The Eternal Forest
When the House Randulf fled in exile from their ancestral city of Wulfstead, they traveled far to the south and settled in a secluded valley in the North-East corner of the Eternal Forest. The village of Solitude can only be reached by navigating a series of cliffs and small caves before entering into a valley hidden behind small mountain ridges. This makes it virtually unseen by outsiders, but the paths are easily traversed by Werewolves. It wasn’t long before the village was discovered by Baelkai Moonear, an Elven Werewolf who once fought for the Fits of the Forest.
After retiring from the order, he sought a peaceful existence away from all of the fighting and crusades of the Fists, traveling north to the lands of other races. It was there that he discovered a small clan of humans hiding on the fringe of the forest. Among them was a single human boy who had become afflicted with lycanthropy. These were not ordinary humans though, but the noble Randulf clan, descendants of the proud barbarians of the far north. After hearing the tales of their homeland Wulfstead, and how they left their kingdom to save the kings only son and heir from the hatred and misunderstanding of their own people, the old elf was struck with enormous respect and admiration for these loyal and honorable men from the north. He took it upon himself to help train the boy and teach him how to use his gift without harming others.
He taught the Randulfs the teachings of Luna, goddess of the moon and patron of non-evil Lycanthropes. Over time he became their shaman, their religious leader. The descendants of the Randulf line, starting with the young werewolf boy, remained the leader of their people equal only to the shaman in influence. Rather than king, they took the title of Alpha as they became less the nobles of legend, and more a pack of family connected wolves. Slowly the entire group became werewolves, as each new generation went through the “Joining” and became a werewolf as they cam of age.
When news reached the elf that Wulfstead had been sacked and conquered during the Winter War, it was only his great influence that stopped the proud family from returning north to try and save their people. They had cast out their king, and now they had reaped the penalty for their crimes. Plus, their was nothing they could do to help when an army could not even retake the city, surrounded by magical storms of ice and cold. For two centuries the clan lived in peace, making a small isolated village on the North-East fringe of the forest named Solitude. The occasional adventurer stumbles upon the village and trades for goods, bringing word of the outside world, unaware that every eye upon him is that of a werewolf. Luckily, these werewolves do not hunt men…
Now, there is strife in Solitude as the Alpha was recently killed by a Werewolf Hunter. His eldest son, Godric, is set to become the next Alpha but as always he is unsatisfied with this peaceful existence. The death of his father and thirst for knowledge of his families past glory drives him for a life greater than that of a common woodsmen. Two moons have passed and he still has not made a decision as to whether he or his younger brother Eric should become the next Alpha. Moonear must decide how to council this son of Randulf. Should he try and cool the wolf that burns within him, or tell him of the Fists of the Forest and send him into the world, sword in hand, on a mission to redeem his family name and reclaim his homeland. Hard questions, and ones that need answers soon as the pack grows restless in his indecision…
The Randulf Clan has a very strong sense of Discipline, Honor, Loyalty, and Honesty. The village of Solitude is composed of the ruling family and their descendants, the Randulf’s, and those who descend from their loyal followers who left Wulfstead with them during the Exodus. The entire village is a tight knit family, more akin to a wolf pack than a human village. All members descend from the Northern Barbarians of old, a proud and noble race.
The leader of the group are the direct descendants of the Randulf clan. Now, they are known as the Alpha instead of the King. Also referred to as the Packmaster by some. Equal in status is the Elven shaman, who acts as their religious leader. The village hunts for the majority of their food and also are skilled at fishing in nearby rivers. In addition to hunting, various crops are grown but never in large numbers. A ready supply of Alchemic supplies are grown in the village to aid in treating their Lycanthropy when one of the villagers has trouble controlling their condition.
While they embrace their gift from Luna, the clan is devoted to Good ideals and strive to never hurt an innocent when in their Wolf-Form. They take great pains to ensure that they only turn when they are completely secluded, and hunt forest creatures as a pack.
The clan is very devoted to their Diety, Luna, Goddess of the Moon and Non-Evil Lycanthropes.
While hunting, tanning, tracking, and other such activities are a huge hobby for all members of Solitude there are also a few other popular activities. Wood-carving is very popular, and the Barbarians the clan descends from have always been renowned for their carving abilities. Making elaborate and structural impressive wooden building and objects is a skill that has been past down for centuries.
Education is actually very strong in the village, as the nobles they descend from were very well educated and brought many of their books and scrolls with them during the Exodus. History, of the North in particular, is heavily emphasized. Teachings of the Barbarian tribes, the fall of Numinox, the founding of the Randulf House, the Kings of Winter, and the raising of Wulfstead are all very popular subjects. Word reached them through Moon-Ear of the fall of Wulfstead as well and the conquest of House Oldren. This is a dark subject but one that all are forced to learn. Moon-Ear also teaches every generation a great deal of his vast collection of worldly knowledge.
Swordsmanship and Archery are heavily emphasized, although melee combat is favored. Greatsword in particular have always been the ancestral weapon of House Randulf and a favorite of the Barbarians as a whole. Proper training in the use of these weapons are stressed, as well as an almost religious focus on the care and maintenance of each individuals weapons and armor.
While most are content with their peaceful existence, during the Exodus, House Randulf swore that one day they would return to reclaim their rightful place as the Kings of Winter and Lords of Wulfstead. After the Winter War, that oath became little more than a dream, but some still hold most tightly onto that oath and intend to see House Randulf return to its’ former glory, redeem their name, and bring justice to the betrayers who enslaved the people of the North.