The banner of the Stormcloaks, as of 4E 203
|Key Members|| Harold Burned-Mane|
|Alignment||Skyrim, The Empire|
|Enemies||Illegal Factions, Enemies of Skyrim, The Empire (Formerly), The Imperial Legion (Formerly)|
|Founding|| Unofficially: 4E 176|
Officially: 4E 201
— The Stormcloak Battle Cry
The Stormcloaks are the standing army of the Imperial Province of Skyrim. They started out as a militia led by Ulfric Stormcloak to free the Reach from the Reachmen that had taken it from the Nords in 4E 175. In 4E 201 the faction later became a rebel army led by Ulfric, who by the time became Jarl of Eastmarch, whom fought against the 4th Imperial Legion in a Civil War. After they won the war in 4E 203 and Ulfric became the High King of the Province they became the official standing army.
As the official military of the province of Skyrim the Stormcloaks are now no longer a guerrilla style militia, they are a highly trained army. They maintain the order in Skyrim and serve under the High King, making sure his word and laws are kept in the province. They also deal with threats such as bandits and other problems the hold guards can't handle.
The High King is the supreme leader of the Stormcloaks, and under him serve the Stormblades. The Stormblades are the equivalent to generals in the Stormcloaks, and usually there are only two of them at a time. Under the Stormblades are the Bear-Hearts and the other officers such as the Winter-Axes, Snow-Hammers and Bone-Breakers.
Each hold in Skyrim maintains a garrison in a predetermined fort and each hold's garrisoning army is led by either a Bear-Heart or a Winter-Axe. In total the Stormcloaks have roughly 10000 soldiers, counting the guards of each hold.
The Stormcloaks adopted a new banner as soon as the Skyrim Civil War finished. Prior to its end they used the flag of Windhelm, the seat of their leader Ulfric Stormcloak, as their symbol. The new flag is a white decorated bear paw with a background of blue with a gold stripe down the center. The symbol of the Stormcloak clan is a Bear, more specifically a bear's head. This symbol is also used in the flag of Windhelm and Eastmarch, and later in the flag of Skyrim. Using a bear's paw symbolizes their organization perfectly. Instead of using a bear's head the Stormcloaks use a paw as they are the military of Skyrim and thus represent the province's physical strength. They are the hand of Skyrim, the hand of the High King.
As the standing army of Skyrim the Stormcloaks maintain an active garrison in the province's various forts scattered in the 9 holds. Their main headquarters is in Windhelm, the seat of the High King, with the garrison of Eastmarch staying in Fort Amol nearby. They also maintain a garrison in Helgen.
The main forts they hold a constant garrison in are:
- Fort Amol: Eastmarch
- Fort Dunstad: The Pale
- Fort Greenwall: The Rift
- Fort Greymoor: Whiterun Hold
- Fort Hraggstad: Haafingar
- Fort Kastav: Winterhold
- Fort Neugrad: Falkreath Hold
- Fort Snowhawk: Hjaalmarch
- Fort Sungard: The Reach
The Stormcloaks usually only take volunteers, but in times of war they draft the guards of the various holds, and in desperate occasions regular citizens, into military service. Back in the days of its rebel militia roots the Stormcloaks were almost fully composed of Nords, but since then the percentage of non-Nords in its ranks has grown. New recruits are always given the rank of Unblooded until they've proven themselves. Guards that join the Stormcloaks are given a rank equivalent to their existing rank in their respective hold's guard.
- Ursine Stormcloak, High Queen of Skyrim
- Harold Burned-Mane, Stormblade
- Kai Wet-Pommel, Bear-Heart
- Istar Cairn-Breaker, Bear-Heart
- Arrald Frozen-Heart, Bear-Heart
- Kottir Red-Shoal, Bear-Heart
- Thorygg Sun-Killer, Bear-Heart
- Gonnar Oath-Giver, Bear-Heart
- Cade, Bear-Heart
- Valinna Winterhorn, Bear-Heart
- Sofie Cruel-Sea, Bear-Heart
- Rodrik Winterhorn, Winter-Axe
- Daglin Gray-Mane, Blue-Blood
- Einarr Stone-Fist, Blue-Blood
- Anders Vuoski, Blue-Blood
- Yngnavar Once-Pierced, Ice-Veins
- Bathorgh Banner-Torn, Ice-Veins
- Lilija Snow-Shod, Battle-Maiden
- Angrenor Once-Honored, Ice-Veins
- Gunjar, Ice-Veins
- Arnor Gray-Dawn, Ice-Veins
- Thorald Gray-Mane, Blue-Blood
- Galmar Stone-Fist, Stormblade
- Cristus, Winter-Axe
- Fox, Ice-Veins
- Ulfric Stormcloak, High King of Skyrim
- Lieli Beaufort, Bone-Breaker
- Ralof Vuoski, Stormblade
- Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced, Stormblade
- Frorkmar Banner-Torn, Stormblade
- Hjornskar Head-Smasher, Bear-Heart
The Stormcloaks don't use orthodox military ranks, they instead use titles. This is something they carried over from their militia roots.
- Stormblade, the commanding officer of the whole army
- Bear-Heart, the commanding officer of a field army in a hold
- Winter-Axe, the commanding officer of a battalion
- Snow-Hammer, the commanding officer of a small army detachment
- Bone-Breaker, elite soldiers
- Blue-Blood, veteran soldiers
- Ice-Veins, experienced soldiers
- Unblooded, recruits
- Battle-Maiden, a Nordic term used for female military healers
The Stormcloaks use various different kinds of weapons, from Two-handed Battle-Axes to Daggers. The material of the weapons can range from Iron to Skyforge Steel and Nordic.
Due to the friendly relationship between the Stormcloaks and the Gray-Mane Clan the Stormcloaks have had access to Skyforge Steel Weapons since they captured Whiterun from the Imperial Legion. Though only officers wield such high quality weapons.
Due to a deal made by High King Ulfric with the Dawnguard which involved the purchase of the Steel Crossbow schematics, the Stormcloaks now have many Crossbowmen which complement their regular archers. In addition to this, the Stormcloaks also utilize warhounds, specially-trained wolves that aid their masters in combat.
The armor that the Stormcloaks use is very similar to the armor of the Eastmarch Guards, which is something that they kept from their roots as a militia. Even though the Stormcloaks normally use Light Armor, which Nords are naturally better at using, some in their numbers use heavy armor instead. Each rank wears a different set of armor to show their position in the army. Stormcloak mages use special cloth armor instead of the regular armor for their rank. There are three types of Stormcloak Mage Robes. The regular robes are used from Unbloodeds to Blue-Bloods. The officer robes are used from Bone-Breakers to Winter-Axes. The veteran officer robes are used by Bear-Hearts and Stormblades.