Vanderfell Woods

Built from the ashes and memories of what has long since been left behind, Vanderfell Woods rises in the mountains. A pack whose strength lies in unity and the blood that flows between. While wolves of Vanderfell often appear rough or intimidating from afar, they are a group of tight-knit wolves with a focus on self-improvement and living, not just survival. The founding beliefs stem from Nordic roots with strict laws to ensure the safety and peace of the pack.

Vanderfell Woods
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Located in Fate’s Summit

 

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Vahn · dur · fell - Wanderer who lives in the mountains
Founded March 22, 2021
Abbreviation: VFW
 
The Skald:
 High Queen: Ira (since 3/22/21)
 Jarl: N/A
 Thane: N/A

Past Skald:
 N/A

The founding members of Vanderfell Woods came together with similar goals: to prove something to those left behind and find a permanent place where they too belong. Most wolves that join now are wanderers, those without a family or who have lost their home with time. Finding their own family through shared stories and lost connections these wanderers make welcomed additions to the pack.

  Relations:
   Elysium — Friendly
   Empyrean —  Neutral
   Event Horizon —  Neutral
   Shiroshika — Neutral






Ranks




The Skald

High King / Queen
|
Jarl
|
Thane
|

Civilians

Laering
|
Drang
|
Commoner
|
Affiliate
|


In order of ranking tiers. All rank descriptions are collapsed for ease of access.


Leaders and hand-picked highly respected members of the pack. The High King and Queen are the final say in all decisions though their advisors may address concerns and handle day-to-day tasks in place of the King and Queen such as acceptance into the ranks. For every territory claimed, 2 advisors may be added to the ranks to ensure the claim is properly managed and members are tended to.

High King / High Queen — Equal leaders, mated pair traditionally of opposite genders
Jarl — Trusted advisor / Tends to needs of packmates
Thane — Military advisor / Commander in times of war


Members of Vanderfell Woods who have excelled in a skill or proved themselves in some way to the pack to be honored. Elder wolves and children of the King and Queen are also ranked here for their knowledge and status. Wolves in this tier are widely respected members of the pack.

Arftaki — Children of the King and Queen who have reached breeding age
Hauldr — Elders
Modir — Expecting and nursing mothers of the Hedrad
Radningar — Expertise skill holders
Aesir — Specialty skill holders


Wolves who are new or still proving themselves to the pack. This is the most common tier in Vanderfell, though members are still respected and considered family despite their lower ranking. Wolves in this tier usually require the most guidance when it comes to skill development, though members of the Hedrad usually stand in as mentors.

Vanir — Base skill holders
Laering — Adults who are practicing a skill with guidance from the pack and have not yet developed their talent enough to prove they are capable on their own in their skill path
Drang — Young wolves who have dedicated themselves to their skills with guidance from the pack. They will remain here until they are 2 years old where they will then be moved to a more appropriate rank or to the Laering if they are still learning
Commoner — Wolves who call Vanderfell Woods home but have no specialized skills to offer and are not currently working on any skills
Affiliate — Honorary rank for any Creatures that may align with the pack that are not wolves
Drifter — Those who have recently been accepted into Vanderfell Woods and are still settling in


Children of Vanderfell who have not yet undergone the Coming of Age Ceremony. Children who do not undergo the Coming of Age Ceremony will be moved into the Commoner ranks until they dedicate themselves to a skill path. Those who complete the ceremony will be moved into the Drang ranks.

Arving — Children of the King and Queen
Nipper — Children of Vanderfell Woods


Those who have wronged the pack or been temporarily stripped of their rank. The Thrall are those who must earn back their standing within Vanderfell Woods and until then are last to be fed and first to handle daily grunt work.

Scorn — Those within Vanderfell who have disappointed, disobeyed, or challenged the word of The Skald or packmates ranking higher than themselves.
Servant — Those who have wronged Vanderfell Woods in some way and are paying off their debt. Servants are only ever outsiders and are released once they have paid their dues.



Values and Traditions


Vanderfell Woods was founded on similar beliefs to that of the first High Queen’s birth pack. At its core, there is a pull for strength and self-worth. Wolves are social animals and therefore must rely on cooperation and strength. All members must pull their own weight, though everyone is encouraged to push for improvement and reach new heights together.

While the pack may act like a family, members are expected to remember their place. Do not go against the word of those ranked in any tier above you. Additionally, the word of the King and Queen is law, though others in The Skald are trusted and able to speak in their place.

Respect is everything and common formalities such as bowing one’s head upon greeting, using proper titles, or other forms of acknowledgment to one’s status are expected unless said member allows casual pleasantries.

Trespassers that refuse to leave pack grounds are to be brought to the High King and Queen for questioning and/or punishment. Any pack member caught committing an act of treason, be it to a Vanderfell wolf or one of their allies, will be executed or exiled unless it was in self-defense. Then that member may plead for innocence or a lesser punishment. Those who act in ways that threaten the wellness of the pack may also be stripped of honor and forced to work their way back into the ranks from The Thrall.


Let it be known that when honor is at stake, none shall interfere. The wolves of Vanderfell are very prideful and lean heavily into upholding one’s honor. Honor can be in terms of your family, yourself, or the pack as a whole. All members are to respect the standing of those above them, though disputes are bound to arise no matter what. If things can not be settled with words then a Holmgang may be proposed though most matters don’t reach such severity (see rank challenges). If a challenge is conducted the pack shall be called to The Pit and once it has concluded issues are considered dealt with and are not to be resurfaced.

Wolves are honor-bound upon acceptance to provide for their packmates and ensure Vanderfell thrives. Should one be caught tarnishing the name of their home or plotting something that negatively affects the pack then their honor may be stripped at the discretion of the High King and Queen.* Wolves who have been honor stripped might be given the chance to rebuild their name as one of the Scorn, though banishment is not uncommon.

* Ex. A wolf planning another pack without the permission of the Skald may be seen as traitorous and result in banishment


Given how rare it is to see an elder in the ranks, those who live long enough to see such a day are held with the utmost respect. Elders near the top of the Hedrad ranks for the knowledge they have accumulated throughout their life that they can now offer to the pack and are often tended to by their packmates to ensure the remainder of their life is comfortable. Elders usually retire to the Hauldr around 9 to 10 years of age or older.


The union of two wolves is always exciting as family bonds mix and expand bringing packmates closer together. Blood ties are very important in Vanderfell due to the honor that comes from one’s lineage. Those who hold high standings within the pack and mate bring forth a promising new generation for Vanderfell hence birthing rights are only given to those in the Hedrad or Skald. It is common for the male to ask the father of the bride for his blessing, though should no father stand present, the High King may be asked in his place. Some choose to announce their union privately, though if desired a feast and celebration may be held in the honor of the new couple.

Marriages may only take place at the end of a week while the rest of the week is spent preparing for the ceremony. Men will spend their time filling the caches while women gather feathers or flowers to decorate The Stone Watch where the ceremony will be held. The bride and groom will spend their time alone searching for offerings to exchange with their vows. Offerings can be anything, though most present pelts or trophies.

On the day of the ceremony, feathers will be woven into the couples fur and a race across the territory will be held. All may participate in the race, though those who finish last will be tasked with bringing the food. Afterward, the pack will spend its time together exchanging stories and feasting until golden hour when the bride and groom will present their offerings, one for each other, the other to the Gods, then exchange their vows. At this time, the newlywed couple may excuse themselves for the night or stay to socialize.


With blood an important focus in the pack, Vanderfell values the blood of their allies as well. In order to solidify an alliance, a member, preferably a child of a leader or honored member will be offered to close ties and bring both packs closer together through marriage. The children they bear represent the packs coming together and strengthen the alliance.

Because the alliance stands on the foundation of the marriage, the wolf offered may be allowed to speak with their potential mates and court one of their choosing to ensure they are happy. A wedding is highly encouraged so the packs may mingle and associate themselves with one another, though it is not required. Often the wife will follow her husband to live in his pack, though if desired the husband may move in with the wife. Alliances must be reforged every few generations to reforge and strengthen the ties.


The Coming of Age is perhaps the most anticipated event in a pup’s life. At the age of 9 months, a child will undergo a ceremony before the pack that will carve out their future and places them into the adult ranks. Essentially the ceremony is a bridge from childhood to adulthood where a kid proves they are a man or woman. Standing before the pack, children will pick a set of skills they would like to pursue (though this is just to start, they are allowed to change paths later in life) then partake in a trial given that fits said skills. Once the trial has been completed, the child will be promoted into the Drang and carry out their practices. When all trials of the day have been finished a feast is held to celebrate the new men and women of Vanderfell.


A mid-winter celebration in honor of the spirits, peace, and harmony. There is an emphasis on spending time with loved ones during the festival and often allies and friends from outside the pack will be invited to partake in some festivities. Much of Yule is spent feasting, telling stories, or singing in the evening after a long day’s work. It is also common for wolves to present gifts to loved ones or the Gods to show their appreciation.


When a packmate dies the event itself is sorrowful, though most take comfort knowing they have gone to a better place. Members of the pack who greatly contributed and have honorable deeds will have a burial in place to commemorate them and wish safe travels to the great beyond. A grave is dug and items the individual may have liked are placed in with the body for them to take to the afterlife. Common items to be buried with are the meat of a favorite meal, pelts for comfort, and anything that might remind them of their loved ones. Once the grave has been covered, a large stone will be placed atop for communication so those who still remain may speak to those they have lost.



Breeding Rights


Wolves may not breed unless they have proved their worth to The Skald. Any wolf ranked amongst the Hedrad is automatically given approval to breed upon promotion, though it is not uncommon to ask for permission anyway.

Those who breed ranked as or with someone ranked below the Hedrad break Vanderfell law and risk exile.



Rank Challenges


Due to the structure of Vanderfell, no one may challenge for the rank of someone who is not ranked under the same name. For instance, the Skald are handpicked and equal aside from the King and Queen, they may not be challenged for their title nor may they challenge the leading pair. Two wolves ranked as Aesir however may challenge for their placement within the rank.

Any challenges given to those who do not qualify such as an Aesir challenging a Radningar may still take place, but the duel will be founded on honor as opposed to rank. These challenges are often referred to as Holmgangs.


A Holmgang is a challenge proposed when two wolves can not set aside their issues. Traditionally honor is on the line, though in rare cases other factors may be at stake such as a bride or banishment. The rules of a Holmgang are simple, the challenge must be announced publicly and witnessed before the pack so there may be no false accounts of the event. Before the duel, both parties will have one last chance to settle their differences through words, though if both remain stuck in their ways then the challenge continues. A Holmgang begins at the call of the High King or Queen and after a Holmgang has begun no one may interfere until a victor has emerged. Typically these are not fights to the death, but until one is not able to continue. Holmgangs officially end when one party resigns though due to this requirement those who are stubborn or stupid have lost their lives.

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