Ulric

Ulric is the god of battle and destruction, the patron of wolves and the spirit of winter. He is portrayed as a massive warrior, armored in the style of the barbarians who inhabited The Empire several centuries ago, and wearing a silver-grey wolf-skin cloak. He can also take the form of a huge silver-grey wolf. Ulric is a distant, harsh and unforgiving god, who expects his followers to stand on their own two feet, putting their faith in martial prowess. He despises weakness, cowardice and trickery, and expects his followers to always take the direct approach to solving a problem.

Symbol:

The symbol of Ulric is the wolf; wolf-head medallions are worn by many of his followers, and the design is also used as decoration on weapons and armor. Some followers of Ulric wear wolf-skins as cloaks. Clerics wear black robes with white wolf-head emblems on the breast and trimmed with wolf-skin.
Area of Worship:

Ulric is mainly venerated in the north of The Empire, but his cult is found in other parts of the Old World, especially among warriors.

Temples

The main temple of Ulric is in Middenheim, though temples are also found throughout the northern and eastern Empire. There are smaller chapels and shrines to Ulric elsewhere in the Old World, in barracks and fortresses, but it is only in The Empire that Ulric’s religion is formally organized. Temples in towns and cities of The Empire occasionally send tribute to Middenheim, and all followers of Ulric are expected to make a pilgrimage there at least once in their lives.

Temples to Ulric are normally square, with a central dome and decorative battlements around the roof. They are always strongly built of stone, normally without any exterior decoration, with the exception of a wolf’s-head relief over the doorway. This is usually set in a shallow porch, supported by two plain stone pillars. The interior is lit by a series of small apertures in the dome, and by a fire which burns continually in a circular hearth. Behind the fire, against the rear wall, is a statue of Ulric, usually seated and sometimes flanked by a pair of wolves. These statues are normally at least life-size and made of stone, but in some older temples they may be of painted wood. Benches are set along the walls, and weapon racks are set either side of the doorway. The priests’ quarters and other rooms are situated behind the temple itself, and are reached through a door in the back wall.

The temple to Ulric in Middenheim is a vast castle. The keep is the main temple, capable of holding up to a thousand worshipers at a time, and there are many lesser temples and private chapels running off from it. The priests’ accommodation and other functional rooms are on the upper floors, while the outer bailey of the castle is given over to the accommodation and training facilities for pilgrims and visiting priests.

Shrines to Ulric tend to be smaller versions of the temples, with a small statue of the god behind a lamp or small hearth, which is tended by the shrine’s attendants or by passers-by.
Friends and Enemies

The followers of Ulric tend to be dour and self-contained, and have no close associations with other cults; by and large, the leave alone and are left alone. They do have friendly relations with some Druids. With Ulric’s accent on strength, directness and martial power, there is often friction between his followers and those of Ranald, who are considered cowardly and underhanded; this seldom develops into open hostility, although Ulric’s temples have been known to take an active role in the persecution of Ranald’s cult in areas where it has been proscribed.

Holy Days

Ulric has three main holy days: the autumn equinox, the winter solstice and the spring equinox, marking the beginning, middle and end of winter respectively. The spring equinox was formerly the major festival, marking the beginning of the campaigning season, but is now on a par with the other two. It is also customary for a ruler or general to declare a holy day in Ulric’s honor at the start of a campaign or military exercise, and at the foundation of a new fort or castle. Holy days are generally spent holding military parades and displays, with huge bonfires and feasting into the night.

Strictures:

Never refuse or question an order from a superior authority, except where to obey would lead to another stricture being broken. Never refuse a direct challenge to combat or any other kind of contest. Never resort to lying, cheating or any other kind of trickery. This does not include attacking from ambush or using camouflage. Wolf-skin may only be used on clothing if you killed the wolf yourself, using only the weapons provided by nature. Gunpowder weapons, explosives, incendiaries and crossbows are prohibited. All other types of weapons and armor are permitted. The fires in the temples and shrines to Ulric must never be allowed to go out; it is said that if they do so, the next winter will last a full year.

Ulric

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