The ancients knew that bear mothers licked their young into shape. (So do dragons by the way, which is how humans force captive dragons to make dragonborn.) The substance we call bear cubs is malleable. They too can be licked into a humanoid form, but the bears will not do this themselves.
Hex #2131- Fort Bitterfruit
d8 Signs of the fort:
- Signs: "KILL A BEAR? LOSE AN EAR"
- Traders wearing bells, stowing by hanging them from a tree
- Bearcatchers returning to the fort
- Long scratches along trees
- All the good firewood has been taken
- Old bottles and tobacco ash
- Local tribal humanoids at ease, friendlier than normal
- He has brewed a bear in his stomach and licked it into the shape of a woman, his "daughter" Bela. He doesn't know it, but this is actually quite close to how bugbears first came about.
- He has brewed three "green-bears", silent and camouflaged predators who understand his commands.
- He has brewed two riding bears, and is breeding them.
- He has brokered a partnership with local tribes on this "borderland," actually fostering the closest thing to harmony between "civilized" and marginalized folks for a thousand miles.
- He has a steady supply of bears coming in from all over the area, all the better for his militia to drink their children.
- His chemical knowledge is a boon to frontier life, and folk from miles around come to him for remedies.
- His daughter wants to see the world, but he is far too attached to let her have her own life.
- He actually brewed a fourth green-bear, but it disappeared after he struck it.
- He can't actually get his riding bears to bang.
- Strange creatures are emerging from a hidden underground tomb, threatening to displace his local allies.
- Newcomers keep stirring shit up with the locals, or worse yet kill a bear in the wild.
- He is running out of weird superfoods to experiment with in the bear-fermenting process.
- This could be a random feature in a hex, with many hooks to hang existing material from your hexcrawl.
- It could be the home base for a dungeon crawl.
- Pheloc could run some antagonistic operation for PCs to thwart.
- By the same token, he could be a frontier ally for the players to flee to.