|Location||Palace of the Kings|
|Primary Skills||Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block|
|Essential||Yes, until Battle for Windhelm|
|Faction(s)||CWSonsFactionNPC; CrimeFactionEastmarch; Favor254QuestGiverFaction; FavorExcludedFaction; NPCs the Player cannot marry; Ruling Government; Sons of Skyrim Government; Sons of Skyrim; Thieves Guild No Pickpocketing Faction; TownWindhelmFaction; WindhelmPalaceDoorFaction|
Ulfric Stormcloak of the Stormcloak Clan is known as the rebellious Jarl of Windhelm who started the uprising against Imperial rule known as the Stormcloak Rebellion. An incredibly divisive and controversial figure, Ulfric is leading the fight against the Empire in a bid for religious freedom and political independence for Skyrim. For historical information on Ulfric, see the lore article.
On a normal day, Ulfric will wake up at 8am and will immediately proceed to head downstairs to take his place on the throne. He will then remain in court for the next 14 hours, dealing with any business involving the war or his hold. After a long day in court, Ulfric will leave his throne at 10pm to head upstairs where he will sleep for the next 10 hours. There are many exceptions to this schedule due to quest involvement which are fully documented in the below section.
When you first meet him on your way to the executioner's block in Helgen, Ulfric is seen to be wearing unique jarl attire and boots, along with handcuffs and a gag. However, once he returns to the Palace of the Kings he is without the gag, and wears bracers instead of handcuffs, and carries a Steel War Axe of Cowardice. Thanks to his training from the Greybeards, Ulfric can use the Unrelenting Force and Disarm Dragon Shouts.
According to the Imperial General Tullius, Ulfric assassinated the High King of Skyrim with the Thu'um in an effort to ignite an uprising against the Empire's rule over Skyrim. However, according to Ulfric, he challenged him to one-on-one combat in the old Nord way, only using the Thu'um to put him on the ground, then killing him with his sword. Ulfric gained the ability to use The Voice by training with the Greybeards.
Many non-Nord citizens and also some Nords, such as Brunwulf Free-Winter, consider him to be prejudiced against non-humans. In his city, Windhelm, the Dunmer live in an area called the Gray Quarter, the segregated slums of Windhelm. Likewise, Argonians have been banished to the outskirts of Windhelm. Brunwulf claims that Ulfric refuses to send aid to the Khajiit caravans and non-Nord towns that have been raided by bandits, even though he is "the first to sound the horn" when Nord villages are being threatened. Neither Ulfric nor his loyalists display intolerance towards you regardless of your racial background, however. If you complete the Civil War on the side of the Imperial Legion and Ulfric Stormcloak is executed, much of the city's Dunmer population will vocally accept Brunwulf as the new jarl, with many certain that their lives will be better.
Conversely, many Nords consider Ulfric Stormcloak to be a revolutionary commander who is mounting a legitimate uprising against Cyrodiil's imperialism and the Imperial Legion in Skyrim. Indeed, a common sentiment expressed by many of Ulfric's followers is that the Emperor forfeited the legitimacy of his rule by surrendering to the Aldmeri Dominion and agreeing to outlaw the worship of Talos, and that the Empire of today is essentially a puppet state of the Thalmor which no longer deserves to be formally recognized by any of its provinces.
- Joining the Stormcloaks: Prove yourself worthy of being a Stormcloak rebel.
- The Jagged Crown: Find this crown for Ulfric Stormcloak.
- Message to Whiterun: Deliver an axe to the Jarl of Whiterun.
- Battle for Whiterun: Take Whiterun in the name of the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- Liberation of Skyrim: Drive the Imperials from Skyrim. (radiant)
- Rescue from Fort Neugrad: Rescue Stormcloak soldiers from the Imperials and capture the fort. (radiant)
- Compelling Tribute: Blackmail a Talos worshipper into helping the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- The Battle for Fort Sungard: Take this fort in the name of the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- A False Front: Find and deliver some forged documents to the Imperials.
- The Battle for Fort Snowhawk: Take Fort Snowhawk for the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- The Battle for Fort Dunstad: Take this fort for the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- The Battle for Fort Greenwall: Take Fort Greenwall for the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- The Battle for Fort Kastav: Take this fort for the Stormcloaks. (radiant)
- The Battle for Fort Hraggstad: Take this fort for the Stormcloaks.
- Battle for Solitude: The final push to free Skyrim of the Imperials. (radiant)
- Message to Whiterun: Deliver the message that will decide Whiterun's allegiance.
- Battle for Windhelm: Conquer the Stormcloak capital and bring Ulfric to justice.
- Season Unending: Enforce a ceasefire to secure Dragonsreach.
- Thane of Eastmarch: Gain the title of Thane of Eastmarch. (radiant)
- Unbound: Escape Imperial custody and a dragon attack.
Beginning the Rebellion
Throughout the game, Ulfric can provide you with plenty of information about Skyrim and current events. After escaping from Helgen, you can ask him about a variety of topics related to the Civil War at the Palace of the Kings. If you mention to him that at Helgen they said he shouted the king to death, he will clarify how he killed Torygg: "Not entirely true, though not entirely false either. Any Nord can learn the Way of the Voice by studying with the Greybeards, given enough ambition and dedication. My shouting Torygg to the ground proved he had neither. However, it was my sword piercing his heart that killed him." You can ask him why he is fighting this war, which will have him passionately respond: "We're fighting because we're done bleeding for an Empire that won't bleed for us. Untold numbers of Nords died defending the Empire against the Dominion. And for what? Skyrim being sold to the Thalmor so the Emperor could keep his throne! We're fighting because our own Jarls, once strong, wise men, have become fearful and blind to their people's suffering. We're fighting because Skyrim needs heroes, and there's no one else but us."
You can also ask Ulfric why he killed the High King, which will have him say, "I killed Torygg to prove our wretched condition. How is the High King supposed to be the defender of Skyrim, if he can't even defend himself?" You will then have two options to respond with. If you point out that some call him a murderer, he will defend his actions: "I challenged him in the traditional way, and he accepted. There were many witnesses. No 'murder' was committed. True, he didn't stand a chance against me. But that was precisely the point! He was a puppet-king of the Empire , not a High King of Skyrim. His father before him perhaps, but not Torygg. He was too privileged and too foolish, more interested in entertaining his queen than ruling his country." At this point, you can ask Ulfric if he desires to be the High King. He will respond by not giving you a clear answer and instead says, "There hasn't been a true High King in Skyrim for generations. For too long he's been hand-picked by the Emperor, and given emphatic nods by milk-drinking Jarls addicted to Imperial coin. It's time we had a real king. One of our own making." At either point when the conversation branched off into two responses, you could have instead asked Ulfric about Torygg's widow and how she has claim to the throne. He will respond by telling you that this does not automatically make her High Queen: "Indeed, Elisif has become Jarl of Solitude, historically and conveniently home of the High King, backed by Imperial interests. But the Moot has not yet met to name her High Queen. And they won't. Not as long as I have any say in it."
Ulfric will also discuss how he became the jarl should you ask him about this. He will begin by mentioning where he was when his father passed away: "My father, the great Bear of Eastmarch, died during my imprisonment after the Markarth Incident. I, his only son, forced to deliver his eulogy via a letter I had smuggled out of prison. Such is the love of Titus Mede for his subjects." He will then continue, telling you about his return to Windhelm: "When finally set free, I returned to Windhelm, and was greeted by a city in mourning, at one with my own grief and anger. Clamoring in angry voices, calling out for justice, for war, they sat me on the throne. The Throne of Ysgramor! The throne of my father... I only hope I can prove worthy of the honor."
Once you have been summoned by the Greybeards and have completed Dragon Rising, you can talk to Ulfric to learn more about them. When you ask him who are the Greybeards, he will provide you with a brief description of them: "They live in seclusion near the top of the Throat of the World, the great mountain of Skyrim. They're masters of the Way of the Voice - of Shouting. It's a great honor for them to summon you. They speak to very few - in fact, they hardly speak at all." If you ask him how he knows so much about them, Ulfric will reveal an interesting detail about his past: "I studied with them when I was young. They taught me how to Shout." You can then ask him if he trained with the Greybeards. He will confirm that he did and mentions that he originally intended to become a Greybeard himself: "Yes. They chose me when I was just a lad. It was a great honor, of course. I was to become a Greybeard myself. I spent almost ten years at High Hrothgar, learning the Way of the Voice. Then the Great War came... I couldn't stand missing it. I often think about High Hrothgar. It's very... disconnected from the troubles down here. But that's why I couldn't stay, and why I couldn't go back. I suppose the Greybeards care about Skyrim's troubles, in their way, but I needed to do something about it. I'm sure Arngeir would call it one of my failings."
You will then have two more questions to choose from that you can ask Ulfric about. You can ask him if Arngeir is one of the Greybeards, which will have him respond: "Yes. The oldest and most powerful, although he may not seem so. I doubt he's forgiven me for leaving. And for... well, for what he'd consider blasphemy. Using Shouts for anything but worship of Kynareth." After hearing that the Greybeards only use shouts for worship of Kynareth, you can ask Ulfric why they would want to teach you to shout if they don't want you to use it. Ulfric will reveal to you that the same rules don't apply to you: "You're Dragonborn. The rules don't apply to you. You can Shout the way dragons do... without training, through inborn instinct. They always hope to teach the Dragonborn to respect the Way of the Voice as they do. They never fully succeed. You'll have to make your own decision. It's a beautiful philosophy, but outside the seclusion of High Hrothgar, I was never able to hold to it." Instead of asking about Arngeir, you could have asked Ulfric if he knows how to shout, which would have also caused him to discuss the Greybeards' worship of Kynareth: "Yes. Although I rarely use my training. The Greybeards believe the Voice should be used only for worship of Kynareth. I have... fallen from their strict teaching, but I still don't feel it should be used lightly. Not all of Arngeir's lecturing was wasted, it seems."
At the start of the game, you will be a prisoner of the Empire traveling in a carriage to the executioner's block in Helgen along with Lokir, Ralof, and Ulfric. When you arrive in Helgen, General Tullius will approach Ulfric Stormcloak before the executions begin:
Tullius: "Ulfric Stormcloak. Some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn't use a power like the Voice to murder his king and usurp his throne."
Ulfric: "(muffled grunts)"
Tullius: "You started this war, plunged Skyrim into chaos, and now the Empire is going to put you down, and restore the peace."
Ralof: "Jarl Ulfric! What is that thing? Could the legends be true?"
Ulfric: "Legends don't burn down villages. We need to move now!"
Ralof: "Up through the tower, let's go!"
Joining the Stormcloaks
In order to join the Stormcloaks, you are directed to speak with Ulfric Stormcloak himself. Upon entering the Palace of the Kings for the first time, you can overhear a conversation he has with his second-in-command, Galmar Stone-Fist, about Jarl Balgruuf the Greater of Whiterun:
Galmar: "Balgruuf won't give us a straight answer."
Ulfric: "He's a true Nord. He'll come around."
Galmar: "Don't be so sure of that. We've intercepted couriers from Solitude. The Empire's putting a great deal of pressure on Whiterun."
Ulfric: "And what would you have me do?"
Galmar: "If he's not with us, he's against us."
Ulfric: "He knows that. They all know that."
Galmar: "How long are you going to wait?"
Ulfric: "You think I need to send Balgruuf a stronger message."
Galmar: "If by message you mean shoving a sword through his gullet."
Ulfric: "Taking his city and leaving him in disgrace would make a more powerful statement, don't you think?"
Galmar: "So we're ready to start this war in earnest then?"
Galmar: "I still say you should take them all out like you did Deadking Torygg."
Ulfric: "Torygg was merely a message to the other Jarls. Whoever we replace them with will need the support of our armies."
Galmar: "We're ready when you are."
Ulfric: "Things hinge on Whiterun. If we can take the city without bloodshed all the better. But if not..."
Galmar: "The people are behind you."
Ulfric: "Many I fear still need convincing."
Galmar: "Then let them die with their false kings."
Ulfric: "We've been soldiers a long time. We know the price of freedom. The people are still weighing things in their hearts."
Galmar: "What's left of Skyrim to wager?"
Ulfric: "They have families to think of."
Galmar: "How many of their sons and daughters follow your banner? We are their families."
Ulfric: "Well put, friend. Tell me, Galmar, why do you fight for me?"
Galmar: "I'd follow you into the depths of Oblivion, you know that."
Ulfric: "Yes, but why do you fight? If not for me, what then?"
Galmar: "I'll die before elves dictate the fates of men. Are we not one in this?"
Ulfric: "I fight for the men I've held in my arms, dying on foreign soil. I fight for their wives and children, names I heard whispered in their last breaths. I fight for we few who did come home, only to find our country full of strangers wearing familiar faces. I fight for my people impoverished to pay the debts of an Empire too weak to rule them, yet brands them criminals for wanting to rule themselves! I fight so that all the fighting I've already done hasn't been for nothing. I fight... because I must."
Galmar: "Your words give voice to what we all feel, Ulfric. And that's why you will be High King. But the day words are enough, will be the day when soldiers like us are no longer needed."
Ulfric: "I would gladly retire from the world were such a day to dawn."
Galmar: "Aye. But in the meantime, we have a war to plan."
Approaching Ulfric afterwards, he will remark: "Only the foolish or the courageous approach a Jarl without summons... do I know you?" If you insist that you have met before, he will recognize you: "Is that so...? Ah yes, you were with us at Helgen. Destined for the chopping block if I'm not mistaken." If you followed Ralof, you can tell Ulfric that he recommended you, to which Ulfric will reply "Ralof's alive? I hope that's true. He's a damn good man. But he hasn't returned yet, so I'll have to wait for his account." You can also tell him that you wish to join the Stormcloaks; regardless of the line chosen, he will say "I'm always looking for able fighters. Not everyone can say they made it out of Helgen. Seems we're all branded villains these days...So long as your criminal past stays in the past, and you fight for me with honor and integrity, we'll welcome you into our ranks." He will then direct you to speak to Galmar, who tasks you with killing an ice wraith on Serpentstone Isle. If you approach Ulfric anytime before you've completed the task, he will tell you: "I believe Galmar gave you something to do. So go do it."
The Jagged Crown
After you have returned from Serpentstone Isle, if you approach Ulfric, he will exclaim: "You're alive! I'm impressed! Galmar had his doubts about you, but I knew you'd pull through. You should speak with him. He's going to need your help." Approach Galmar, and once you have taken your oath to become a Stormcloak, you will find Galmar speaking to Ulfric about acquiring the Jagged Crown as a benefit towards the cause:
Ulfric: "Tell me again why we're wasting time and dwindling resources chasing a legend. We don't even know it exists!"
Galmar: "The Jarls are upset. They don't all support you."
Ulfric: "Damn the Jarls."
Galmar: "They demand the Moot."
Ulfric: "And damn the Moot! We should risk letting those milkdrinkers put 's woman on the throne? She'll hand Skyrim over to the elves on a silver plate."
Galmar: "All the more reason then. The crown would legitimize your claim."
Ulfric: "A crown doesn't make a king."
Galmar: "No, but this one..."
Ulfric: "If it even exists."
Galmar: "It exists. And it'll be the symbol of the righteousness of our cause. Think about it. The Jagged Crown! It heralds back to a time before jarls and moots. Back to the time when a king was a king because his enemies fell before him, and his people rose because they loved him. Skyrim needs that king. You will be that king, Ulfric. You must be."
Ulfric: "You're certain you've found it?"
Galmar: "When have I ever been false with you?"
Ulfric: "Fine. I'll send the Unblooded here with you. Fancy a crawl through a moldering dungeon to see if you can't stir up Galmar's Jagged Crown?"
Galmar: "It'll be there. You'll see."
You are now told to meet at Korvanjund. If you approach Ulfric before you complete the quest, he will appear annoyed and say: "Why are you still here? You're supposed to be at Korvanjund, proving Galmar right, or proving him wrong."
Message to Whiterun (Stormcloak)
Once you return to Ulfric after acquiring the Jagged Crown, he will remark: "Damn him - the old bear was right! Did you run into any trouble?" If you notify him that the Imperials were there beforehand, he will say: "Damn it. What were they doing there? Imperial spies are everywhere. Never forget that... I trust you gave them a thrashing? Now then...I'm glad you're here. I have a message I need delivered to the Jarl of Whiterun. Deliver this axe to Balgruuf the Greater." Asking him about the axe, he will continue: "Yes. An axe. How long have you been in Skyrim. Give the man my axe. If he keeps it, I will bide my time. If he returns it to you, it means war." Also asking him if you should say anything when giving the axe, he will tell you: "Men who understand each other often have no need for words. There are but a few simple truths behind one warrior giving another his axe. Balgruuf will know my meaning." This will initiate the quest, and you are now directed to deliver the axe to Balgruuf in Dragonsreach.
Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks)
Once you return to the Palace of Kings along with Ulfric's axe, he will exclaim: "Then I was wrong about him." Ulfric will then begin to discuss an attack on Whiterun with Galmar:
Ulfric: "You were right Galmar."
Ulfric: "I'm in no mood to joke."
Galmar: "Give the word, my lord, and Whiterun is yours."
Ulfric: "Whiterun is only a means to an end."
Galmar: "I've toured our camps. We're ready, Ulfric... Whenever you are."
Ulfric: "Is any man ever ready to give the order that will mean the deaths of many."
Galmar: "No. But neither is every man able to give that order when he must. But you are that man, Ulfric. You've been that man before, and you'll be him again. And these men and women - they call themselves Stormcloaks because they believe in you... They're the meanest, toughest sons of bitches Skyrim has to offer. And they want this. They want this as much as you do. Perhaps they want it more."
Ulfric: "You're certain we're ready? Whiterun's army will no doubt be bolstered with . And those walls around Whiterun are old, but they still stand."
Galmar: "We're ready. And I might be old myself, but I'll kick those damn walls down with my bare feet! - if you would only ask me to do it!"
Ulfric: "And I'm sure you could do it, too. Alright. This is it."
Ulfric: "Send the word. "A new day is dawning and the sun rises over Whiterun.""
Galmar: "Aye, and the sons of Skyrim will greet that dawn teeth and swords flashing."
Ulfric: "So it begins."
Ulfric will then turn to you and give you your orders: "Make haste to our camp in Whiterun. I want you on the front lines. I have a feeling about you. Your place is on that battlefield. I need you there." You are now required to meet Galmar for the Battle for Whiterun. Once the Stormcloaks have successfully taken Whiterun, you may return to Windhelm and report back to Ulfric. This ends the current quest and begins the quest Liberation of Skyrim.
Liberation of Skyrim
Battle for Solitude
As you make your way through the city and into Castle Dour alongside both Galmar and Ulfric, you will see a defeated Tullius as well as Rikke trying to persuade Ulfric to stop:
Ulfric: "Secure the door."
Galmar: "Already done."
Rikke: "Ulfric. Stop."
Ulfric: "Stop what? Taking Skyrim back from those who'd leave her to rot?"
Rikke: "You're wrong. Ulfric. We need the Empire. Without it Skyrim will assuredly fall to the Dominion."
Galmar: "You were there with us. You saw it. The day the Empire signed that damn treaty was the day the Empire died."
Ulfric: "The Empire is weak, obsolete. Look at how far we've come and with so little. When we're done rooting out Imperial influence here at home, then we will take our war to the Aldmeri Dominion."
Rikke: "You're a damn fool."
Galmar: "Stand aside woman. We've come for the General."
Rikke: "He has given up. But I have not."
Ulfric: "Rikke. Go. You're free to leave."
Rikke: "I'm also free to stay and fight for what I believe in."
Ulfric: "You're also free to die for it."
Rikke: "This is what you wanted? Shield brothers and sisters killing each other? Families torn apart? This is the Skyrim you want?!"
Galmar: "Damnit woman, stand aside."
Rikke: "That's not the Skyrim I want to live in."
Ulfric: "Rikke. You don't have to do this."
Rikke: "You've left me no choice... Talos preserve us."
During the conversation, you can talk to Ulfric who will be quite sad about the situation: "War always comes down to this, doesn't it? A single truth-laden moment." If you choose to suggest he should just kill Rikke, he will sadly admit: "I fear that will be the way of it." If you choose to ask if he is going to kill her, he will respond: "It's up to her, isn't it?" Galmar may also be spoken to; like Ulfric, he regrets the situation. Asked if he will kill her, he will reply, "Aye. I'll hate it, but if I have to, I'll do it." Both Rikke and Tullius will then engage in combat. Once Rikke is defeated, Tullius will surrender himself:
Ulfric: "This is it for you. Any last words before I send you to Oblivion?"
Tullius: "You realize this is exactly what they wanted."
Galmar: "What who wanted?"
Tullius: "The Thalmor. They stirred up trouble here. Forced us to divert needed resources and throw away good soldiers quelling this rebellion."
Ulfric: "It's a little more than a rebellion, don't you think?"
Tullius: "We aren't the bad guys you know."
Ulfric: "Maybe not, but you certainly aren't the good guys."
Tullius: "Perhaps you're right. But then what does that make you?"
Ulfric: "You just said it yourself."
Galmar: "It makes us right."
Tullius: "And if I surrender?"
Ulfric: "The Empire I remember never surrendered."
Galmar: "That Empire is dead. And so are you."
Tullius: "So be it."
Galmar: "Just kill him and let's be done with it already."
Ulfric: "Come, Galmar. Where's your sense of the dramatic moment?"
Galmar: "By the gods! If it's a good ending to some damn story you're after - perhaps the Dragonborn should be the one to do it."
Ulfric: "Good point."
At this point, you can either choose to take the honor of executing General Tullius or allow Ulfric to do so instead. Ulfric will approach you afterwards, saying: "Stormblade. I want you to have my sword, a token of my appreciation. Now then. The men will expect a speech . Will you stand by my side? I wish to honor you, Dragonborn and the truest of Stormcloaks." You can choose whether to be included in the speech or not. If you choose not to, then Ulfric will skip the Dragonborn introduction.
Galmar: "Good. It's done."
Ulfric: "Well, I suppose some kind of speech is in order."
Galmar: "I'll go gather the men in the courtyard."
Ulfric: "And Elisif?"
Galmar: "Don't you worry about her. I've sent my best men to round her up."
Afterwards, both Ulfric and Galmar will exit Castle Dour. Ulfric will then begin to address his speech to the people:
Galmar: "And now, I present to you, Ulfric Stormcloak, hero of the people, liberator and High King of Skyrim!"
Ulfric: "I am indeed Ulfric Stormcloak, and at my side the man/woman we know as Stormblade, and the world knows as the Dragonborn. And indeed, there are many that call us heroes. But it is all of you who are the true heroes! It was you who fought a dying Empire who sunk its claws into our land, trying to drag us down with it. It was you who fought the Thalmor and their puppets who would have us deny our gods and our heritage. It was you who fought your kin who didn't understand our cause, who weren't willing to pay the price of our freedom. But more than that, it was you who fought for Skyrim, for our right to fight our own battles... To return to our glory and traditions, to determine our own future!"
Ulfric: "And it is for these reasons that I cannot accept the mantle of "High King." Not until the Moot declares that title should adorn my shoulders will I accept it."
Soldier: "And what about Jarl Elisif?"
Ulfric: "Yes, what about the Lady Elisif? Will she put aside her personal hatred for me, and her misplaced love for the Emperor and his coin, so that the suffering of our people will end? Will she acknowledge that it is we who will determine Skyrim's future? Will she swear fealty to me, so all may know that we are at peace, and a new day has dawned?"
Elisif: "I do!"
Ulfric: "Then it is settled. The Jarl will continue to rule Solitude, I will garrison armies here to ward off Imperial attempts to reclaim the city. And in due time, the Moot will meet, and settle the claim to High King once and for all. There is much to do, and I need every able bodied man and woman committed to rebuilding Skyrim. A great darkness is growing, and soon we will be called to fight it, on these shores or abroad. The Aldmeri Dominion may have defeated the Empire, but it has not defeated Skyrim!"
After addressing the people with a speech, Ulfric will then confide to Galmar:
Ulfric: "How'd I do?"
Galmar: "Eh, not so bad. Nice touch about the High King."
Ulfric: "Thank you, I thought so, too."
Galmar: "It's a foregone conclusion, you know."
Ulfric: "Oh, I know."
Galmar: "The Imperials aren't going to leave us alone. They still have camps in the hills. They'll continue to strike out at us, whenever and wherever they can.
Ulfric: "I'm not afraid of the remnants of the Legion, in time they'll all give up and go home. What I fear, is that the Thalmor will see our victory here and turn greater attention to our shores. We must be prepared to face them."
Ulfric: (to you) "And of course, we couldn't have done it without you. May the gods preserve you."
Galmar: "May the gods preserve us all."
Ulfric: "Come, Galmar. We've still much work to do."
Afterwards, both Ulfric and Galmar will leave the city and return to the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm. If you choose to speak to Ulfric anytime afterwards about what you can do to further the cause, he will reply with: "True sons and daughters of Skyrim reign in every city, we've crippled the Imperial Legion, and cut off it's head by killing General Tullius himself. What more could I ask of you? No, you are free to roam. I suspect the gods have needs for you elsewhere. That said, some of the Legion's staunchest men have organized themselves, and are operating out of hidden military camps in the wilderness. If you come across any Imperials in your travels, I expect you'll know what to do." If you also ask whether there will now be peace, he will simply state: "There will be peace for a time, during which we must rebuild Skyrim into the land it once was. Strong. Self-reliant. The center of mankind. Because getting rid of the Empire was only half the problem. Soon, the elves will again seek to rule the world. We must ready ourselves to fight them. For it will be Skyrim that shall lead Tamriel in those dark days, when the fate of the world is finally determined." Finally, if you ask Ulfric if he is to be called High King now, he will tell you: ""No, not yet. We'll wait for the Moot to name me High King. It'll be better for all that way. But, that doesn't mean I won't start acting like it. There's much to do. The new Jarls need help building armies, and enforcing their right to rule. The Empire may try to reclaim Skyrim, and I need everyone ready for that. Though the biggest threat, of course, is the elves."
When Esbern, Arngeir or Paarthurnax suggest that capturing a dragon in Dragonsreach may be the only way to get to Alduin, Jarl Balgruuf the Greater or Jarl Vignar Gray-Mane (depending on which is the jarl of Whiterun) will be understandably hesitant if the Civil War still rages. As a result, you will have to arrange a peace meeting between the Imperials and Stormcloaks in High Hrothgar, starting the quest Season Unending. When you approach Ulfric with the message from the Greybeards, he will remark: "It's about time they turned their gaze from the heavens, back to our bleeding homeland. What do they want?" Telling him that they want to negotiate a truce until the dragon menace is dealt with, he will reply: "I have the greatest respect for the Greybeards, of course. And the dragon attacks are a growing plague. But the political situation is still delicate. Not all the Jarls are fully committed to supporting me as High King. I can't afford to appear weak. I can't agree to this unless Tullius himself will be there." Until General Tullius agrees to go, Ulfric will remain undecided. Once Tullius agrees to go, Ulfric will attend the peace council and will say: "Yes. I'll give Tullius one more chance to quit Skyrim with his tail between his legs."
|Ulfric's objection to Elenwen's presence||"By Ysmir's beard, the nerve of those Imperial bastards, eh? To think that we would sit down with that... Thalmor bitch. Either she walks or I do."|
|If Elenwen stays during the negotiation.||"But she is to observe, nothing more. We are not negotiating with her, is that clear?"|
|After Elenwen says: "After all, it's not the Thalmor that's burning your farms and killing your sons."||"You know exactly... no. Not this time."|
|When General Tullius initially demands Riften.||"That's quite an opening demand, Tullius."
"Come on, Tullius, you can't seriously expect us to just hand over Riften at the negotiating table."
|If the player suggests: "<Alias=ImperialMinorHoldCapital> seems like a fair trade."|
|If the player says: "The Empire holds only Solitude. Tullius is in no position to make demands."||"Just what I was thinking."|
|Player agrees with Ulfric: "You're right.
||"I'm glad you agree. I was starting to wonder whose side you were on here."|
|When the player suggests
||"It has its advantages. I've never liked having the Empire perched on my doorstep. And Riften would be easy to hold..."
"Yes. With Markarth in our hands, we'll be able to raid the Imperial supply lines out of Solitude..."
|If the player suggests
|If the player agrees that Markarth be exchanged for Riften.||"The Dragonborn has spoken, Tullius. Markarth will be ours. Now we'll see if there's anything behind your talk of good faith."|
|When Tullius says: "Soon enough I'll have you back under the headsman's axe, and this time there won't be any dragon to save you."||"As always, the Empire's fine words are worth nothing!"|
|After Esbern says: "Here you sit arguing about... nothing! While the fate of the land hangs in the balance!"||"Is he with you, Delphine? If so, I advise you to tell him to watch his tongue."|
|Accusing the Stormcloaks of a massacre||"This is our homeland, Tullius. All the blood spilled in this war is on your head."|
|If compensation is given to the Stormcloaks||"Do you hear that, Tullius? The blood of the innocent cries out for weregild."|
|If compensation is denied to the Stormcloaks||"And so the Empire runs roughshod over Skyrim, as usual."|
|If the negotiations favor the Legion.||"I shouldn't agree to terms that so blatantly favor the Empire. I have no choice, though, under the circumstances. But once Alduin is defeated - then it will be the Empire's turn. Remember - ".""|
|If the negotiations favor the Stormcloaks.||"The sons of Skyrim will live up to their agreements. As long as the Imperials hold to theirs."|
Message to Whiterun (Imperial)
Should you side with the Imperial Legion during the Civil War, you will be given the assignment to get Balgruuf the Greater to side with the Empire. After being told that Ulfric plans on attacking Whiterun, Balgruuf will want you to deliver a message to Windhelm to see if this is true. Specifically, he will have you deliver his axe to Ulfric.
Once you have completed your trip to Windhelm and have arrived at the Palace of the Kings, you can approach Ulfric and tell him you have a message from the jarl of Whiterun. This will pique his interest and he will respond: "Is that so? I've been wondering when he'd come around." You will then have the option of handing Ulfric the axe, which will cause Ulfric to begin to understand what Balgruuf's message is: "Oh. What's this? Ahhh... You're quite brave to carry such a message. It's a pity you've chosen the wrong side..." He will then continue, telling you to return the axe to the jarl: "You can return this axe to the man who sent it. And tell him he should prepare to entertain... visitors. I expect a great deal of excitement in the city of Whiterun in the near future..." You will then have three options you can choose to respond with:
- You've killed the High King. Why make war on your own people?
- "I have shown the people that when our Jarls drink the Empire's milk, it makes us weak. I must now show them the path that will lead us back to our strength. There is no progress without sacrifice. No wheat without threshing the chaff. The Empire and the Jarls who back them must be swept away. The people demand it. I demand it."
- You will be stopped.
- "Oh? True, I may meet my end in a dark alley with a dagger in my back. But the people have seen the truth, and they will not back down."
- We'll be seeing you soon.
- "Sooner than you think."
After you have finished your conversation with Ulfric, you will have to return to Whiterun and deliver the message to Balgruuf. This will then lead into the Battle for Whiterun.
Battle for Windhelm
If you sided with the Imperial Legion, you will participate in the Battle for Windhelm alongside General Tullius and Legate Rikke. After fighting your way through the city of Windhelm, you will make your way into the Palace of the Kings where you will find Ulfric Stormcloak and Galmar awaiting your arrival:
Tullius: "Secure the door."
Rikke: "Already done, sir."
Tullius: "Ulfric Stormcloak! You are guilty of insurrection, murder of Imperial citizens, the assassination of King Torygg, and high treason against the Empire. It's over."
Galmar: "Not while I'm still breathing, it's not."
Rikke: "Step aside Galmar. We're here to accept Ulfric's surrender."
Ulfric: "I'll never surrender Skyrim into the hands of a corrupt and dying Empire."
Rikke: "Skyrim doesn't belong to you, Ulfric."
Ulfric: "No... But I belong to her."
Tullius: "Enough! You are traitors and will die traitors' deaths. Stand down and face public execution, or advance and face summary execution by my hands. It matters little to me. Either way I'll be sending your heads back to Cyrodiil."
Galmar: "Well? What are we waiting for?"
The three of them will then draw their weapons and engage in combat, with Rikke and Tullius going after Ulfric while Galmar goes after you. When Galmar is dead and Ulfric is kneeling on the floor, Tullius will sheathe his sword:
Tullius: "Well Ulfric, you can't escape from me this time. Any last requests before I send you to... to wherever you people go when you die."
Rikke: "Sovngarde... sir."
Tullius: "Right. Well?"
Ulfric: "Let the Dragonborn be the one to do it. It'll make for a better song."
Tullius: "Song or not, I just want it done."
You can choose to kill Ulfric by your own hands or allow Tullius to do it himself. Whether Ulfric was executed by you or by General Tullius, Ulfric will be on his way to Sovngarde. His death also signifies the final defeat of the Stormcloak rebellion, and with Ulfric dead, Brunwulf Free-Winter will take over as Jarl of Windhelm.
If you sided with the Imperials in the Civil War, Ulfric will die at the end of the questline. If he is dead by the time you reach Sovngarde as part of the Main Quest, you will encounter Ulfric in the afterlife, wandering around helplessly in Alduin's mist. When you get near him, he will remark: "Skyrim was betrayed, the blood of her sons spilled in doomed struggle against fate. And so in death, too late, I learn the truth - fed by war, so waxed the power of Alduin, World-Eater - wisdom now useless. By gods' jest in this grim mist together snared, Stormcloak and Imperial, we wander hopeless, waiting for succor." If you approach him at any other time, he will sometimes ask: "Do you know the way? I'm weary and lost." He may also warn you: "Beware! The World-Eater waits within the mist!" or "There is no escape. Courage is useless." You can do nothing but leave him behind and proceed to fight Alduin so his soul can find rest in Sovngarde. When Alduin has been defeated, the mist will disappear from Sovngarde and Ulfric will walk towards the Hall of Valor and thank you for lifting the curse of the World-Eater.
Ulfric can be seen having a variety of different conversations with his housecarl and his steward in the Palace of the Kings.
He will discuss the Civil War with Galmar:
Ulfric: "Calm yourself, Galmar. Save it for the battlefield."
Galmar: "Our men are getting massacred out there. Damn Imperials."
Ulfric: "We can't march on Solitude. Not yet. One thing at a time."
Galmar: "We need to move faster. Keep them off balance."
Ulfric: "It's working, Galmar. Our patience has won us friends and allies. And our armies are systematically taking care of the rest."
Ulfric: "Is there any news from High Rock?"
Galmar: "Not a peep. Those prissy Bretons can't be made to lift a finger to help their neighbors."
Ulfric: "I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. They've never had many problems with the Empire."
Galmar: "Those milk drinkers? Might as well be elves. Think they're better than us."
Ulfric: "Regardless. It appears Skyrim must stand alone. Again."
He will also express his reservations in Galmar's idea to persuade a dragon to fight for the Stormcloaks:
Galmar: "Do you think we could persuade one of the dragons to join our side?"
Ulfric: "I'm fairly sure that the dragons don't care about our matters one way or the other."
Galmar: "But just think of the advantage."
Ulfric: "I'm not saying it wouldn't be useful. But there are better uses of our resources right now."
Galmar: "I don't suppose we would ever really trust the thing anyway."
Ulfric can also be seen asking Jorleif for advice on military affairs, despite the fact that Jorleif has little knowledge in regards to these matters:
Ulfric: "Galmar thinks we should double our men in the Reach."
Jorleif: "A reasonable strategy."
Ulfric: "And you, Jorleif?"
Jorleif: "Well, sir, the hold of Falkreath is fairly vulnerable, and blocks the only road from Cyrodiil."
Ulfric: "A good point, old friend."
Jorleif: "To be sure, my lord, I am not skilled in the arts of war or military tactics."
Ulfric: "But you're able to see the whole in the parts, and for that I'm grateful."
Jorleif: "As you wish, sir."
On other occasions, you will see Ulfric be not as open to his steward's advice:
Ulfric: "Jorleif, I want you to send a messenger to our western camps."
Jorleif: "And the message, sir?"
Ulfric: "I'm diverting Gar and Haddring's men to join him."
Jorleif: "Is that wise, sir?"
Ulfric: "It will work if we can pull Hran's men from the south. And find a bit of luck."
Jorleif: "Of course. Something that seems to be in short supply these days."
Ulfric: "I'm not seeking advice right now, friend. Just send the message."
You may also see Ulfric and Jorleif discuss current issues within the walls of Windhelm:
Jorleif: "Sir, there continues to be unrest in the Gray Quarter."
Ulfric: "Blasted dark elves. I don't suppose you could tell them that I presently have larger concerns? Such as all of Skyrim?"
Jorleif: "They don't seem to be very sympathetic to our cause, sir."
Ulfric: "Let me know if you hear anything more substantial?"
Jorleif: "Of course, my lord."
Torsten Cruel-Sea will also approach the jarl and ask him about forming a navy for the Stormcloaks:
Ulfric: "I'm still not sure I understand what you're asking."
Torsten: "A navy, my lord. We could stop the influx of Imperial troops to Solitude, and choke their northern lines."
Ulfric: "But most of their supply routes come south, from Cyrodiil."
Torsten: "But imagine -- fleets of ships sailing from Windhelm, all bearing the Stormcloak flag! It would be glorious!"
Ulfric: "And I suppose the Cruel-Seas would be just the clan to provide ships and men?"
Torsten: "You need but ask."
Ulfric: "I'll think on this, but I make no promises."
Torsten: "I can ask no more. Thank you, my lord!"
- "I'm having fun, are you?"
- "Call yourself a warrior?"
- "You're losing a lot of blood. Maybe you should sit down for a moment."
- "Come on! I dare you!"
- "Come on, at least try to hurt me."
- "You call this a fight?"
- "Wake me up when you're ready to fight me for real."
- "You want me to close my eyes? Would that even things up a little?"
- "Talos smite you!"
- "Sovngarde awaits!"
- "This should be fun!"
If you are in the Imperial Legion, he will taunt you with these lines as well:
- "Die Imperial!"
- "Where's your precious Emperor now?"
- He is voiced by Vladimir Kulich.
- Despite being completely opposed to the Empire, Ulfric will refuse to kill the Emperor during his visit to Solitude. If you question him about this he will tell you that "We're ready to march on Solitude, but the Emperor's cousin is getting married! If royal blood was spilt, all of Cyrodiil would be up in arms. We can't afford an all out war with the Empire. So we'll bide our time for now." or he will remark that "We're ready to march on Solitude, but the Emperor's visiting! The goddamned Emperor! And, as much as I'd like to kill the man myself, we can't risk an all out war with the Empire. We'll bide our time for now..."
- There are in fact, three versions of Ulfric:
- The main version has a base ID of
0001414Dand a ref ID of
- The second has a base ID of
000D0575, but doesn't have a unique ref ID. He is in only three factions: CWDialogueSoldierFaction, Sons of Skyrim, and CWSonsFactionNPC. This one is used in the beginning of the attack on Solitude, and is simply called "Ulfric Stormcloak". After you enter Solitude to commence the attack, he changes to the main version, which is called "Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak".
- The third has a base ID of
000EA581and a ref ID of
000EA584. He is in only three factions: FavorExcludedFaction, MQ304LostSoulFaction, and MQSovngardeCombatDialogueFaction. He exists in Sovngarde. When Alduin is dying, he will head to his location.
- The main version has a base ID of
- During the quest Diplomatic Immunity, a Thalmor Dossier on him can be found revealing that he was captured and interrogated by the Aldmeri Dominion as a prisoner of war during the Great War. The Thalmor currently consider him a "dormant asset", albeit "uncooperative", as they need the Civil War to remain in a stalemate.
- After Ulfric is killed during The Battle for Windhelm, his corpse will never disappear.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Conversations also exist in the game data between Ulfric and Captain Lonely-Gale. However, these cannot be heard in normal gameplay since Captain Lonely-Gale does not ever enter the Palace of the Kings.
- This issue has been addressed by version 2.1.3 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch; Captain Lonely-Gale's dialogue has been reassigned to Jorlief.
- The conversations are originally as follows:
- Ulfric: "Captain, I've been receiving complaints about this Giordano woman.
- Captain Lonely-Gale: "Yes, sir. I've been trying to quiet her, but she's insistent. She thinks she can find out who's been killing the women..."
- Ulfric: "I don't care if she can find a living dwarf -- I can't have her stirring up trouble. We have enough problems as it is."
- Captain Lonely-Gale: "Yes, sir. I'll try to contain her."
- Ulfric: "See that you do. I will not let Windhelm descend into chaos over a few overactive imaginations."
- Ulfric: "What's the current spirit among the dark elves?"
- Captain Lonely-Gale: "As restless as ever, sir, but I don't see them taking any kind of incendiary action. Not soon, anyway."
- Ulfric: "Well that much is good. Let's finish this first war before starting the next one, eh?"
- Captain Lonely-Gale: "Um... yes, of course, sir."
- Ulfric: "Carry on, Lonely-Gale. And loosen yourself a bit."