Wolf tribes are divided along very strict territorial boundaries. Each individual tribe’s territory contains enough land to allow the semi-nomadic people to follow herds of prey animals (elk, deer, bison) as they migrate through the land. During the bountiful summer months, the tribe splits into small family groups and live in separate camps as they follow game. When the last of the herds have migrated beyond the territory of the tribe, the small family groups gather together in the winter camp. This sole permanent settlement is occupied year round only by a few tribesmen, mostly the elderly or injured and a few tradesmen. Merchants and traders often visit the ‘sod city’ to sell their wares to the wolf people. When the families gather for the winter, they inhabit den like houses dug into the earthen hillsides. Mostly roofed with sod and half-buried, the only building in the settlement fully above ground is a single story long building that serves as meeting hall and traveler’s hostel as needed. An individual home is a large, comfortable room mostly underground at the end of a long, low entry tunnel. Almost every ‘den’ has a smaller, hidden secondary exit, often a dug tunnel so low that it must be crawled through. The restive people dislike the idea of being cornered in a place with only one way out. The wolf people rely on the insulating earth to keep their dwelling warm in the winter months while they inhabit them. Often the tunnels are closed off with piles of loose stones during the warm seasons, leaving the many uninhabited dwellings looking like so many cairns.
Among the many families that make up a clan, there is a single married couple who are considered the clan heads. During the summer months, individual families govern themselves, taking any inter-group conflicts before the elders at the Winter City during a summer visit or bringing them before the clan heads while the families are gathered for the winter. During the summer, the council of elders who reside in the Winter City year round are respected for their collective wisdom. When the families gather, the clan heads rule the tribesmen by virtue of their strength and they are expected, in turn, to hear the advice of the council of elders, even if they are not obligated to heed it. A warrior society first and foremost, the clan heads are respected as the strongest and most capable warrior and his wife, who is also expected to be a capable fighter able to defend herself and her children from attack. A clan headsman rules until he is challenged by another man and defeated in single combat. These combats are not necessarily fought to the death, often a defeated headsman who survives will retire to the Winter City and in time join the council of elders.