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Pack Sjóúlfur

Pack Sjóúlfur is a secluded pack that dwells on the Eastern Shores of Mardrun, with their village built into the cliffs that overhang the Sea. They worship the Wolf Sjóúlfur under the Great Wolf. Among the Ulven in Sjóúlfur, women and men are treated as equals, and each expected to carry their own weight. Each member of the pack is gifted with a Guardian Spirit by Sjóúlfur at birth. This spirit is believed to reflect and shape their character, and protect them throughout their lives.

The Sjóúlfur pack is a very close knit community. Sjóúlfur Ulven are renowned for their fierce loyalty to each other and their allies in times of need. Since they live on the far Eastern shore, they tend to stay out of Human and Syndar politics and keep to themselves. Their only true, mortal enemy is the Mordok.

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Ulven FAQ

ULVEN FAQ

“…and when she saw the beast in all his terrible beauty, she knew he was for her. She took him as her lover and lost herself in his fury, just as he was lost in the depths of her calm; they were one, and the result of their union was the Ulven

-From the Song of Creation, Lycanthia Moonsinger, Ulven High Priestess

The Ulven People

The Ulven culture is one of duality. They attempt to live in harmony with nature, taking only what they need, while at the same time call for the complete extermination of the Mordok race. This duality can perhaps be explained by the religion of the Ulven; in their central creation myth, Gaia was the first woman, living in harmony with the creatures of the forest, loving and caring for them as they did for her. One day she came upon the bloody remains of a stag, torn limb from limb by a wild beast. The stag was so large she could not imagine the creature capable of killing it. She knew she must see this great beast with her own eyes, so she began tracking it. After many days and nights, and many more carcasses, she saw him. Perched on the edge of a cliff was the largest wolf she had ever seen. His fur was black as the night sky and his eyes were the color of the sun. As she stood there in awe, The Great Wolf did something she did not expect: he threw back his head, opened wide his mouth, and sang to the moon. The song was long and lonely, filled with rage and sorrow, and she was in love. Gaia took the Great Wolf as her mate, and the joining of such rage and sadness with such peace and harmony created the Ulven.

Ulven daily life is mostly centered around the pack – perhaps the single most complicated word in the Ulven language, loaded with meaning and subtle distinctions depending on the context and circumstances of its use. Although the word ‘pack’ is used to describe everything from a close family unit to the entire Ulven race, it is also used to indicate political membership, much like how a human would say they are from Vandregon or a Syndar from Tielorrien, although the nature of packs is such that they are smaller than the various kingdoms of Humans and Syndar. A pack is many things – family, friends, comrades, and lovers – and any Ulven will tell you that their pack is the most important thing to them.

Much as a group of Ulven form a pack, a group of packs form a Clan. Much more political than familial, Clans are a closer analogue to the Human and Syndar nations on Faedrun, with each Clan having distinct customs, modes of dress, social rules, and other cultural mores. It is difficult to rally an entire Clan to do anything – few Ulven see the point, as the point of these Clans are guidance, organization of territory for hunting and farming, and the recognition of a single leader from amongst the packs in an area. The first encounter with the Ulven occurred with members of Clan Nightriver, who graciously ceded some of their territory after long negotiations with the Colonists.

Contrary to what most people believe, the majority of Ulven are not warriors. While all Ulven pride themselves on the ability to fight if need arises, the warrior caste is something else entirely. Most Ulven live what would be considered a normal life: they work trades, raise children, and strive to enjoy all that life has to offer. While deceptively simple – there is no such thing as an Ulven noble – they do possess an appreciation for beauty and aesthetics, with many skilled craftsmen, musicians, and artists. All Ulven strive for greatness in their chosen profession, as this will make it more likely that The Great Wolf will recognize them when he comes across them in the afterlife. One of the greatest compliments an Ulven can give is to say that “His ears will ring with your name” – to an Ulven, this means that the recipient is so good at what they do, The Great Wolf is sure to have heard their name over and over again.

The Ulven afterlife is referred to as The Journey, with a number of rituals associated with this process. It begins with freeing the soul with fire – the Ulven believe that burying a body prevents the soul from passing on, as it would be trapped beneath the world If there is no way to burn the body, an Ulven would rather let it rot in the sun than to bury it in the earth. The first part of The Journey is an area much like the wild, untamed forests of Mardrun. This is where The Great Wolf prowls, feeding on all those unworthy to continue through these forests. The Ulven believe the only way to prevent The Great Wolf from devouring a departed soul is to tell him their name. If he has heard it enough times, he will know them by their deeds and allow them safe passage through the first stage of the Journey.

As part of their beliefs, the Ulven seem entirely certain that the Mordok share the same afterlife – or, at the very least, that they begin their Journey in the same place as the Ulven. If a warrior dies a violent death, The Great Wolf will ask who sent them on the Journey. A soul must answer truthfully, and so the renown of warriors is found in the souls that have passed before them as much as it is found in the stories of their deeds. This may, perhaps, explain some of the Ulven’s tendency towards a war-like culture, despite this warrior culture seeming completely at odds with their philosophy of never making war upon one another.

Ulven People as a Whole

To truly understand the Ulven, it is necessary to look at how they have organized themselves. They are a communal people – as one might expect from their religious beliefs, it is more important to excel in a specialization within the community than it is to live as a lone figure at the edge of society, and so their internal structure reflects this.

  • The Family is the basic unit of Ulven culture. It is a group of Ulven related by blood and bond, acting as the closest relationship that any group can have. Typically containing three to twenty Ulven, a family is a close unit, with the prototypical Ulven family living and working together on a small farm. Families are typically multi-generational and tied to a specific piece of land with well-defined borders. All members of a family will share a last name – this is oftentimes a matronymic, related to the place-name, or otherwise taken from the history of the family – although when dealing with outsiders, they will refer to themselves by their Pack or Clan.
  • The Pack, in its most rigid definition, occupies the space between the Family and the Clan. Typically, a Pack is a grouping of at least four families who are near to one another, share some customs, and have decided to establish themselves as an independent entity within their Clan. The formation of a Pack is not an especially rigorous process – all it takes is the mutual recognition of each of the families in the Pack’s area, and the willingness to band together. Packs typically take their name from the largest family in the Pack.
  • The Clan is the largest communal entity of the Ulven, defined by rigorous political and cultural borders. As a rule, Clans are the most rigid entities – it is very difficult to form a new Clan, and they all share certain internal values and cultural rules, although there can be differing customs within various Packs in a Clan. Clans are mostly political entities, existing as a united beacon of Ulven culture and dividing up the land that the Ulven are expected to act as caretakers for – if a Clan cannot defend or maintain its borders, then it may be absorbed by another Clan, or a new Clan may form. Clans take their name from the founding Pack, and if a new Pack gains dominance through politics, they are expected to change their name to that of the Clan – the Clans are the most permanent thing, and enough of Ulven identity is defined by Clan ties that a sense of continuity is important. The formation of a Clan is not a simple undertaking – it is a conscious decision by a number of Packs that they have taken stewardship of their land, that they share certain basic tenants and values, and it must be recognized by the other Clans, each of which may pose a test of their choosing. The formation of Clans is something for sagas and stories, rather than a fact of everyday life.
  • Hunting Party is a group of Ulven dedicated to a single goal – as the name suggests, this is oftentimes related to the hunting of game or Mordok, but the actual word in Old Ulven refers to a sort of ‘searching’ – a Hunting Party can be formed to seek out truth or a certain flower, for example. They oftentimes take members from several Packs, and when their goal is accomplished, they are dissolved. The formation of a Hunting Party requires only the support of a Pack’s Chieftain.
  • War Party is the closest thing the Ulven have to armies, formed from within a Clan during times of great crisis. While Ulven are prone to feuds and squabbles amongst the various Packs in their Clans, the calling of a War Party means that there is a dire threat at hand. Grudges are set aside, a name is chosen, and those involved temporarily take it on while working towards their cause – much like a Hunting Party, although a War Party calls only upon warriors.

As one might expect, these are only the common types of groups amongst the Ulven people. There are a number of specialized groups within the Ulven, although they can all be said to fit into these categories. At the same time, the Ulven rarely care what is used to describe the relationship between them – there is an old adage, “Family for blood, Pack for bond, and Clan for both,” that describes some of the casual attitudes towards this.

Ulven Naming Conventions

As the organization above might suggest, Ulven have a number of possible names by which they might be known, which seems to contradict their religious beliefs. Far from it, these names are meant to sum up the totality of the Ulven whom they describe, and they are used depending on circumstances.

As an example, the name “Njáll Frusnaskägg, of Pack Black Owl, in the territory of Clan Ironmound” would be quite complicated to say. In cases when he would be meeting those outside of Ironmound’s territory, he would refer to himself as Njáll Ironmound. Within Ironmound, he would be Njáll Black Owl, as they would be aware of his Clan allegiance and would instead want to know his Pack. Within his Pack, he would be called Njáll Frusnaskägg – or by a nickname, most likely.

All of this, however, is when things are at their most complex. Many Ulven choose to avoid dealing with these varied layers of names, and instead refer to themselves by a single name – typically choosing their surname according to those they feel the closest to, even in formal situations. This naming convention is more common when listing their genealogy in a saga or when introducing oneself as a diplomatic envoy than in everyday usage, and it is a rare thing indeed to hear an Ulven detail their entire identity in a casual conversation.

Ulven Ceremonies

With few exceptions, Ulven ceremonies are held outside, as their connection to nature and Mother Gaia is seen as the most important part of these rituals. While the details tend to vary from Pack to Pack (and even amongst some families within Packs), rituals fall into four categories:

  • Rituals which celebrate life are always held outdoors. This includes such rituals as the birth of children, the official joining of a family into a Pack, or the celebration of the changing seasons by the Ulven. These rituals are always conducted by the most senior priestess of Gaia available, as female Ulven are seen as having the closest connection to life and the natural world.
  • Rituals which commemorate death are also held outdoors, as the Ulven believe that spirits must be let free in nature. Unlike the above rituals, they need not necessarily be held by a priestess – Warleaders, Chieftains, and other Pack Leaders may perform these rituals no matter their gender.
  • Casual rituals, of the sort that vary greatly from Pack to Pack, tend to have their own rules and idiosyncrasies amongst the Ulven. They are rarely celebrated outside of their territory of origin, and there are a countless number of these, ranging from superstitions about when to plant crops and images of warding designed to ward off cats trained to steal butter.
  • Formal rituals and festivals are a special case amongst the Ulven – there are several feast days during the year, each of which have proscribed traditions that are nearly uniform across the Ulven people. All of them require a specific figure to perform the ritual – in some cases, an Ulven male who has just been given the Mark of the Wolf upon them, and in others, a great warrior who knows that the Journey is soon to take her away.

The details of many Ulven rituals are kept secret – there is a degree of initiation necessary to understand the mysteries reflected by them, and much as the whole of Gaia’s splendor is unknowable, so too is the sheer depth and complexity of Ulven religion.

The Structure of Ulven Society

Ulven society is, at first glance, egalitarian in its treatment of its members – gender makes no difference in your ability to plow a field or swing an axe, after all. Upon further examination, it is clear that the true power in Ulven society is held by the women – they are the priestesses, Witches, and Daughters, who guide the Ulven people in their journey through the world. This is not to say that Ulven men are treated poorly; they are merely tasked with fewer responsibilities to Gaia, and thus, they bear a lighter burden in life. The roles taken are not strict, either – words are rarely spoken as commands, but rather as advice, which is often taken quickly and quietly.

Ulven society is quite hierarchical in some senses – while there is little in terms of “rank” in their society, there are certain stratified positions in the hierarchies of Clans, Packs, and Families.

  • The Chieftain is ostensibly the highest-ranking member of a Clan or Pack. They are entrusted with being the official voice of the group, and it is under their guidance that all decisions are made. The Chieftain of a Clan is called a Clanleader – they are always the Chieftain of their Pack, and are chosen based on their ability to lead, rather than on blood ties.
  • The Daughter of Gaia is the spiritual leader of a Clan or Pack – while it is a general term for an Ulven priestess, it has special connotations when discussing the hierarchy of a group, as they are expected to tend to the needs of their pack on spiritual matters. The Daughter of a Clan is referred to as a High Priestess – she is considered the highest-ranking Daughter of Gaia in the Clan’s territory, and is often required to make difficult decisions regarding the Clan’s connection to Gaia’s will.
  • The Warleader is the chosen champion of a Clan. Chosen for their ability in combat, as well as their judgment, they serve as an arbiter between the Clanleader and the High Priestess in a group of Ulven, reflecting on the role that the Great Wolf plays in Ulven society. Unlike the other two positions, there is no distinction made between a Pack’s Warleader and a Clan’s – they are seen as analogous, but a Pack may sometimes choose and title a Champion as their best fighter. The Warleader’s role is to serve as the protector of the group’s honor through combat, although the interpretation of the meaning of ‘combat’ is not always the simple lifting of a blade – some legendary Warleaders have won through cunning arguments and intelligence, rather than the might of their arms.

Though these are the general positions, it is also important to note how decisions are made among Clans. The Warleader, High Priestess, and Clanleader each have their own Circle, taken from the political, spiritual, and martial leadership from within the Packs that make up the Clan. When a Clan would make a decision, the three Circles are called together, with each raising their points and seeking consensus. As one might expect, this can be an arduous process – the Ulven react quickly to small changes, but large ones can lead to endless infighting and confusion.

There are Ulven who live outside of this Pack structure, as well – Severed Ulven, whose ties to their Pack have been severed for crimes committed against the Ulven, are seen as outsiders to Ulven society. While they might find a place in another Pack or Clan, far from their home, they are permanently marked as outsiders and betrayers of their original home.

The Lorespeakers are another group within Ulven society who find themselves outside of the normal bonds of Ulven society – having ceremonially severed their ties with Pack, Clan, and name, they are in a unique position of honored outsiders. Wandering from Pack to Pack, retelling the stories of the Ulven, they turn themselves into living representatives of stories and sagas of the Ulven as a whole, bringing news, spreading the stories of the dead to other Clans, and making sure that the stories are being told correctly. They are sometimes considered to be the representatives of the Great Wolf, as the Daughters are to Gaia, and while their words are seen as advisory, they are merely tolerated outcasts – separate, yet vital, to Ulven society. This is in part due to their migratory nature, and in part due to their oaths to the Great Wolf – they rely entirely on the hospitality of the Ulven as a whole, seeing how the Clans can support one outside of their known bonds. Each Lorespeaker has a duty to train their successor in the correct recitation of the stories and sagas before their death, with the duty often falling to orphans and other outsiders in Ulven society.

The Religion and Beliefs of the Ulven

Aside from the aforementioned ceremonies, the Ulven view religion in a much different way than Humans or Syndar. Their spiritual beliefs are personal, everyday observances and superstitions, each meant to aid them. There are no formal temples for the Ulven – their altars are the mountains, their hymns the breeze moving in the trees, and their goddess is all that surrounds them.

When matters of spiritual guidance are required, the Ulven turn to the Daughters of Gaia – these priestesses and witches are the physical representatives of their nature goddess, Gaia, the mother of all the Ulven people. She is a caring mother, guiding her children with love and a stern countenance. They know that, above all, it is their duty to live in harmony with the world that Gaia presides over. Her word, and the word of her representatives, is seen as the most binding of all edicts in Ulven society – even if they would never admit it. She is nature itself to the Ulven – caring and kind, as reflected in the bountiful crops of Goldenfield, yet at times as forceful and unpredictable as the squalls off the Stormjarl’s coasts.

As every light casts a shadow, so too does Gaia have her companion – the Great Wolf, father of the Ulven people. While Gaia is caring, the Great Wolf is stern, always looking to test his children. His name is invoked for the memories of great warriors, for the binding of oaths in warfare and combat, and in the celebration of a well-told story. The Great Wolf has no formal priests – the closest he has to representatives are the Lorespeakers, who play a similar role in testing the Ulven and reminding them of their duties. To an outsider, the Great Wolf is seen as the absent father – they know better, however, as he is a watchful protector who defends them from the wilds that Ulven may never know. All he asks in return is that they guard the lands he has given to them; these lands, the body of Gaia, are his bride, and his children must defend it.

Beyond Gaia and the Great Wolf, there are any number of lesser spirits and deities that the Ulven pay homage to, according to individual familial or pack customs. The most prominently known to the Colonists are Luna and Sol, patrons of the Watchwolves, representing the eternal dance of the Sun and Moon over the land of Mardrun. These lesser patrons are always seen as subordinate helpers to Gaia or the Great Wolf – while they have no formal, organized worship in greater Ulven society, individuals and groups tend to worship them.

The Ulven also practice a form of ancestor worship, in the form of retelling the stories of past victories and honoring those that have come before them. Small tokens are often used to represent this – small charms, usually carved with the ancestor’s name, are considered to be good luck. As their ancestors have been burned and distributed to the world, there are no formal altars or burial sites, as are found in some human cultures.

The Ulven believe that the full moon is a time when the Great Wolf is listening more closely to their deeds, and so it is a time when warriors tend to conduct more attacks and raids on Mordok.The Ulven feel that an Ulven warrior slaying Mordok on a full moon is more likely to carry their deeds to the ears of the Great Wolf. This is also a time when many Ulven choose to perform their mating ceremony. Since it is commonly believed that the Great Wolf was singing to a full moon when he met Gaia, it is seen as a fortuitous time to begin a life together. Single male Ulven may also choose to sing to the full moon in hopes of attracting a mate

Whenever there is a Blood Moon, a red or copper tinged moon, it is considered a bad omen for the Ulven race. Witches will shut themselves away from the rest of the Pack and conduct rituals to return the moon to its normal state. It is believed that if the spiritual leaders of the Ulven do not wash the blood from the moon, the Mordok will become frenzied with blood lust and attack.

The Ulven Concept of Honor

Honor is, to an Ulven, the most important thing in their life. Personal, familial, Pack, and Clan honor are the guiding forces in their lives. While the system may be initially impenetrable to an outsider, there are certain points which can be clarified.

While there are certain parallels to be found in human cultures – namely the martial conduct of the Richtcrag or the work ethic of the Vandregonian peasants – Ulven honor is infinitely more complicated and seen as a nearly universal cultural more for them. There are distinct levels of honor found within the Ulven – the honor of the individual, the honor of a family, the Pack’s honor, and the honor of an entire Clan, each of which is reckoned with different ways.

Personal honor is the most familiar to outsiders to Mardrun. It is the individual standing of the Ulven in society – how his neighbors and family members see him, how his personal deeds are reckoned amongst the other Ulven, and the impression he makes upon the world. While it is often assumed to be merely martial in nature, anything an Ulven does can increase or damage their personal standing. While a great warrior is often reckoned as a great figure in Ulven society, there is honor in craftsmen and farmers as well. It is the pride in well-performed work, in excellence in personal skills, and the skills that an Ulven develops over their lifetime. Their honor is the impression that they leave on the world- the memories, the stories, and the legacy that they leave behind after death.

Familial honor is the tie that binds a group of Ulven close together. Each family in a Pack reckons their honor differently, for it is the bond that connects them together. It can be pride in their children, the home that they have erected on the lands, and the fields that are under their protection.

Pack honor is their standing within the Clan, and Clan honor is their overall esteem among the rest of the Clans of the Ulven. It is seen as the deeds that these Packs and Clans have performed – villages that have been erected, hunting parties sent against the Mordok, and great actions of diplomacy taken. These are the greatest undertakings of the Ulven – their racial honor is found in the Clans and Packs.

Dishonor and feuds are common amongst the Ulven, despite – or perhaps due to – their obsession with honor. Something as simple as a minor insult can lead to long conflicts between Packs as more and more members become embroiled in these feuds. Conflict rarely becomes violent to the point of death – minor brawls and fistfights are common between feuding Ulven, but drawn blades are seen as further dishonor. Should someone die as a result as a feud, it is damaging to the family’s honor to not avenge the death – usually through further violence.

Should violence escalate between groups of Ulven to the point where a feud cannot be resolved without combat, an honor duel will be staged. This ritualized duel most commonly takes the form of physical combat – each side chooses a representative, and the loser of the duel must admit that the matter is resolved. Duels rarely go to the death, although it has happened before, which may lead to further feuding. The honor duel between Axehound and White Oak is one such duel that escalated that way, although each Clan tells the story differently – both sides claim that it was their Champion who was slain by a cowardly blow by the other, and have been feuding ever since.

Another method for honor duels is common among the less martially-minded, known as flýtting – this ritualized series of insults is meant to resolve disputes between well-spoken Ulven, where the two square off, trading poetic insults and attempting to sway the crowd with their wordplay. This is a highly public event, as the judgment of the crowd is necessary to determine the victor of the duel. Despite the lack of violence, it is seen as just as honorable to win this type of duel – the Ulven are seeking to reconcile an insult, and this can be done so in any way that makes it clear that they are victorious. While flýtting is one variety, an honor duel can take many forms – games of skill, contests of magic between witches, and even relying on sheer chance to decide the outcome – although both Ulven must be very confident that Gaia will bless them with the luck to win over their opponent.

If a feud is spiraling out of control, then a Clanleader might need to intervene in order to try and restore order between the two feuding parties, although this is not always successful – the nature of feud is such that a few words cannot resolve deep-buried enmity between two parties. In cases where the feud is between Clans, then there is very little that can be done – to date, this has never occurred in Ulven history, although the recent actions of Grimward have made it quite difficult.

The recording of Honor Duels and their outcomes are a major subject in Ulven sagas. The most important honor duel in living memory is the duel which decided whether or not the Ulven would allow the Colonists to live on their land. The results of the duel itself are conflicted, and accounts are contradictory as to what actually happened on that fateful day – all that is known is that the Colonists were allowed to settle in some of the lands possessed by Clan Nightriver, which has been a continued source of conflict in Ulven society.

Warfare and Combat Amongst the Ulven

The Ulven do not go to war in a way that is familiar to the residents of Faedrun – they lacked words for ‘army’ and most of the structured military formations and ranks of the human. If the Ulven were to assemble a large army to attack the Mordok, they would simply disperse into the forests – this sort of combat is thus alien to their way of thinking. Their fighting is highly individualistic – small parties are organized in order to patrol large areas of forest, moving quickly and foraging in order to reduce the amount of baggage they need to carry.

Combat between Ulven, such as through feuds, is meant to show the losing side that they were defeated completely, and is meant to rarely lead to death. In a battle between two opposing groups of Ulven, the victor will typically work to help any fallen warriors, ransoming them back to their families in return for promises of labor, food, or service in the future. With the coming of the colonists to Mardrun, these type of feuds have grown deadlier and deadlier as idealogical lines are drawn between the Ulven.

In combat between Ulven, non-warriors are seen as exempt from these assaults. While there is honor in ambushing a well-armed hunting party, prepared to defend the village from their feuding opponents, there is no honor in attacking the villagers who support that hunting party.

Crime, Law, and Punishment

Law is not known to Ulven society – instead, there is honor, and to knowingly besmirch your own honor is tantamount to crime amongst the Ulven. Crimes are typically brought before the Chieftain or Clan Leader, depending on the severity of the crime. It is the duty of the offended party to bring this transgression before the appointed party, who will hear both sides of the case. Witnesses are called, and then both sides must find support for their cause among the spectators. Only when a majority have called for one side or the other is the case concluded. Petty insults and small transgressions are not seen as worth the time of the Clan Leader – indeed, an Ulven who attempts to call for “justice” too often in minor squabbles will find harsh punishments for not upholding their own honor and relying too heavily on their leaders, rather than on their individual ability.

The victor in a case is given the right to decide the punishment of the loser, within certain limits. A punishment that is too severe might lead to feuding, and one that is too light would not discourage further crimes. Typical punishments include periods of servitude to the offended party, restitution in the form of goods or labor, corporeal punishment in the form of branding or lashings, or, in severe cases, the banishment of the offending Ulven.

Banishment, referred to as ‘Severance’, is reserved for the most heinous crimes in Ulven society, all of which have specific definitions and precedent in saga. The most common crimes that lead to banishment from an Ulven clan are unjust killings within a Clan, rape, and arson – all of which are seen as the offending Ulven’s decision to sever themselves from Ulven society. They are permanently marked as severed from their Clan, with each Clan having a different mark – Clan Ironmound heats a dagger and burns the right hand of the outlaw, while Clan Goldenfield gives a series of elaborate facial tattoos that mark the wearer as severed from their ancestral lands. There is no rule against accepting an severed Ulven into a different Clan, although it is seen as somewhat dishonorable to the receiving Clan. There are even rumors of groups of severed Ulven forming small settlements on nearby islands or in remote regions, each bearing the marks of their severance.

Servitude is a common punishment for smaller transgressions, as it is seen as giving the offending Ulven a chance to repay the damages they have done to their society as a whole. This is not slavery, as the Ulven bound to service has rights and is respected. For example, if an Ulven was caught stealing from another, the punishment may be that the thief spends a year of their life working for or helping the victim’s family or pack. This could be farming, doing chores, or even being assigned as a bodyguard. This position of servitude is referred to as “Being honor-bound”

Different Clans have different customs and punishments for transgressions against other members of the Clan, as well as against outsiders. Although there is no unified “Law of the Ulven”, it is commonly accepted that a measure of respect is to be given to all other members of the Ulven race. This position has been expanded in light of the recent arrival of the Colonists, although certain Clans do not see the non-Ulven as worth the same respect as members of the race.

Death and Death-Customs

Ulven burn their dead on a pyre after telling stories of their heroic deeds – this is seen as a time when even those who hated the Ulven might acknowledge the mark that they have made upon the world. Even the most hated of Ulven outlaws would have his death acknowledged by those burning him, telling stories of what he had accomplished in life. The burning of the fallen is seen as a sign of respect and is the first step in sending an Ulven on to the afterlife. Even cowards or hated rivals are normally burned on a pyre, for denying an Ulven a chance to begin his Journey is seen as a horrible taboo to their race.

If there is no chance to recover a body for proper burning, then they are allowed to burn in the sun. If there is ever a chance to recover their bones, then the Ulven will make sure to do so, so that they might burn the remains properly. So long as the body is not interred in the earth, then the Ulven’s spirit may continue on to the Journey. Burial is only used as punishment for the most heinous of crimes – it is a sign that only the embrace of Gaia’s body will be enough to cleanse the Ulven’s soul and prepare it for the Journey. Should a buried Ulven be disgorged by the earth through natural means, such as rain or earthquake, then it is taken as a sign that Gaia has cleansed them of their dishonor and given them an opportunity to undertake the Journey.

The ashes from the Pyre of an Ulven, along with the remains that do not burn hot enough, are usually collected and stored in a secure location, known only to the Daughters of each Pack. At a specific time each year, these Daughters gather when the barriers between the forests of Mardrun and those of the Great Wolf’s Lands are weakest, and perform a specific series of rituals to ensure that only the stories and words of these dead Ulven remain in this world. The specifics of this ritual vary from Clan to Clan – some only scatter the ashes, while retaining the material goods, while others keep the bones and ashes near to the seat of the Clan.

Public grieving is uncommon amongst the Ulven – a funeral is a celebration of the life of the deceased, rather than a time to drown in sorrow. Drinking, feasting, and riotous songs are common, to the point where any non-Ulven would be confused at the lack of sorrow. While this may seem cold, it is practical – death is common in Ulven society, and so there is little reason to spend all their time in mourning. Instead, it is best to celebrate their deeds and continue living, so that they may do enough to rejoin their relatives and friends on the other side of the Journey. Grief is seen as a private affair, and while it is not displayed in public, the pain they feel in private is very real.

Slain Mordok are another pressing question amongst the Ulven – how should they be disposed of, especially as they, too, experience the Journey of the afterlife. Most Ulven feel that burying the dead taints the land and burning the dead shows respect, so the most common practice is to leave the slain Mordok out to rot in the sun. Still, some Packs and Clans take to a practice of burning the Mordok in pits to cleanse them from the earth, usually with some sort of ritual overseen by a Daughter of Gaia or ignited with oil or tinder blessed by a spiritual leader.

Barter, Economy, and Labor

The Ulven had no understanding of currency before the coming of the Colonists. Instead, they conducted trade purely through the barter of labor, goods, and the promises of future service. They had no need for abstract currencies – a chicken is a chicken, and if you wanted one from another Ulven, you would need to convince them that you could offer something that was worthwhile in return. The concept of trade was thus a much more personal one, with elaborate chains of favors, objects, and labor changing hands over the course of a year.

Some Ulven have taken to the new currencies being brought to them – they see the benefit of trading without having to transport goods all over Mardrun, and the idea of fixed values were appealing to those who were less versed in the verbal art of exchange. Still, the idea of accumulating wealth remains foreign to the Ulven – it is common for them to spend coin quickly.

Ulven Society and Politics

The Ulven revere those that manage to live long enough to become elders. A Chieftain will preside over a Council of Elders, made up of the oldest and wisest members of the Pack. This Council of Elders helps and advises the Chieftain on all matters related to the governing of the Pack. It is also the duty of the Council to choose a new Chieftain when the need arises, and decide what Witch should be the Pack‘s Priestess. Their choice is based solely on who they believe can do the job fairly and honorably, not on status or bloodline. When choosing a Clanleader or High Priestess, all the Clan’s Councils convene in what is called a High Council. These High Councils can last a very long time, as every elder is allowed to have their say, and these discussions have a tendency to become somewhat heated at times.

The position of Warleader is different from the others. The only way to become a Warleader is to defeat the previous Warleader in an honor duel. Although the duel for the position of Warleader is seldom to the death, the loser is frequently injured badly enough that it ends his days as a warrior. Challenges for Warleader are never made frivolously, as the position is one of great honor which requires great intelligence and foresight. While the honor duel is usually physical combat, canny Warleaders have been known to offer the challenge in other ways befitting an honor duel – more than one Pack has found an excellent Warleader through an unconventional challenge, including games of strategy, debate, and, as recounted in “Gertr Sállgrymt’s Saga”, a prodigious drinking contest that left both parties hungover for a week. Should a new Warleader be needed due to death in battle, a new one may be selected by the Pack to prevent their warriors from having no leadership.

There is no higher power than the Clan in Ulven politics. No power can force an Ulven Clan to obey something they do not agree with, save violence. If a Clan were to make a decision that was unfavorable to several other Clans, the only recourse they would be force. Clans have fought each other to make another Clan submit to a decision, but this is rarely more than a fight between packs of veteran warriors and honor duels.

Clans tend to settle disputes through discussion and debate by the Clan leaders – while there are no formal meetings between Clans, individual meetings are often arranged to settle questions of territory, duties, and long-standing disputes between members of different Clans. Clans often send diplomats out – specially-trained Ulven who are expected to provide a voice of reason and some perspective for the Clan or Pack they are living with.

Common Gestures and Mannerisms

Ulven never shake hands to seal deals or show respect. If two individuals shake hands, they are keeping each other at a distance and using their only their hands. The Ulven clasp hand-to-forearm to show respect and honesty; this gesture is meant to symbolize the act of moving past the hands that hold weapons and shields and allowing the other person to get closer and inside your guard, showing trust and belief that you are safe. It is considered very insulting to shake an Ulven’s hand; feuds have been sparked off by this gesture of disrespect.

Sizing up someone is common to the Ulven. Meeting someone for the first time, meeting them on the battlefield, or entering into an agreement or barter with someone all involve sizing the “opponent” up. This usually involves an intense gaze and a long pause as the Ulven takes in all details and considers his next course of action. This can be seen as somewhat standoffish to the Colonists – a feeling that is often dispelled the moment the Ulven is willing to give them their trust.

“May his ears ring with your name” or any variation, is a common saying, meant to showing respect to another Ulven for something they have done. It is said only when the action was favorable enough that the Great Wolf will take notice of that action when the Ulven meets him in the afterlife. It is also used as a prayer to send the dead off in their Journey.

“Gaia be with you” is a common simple blessing that is used by all members of Ulven society. A healer may splint a broken leg and comfort the wounded with a simple “Gaia be with you”. A loved one may embrace their mate and see them off on a long journey as they travel with a “Gaia be with you”.

Learning and Education

Lacking the educational systems of monasteries and traveling educators that were found in the cultures of Faedrun, the Ulven tend towards a more communal approach to teaching knowledge.Lore circles, conducted by the Pack‘s Witches or Priestess, are commonly how the culture of the Ulven is taught. The Elders of the Pack hand down any useful skills or knowledge they might have, and the Pack’s best warriors teach fighting skills.

While they do record information in scrolls and books, the concept of a library is foreign to the Ulven. Reading and writing are not common skills among the Ulven and those who learn how to do so are highly respected. Any given Pack or village may only have at most one or two books or scrolls, but these are treated with the reverence of powerful religious relics and few, save the Lorekeepers and Priestesses, ever lay eyes upon them. Ulven take pride in learning multiple useful skills, both combat and non-combat related – while a warrior is seen as a useful member of society, it is assumed that they also know how to farm the land and tend to the stewardship of the fields and forests that cover Mardrun.

With the difficulty found in making books, the Ulven tend to rely on writing down everyday information on small pieces of wood and stone. Their runic alphabet is uniquely suited to this, as it can be carved into wood without disappearing into the grain or splitting the piece. Only highly important information is written with ink and pen, due to the intense labor cost found in producing vellum from the sheep native to Mardrun. Paper was unheard of until the Colonists arrived, and many Ulven have found it useful for the writing of more information – in time, reading and writing will likely become more common as supplies are more readily available.

Important Symbols and Designs

The wolf is one of the most important symbols to the Ulven – they use it to adorn much of their artwork, important ritual objects, and clothing. It is a living symbol of their connection to their god, the Great Wolf.

In Ulven artwork and design, intricate knotwork is common, oftentimes worked into stylized representations of animals and nature. This is seen as a connection to the roots of the world which Gaia has granted into their stewardship. These designs are often worked into leather, carved into wood, and painted or stitched onto clothing, with contrasting colors and eye-arresting designs.

The Old Ulven alphabet is comprised of runes – a type of angular letter, designed to be carved into the grain of wood and often worked into designs. Some Ulven see these runes as possessing mystic power, due to their ability to pass knowledge down through the years, and use them in divinatory rituals, although others believe this to be mere superstition – while they can be powerful in the hands of a Runeseer blessed by Gaia, it is more of a superstitious pastime in the hands of any other Ulven.

The Ulven also tend to decorate their clothing with small fetishes and charms taken from nature – carved wooden charms, stone and glass beads, feathers, and elaborately scrimshawed bones. This is, again, a reaffirmation of their connection with nature and Gaia. Some Ulven Clans choose to commemorate important points in an Ulven’s life with these carved charms, acting as a physical representation of the impression they have made upon the world.

A Daughter of Gaia wears a braided sash around their waist during formal occasions and a smaller version during travel, chores, mundane tasks, etc. This sash is important to the Ulven as it denotes the spiritual role that a Daughter of Gaia fulfills for the Ulven people. This braid is normally made up of three or more colors; earth tones and also colors and materials unique to the Daughter are woven together.

Taboos and Forbidden Customs

One of the greatest taboos of Ulven society is attacking the barrier between life and death – this includes calling upon the souls of the dead who have not begun their Journey, burying the dead in the ground, or interfering with the natural process of life and death. They feel that this interferes with the fallen one’s journey to meet the Great Wolf. The spell Soul Speak was not known by the Ulven before the Colonists arrived; it would be strange for a witch to even learn it, let alone use it. This has been a major point of contention between the Colonists and the Ulven, with some Clans actively shunning those who practice this forbidden magic.

The practice of taking trophies and possessions from the dead is a complicated topic amongst the Ulven. Some Clans believe it to be an entirely taboo practice – the dead are meant to be left alone, and nothing should be taken from them. They are uncomfortable even keeping the possessions of departed Ulven – if possible, they are burned on the pyre along with the departed or reforged into new weapons, to avoid using the tools of a deceased Ulven, while other Clans believe that these weapons and possessions are a tangible mark of the Ulven on the world, and so should be passed on to keep the stories and names being told. This split in belief is nevertheless pragmatic – warriors either find themselves with well-forged weapons from the memory of their forbearers or with precious family heirlooms.

Some Ulven feel that taking trophies is a way to ensure that the departed recall the name of the Ulven who defeated them. No matter the Clan’s beliefs, however, Ulven frequently take the heads of Mordok Shamans and Alphas, as well as scalps from lesser Mordok after a battle. This is not actually a form of trophy taking, but is seen as a fairly common and acceptable practice to provide proof of the slain Mordok’s numbers after a battle. These scalps and heads are turned over to the Pack’s Daughters of Gaia for proper disposal, that they might taint the land of the Ulven no longer.

Ulven respect wolves a great deal more than other animals. It is considered taboo for an Ulven to go wolf hunting without proper rituals and rites being performed by a Daughter of Gaia or a Witch. A wolf is hunted as part of a ritual or in honor of a Chieftan or Clanleader entering the position amongst their Pack. Wearing a wolf pelt or their claws is a status symbol; one that is only acceptable if the Ulven is in a position of leadership or great prestige.

The use of poison is absolutely forbidden in Ulven society – an odd taboo, considering the amount of dangerous substances available on Mardrun’s soil, but it is an undeniable edict in Ulven society. They are unwilling to consort with known poisoners, and any poison that they find is immediately destroyed, preferably in a fashion that does not taint the land further. The Ulven are also known to burn the plants necessary for the creation of certain poisons as a matter of pride.

Suicide is uncommon among the Ulven, except in extreme circumstances. It is seen as the only way for outlaws to regain their standing in society – rather than taking their own life, however, Ulven suicide often takes the form of heading on a suicidal attempt to regain their honor. They will typically journey north, seeking to kill as many Mordok as possible.

The murder of a Daughter of Gaia or the theft of her ceremonial braided sash is considered a terrible taboo and dishonor for the Ulven people. All Daughters of Gaia are respected to some extent regardless of Clan or Pack feuds, but this does not protect them indefinitely. A Daughter that has seriously offended another Ulven could result in it coming to violence and a Daughter that takes up arms in a battle is also subject to the same violence as her allies. However, it is common that an enemy Pack or Clan will still go to great lengths to avoid outright killing a Daughter of Gaia.

Physical Appearances and Clothing

All Ulven grow to display the Marks of the Wolf – these are seen as a sign of the Great Wolf’s favor, a physical indication that they have passed from childhood into adulthood. These signs normally take the form of red or yellow bestial eyes, fangs, or gray, wolf-like hair.

Aside from the Marks of the Wolf, the Ulven look almost physically identical to humans, although red hair is quite uncommon amongst them. Some Ulven Clans also practice the art of elaborate facial tattoos, mostly in reds and browns.

Ulven clothing tends to be simple, workmanlike, and earth-toned. Bright colors are very rare in Ulven society due to their hunter nature and the fact that the Mordok could find them much easier in the woods, although bright colors and patterns are seen as status symbols among the Ulven. With a color palate that can only be described as “garish”, when not in their more conservative clothing, the Ulven have a decidedly different aesthetic taste than the Colonists – perhaps, in part due to the rarity of these dyes and fabrics in their society before the arrival of the Colonists.

Ulven do not typically wear plaid or tartan. A few may have acquired a garment or two over time from a warrior of the human Richtcrag nation after the arrival of the Colonists, but the Ulven do not produce any tartan fabrics. This is in part due to the amount of labor necessary to produce the fabrics – the Ulven prefer designs to be embroidered into their clothing, as there is much more complexity possibly in the designs.

Although not necessarily taboo, Ulven men do not wear kilts. They are seen as an “amusing” garment and any male Ulven wearing one is typically not taken seriously, although certain exceptions may be made. The female Ulven still wear skirts and dresses and are seen as a norm for their society, but they are usually full length and long sleeved.

The Magic of the Ulven

Ulven males almost never use magic of any kind. They see magic as the flow of life; a gift from Gaia to her daughters, just like the ability to bear children. Ulven Witches display the unique ability to use both arcane and divine magic, as it is divided by Human and Syndar scholars. The Ulven find it very strange that other races consider the two forms of magic different and separate. To the Ulven, it is all just magic – albeit similar to the sun and moon, with each having a specific time and place. While the ability to practice both schools of magic is natural to the Ulven, a Witch frequently needs to spend time to learn to access both sides.

The taboo against males practicing magic is a long-held one – they are not seen as capable of connecting with Gaia as deeply. At the same time, males practicing magic is not unheard of, although the routes they go about it are much different from the Witches – they pick up scattered pieces of knowledge, learning from self-study. The number of males practicing magic has increased since the Colonists have arrived, although it is still an incredibly rare event – perhaps a scant handful of males per Clan, if that.

While all Ulven females who practice magic are known as Witches, only those who have been granted an official position within their Pack or Clan are referred to as a Daughter of Gaia. This title carries with it certain duties and responsibilities – they are expected to care greatly for the land, guide their fellow Ulven through life, and assist in the performance of rituals. Daughters of Gaia demonstrate their rank and title by wearing a braided woven sash around their waist, made of interwoven ropes of different colors – all of which can symbolize the colors of nature and Gaia’s many guises and also to display colors unique or important to the individual Daughter. Other charms, such as small bits of metalwork, teeth, and feathers, are often woven into the belt to denote higher-ranking Daughters, as well as for decoration. A Daughter’s Braid is unique to her and very rarely are two of them identical. These braids also come in two different forms; a ceremonial braid sash that is roughly ten feet in length that is worn around the hips during more formal occasions and official ceremonies, and also a smaller braid roughly six to twelve inches in length that can be attached to a belt and worn during travel, chores, or battle.

Ulven Families, Marriage, and Mating

Ulven do not use the human terms “wedding”, “husband”, or “wife”, although they may use those terms to refer to their mate in the presence of outsiders. The most typical type of union is referred to as “Mating” and the significant others, regardless of gender, are referred to as “Mates”. While pre-marital sex may be taboo in other cultures, this is not true of the Ulven.

Much like in nature, it is usually the female that chooses her mate, rather than the male. Men, on the other hand, are the ones that attempt to attract a mate through whatever skills or talents they may have. Poetry, art, song, martial prowess, flirting; anything is fair game, and these contests of skill often border on comedic to the viewers. Several males may choose to compete with one another over a woman; sometimes, this results in an honor duel, even if the woman in question has no desire for either man. It is said that an Ulven will go to almost any lengths to impress a woman and there are many stories, both romantic and comic, in Ulven folklore about it. The woman is also the one that sets the pace of the relationship; many women make potential mates go through a series of challenges to prove their worth. In some Ulven societies, the pair may even be put through a series of challenges by the elders to see if they can work well together. Ulven do not take the last name of their mate. The children are named after the family they are born into, which is usually based on which family the mated pair chose to live with.

Polyamory is not uncommon among the Ulven. Due to the constant fighting with the Mordok and the generally harsh life on Mardrun, the ratio of males to females is almost never in balance. The Ulven are a pragmatic people and to leave someone without a mate due to an unbalanced ratio seems wasteful.

The Ulven have no cultural or religious taboos against bisexuality or homosexuality – love is not a question of who, but a wonderful thing, no matter the gender. Exclusively homosexual relationships are somewhat rare; however, their inability to produce children is offset by the care that they can provide for orphaned Ulven – they are expected to contribute as much as the other mated couples. Bisexuality however, is fairly common amongst the Ulven.

Life and Brithing

The gestation period for the Ulven is slightly shorter that that of the humans at around seven months. Twins are not common; they are seen as a blessing from Gaia, often destined for great things in life.

Pregnant women are expected to contribute and work for the first three months of their pregnancy – beyond that, they are kept in the village, as the danger of miscarriage is considered to be too great beyond that. Complications are rare in Ulven pregnancies, unless the pregnant woman is taking part in heavy work – one of the greatest tragedies is the Saga of Brynhlið Sorrow-Held, who lost three children to the Mordok, and finally died at the birth of her fourth.

When an Ulven child is born, they are given a ceremonial slap from an attending Daughter, to welcome them to the world, then their head is painted with earth to demonstrate their connection to Gaia.

Ulven children are cared for by all members of the family, as well as many members of the pack. A child may learn farming from their father, fighting from their mother, the basics of woodcraft from an uncle or a honorary brother, and crafts from an elder. The process of raising a child takes an entire village – with the violence found on Mardrun, it is important that everyone is involved to emphasize the connections that the village has to the people.

The average Ulven has a shorter lifespan than a human, with elderly Ulven rarely passing seventy years of age, and almost never surviving past ninety years. However, their shorter lifespan is contrasted with a much faster gestation period of seven months, allowing the Ulven to reproduce much more quickly than a human.

Change from the Colonists

As the Colonists have filtered into the lands of the Ulven, they have had a greater and greater impact on the formerly isolated society of the Ulven. The Ulven commonly view Syndar and Humans as weak at face value. This opinion is based totally on the fact that they abandoned their home continent to an aggressor, while the Ulven have been fighting the Mordok for as long anyone can remember and have never even thought about leaving Mardrun.

At worst, the Ulven view the Colonists as weak interlopers, stealing land from the Ulven without the blessing of Gaia under a dubious duel of honor whose outcome remains shrouded in secrecy and misinformation. The more xenophobic Ulven Clans believe that the Colonists have no right to be there and are waging active war against them, as well as against the Ulven clans they view as traitorous to the sacred duties given to them by Gaia and the Great Wolf.

Despite this view, not all Ulven believe that the Colonists are bad. Many Clans are neutral on the subject, while some Clans engage in active trade and negotiation with the Colonists. Their culture is changing, whether the Ulven want it to or not, and the long-held stations of Ulven society are slowly crumbling, although it is up to the individual to decide whether this is for good or for ill.

One point that many Ulven blame on the Colonists is the invasion of the Undead. Until the rise and fall of the Lich on Mardrun, some Ulven did not believe the Undead even existed. There had never been any on Mardrun, so the Ulven had nothing to judge the Colonist’s tales by. A commonly-held belief was that Faedrun had powerful mages that managed to somehow trick everyone into believing the dead had risen. This theory may have stemmed from the Ulven taking for granted that everyone burned the dead as they do. After the rise and fall of the Lich, however, the Ulven learned the hard way what terrible foes the hungry ghosts can be.

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The Ulven Culture and Religion

“…and when she saw the beast in all his terrible beauty, she knew he was for her. She took him as her lover and lost herself in his fury, just as he was lost in the depths of her calm; they were one, and the result of their union was the Ulven

-From the Song of Creation, Lycanthia Moonsinger, Ulven High Priestess

The Ulven People
The Ulven culture is one of duality. They attempt to live in harmony with nature, taking only what they need, while at the same time call for the complete extermination of the Mordok race. This duality can perhaps be explained by the religion of the Ulven; in their central creation myth, Gaia was the first woman, living in harmony with the creatures of the forest, loving and caring for them as they did for her. One day she came upon the bloody remains of a stag, torn limb from limb by a wild beast. The stag was so large she could not imagine the creature capable of killing it. She knew she must see this great beast with her own eyes, so she began tracking it. After many days and nights, and many more carcasses, she saw him. Perched on the edge of a cliff was the largest wolf she had ever seen. His fur was black as the night sky and his eyes were the color of the sun. As she stood there in awe, The Great Wolf did something she did not expect: he threw back his head, opened wide his mouth, and sang to the moon. The song was long and lonely, filled with rage and sorrow, and she was in love. Gaia took the Great Wolf as her mate, and the joining of such rage and sadness with such peace and harmony created the Ulven.

Ulven daily life is mostly centered around the pack – perhaps the single most complicated word in the Ulven language, loaded with meaning and subtle distinctions depending on the context and circumstances of its use. Although the word ‘pack’ is used to describe everything from a close family unit to the entire Ulven race, it is also used to indicate political membership, much like how a human would say they are from Vandregon or a Syndar from Tielorrien, although the nature of packs is such that they are smaller than the various kingdoms of Humans and Syndar. A pack is many things – family, friends, comrades, and lovers – and any Ulven will tell you that their pack is the most important thing to them.

Much as a group of Ulven form a pack, a group of packs form a Clan. Much more political than familial, Clans are a closer analogue to the Human and Syndar nations on Faedrun, with each Clan having distinct customs, modes of dress, social rules, and other cultural mores. It is difficult to rally an entire Clan to do anything – few Ulven see the point, as the point of these Clans are guidance, organization of territory for hunting and farming, and the recognition of a single leader from amongst the packs in an area. The first encounter with the Ulven occurred with members of Clan Nightriver, who graciously ceded some of their territory after long negotiations with the Colonists.

Contrary to what most people believe, the majority of Ulven are not warriors. While all Ulven pride themselves on the ability to fight if need arises, the warrior caste is something else entirely. Most Ulven live what would be considered a normal life: they work trades, raise children, and strive to enjoy all that life has to offer. While deceptively simple – there is no such thing as an Ulven noble – they do possess an appreciation for beauty and aesthetics, with many skilled craftsmen, musicians, and artists. All Ulven strive for greatness in their chosen profession, as this will make it more likely that The Great Wolf will recognize them when he comes across them in the afterlife. One of the greatest compliments an Ulven can give is to say that “His ears will ring with your name” – to an Ulven, this means that the recipient is so good at what they do, The Great Wolf is sure to have heard their name over and over again.

The Ulven afterlife is referred to as The Journey, with a number of rituals associated with this process. It begins with freeing the soul with fire – the Ulven believe that burying a body prevents the soul from passing on, as it would be trapped beneath the world If there is no way to burn the body, an Ulven would rather let it rot in the sun than to bury it in the earth. The first part of The Journey is an area much like the wild, untamed forests of Mardrun. This is where The Great Wolf prowls, feeding on all those unworthy to continue through these forests. The Ulven believe the only way to prevent The Great Wolf from devouring a departed soul is to tell him their name. If he has heard it enough times, he will know them by their deeds and allow them safe passage through the first stage of the Journey.

As part of their beliefs, the Ulven seem entirely certain that the Mordok share the same afterlife – or, at the very least, that they begin their Journey in the same place as the Ulven. If a warrior dies a violent death, The Great Wolf will ask who sent them on the Journey. A soul must answer truthfully, and so the renown of warriors is found in the souls that have passed before them as much as it is found in the stories of their deeds. This may, perhaps, explain some of the Ulven’s tendency towards a war-like culture, despite this warrior culture seeming completely at odds with their philosophy of never making war upon one another.

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Human

 

Humans are a playable race in both the Last Hope series and the Last Hope – The Old World event. There are no racially specific garb or cosmetic requirements for humans.The Humans are by far the most abundant race in Last Hope. This is true even on Mardrun. The Syndar have a long gestation and the Ulven are scattered and it has been difficult to determine their true numbers. The Humans of Mardrun are a diverse and interesting lot. They range from scholars and explorers looking for knowledge and adventure in the new land, to scoundrels and criminals either running from or sentenced by the law in Faedrun. Humans adapt and learn quickly, flourishing in any class they choose. The religions and politics of the humans are as diverse as they are, with very little holding true for the entire race, some even choose to believe there are no gods at all.

If you want to be free to do your own thing, without the need for makeup or strict guidelines, you should play a human.

 

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Clan Spiritclaw

Clanleader: Cahal Spiritclaw
High Priestess: Morrigan Solfire
Warleader: Tristan Windwalker

Ulven dedicated to knowledge and learning who are home to more Truth Seekers than any other Clan.

Recent/Current Events:
264:
Standing vehemently behind their decision to remain neutral in the ever-growing conflict threatening to envelop all of Mardrun, Clan Spiritclaw has nonetheless been very active this past year. As war ravaged the landscape, Spiritclaw began the year by hoping to establish a neutral alliance, originally composed of themselves and Clan Riverhead, with hopes to bring Ironmound into the fold as well. In the coming months, Spiritclaw villages were opened to refugees on both sides of the war, cementing the clan’s position as a mediator and haven for those unwilling or unable to continue fighting.

The revelation of the Lorespeaker Conspiracy likely hit Clan Spiritclaw harder than any other clan, at least as far as the effects were visible. Fiercely proud of their Truthseeker organization, the knowledge that such a culturally significant lie had been perpetuated for generations was a source of great shame, and led to many Truthseekers calling vocally for the capture and questioning of any Lorespeakers. Some on Mardrun, however, will forever see the reputation of the Truthseekers tarnished by this oversight, and others wonder if perhaps some of the Truthseekers were involved with the plot, as well.

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Longfang Castes

Pack Longfang is divided into Three Distinct Castes, and every full member of the pack belongs to one of these groups, or to the “Civilian” contingent who do not receive a voting voice on the Pack’s full moot, only speaking rights.

((OOC NOTE: This is in character flavor materials. OOC running of the faction will be handled by votes that include all faction members, not just those who belong IC to the various levels of the various castes. This covers only IC governance, not OOC governance. They are intended to remain separate.))

 

GAIA’S CASTE

Runeseer Reyna Longfang

This is the Caste of the Daughters of Gaia, consisting of the various females who have devoted themselves to the service of Gaia, the administration of the Pack, and the politics that keep the Pack in the loop concerning events of Global impact that might effect the Pack.

  • CASTE MEETING NAME: The Daughter’s Moot of Pack Longfang
  • CASTE LEADER: Runeseer
    The Runeseer is charged with coordinating the activities of the Caste in addition to serving as the Pack’s Chief Administrator.
  • UPPER TIER: Senior Daughter of Gaia
    The Senior Daughters are those that comprise part of the voting element of the Daughter’s Moot. They handle the training of the less experienced Daughters in addition to handling those elements of the pack administration that the Runeseer delegates to them. They gain their position by the will of the Runeseer, but are usually comprised of individuals chosen for their various skills and each generally has an area in which they are deferred to by all, including the Runeseer due to their personal expertise.
  • GENERAL CASTE MEMBER: Daughter of Gaia
    The general members of the Caste, who have moot voting rights and handle those duties delegated to them by the Senior Daughters and Runeseer.
  • SPECIAL MEMBER: Guardian
    Guardians are non-casters who devote themselves exclusively as protectors to the Pack’s Daughters. Sometimes they’re males who wish to devote themselves to Gaia’s service, or members of the Hunter or Warrior castes who have aged out of being able to properly manage those trying duties and have chosen to serve the daughters rather than risk the lives of their comrades with their infirmity. They have speaking rights in the moot, but do not vote on it.
  • JUNIOR MEMBER: Gaia’s Pup (Sometimes Daughter in Training)
    Accepted into training by the Caste, in hopes of earning a place as a full member. They attend the Moot, but do not yet have the right to speak or vote on it.

 

WARRIORS CASTE

Weaponmaster Bryech Savagefang

This Caste forms the bulk of the members of Pack Longfang. They are fighters, trained and deadly, charged with not only the defense of the pack, but of Mardrun in their sacred charge to serve as the shield of Mardrun against the Dirge.

  • CASTE MEETING NAME: The Warrior’s Moot of Longfang
  • CASTE LEADER: Weaponsmaster
    Charged with the organization of the affairs of the Warriors of Longfang. They arrange training, ensure that security of the pack is managed, and that the sacred charge is served. Weaponsmaster is traditionally selected from amongst the Ulfednar.
  • UPPER TIER: Ulfednar
    The fiercest of the already fierce Longfang Warriors. These are the most Dirge-hardened and experienced fighters, potentially on all of Mardrun. They are voting members of the Warrior’s Moot.
  • GENERAL CASTE MEMBER: Warrior
    Warriors are the bulk of the pack, forming the fighting strength of Longfang and serving as the best defense of both Onsallas and Mardrun. They have speaking rights in the Warrior’s Moot.
  • JUNIOR MEMBER: Warrior’s Pup
    Warrior Pups are the Warriors in Training for the pack. They are the future of the pack’s fighting force and are subject to grueling work and effect to become the fiercest of the fighters on Mardrun. They do not have rights to speaking or voting in the Warrior’s Moot. Warrior pups may petition the Weaponsmaster for permission to speak before the moot.

 

HUNTER’S CASTE

Huntmaster Ranmir Longfang

The Hunters Caste forms the intelligence arm of the Longfang. They are nimble, intelligent and independent, able to collect intelligence on Mordok movements in addition to being capable hunters who provide extra resources for the pack.

  • CASTE MEETING NAME: The Hunter’s Moot of Pack Longfang
  • CASTE LEADER: Huntmaster
    Coordinates the pack’s hunters to ensure that the pack is never surprised.
  • UPPER TIER: Senior Hunter
    The top tier of the Hunters is very informal and changes depending on the situation. The hunters have little care for structure, as they generally are required to act independently and without significant orders. At most times no one but the hunters themselves know who might show up to a Senior Pack Moot if one is called.
  • GENERAL CASTE MEMBER: Hunter
    The hunters, who gather intelligence and carry out the needs of the pack. They have speaking the voting rights in the Hunter’s Moot.
  • JUNIOR MEMBER: Hunter Pup
    Pups who are learning the hunters are. They also have speaking and voting rights in the Hunter’s Moot.

 

ADDITIONAL MOOTS

  • Honored Moot: Comprised of the Honored (Runeseer, Huntmaster, Weaponsmaster)
  • Senior Pack Moot: Comprised of the Honored (Runeseer, Huntmaster, Weaponsmaster) and the top level of each of their Castes (Senior Daughters, Ulfednar, Senior Hunters).
  • Pack Moot: Comprised of all members of the pack with full membership in a Caste. This means Civilians and Junior members do not vote or speak on it.
  • Full Pack Moot: Comprised of all member of the pack, including Junior Members of castes and Civilians.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

To clearly illustrate the follow of authority between the various castes an organizational chart has been created. It should be noted that, dependent on the situation, castes will cede authority to another. An example would be Onsallas being under attack. In that situation the Runeseer and the Huntmaster would give over authority to the Weaponsmaster.

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Established Organizations

PLAYER ORGANIZATIONS

In Last Hope, an established faction is an organization that was created with a theme, background, and goal that like minded players have banded together to create. To join a faction, contact a player of that faction for more info.

ORGANIZATION MECHANICS AND RULES

Linked below are the current edition of the Organization mechanics and rules used.

LastHope_OrganizationRules_v4.1

OrganizationRules_v4p1_ChangeLog

ACTIVE ORGANIZATIONS

Updated 8/26/23

The Phoenix
A group of nomadic Syndar who came to Mardrun years before the colony was established. After the Ulven Civil War, they were given 1/3 of the Fire Isle as their home as reward for their efforts. They remain open and friendly to all who are open and friendly in return. Over the years they have taken on many new friends who have joined their group, Syndar and Non-Syndar alike!

The Ravens
A political organization operating out of Key’s Crossing in the City-State of New Hope. In recent time leadership has passed to an upstart human who has transformed the settlement through a push for equality and a series of public welfare programs.

Broken Blade Company
A group of honorable mercenaries that work together in ventures of fortune and industry. While mainly active during periods of conflict, the Broken Blade Company also explores areas of industry, innovation, production, and the selling of arms and armor that warriors from all over Mardrun would wish to purchase.

March of Starkhaven
A new chapter in the Order of Arnath that broke away from the highly militant Fist chapter. Arnath’s Light is still a full chapter of the Order of Arnath, but has a new progressive and updated view on the world and more emphasis on diplomacy. With the creation of the City-State of New Hope, the Chapter and Church became integrated into the March of Starkhaven.

United Collective for an Unbroken Mardrun
The United Collective for an Unbroken Mardrun is a group dedicated to peace, love, and equality. Their focus is on economics, healing, politics, and magic with an aim to be helpful wherever they go. The group culture is fun loving and committed to making everyone feel like they belong.

Stormjarl Einherhar
A group comprised of members of Clan Stormjarl who have come together to help serve their clan. Formed originally following Jarl Fritha the Honored in her initiative to raid Clan Grimward to begin a campaign to both revenge the honor of Clan Stormjarl and take back the people claimed as Honorbound servants the group has since assisted in many of the more notable affairs

Blades of Sol
The Blades of Sol is a militant and religious organization. Our sole purpose on this earth is to protect life, and to eradicate those forces that would seek to destroy it. These ‘undead’ abominations that prowl the darkest corners of this world are our greatest enemies, and we gladly meet their corrupted forms with gleaming steel and unwavering faith.

The Golden Hand
The Golden Hand is a nomadic economic organization with its members hailing from various backgrounds and origins. Their goal is to travel the continent and provide help to others, whether it be martial or economic in nature, and generally be a positive influence to those they encounter.

Guardians of the Wall
The Guardians of the Wall is a martial and economic organization, representing a group of adventurers working toward a goal of building a community and providing a safe haven for travelers and merchants. Their stance politically is neutral unless it involves their members and they have tenants that align with the common law of the Free Peoples of Mardrun.

Federation of Architects, Timekeepers Eternal
A small group of individuals with massive goals in mind. A small budding Industrial Organization focusing on the trades and rebuilding what was lost on Faedrun. Their purpose is to turn what people call “colonists” into just citizens of Mardrun. Led and backed by an entrepreneurial and scientific focused human with a very rich bloodline.

INACTIVE ORGANIZATIONS

New Vandregon
A fast-growing group of adventurers made Crow’s Landing their home after being handed control of the small town by the previous owners.  Now they are looking to reestablish the legacy of Old Vandregon.
UPDATE: After many years of growth and becoming entrenched into the City-State of Newhope, Crow’s Landing has become a bustling hub of trade and mercantile influence. With a considerable men-at-arms martial force and an array of mercantile, divine, and arcane specialists tending to various duties of the Statehood, the people of Crow’s Landing enjoy a life of stability. The surrounding holdings of the villages and hamlets of Arcton, Wakefield, and Caister have seen growth and expansion, painting a clear picture to the entire continent what dedication and expansion can do for a territory.  A decade old effort has turned a small adventuring band and a handful of followers into a reorganized effort to bring back former Vandregonian glory. With most daily affairs properly tended to, the territory is overseen by Baron Tobias Del’Green, a now known name in the Titles of Prestige & Peerage. 

Pack Longfang
An elite and veteran group of bodyguard Ulven that are at the forefront of all conflicts on Mardrun.
UPDATE: Over time the actions of Runeseer Reyna Longfang and her cousin Huntmaster Ranmir Longfang became less pointed and their leadership of Pack Longfang fell into question. A hearty Ulfednar Warrior stepped forward and claimed the right to lead Pack Longfang until such a time that either a new Runeseer could be chosen or Reyna could prove her worth and reclaim control of her pack. Onsallas Village and Onsallas Outpost continue to be the focal point of the defensive line to the north, the Shield of Mardrun, fulfilling their longstanding duty of protecting the Ulven people from the dangers of the Dirge Swamp.

Archons of the Spire
A collection of open minded and spiritual people that have journeyed into the mountains of the Great Wolf’s Hackles in order to begin a new life of acceptance and enlightenment.
UPDATE: Time came for the Archons more so than anything else as is sometimes the case. After the banishment and subsequent execution of their former leadership things were looking well for the small commune in the mountains, but in time all things pass. The leadership of the Archons stepped down from their position and granted access to their lands to Prince Aylin of Aldoria. The Archons continue their work on various arcane machinations under the close eye and patronage of The Prince.

New Aldorian Marines
Composed of some New Aldorian Navy members and former settlers of New Oarsmeet, the New Aldorian Marines help expand the influence of New Aldoria. Previously located directly outside New Aldoria as a sub-colony, the Marines settlement was both a home for settlers and a training ground for new soldiers. Now, after Prince Aylin’s conquest of Clan Squallborn territory, the Marines have moved their base of operations to the new settlement of Aylin’s Reach.
UPDATE: With the recent expansion of New Aldorian territory in the conquered Squallborn lands of Aylin’s Reach, the Reach has survived its first winter in the new territory. More settlers have moved to the Reach and the previous military outpost has become a bustling hub of colonial expansion. The Marines find themselves helping to transport goods and settlers instead of sailing on daring raid or fighting vagabonds on the ocean seas. The leadership of the Marines has become the ruling authority of Aylin’s Reach, forever cementing a strong colonial expansion for New Aldoria.

The Crimson Shades
A small group of farmers and merchants that have taken to settling near the eastern coast of Nightriver territory, focusing on trade and political interactions among various groups.
UPDATE: After a departure of the group of people known as the Nomads, the Crimson Shades continued life as usual in Goldenshire. Some contracts were established and some expeditions were attended by their members. The Crimson Shades worked a deal with the Phoenix of the Fire Isle; its leadership would relocate to the Fire Isle and begin established a place for the Shades and then eventually some of the people would be relocated to the Fire Isle. The Crimson Shades have become acquired by the Phoenix; their adventuring group now known as the Crimson Phoenix. Overtime the Crimson Phoenix continued to integrate further into their new community until eventually their separate name faded into the fog of history.

Bos Mezar
The military arm of Serai; a small settlement established on the far northern side of the habitable region of Mardrun. Closely following the ideals of the May’Kar, this settlement of spirituality and the celebration of life stands out among the decay and rot of the nearby Dirge Swamp.
UPDATE: After the undead scandal rocked Mardrun, Bos Mezar and their leaders were sentenced to punishment by a way of a Free People’s Trial. The settlement of Serai was taken over to be watched and controlled by the Order of Arnath and the organization of Bos Mezar disbanded. Lord and Lady Al Azarma have offered to help take in some of the citizens of Serai and to oversee the community service sentencing of the leaders within Bos Mezar. Serai now stands as a fledgling settlement that now pledges fealty to the Order of Arnath. Years later Serai was overwhelmed by the southern push of a large Mordok force. A unified collective travelled to the settlement to aid in an evacuation. The surviving members of the Serai settlement fractured and moved in near equal parts to Daven’s Hold and Starkhaven.

Vandregon
The survivors of the great war on Faedrun who have banded together on the new continent to keep the red and gray colors alive.
UPDATE: The Vandregon colors had been seen leading from the front on numerous conflicts all across Mardrun. Embracing what is good and what is just, Vandregon pushed to be a banner the people could rally behind. After being personally recognized and honored by Branthur Nightriver himself, the leaders of Vandregon led their forces into the thick of combat at the Battle of Pyre Hills. Many soldiers lost their lives helping to end the ulven civil war and the Vandregon headquarters and its people never fully recovered from it. From time to time, the colors of Vandregon can be seen periodically throughout the colony of Newhope. In recent times the colors of Vandregon had been seen stationed at the settlement of Daven’s Hold as Governess Catherine worked tirelessly to rebuild their once noble might under her banners. Things were looking up for this new arrangement until in the Year 268 one of her Edlers, Tobias of Crow’s Landing made some deft political maneuvers. He renamed his settlement New Vandregon and poached many of the Vandregonians living in Daven’s Hold to join his settlement. Vandregon may have fallen to history, but it’s name carries on in the settlement and military might of New Vandregon.

Watchwolf Diplomatic Guard
A number of Ulven whom pledge allegiance to one of the two territories owned by this clan, escorting representatives and ambassadors to numerous clans.
UPDATE: After siding with the colonists when negotiations failed, the Watchwolf Clan was placed in the front line of the civil war. Clan Grimward pressed with its superior numbers into Watchwolf territory, destroying villages and killing many warriors. Their ambassadors and their retinues never recovered after those brutal attacks, and the fate of the Western settlement appears grim at best. After Grimward finally defeated the Western settlement, the Diplomatic Guard was never reformed; the survival of the refugees and trying to rebuild a shattered clan being the main priority for the new leadership of the Watchwolf Clan.

The Pirates of Oarsmeet
A group of pirates and Aldorian settlers on Mardrun. One of the few factions in possession of a sea faring ship, the Blue Ruby.
UPDATE: When the Captain of the Blue Ruby turned to corruption, a rift formed between the crew and the settlers in New Oarsmeet. Some settlers left to form the new sub-colony for the Marines of New Aldoria, and when the rest stayed the settlement of New Oarsmeet was attacked by New Aldoria. Although some factions and representatives to the nobles in Newhope offered refuge or sanctuary for some of the settlers, the other colonies did not respond and attempt to stop New Aldoria. After two months of fighting, New Oarsmeet was overrun and burned to the ground.

The Bloodfangs
Dedicated warriors that were created to fight the colonists and now hunt Mordok all over Mardrun.
UPDATE: After months of frigid weather and bad conditions, Pack Bloodfang took the fight to Grimward and conquered one of their small settlements. Without support, they were forced to retreat back to the Watchwolf settlement. Longstanding allies, the warriors of Pack Bloodfang refused to leave the side of the Watchwolves in their darkest hour. They pledged to stay and fight with them, no matter the cost. As the ranks of Grimward charged in after the spring thaw, Pack Bloodfang stood defiantly against them. Inflicting terrible losses on the Grimward invaders, the Bloodfang warriors fought dearly and made Clan Grimward pay for every inch in blood. Dozens of warriors were killed before the remaining Bloodfangs were wounded enough to be taken out of the fight, which fueled their tenacity and their howls of rage were heard far down the battle line. Watchwolf defenders were unable to support them fully, and without the rest of the Coalition or their supplies to aid them, Pack Bloodfang’s warriors were killed to a man. Krieger Bloodfang was one of the last to fall, covered in blood and gore and swinging his large sword amongst numerous enemies, until he also fell in battle. When the fight finally ended, warriors of both the Watchwolves and Grimward took a moment to respect the fallen warriors with honor, and both sides were even permitted to be a part of the massive funeral pyre that was lit that evening, sending off some of the most ferocious warriors known to the Ulven.

The Mardrun Trading Consortium
A merchant group from New Aldoria that specializes in trade routes and supplies.
UPDATE: After widespread growth and attempts to make numerous contracts and establish a strong economy, the MTC was hit hard by the lack of farm help and sustainable income. Critical in their efforts in the war, the MTC were capable of moving large amounts of cargo and troops all around Mardrun… but the cost of interest on a boat they didn’t own put them further into debt. After deciding that surviving to see another day was more important than trying to save the world, the MTC settlers and leaders decided to cut their contracts and move into a more sustainable settlement… content with making ends meet, breaking even, and feeding bellies instead of expanding lofty goals or accumulating wealth. The settlers of Key’s Crossing now live simpler lives.

The Brotherhood of the Long Winter
A colonist and Richtcrag warrior group who has ventured near the Dirge Swamp to claim land of their own.
UPDATE: After moving out to the coast, the Brotherhood settlement began construction near the small settlement of Serai in late fall 263, the May’Kar settlement near the dirge swamp. After a rough start with a lack of food, settling at the beginning of winter, and small mordok raids, the Brotherhood was not faring so well. Infighting among its leadership led to a lack of direction, and the Brotherhood turned to Serai for aid. Runners were also sent south to see if anyone would be willing to help. After a brief confrontation at Serai that damaged relations between the two settlements, the leadership of the Brotherhood vanished without a trace. Now leaderless, the Brotherhood Militia turned to banditry and attacked small merchant caravans and even made an attempt on Serai itself. The Bos Mezar militia repelled them and the attacks stopped when the winter struck. In the spring of 264, their settlement was found vacant, the settlers presumably returning back to the colonies after their failed attempt at settling near the Dirge Swamp.

The Nomads
A small nomadic group of merchants and wandering travellers, the Nomads started as a splinter faction off of the Crimson Shades and now reside in New Oarsmeet. This reformed settlement is called Featherfall.
UPDATE: The Nomads, never one for settling down, quickly moved onto further pastures and into history. The settlement of Featherfall slowly fell into disarray as people moved elsewhere. Most of the Crimson Shades packed up and moved to the Fire Isle after striking a deal with the Phoenix to reside there.

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Echo Nightriver

Echo has lived a fruitful life with her mother for many years, she barely knew her father, only because she had only met him five times in her life. As to her and her mother, Tiresia, he had the pack to take care of, and with that came responsibilities. Hardly in their area much anymore, as it was known to their little family he still had work to do and apparently the whole pack to lead. Unknown to them, their entire territory and their family would be caught up in war.

Through her childhood Tiresia taught Echo many things, trekking through dense forest while there family village moved it’s location, showing her the herbs, animals, and plants along the way. Though whenever her mother would go out she was always left with the family’s best archer, Calliope, who taught her to lodge arrows into even the most narrow of spaces. Showing her how to draw, knock, and pull while hidden by brush, or simply working on how silently she could move by playing games of hide and seek. Though as she became familiar with her bow she found it difficult to arch the natural right handed style, and later came to find that her style was of a lefty. All while they’d train they would find things for village healers and Daughters of Gaia to use for helping or trading. As time went on her usual day would consist of playing with the other children in her village while they settled into the new permanent location closer to the rest of the heart of the Nightriver clan. Echo would sometimes do chores for her mother in between building up the new foundations, chopping wood, fetching objects, and catching games between resetting traps.

As years kept going by Echo grew tired of the village life, she wanted adventure, she wished for a way to get out and to see everything. Yearning for travel she confided in her mother, telling her of the wonderful and exciting things she wanted to see, about learning everything there was out there and to explore all over Mardrun. At this, her mother was both full of joy and sorrow as she told her of the Guardians, a group dedicated to not only protection but learning. Echo’s mother had met several of their members of the years and learned of their ideals and goals and knew that her daughter would fit in well with them. After giving her a pendant special of the family she pushed her to get ready, because in a year she would be moving on her own ways.

The year started slowly, Echo hunted with the hunters of several packs to ready her feet for the runs that lay ahead, she improved her archery with the bow her father left in the mantle of their home, a long cherrywood beauty with a leather wrapped handle.

Right before Echo was to leave, she was delayed when her mother came down with a fever. In her delusional state, she made a vague mention of a possible half brother, missing now for years. Echo didn’t know if it was a simple dream or if there was truth to it. Soon after the fever broke, her mother gave her no more information and avoided the subject. With her health returning, Echo’s mother arranged to have Echo travel with the Guardians until she could make contact with the other packs in Clan Nightriver. She hopes to find more information on her supposed half brother and learn more information and lore along the way as she journeys and explores the dangerous land of Mardrun.

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Krieger Bloodfang

Played by: Jacob Beardsley
Name: Kreiger Bloodfang
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Race: Ulven
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Occupation: Bloodfang Warrior

UPDATE: After months of frigid weather and bad conditions, Pack Bloodfang took the fight to Grimward and conquered one of their small settlements. Without support, they were forced to retreat back to the Watchwolf settlement. Longstanding allies, the warriors of Pack Bloodfang refused to leave the side of the Watchwolves in their darkest hour. They pledged to stay and fight with them, no matter the cost. As the ranks of Grimward charged in after the spring thaw, Pack Bloodfang stood defiantly against them. Inflicting terrible losses on the Grimward invaders, the Bloodfang warriors fought dearly and made Clan Grimward pay for every inch in blood. Dozens of warriors were killed before the remaining Bloodfangs were wounded enough to be taken out of the fight, which fueled their tenacity and their howls of rage were heard far down the battle line. Watchwolf defenders were unable to support them fully, and without the rest of the Coalition or their supplies to aid them, Pack Bloodfang’s warriors were killed to a man. Krieger Bloodfang was one of the last to fall, covered in blood and gore and swinging his large sword amongst numerous enemies, until he also fell in battle. When the fight finally ended, warriors of both the Watchwolves and Grimward took a moment to respect the fallen warriors with honor, and both sides were even permitted to be a part of the massive funeral pyre that was lit that evening, sending off some of the most ferocious warriors known to the Ulven.

Kreiger and his brother Marr lived togather with their mother and father. Krieger was only an infant when they were ambushed by a group of Mordok. His mother and father were killed in the attack, leaving Kreiger and his older brother Marr alone to hide from the Mordok. Luckily, a hunting party from the nearby Watchwolves of Sol were passing through and managed to fend of the Mordok and get the two youths to safety. Seeing that these orphans needed a home, Kreiger was adopted by a family in the Eastern Watchwolf village, while Marr was sent south to be adopted by a different clan. He has always remembered this kindness, and despite his new affiliation, he still counts the Watchwolves as close friends. The years since this tragedy went by smoothly

He has no adopted siblings other than his younger cousin Orrin up in the Western Watchwolf settlement. Kreiger often visited the young lad and they have become great friends. Kreiger’s visits into the Watchwolves of Luna territory has led him to meet Raskolf Vakr, whom has become a good friend and advisor to the younger Ulven over the years.

Kreiger started to display great amounts of aggression around the age of ten. He would often pick fights just for the sheer sport of it. This love for fighting often would get Kreiger in more trouble than his adopted parents wanted – a certain amount of rough-and-tumble play was expected of the young, after all.

To give the child a better direction, his adopted father started to teach Kreiger how to wield a short sword. As the years went by, his frame grew, and with it, his preference in weapons, eventually leading him to a large two-handed blade. It wasn’t long after that his love for battle and fighting drove Kreiger to become a better fighter than his father. This training had helped to straighten up the rowdy kid and allowed him to better serve his people by joining hunting parties and defending his home from Mordok attack.

Despite the tempering of discipline, Kreiger’s love for battle still raged deep inside his heart. This attitude eventually caught the eye of The Fangs of Kyrkogrim. When he turned sixteen, Kreiger was approached by an Ulven warrior named Victor – the leader of a newly-formed war pack called the Bloodfang. Victor asked Kreiger to join the war pack and come with them to combat some invaders that have arrived by boat. Kreiger jumped at this opportunity.

Shortly after that Kreiger had learned that his older brother Marr was also asked to join. Despite their years of separation, the two quickly became great friends and soon started to relate as siblings – a fierce rivalry developed between them. The two would constantly try to prove that they were better than the other. This became more of a game and pastime as the years grew on.

Kreiger continues to go back to his home to spend time with his family and catch up on things with his old friends. He also tries to make it out to visit his cousin and catch up with Raskolf. These visits happen less often due to his new obligations to the Bloodfang, but whenever he gets the chance, Kreiger tries his best to make the most of them.