The Chief Wolf

AUTHOR: Erica Balsley (Camdin)

ISSUE: 15:25



BRG 8 (+1)

NIM 8 (+1)

PER 9 (+1)

STR 14 (+4)*

VIT 10 (+2)*

WIT 4 (+0)


STAM +6*



WIS +0
















Command 1 (Wargs), Dodge, Strong-willed 2, War-wise, Wary, Weapon Mastery (Fangs) edge


Enemy (Gandalf the Grey)

Special Abilities

Dissolution in Death, Extraordinary Sense: Sense Power, Icy Breath, Natural Weapons (Fangs,  2d6+1), Undead Stamina, Vulnerability (Sunlight, 2d6/round), Spells


Armed Combat: Natural Weapons (Fangs) +12, Inspire +2, Intimidate (Fear) +10, Jump +8, Language: Understand Westron +2, Language: Understand Black Speech +2, Language: Warg-speak +4, Observe (Smell, Spot) +8 (+13 to Sense Power), Ride (Keep Rider) +3, Run +11, Stealth (Sneak) +10, Survival (Mountains) +5, Track (Scent) +9





Barbarian, Captain

Order Abilities

Air of Command, Fires of Devotion, Move Without Trace (Mountains) 2 (−10 test penalty), Preferred Weapon (Fangs)




TN Equivalent




The Chief Wolf is only so named in The Hobbit, and is one of the of wolves that trapped Thorin and Company in pine trees soon after their escape from the tunnels at the Goblin Gate.


The Chief Wolf is a grey beast, larger by some considerable amount than any other wolf or Warg known. He was a great leader of wolf-kind in the North, in command of “hundreds and hundreds” of Wargs that were gathering in the for a long-planned Orc incursion into the Mannish settlements in the Vales of Anduin. That incursion was disrupted by Gandalf’s slaying of the Great Goblin and the rousting of Beorn, who killed many Orcs and Wargs as they scoured the countryside looking for Thorin and Company.


During the Wargs’ assault on the Dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo Baggins high in the pine trees, the Chief Wolf was fiercely burned by a well-placed Burning Sparks spell. Dealt such terrible injury by Gandalf wielding nothing more than dry old pine cones, the Chief Wolf fled to lick his wounds.



Unique Special Abilities

Dissolution in Death: When slain, the body of a Warg-wight dissolves into mist.


Icy Breath: The breath of Warg-wights carries the chill of the grave. When a Warg-wight scores a Superior success or higher with a bite, his chill breath gets into the wound, freezing the flesh, causing the victim to lose 1 point of strength and one point of vitality.  Lost points are regained at the rate of one in each attribute per 10 minutes, or in full upon application of a Healing-spell.


Undead Stamina: Warg-wights do not eat or drink, take only half damage from physical attacks, and heal all injuries at five times the normal rate. Warg-wights do not have Weariness Levels and do not need to make Stamina tests to resist Weariness for any reason.




(The following depictions of the Chief Wolf’s history are not canon, and are pure speculation on the part of this author.)


Little is mentioned of the Chief Wolf after his defeat at the pine trees, and indeed despite his prestige as a leader of Wargs he isn’t even mentioned in the description of the Battle of Five Armies. Since little else is written of him, it could be assumed that he lost face amongst his kin and was outcast from the Warg-packs of the North.


Humiliated, the Chief Wolf wandered South and eventually found his way to Dol Guldur, the tower of the Necromancer. There the Chief Wolf first encountered the foul Warg-wights and swore to someday be their master. (See Hall of Fire #12 for more information on Warg-wights.)


Misfortune (and Gandalf!) seemed to follow the beleaguered Chief Wolf, however, for shortly after he arrived at Dol Guldur the White Council appeared and drove the Necromancer — revealed at last to be Sauron — out of Mirkwood. Hoping to once more be elevated to a position of status among Warg-kind, the Chief Wolf fled with the Dark Lord to Mordor.


In those long dark years in Mordor, strong had the Chief Wolf grown in his heart and hatred, and much foul magic had been worked upon him by the Master of Barad-dûr. At long last the Chief Wolf passed away, and as he had sworn his spirit lingered on in Middle-earth and he became one of Sauron’s Warg-wights.


Many years later, the Chief Wolf and his Shadow-Pack was dispatched along with other powerful servants of the Shadow to scour the countryside looking for the One Ring. Knowing the lands Gandalf traveled most, the Chief Wolf took his pack to Eriador. There, in those wild lands, he sought in vain for the One Ring, but so too did he search for the enemy that had dealt him so many wounds of body and heart.


The Chief Wolf found Gandalf at last in the land of Hollin, called Eregion by the Elves of old. Undaunted by the eight travelers that accompanied the Grey Wizard, the Chief Wolf tracked his enemy to the mountains near Moria. He had gathered with him a sizable pack of natural wolves, but they fled when their pack-leader was slain by Legolas. Enraged, the Chief Wolf and his Shadow-Pack assaulted the nine travelers. A great battle then ensued, and as he did so long ago Gandalf lit the forest ablaze with searing fire. Before the Chief Wolf could reach his old enemy, however, he, too, was slain by Legolas. His form melted into the earth with the coming of dawn, and nothing more was ever written or seen of the Chief Wolf.



In the Film

The Chief Wolf does not appear in any of the films. This does not, of course, mean that he does not exist in the setting of the film.



In the Game

Around the time of the War of the Ring, the Chief Wolf is in Eriador with a small detachment of Warg-wights searching for the One Ring. Heroes could encounter them in the wilderness near the ruins of Tharbad, or skulking among the barrows of the Barrow-downs. Alternately, the Chief Wolf could be used to harass travelers around Rivendell, as he knows that his old enemy Gandalf spends much of his time there. Between the events in The Hobbit and the War of the Ring the Chief Wolf is in Mordor with Sauron.


Of course, you don’t have to use the Chief Wolf with the history detailed here. You could use him as an antagonist or “boss monster” for your chronicle. In this capacity he could be encountered in any region of Middle-earth where the Shadow holds sway.