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Skip Navigation LinksInhabitants>Mankind>Volkeralten>Machtig>Nine Great Clans>Ulthferen
Nine Clans Herodi
Clan of the Sword
Clan of the Rock
Clan of the Sea
Clan of the Hearth
Clan of the Net
Clan of the Horse
Clan of the Hunt
Clan of the Tree
Clan of the Wolf
Ulthferen, Clan of the Wolf
The northernmost of the three forest Clans (Faendradi, Jagrling, Ulthferen), the Ulthferen are a slightly smaller Clan than the Jagrling but also live in larger communities, leaving their lands more sparsely settled.
The most notable trait of the Ulthferen is that long ago their bloodlines were infected with the curse of the Wyrdynion; at one point all living Ulthferen were also "wulfwaren", or werewolves. That is no longer true in the modern age, but a good number of Ulthferen still are, and more importantly the impact this traditional state of affairs has had on the Clan and relationships with the other eight Clans cannot be underestimated.
Ulthferen Warrior (Thegn)
The Ulthferen are typically a wiry, muscular folk with wide shoulders and feral appearances. They range between 6 to 7 and weigh in between 195 to 295 lbs. Ulthferen typically have gray or golden eyes. Most Ulthferen have silver, steely grey, or white hair, with the remainder having russet brown; additionally their hair is usually bushy and naturally close-cropped.
Furthermore, most Ulthferen have a lot of body hair, which sometimes has the texture of fur on the more hirsute specimens. Ulthferen prefer loose clothing, and many eschew armor entirely preferring freedom of movement.
While most Ulthferen look like relatively normal (large and feral) Humans, some have traits that hint at their wolfish heritage such as claw-like nails, slightly pointed and canted ears, blackish lips, long and or dark tongues, enlarged canines, and similar features.
Most Ulthferen wear furs, and it is a mark of great glory for a Thegn to wear the skin of a mighty beast slain by his own hand as a mantle or cloak. They have little in the way of jewelry save loot, much of which has passed into heirloom status over generations.
Many Ulthferen still wear family tartans, usually in the form of a kilt. They favor dark greens mixed with lighter green or yellow counter threads.
Ulthferen are feral hunters living not just off the bounty of the land but as part of the natural cycle of life, death, and rebirth. They are pack predators, hunting prey as do wolves. All Ulthferen are carnivores, eating meat save for the occasional fruit. They wear the skins of their prey, and many need no weapon with which to kill.
This lack of dependency on things they cannot produce themselves makes them a self sufficient Clan, so long as game is plentiful in their lands. This self sufficiency combined with the distrust of many of the Clans among the Machtig has led them to become rather insular in recent generations.
One interesting point, unlike most of the Machtig Clans, the Ulthferen don't use patronymics or place names to identify themselves. Each Ulthferen has a single descriptive name, which is usually long and polysyllabic; a shortened form of their full name is used by friends and family. No one recalls where or why this habit began, but it puts the Skalds into fits trying to keep track of lineages.
The Ulthferen have no direct relations with non-Machtig.
The Ulthferen trade hides and furs to the Wundvolding, Herodi, and Pargori in return for currency and other commodities, which is mostly used to buy luxury items as the Ulthferen are very self sufficient.
The Ultferen in and of themselves are hunters and wood crofters much like the Jagrling except for one critical difference. Long ago many of the ancestors of the Ulthferen became infected with the curse of the Wyrdynion. Rather than being horrified by this ailment and seeking to have it removed, the Clan instead embraced it and soon all the surviving members of the Clan were wolfwaren.
The curse drove the infected to attack and infect other Humans, and thus terrible night time raids by Ulth-feren (wolf touched) Clansmen plagued the holds of all the Clans bordering the region, but particularly the more southerly Jagrling.
Finally the Druids were able to provide a partial solution; they crafted a great magic that took away the ability of almost all the wolf touched Machtig to infect others with their curse, and greatly diminshed the bloodlust that would consume them to attack other Humans as the moon waxed. However the curse was still inheritable by heredity and thus the Ulthferen Clan came to be.
Many wanted to slay the infected regardless, but the Druids counceled otherwise saying that the turn of events that created the Ulthferen was foretold in prophesy and that they too had a part to play in the futures of the Mighty People.
And indeed for many hundreds of years they made for mighty warriors and were favored allies of the Herodi in the many wars they incited. However after the Herodi lost power to less warlike souls nearly a century ago a council of Lairds was held and a majority of the Lairds petitioned the Grand Druid of the day to do something about the issue.
After deliberation the Grand Druid directed the Druids to purify the Ulthferen of their curse, and so it was done. However by this time the curse had become hereditary and not all of the Clansmen could be cured. Therefore the Druids took it upon themselves to teach the Ulthferen that could not be cured how to control their inner beast.
In the modern day it is not unusual for an Ulthferen child to be born lycanthropic, and amongst the Ulthferen this is still seen as a mark of good fortune. However wolf-touched Ulthferen that cannot master their rages are put down by the Druids while still young.
Left to their own devices, the Ulthferen are completely content to remain in their own demesnes, possibly because many of the other Clans dont trust them due to their historical savagery with the exception of the Herodi and the Raevoring who respect their strength.
Around 80% of the Ulthferen are Thegns. The remainder are composed of Thralls (10%), Druids (5%), Skalds (3%), and Non-Thegn Fertigkeiten (1.5%), and Zauberers (>.5%).
Most Ulthferen Thegns use the following Packages or some variation of them:
  • Berserker: approximately 35% of all Ulthferen Thegns
  • Barbarian: approximately 35% of all Ulthferen Thegns
  • Scrapper: approximately 10% of all Ulthferen Thegns
  • Scout:  approximately 10% of all Ulthferen Thegns
  • Approximately 10%  of Ulthferen Thegns have a fighting style or discipline unique to their families or circumstances.
The Ulthferen have extremely few Zauberer. There are currently only two Obermancers, the ancient Ornagander (OR-nah-GON-dur) and his student Regenetta (reg-GEN-net-ta). Ornagander is particularly known for his mastery of Aeromancy and Geomancy and is one of the oldest Obermancers currently living.
There are a handful of Runecrafters among the Ulthferen, particularly concentrated in Tiefengruben save for a few Illumin found in other steadings.
The Ulthferen Laird is of course traditionally called the Wolf Laird. His Huscarl usually has around ten to thirty members and only wolf-touched are allowed membership. They are called the Wulfen and are definitely respected for their fighting prowess. The current Wolf Laird is Wolkengreifer.
The Ulthferen Clan Hold is nestled between the Wundvolding to the north, the Herodi to the east, the Jagrling to the south and west, and the Pargori to the southeast. Parts of the Hold abut the mighty Vandolor river to the west, and the Ordefelsig River to the east as both flow down to Lake Pargo; additionally the Lagerbrek River starts in their land, flowing forth from beneath the mountains of the Wundvold range.
Most other Machtig avoid the Ulthferen lands because of the high number of Ungheuer (monsters) living there, which includes some of the Ulthferen by common consideration, and the Druids are often active in the area trying to keep balance.
Most Ulthferen settlements are very rural and often built among the forests of their homeland, with little to no effort made to clear a living space. Many Ulthferen live even more primitively than this, but they are not the majority. Structures are generally wooden, but some reside in improved cave structures.
The Ulthferen ancestral home is Wulflager. It is built along the east side of the Lagerbrek River which drains from the mountains into Lake Pargo. Wulflager is a largish settlement, but very spread out.
It is a wooden steading built among the thick forest, cleared just enough to permit buildings to stand unthreatened by roots, but seems strangely forrested to outsiders. The Lairds Hall is a large longhall built in the likeness of Hafenstadt, save that wolf symbology is highly prevalent and worked into the very longhall itself.
Hallederwolfe (HALL-LAY-der-WULF) is a largish settlement north and east of Wulflager and home to many extended families, mostly trappers and hunters. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Satzrest (SOTZ-REST) is home to several large extended families. This steading is carved directly into a bluff hillside and looks quite primitive to outsiders. The actual residences however are typically very comfortably accountered, though again the prevalence of furs and open firepits enhances the primitive aspect of the steading. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Flulair (FLU-vla-air) is a smaller trading post downstream from Wulflager on the Lagerbrek which is basically a glorified layover point for river trade. This steading is actually in two parts; a walled-in area on the river for outsiders, and the actual Ulthferen settlement which is about 15 minutes walk away. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Weiterhafen (WAY-ter-HA-ven) is the richest of the Ulthferen steadings by a margin due to sitting on the Vandolor River and benefiting from the lucrative trade traveling the river. This steading is a spacious collection of thirty or more longhalls with sturdy construction arranged in such a fashion as to be easily defensible, and ringed by a stone wall twenty five spans high.
Outsiders unaware of the Ulthferen wolf curse might marvel at how much stone was dragged down the river to build such a seemingly pointless wall. Any other Clan would make this the seat due to its ideal positioning, but this steading actually holds relatively few Ulthferen. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Tiefengruben (TEA-fen-GRU-ben), This settlement sits atop a strangely flat-topped large hill, underneath of which is a system of seemingly natural caves extending very deep beneath the earth. In the lower caverns the remains of a Varhold were found, including several ancient and still plentiful mines.
The Ulthferen are not traditionally miners or smiths, but word spread of it to the Wundvolding and an enterprising group of miners showed up to inspect it, and subsequently sued to become Ulthferen so that they might own property in the Clan Hold then bought the whole place up and began to mine.
Today the descendants of those transplanted Wundvolding still reside here, mining and smithing excellent bronze wepaon and armor. Sadly the market for bronze isnt what it was, but the mines also turn out the occasional vein of gold, keeping the steading lucrative.
The locals have much fewer cases of lycanthropy among their bloodlines, though via interbreeding with true Ulthferen over the centuries the curse is not totally non-existanct. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Bewaldeterden (BAY-wall-DEBT-ur-DEN), a sprawling steading spread across several miles, this is an ancient settlement of longhalls and cots that is over two thousand years old. Originally this was the campground of a large army of Machtig warriors, from which they pressed their attacks against Kor entrenched in the mountains.
The campaign to break the Kor's last hold on the mountains lasted a few years, and the war camp turned into a settlement in the meantime. Today its not a thriving community, but the plentiful hunting and fur trading up to relatively nearby Steinern ensures its survival. Though there is no road, a reasonably easy passage up into the mountains runs northwest from Bewaldeterden and connects to the road leading to Steinern near where it crosses the Vandolor River at the Renbogercke (literally "rainbow bridge"). Seat of a Reeve-halten.
The Machtig are an individualistic people, but nevertheless there are some generalities about how the Ulthferen think of the other Clans.
  • Herodi: The one Clan that unconditionally supports us, the Herodi are kindred spirits despite not being of the wolf. We trust the Herodi instinctively and they us.
  • Raevoring: Many members of this Clan are respectful of us rather than fearful, but are not as friendly as the Herodi. Still, we give a Raevoring the benefit of the doubt more often than not.
  • Faendradi: Their strangeness and isolationism mirrors that of our own. Both our Clans know what it is like to be untrusted by our kin. But they are pawns of the evil Aelfing and our blood calls to us to slay the taint in them. It is a difficult conundrum to be sure.
  • Huarthmunn: They generally regard us as being little more than monsters. Should we ever give them cause to hate us their sheer numbers would see us driven to the winds. Thus they are like a sleeping bear whose cave we give wide berth.
  • Wundvolding: Hard men who have no love for us; they want nothing of us beyond fine furs to warm themselves through the cold mountain winters. Only the most mighty or foolhardy Ulthferen refuses to recognize their blade skills and no Ulthferen should wish to bring down the ire of them. We do not range up into the Wundvolding lands lightly as they have proven they can turn out silvered weapons quickly if given cause.
  • Hengsting: They hate us, and no question. They see us as infected Ungheuer and think we eat their precious livestock. Fortunately they are a small Clan and not immediately neighboring, but should you find yourself in their lands for some reason never underestimate their ability to give chase across open ground or their skill with horsebows and javelins.
  • Pargori: On the one hand they are not mighty warriors, but on the other they make the Machtig pack stronger. The are crafty, and work together like wolves, and seem to have the ability to scent profit upon the wind like we scent spoor for the hunt. We can respect their pack ties, and can tolerate them to cross our lands and trade with us in moderation. However their endless chatter does grow wearisome.
  • Jagrling: The Clan most like us in culture, but they hate us more even than our foes from the lands beyond the Vold. They think us to be monstrous beasts that should be put down and destroyed. They guard their border with us to this day and many of them keep silver arrowheads handy. Even all these centuries later they have neither forgiven nor forgotten the early days of our Clan's curse. We can't blame them really, but we can remember that they would sooner put a silvered arrow in our eye than make a greeting.