Clanleader: Branthur Nightriver
High Priestess: Alvilde Frosttide
Warleader: To Be Determined
Of the Ulven clans, Nightriver boasts both the largest population and the most expansive territory. Sharing a northern border with Clans Goldenfield and Riverhead, Clan Nightriver’s territory stretches to the southern tip of the Mardrun mainland, enveloping the eastern Watchwolf settlement as well. To the west, their border with Clan Grimward is fortified by both the Yurnai river and the Wolf’s Hackles Mountains.
Led by Branthur Nightriver, Clan Nightriver has long held a place of respect among the other clans, both for their bold leadership and through their sheer numbers. As diverse a clan as any through the virtue of their massive population and expansive territory, there are times when it seems that little more than pride binds the many packs of Nightriver into a single clan.
This great diversity, however, may have been the saving grace for the colonists from Faedrun. Following the initial fighting, Clan Nightriver was one of the first, alongside Clan Watchwolf to not only tolerate but also welcome their new guests. By Branthur’s hand, sizeable chunks of Nightriver territory were set aside for the colonists to make new homes for themselves. During the Civil War, it was the warpacks of Clan Nightriver who stood as the shield between Clan Grimward and the colonists they sought to exterminate. In the end it was a final charge led by Branthur himself that broke the Grimward lines at the Battle of Pyre Hills and halted Clan Grimward’s momentum, forcing an uneasy peace across Mardrun.
Though large and self-sustaining, Clan Nightriver has long worked to maintain strong ties to a number of various clans for a number of reasons: Goldenfield helps to sustain their population during hard winters; Stormjarl moves trade goods and helps their economy remain strong; Steinjottun provides them with high quality hawks to enhance their political presence; Shattered Spear will often loan warriors to Nightriver during months of little Mordok activity, with the understanding that the favor will be returned when the Mordok re-emerge. Even Clan Grimward long stood as staunch allies of Clan Nightriver, and together the two clans would be nearly unstoppable, though that alliance was ended when a number of colonists gravely insulted Khulgar Graytide and Clan Nightriver did not demand justice.
Their great reach and large number of well-trained and honorable warriors often see them falling into the role of enforcers across the continent, though they do make an effort not to impose their own will in these matters. Branthur may be bold, but he does realize that if he makes the wrong enemies, not even the great size of Nightriver can save his clan.
In an unfortunate revelation, late in the year 264 it was brought to light that Kragen Bloodmoon, the former Warleader of Clan Nightriver, had betrayed the honor of his clan. During the initial fighting against the colonists, he had assumed a false name and identity when challenged to an Honor Duel by the Vandregonian soldier Vanessa Grimm. He doubted her skill and taunted her mercilessly, though she overcame him through her tenacity, winning the day for the colonists. Infuriated, one of Kragen’s warrior leaders ordered his warpack to wait until cover of night, at which point they snuck into the Vandregonian camp and slaughtered the soldiers in their sleep. Instead of bringing this to light, this secret was buried and his warpack threatened with a traitor’s execution should the secret be revealed. When Branthur was finally made aware of the events which had soiled the honor of not just Clan Nightriver, but the Ulven as a whole, he ordered Kragen be executed and his body buried, that the Great Wolf might know of the dishonorable deeds committed by the traitor Kragen Bloodmoon.
Seeing the plea for aid sent out by Clan Stormjarl, Clanleader Branthur Nightriver understands that their presence in this war can no longer be symbolic nor passive. If they wish to stop the unnecessary killing being perpetrated by both sides of the war, the largest clan on Mardrun has to get involved. Using their network of resources, Clan Nightriver begins funding relationships and dealings with smaller groups, allowing them to hold their own in skirmishes against Clan Grimward, and acting as a deterrent against Grimward retaliation. Their troops mobilized quickly, reinforcing their bond with their smaller allies and helping to secure an alliance with Clan Ironmound in April, despite the backlash of the initial reactions to the meeting. As war-torn lands were ravaged by Grimward and Whiteoak warriors villages swelled nearly to bursting with the influx of refugees throughout the year. Scandal struck late in the year as several individuals delved deeper into the truth behind the honor duel which took place nearly a decade before and ended the initial fighting between Ulven and Human. Through their digging, they discovered that Kragen Bloodmoon, Warleader of Clan Nightriver, was not only present for the duel, but had been the Ulven warrior who took part. His shame was revealed when he admitted to losing the fight, but dishonored himself by assassinating the entire human unit who witnessed the duel in their sleep and swearing his warpack to secrecy. He was apprehended, branded, executed, and buried as a criminal and a disgrace to Clan Nightriver. When Haygreth led his blitzkrieg into Nightriver territory as the year drew to a close, hoping to remain a threat in the war at large despite his tenuous position, Branthur himself marched out to meet the Grimward forces in battle, accompanied by nearly every group in the Coalition capable of fielding soldiers in the battle that came to be known as Pyre Hills. Though the losses were enormous on both sides, Nightriver and the Coalition eventually emerged victorious. With Grimward repelled and their momentum halted, Branthur was finally in a position to force Haygreth to sign an armistice, effectively ending the war, though Haygreth’s presence (and Branthur’s absence) at the signing led to the treaty being weighted more in favor of Clan Grimward than many in the Coalition wanted to see.