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There were few bears of any sort within Fangorn Forest, much less ones as massive as Stoneclaws. The Ents, as a rule, weren’t very fond of bears. Their tendency to sharpen their claws and mark their territory by tearing into the trunks of trees had never endeared them to the Onodrim. Still, for every rule there’s an exception. Stoneclaws’ mother had staggered down from the Misty Mountains long years ago, bloody rents scored in her sides. The Ent Beechbone found her, all but spent, near the Limlight. Perhaps he would have left her, letting nature take its course, if not for the Orcish arrows that guaranteed his sympathy or the new life struggling to escape her, for she was heavy with cub and in labour.

Thus, Beechbone the Ent found himself a midwife and soon after a parent, for the she-bear passed with the birthing of her cub. Beechbone turned to his fellow Ents and explained (for over a week or so) what had occurred. Together, they decided to raise the bear-cub. Fairly early on, the Ents pointedly directed his claw sharpening away from trees and towards stones within the forest, hence his name. Stoneclaws was now a mighty beast, for he had been raised on the draughts of the Ents and had grown to an impressive size indeed. He wandered through the northern portions of Fangorn foraging, occasionally roaming to the edge of the woods when a tantalising new smell presents itself. He was exceedingly intelligent and fairly friendly, for a colossal bear, but a company that met him in the woods would not know that and attacked him could quickly awaken a terrible wrath. Beornings would find him a cheerful soul who could help facilitate a meeting with the Onodrim if treated well. Killing Stoneclaws would have upset all the Ents and certainly roused the wrath of Beechbone.

References

  • The One Ring - Roleplaying in Middle Earth - Horse Lords of Rohan
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