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They had found him at long last. After Scoresby’s airboat had been hit by the storm, Iorek had no choice but to continue on and protect Roger the best he could. Lyra was determined to find her father, a man called Lord Asriel, and he would keep his promise and serve her till the end. That was what Panserbjorn did, and there had never been a promise Iorek couldn’t keep. How she had managed to get to Iofur’s palace, he did not know, but he owed everything to her for giving him back his rightful place on the throne.

Lyra held onto his fur tightly as they trampled through the snow, his armor clinking and the cold wind ruffling his fur. Why Lord Asriel took Roger with him, they did not know, but Iorek had a bad feeling in his gut, and was more than willing to do what he had to in order to protect Lyra and her friend. The Northern Lights loomed up in the sky in front of them, and the bear-king halted as they topped the crest of a snowy bank. A cliff spread itself in front of them, and a thin icy bridge was all that offered crossing. Iorek approached the bridge slowly, placing the weight of one of his paws onto the bridge.

A discouraging creaking sound warned him of what his weight would do if he attempted to cross it. He vowed to assist Lyra to victory, and if he attempted to cross the bridge as well, it would break, thus preventing her from finding her friend and father. “…Go on ahead,” he told her. “I’ll be right here, behind you.” The girl looked uneasy, but her determination eventually won out as she crossed the bridge. The Panserbjorn began to pace, not liking the fact that he had to be left behind to watch the events progress. He could see the tiny forms of Roger, Lord Asriel, Lyra, and Pantalaimon. He couldn’t tell what was going on or what they were saying. He felt helpless in this situation, and there was nothing that a Panserbjorn hated more.

Growing impatient, he had half a mind to try and find another way around, but a sudden burst of light and energy took him by surprise. He could only stare as the sky was ripped apart, and a gaping hole was left in its stead. He could see sunlight and strange trees through the hole, and a sick taste started to form in his mouth. To add insult to injury, the woman - Mrs. Coulter was what Lyra called her - had arrived, somehow managing to find a way around the big gap that separated him from his charge. The bear growled deep in his throat, his dark eyes looking for any sign of Lyra. He couldn’t see them - he didn’t know what had happened. To his relief, however, the woman left. Well. There’s one less problem to have to deal with, he thought.

To his horror, however, Lord Asriel climbed through the hole in the sky. No one had to tell Iorek twice what that would mean: Lyra would follow. Letting out a roar as he saw Lyra and Pantalaimon emerge from the snow and approach the hole to that strange sun-filled world, he could only watch helplessly as the two disappeared through the tear in the heavens. They were gone. There was nothing he could now, except to wait and see if she would come back out. He sat in the snow, watching the tear intently for what seemed to be hours.

…She didn’t come back out. Iorek sighed, knowing that for now, his promise was put on hold, and he was needed back to fight with his brethren. Turning, Iorek ran back into the blistering wind, his paws digging into the snow as he ran back to the battle, his blood turning hot. He would punish all of his enemies for what had happened, and swore to protect Lyra as soon as she returned from her journey that he could not follow. And when she did return, he would keep his promise. That is what Panserbjorn did.

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August 2011

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