"No beast is more beloved by Dirthamen than the bear. When the world was new, Dirthamen gave one secret to each creature to keep. The foxes traded their secrets to Andruil for wings. The hares shouted theirs to the treetops. The birds sold theirs for gold and silver. Only the bears kept Dirthamen's gift, deep within their dens, they slept the months away in the company of their secrets and nothing else.
When Dirthamen discovered what had been done with his gifts, he snatched the wings from the foxes, silenced the voices of the hares, and turned the birds into paupers. but the bears he honored for their steadfastness."
--Transcribed from a Dalish tale, 9:8 Dragon.
Normally, it is almost unheard of for bears to attack travelers. They are, in fact, so shy and so inactive during the day that most people never encounter a bear at all. However, should a bear be provoked, they are remarkably dangerous. The normally placid-seeming creatures become enraged, and can strike massive blows with their paws, capable of knocking a man off his feet.