Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Moving Mountains
Less than a year after the loss of his village, Cub wakes up in his makeshift shelter one day and finds that his supplies are running low. The morning he intended for improving his sword fighting skills quickly turned into a hunt for more food as he searched the surrounding area. Although Cub had tried his hand at gardening food and herbs nine times prior, all of his attempts failed to produce anything edible. Fortunately, the area he had set up camp in was home to several species of berry bushes and fruit trees. Unfortunately, Cub already picked through all of the ones closest to his camp, and so, cursing his ravenous appetite, he gathered the supplies he had left and set out to find more.
After two hours of hiking, Cub sat down on a large rock and sighed. Having spent the last of his rations, his stomach rumbled for more, prompting a frustrated stare from its owner. Just when he was on the verge of giving into a fit of rage, the sound of something flapping in the air drew Cub to look up. Sure enough, a bald eagle guided above him towards a small range about a half an hours walk away from where Cub sat. Curiosity peaked, Cub decided on following the eagle in hopes of finding more food.
His suspicions proved to be fruitful as, when Cub drew closer to the range, he saw a bundle of berry bushes up on a ledge the smaller mountain in front of him. Flying up to it, Cub thought he would eat soon enough, but instead was attacked by the eagle he'd seen earlier. He supposed that the eagle's nest was nearby and it was protected its territory. However, Cub was too hungry to simply fly away; he was leaving with those berries whether the eagle liked it or not. So, they fought in the air together, Cub dodging the eagle's talons while attacking it with his dagger.
His efforts were futile, however, especially since the air was the eagle's home turf. After a hard hit to one of his wings, Cub fell towards the rocks below him and knew that he wouldn't catch his balance in time. He tensed, expecting a world of hurt, only to instead feel something cushion his fall. Confused, Cub looked around and felt the area around him. He couldn't have missed the rock and he certainly felt its rough surface surrounding him, and yet he was perfectly unharmed. He wouldn't have time to wonder, though, as the eagle pressed the attack once more, but this time, when Cub raised his hands to guard his head, two stones were hurled at the eagle and hit it in the body.
The eagle flew off, too hurt to continue, while Cub grappled with the fact that he had just moved solid stone without trying. Attempting the movement again, Cub raised his hands in a guard position, but nothing happened. He tried again, but nothing. Finally, he tried again while replicating how he felt when the eagle was attacking him, and this time, two smaller stones broke a wa at from the ground near his feet and flew up. There was no doubt in Cub's mind now that he had, in fact, bent earth.
Cub returned to his shelter that night with a pouchful of berries and newfound abilities as he immediately tried other movements to see if he could replicate what he did before. He kept this up for a good few days (with breaks in between) until he could successfully lift stones with his mind. From there, he tried other movements and surrounded by other materials and, over time, discovered that he could do likewise with dirt, sand, and even plants and trees! Although, moving each one in kind was, in and of itself, a new obstacle to overcome.
Dirt and sand were especially difficult for Cub to get a solid hold of since they kept falling apart whenever he tried moving them. As for plants and trees, although he learned quickly how to manipulate the roots and accelerate growth, actually moving them was nearly impossible for Cub. Nevertheless, though the abilities he did possess, gardening wasn't so difficult anymore. Finally, moving solid rock was the most physically straining for him. Lifting stones and altering their shape was much like trying to do so without magic. However, over time, Cub discovered that altering stone to encase his body like armor worked much easier, but because he couldn't move like this, he only encased his hands and feet whenever he used it in this way.
Cub found his training sessions much more exciting now that he had earth magic, but he also learned how dangerous it could be as well: Occasionally, whenever he was angry or frustrated, he would throw a stone without thinking or cause a miniature earthquake. On one occasion, while he was being attacked by a wild animal, he meant to hit it with a slap of rock but accidentally flattened it instead. As a result, Cub grew nervous about his Earth magic and decided to exercise more restraint. The last thing he wanted was to hurt someone without proper cause, but even so, it comforted him knowing that the earth that surrounded him could be used as protection and a weapon.