Ulfric Stormcloak is a Nord from Skyrim. He is the son of Hoag, the previous Jarl of Eastmarch. Since 4E 176 Ulfric has been leading a Civil War against the Third Empire, which escalated after he killed High King Torygg in 4E 201.
Early life and the Great War
When Ulfric was young, he was chosen by the Greybeards to study with them. He was meant to become a Greybeard himself. After almost 10 years of training, Ulfric had learned the Unrelenting Force and Disarm Shout, then the Great War broke out between the Empire and the Third Aldmeri Dominion. Ulfric decided to take part in the Great War on the side of the Empire, where he fought alongside Legate Rikke and Galmar Stone-Fist. During the war, Ulfric was captured by the Thalmor during their campaign for the White-Gold Tower, and interrogated by Elenwen, who later became the ambassador to Skyrim. Ulfric was led to believe that the information he provided led to the fall of the city, though it had in fact fallen before Ulfric had broken. After the interrogation Ulfric was allowed to escape.
The aftermath of the Great War
After the Great War ended, Ulfric was back in Skyrim and had established a millitia. He and the Thalmor had also established direct and cooperative contact, with which he proved his worth as an asset to the Thalmor. Ulfric and the Thalmor staged the so-called Markarth Incident, which was particularly valuable from their point of view regarding Skyrim, though it resulted in Ulfric becoming uncooperative to direct contact. The Markarth Incident took place as part of the aftermath of the Great War. The Reach was one of the Holds drained of troops. With Markarth in a greatly weakened state, the natives of the Reach, the Reachmen, claimed the city. With the Imperial Legions still being in Cyrodiil as a result of the Great War, the Jarl of Markarth, Hrolfdir, could not turn to them for aid. As an alternative, he found Ulfric Stormcloak and his millitia. While the Reachmen were making overtures to make peace with the Empire, and be recognised as a legitimate kingdom, Hrolfdir was arranging an agreement with Ulfric. Hrolfdir and Ulfric eventually came to an agreement, Ulfric demanded he and his millitia would be allowed to worship Talos again,[note 3] and in return the Stormcloaks would take back the city. Hrolfdir promised that Talos worship would be allowed in Markarth, and so the Stormcloaks marched on Markarth. Ulfric and his militia were said to have been relentless when they took over Markarth, with Ulfric saying "You are with us, or you are against Skyrim." It is said that many of the native Reachmen were killed by Ulfric through executions, though Hrolfdir also played a part in this. After the Legions had returned home from the Great War, they were blocked entrance into Markarth until they too accepted Ulfric's term of free Talos worship. With the rumors of deaths rising by the day in the city, the Empire accepted the deal and were permitted entry. The Empire and Markarth's Jarl hoped the Thalmor would not find out. When they did find out about it, they demanded Ulfric and his militia be arrested or the Empire risking plunging into a new Great War. The choice was clear, and Ulfric and his entire militia were imprisoned.
The Stormcloaks, Skyrim Civil War, and High King Torygg
As a result of the Markarth Incident, the millitia Ulfric had used to conqeur Markarth from the Reachmen were now turned into a rebellious group, known as the Stormcloaks. These Stormcloaks started the Civil War in Skyrim under Ulfric's demand. The name "Stormcloak," according to some, refers to the last name of Ulfric, and was meant as a mockery by the members of the Legion to belittle the Stormcloak's cause. Others state that the name was created by the Stormcloaks themselves to show Ulfric's ambition for hte throne. Regardless of the origins of the name, the Stormcloaks gladly accepted being named after Ulfric, and wear the name with pride. During his time in prison, his father, Hoag died. Ulfric was allowed to leave prison as a result. After this Ulfric made his way back to Windhelm and the people there set him on the throne. One of the deeds that Ulfric did as Jarl was force the Argonian population outside the city walls via a decree, and segregate the Dunmer population to the Gray Quarter. Ulfric also did not act if a group of Argonians, Dunmer refugees,[note 4] or a Khajiit Caravan is ambushed,[note 5] only sending aid or investigating when Nords are being threatened. He also continued waging the Skyrim Civil War from Windhelm, originally being rather unsuccesful, and not gaining a lot of support, the Empire did not pay much attention to Ulfric. Some skirmishes were fought between the Stormcloaks and Imperials, even outside Windhelm itself, but the war had not yet fully escalated. The High King at the time, Istlod, had held Skyrim together for 25 years, and following his death the Moot was held. Though Istlod's son, Torygg had, by tradition, a justified claim to the throne he still allowed the Moot to meet. Ulfric was at this Moot, and he spoke of Skyrim's indepence in terms just shy of treason, for which Torygg greatly respected the man. Torygg was elected as High King by the Jarls of Skyrim, and would rule until his death in 4E 201. In 4E 201, Ulfric Stormcloak asked for an audience with the High King and the Court of Solitude. The people thought that, because Ulfric wanted independence, he would ask Torygg to declare independence from the Empire, but instead, Ulfric challenged Torygg to a Traditional Nordic Duel. By Nord tradition, once such a challenge is issued in court, the High King has to accept, or risk another Moot meeting. Torygg died when Ulfric unleashed the Voice during the battle, though Ulfric himself claims it was his sword piercing Torygg's heart that killed him. Historically, such duels were vague in whether it was allowed to be fatal or not. Furthermore, Ulfric had also utilized the Thu'um in the duel, which some considered an unfair advantage and blasphemy of the Way of the Voice. Thus some considered Ulfric a murderer, while others in Skyrim considered it justified and a fair kill. Regardless of whether the kill was murder or not, the death of the High King got the Empire's attention, and the Old Holds joined Ulfric's cause. As a result of the civil war becoming a big obstacle, General Tullius got sent to Skyrim. Tullius turned things around for the Empire in the short months he had been in Skyrim. Before Tullius' arrival, Ulfric and his Stormcloaks had always managed to evade capture by the Imperial Legion. But under Tullius' leadership, the Imperial Legion became more organized and Ulfric got captured at Darkwater Crossing. Originally, Ulfric was meant to be transported back to Cyrodiil, but it was later decided that he would be executed at Helgen. At Helgen, Alduin made his first appearance since the Merethic Era, and in the chaos, Ulfric managed to escape. After the destruction of Helgen, Ulfric made his way back to Windhelm, where he continued to wage the Skyrim Civil War. The Jarls were upset that there was not a High King, and demanded the Moot to meet. But Ulfric did not allow it to meet as he did not want to risk Elisif, the Jarl of Solitude and widow of Torygg, to become High Queen.
In 4E 201, the Last Dragonborn, on his quest to beat the World-Eater, needed to capture a dragon in Dragonsreach, the palace of the Jarl of Whiterun. As Dragonsreach is located in Whiterun, and Whiterun Hold was neutral in the Skyrim Civil War, the Jarl of Whiterun, Balgruuf the Greater, was hesitant to allow the Dragonborn to capture a dragon. The Jarl feared that if he made one wrong move, either the Stormcloaks or Imperials would try to invade his Hold.[note 6] The Dragonborn and the Jarl made an agreement that if the Dragonborn managed to create a temporary truce between the two factions, the Jarl would help in capturing the dragon. When the Dragonborn asks Ulfric to attend to this council, he is hesitant at first, because not all the Jarls were fully committed to supporting him as High King, and he did not want to risk appearing weak. However, the Dragonborn is eventually able to convince him.
- ↑ Ulfric mentions that he started his training with the Greybeards when he was just a lad, and that he stayed with them for almost 10 years before the Great War took place.
- ↑ Only if the Imperial Legion wins the Skyrim Civil War.
- ↑ Alvor, the blacksmith in Riverwood during Skyrim states that the Talos ban was not enforced until Ulfric started agitating about it.
- ↑ As an example, Refugees' Rest, a place for Dunmer refugees to meet missing relatives, is overrun by Frost Trolls.
- ↑ Another example is the dead Khajiit Caravan located at Steamcrag Camp.
- ↑ If the Skyrim Civil War is still ongoing post Battle for Whiterun, then depending on the Jarl, they will only agree to the plan if both the Stormcloaks and Imperials agree to a truce since they fear the opposing side would take advantage of the dragon attack to usurp Whiterun.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Bear of Markarth
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Dialogue with Ulfric Stormcloak
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Dialogue with Igmund
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Dialogue with Hadvar
- ↑ Ulfric Stormcloak's Shouts in Skyrim
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dialogue with Legate Rikke
- ↑ Dialogue with Galmar Stone-Fist
- ↑ Dialogue with Elenwen
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak
- ↑ Dialogue with Nepos the Nose
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Dialogue with Braig
- ↑ Dialogue with Cedran
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Dialogue with Stormcloak Commanders
- ↑ Dialogue with Scouts-Many-Marshes
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Dialogue with Alfarinn
- ↑ Dialogue with Ambarys Rendar
- ↑ Dialogue with Aval Atheron
- ↑ Dialogue with Malthyr Elenil
- ↑ Ghosts in the Storm
- ↑ Dialogue with Brunwulf Free-Winter
- ↑ Dialogue with Vulwulf Snow-Shod
- ↑ Dialogue with Nura Snow-Shod
- ↑ Dialogue with Solaf
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Dialogue with Sybille Stentor
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Dialogue with Elisif the Fair
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 Dialogue with General Tullius
- ↑ Dialogue with Captain Aldis
- ↑ Dialogue with Alvor
- ↑ Dialogue with Proventus Avenicci
- ↑ Dialogue with Hold Guards
- ↑ Dialogue with Roggvir
- ↑ Nords Arise!
- ↑ Dialogue of Gerdur
- ↑ Dialogue of Greta
- ↑ Dialogue with Ralof
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 Conversation between Galmar Stone-Fist and Ulfric Stormcloak
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 Events of Season Unending
- ↑ Dialogue with Balgruuf the Greater