Bears are large, hairy mammals which have been hunted by humans of The Land since the time of Connor and Brigid. While they have never been domesticated (except as circus acts), they have always served as a valuable source of meat and fur. They live mostly in forested areas, which means they have been found in virtually every area where people have founded villages. However, over the centuries they have largely been supplanted by other species as sources of both meat and fur. So far three distinct species of bears have been discovered on the Land. The earliest known type is the "honey bear," so named for its well-known appreciation of the sap of honeytrees; honey bears exist throughout much of the explored area of First Land, as well as in the forests outside Tanq and Triscot. The second species to be discovered was the "black bear," so named for the color of its fur. These exist in the forest outside Plist, which is where the first ones were found when that village was settled in LY 500; however, they were later found to be more common in the northern areas of Near Land and on Rain Isle (the area collectively known since the Coming of the Order as the Northern Alliance). The third species was discovered in 885, when explorers found Second Ice (the continent surrounding the North Pole). These bears were named "nanook," which is a Terran subword. All three of these species of bears are known to exist on Earth, and the names used for them here are also used there, though Terrans also have other names for each of the species.
Young bears are called "cubs." While it is rare to use specific terms for male or female bears (most commonly called just that: "male bear" or "female bear"), males are sometimes called "boars" (not to be confused with boars) and females may be called "sows."