|“||Eyes on the Prey, not the Weak.||”|
— Their words
Clan Ghost-Wolf is a clan of high status seated in the Vargine Hall in Whiterun. Its family consists primarily of Nords while various other races serves as warriors and servants.
Their coat-of-arms depicts a white, snarling wolf's head edged with black on a white background.
Seeing as the clan has roots in Ysgramor's legacy they also share some warm relations with the Companions of Whiterun.
As revealed in the Ancient Legends saga, every member of Clan Ghost-Wolf possesses the "Blood of the Wolf", meaning that they are all lycanthropes, with the exception of a few chosen.
The clan's current Matriarch is Valkyrie Ghost-Wolf.
The clan was supposedly founded by Ylgar, the youngest son of Ysgramor after the events of "the Return" in the Late Merethic Era. Stories tell that Ylgar, when praying to the Atmoran gods to thank for the victory against the Elves, encountered a gigantic white wolf.
At first Ylgar backed away slowly from the huge creature, but when he saw that it was severely wounded he slowly approached it and instead began to heal it with what limited knowledge he could.
Once the wounds had healed the giant wolf, to Ylgar's surprise spoke. It thanked him from the bottom of its heart and told him that its name was Warworn the White and as thanks for the healing of its wound, Ylgar would be given three gifts out of his choosing.
Ylgar thought first that it was a trick, but when he saw the sincereness in the wolves eyes he asked for a weapon to bring him further victory against the elves. To Ylgar's surprise the wolf snapped one of its own claws off and handed it to him, telling him to forge a weapon out of it. Due to the natural abilites of the claw, it would be able to rend through any material, it wouldn't be worn be time or conflict and it could only be carried as lightly as a feather in the hands of those of Ylgar's blood.
Secondly Ylgar asked for a piece of armor that would shield him from any harm. In response the wolf ripped off a piece of its own pelt and handed it to Ylgar, telling him to make an armor out of it. The armor would be able to resist any arrow, cut and bludge, as well as being so light of a burden that he could fold it into the size a napkin and carry it with him.
Thirdly Ylgar asked for strength over all. The strength to harm those who had wronged him and his kin. And so Warworn the White ripped open his own wrist and urged Ylgar to drink of his blood and Ylgar drank reluctantly. When he had had enough, Warworn told him to wait until the full moon set. That night Ylgar turned into a white ferocious beast and slaughtered an army of elves who had besieged his brethren. When the battle was won and Ylgar reverted to his old self, he immediately returned to the place where he had met Warworn to thank the wolf for the gift. But Warworn the White was nowhere to be found and he was never seen or encountered on Nirn ever again...
In honour of Warworn the White's memory, Ylgar founded his clan and named it Ghost-Wolf. Thus one of the oldest clans was founded.
The First Clan War
Clan Ghost-Wolf was among the few clans that managed to maintain their status as a superior force during the outcome of the conflict when the war finally settled.
The Second Clan War
The war turned out to be disastrous for Clan Ghost-Wolf with the betrayal of Clan Silver-Fang and the assassination of five of Patriarch Oddvar the Odd's children. The clan stayed mostly low during the conflict in order to regain their strength and only took part in the final assault led by Clan Blood Raven, against the disloyal clans of Elvenkind.
The Third Clan War
The Ghost-Wolves remained loyal to the Empire's cause after the death of Tiber Septim and fought against anyone who sought to uphold the order of the clans.
The Fourth Clan War
After the events of the Oblivion Crisis, the clan still held true to the belief that a united Tamriel would be better for everyone. An uneasy truce with Clan Cave-Bear made it possible for the clan to agree to a weapon trade, allowing the Ghost-Wolves to fight in the weakened clan's place.
With the events of the Great War, the otherwise good relations between the clan and the Empire worsened, when Bitvarg the Elder rejected the White-Gold concordat and refused to accept the banishing of the worship of Talos. Even though no evidence could be brought to light, it was well known that Clan Ghost-Wolf supported Ulfric Stormcloaks claim to Skyrim's throne. It was also rumoured that the clan destroyed entire Thalmor patrols in the wilderness, but nothing could ever be proved.
In 4E 192, key members of Clan Ghost-Wolf were summoned to the tundras surrounding Whiterun for a truce between them and their ancient enemy Clan Cave-Bear. However the truce turned out to be an ambush in which Sturkas Cave-Bear had hired the bandit tribes of the nearby mountains to brutally slaughter the family core of Clan Ghost-Wolf along with countless of warriors and bodyguards. This event has afterwards been named "the Wolf Trap". Lilja and Hemming Ghost-Wolf were both taken as hostages.
Even though Valkyrie Ghost-Wolf and Torsdolk Ghost-Wolf survived the attack, Clan Ghost-Wolf is mainly considered by the other clans to be extinct, unless Valkyrie can fullfill her role as a Matriarch and have children of her own, to secure the bloodline.
In 4E 206 Valkyrie discovered that her brother Hemming had been dead since the events of "the Wolf Trap". He had been imprisoned before he had been been killed and flayed, whereupon members of Clan Cave-Bear used his werewolf pelt as a rug. In retaliation Valkyrie burned the prison where Hemming had once been held, and killed every staff member found inside.
The same year she faced Sturkas Cave-Bear in a duel and won, though not before becoming severely injured herself. After the dispute was settled there was talks of having Lilja Ghost-Wolf released back to her clan.
The clan follows the traditional ways of a clan ranking structure.
The Ways of the Wolf
The Ways of the Wolf is the name of Clan Ghost-Wolf's code book. It is an ancient script which has been passed down for generations. The earliest example was written on stone tablets during the Merethic Era, but is now written down in a tome bound in werewolf pelt. Within its pages is written the honourary ways to become a true and just warrior, heroic deeds of clanmembers, the family tree, as well as the secrets of warfare unique to the clan.
Only those who have achieved the rank of Ghost-Wolf may be allowed to read its pages, this rule goes for the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs as well. If the family head has never chosen to follow the path of the Ghost-Wolf, they may never read the ancient texts. There have been few occurences in which a family member has achieved the rank of Ghost-Wolf and only to be named the family head afterwards, thus being allowed to guide the family as well as to read The Ways of the Wolf.
The Ghost-Wolves is the highest achievable rank of warriors within the clan. Few are worthy to carry such titles. Named after the clan itself it is a great honour to be named thus. What defines a Ghost-Wolf is their unmatched fighting skills and their knowledge of the secrets written in The Ways of the Wolf. Their deadly fighting style is one combined of both stealth and physical prowess.
The Berserker is an elite warrior of the clan. Few can be chosen to become a Berserker due to the dedication it takes for them to hone their skills and to focus their aggression and ferocity into warfare. They train regularly to make themselves the perfect living weapon, making it hard for them to have a normal life by the side.
The Stalkers is a secretive fighting unit within a clan that primarily focuses their fighting skills to be used with stealth and discreet methods to dispatch their foes. They also serve as spies, informants and scouts. The Stalkers training schedule is set to be practiced only during the night to prevent being spotted. They must also possess some knowledge in the brewing of poisons as well as social abilites such as acting to tell whether or not someone is lying.
Those who do not want to endulge themselves in the art of warfare are called Pups within Clan Ghost-Wolf. The rank generally consists of everything from servants and farmhands to stableboys and squires.
The Cadet Branches of Clan Ghost-Wolf are:
Clan Wraith's Paw
A Khajiit named Shen'Zarr once served true and faithfully as a Berserker for Clan Ghost-Wolf during the time of Second Clan War. He was fierce in battle and just as respected as any other Nord. He rose so high in the ranks that he was eventually given the privilige to form his own clan, which he also did, but not before bowing before the Patriarch of Clan Ghost-Wolf and thanking for the honour of serving him. His clan would eventually become the primary Clan Wraith's Paw, a clan which consists mainly of Khajiits and Argonians.
The current Patriarch is Sha'Anxi, who is a direct descendant of Shen'Zarr. Despite his young age he has proven to be a capable leader and a formidable ally to Clan Ghost-Wolf, maintaining an excellent relationship between the two parties.
Even though Clan Frost-Fang was originally founded by former members of the Ghost-Wolf clan, the clan has grown so large it is up to debate whether or not the clan qualifies to be acknowledged as one of the primary clans instead of a Cadet Branch.
The current Matriarch of Clan Frost-Fang is Haridsvari, a Nord woman of 90 years. The relations between Clan Ghost-Wolf and Frost-Fang are generally good even though most of the founding members were exiled for their extreme ways and their refusal to accept The Way of the Wolf.
Sometime during the Second Clan War, a group of Bosmer Stalkers betrayed Clan Ghost-Wolf when the Patriarch Oddvar the Odd was ill. Things didn't seem to go Clan Ghost-Wolf's way during the war and therefore they saw their chance to overthrow the clan once and for all by successfully killing five of the Patriarch's children in an attempt to cut short the bloodline and the end the clan once and for all. The retaliation was swift however when the Ghost-Wolf warriors arrived to battle. A few of the elves survived and eventually retreated to the Rift where they founded Clan Silver-Claw, a clan mainly consisting of elves of all kinds.
Their current Patriarch is Andridaen. The relations between Clan Ghost-Wolf and Clan Silver-Claw has been cold and bitter for centuries, going so far that Clan Ghost-Wolf has even denounced any relations to the clan for the unjust murder of their ancestors.
Clan Ghost Oak
Clan Ghost Oak is a minor clan with only a handfull members, yet still growing strong. The clan was founded somewhere during the aftermath of the Second Clan War by Svante Thuriksson. He was a former Young Blood for Clan Ghost-Wolf who proved his valour during the conflict and was thus honoured with the opportunity to found his own clan. He named it after the material of the shield he was wearing into battle, but also in honour of his former clan.
Their current Matriarch is Ebba Thuriksson, who maintains a good and stabile relationship with Clan Ghost-Wolf.
- Ylgar, son of Ysgramor, Founder/Patriarch (deceased)
- Herugrim Ghost-Wolf, Patriarch (deceased)
- Siljan the Gentle, his wife (deceased)
- Skallagrim the Howler, Heir (undead)
- Vargargrim, Stalker (deceased)
- Oddvar the Odd, Patriarch (deceased)
- Nervediam, Stalker (deceased)
- Shen'Zarr, Berserker (deceased)
- Svante Thuriksson, Young Blood (deceased)
- Greti the Fair, Matriarch (deceased)
- Harald Frost-Fang, Berserker (deceased)
- Haridsvari Frost-Fang, Ghost-Wolf (alive)
- Haseiaa, Archivist (deceased)
- Gammelvarg, Patriarch (deceased)
- Hedvig Hawk-Singer, his wife (deceased)
- Bitvarg the Elder, Patriarch (deceased)
- Hildi, his wife (deceased)
- Torsdolk, Berserker (alive)
- Ulftand, Stalker (deceased)
- Ylva, Ghost-Wolf (deceased)
- Katri, Pup (deceased)
- Varg, Heir (deceased)
- Rigvar, Young Blood (deceased)
- Valkyrie, Matriarch (alive)
- Perdix, Patriarch (alive)
- Hemming, Pup (deceased)
- Lilja, Pup (alive)
- Ma'Khenro, Ghost-Wolf (alive)
- Juliana Nymus, Ghost-Wolf (alive)
- Halvar Wide-Jaw, Ghost Wolf (alive)
- Lovis, Tutor (alive)
- Boragus, Archivist (alive)
Traits and Reputation
Family members of the clan tend to have brown or golden brown hair with grey eyes and sharp facial features.
The clan has been acknowledged as being one of the more passive and loyal clans found in Skyrim. They have a tendency for helping out those who are weak or are in need, yet put honour and courage above all. They have a reputation for being overly chivalrous and trustworthy, something which has led many good members of the clan to an untimely death. The clan also has a somber history of mental illness running in the family, especially among the female members.
Quotes about the Clan
|“||My clan has always looked our enemies dead-in-the-eye, so that they may know that we stand equal in a battle and that the other part has as much chance to win as we have.||”|
— Valkyrie Ghost-Wolf