Chapter 3: He Who Descends with Nature’s Fury

Atop the lone hill that overlooked a twice cursed town, an oblong portal with a pupil of red and an iris of white appeared where one had not been a moment before. 

A bear of a man with an unkempt mane of orange hair streaked with gray emerged from the portal. Weathered hides and furs covered his body, protecting him from both the elements and physical harm. He took a few casual steps away from the portal, his boots sinking into blighted grass and congealed mud. Closing his eyes, he breathed deeply the scent of pine and oak from the nearby forest. A friendly breeze tousled his mane and ruffled his furs. Gray clouds portended rain.

After a moment, the man picked up another aroma: smoke, born of wood and of flesh. He opened his eyes and gazed upon the town below. His expression of calm contentment turned into a smirk. “Ah yes, ruins,” he said in a baritone voice. “The fate of all cities.”

The two dozen buildings that formed the town were collapsed masses of scorched stone and smoldering wood. A handful of structures at the town’s center were still ablaze with harsh flames that made the man’s eyes water. Dozens of dark forms skittered and shuffled near the fires, barking, cackling, and moaning. Demons. Leathdhiabhalases. Undead. Playthings of the Prime Evils that brought hatred, terror, and now destruction to this land.

The man’s smirk fell to a frown, his bushy eyebrows drawing together in annoyance. He had come seeking knowledge—perhaps even rescue—of the last Horadrim. But now he had a more pressing duty to attend to.

“These foul demons delay nature’s reclamation of Tristram,” the man growled. He looked back to the sky, raising his hands, the brown of his eyes clouding over with gray and white. “That delay ends now.”

The wind roared to a gale. Clouds darkened and whorled, smacking into one another before releasing arcs of jagged fire that bleached the world white. Booming thunder rolled across the forest and smashed into the town. A torrent of rain began to fall, extinguishing some of the fires and causing more smoke to billow into the sky, making the town center look like a giant chimney. 

The man, his arms now at his sides, kept his face turned skyward, smiling as fat droplets of water splashed upon his weathered skin. A crack of lighting seared everything white again. In that instant, the man of Scosglen disappeared. What stood upon the hill was no longer a man but a beast, a formidable bear covered in thick orange fur with streaks of gray. The clouds above issued another angry shout, and the bear released a matching roar. 

Amused brown eyes gazed at the ruined town, at the foul abominations wandering within. Starting slow but quickly gaining speed, the enormous mass of fur, claws, teeth, and power barreled down the hill. More lightning twisted through the air. Another thunderous roar washed over the world, expelled by storm or beast was impossible to tell. With the bear as its vanguard, nature’s fury fell upon the evil residents of Tristram, and like the fate of cities, the demons crumbled to the ground, ruined.

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