Baelmus the Warrior
Long ago, there was a terrible forest fire raging, and many animals and plants perished. But the mouse kept running, even though the mouse could not run faster than the fire. The mouse ran from one tree to another, asking them for protection.
First the mouse ran to the bigleaf maple tree, and cried out for help and protection, but the big leaf maple said, "I can't survive this fire." Then the mouse ran to the red cedar, and the red cedar also said, "I can't survive this fire." The mouse went to many different trees, but he kept getting the same answer. Finally he went to the douglas fir tree and said, "Help! Help! Can you protect me from this terrible forest fire?" "Yes I can," answered the douglas fir. "Climb inside the scales of my cones." So the mouse climbed inside the scales of the douglas fir cones, and many other mice did the same. The fire passed them by, and they survived. This is why the douglas fir cones have tails emerging from beneath their scales.
That mouse's name is Baelmus, and after that fire left, Baelmus emerged from the douglas fir cone and saw how the fire had destroyed all the other trees, and many other plants and animals that could not find protection. So he decided, in return for the protection Father Cedar had given him through the douglas fir, he would become a warrior to protect others, and therefore share the protection he was gifted with. So he made a deal with the spirit of the douglas fir, and Father Cedar, that if they would make him powerful and immune to any great heat or fire, he would use it to protect others. When this happened, he was transformed into a man wearing wooden plated armor.
Baelmus has been seen by a few people over many centuries. He appears as a tall, brown-skinned, very hairy man, clad in leather, barefoot, with wooden armor on his body. His hair is short, and his eyes glow red like flames. His nails are sharp claws, and his teeth are jagged and ferocious. He moves quick, and is able to scurry about like a mouse, even with armor on. He can climb faster than a monkey, and he bears a flaming tomahawk that can create lightning. With his tomahawk he can either extinguish the greatest flames, or create them, with a single blow. He blends in perfectly with the trees, but every once in a while, he may for whatever reasons allow people a brief glimpe of his protective presence.