Ulfric is one of the sacred lukoi words and the title of the king or leader of a werewolf pack. The term is a derivative of the Norse "ulfr," meaning "wolf." Theoretically, female werewolves may become Ulfric, but female Ulfrics are rare because the strongest males normally have a significant strength advantage over even the strongest females. Consequently the Ulfric is usually considered to be the ultimate alpha male of a pack, and the highest ranking (although not necessarily the most dominant) female is the Ulfric's chosen mate, lupa. The relationship is always sexual, and the pair is often also married.
The Ulfric of a pack will usually be replaced by whoever defeats him in combat, although it's not considered a valid succession fight if the opponent hasn't worked their way through the dominance ranks and become a Fenrir first, or if the fight involves weapons beyond their own bodies. However, any loss in a fair fight is likely to be perceived as a sign of weakness and can thus erode the Ulfric's power base, as would avoiding the challenges or the Ulfric himself bringing weapons to the fight.
In theory the succession fight does not necessarily have to be to death, and the Ulfric can in fact step down, but it's extremely rare for a person with such dominant personality to bow down and give the reins to another voluntarily, and in practice the transfer of power almost always happens through lethal force. The new Ulfric will usually also kill the previous enforcers and any other strong and potentially troublesome pack members to prevent a dominance split. Richard didn't do this or many of the other things that are considered traditional, and while this won him Jamil's loyalty for sparing his life, Richard's pacifistic and reluctant approach unstabilized his pack overall. Sylvie seriously considered taking over in turn in Burnt Offerings, and Jacob intended the same in Narcissus in Chains, until Richard learned he really did have to be the ultimate alpha male for his pack and observe the traditions if he wanted to keep his position (and life).
If an outsider were to kill the Ulfric the pack would sort out their new leadership among themselves.
- King Lykaon - described as an ancient king who did not hide that he was a werewolf.
- Simon - former leader of the Thronnos Rokke Clan (dead). Killed by Marcus.
- Marcus Fletcher - former leader of the Thronnos Rokke Clan (dead). Killed by Richard.
- Richard Zeeman - current leader of the Thronnos Rokke Clan.
- Verne - current leader of the Oak Tree Clan.
- Roland Sanchez - current leader of the Broken Spear Clan.