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The Jarl of Windhelm, Ulfric Stormcloak, claims to be the High King of Skyrim, and is leading the rebellion against the Empire.
Ulfric Stormcloak, also known as the Bear of Markarth, is Jarl of Windhelm during the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. He is the leader of the Stormcloaks, a faction bent on making Skyrim independent from the Empire. He killed the High King of Skyrim, Torygg, using the power of the Thu'um.
He learned to master the Voice as a young boy, when he was chosen by the Greybeards. Ulfric was set to become a Greybeard himself, but when the Great War started, he abandoned High Hrothar, and joined the Imperial Legion.
The Dragonborn first encounters Ulfric at the very start of the game, while they are being transported to their execution. It is possible to join the Stormcloak rebellion later in the game.
Much of what the Stormcloaks believe come from Ulfric's belief that Skyrim should secede from the empire which is crumbling. After seeing thousands of his fellow nords give their lives during the Great War, he found the White-Gold Concordat a betrayal to his people.
Ulfric also seeks to become the High-King of Skyrim. He feels that he is the "true" high-king and all other kings that have come before were merely puppets that were handpicked by the empire.
A lot of the policies that Ulfric enacted could be described as nationalistic and prejudicial. As Jarl of Windhelm, he sectioned off the Dunmer population into the grey quarters, reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa. He even refused to send supplies to the roaming Khajiit caravans and to various non-nord towns. Some claim that the towns and caravans that he didn't send aid to were raided by bandits.