To the North there are a number of packs that are in fact, clanless. The small packs get along for the most part and have not formed a clan because each feel that they have their own calling that Gaia and the Great Wolf have set them on. They feel that no clan or clan leader is better than them and don’t take kindly to clans that look down on them or try to tell them what to do. They work with other clanless packs for a common good, and show respect to clans that respect their right to rule themselves. To generalize any more about the clanless is to do a disservice to them all. Independent and individual entities, Clanless packs have existed for generations and have made clear their desire to remain as such.
Some well-known clanless packs are the Longfangs and Bloodfangs, but they are not the only ones. A few examples include Pack Goldmine, Whitestag, and Silverspring.
A clanless pack that lives in the northern most part of the great forest, they got their name from the unique Pineed trees that grow in a swampy area of the forest that have needles that turn golden yellow. The swamp is not like the dirge, and is in fact a spring of life and Gaia’s gifts. Near their village is a Great Gold Pine Tree that was said to have been planted by Gaia herself. This tree is protected by a group of warriors whose only purpose is to protect this tree from any and all threats. When a warrior grows too old that the others feel they can no longer protect the Pine, he takes a journey to Onsallas to meet with the Longfangs. It is here that a unique honor battle takes place. The Goldpine warrior challenges an Ulfednar to single combat, though over the ages, this practice has largely become ceremonial. In olden days, the battle was said to be to the death: a Goldpine warrior capable of besting an Ulfednar had earned a warrior’s departure and would venture into the swamp to meet an honorable end, whereas an Ulfednar bested by a Goldpine seen as past his prime would be deemed unfit for battle in Pack Longfang. A Goldpine slain in this combat was also given a warrior’s funeral, though was undeserving of a death against the Mordok. In recent generations, however, this practice has taken a more progressive turn: The battle has become to first blood, and the Ulfednar traditionally throws the fight in order to allow the Goldpine the honor of a death in the swamp without giving his own life or detracting from the numbers of Pack Longfang simply for tradition.
“And she looked to see the Great Wolf who was singing a song full of rage and sorrow, for he had brought down a Great White Stag.”
Whitestag gets its name from the beast that was thought to be in the story of how Gaia and the Great Wolf joined. The pack has good hunting land, full of game and timber. When a new chieftain is chosen, he and the hunters will go on a stag hunt. The pack will feast on the stag and the chief will take the fur and antlers as the sign of his office. On his death, the antlers are placed on the walls of the great hall with the others of the chieftains of old. The chieftain rules from a seat known as, “The Chair of Sorrow and Rage.” This chair is made of fine carved oak with the image of the Great Wolf over a stag, singing to Luna. It is lined with snow-white fur and adorned with White antlers that is said to be the stag that was brought down by the first Chieftain, who took the name Whitestag because he saw it as a gift from Gaia.
If a hunter kills a white stag, he or she has the right to challenge the Chief for the right to lead. The Priestess of the Pack sets a task and the winner is Chieftain.
In pack Whitestag, there is no higher calling than to be a hunter. Even warriors strive to learn the ways of the hunt. The Great Wolf was a hunter, not a warrior, and Gaia admired his ability to provide, where a warrior only seeks to shed blood.
In an odd turn of events, Runeseer Solvig was viewed as High Priestess of Pack Whitestag. About 30 years ago, the pack’s priestess had visions of doom and went to ask for Solvig’s council. After a reading of the runes, she went back home and the hunters were made ready for an unknown attacker. That night, a blood moon had shown bright and the pack survived. In the morning several dozen mordok were burned. When Solvig passed, the chieftain and five hunters of pack Whitestag made their way to Onsallas to show respect.
A fairly young pack, Silverspring came across their home only about 45 years ago. In an exodus from Clan Shattered Spear regarding what they feel was the unfair branding of their Champion, Pack Silverspring established a small settlement near a brook to the north of their homeland. It is said that they took their name because of the way the moonlight glistened on the water, which they saw as a sign from Luna that this land was blessed. While relations remain tense with Clan Shattered Spear to this day, many still call members of Pack Silverspring family, while others don’t even recognize them as a separate entity.
Due to their age, Pack Silverspring has yet to establish much of a reputation for themselves, although their Daughters specializing in healing magics have come to be well-respected in the surrounding territory.
“And the wind bled as it carried away the remains of that great battle. A strong red wind.”
The pack known as Redwind originally began as two separate packs, so small that they were barely worthy of the classification. They were affiliated with two different Clans. One was from Clan Axhound, and the other was from Clan Whiteoak. The two packs were looked down on in their respective clans because of their small sizes, and the fact that neither of them had achieved any great victories or glory. They were patrolling the edge of the swamp separately, having been assigned there by their respective clans, when a large-scale Mordok attack suddenly occurred at the intersection of their route. The two packs, realizing that they had no chance alone, came together to combat the threat. The resulting battle was extremely close, but the packs managed to win, only because they had joined as a group, both Axhound and Whiteoak. They decided that they had achieved a victory by working together, and they would form an independent pack as a result. The pack was called Redwind, a name decided on through mutual agreement between the two original packs. They both recalled how, after the battle with the Mordok, the field that they had been fighting on was so full of blood from their fighters and the Mordok that when the wind blew, it was a red color. The name reminds them of their victory over the Mordok which made them one pack. The culture that they formed is a mix between the Whiteoak caste system and the more ritualistic traditions of the Axhound, reflecting the direct backgrounds of the pack’s membership. However, no divisions are made that depend upon the Clan of origin. It is skill that shows what status a person has in the society of the Redwind.