beat someone in a ritualistic fight, you are clearly their superior. This might make right society works rather well, as most important administration is done by the Females, who often co-operate and are too smart to fight each other just to prove something. The Aqua-Bears have agriculture, writing, and some weaponry. They have begun to master the Bow and Arrow that the Humans had earlier for use in Hunting. The religion, originally a rather peaceful one that revolved around a Great Mother Bear, has become more aggressive. Both the migration of the fish way from the Islands and the war against the Humans have shifted the religion to be rather apocryphal.
660 B.C. (2,660 years ago)
The rival family clans and four major kingdoms are united for the first time. The ruling Alpha Male is strong enough to secure his control of the Aqua-Bears by declaring himself a direct decedent of the Great Mother Bear. Aside from this position, all other social classes are open to the might makes right rule.
23 B.C. (2,023 years ago)
The ritualistic fighting is organized to be as non-lethal as possible. Weapons are not allowed, as is the use of claws. Instead, competitors rely on brute strength to push the other outside of the arena.
2,000 Years Ago
The destruction caused by the volcanic eruptions has faded away. Not knowing that the Southern Island had been volcanic, the Aqua-Bears had no fear of settling there like the Humans might have. After generations, the water currents have returned to normal and allow the fish to return. Many take this as a sign that the Great Mother Bear is pleased with them, and want them to return to the sea. This is quickly changed when the Southern Islands are invaded by Humans by Koreans. They are smaller and have less hair than the earlier Humans. If they were just this, they would be no match for the Aqua-Bears. But these Humans bring with them armor and horses. The Aqua-Bear religion has these Humans being evil demon shape shifters. Sometimes they appear as false humans, other times they are four legged beasts. At first the armored humans are taken to be a third form of the demons. But soon it is learned that these humans are instead wearing cloths of metal. Before, metal was used only as an ornament by the Aqua-Bears. After the initial shock of the Yellow Devil has faded away, the Aqua-Bears do what they do best, fight. It is learned that the four legged Yellow Devil are easily scared by their roar. Arrows are perfected to go through the armor, still rather primitive. Because the Humans are not part of an invasion force, instead the natural movement of man to new lands, organized resistance to them is enough to keep others away. Korea, China, and the Asian Coast, are alive with rumors of the Japanese Islands, home to the worst demons of the world. The Alpha on the Islands has decided to keep the Aqua-Bears in a full state of readiness for war. In addition to the Bow and Arrow, the Aqua-Bears have begun to play with Armor. Although the fish have returned, the decision that the Islands are for the Aqua-Bears and only the Aqua-Bears has kept them on land. They will fish along the coast, but there will also be a large number that farms inland and never fishes. The Southern Islands are almost a coast of military camps, guarding against future invasion. War has become a way of living, even if the enemy is rarely seen.
2,000 years ago to 730 years ago
Attempts to colonize the Islands come and go, as one stupid group of humans or another gets the idea that the Islands aren't inhabited by Demons, and they are able to settle it easily. Because the Aqua-Bears are always ready to go to war, their society has changed greatly from the peaceful fisher bears, all attempts to colonize fail. During this time, new human inventions concerning war are brought to the Aqua-Bears. But that does not mean they haven't worked on weapons themselves. Weapons for the Aqua-Bears are a true extension of their body, and are made to complement their strengths. They are not nimble or quick, and see little use of swords. Their favored way of attacking is bashing with a club or mace, usually one in each hand. The idea of using a shield is also something not used often. Instead, armor is built to almost laughable sizes, probably enough to crush a smaller, weaker human. These large suits of armor, and carefully made weapons, do not come cheaply. The Aqua-Bear family is usually very extended, up to 30 members at one time, and between the 30 usually only one Aqua-Bear, the Alpha, is equipped with the body armor and weapons. Families make up clans, which field usually one Alpha per family in their armies. Interestingly, the cost to keep the armor and weapons clean and fix broken ones is so high that they are rarely used in wars. As mentioned earlier, a form of wrestling that has brute strength fighting brute strength is used to solve most disputes. Only when there is a very heated disagreement, usually going back generations, will the families suit up for war. Even then, the dispute is solved after one very blood battle. One clan has the right to have their Chief Alpha be Emperor, although the title is not completely hereditary. When the Emperor dies, all Alphas of his clan compete in the wrestling matches. Although this means that the next Emperor is a blood relative of the past one, it is not always the direct son or grandson. In some periods, the Alpha of the non-Emperor clan is strong enough to force his will on the Emperor, but that happens rarely. Although a natural swimmer by nature, the boat has been adopted along with the wheel after seeing it in use by the humans. Being many Islands, the Aqua-Bear's home is surrounded by water. Mostly any major city of the Aqua-Bears can be reached by water, and a boat allows for extra cargo be to carried with them. Weapons and armor will also stay dry in the boats.
607 A.D. (1,393 years ago)
Emperor Alpha (Right hand making a fist, a quick single pounding into the open palm of the left hand at the same time of a sound used to imitate a bone cracking) sends the first Aqua-Bear raiding party to China. Chinese historians record the attack as "from the Land of the North Wind." Aqua-Bear pirates will become common up and down the Korean and Chinese coast.
1,300 years ago
The Aqua-Bears discover Alaska, and set up small colonies along it's coast. Already colonies have started on the Kuril islands, and along the Sea of Okhotsk. Dogs are domesticated for the first time, as a quasi-beast of burden. In addition, Dog is used as a good source of meat. Although the Aqua-Bears have some knowledge of Oxen, it would be a very difficult task to get them onto a boat to bring them back to the Islands. Their meat is a great prize during a raid, however.
1,200 to 1,100 years ago
As Aqua-Bear pirates continue to explore southward along the Asian coast, there is an exodus of families who want to make a new life. First the islands of Micronesia, later on Melanesia and Polynesia, the families are, in writing, part of the Aqua-Bear Empire, although distances gives them great amounts of self rule.
1,100 years ago
Aqua-Bear pirates exploring the Southern Pacific for more targets to raid discover New Zealand. The island is completely un-inhabited by Humans, with strange large birds. After the Japanese Islands, this will become a heartland of the Aqua-Bear Civilization. Remembering the Oxen of China, there are attempts to domesticate the Moa as beasts of burden. At first the results of the larger ones are poor, but a medium sized Moa proves to be easily domesticated. Snakes and rabbits brought with the Aqua-Bears destroy most of the wildlife that isn't domesticated.
800 years ago
Explorations from New Zealand discover the East coast of Australia. Settlement is started here, mostly under the guidance of the strongest clan in New Zealand. Distances between Japan and the other colonies has become apparent, as this clan has begun to act as the Emperor Alpha for many of the southern clans.
Northern exploration discovers the Hawaiian Islands. A third heart of the Aqua-Bear civilization has begun to grow in this Island chain. The distance between Hawaii and other islands, however, keeps the influences small. A native species of wild geese is domesticated. A highly liked meat, it does not spread to the other islands.
1266 A.D. (734 years ago)
Kublai Khan has decided to invade the Japanese Islands, and rid them of Demons once and for all.
1274 A. D. (726 years ago)
After years of preparation, the Mongol invasion force sets sail. The Aqua-Bears have noticed a build up in the Korean Peninsula, and have responded accordingly. Word is sent out to the various Clans in the Aqua-Bear Empire, demanding that they send soldiers. From Japan, Alaska, the Kuril Islands, and other nearby Clans, the response is a commitment of troops. But that is not so with the other Aqua-Bear Clans. For years there has been a growing rift between the Southern Aqua-Bear Clans of New Zealand, Australia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia and their Northern brothers. This expected invasion has only given them the chance they have waited for. The Clans of the Southern Pacific will offer the homeland no help. They declare themselves independent, although in reality they have just traded one ruler in the Japanese Islands for one in New Zealand. Hawaii sends no response.
Things do not look well for the Aqua-Bears in Japan. Man for Aqua-bear, odds are distinctly in favor of the Aqua-Bear. But Kublai Khan has assembled countless men, and has armed them with the four legged demons (horses.) In response, the Aqua-Bears have not only put on their gigantic armor and twin clubs, but have armed some of their men with large tubes, which enlarge the roar of the Aqua-Bear to scare the four legged demons. War dogs, breed for hunting in previous generations, have also been gathered up. And lastly, in a break from military tradition, non-Alpha males of Clans are armed with bows and arrows. The Mongols have prepared themselves to enter the land of Demons, knowing that they may never return. But they are also sure that they shall defeat these Demons, and make the world safe from them. The Aqua-Bears have decided to make a stand against the uppity Hairless Cubs, and teach them a lesson. But they know that never before have they attempted an invasion like this before, and the results will be unexpected. And that they are. A great storm descends on the Mongol invasion force, destroying the fleet. The survivors that do make it to shore never stand a chance. They are hunted down, feed to the dogs. Rewards for hunting down a human are outrageously high, enough to live off of for years. Years later, in 1281, the Mongols will try once more to invade, and once more be shattered by the winds. They call this the demon wind, summoned to protect the islands from invasion.
1325 A.D. (675 years ago)
The Emperor Alpha of the Northern Clans decides against attempting to re-unify the Clans, and instead focuses completely on attacking the coast of Asia. Although pirating had always been a pastime of the Aqua-Bears, it is now supported with a zeal never before seen. This is just one factor in many that will result in the fall of the Mongols in China, and the rise of the Ming.
675 years ago to 450 years ago
Each of the three Aqua-Bear Empires develop. The Northern Clans, based on the Japanese Islands, are mostly occupied with attacking the Asian coast. This limits their development of their American Clans, which spread only as far south as Washington and Oregon. It is here that they run into a fisher-gatherer civilization that had originated in Jomon humans who had fled the Japanese Islands during the volcanic eruption of 3550 B.C. A civilization on the same level as the Aqua-Bears, they stop further expansion southward. In the Southern Clans, the settlement of Australia continues. Explorations along the coast spreads the settlement from the East coast to the Southern coast, but there is no discovery of Indonesia yet. Tasmania has provided another good location for settlement, and years later there will be rumors to the Europeans that the Aqua-Bears discovered Antarctica around this time. They are, although, only rumors. The Aqua-Bears in Hawaii survive.