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Order of the Bear

Founded

4E 175

Leader(s)

Carnum Jorbensson

Magnar Blackboar

Headquarters

Fort Kastav

Members

Between 70-90 (Civil War)

Less than 50 (Blight Wars)

Alignment

Chaotic Good

Allegiance

Stormcloaks (for a time)

Allies

Stormcloaks

Enemies

Imperial Legion

The Blight

The Order of the Bear was an order of Nordic knights based in northern Skyrim. They valued honour very highly, and refused to participate in battles or activities that would diminish their honour. The Order was founded by the good friend of Ulfric Stormcloak, Curnam Jorbensson, after the jarl of Windhelm retook Markarth from the Forsworn. The order valued Skyrim as a free kingdom, though they were not as racist as the most radical of the Stormcloak supporters.

History Edit

Curnam Jorbennson was a ranking officer in Ulfric Stormcloaks militia as of 4E 175, He participated in retaking the city of Markarth from the Forsworn rebels. Afterwords, when Ulfric was arrested and his militia driven from the Reach, Jorbennson left the militia, and went about forming the knights of the Bear.

When Uflric escaped from prison and was named jarl, the Order of the Bear allied with the newly formed Stormcloak rebels. They fought alongside the rebels in the Reach, and were instrumental in taking the city of Markarth. They also fought at the battle of Solitude, and defeated general Tullius' elite guard while Ulfric and his companions confronted the general. After Elisif fled the city and Ulfric was made High King, the order grew slightly less close to the new ruler, as he imposed strict sanctions on non-Nords in the province.

The order eventually took fort Kastav from a group of necromancers, and repaired the place, making it into their headquarters. From there, the order fought against several nearby bandit groups, and assisted the Stormcloaks in reclaiming several forts from bandits. They became known throughout Skyrim for being honourable, even for knightly orders.

Branded as traitors Edit

A year into Ulfrics' reign, he was assassinated by unknown assailants. Shortly afterwards, the Imperials moved back into Skyrim, reigniting the civil war. Bound by honour, the knights of the Bear joined forces with the Stormcloaks once more. The Imperials made quick progress into Skyrim, backed by three holds, and Imperial loyal Nordic-militias. The order advanced and met the legion in battle at the northern battle of the Pale and Whiterun holds. This was one of the only three battles the Stormcloaks won against the rejuvenated Imperial forces in Whiterun hold.

Despite this, the knights were inevitably over extended, and a number of them retreated to fort Fellhammer. The fort was eventually besieged, and the knights there died fighting, alongside the Stormcloak army. The order eventually regrouped at the village of Coalharbour, and assisted a Stormcloak force in defeating the Imperials near the settlement.

The knights also fought at the disastrous battle of Kynesgrove, and lost a large chunk of their number to a disciplined, fresh Imperial army, who crushed the Stormcloaks and their allies. The head of the order, Curnam Jorbensson, also was killed. The remnants of the order retreated to Refugees' Rest, north east of Windhelm, where they were joined by a Stormcloak force marching from the capital of Eastmarch.

Whether than being used as shock troops, as had been common so far in the war, the Stormcloak general ordered the knights to assault and destroy an Imperial camp, filled with wounded soldiers. The general intended to severely demoralize the legion troops, and remove the dozens of wounded from the equation. The knights, repulsed at being ordered to essentially throw aside their honour, deserted the Stormcloak army to a man.

This lead to several disastrous defeats for the Stormcloaks, and eventually allowed the Imperials to take the city of Dawnstar, which had long been protected by the knights. In an act of retribution, the jarls and generals leading the Stormcloaks branded the Order of the Bear traitors. The knights were hunted by Nord 'loyalists' throughout the tundra kingdom, further whittling down their numbers.

Eventually, the remaining knights, under Magnar Blackboar, settled in the city of Bruma. The knights there defended the surrounding countryside against bandits and monsters, much like they had in Skyrim. Though their numbers never grew as large as they had been in Skyrim.

End of the Order Edit

The Order of the Bear became known as honourable protectors in Bruma and the surrounding region. They were among the first to respond when reports of villagers, merchants and travelers disappearing on the road reached them. Unfortunately, like most of Tamriel, they were too late to react before the Blight emerged. After a series of bloody battles with the Blight, the few remaining knights of the Bear withdrew to the city walls. After a short siege, the Blight assaulted the walls, and breached the gates. Magnar Blackboar fell defending the shattered gates, with his fellow knights falling soon after. The city itself fell a day later.

Training and organization Edit

The knights of the Bear were known for their honour, but also their ferocity in battle. They were trained to fight in groups and in the more common one on one duels. As with most Nords, they had a natural resistance to cold, making them especially resistant to cold based spells, and granting them greater endurance in the elements.

OotB Knight

Bear knight with warhammer.

The order trained and fought in heavy armour, which raised their endurance to higher than normal. Unlike most knights, the Order of the Bear preferred to wield warhammers, axes, and maces in battle. Elite knights of the order, were granted specialized maces, with blades forged in the shape of a bears head.

Rank organization was seperated between lesser, more common knights, and elite Bear knights, who wielded Nordic carved shields, usually with maces, though axes weren't unheard of. The Order, like most, were lead by a master, who commanded his fellows both on and off the battlefield.

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