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Imperial Artisans => The Imperial Office => Topic started by: S.O.F on July 09, 2010, 10:24:42 PM

Title: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: S.O.F on July 09, 2010, 10:24:42 PM
Last summer bored and unemployed I began as an odd off project a comprehensive guide to the Empire, I was unaware that 6 months later I would have 50 plus pages of stuff. Sadly I probably should be spending more time working on my masters thesis but this is somehow more enjoyable.

Update Info

3/8/14 Wissenland up


Coming Soon: Solland, The Moot, Sylvania (maybe)


Land of the Hammer
A Political and geographical Guide to the Empire




Complied and transcribed by jan von Aldium
Intrepid Scholar and Court Historian to his majesty
Prince Leopold Aulslander
Lord of Aulschweig

Introduction

In the late summer of 2521 IC, his majesty Prince Aulslander requested that I, Jan von Aldium, write a book detailing the nuances of the great nation to his Lordship’s north, The Empire. Prince Aulslander’s son was to be sent to University in Nuln and it was the Prince’s request that this tome be designed in order to garner a degree of familiarity to the land his son would soon set off for.   I spent days combing through his Lordship’s library as well as the library of those neighboring Princes friendly to his Lordship. When this proved incomplete, his Lordship most generously offered to pay for me to travel to the University of Streissen in Averland in order I may wholly round out my work. The six weeks spent there, provided me with an abundant amount of notes and without such this work would have been impossible. I would at this point like to extend my gratitude to faculty of the University of Streissen for their aid in allowing this foreigner, though of proud Imperial ancestry, such access to their archives.
Methodologically this work is a bit of a departure from most other scholarship on the Empire. While I have gone to great lengths in order to include as much relevant information from the great scholars of  our age such Hieronymus of Nuln and Frederick Weirde, this book is designed not only supply dry and dusty history but to allow for understanding of how Imperials feel about one another. To find this component, I have turned to what many of my colleagues would term the ‘Gutter Press’. Though the tales of such writers as Ehrhard Stoecker and Felix Jeager are utterly preposterous, I believe that one can garner a great deal of insight about how various portions of the Empire feel about one another. Certainly the portrayal of Stirland magistrate is done to some hyperbolic degree, as is the wont of such fiction writers, but there must be some underlying truth to the writer’s vision. Judge as you will for I shall be unrepentant in my method.     


Jan von Aldium
2522
Castle Aulsweig

Rough Outline
Chapter One -Brief History of the Empire
Most likely chapter to cut since it has almost nothing written other than a fleshed out blurb concerning the 1360 Ottillan Empire creation and really seems a bit unessential to the book overall.

Chapter Two - Government of the Empire
Covers the Office and Power of the Emperor, the Council of State, the Prime Estates, key figures of the Imperial Government, and a brief section on provincial government.

Chapter Three - The Imperial Heartland
Guides to Reikland, Talabecland, Altdorf, and Talabheim

Chapter Four - The Forested North
Guides to Middenland, Nordland, Hochland, and Middenheim

Chapter Five - The Agricultural South
Guides to Averland, Wissenland, Stirland, the Moot, and Nuln

Chapter Six - The Sparsely Populated East
Guides to Ostland and Ostermark

Chapter Seven - The Lost Provinces
Guides to Solland and Drakwald

Chapter Eight - The Imperial Fringe
Guides to Marienburg and Sylvania

Chapter Nine - The Imperial Cults
Cult of Sigmar, Cult of Ulric, and a brief section on the other cults since they are not as important political players

Chapter Ten - Imperial Institutions
Colleges of Magic and the Knightly Orders of the Empire (considering moving the Templar Orders from here into the Cult section but the Knights of the Blazing Sun are a far more important organization to the Empire than the Cult of Myrimidia is so not certain about separate sections. Also Detailing the Knights Panther would be boring as it is the lone Secular Order with plenty of background.)

Appendix A - Land of the Bear - Guide to Kislev
Done on the lines of the provincial guides though slightly longer.

Comments and questions as always appreciated.


Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: Inarticulate on July 09, 2010, 11:24:04 PM
Some nice stuff here. You'll need to provide references though.
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: Wendersnaven on July 10, 2010, 06:55:44 AM
Thanks for the ifo on my Province.  I learned a lot, and it will make sense that my WP's will have Sisters of Sigmar- as Mordheim is on the borders and women are traditional leaders in Stirland.  Even my AL is a big old Brun-hilda and I use the Bret. female with the short rod as my Mage with the R.O.P.

You've added a lot to my background I'm building!
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: warhammerlord_soth on July 10, 2010, 07:00:13 AM
Great effort !
 
I'll bring it to the attention of the Master of the Library, Rufus Sparkfire. Perhaps you could coordinate with him on this ?
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: Midaski on July 10, 2010, 10:47:27 AM
Great effort !
 
I'll bring it to the attention of the Master of the Library, Rufus Sparkfire. Perhaps you could coordinate with him on this ?

... especially as he knows the author of the original "A is for Altdorf" very well ..............  :engel:
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: rufus sparkfire on July 10, 2010, 10:49:50 AM
Great work!

However, I don't want to update 'A is for Altdorf' in this way (it would be more like a replacement). I like it the way it is (and I don't think the novels count as proper fluff). But if you want to write your own guide to all the provinces, there is plenty of room in the Library for both.
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: S.O.F on July 10, 2010, 04:06:47 PM
Great work!

However, I don't want to update 'A is for Altdorf' in this way (it would be more like a replacement). I like it the way it is (and I don't think the novels count as proper fluff). But if you want to write your own guide to all the provinces, there is plenty of room in the Library for both.

Whatever works sir. On your point about novels I used to feel that way as well but I came to realize after reading enough of them it was really only the extremes of plot that ruined their position in proper fluff (if all were true there would not be much left of the Empire at this point). The little details no matter the author seem to blend into a pleasant non conflicting story.

Anyway I'm game for a separate guide. Currently my plans were to have a section on each province and city state along with sections on the semi provinces (Solland, Drakwald, Sylvania, and Marienburg). I've also considered a rough section on the main institutions of the Empire like the Colleges of Magic (I'm pretty certain with the Liber Chaotica we have the name of the head of every college of Magic), Templars of Sigmar, and the like.

Thoughts? Perhaps on sections of interest I may hove overlooked in the Stirland overview?
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: 132nd on July 10, 2010, 04:37:02 PM
  Thanks for some great info on my province of choice.  I really enjoyed it. 
Title: Re: Updating "A is for Altdorf"
Post by: S.O.F on July 10, 2010, 07:43:18 PM
Had this half done so I knocked out the rest of it for a rough guide to Ostland. Sources used Sigmar's Heirs, Empire Heraldry, Mordheim Ostlander Rules, Heldenhammer/Empire, and Riders of the Dead. Sadly not as many sources to go on as Stirland but still an interesting bit of information.

The Grand Principality of Ostland
Elector: Valmir von Raukov
State Livery: Black and White
Heraldic Devices: Bulls Head and Bulls Rampant

Geography
   The province of Ostland has two definite borders; the Sea of Claws to the north and the River Talabec in the south. Ostlands eastern and western borders are less well defined. To the west from the River Talabec to the Middle Mountains, Ostland is separated from Hochland by the River Wulfen but north of the mountains no similar feature offers distinction from Nordland. In the east, as the forest gives way to the steppe, Ostland’s border is set along a rough line from the Gulf of Kislev to the point at which the River Urskoy joins the Talabec. Ostland is dominated by the Forest of Shadows which stretches from eastern Nordland to the edges of western Kislev. It is a dark and foreboding wood and has a reputation only slightly less ill than the Drakwald.  Ostlanders are greatly dependent on the timber industry and other trades the forest can provide. The narrow slip of land that is not encompassed by forest is found along the coast of the Sea of Claws and the northern Kislev Ostland border. This coastal strip relies on fishing and salt mining for its economic survival.

The People
   The people of Ostland are descended from the Udose tribe who ruled the region in the time of Sigmar. Then as now, Ostlanders are very clannish and oriented toward large extended families. Many smaller villages in Ostland are made up of a single extended family group. Ostlanders are extremely loyal to their kinsmen and outlanders who pick a fight with a single Ostlander may often find themselves facing a dozen of his relatives in short order. Though initially cool toward outsiders, once a person has ingratiated themselves with a group of Ostlanders they can expect similar loyalty and near familial treatment.
   Ostlanders are famed for their stubbornness. It is very hard to make and Ostlander do something they do not wish to do without first entering into a long argument.  Ostland is a poor province and its people make do by being exceptionally thrifty. As long as an item still has use no Ostlander will discard it and will use even the smallest scraps of food to scrap together a meal. If Ostlanders are unsparing with anything it is alcohol. Beer and spirits (Kislevite vodka in particular) are imbibed in great quantity by Ostlanders, so much so that the common caricature of an Ostlander is a belligerent drunk.

The Ruling House
Von Raukov Coat of Arms: A red Bull’s Head on a bisected white and black field.
   Valmir von Raukov is the first of his dynasty to sit upon the Electoral throne of Ostland but his family has long been important figures in Ostland’s government. Originally the von Raukovs were merely the Barons of Ferlangen but their connections to the preceding von Tasseninck dynasty vaulted Valmir into the Electoral seat. Several generations of von Raukovs married into the ruling family and served as the Elector Count’s marshal. Though the last of the von Tassenincks were weak and poor military men, the von Raukovs honored their familial obligation to the ruling dynasty without question. When the last of the von Tassenincks died without an heir, Valmir inherited the electoral seat.
   Valmir is a career general and a skilled leader of men. He has fought many campaigns against marauding Greenskins, Beastmen, Norscans, and the odd band of bandits. Von Raukov has continued a tradition toward modernizing Ostland’s military which began during his father’s tenure as Marshal of Ostland. Under the von Raukovs, Ostland has drastically increased the size of its artillery train, number of handgun regiments, and vastly improved the fortification of its cities. This is not to suggest that Ostland has been put in financial strain because of these expenditures, as the von Raukovs are as thrifty as the next Ostlander. However the von Raukovs have been keenly aware that though the crossbow in the arsenal may still work it doesn’t hurt to import a large number of handguns to have issued as the primary weapon of state regiments instead.

Religion
While the worship of gods like Taal and Ulric are common in Ostland, the province is anomalous for its devotion to Sigmar when compared to its neighbors.
   Scholars often debate the reason for the strength of the Cult of Sigmar in Ostland and are torn between two great tales about the Man-Gods life. The first and least credible tale is that Sigmar smote a dragon at the behest of Wolfila thus earning the Udose King’s respect and sword oath. This interpretation is often discredited as an exaggeration of overly zealous preachers in the early days of the Sigmarite Cult. More learned scholars say that it was Sigmars campaigns against the Norsii that won the respect and loyalty of the Udose. The Udose lived far from the Uberogen heartlands and when Sigmar brought his armies to the aid of Wolfila unbidden, the Udose King felt indebted to a man who treated him as if he were his own kin. Whichever story is true, most Ostland villages have some sort of Sigmarite temple.
   As most Ostlanders depend on the woods for their livelihood, the Cult of Taal is the second most powerful force in Ostland. While Ostlanders may not be as skilled hunters as Hochlanders or as skilled in woodcraft as Talabeclanders, Ostland lumbermen know it is important to honor the god that protects them from the threats the forest offers.

Important Towns
   Though sparsely populated compared to other provinces Ostlands boast three major towns. These large concentrations of people are partially due to the inhospitableness of a great deal of Ostland’s woodland.
   The capital and largest town in Ostland is Wolfenburg. Located at the foot of the Middle Mountains and on the River Wolfen, Wolfenburg is the first major stopping point for land based trade between Kislev and the Empire. Trade income is supplemented by the local timber industry as well as pewter ware cast from ores extracted in the nearby mountains. Wolfenburg also sports the most modern fortifications in all of the eastern Empire. Under the constant threat from forest goblins, beastmen, and the random chaos warband, such modernization has been important to the provinces survival. Wolfenburg is also home to the largest Sigmarite Cathedral in the eastern Empire.
   Ferlangen is Ostland’s second city. Sitting astride the trade road that connects Wolfenburg to the Salzenmund-Erengrad road, Ferlangen is made wealthy from trade coming from the south destined for markets in Nordland. This wealth has allowed regiments raised in Ferlangen to be perhaps the best equipped outside of those of the major nobility’s own household troops. This may in part come from the initiative by the von Raukovs who have ruled Ferlangen for generations.
   Ostland’s port, Salkalten, is the last major town in the province. A century ago the town was nothing more but just another small fishing village on the Sea of Claws. With the secession of Marienburg, Imperial merchants contrived schemes to create port cities to rival that of Marienburg and increase their profits by reducing the number of duties paid to outside middlemen. While most of these schemes have been failures, Salkalten at least has grown to a moderately large town. Though nowhere near a successful as had been hoped, it provides Ostland with a point to ship its products from and a small base for the Imperial Navy to protect the coast from Norscan raiders.

Military
   Near constant conflict keeps Ostland's military sharp. Though it may not have as many toys as the armies of other provinces, they know how to get the most out of what they have. Junior officers and sergeants in Ostland are also renowned for their bland appearance, sergeants in particular. Ostlanders don’t need extra tassels or fancy plumes to show they of a higher rank merely the respect of the men they lead. Should an Ostland sergeant or junior officer come into some money they often spend it on a single item of extremely high quality made by a name of significant bearing. Many non-Ostlander officers are thrown off by the fact that their Ostland counter part may be wearing a well maintained armoury grade suit of armour but carry the finest Estalian rapier, Tilean pistol, or Hochland made double-barrel hunting rifle. Ostland regiments are also very tight knit units as they are often raised from a single area and the unit consists of a mix of cousins and other relatives. Even when this is not the case, Ostlanders tend to project their social norms onto their military life and look at their regiment as a ‘family’.

Famous Regiments
Ostland Ogres. Nowhere else in the Empire is there as large a congregation of ogre tribes as Ostland. Though opportunity may offer a chance to raid with forest goblin or beastmen tribes, Ogres in Ostland predominately find service under Imperial commanders (mainly since the food is much better). Ostlanders and ogres get along surprisingly well as both peoples enjoy drinking, brawling, and more often than not a combination of the two. Individual ogres may even find employment in lumber camps or as town guards. It is not uncommon for these ogres to be brought into the same familial bond Ostlanders have with their human kinsmen. Ogres may be flattered by this and it may even remind them of their own clannish nature but should food run short, Ogres will still eat their human kinsmen as readily as they would fellow ogres

Title: Re: A different Guide to the Empire (So far Stirland and Ostland)
Post by: osterknact on July 16, 2010, 04:17:22 PM
This is awesome stuff could you bump up the ostermark on your list... i cant wait to read it!
Title: Re: A different Guide to the Empire (So far Stirland and Ostland)
Post by: S.O.F on July 21, 2010, 01:41:15 AM
Alright Averland is most of the way done and partials on a lot of others. But I have finished this for the Drakwald. Sources used Beasts of Chaos, Sigmar's Heirs, Sigmar Heldenhammer, The Loathesome Ratmen, and "The Story of Bernhardt the Brave" from Inferno 6.

The Former Grand Province of the Drakwald
Last Elector: Boris Hohenbach (died 1115 as Emperor)
State Livery: Yellow
Heraldic Devices: Thistle Flowers and Thorns

Geography
   The former province is dominated by the feature that gives it its name, the Drakwald Forest. The western reaches of the Drakwald have always been a foreboding place. In ancient times a great dragon inhabited the forest for which the wood was give its name. When the tribes that formed the Empire entered the land, it was the ferocious Thuringian tribe that made its home in the depth of the forest. Though battles were constant with beasts and goblins of the forest, the formidable wood preserved the Thuringians from the neighboring Teutogens, Norsii, and Jutones. As an Imperial province, the Drakwald’s wealth was based on the lumber and wood crafts the forest provided.  Furniture made from Drakwald Oak is some of the finest and highly sought after in the entire Old World. As the grip of the Empire has slipped from the forest, it has grown darker and more twisted under the baleful influence of its bestial inhabitants. The few settlements still found in the region today are under the protection of the Count of Middenland. However the vast majority of these are only a few centuries old, often having been rebuilt on several occasions already in that short of time.

The People
   The few human souls that dwell within the borders of the old Drakwald are the descendents of the Thuringians of old, though these days their blood is more often a mix of Thuringian and that of neighboring tribes. In Sigmar’s day, the Thuringians were wild berserkers. During battle Thuringian warriors, male and female alike, would chew on various plants and herbs that sent them into a frenzy of destruction and made them able to sustain injuries that would cripple a normal warrior. The Thuringians did not initially submit to Sigmar’s dream of unifying the tribes of man. Only after a great battle, in which Sigmar bested the Thuringian King Otwin in single combat, did the tribe join into Sigmar’s confederation. To this day, many suggest that Thuringians are tenacious to the point of self-destruction often disregarding risks for initial gains.

The Fall of the Drakwald
   The first millennium saw general prosperity and expansion for much of the Empire. Woods were cleared for farming, the foothills of mountains made safe for mining, and canals constructed for commerce. The rulers of the Drakwald did not share in these advances. Unlike the other provinces that were capable of expansion in multiple directions, Drakwalders only had the Forest of Laurelorn. Rather than beasts or greenskins, the armies of the Drakwald Electors faced significant kingdom of Wood Elves that reside to this day under the eaves of Laurelorn. Despite constant reverses, the Drakwald Electors continued to throw themselves at problem with traditional Thuringian reckless abandon. Never a particularly a wealthy province, the Drakwald had all but been bankrupted of money and men by the eighth century. In a bid to reverse their fortunes, the Drakwald Electors bribed their way into the Imperial throne through payments of gold and promises of reduced Imperial authority. The resulting Drakwalder dynasty was not only disastrous for the Drakwald province but the Empire on a whole. Freed from the comparatively spartan life back in Drakwaldschloss, living in Carroburg, the Imperial capital, was one of ease and opulence. As the generations pasted the Drakwalders became more and more detached from their native lands as well as increasingly corrupt producing two of the most infamous Emperors in Imperial history, Ludwig the Fat and Boris the Incompetent.
   Despite the money following into the House of Hohenbach’s coffers, little was invested in their own province. The goblin and beastmen tribes of the forest grew increasingly bold raiding and destroying towns and villages throughout the Drakwald. The issue came to a head in the first decade of the twelfth century. The Empire had suffered for fifty years under the terrible and unfortunately long lived reign of Boris the Incompetent. Beginning in the year 1106, beastmen attacks in the Drakwald increased precipitously. The Drakwald defender were hard pressed and eventually defeated by the far greater beastmen force. This loss was compounded by the death of the Drakwald general, Count Vilner Hohenbach. Vilner was Boris’s great nephew and heir to the Electoral seat of the Drakwald as well as the title of Emperor. Furthermore, Count Vilner was a man not of the traditional late Drakwalder mold.  He was raised outside of the Carroburg palace and had not succumbed to any of his line’s vices. Vilner would most likely never have sat to inherit the throne if it was not for his Great Uncle’s longevity and the prospect of his ascendance to both the Electorship and the Imperial crown looked to be very positive signs for the Empire’s future. His death destroyed that hope and when the Empire and Emperor Boris were ravaged by the Black Death a few years later, the entire Empire was thrown into turmoil.
   The Empire was immersed in a deluge of beastmen scant days following the Emperor’s death. Some scholars, either brave or foolish, argue that these beastmen were the ‘ratmen’ or ‘skaven’ of folk legend and some even argue that it was through there machinations that Count Vilner had been slain, as this work attempts to provides only the most core of knowledge ink shall not be spilt to affirm or deny such accusations. ‘Ratmen’ or not the Drakwald was devastated. Emperor Mandred’s dissolution of the Drakwald as a province hastened the regions demise. Without a Count over the course of the century almost all the towns and villages of the Drakwald were overrun by beastmen or goblins.       

The Drakwald and the Wolf Emperors
   The death of Emperor Mandred plunged the Empire into a dark period the country would not emerge from until the time of Magnus the Pious. During the era of three Emperors, the Wolf Emperor of Middenheim created a ‘rump’ Electorate out of the portion of the Drakwald under Middenland’s control. The Drakwald Runefang had been placed in the care of the Cathedral of Ulric during the time of Mandred and it was easy for the Middenheim Emperors to create the position in order to build some sense of legitimacy for their Imperial claim.
   Little is recorded about these ‘Elector Counts’ as it was for the most part a sham position and offered little aid to the Wolf Emperor’s struggles with his rivals. Sole among the men to hold the position that garnered any place in history was the last, Count Bernhardt sobriquet the ‘Brave’. When the majority of the Empire proved initially apprehensive to Magnus’s call to arms during the Great War on Chaos, Bernhardt quickly gathered what forces he could muster to aid Kislev. Bernhardt’s force consisted of a mix of cavalry and light infantry who were subsequently attached to Ar-Ulric Kriestov’s vanguard.  Berhardt and his Drakwalders executed several successful ambushes of Asvar Kul forces and was personally at the head of the decisive cavalry charge that ended the Battle of Kislev. Sadly for the Drakwalders, many Drakwald towns were overrun and Middenheim besieged in their absence. With Magnus’s election to Emperor and the reorganization of the Electors, the Drakwald was in no position to regain a full grand provincial status. It had been almost a millennium since the province had been official absorbed into Nordland and Middenland with neither province willing to forego territory. Further as the Ar-Ulric was granted an Electoral seat, it was the fear of many that a new Drakwald would be unable to escape Middenland’s orbit and add an additional vote to go the Elector of Middenland’s way. Bernhardt was instead granted the title Protector of the Drakwald and the right to bear the Runefang of the Drakwald for the rest of his life. Since that time the title has been passed to several families but maintaining it is most difficult as the beastmen seem to grow more powerful each year. Currently the title of Protector of the Drakwald is borne by Count Todbringer of Middenland himself. 

Famous Regiments
Drakwald Forest Legion
The Forest Legion provided the bulk of the infantry Count Bernhardt brought to. While elements of the Drakwald muster were armed in similar fashion to other Imperial regiments, the Forest Legion was not. Recruited from the villagers of the Drakwald, these troops were instead armed with woodsmen’s axes. Lightly armored and highly maneuverable, the Forest Legion were renowned for their ability to hit hard and fast, often through broken or wooded terrain skills they had undoubtedly acquired fighting off beastmen raiders at home.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Stirland, Ostland, and Drakwald so far
Post by: Burgermeiser on July 22, 2010, 06:03:54 PM
Awesome fluff, almost makes me want to change my army to a Middenland theme.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Stirland, Ostland, and Drakwald so far
Post by: S.O.F on September 01, 2010, 04:40:17 AM
Finally Averland is done. Been busy with other projects. Sources: Sigmar's Heirs, Sword of Justice, Mordheim Averland Warband, Empire Herladry, and Heldenhammer.

The Grand County of Averland
Elector: Marius Lietdorf (deceased) succession disputed
State Livery: Yellow and Black
Heraldic Devices: Suns and Hammers of Sigmar
Runefang Title: The Sword of Ruin

Geography
Averland contrasts sharply with the other provinces of the Empire as it is not dominated by large tracts of woodland. The Upper Reik, the River Aver, and the junction of the Worlds Edge and Black Mountains create the roughly triangular shape that forms the borders of Averland. Between these borders, Averland is a mix of rolling hills and plains providing the richest agricultural land in the Empire outside the Moot. On the grassy plains, Averlanders raise vast herds of longhorn cattle and the finest horses in the Empire. Averland also enjoys a warmer climate than other Imperial provinces and with a longer growing season, Averland produces large quantities of cereal crops as well as being home to vast vineyards.  Black Fire Pass lies in the south and makes Averland an important commercial power dealing with goods coming from both the Dwarf Holds and Tilea. Wissenland may have more passes but they are far more dangerous compared to the ‘relative’ safety merchants can enjoy by travelling through Averland.

The People
   Averlanders are descended from the Brigundian tribe. Even in the time of Sigmar the Brigundians were rich from trade and were known more as merchants then warriors. Siggurd, King of Brigundians, was a shrewd diplomat who had assembled a rough confederation of his own from amongst the southern tribes of the Merogens and Menogoths. When Sigmar petitioned for Siggurd to join the fledgling Empire, he was initially cool towards the offer and only swore allegiance once Sigmar slew a great beast that troubled the lands of the southern Kings. Siggurd saw the Man-Gods merit and brought his own confederation into the Empire.
   Averlanders are considered flighty by many other Imperial subjects, though Averlanders defend themselves by describing it as a freedom of conscience. They seem never to make up their mind and are constantly willing to change their opinion. For most part this sentiment stems from interactions with Averland merchants who constantly alter their stances on deals in order to ensure they have received the greatest bargain possible. Imperial legal scholars do point out thought that Averland’s law is perhaps the most contrived, convoluted, and cumbersome in the Empire leaving a great deal open for interpretation with contractual exit clauses and other loop holes which allow litigants and judges to make sudden adjustments in their decision. Averlanders are also famed for their ostentatious tastes. Elsewhere in the Empire a style of clothing or art remain fashionable for a decade, in Averland it rarely lasts a year. Northerners scoff that it such is the result of erratic minds left with too much money on their hands, where the Averlander contends they are just trying and keep life interesting.   

The Ruling House
House of Lietdorf Coat of Arms: A Yellow Sun on a Black Field
   The current political situation in Averland is tense. Several years have passed since the death of Marius Lietdorf and there has been little movement by the Steward Tochfel to press for deciding the succession. The main bone of contention is that the Lietdorfs failed to solidify their hold over Averland. Marius came to power through the scandals of the previous Alptruam dynasty and with the support of the Sigmarite Cult. The good faith many burghers had about the change was quickly dampened by Marius’s bouts with madness. Now there are many who question the wisdom in appointing a successor from a mentally unstable line.
   This deadlock has been further insured with the lack of a suitable alternative candidate. Ferenc Alptruam is too old for the Electoral seat and though his family is still powerful, there are many merchants that are keen not to see his line return to power. If another candidate were to arise they could almost certainly count on the support of the Alptruams if only to spite the House of Lietdorf.

Religion
   The peasant farmers may look to the Cult of Taal and Rhya for the good of their crops, but it is the Cult of Sigmar that is of greatest importance in Averland.
   The Cult of Sigmar is so powerful since it appeals to the large urban merchant class in Averland particularly because Sigmar is good for business. Black Fire Pass attracts countless pilgrims a year who pay great sums of money for food, lodging, and the odd reliquary to remember their trip. Ulric demands warriors, Taal demands hunters, Verena demands justicars, things which merchants have little time for and are for the most part unprofitable. The Sigmarite Cult, on the other hand, is more than content to accept large sums of gold for the deliverance of the souls of those who donate. If a merchant is particularly generous perhaps they can count on the significant political muscle of Holy Sigmar’s Church to help them out in the future. All around it is a great deal for the clever businessman. Corruption is perhaps not as rife as agitator priests like Luthor Huss contend, but it is in Averland where they are perhaps the closest to true. One should look no farther than the significant amount of Cult resources which were invested wresting the Electoral seat from the Alptruams in favor of the more ‘pious’ Lietdorfs.

Important Towns
   Averland has a very large number of significant towns which dot the state’s important trade roads and ferry points. Wealth has made a great number of these towns rather slovenly when it comes to their town walls and town guard. A century has passed since the ravages of Grom the Paunch and town councils are more than willing to cut militia budgets for the sake of increased profits.
   Averland’s capital, Averheim, is built on a steep hill a critical bend in the River Aver. The site is rumored to have been picked by Sigmar himself to be used as a fortress to defend the upper reaches of the Aver. The truth of this claim cannot be completely verified but the scale of Averheim central keep, the Averburg, suggests a past that was far more warlike then the current city that surrounds it. The Averburg has held out in a number of key sieges and was even spared the ravages of Gorbad in 1707. The sprawl of Averheim has even extended into Stirland. The ‘New City’ on the north bank of the Aver, houses the poorest portion of Averheim’s populace. Counts of Stirland may not happy with this arrangement but the ‘New City’ is a necessity during the last month of summer when large numbers of migrant Stirland workers flock to Averheim during the peak of the cattle slaughtering season. Sacrificing a small portion Stirland’s sovereignty for the ability to garner better taxes off its peasants is a trade off the impoverished Counts of Stirland are forced to make.
Streissen is the second most populace city of Averland and home to the province’s largest University. The city is famed for its progressive often revolutionary attitude and more than once has required the intervention of Averland’s soldiers.
Grenzstadt is the last town in Averland before entering Black Fire Pass. The town derives the majority of its wealth from furs and ore gathered in the nearby mountains. It also enjoys a great deal of trade by supplying caravans and pilgrims traveling up through Black Fire Pass. The rotation of Mountainguard troops from the pass to the city garrison also garners tavern owners with a regular custom of men with several month’s wages and little else to do with it than drink it away.
Wuppertal would not be as significant a town if it were not for its very large Temple of Sigmar. It is from this region in which the Lietdorf family hails a fostered the good will of the Sigmarite Cult in order to propel them into Electoral office. It’s position along with it large Sigmarite Shrines make the city an ideal starting point for many pilgrims tours of Averland.

Military
As a general rule Averland soldiery are some of the finest dressed in the entire Empire. Some regiments perhaps wear more extravagant outfits than those worn by the lesser nobility of more impoverished provinces. Many ignorant toughs think Averland soldiers easy marks for robbery or ridicule. This usually ends with the offending party suffering several broken bones or missing teeth because of it. Averlanders have a taste for style and their military is no different.. Though for all their finery, Averland regiments are made up of bruisers, thugs, and various other sordid types whose sole qualification for their employment was the ability to hold a weapon and not be afraid to use it.
Many military men from more storied provinces, such as Reikland or Middenland, argue that Averland has no martial tradition. This is of course incorrect but non-Averlanders struggle to recognize the different set of traditions that govern Averland’s soldiers. The merchant class is far more sizeable and influential in Averland then any other Imperial province. Merchant Guilds and Town Councils hold a great deal of political sway and are loathe to allow recruiting sergeants to enlist elements of the population that contribute to the town’s wealth.  Recruiters go to great length to attract the suitable type of scum to fill out the ranks. Soldiers that would most likely have joined a free company elsewhere in the Empire, find themselves in regular liveried formations. A certain number of wanderlust filled farm boys do find their way into the army but not in the same number as in other provinces. Averland soldiers are professionals who have more in common with a Tilean Crossbowman then an Altdorf Halberdier. Averland militia and other town guard units have garnered a reputation as poor soldiers. This is not through any failing in the men that make up these units but the city fathers who reduce the number training days on order to cut city expenditures.
Averlanders treat their military with mercantile zeal. Regiments are just as much organs of the state are they are the private money making venture of their captain.  The state commissions and subsidizes the regiment and the commanding officer has total control over regimental finances. This does lead on occasion to corruption and negligence but a stiff punishment for such actions deters the most flagrant offences. Plunder and campaign bonuses also make Averland regiments far more well-travelled then those of other provinces. 

Famous Regiments
The Mountainguard
Charged with defending the fortresses of Black Fire Pass, the Mountainguard are drawn from the best of Averland’s regiments. The regiment has perhaps the most garish uniforms in the entire Averland army and while it contains a much larger percentage of native Averlanders then normal regiments, its ranks are filled with combat veterans who are more ill tempered over jibes at their appearance than other regiments. Mountainguards are very touchy about their uniforms, they may look like wealthy fops but they take it poorly when lesser regiments or merchants mimic the pattern of Mountainguard uniform. Even new members of the regiment must earn the right to wear the uniform as strict codes exist for the tailoring of Mountainguard kit. Therefore the greater sleeves or the more intricate the slashes denote the veteran members of the regiment. Drawn from across all state regiments, the Mountainguard strives to be capable with almost any weapon. When used in a regular field battle, men armed alike are brigaded together usually resulting in blocks of halberdiers supported by crossbowmen.

Bergjaeger
Averland is not a state renowned for its archery. Crossbows and Handgun require far training in order to use them proficiently on the battlefield and as Averland has the funds to afford them they are primary choice Averlands state regiments. The Bergjaegers of the Black Mountains represent the exception. Bergjaeger formations are not particularly well organized along traditional military terms. A detachment is officially mustered for the garrison of Black Fire Pass but when it sees real military service it is more likely draw from an ad hoc collection of trappers and rangers. Though some Bergjaegers are experienced military men, they have never enjoyed a good reputation as hand to hand fighters. Use of traps and cunning ambushes are the primary weapon of Averland’s Bergjaegers. Extremely stealthy, Bergjaegers know it is often more important to warn a Mountainguard garrison about an impending Greemskin raid rather then throw away their lives in a fight they cannot win.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Stirland, Ostland, Drakwald, Averland 8/31/10
Post by: S.O.F on September 03, 2010, 11:09:45 PM
Alright another entry this for the Cult of Sigmar and perhaps the one that required the most splicing from little bits of other works. Sources include Tome of Salvation (WHFRP 2ed), WD Sigmarite Article, Witchhunters Handbook, the Mathias Thulman Trilogy, Shamanslayer, Troll Slayer, and really a whole little bits from even as far back as the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book.

The Cult of Sigmar
Head of Cult: Grand Theogonist Volkmar von Hindenstern the Grim
Arch-Lectors: Kasmir XI and Thorgad IV
Holy Texts: The Unfinished Book, Deus Sigmar,
Common Symbols: Hammer, Twin-tailed Comet, and Griffons

Organization
The Cult is comprised of four primary orders and a myriad of lesser attached orders. The Largest of the primary orders is the Order of the Torch who provide the ecclesiastical structure to which all other orders are attached and maintains the bulk of cult’s temples and holy sites. Second in importance is the Order of the Silver Hammer. Its members are the travelling Warrior Priests who serve as chaplains in the Empire’s armies and wandering preachers in the more dangerous regions of the Empire. Third in significance is the Order of the Anvil, the monastic branch of the cult charged with the preservation and correct interpretation of the word of Sigmar. Last is the Order of the Cleansing Flame an order which is shrouded in mystery but in truth most likely holds more power than any other order.

The Order of the Torch.
The task of seeing to the spiritual needs of Sigmar’s faithful falls to the Order of the Torch, the largest of all the Cults Orders. The Priests of the Order are responsible for carrying out services as well as other ceremonially duties a town requires of its priest. Members of the order are not known to be particularly warlike but when their flock is threatened most priests can handle a weapon and some are even retired brothers from the Order of the Silver Hammer. The Order of the Torch is a very hierarchal structure with a myriad of ranks and positions.
This branch of the Cult has supreme control over the Cult’s business and its leader, the Grand Theogonist, is the head of the entire cult. Directly below the Grand Theogonist are the Arch-Lectors of Nuln and Talabheim. The three top officials in the Order are each responsible for one third of the Order’s hierarchy. Since the Grand Theogonist has more extensive powers, particularly as also being one of the Emperor’s councilors, the he has an Arch-Adjutant to oversee the more routine elements of his duties. Though the Arch-Adjutant may not have the prestige of the more independent Arch-Lectors he is still a very important figure within the Cult.
Beneath the Grand Theogonist, the two Arch-Lectors and the Arch-Adjutant are the eighteen Lectors. This College of Lectors is responsible for advising the Grand Theogonist in matters of cult policy. When a Grand Theogonist dies it is also the job of the College of Lectors to elect a new Grand Theogonist from among its members. In addition each Lector is responsible for a certain portion of the Empire which is their personal administrative district. Certain temples and pilgrimage sites are so important to the Cult they are given a special administrator who is answerable only to the Grand Theogonist. These Capitulars, which are twelve in number, are therefore freed from having to play inter-cult politics and can see to their charges with more devotion. However six of the Capitulars, denoted High Capitulars, do sit in the body called the Domain of Sigmar which is responsible for districting the dioceses of the Cult of Sigmar. 
The smaller districts are then headed by various levels of priests. Most larger towns have a High Priest who may have several lesser priests under his command that care for outlying villages. The Sigmarite Cult does carry out some missionary work abroad. These agents are at the same level as High Priests but are denoted as Theogonists to mark their position being outside the traditional cult structure.

The Order of the Silver Hammer.
Cult historians say that this Order is the most ancient of all the orders that make up the Cult of Sigmar. The earliest Cult documents suggest the Order was formed by Sigmar himself as a secret society to combat the forces of the ‘Old Night’ and had existed for over a century before the Cult of Sigmar had its first Grand Theogonist. Origins aside, the Order represents the militant arm of the Sigmarite Cult. The Order attracts many of the faith’s most zealous followers as well as a fair share of radicals. Influential members of this order can find their way into the upper echelons of the cult and several have been appointed Arch-Lectors or even Grand Theogonist. However, such advancements are incredibly rare.

The Order of the Anvil.
 To most outside observers, the monastic branch of the Sigmarite Cult, though numerous, appears the least important. The monks of the Order dedicate their time to preserving important texts, maintaining Sigmarite shires, and otherwise having little contact with the outside world. It is through this rather innocuous looking group that ultimate power and codification of Sigmarite law originates. In their capacity as scribes, the orders monks safeguard the laws of ancient texts both secular and religious. The Keeper of the Word, the head of the Order, is the Cults supreme authority on all of the cults religious doctrine and can only be overruled by the Grand Theogonist, though this almost never occurs. The order does not share the same degree of hierarchy as found in the other orders but works on a pseudo-democratic basis as each monastery elects its own Abbot from among its members.   

The Order of the Cleansing Flame
   This is the youngest of the primary Orders of the Sigmarite Cult having been created during Magnus the Pious’s Imperial Reforms. With the ‘secularization’ of the Witch Hunters, the Cult still required a branch to deal with protection from potential heretical coming from within the Cult itself. The Order of the Cleansing Flame was created to fill this need as well as act as liaison with the Templars of Sigmar. The Inquisitor Priests of the Order are rightly feared for their power is even greater than that of a Witch Hunter Captain.

The Templars of Sigmar
Grandmaster: Lord Protector Thaddeus Gamow
Headquarters: The Grand Temple in Altdorf adjacent to the Cathedral of Sigmar
During the time of the Three Emperors, the Grand Theogonist of Sigmar, Siebold II, created an order of templars tasked with hunting down and dealing justice to sorcerers, demonologists, and mutants. As the authority of the office of Emperor had weakened and the Empire’s provinces expended the bulk of the energies on their own internecine wars, the number of these destructive groups had greatly increased. The order was not entirely new but drawn from members of the Order of the Silver Hammer. In addition to curbing destructive elements of the population, the Sigmarite Cult soon found the Witch Hunters, as they were quickly dubbed, an ideal tool for enforcing their own political will. Writs issued by Witch Hunters were above those of civil authorities and particularly unscrupulous members used their position to extort money and all sorts of other favors. The position also attracted those who were often more zealous than competent, burning followers of other religions for failure to show proper piety as readily as they would true followers of the Dark Gods.
As part of the process of mending the Empire, Magnus the Pious detached the Witch Hunters as an organ of the Sigmarite Cult and added them as a part of the Empire’s secular government. A set line of jurisdictions between normal civil authorities and the Witch Hunters were established and more formal guidelines created for the initiation of new Witch Hunters. The divorce between the Sigmarite Cult and the Witch Hunters however was far from complete. They were now answerable to the Emperor but the Grand Theogonist still retained control over nominating the head of the order however now not in the capacity as head of the Sigmarite faith but his place as advisor to the Emperor. The Grandmaster of the Order, titled the Lord Protector, is appointed from among the most senior Witch Hunters in the organization. The new Lord Protector is usually drawn from the Order’s Inner Circle Knights who sit upon the Advisory Council which has twelve members. Each major city of the Empire has a Chapter House of the Order which is headed by a Witch Hunter Captain. The ‘Brother’ Witch Hunters below the Captain deal with the issues that warrant their attention the area adjoining the Chapter House to which they are stationed. Chapter Houses do not have strictly demarcated areas of operation and often larger houses overlap into the areas controlled by lesser ones.
The retinues that follow Witch Hunters about their work are not set in size or composition by the Order. They do however tend to be small consisting of the Witch Hunter and one or two henchmen.  While the armament and temperament of these henchmen is quite variable, it is almost certain that the Witch Hunter himself will be armed with a rapier and a brace of pistols. The Order spares little expense on equipment and the firearms used by Witch Hunters have locks of the most modern and exceptional quality.
The writs of Witch Hunters are still superior to that of local authorities but arguments of jurisdiction are still prevalent. An otherwise commonplace murder or smuggling ring all too often conceals darker more malign influence behind it. Power is almost always differed to the Witch Hunter in these cases as there are few in provincial government to stand up to an organization backed by both the Sigmarite Cult and the Imperial Governement. Since troubles suffered by the Light College of Magic some years back, and the perversion of many Light Acolytes to the worship of the Dark Powers, there are some in government who would like to see less power be placed in the singular figure of the Lord Protector.  Propositions include creating multiple lower level positions denoted Witch Hunter General to oversee a certain regions of the Empire but until the current system is found failing little real change should be expected.

Sigmar Outside the Empire
Of all Old World Religions, only Sigmarites are so bold and proselytizing. To these idealist Sigmarites, the importance of Sigmar is not in his creation of the Empire as a nation but his example as to the place of man in the world. These priests, or ‘theogonists’ as the Cult of Sigmar deems them, spread the word of Sigmar to the far flung corners of the world. In order to reach a wide array of people, Theogonists seek to convert foreign followers by illustrating Sigmar as a beacon in the fight against the powers of the ‘Old Night’. Many are beset by Greenskins, Undead, or the Ruinous Powers and the message can carry a considerable amount of weight. However, little money is actually expended on such efforts by the Cult. The extent of the spread of the Sigmarite faith is often limited to the lifetime of the Theogonist who preaches it. Outside of the Empire, Kislev has the largest population of Sigmarites having even developed a rudimentary ecclesiastical hierarchy headed by Theogonist Gregori Sorgher.

Women and the Cult of Sigmar
   The position and place of women in the Sigmarite faith has been a bone of contention for well over a millennium. One of the earliest and most famous female orders was the Sisters of Sigmar who were headquartered in Ostermark. Had it not been for the starfall that destroyed Mordheim in 1999, this relatively small branch of the Sigmarite faith would have been suppressed by Cult authorities and lost to history. Sigmarite Lectors have never completely excluded women from a place in the Cult but limited their position to one of purely monastic contemplation. The Cult has had no interest in seeing women take an active role in the preaching of the faith or the protecting of the faithful. From time to time exceptions have been made and the odd female Witch Hunter or Warrior Priest has worked their way into the Cults primary orders but faced incredible difficulties in reaching such positions. Though not as prone to burn these ‘heretics’ as the Cult would in the past there are still only a few all female orders which break with the Cult traditions, many of which owe a great deal to the current Grand Theogonist’s moderate position.

Sigmarites at War
   Other then the Hammer Bearers, the Holy Church of Sigmar does not maintain regular standing regiments but can rely on a number of privately raised regiments for support. In times of dire need the Cult appeals to its congregation and forms ad hoc regiments mainly consisting of peasant militias and flagellants. The Cult of Sigmar has called a number of crusades but few have been on a grand scale. At any point there a number of small crusades going on within the Empire which, while endorsed by the Cult on a whole, are not funded by it.

Famous Formations
Knights Griffon
Grandmaster: Tomas Bacham
The relatively young order, the Knights Griffon, was formed in the wake of the Great War on Chaos by Magnus the Pious. Drawing the most devout Sigmarites from the ranks of the Knights Panther, Emperor Magnus envisioned the Order as the great protectors of the Church of Sigmar and the office of Emperor. The Order was initial based in Nuln but moved their headquarters to Altdorf with the ascension of the Princes of Reikland to the Imperial throne. With the advent of the Reiksguard, the Knights Griffon no longer is charged with the protection of the Emperor but now solely serve to protect the Sigmarite Cult. This has caused friction between the Reiksguard and the Knights Griffon as well as displeasing the far older Order of the Fiery Heart which had protected the Sigmarite Cult for centuries.
   Numbering only a little over a hundred brother Knights, the Order is considered the most drilled and disciplined Knightly Order in the Empire. Many of the Order’s senior knights are charged with protecting important members of the Sigmarite Clergy and when the Grand Theogonist goes to war, a detail of Knights Griffon is always provided. The Order’s official livery is a yellow Griffon upon a dark green field. There has been some discussion among the senior members of the Order to add black into the livery colors so that the order may remember its foundation and first century of existence in Nuln.

Order of the Fiery Heart
Grandmaster: Baron Orenstihl
   The Order of the Fiery Heart is one the Empires older Knightly Orders having been founded during the first years of Talabeclands succession from the Imperial system. For much of its history the Order has been primarily dedicated to fighting Greenskins, deeming them the ancestral enemy of the Empire. This has led the Order to have strong links with the Dwarfs and the Order’s vaults hold a great number of Dwarf made relics in honor of their service. Over the centuries the Order has increasingly fallen behind the times. It has very little political clout in the Empire and with the relocation of the Knights Griffon lost a great deal even in Altdorf. The Orders leadership continues to stress importance of pilgrimages and questing. This makes it far more likely to see a band of Fiery Heart Knights defending a remote village rather than mustered alongside the forces of one of the Grand Electors. This quality means that the Order only attracts the most sincere and idealistic novices but many older knights do harbor resentment towards the better placed but less virtuous knights of other Orders.
   In appearance, the Order’s affection for the past becomes even more evident. Though as well armed and armored as other Knightly Orders, Fiery Heart Knights care little for the latest fashion and styles. Some Knights of the Inner Circle are so nostalgic they have even been known to wear surcoats over their modern armor, a style which faded from the Empire a millennium ago and only remains popular in Bretonnia today. The Order’s livery is a red heart wreathed in flame upon a white field.   

Hammer Bearers
Not every temple or High Priest can be constantly defended by noble templar knights. Traditionally the position of Hammer Bearer is given to the most devout and martial from a temple’s laity. During important religious ceremony, Hammer Bearers present the temple’s most holy relics and act as the priest’s champion. As the Empire and the Holy Church of Sigmar has vastly changed since the custom began, it is only in the smallest of communities which the tradition is maintained in its ancient sense. Larger temples rely instead on a body of professional bodyguards who still are designated Hammer Bearers but are organized along military lines.
   Hammer Bearers are recruited from veterans of the Empire’s armies, usually on recommendation by a Warrior Priest to attest to the man’s piety. Hammer Bearers are equipped in a similar manner to Greatsword regiments. They wear black uniforms and their armour is adorned with various sigils of the Sigmarite Cult. Many Bearers attach scrolls of parchment to themselves bearing verses from Sigmarite holy texts they find especially moving. Nominally, it is the duty of the Hammer Bearers to protect the Grand Theogonist and the Arch-Lectors in their capacity as Electors of the Empire but this role is superseded by more prestigious units. Still if need be, the Hammer Bearers are more than willing to fill this role on the battlefield much as the Greatsword regiments of state troops.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Averland 8/31/10, Added Cult of Sigmar 9/3/10
Post by: Ebola on September 15, 2010, 01:11:25 AM
Great reading and fluff.  Many thanks for the time you have spent researching and organising such writing.

Cheers!
Ebola
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Averland 8/31/10, Added Cult of Sigmar 9/3/10
Post by: Zygmund on October 03, 2010, 05:51:50 PM
Absolutely great stuff!  :eusa_clap:   Why haven't I found this earlier?

Thanks a lot. :icon_biggrin:

-Z
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Averland 8/31/10, Added Cult of Sigmar 9/3/10
Post by: osterknact on October 17, 2010, 04:19:37 PM
please keep it up SOF this is awesome!
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Averland 8/31/10, Added Cult of Sigmar 9/3/10
Post by: S.O.F on October 18, 2010, 03:49:07 AM
Well after sometime I think Nuln is done enough for the moment. Sources include: Sigmar's Heirs, Skavenslayer, Manslayer, Iron Company, Forges of Nuln, Empire Heraldry Book, Beasts in Velvet and the WHFRP Companion.

Part I
The City State of Nuln
Resident Electors: Emmanuelle von Liebwitz of Wissenland and Kasmir XI Arch-Lector of Sigmar
Livery: Black
Heraldic Devices:  Scales of Verena and Cannon Barrels

History:
In the days of Sigmar, the nascent city of Nuln sat on the borders of several great tribes of men. Its position, at the confluence of the River Aver and Reik, made it an important ferry point as well as a nexus for trade. However as it existed on periphery of each tribes’ land, it was far too isolated in times of war and did not have that large of population. Its continued existence at the time has been attributed to the influence of early Tilean traders who sought to purchase furs from the northern parts of the Empire.
Nuln’s growth and success was the product of Sigmar’s policies following the foundation of the Imperial State. In order to connect the more remote portions of the Empire to his capital in Reikdorf, Sigmar commissioned the construction of two great roads. The first of these was the of course the Alrdorf-Middenheim road which insured the capital’s contact with the Empire’s religious heart of the time. For his second project, Sigmar chose to connect Nuln as its position was not only ideal for trade but a convenient stop for the Counts of the southern tribes on their way to Reikdorf. With improved road and river commerce, the city quickly blossomed into a mercantile powerhouse.
The city’s place as one of the great in the Empire was sealed with the advent of the Sigmarite faith. Johann Helstrum, the Cult’s first Grand Theogonist, began his preaching career in the streets of Nuln and the city’s inhabitants were enthusiastic converts to the new religion. As the Sigmarite clergy played an increasingly large role in Imperial politics, Nuln became an attractive choice for Sigmarite Emperors. Coupled with the stubborn traditionalism Emperors faced in Altdorf, Nuln spent a great deal of the first millennium as the Empire’s capital. As home of the Emperor, the city reaped the benefits in the form of massive building projects and the endowment of the Empire’s oldest and most esteemed University. Skilled Dwarf craftsmen moved to the city in great numbers and aided, most notably, in constructing the city’s sewer system which are still more advanced than any other in the Empire. With the election of the Drakwald Emperors, the capital moved from Nuln to Carroburg. With the Emperor, went the highest echelons of the Sigmarite clergy as they sought to ensure the continued high political position.
The upheavals of the second millennium altered the economic and religious life of the city. Nuln’s advantageous position coupled with its large Dwarf population spawned a burgeoning arms industry. The constant strife between the provinces drastically increased the demand for arms and Nuln grew rapidly to accommodate the large workforce and wealth weapons manufacturing attracted. Having abandoned Nuln to pursue their own sycophantic ends, the Cult of Sigmar was unable to reassert its position of dominance. In the absence of the Sigmarites, Nuln’s University increasingly venerated Verena, the Goddess of Wisdom, whilst returning Crusaders imported yet another Classical Goddess, Myrimdia. When Gorbad Ironclaw sacked the city in 1701, the growing dissatisfaction of Nulners solidified. Nuln secured a position as an independent City-State and plied its own fortune during the dark years of civil war and the Wars of the Vampire Counts.
Nuln’s reintegration into the Empire came at the hands of its native son, Magnus von Bildhofen. The eldest son of a prominent Nulner family, Magnus was afforded the finest education available and excelled at Nuln’s University. In addition to be very learned man, Magnus possessed an inimitable spiritual fervor. In the dark years preceding the Great War on Chaos, Magnus’s skilled and unique oratory won a large following among the populace of Nuln appealing to nobles, burghers, and peasants alike. When the hordes of Asvar Kul crossed into Kislev, it was from Nuln where Magnus began his campaign against the Ruinous Powers.  Following the victory of Imperial arms, Magnus was elevated to the post of Emperor and established his capital in Nuln. Though the Bildhofen dynasty did not maintain the Imperial Crown after Magnus, the Unfahigers of Stirland continued to use Nuln as their capital until the twenty fifth century. In 2421, Nuln suffered the indignity of being again sacked by Greenskin invaders. Dieter IV managed to cling to power for eight more years but instead conducted business from Wurtbad. With Marienburg’s scandalous succession and Deiter’s ensuing deposition, the capital moved to Altdorf in the Reikland. Since those days Nuln has drifted back into the orbit of the Counts of Wissenland. This greatly due to the position of the ruling Liebwitz dynasty’s title as Counts of Nuln in addition to the Electoral County of Wissenland.

The People
Though attached to Wissenland, the people of Nuln cannot be traced back to the lines of any of the old tribes of the Empire, it is an entirely cosmopolitan city showing the influences from many of neighboring provinces. In addition, Nuln houses a large numbers of immigrants and has the largest population of Tileans in all the Empire. Nulners are proud of their city’s history and are often better educated, regardless of class, than any other people in the Empire. The beauty endowed on the city by Emperors past manifests itself in higher aesthetic tastes of Nulners. Nulners are not particularly religious and coupled with their ‘fancy’ tastes they get branded as libertines by many Wissenlanders. While this may be true of some Nulners, particularly the younger of the city’s nobility, Nulners are simply a people who enjoy life and are not ashamed to show it.

Ruling House:
Von Liebwitz Coat of Arms: Yellow Scales on a black field.
   Emmanuelle von Liebwitz is the beloved Countess of Nuln as well as the absentee Countess of Wissenland. The eldest of the Von Liebwitz line, Emmanuelle was set to inherit a vast demesne from birth. In addition, Emmanuelle is blessed by being one of the most beautiful women in all of the Empire. As fate dealt her both fabulous wealth and stunning appearance, she has been able to live a life in which her merest demands are answered instantly beginning with her doting father and servants to the vast array of lovers she has entertained since. There are few Elector Counts of the Empire who are not rumored to have, at one time or another, enjoyed the Countess’s charms. Though in her middle years now, the Countess is still a striking woman for her age and scandalous accusations continue to this day over her numerous affairs, most notably the recent suggestion of liaisons with the bachelor Elector Count Helmut Feuerbach of Talabecland. Completely disinterested with the dealings of state, Emmanuelle relies a great deal on advisors but has the sense to appoint competent ones at that. These advisors have seen to continuing many of her father’s directives particular towards improving Nuln’s wealth. Vast sums of money have been expended in order to open a Nuln Engineering College. Despite setbacks during the Mutant attack on Nuln early in her reign, the College has managed to attract a good deal of prospective Engineers. Proximity to the Imperial Gunnery School as well Nuln’s foundries, enables the Nuln College to siphon more and more students away from the more storied Altdorf Engineers College. Besides attending extravagant parties and purchasing the finest of things, Emmanuelle wants nothing more than make Nuln the wealthiest city in the Empire in order that she might divorce it from Wissenland. She of course wishes to retain her position as Elector of the Empire and is more than willing to remain as such through a very large donation to the Imperial treasury.
   The senior branch of the von Liebwitz line has no other members since the tragic death of Leos von Liebwitz at little over a decade ago. Leos, the younger brother of Emmanuelle, was perhaps the finest duelist in the Empire being hired by some of the most influential of the Empire’s families as tutor in swordsmanship. Leos ironically met his end in a duel with an otherwise unremarkable Altdorf guardsman. Whether it was hubris on Leos’s part or blind luck on the side of the guardsman, few are willing to speculate. The Countess is particularly defensive about rumors surrounding Leos’s death and few are as unwise as to mention any such talk within the palace halls.

Important City Locations
Like any other older city, Nuln is divided into a number of sections of various ages and purposes. The earliest part of the city lies in the Altestadt, which is constructed upon a great hilltop. Before the ancient war between the Dwarfs and Elves, the hill was a fortified outpost and the early humans most likely built the initial city upon old elven ruins. The area is now home to the Countess’s palace, the homes of the nobility, and the city’s great temples. Below the Aletstadt, encompassing the land between the old city walls and the River Reik, is the Nuestadt. This district houses the bulk of Nuln’s population, its major centers of learning, and most of its merchant offices. The youngest portion of the city lies on the western bank of the river. The Faulestadt, as the region is known, is home to the bulk of Nuln’s industry. As the city has expanded its industrial output, more and more of the upper and middle classes have complained about the fumes and grime such activity creates. Laws have slowly increased the regulation of were certain activities can take place and the strictest of these have come under Emmanuelle herself. Along with the many of the city’s smelting operations all other ‘unpleasant’ industry has been transferred to the far side of the river by decree of the Countess. The smallest portion of the city comprises the spur of land between the Aver and Upper Reik and is referred to by Nulners as Der Halbinsel. Here the majority of Nuln’s Dwarf population resides as well as housing the bulk of Nuln’s military barracks and infrastructure. 

The Imperial Gunnery School
High Chancellor: Lord Julianus Groot
   Modern artillery began working its way into the Imperial arsenals late in the second millennium. The constant civil wars offered a lucrative opportunity for Dwarf smiths to found mercenary artillery companies and ply their trade within the Empire’s borders. The demand for these new weapons soon outstripped the supply. As early as the sixteenth century Marienburg vessels were beginning to be outfitted with primitive guns. These guns were often based on Tilean designs as the Tileans were more than willing to share the information they had copied from the Dwarfs for a price. This competition inspired more and more spurned Dwarf Engineers to sell their services to wealthy Imperial lords and open their own foundries within the Empire’s borders. By the beginning of the Vampire Wars, most Elector Counts sported a moderate artillery train and a handful of Handgunner regiments.
   It was only in the twenty-second century in which the first combination of foundry and gunner school was opened in Nuln. The preexisting arms industry in Nuln along with its large Dwarf population made it the ideal site for such a venture. The arrangement was further solidified through a substantial donation to the Dwarven Engineers Guild, which up until this point had clamored for redress at the illegal Imperial ‘reproduction’ of Dwarven technology. The Count of Wissenland, at the time acting as the ‘Sigmarite’ Emperor, nearly bankrupted the state in order to pay for the enormous costs of expanding Nuln’s foundries, building the School’s facilities, and paying the hefty sum demanded by the Dwarfs but once paid for, the financiers of the venture reaped profits often in excess of three times they had invested in a little over a decade.
In the four hundred years since it opened, the Imperial Gunnery School has greatly expanded. Its buildings in Nuestadt are quite large and imposing compared with those of Nuln’s University. As the School and city have expanded, new parts of the town have been annexed for the School’s use. The most important of these acquisitions is Aver Island where the School conducts the bulk of its live fire testing. Though the foundries of Faulestadt have taken over a good deal of the work, the School still casts many cannon and mortar barrels on site. Most of the large caliber pieces are cast from brass or bronze but evolving technology has allowed the school to experiment with iron. Most of the carriage fittings for artillery are also made on school grounds along with a number of pieces for handguns and pistols. The School is also responsible for production of a great deal of powder and shot it uses. 
The curriculum for students is aimed at training master gunners. Math is a key component of this education along with the knowledge of how to keep a gun operating in the field. Each student is at least given rudimentary training in how to repair field pieces as well as producing powder and shot for their weapons. 

The Temple District
Though not as highly placed in the old city as even the homes of the nobility, the cities various temples hold great sway in the city’s affairs. Nuln’s Cathedral of Sigmar is the most ancient building of Sigmarite worship in world. Constructed over the area in which Johan Helstrum first preached the divinity of Sigmar, the Sigmarite Cathedral may no longer have the same clout as the Grand Cathedral in Altdorf but still attracts a great number of pilgrims and donations.  The city’s Temple of Myramidia is one of the grandest in the Empire taking up an entire city block. Though not the Orders Headquaters, many Knights of the Blazing Son are stationed in Nuln because of the large Myrimidian Temple. Arguably the most influential of Nuln’s temples is that of Verena. Strong patrons of the cities Universities, the Temple of Verena is a massive structure located at the edge of the Temple District. In addition to religious duties, the temple is also used as the city’s court house. Countess Emmanuelle does reserve her right to pardon cases and have final say in sentencing but most of the city’s judicial business is conducted by the cult. In addition Nuln boasts a large Garden of Morr and a small Temple of Ulric.

The Nuln College of Engineering
Headmaster: Waldred Teuber
   Nuln’s Engineering College is often overlooked by people as a separate entity. The Imperial Gunnery School’s age and size eclipses that of the Engineering College and that the Engineers have a close relation with the Gunnery School further blurs the distinction. Opening an Engineering College in Nuln was the brain child of Emmanuelle’s father, who began luring Engineers away from Altdorf in the 2490’s. Immense sums of money were expended in order to procure the services of these Engineers as well as to construct a campus on par with the older Imperial Gunnery School. Shortly into Emmanuelle’s reign the College was completed but was soon ravaged by fire set by unknown saboteurs. The College has never been completely rebuilt though construction continues to restore the facility to its former, if brief, glory.
   The College still garners a considerable endowment from the Countess but funds are directed at moving the College out from the shadows of both the Gunnery School and the Altdorf Engineers College. Many of the original faculty were the lesser professors from Altdorf and brought with them many of the tried and true designs of the great engineers such as Leonardo da Miragiliano and Ludwig von Meinkopt. Unfortunately this stifled the Nuln College’s originality and, to many Altdorf Engineers, the College looked more like a talentless parody. In order to remedy this problem, the College scoured the Empire for fresh and innovative minds. Initially the policy was a success but senior instructors began to grow concerned that the work of some students flirted too close to heresy. To curb the unrestrained imagination of some in the student body, the College offered positions to many exiled Dwarf Engineers. The fusion worked perfectly and now the Nuln College of Engineers produces nearly as many new and fantastic inventions as the much larger Altdorf College.

Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Averland 8/31/10, Added Cult of Sigmar 9/3/10
Post by: S.O.F on October 18, 2010, 03:49:48 AM
Part II

The University of Nuln
   Nuln’s University is one of the oldest in the Empire. Comprising four grandiose buildings located in Nuestadt, the University has a strong sense of tradition and culture. However, the University has struggled of late with its traditionalist position. The University’s curriculum is much the same as it was centuries ago and is losing out to more modern institutions, particularly the University in Altdorf. Nobility still receives preferences in admissions and housing further exacerbating the problem by pushing wealthy burghers into sending their sons off to Altdorf or enrolling them for training in the Imperial Gunnery School.

The Richthofen Foundries
   Controlling one third of Nuln’s artillery foundries, the Richthofen’s are one of the wealthiest families in Nuln. Karl Richthofen, the current owner, inherited the enterprise only a few years ago but in that time has put considerable work into making them Nuln’s finest. The Richthofen Foundries already provide half of the Gunnery Schools supplies and Karl has used his contacts to make the techniques and equipment employed in his foundries technological superior to his competitors, namely those owned by the Countess.

The Iron Tower
   Located on an island in the middle of the Reik, the Iron Tower is Nuln’s dreaded prison. Built only a half century ago, the Iron Tower already has a fearsome reputation amongst Nuln’s criminals. Unfortunately in its brief tenure many ‘innocents’ have also ended their days in one its cells or torture chambers. Most of these excesses occurred under Chief Magistrate Fritz von Halstadt, a particularly adept spymaster though some argue over zealous, some twenty years ago but many today cannot be certain it still contains a great number of guiltless souls.

Important Feastivals
The Feast of Verena
Not so much a city wide festival, the Feast of Verena is the annual banquet held to honor the faculty and students of Nuln’s Engineering College and the Imperial Gunnery School by the Countess herself. The day of the feast the both Colleges are affectively shut down. While the event is designed primarily for staff and the College’s senior students, many of the younger students manage to ‘sneak’ into the banquet hall and participate as well. Though the evening begins with a great deal of ceremony it quickly degenerates into a raucous drunken celebration.

Black Powder Week
Several weeks after Mittherbst in the autumn, the Imperial Gunnery School’s outdoor live fire exercises are called to a halt. Test firings of new guns continue throughout the year but winter weather is hard on the School’s permanent pieces as well as the older gunnery instructors. To celebrate the conclusion of the season, the younger charges of the school produce a vast assortment of small fireworks which are then distributed to townsfolk passing by the Gunnery School grounds. Nights are celebrated with increasingly grander fireworks displays culminating with the School’s graduation ceremonies which conclude the week.
   

Military
   For a city that houses the Imperial Gunnery School and a College of Engineering, it is not surprising that Nuln’s military forces are oriented toward artillery. While other Imperial armies attach their guns to specific regiments, Nuln regiments are built around the guns. Batteries or even individual field pieces are assigned personal regiments for protection. Imperial gun crews are very superstitious about their guns and none more so than Nulners. As all guns cast by the Gunnery School are christened with names, crews and the regiments that protect them attribute all sorts of anthropomorphic qualities to their field pieces.
   Nuln’s regiments are also more likely to be led by a non-nobleman than anywhere else in the Empire. There is little glory and prestige in commanding artillery or being an engineer so few of the high nobility bother and level of technical education required further disinterests noble sons from entering such services. Nobles that do enter are often from the lowest tiers of the Empire’s nobility who, without military careers, could not afford to maintain their station. The majority of Nuln’s officers tend to be drawn from the merchant classes and even the current High Chancellor of the Imperial Gunnery School is, himself, the son a Nuln burgher. Education extends even beyond the officer class as many of Nuln’s common soldiers have received some form of instruction as any male orphan in Nuln becomes ward of the Imperial Gunnery School. Termed ‘Sons of the Guns’, these orphans are tasked with a myriad of minor chores that keep the School operational while at the same time preparing them to have useful trades when they are adults. Beyond trade skills sons are also instructed in writing, reading, and basic mathematics. The service is not free and when they are old enough their debt must be paid back to the School. Many achieve this through enlisting in Nuln’s military and some of more gifted become master artillerists themselves.

Famous Regiments
The Siege Train of Nuln
Nuln is famous for its artillerists and only the best are attached to the city’s finest battery, the Nuln Siege Train. Composed of only the most storied guns cast in the city’s foundries, the Siege Train inspires pride in every Nulner. When the regiment departs for a war, great pomp and circumstance is put into the parade given to ensure a quick victory and the regiment’s safe return.  Cumbersome and unwieldy, the regiment is primarily reserved for defensive actions and sieges. Most recently, the regiment’s batteries were instrumental in destroying the Ogre army at the Battle of a Hundred Cannons.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: osterknact on October 30, 2010, 05:37:14 AM
Cant wait till this is finished and enshired in the library! Such a great resource
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: Zygmund on October 31, 2010, 10:07:34 PM
Cant wait till this is finished and enshired in the library! Such a great resource

Agreed.  :eusa_clap:

This goes nicely together with osterknact's project on bringing the nuances of the provinces on the battlefield. Great to see people doing something I'd like to do but have no time. Thanks!  :lol:

-Z
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: wissenlander on November 03, 2010, 01:33:19 PM
Really good work here.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: werekin on January 04, 2011, 01:47:51 AM
This is a pretty cool thread. Props to anyone producing campaign material based on cross-referencing a wide research of source books and novels.

I was a bit disappointed in two areas though;

1. You've referenced Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight, and not given any details on the outcome of Schwartzhelm's visit to Averheim. Without spoiling too much for anyone who hasn't read the story yet, a new Elector Count has been crowned in Averland!

2. How about including a bit more of the scandal surrounding the death of effete duellist Leos von Liebwitz. Most folks must have read Beasts in Velvet from the Genevieve Undead omnibus so surely it can't hurt to mention he was a cross-dressing bipolar dandy. ;)

Great effort all round man.

Regards,

Werekin.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: S.O.F on January 05, 2011, 12:36:11 AM

I was a bit disappointed in two areas though;

1. You've referenced Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight, and not given any details on the outcome of Schwartzhelm's visit to Averheim. Without spoiling too much for anyone who hasn't read the story yet, a new Elector Count has been crowned in Averland!

2. How about including a bit more of the scandal surrounding the death of effete duellist Leos von Liebwitz. Most folks must have read Beasts in Velvet from the Genevieve Undead omnibus so surely it can't hurt to mention he was a cross-dressing bipolar dandy. ;)


Well the main reason for going into such depth is that the goal of the guide is not to ruin the plot of such books but use the ancillary details that expand our knowledge of the Warhammer universe to compile a single guide. In addition the idea of this guide is that is written by some Tilean as a political guide for his patrons son that will be attending university in Nuln or some such. This precludes the outcome of Sword of Justice since it is set in the post-Storm of Chaos world which the 8th edition has now dropped and generally is rather boring when describing how crappy things are in the North Empire. For the second the events described in Beasts in Velvet would really not be something many people in the Warhammer World would learn of and by the bit at the start of the Ambassador series suggests that the Nuln Court keeps the events quite secret with the odd disappearance of those that bring up to many of the real details. 
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: werekin on January 05, 2011, 08:04:25 PM
Quote
Well the main reason for going into such depth is that the goal of the guide is not to ruin the plot of such books but use the ancillary details that expand our knowledge of the Warhammer universe to compile a single guide.

I can totally respect that line regarding anything which is current. And the Electoral struggle in Averland is hot topic right now! That being said current events panning out in the Black Library publications become the foundation of future campaigns & contests. It's all completely relevant. When I picked up a copy of the latest Warhammer rulebook upon release I seem to recall reading an excerpt about the Everqueen biting the dust, and thinking to myself when the heck did that happen!? It wasn't until reading an old copy of Defenders of Ulthuan (upon recommendation) that the penny dropped. The attention to detail in a lot of novels is pretty mind-blowing and vice versa regarding the source books!

Quote
In addition the idea of this guide is that is written by some Tilean as a political guide for his patrons son that will be attending university in Nuln or some such. This precludes the outcome of Sword of Justice since it is set in the post-Storm of Chaos world which the 8th edition has now dropped and generally is rather boring when describing how crappy things are in the North Empire.

The way in which point of view encourages mild confusion or ambiguity is rather thrilling. There must be a healthy amount of debate caused by perception at Black Library HQ!

Life in the Empire is always crap. Unless you're a  merchant things were looking grim before, during and after SoC! At any given time the future is only going to seem as bright at the talented quill of the scribe can suggest.

Quote
For the second the events described in Beasts in Velvet would really not be something many people in the Warhammer World would learn of and by the bit at the start of the Ambassador series suggests that the Nuln Court keeps the events quite secret with the odd disappearance of those that bring up to many of the real details.

Agreed S.O.F. The mysterious way you've reported on this should make a curious delve into the archives in order to find out more about the son of a gun who was fortunate enough to best a trained killer who moved in circles above his station. Curiously, I believe this event might have (triggered another author hence) inspired Felix Jaeger to cut down the corrupt official heading up the secret police in Nuln, during 'Skavenslayer'. ;)

Did you manage to sort out some work ok?

Regards,

Werekin.
Title: Stirland Revised
Post by: S.O.F on February 05, 2011, 01:53:05 AM
The Grand County of Stirland
Elector: Albrecht Haupt-Anderson
State Livery: Green and Yellow
Heraldric Devices: Skulls, Skeletons, and Hunting Horns
Motto: Victory or Death

Geography
Stirland is one of the Empire’s larger provinces. Its borders, like so many other provinces, are demarcated by the major rivers of the Empire. The Riek, Aver, and the province’s name sake Stir River bound the province to the west, south, and north. In the east the World’s Edge Mountains terminate the province but this is long after proper Stirland becomes the ill omened Sylvania. The northern portions of Stirland are encompassed by the most southern extensions of the Great Forest. The remainder of Stirland’s territory is a mix of plains and rolling hills. The majority of this land is arable and the bulk of Stirland’s commerce comes from what the land provides .

The People.
Stirlanders are descendents of the Asoborn tribe which joined Sigmar confederation. Unique among the tribes that would form the Empire, the Asoborns were ruled not by their men but their women. In battle the Asoborn warrior women were renowned charioteers. Queen Freya, the leader of the Asoborns at the time of Sigmar, is even rumored to have been the God-Kings consort for a time .
Modern Stirlanders have a reputation as a backwards and simple people. While this is not to the degree most citizens of more cosmopolitan provinces would contend, on a whole Stirlanders do have a larger number of local superstitions (natives would argue traditions) than any other Imperial province. This ‘traditionalism’ is often mixed with a touch xenophobic prejudice, strangers in Stirland are very unlikely to find a warm welcome. Despite its proximity to the Moot, relations between Stirlanders and Halfings are rather cool. Many Stirlanders still feel the creation of an independent Mootland Electorate was some sort of slight to the honor of Stirland .

The Ruling House
Haupt-Anderson Coat of Arms: A white Skull and a yellow Hunting Horn on a black field.
   Count Albrecht is one of the younger Elector counts in the Empire. Despite his relative youth, Albercht is a cool and collected man who doesn’t rush into important decisions. This immediately sets him apart from previous Stirland Electors who were famed for their rashness. The Elector is good judge of character and he places his trust in skilled advisors and agents.   Previous to the resurgence of the Von Carsteins in Sylvania, Albrecht conducted a great deal of state business from Waldenhof, leaving Wurtbad in the care of trusted cousins.  Albrecht hoped the presence of the Electoral court would expedite a revitalization of Sylvania and make it a profitable part of his realm. While this did increase the traffic to Waldenhof, recovery did not follow.
   Albrecht’s brother, Rudolf, figures prominently into the province’s government. Rudolf is perhaps a stereotypical archetype for Stirland noblemen. He is suspicious of outsiders and exceedingly impulsive. Unlike other provinces, where second sons are shipped off to the clergy or descend into a life of gambling and whoring, Stirlanders expect the younger brother to be a competent military man capable of acting as his elder brother’s marshal. Rudolf is no exception and this sentiment strengthens his already bellicose disposition towards almost all outsiders .   

Religion.
Stirlanders have been ardent supporters of the Cult of Sigmar since its inception as part of Imperial religious life. Many think Stirlanders believe themselves to be the true heirs of Sigmar, heretical tales of bastard Asoborn children aside, and such faith has lead a number of Stirland Counts to be viewed as little more than puppets of the Sigmarite Clergy. However, this has not precluded the province from retaining older deities as well. The Sigmarite Cult may be Stirland’s largest Cult, but the Cults of Morr as well as the Cult of Taal and Rhya both hold significant sway.
It is predominately the province’s dependence upon agriculture that gives the cult of Taal and Rhya particular importance. Unlike many other Cults, that of Taal and Rhya is not under any fixed hierarchy of priests, only a lose assortment nominally headed from Talabheim. Though both deities are still worshiped in unison, the practice in Stirland is not the same. Instead of Taal being the lead of the two, it is the female Rhya. This is perhaps a left over tradition from the matriarchal days of the early Asoborns or that Stirlanders see Rhya’s connection with growth, fertility, and cultivation of crops as more significant than Taal’s wild huntsmen oriented mantra . Even more likely is that is the doctrine is politically motivated to be at odds with the Cults titular leadership. Talabecland is Stirland’s longest and most bitter rival and no Stirlander is willing to submit to the authority of a Talabeclander much less a Cult hierarchy made up of Talabeclanders.
   While Priests of Morr are an important part of all communities in the Empire, Stirland’s history during the Wars of the Vampire Counts gives the cult an abnormally large place in Stirland. In Stirland there are a great number Knightly Orders dedicated to the service of Morr. As integration of Sylvania into Stirland has never been as complete as civil authorities would like, these orders are instrumental in attempts to drive out the legacy of necromancy in Sylvania and bring it into the Imperial fold. Vast estates in eastern Stirland are owned outright by the Cult or by one of its Templar Orders. To the extent that law and order exists in Sylvania, if such terms can even be used for the region, has more to do with the vigilance of Morrian Templars then with any of the province’s road wardens .

Important Cities
   Stirland boasts only a single major city; the capital Wurtbad.  Wurtbaders, particularly wealthy ones, view the city as the ‘third grandest’ in the Empire. While this is far from the case it harkens back to the days when the ruling Emperor was a Stirlander . It is unwise for an outsider to point out that a Stirlander no longer sits upon the thrown because the Emperor Dieter IVs failure in the face Grom the Paunch’s invasion and more importantly his scandalous sale of Marienburg’s independence which ousted the dynasty a century ago. The city is relatively cosmopolitan and draws it wealth from being the largest port on the River Stir. The wine trade is particularly important as Wurtbad merchants deal in more of it than any other city in the Empire .

Military
    Stirland is not a wealthy province and its military reflects these fiscal constraints. The household regiments of Stirland State army, as well as those of its prominent nobles, are equipped similarly as those of other provinces however Stirland styles tends to be slightly dated. Some Nobles spend extravagantly on these troops as they are constantly in service and give at least the appearance of wealth, compensating for the often shabby looking line troops the province is forced to call upon in wartime. The uniforms of regular regiments are often quite worn and patched because of infrequent replacement. When money is exceptionally tight, uniforms may be made from un-dyed cloth and it is not unheard of for militia regiments to denote their origins by a mere green sash . Weapons and armor similarly reflect a great deal of use and one would not be surprised that some equipment has been maintained in the state’s armouries since the Wars of the Vampire Counts. In particularly dire times, the rear ranks of Halberdier regiments may even be armed with modified farming implements. Provisioning and logistical considerations are also severely hampered but Stirland regiments are known for their resourcefulness in the field. When units from multiple states are mustered in a single army, this thriftiness often comes at the expense of more well provisioned regiments .

Famous Military Units.
Stir River Patrol. River Pirates a threat on all the great rivers of the Empire but Stirland bears a burden greater than most. Unlike other rivers which can be patrolled by units from multiple provinces, Stirland polices the Stir on its own. The Stir is the key to Stirland’s meager commerce and without it the province would be in far more impoverished states then is currently the case. The unit delegated with this task is the Stir River Patrol.  The Patrol maintains a small flotilla boats as well as a series of strategic forts which run all along the Stir. Members of the regiment are adept at both naval and land combat and trained to use either close combat or missile weapons. Much like other state regiments they also suffer from Stirland’s poverty. Generally detachments quartered where they are required to make more regular inspections of passing merchants, such as the Wurtbad docks, garner the best equipment. Conversely, the more remote the posting the more haphazard the regiments gear. No matter how ragged the Patrolmen are in appearance, they are all excellent soldiers. The regiment wears a green and white livery and bears the symbols of Manann’s five pointed crown and the angler fish. The combination and presentation of these depends on the post to which the detachment reports. The regiment’s motto is ‘Ware the Stir’ .

Stirland Archers: During the time of Three Emperors, the northern forested portion of Stirland was subject to repeated devastations by both invading armies from Talabecland and the Counts own careless troops. Much like the rest of Stirland, Stirland’s forests are not particularly wealthy and disruptions to the timbering industry and game drove many of the regions inhabitants into abject poverty. The region became increasingly lawless as those unable to feed their families by legal means turned brigand, robbing passing merchants and raiding supplies destined for the Count’s forces. The problem was compounded by the influx of deserters from both the Stirland’s and Talabecland’s armies who augmented the abilities of the native foresters with some sense of military discipline. Attempts by the Count of Stirland to curb the predation of these bandits by conventional means proved exceedingly costly for Stirland’s treasury and unorthodox measures were taken to bring the region to heel. Rather than execute capture bandits, the Count offered amnesty provided they serve a time in Stirland’s military. Generous wages were offered to new recruits and particularly successful outlaw chiefs were even offered commissions to command the newly formed archer regiments.
Though the Count’s program was successful the region has never been completely purged of brigands. A few bad seasons and many seemingly honest foresters won’t bat an eye about robbing a wealthy passerby. In order to minimize such mischief the region continues to be a rich recruiting ground for archers and the regiments drawn from these regions are renowned for being hardy and resourceful scouts. Regiments like the Stirland Free Foresters and Deathjacks have earned battle honors in multiple campaigns though their manners and ‘open-minded’ policy toward other regiments baggage often grates senior officers.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Nordland Guide 2/5/11
Post by: S.O.F on February 06, 2011, 04:32:43 AM
The Grand Barony of Nordland
Elector: Theodoric Gausser
State Livery: Blue and Yellow
Heraldic Devices: Galleons and Anchors

Geography
Much like the rest of the northern Empire, Nordland is dominated by forests. In the eastern half of the province, the Forest of Shadows covers the land from the Salzenmund-Middenheim Road to the Ostland border. This region is sparsely populated and home to a multitude of Forest Goblin and Beastmen tribes. The western portion of the province lies under the eaves of the fey Laurelorn Forest. Though much fairer than the neighboring Drakwald and Forest of Shadows, Laurelorn has its perils. The forest is home to the only known community of Wood Elves outside the borders of Loren and its borders are jealously guarded. All attempts conquer these Elves have failed and the Counts of Nordland are content to sit at uneasy peace with them. The Elves put a strict limit on the amount of lumbering that may go on in the Laurelorn, but timber from the region is prized for its beauty and durability. Nordland’s coastline is dotted with small fishing villages though only in the Drosselpule Bay are catches abundant. Competition with Marienburg has increased the hardship along the western portions of the coast and villages there sometimes turn to wrecking in order to supplement their income. Nordland is not rich in arable and what crops are grown are consumed locally. Besides a handful of specialty cheeses, salted fish is Nordland’s only food stuff export. Nordland has benefited from the creation of the Imperial Second Fleet, both the form of government and mercantile contracts which have been greatly expanded local boatbuilding and the timber industry in the last fifteen years. Though portions of the Middle Mountains are under the control of Nordland, there is little mineral wealth in that part of the range. The Silver Hills, which occupy the land from Salzenmund north to the Sea of Claws, do have some larger deposits of silver and Nordland produces some of the finest quality silver work in the Empire.

The People
   At the time of Sigmar, the land that now comprises the province of Nordland was not controlled by a single tribe. In the decades previous to Sigmar’s efforts at unification, the region was in constant turmoil. The Jutone tribe, which had called the coastline home since the migration into the Reik River basin, was driven from their lands by Norsii raiders and the belligerent Teutogens. After Sigmar brought the Teutogens to heel and drove the Norsii into the sea, the region was largely uninhabited. Faced with the great army of greenskins to the south, Sigmar called upon all the tribes of men to aid in the war to which the bitter Jutones refused to answer. After the victory at Black Fire Pass and his coronation as Emperor, Sigmar set about bringing the Jutones into the Imperial fold. This was only achieved through a costly siege of the Jutone capital, Jutonsryk. Though initially viewed with suspicion and contempt by his peers, the Jutone King Marius eventually won acceptance through his heroic efforts during the Norsii and Undead invasions. All final doubts were quelled when Marius wed the Endal Princess Mirska, uniting the Jutones and Endals under one line of Counts.
As the line of the Endals and Jutones were heavily tied with the city of Marburg, later Marienburg, and the Wasteland, those that reside within the current borders of Nordland enjoy little of the tribal heritage remembered in all of the other provinces of the Empire. Following the expulsion of the Norsii, the woodlands from the Wasteland marshes to the Udose settlements in the eastern Forest of Shadows were largely devoid of human inhabitants. In the years of prosperity that the early Empire enjoyed, many Jutones returned to these lands after the destruction of Jutonsryk. Marburg however attracted far more of these refugees and the depopulated territory drew settlers from among many of the tribes of the Empire seeking new lives in unsettled lands. A land of mixed Imperial ancestry was further confused thanks to heavy colonization by Norscan tribes in the years following the disintegration of Imperial authority in the aftermath of the Black Plague of 1115. 
   Nordlanders are accorded by most fellow Imperials as loud, blunt, pseudo-savages and as Nordlanders tend to be a larger physically than other Imperials, it only helps to further these notions. On a whole, Nordlanders are rather touchy about the subject of their ancestry and are often eager to prove they are just as Imperial, if not more so, than their peers of other provinces. Despite their best efforts, Norse influences are still readily detected in Nordland from some architectural styles to Nordland’s customary laws on trial by combat.

The Ruling House
House of Gausser Coat of Arms: A white galley on a red field.
   Though the Gausser line has been an eminent family in Nordland for generations, it is only recently that they have come to the Electoral throne. The previous dynasty, the House of Niske, alienated a great part of Nordland’s nobility through their close ties with the Todbringers of Middenland which many felt had reduced Nordland to more a vassal of the Counts of Middenland rather than a Grand Province in its own right. Scandal and disputed succession were all that was needed for Nordland’s nobles to look elsewhere and Theodoric Gausser was more than happy to take the mantle of Elector Count for himself and his family.
   Theodoric is a very proud man and suffers much like other Nordlanders from an inferiority complex. He is particularly obstinate when second guessed by those of lesser rank and particularly when they are not fellow Nordlanders. Even if Gausser is flawed in his planning helpful suggestions from advisors from more ‘civilized’ portions of the Empire, Nuln or Reikland in particular, are viewed as a slight on himself as well as all other Nordlanders. Theodoric is above all an ambitious man, it is how he maneuvered into his Electoral seat and it is how he plans to maintain it for his family line. Gausser is getting on in years and his son faces serious challenges in gaining the Electoral seat upon Theodoric’s death. He needs to prove that Nordland with a Gausser at the helm is a strong one and neutralize the House of Niske, who are undoubtedly moving to recover their position. Rumors abound that Theodoric plans nothing short of recovering Marienburg for the Empire and Nordland. If he were able to achieve such a coup he would not only solidify his place as one of the greatest Electors of Nordland but also show those southerners the worth of good Nordland warriors. In addition, securing Marienburg would also allow Gausser to return the Salzenmund to the House of Niske and hopefully turn his greatest opponents into staunch allies.   

Religion
   Nordlanders are reasonably pious people but attitudes of many cult hierarchies are quite problematic to the Nordland psyche. The Cult of Sigmar is influential but is seen as a condescending religious extension of Reikland policy. Regarded as such a back-water during the area of Three Emperors, Nordland still has not been properly integrated into the Sigmarite diocese system and the High Capitular of Nordland actually sits in Middenheim rather than Salzenmund. The Cult of Ulric has always been strong in Nordland but its priests and followers chaff at the often similarly patronizing outlook of the Cult leadership. The close ties between the Ar-Ulric and the Grafs of Middenheim lead many Nordlanders, even Salzenmund’s own High Priest of Ulric, to the conclusion that the Cult leadership would be perfectly content having Nordland made subservient to the interests of Middenheim and Middenland. Nordlander fishing communities are likewise on ill terms with the Cult of Manann, the Sea God. As Marienburg is the heart of Manann’s worship, the poor relations between Nordland and Marienburg has left most of the province’s shrines and temples dependent on their local congregations for maintenance rather than money from the coffers in Marienburg. A handful of Manannite Templars have their headquarters in Nordland but most have been reduced to near penury condition for the last century.  Cult leadership has reduced these Orders to almost excommunicatus status and created new more politically viable Orders to replace them. Only the Cult of Taal and Rhya is not tainted by political issues though there are concerns over the practices of folk adjacent to Laurelorn incorporating too many ‘elven’ influences into their worship.

Important Towns
Built on the site of the ancient meeting hall of the Jutones, Salzenmund is the oldest most revered city in a province that is otherwise devoid of ancestral links. A chartered town and provincial capital, Salzenmund enjoys the steady stream of commerce that flows along the Erengrad-Middenheim road. In addition Salzenmund is a hub for silver smithing based on ores drawn from the nearby Silver Hills. Salzenmund’s Silversmiths Guild is quite powerful and the work of it members is admired by merchants throughout the Empire and beyond. Salzenmund is also one of the few cities where one can find elven goods for sale. Few in number, some of the folk of Laurelorn do travel to the cities of men and their goods command high prices. The city’s most famous building is its imposing Temple of Ulric. Unlike the fortified chapel style indicative of most Ulrican temples, the Salzenmund Temple is constructed entirely of giant timbers in a manner more akin to southern Norsca than the Empire. The building is quite ancient, dating from the latter half of the first millennium, and mirrors the Great Temple of Ulric with its own eternal flame supposedly started with holy fire brought from Middenheim.
Up until only a decade ago, Dietershafen was an unremarkable small village on the coast of the Sea of Claws scrapping in a living from fishing and a very small boatbuilding industry. Faced with increased raids by the Norse and political tensions with Marienburg, the Emperor, in conjunction with Count Gausser and Dietershafen’s Baron Kohler, recommissioned the defunct Imperial Second Fleet stationing it in the town. Following significant grants from the Imperial treasury, Dietershafen has expanded rapidly to accommodate the new fleet along with the booming shipbuilding and timber industry. The Count’s constant rotation of State Troops through the navy has also brought the town a small industry focused on supply military stores for when regiments return to land based actions as well as the production of naval stores.
On the eastern end of Drosselpule Bay sits the city of Norden. After the secession of Marienburg, the town became the most important port for those looking to avoid the often exorbitant tolls and mooring fees charged to enter the Empire via the Reik. Though not officially associated with the Imperial Fleet, Norden became the home for any Imperial Naval vessels charged with transporting goods to the Empire’s few foreign colonies, such as the infamous Leopoldsheim prison. This in turn attracted many private entrepreneurs who wished to set out for Lustria and the Southlands without having to pay healthy commissions to the greedy burghers of Marienburg. The taverns of the Empire are filled with types that boast about their adventures in the new world but in Norden, there is at least a chance they might be true. 

Military
Militarily, Nordland is finally overcoming the shadows of its more prominent neighbors. Years as the lesser vassal of the Princes of Marienburg gave Nordland regiments a reputation as unkempt, undisciplined, but enthusiastic soldiers. During the years of the Imperial Civil Wars and Age of Three Emperors, Nordland was a rich recruiting ground for mercenaries which served throughout the Empire. After the Electorship passed from the Princes of Marienburg to the Princes of Salzenmund, Nordland’s military received more attention and prestige. Unfortunately for Nordland generals, no matter the number of imported drillmasters Nordland regiments have never been entirely broken of all their bad habits, chief among them impetuous advances. Nordland troops mustered in a multi-state force are often given special attention by commanding officers to keep them in line. 
Nordland’s ambitious Count has been improving his military through regular service within the Imperial Second Fleet as marines. In addition rather than combating the fiery spirit of Nordland troops, Gausser and his Marshalls have embraced it and have worked at implementing new aggressive infantry tactics on the battlefield.  Most other Imperial generals are shocked to see handgunners fire only a single volley before charging head long into the enemy or huntsmen closing with hand axes on enemy artillery but in Nordland these are quite common practices.

Famous Regiments
Nordland Marines
While it has been the Count’s policy to rotate as many of his state regiments through the Imperial Second Fleet with stints as marines, Nordland does have several regiments dedicated to such duty. In addition to serving with the fleet, marine detachments are garrisoned throughout a series of forts that guard Nordland’s coastline. The regularity of Norscan raids means that Nordland’s marines rarely have time to grow soft and complacent during these terra firma postings. Crossbows are their preferred weapon as they are more reliable at sea than handguns or bows though pistols are quite popular. For close combat, Nordland Marines favor cutlasses and falchions and are as eager get to grips with the enemy as all other Nordland regiments.

Attached from section on Knightly Orders
Sons of Manann
Religious Affiliation: Manann
Headquarters: Salzenmund
Grandmaster (Grand Admiral): Hrofil Halfdane
Livery: Light Blue and White
Heraldic Designs: Tridents and Manann’s Crown
   The Sons of Manann represent one of the Empire’s most unorthodox Knightly Orders. Originally drawn from the nobility of coastal Nordland and Ostland, the Order has for centuries operated a number of fortress monasteries along the coast of the northern Empire. Before the advent of the Nordland (Imperial) Second Fleet, the Order was responsible for protecting much of the Empire’s northern coast from pirates, wreckers, and Norscan raiders. With Marienburg’s secession from the Empire a century ago, the Order was put in the difficult position of either supporting their Cult leaders in Marienburg or remaining true to the Empire. Ultimately the Order chose to back the Empire and has been diminishing since. Angry at their disloyalty, the Cult of Manaan expelled the Order from Marienburg and supplanted their position as the preeminent Order of Manaan’s Templars with the Knights Mariner. Separated from the wealth and prestige of the Cult, the Order soon found it harder to maintain the Order’s estates and find new squires. Once the Imperial Navy commissioned a second fleet to be stationed in Nordland new initiate numbers dropped even further. Today advancement in the Order is easy when compared to other Orders even among those of low birth. Provided the initiate exhibits a sincere and deep held piety, even the highest echelons of the Order are within reach, case in point, the Order’s current Grand Admiral, Hrofil Halfdane.  A Norscan by birth, Hrofil joined the Order after a storied career as a mercenary. Shipwrecked in the midst of the Sea of Claws, Hrofil pledged himself to whatever deity would spare him the inglorious death of drowning. Days later, he washed up in front of one the Sons of Manaan’s Chapter Houses. Seeing it as a sign from his new patron, Hrofil promptly joined the Order.  In the twenty years since, Hrofil has proven, through both his considerable martial talent and ardent faith in Manaan, himself worthy of election to the Order’s highest rank.
   The Sons of Manann predominantly serve as marines aboard the vessels of the Order’s modest navy. In order to supplement their income, some Order ships have taken to attaching themselves to Imperial and take shares from any collected prize money or seized cargo. This concerns many of the older Knights in the order since such actions are at times more akin to piracy then the policing role to which the Order is dedicated. Close ties with the Count of Nordland also mean the Order is often called upon to aid the Count in various conflicts. When fighting on land, the Knights still carry cutlasses to represent their naval heritage and are mounted upon white horses in armor with strong sea motifs. The Knights strive to appear as the unbridled force of one of Manann’s great tidal waves an effect often not lost on opponents. In keeping with their Gods imagery, the Sons of Manann are known to alter their lances by adding trident heads in honor of Manann’s own mighty trident, Sea Reaper. 

Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: S.O.F on December 18, 2012, 05:03:20 AM
Right so I have near on 78 pages typed on the subject of the Empire from various sources but if there are intrepid other fluff enthusiasts that want this to continue and help me out I am willing to give out sections and have other folks write them. I'd really like to have this done so I'm looking at you other fluff bunny folks please.....

Kislev is an annex so if you want that works too...

Love to hear from applicants.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: Derek Contyre on December 19, 2012, 12:48:41 PM
If i ever finish my background I would be happy to help.... Just gained some more inspiration to start writing my stuff again :):)
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: commandant on December 19, 2012, 06:17:37 PM


2. How about including a bit more of the scandal surrounding the death of effete duellist Leos von Liebwitz. Most folks must have read Beasts in Velvet from the Genevieve Undead omnibus so surely it can't hurt to mention he was a cross-dressing bipolar dandy. ;)

Wasn't he a woman?
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
Post by: S.O.F on December 19, 2012, 08:12:02 PM
Wasn't he a woman?

Yes
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: commandant on December 20, 2012, 01:49:26 PM
Thought so, though how offical is that fluff?
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: wissenlander on December 20, 2012, 02:09:24 PM
Not very official.  And it's a bit of a spoiler, too.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: commandant on December 20, 2012, 02:23:00 PM
Did you not see it coming a mile away?
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: warhammerlord_soth on December 20, 2012, 02:24:37 PM
Did you not see it coming a mile away?


No, because the plot, as in all BL books, was so intricately woven it was impossible to do so...
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: wissenlander on December 20, 2012, 02:26:39 PM
Did you not see it coming a mile away?

More the principal of the matter than anything else.  Can't attest for the rest of BL's stuff, Soth, but that series was fairly unique and quite good I thought.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: S.O.F on December 20, 2012, 08:52:03 PM
Not very official.  And it's a bit of a spoiler, too.

This is true but then little of the Black Library end is, and being that a good number of books are set post Storm of Chaos these days they fit rather poorly in the reset timeline.

A side note though is that this tale was given a nod in the Ambassador series being that the reason for the main characters posting to Kislev was in part due to knowing a bit too much about Leos and the Countess not being to pleased with said knowledge.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
Post by: wissenlander on January 08, 2013, 05:30:29 PM
That's interesting.  Didn't know that.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland
Post by: S.O.F on April 28, 2013, 05:26:39 AM
The Grand Barony of Hochland
Elector: Aldebrand Ludenhof
State Livery: Green and Red
Heraldic Devices: Imperial Cross and the Hunting Horn. Currently also bears the initials of Emperor Karl Franz in gratitude for the service of Hochland troops in saving his life.

Geography
Hemmed in from the north by the Middle Mountains, the south by the River Talabec, to the east and west by the provinces of Ostland and Middenland, Hochland is the smallest province of the Empire.  The majority of Hochland, like the rest of the northern Empire, is dominated by woodland but unlike the Drakwald further west, the eastern Drakwald is comparatively open and renowned for its abundant amount of game. Timber and woodcrafts dominate Hochland economic life but the province has a steady flow of merchant traffic thanks more in part to its geographical location than any inherent wealth. Though Middle Mountains are quite poor in mineral resources and dominated by beastmen and greenskins, the rivers feed by the mountain springs generate some of the richest farmland in the northern Empire. Hunting is a Hochland tradition and the province specializes in industries which contribute to this passion. Hochland hunting bows and crossbows have been in high demand throughout the Empire since its founding and with the advent of black powder, Hochlanders have quickly embraced gunsmithing. Today, Hochland produces some of the most exquisite and highly sought after firearms in all the Empire.

The People
Hochlanders are descendents of the ancient Cherusen tribe who were called ‘wildmen’ by the other ancient tribes of the Empire. The Cherusens were expert archers and woodsmen famed for their extravagant war paint and sudden ambushes. Along with their Taulten cousins to the south, the Cherusens had strong ties to the Unbergoegens and were among the first tribes to join Sigmars confederation.
Hochlanders are considered by many to be the friendliest people in the Empire in part because the province lies at a crossroads of several trade routes. As such, Hochlanders have a greater degree of experience with strangers than citizens in many other provinces. However scars from the civil war years heal no quicker in Hochland. Neighboring Middenlanders and Talabeclanders are considered patronizing but the as the province was never severely mistreated at the hands of either tensions rarely flare out of hand. Ostlanders do not enjoy the same degree of lenience from the traditionally composed Hochlanders. Of all of Hochland’s neighbors it has been Ostland that frequently struggled to respect her borders and the depredations of Ostland armies are well recounted along the western banks of the River Wolfen.
Hunting is the definitive pastime of Hochland and even when game is not in season Hochlanders hold shooting competitions to flaunt their marksmanship skills. The prizes are considerable and the fame that goes along with them is said to rival the Bretonnian jousters and Tilean Pit Fighters. Special care is taken to ensure bows and guns remain at the peak of performance so much so that crass outsiders often remark a Hochlander shows more affection for his hunting rifle than he does for his wife. 

The Ruling House
House of Ludenhof Coat of Arms: A White Imperial Cross on a Red Field
The Ludenhof family is one of the oldest most distinguished noble houses in all of the Empire. During most of the second millennium, the Barony of Hochland was under rule of the Ludenhofs who guided it under the rule of Emperor Mandred, through the dark years of the Ravages of Gorthor, to the disintegration of the Imperial state into three Empires. It was during this time that the family’s most famous member is Mikael Ludenhof was Prince of Hergig and Grand Baron of Hochland. A harsh and exacting lord he was loathed by many of his subjects during his reign, but for his actions during the Ravages of Gothor, his defense of Hergig and his personal combat the dreaded Beastlord, he is enshrined as one of the Barony’s greatest heroes.
   Despite the family history, the current Elector, Adelbrand Ludenhof, is the first of his line to occupy the Electoral throne in several generations. Perpetually trapped between the warring Wolf and Ottilian Emperors, the Grand Baronial title passed between whichever family suited Imperial Crown which currently held sway. Viewed as too independent, the Ludenhof’s were rarely entrusted the baronial throne. At the time of Emperor Magnus, Hochland was ruled by the Hoch-Tussens, cousins of the Counts of Talabecland. With reconstruction of the Imperial system, the Ludenhofs felt that they were most deserving of the Electoral seat as their house was not the appointed made by occupying Talabeclanders. As the Emperor was in no mind to alter that fragile peace that had been so costly won, the Hoch-Tussens retained their title and the aspirations of the Ludenhofs were for a time thwarted. The dynastic game is a long one and not a generation ago the Hoch-Tussens found themselves without male issue and their only daughter wed to Adelbrand Ludenhof. With the death of the last Hoch-Tussen baron, the Electorship and the Barony returned to the house of Ludenhof.
   Though a capable swordsmen and leader of men, Count Ludenhof is not a particularly martial count. His peers in Ostland and Middenland can content themselves chasing after beast herds and raiders, but to Ludenhof, such tasks are best delegated to lesser men. The greatest portion of the Baron’s time is dedicated to hunting and he is immensely fond of falconry so much so one of his estates is rumored to have a raptor for every room. This distance from government is not to be confused with disinterest in ruling for the Baron is very keen that Hochland be ruled in an efficient manner; however it is his firm belief, much as his hunting birds, that the best view as to where to strike is only seen from above.
   
Religion
A wooded land in which hunting is the prime sport it is little wonder why Taal and Rhya are the most widely worshiped deities in Hochland. Sigmar has a strong following as well though the bulk of His worship is in the towns and villages along the River Talbec. There is also a strong number of Ulricans in Hochland and they tend to dominate the religious activity of the north western corner of the province. Much like their affable demeanor, Hochlanders are considered the most religiously tolerant of all Imperial provinces and while sectarian struggles between Sigmarites and Ulricans do occur they are considered timid compared to elsewhere. 
Though the religious landscape of Hochland is generally free of controversy it is not entirely devoid of it. When the tribes of men crossed into the lands that are now the Empire all came with their own pantheon of deities to which most tribes looked to a single as their patron and that of the Cherusen was Lupos, the Great Wolf, Lord of Predators. Little of the old religion remains practiced by few remote villages and to a degree, antiquarians and other scholars argue, some local Ulrican and Taalite sacraments are altered slightly in homage to these old beliefs. These archaic customs rankled the hierarchy of the Cults of Ulric and Taal but as both cults are quite liberal when it comes to minor rituals as long as they are steeped in ancient tradition little was done to curb them. In recent times, especially as the conflict between Ulrican and Sigmarite clergy has left the battlefield for the seminary, Sigmarite clergy have taken to using it as an example of the weakness of the Ulrican Creed and calling into question the accuracy of many important Ulrican texts. While Hochlanders themselves have nothing to do with these struggles, they once again find themselves in the middle of two larger and more belligerent forces.   

Important Towns
Hochland’s capital is the heavily fortified city of Hergig. Much like the Ludenhof family that rules it, the city has a long and storied past. At the city’s heart is the imposing Kristalhof Keep, the seat of the Ludenhofs. While many Princes prefer beauty, the Kirstalhof has little aesthetic value and is designed entirely for war. In the past hundred years there have been several serious assaults on the walls by beastmen and Hochland’s treasury has not been able to keep up with the repairs as well as fund the other works projects the previous Hoch-Tussen dynasty embarked on. The return of the Ludenhofs to the Electoral seat has brought about extensive modernization programs for many of the ill kept and obsolete sections of Hergig’s curtain wall. Hergig is also the site of the Hochland College of Sorcery a fully accredited extension of the Colleges in Altdorf.  Though open for apprentices of all the Colleges, it mainly attracts those of the Jade and Amber Orders who come to study in a more ‘natural’ setting than the Imperial Capital can provide.
Krudenwald if located anywhere else in the Empire would be just another unremarkable market town. In sparsely populated Hochland however, Krudenwald is a bustling metropolis. Lying on the important Middenheim-Talabheim road as well as the Wolfenburg-Delberz road, the town is an important coaching point for merchants and travelers traversing the northern Empire. In addition the town’s outlying villages are known for their fine woodcrafts as well as a strong lumber industry in the area.  Krudenwald’s greatest claim to fame is not these mundane commercial dealings but the monster that haunts the winter woods. Wild speculation claims the beast to be anything from chaos spawn to daemon to a large incredibly intelligent wolf, but there are few that have ever seen the beast and lived. The bounty on the beast has risen to a princely sum and each winter a good number of hunters from all over the Empire and beyond come to Krudenwald in hopes of bagging this fabled creature. None have yet succeeded as attacks continue, though these hunts have bagged an incredible assortment of great monsters, many of which now adorn the walls of the town hall. Those few hunters who have seen the ‘real’ beast swear that the monster engages in these yearly rampages because it enjoys the thrill of the hunt as much as any sportsman and most fear that the beast is merely toying with its would be slayers much as cat plays with a mouse. Whatever the case, the monster oddly manages to draw the town a good deal of extra custom, from the town issued licenses to hunt the beast to the myriad of locals that hawk various charms, cure, and wards against the beasts attacks.

Military
Maintaining and protecting Hochland’s road network is the primary concern of Hochland’s army. Already an impoverished land, Hochland struggles to keep its roads clear of bandits, beastmen, and greenskins lest the custom of travelling merchants dries up. Castles and fortified inns serve as bases for operation from which Hochland troops patrol roadways and the adjoining countryside. Forces attached to these strong points are often of mixed arms with detachments from several regiments. Regular rotation means many Hochland regiments enjoy a closer relationship across separate formations than is common elsewhere in the Empire.
During the spring of each year the Hochland’s army takes part in an annual cull of beastmen. Beastmen make few if any preparations for the winter months and by the beginning of Pflugzeit most herds are near starvation levels. Throughout the wilder parts of the province, worn out livestock and all other sorts of bait are used to goad the ravenous beasts from their wooded strongholds and once they emerge they are dispatched by Hochland troops. These ventures do are not always one sided as unwary Hochlanders can become just as enticing a meal as a few exhausted horses but for the most part the enterprise allows Hochland to keep its beastmen numbers at a more manageable level than its neighbors.
Hochland is unique in the Empire for it more regularly resorts to calling up its feudal levy. In most other provinces, it has been hundreds of years since this ancient due of the peasants has been called upon mainly since troops raised in such a manner are of almost no military worth. Hochland’s levy however is made almost entirely of archers, drawn from a population already well versed in the use of the bow. Though still worthless in hand to hand combat, these troops are ideal for facing the poorly armored greenskin and beastmen incursions the province often suffers, darkening the sky with in an incredible volume of arrows.

Famous Regiments
The Grey and Scarlets (also known as the Hochland Third or simply the Scarlets)
Mustered during Hochland’s darkest hour, the Grey and Scarlets are the province’s most famed and adored regiment. Hastily formed in the midst of Gorthor’s siege of Hergig, the Scarlets where the third regiment placed on Hochland’s roles, directly after the Baronial and Electoral guard regiments. This has lead to many an extravagant tale the regiment was formed with the finest selection swordsmen, diestros, duelists, and no less than a dozen princes in exile but in truth as the Grand Baron Mikael Ludenhof had lost most of his regiments in the battles with Gorthor that lead up to the siege they happened to be lucky enough to have been entered onto Hochlands muster in the third spot and the even greater luck of having survived the siege and acquitted themselves well enough to continue to serve.
   In commemoration of that muster to this day the Scarlets do not wear the proper livery of Hochland but grey, to remember the largely undyed uniforms available during the siege, and scarlet, the few bits of Hochland red the regiment was able to acquire. The regiment is provided it own barracks in Hergig and is the most prestigious of Hochland’s line regiments. Admission to the regiment is controlled to veterans from other regiments or volunteers tested by the regiment’s sergeants and found proficient enough swordsmen to be allowed entry.

Hochland Longriflemen
While Hochland’s regular regiments are tasked with the patrolling and maintaining security along the Barony’s roads, keeping tabs on the beast herds that infest the  province’s woodland falls under the watchful eye of the Count’s Longrifle regiments. Recruited from the provinces licensed huntsmen and a fair number of impressed poachers, the Longrifles are perhaps the most savvy woodsmen in the Empire.
Members of the regiment wear muted tones in order to blend in with arboreal environment and armed with the finest longrifles produced by Hochland gunsmiths. Unlike the monstrosities produced by the College of Engineers, Hochland manufactured rifles are of a small manageable caliber and designed to be practical for regular field use. As smell of burning match cord is readily detected by the Longrifles quarry as well as being entirely too temperamental in adverse conditions, these arms are equipped with some of the most advanced lock mechanisms outside of those produced by the Dwarfs.  Engineers from the Altdorf College are at time attached to the regiment though generally those whose innovations are designed to arduous campaigning. Most famously the regiment was once subjected to the field test of Von Grunberg’s ‘Exceptionally Resilient Battlefield Sustenance’ a sausage like loaf of preserved foodstuff which, after surviving solely upon it for three weeks, nearly caused a mutiny.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland 4/27/13
Post by: wissenlander on May 01, 2013, 12:59:41 PM
Good stuff.  Where's the Wissenland part? :wink:
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland 4/27/13
Post by: S.O.F on May 03, 2013, 09:29:40 PM
Where's the Wissenland part? :wink:

A good deal of it is done though currently missing a Famous Regiment. The entry in the Empire Heraldry book is just of a rather common border guard regiment as Wissenland has spent a good deal of money on its frontier defenses thus more suited to the general Military blurb and not a single unit of particular note with any good stories.

Ostermark and Solland are what are farthest along with Sylvania not far behind. I really need to work on the cities more as they do have the greatest wealth of background though the Altdorf stuff is annoyingly contradictory.
Title: Ostermark Guide Draft
Post by: S.O.F on May 07, 2013, 10:49:39 PM
The League of Ostermark
Elector: Wolfram Hertwig
State Livery: Purple and Yellow or Purple and White
Heraldic Devices: Crowned Manitcore Rampant and the Crowned Griffon with a Star

Geography
Ostermark is small roughly square shaped province bounded by the Upper Talabec in the north, the World’s Edge Mountains to the East, the River Stir to the south, and line from the confluence of the of the River Urskoy and Talbec to the city of Krugenheim to the west. The southern portion of the Great Forest that extends into Ostermark is the desolate Dead Wood. This twisted forest has engulfed the remains of Ostermark’s former capital of Mordheim in the wake of the great comet of 1999. Few who enter this wood exit and those who do often suffer from madness or mutation.  The eastern half of Ostermark is dominated by bleak moors and rolling hills some of which hold barrows from the days before the ancient tribes of the Empire traveled into the land. Some of these tombs are those of great chaos chieftains of old who traversed the region to make war on the Dwarfs of Karak Ungor in antiquity and are an attraction to demonologists and worse. It is only in the northern reaches of Ostermark that the land is truly healthy. Here the Gryphon Wood, a northern offshoot of the Great Forest, provides for a lucrative timber industry both in raw lumber and the barges crafted to carry the timber and eventually other goods downriver. The Gryphon Wood eventually gives way to grassing plains similar to the steppes of Kislev. This region, called the Veldt, is an accomplished horse breeding region in which the native Ostermarkers and Kislevites to the north commonly intermarry, much to the chagrin of local tax collectors.
 
The People
Ostermark is peopled by the descendents to the Ostagoths, one of the smallest tribes to join Sigmar’s confederation.  Faced with annihilation at the hands of greenskin invaders, King Adelhard of the Ostagoths beseeched aid from Sigmar, offering the Unbergeon King his sword and the vassalage of his people. Sigmar assented to aid Adelhard and accepted the Ostagoths into the Confederation not as vassals but equal members of Sigmar’s fledgling nation. Since that day Ostermarkers have been staunch supporters of the Imperial system and the office of Emperor.
Much then as now, Ostermark is beset by constant invasion. From the east greenskin tribes make nearly yearly raids into Ostermark territory, Azhag the Slaughterer the last and most famous happened only several years ago. Though Kislev serves as a buffer, Marauder tribes and Khavag raiders cross into the land sometimes drawn to recover great artifacts from old barrows. The restless dead from Sylvania are not stopped by the River Stir and Ostermark was subject to repeated ravaging during the Wars of the Vampire Counts. Likewise the woodland border with Talabecland offers little solace. Herds of beastmen roam these woods and are prone to raiding the rather isolated villages of Ostermark. This makes Ostermarkers a rather fatalistic people with a morbid fixation on death. Simultaneously Ostermarkers, through acknowledging life is short, are a very passionate people who hope to get the most out of life whilst they still draw breath.

The Ruling House
House of Hertwig Coat of Arms: A Rampant Crowned Red Manticore on a White field
Ostermark is not a traditional feudal state like the other Grand Provinces. The province does not produce a Duke, Baron, or Prince in which rules by succession but is a represented by a Chancellor elected at the behest of province’s nobility. Generally this position is deemed hereditary but the confirmation of the nobles is always required. In the past this has lead to a great deal of meddling on the part of Ostermark’s neighbors sometimes bribing important magnates to delay the confirmation of the title of Chancellor to even attempting to install candidates of their own choosing. Generally however the system has worked and for the past five hundred years the title of Chancellor has been conferred on the House of Hertwig, Princes of Bechafen.
The current ruler of Ostermark is Wolfram Hertwig. Coming from a line praised for its level headed leadership; Wolfram’s reign began in disastrous fashion. Elected to the post of Chancellor in his early teens, Wolfram was ill prepared to lead his province, principally since at the time of his election Ostermark was beset by marauding greenskins. The arrogant youth refused the council of his officers, the Grandmaster of the Knight of Everlasting Light in particular, and ended up leading the Ostermark army to a costly and needlessly bloody victory at the Battle of Black Road. Casualties on the part of the state regiments had been so appalling that for several seasons afterward Ostermark borrowed regiments from neighboring provinces of Talabecland and Ostland in order to maintain its borders.  Humiliated, Wolfram realized he must learn from his mistakes and while Ostermark had not yet fully recovered by the time of Chaos attack on Ostland or the ravages of Azhag the Slautgherer, Wolfram and the Ostermark army acquitted themselves well.
Wolfram is now a man in the prime of his life and one who has taken the blunders of his past to heart.  His rash decision at Black Road is still popular talk among the nobles of neighboring provinces and Wolfram hopes to lead the Ostermark army to a glorious victory so that his past mistakes are forgotten. To this end, Wolfram styles himself after Count von Raukov, as the Ostland Count faced similar economic and military constraints when he first came to the Electoral seat. Wolfram hopes that his leadership can bring about a similar renaissance to Ostermarks fortunes.

Religion
Ostermarkers are a religious people and worship Taal, Ulric, and Sigmar. The Cult of Sigmar was once stronger in Ostermark but during the dark years of the civil wars many adherents returned to the worship of the older gods as many felt the Cult and the Imperial system to which they felt it should champion had abandoned them. Though the Cult has again made inroads since reunification, only Bechafen has a sizeable Sigmarite congregation.
The Ostagoths of old were well known for their acceptance of Morr the God of the Dead and the Cult’s influence is strong in the province. Priests of Morr find posting in Ostermark generally more pleasant than elsewhere in the Empire as the people are more knowledgeable that Priest of Morr are not ill-omened death bringers. Ostermarkers see Priests of Morr are just as other men but those who have answered the worthy call to aid those that have passed into Morr’s realm and as such as  they are held with a great deal of esteem in most communities. Throughout the Empire, Ostermarkers are well known for their strange and dramatic funerary rites. Ostermarkers spend vast sums in providing a lavishly sculpted coffin for deceased relatives as well as ensuring the funeral is heavily stocked with alcohol. Widows in Ostermark rarely find new husbands but instead spend the rest of their days in the black garb of mourners.   

Important Towns
Ostermark is the least populace of all the Imperial provinces. Though it once boasted a number of sizable towns, only the capital of Bechafen remains a city of substantial population. The old capital, Mordheim, was destroyed by a great comet in 1999 ic and for a time after remained an attraction to treasure hunters but was finally completely destroyed as the behest of Emperor Magnus the Pious. Most of the other towns in the League suffered greatly during the era of civil war and Wars of the Vampire Counts to which few have recovered to prewar population levels.
Bechafen was settled soon after the foundation of the Empire as the Ostagoths had been a nomadic people with no permanent settlements before joining Sigmar’s Empire. Bechafen began not as a city, but an important fort guarding the northern reaches of the mark from Ungol and Norscan raiders. Surrounded by low fens and moorland, the old fortress was built upon a rocky mound ideal for defending the province. By the end of the first millennium, Bechafen boasted the strongest fortifications east of Talabheim sporting both an outer, known as the Dragon Wall, and the inner, the Griffon Wall, curtain wall. Much like the rest of Ostermark, the civil war years were hard on Bechafen. Trade particularly that with the belligerent Ottila’s of Talabecland, dried up and the League’s coffers could no longer afford to keep the city’s fortifications up to modern standards. The destruction Mordheim saw a brief reversal in the city’s fortunes but after only a decade of recovery the province was plunged into war with Vlad von Carstein of Sylvania. Only after reunification under Magnus the Pious did the city begin to recover. Bechafen today is an important hub for Ostermark’s lumber and barge building industry. The Bechafen docks are even home to two great lumber mills built as a gift to the League by the Dwarfs of Karak Kadrin. Fortifications still dominate the town and most visitors describe it as a dark and claustrophobic city.

Military
Ostermark is not a wealthy province and its military reflects this disadvantage. The bulk of Ostermark’s forces are much as other provinces made up of blocks of halberdiers and spearmen but many of these go to war with significantly less armor than similar formations in other provinces, relying on sturdy leather jacks and brigandines as opposed to three-quarter and partial plate armor. Expensive regiments, such as swordsmen and handgunners, are reduced in number as well. Even equipping the regular livery of Ostermark proves expensive to the leagues coffers. Purple is the most expensive dye and beyond guard and elite regiments most wear locally produced fabric dyed a deep burgundy color instead. Yellow can also be troublesome so some of the lesser regiments wear buff to white undyed fabrics paired with the burgundy.
   Ostermark has long had to face the depredations of invaders alone as such its state regiments are renowned for their ability to hold a battle line unsupported longer than those of other provinces. Detachments in Ostermark are less likely to be employed as screens or forlorn hopes as is common doctrine elsewhere but to protect the regiment’s core from being flanked and assaulted on two sides. Like its neighbor Ostland, Ostermark employs a large number of Ogres in its state army though these tend to be recruited from tribes that have settled on the borders of the World’s Edge Mountains rather than living interspersed among the populace as they are in Ostland.

Famous Regiments
The Death’s Heads of Ostermark
During the era of the Imperial Civil Wars, Ostermark suffered greatly at the hands of its neighbors. Ardent supporters of the properly elected Emperor, Ostermark often drew the ire and invasion of the much closer Ottilian pretender. Despite its loyalty, Ostermark rarely enjoyed any aid from the Elected Emperor and after centuries of poor treatment by the hands of Talabecland armies there was great deal of discontentment among the League’s nobility. In order to find stability and protection for their fiefs, some lords withdrew from the league and pledged fealty to neighboring states, the largest of these defection being the city of Essen coming under the protection of the Von Carsteins of Sylvania. Initially Essen enjoyed renewed prosperity, the Von Carsteins were demanding lieges but they did at least protect the city from Ottillian armies and keep the roads clear of bandits, but by the beginning of the second millennium the Rothsmeyer Barons of Essen had had enough. The Von Carsteins imposed increasingly greater tax levies upon the town to the point that they could no longer be afforded.
In 2009 IC, Baron Heinz Rothsmeyer refused to continue his vassalage and was slain shortly afterward.  Vlad von Carstein revealed himself as a Vampire Count later that year set about the claiming the entire Empire as his own. The rebellious streak of Essen however did not die with its Baron. Ruled by Vampire noble and policed by Sylvanian troops loyal to Vlad, the town remained a constant hotbed of agitation. In the midst of Vlad’s drive on Altdorf the city rose in rebellion. Discarding their old liveries, a collection of desperate ex-soldiers and militiamen donned red and black uniforms with skeletal masks which obscured their faces and set about throwing off the Vampire Count’s rule. The Sylvanian garrison was unprepared for such a concerted effort and the band liberated Essen easily. Had Vlad proved victorious in the west, the group would have most likely suffered ghastly deaths at the hands of the Count but as Vlad was slain on the walls of Altdorf, the band expanded to regimental size, attracting many recruits from those that had suffered under the draconian rule of Vampire masters.
The Wars of the Vampire Counts continued for another eighty years after Vlad’s death and the Death’s Heads, as the regiment became known, served with distinction at almost all of the major engagements.  After the wars the regiment became an official part of Ostermark’s army and retained their unique uniforms. Today the regiment is recruited throughout the province, especially from veteran soldiers that have seen service against the undead. The regiment’s heraldry is a white laurel and skull upon a red field.   
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland 4/27/13 Ostermark 5/7/13
Post by: S.O.F on February 07, 2014, 02:04:47 AM
Right so update news. So late Winter/Spring is the off season for my work and with extra time have been plugging away again (aside from edits and changes I'd been throwing in before). Wissenland, Solland, and The Moot should hopefully be out this month as I have the bulk of those at least noted to the points I want to address (Wissenland and Solland has been the most work as to put what information where and try and avoid being redundant).

Anyway there is much other stuff to do and I welcome anyone who may wish to aid. In particular I have lots of holes in sections of general Imperial History that need filling. Certain bits I fleshed out and at least have some notes on direction but others I don't know when I will get to: Sigmar and Unification, The Ravages of Gothor, The Vampire Wars, and the Great War on Chaos/Magnus the Pious. Also some general work on writing about the Colleges of Magic and how they fit in Imperial society are not well developed other than the Patriarch names from RoS2 and the intro blob. I'm not big on Wizardy things so it has been the hardest to get my interest to write. Anyway PM or respond if interested.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Soon Wissenland, Solland, The Moot
Post by: wissenlander on February 14, 2014, 05:19:18 PM
Looking forward to it.  Been waiting patiently for years.  Years...

;)
Title: Re: Historical interlude
Post by: S.O.F on March 06, 2014, 11:44:39 PM
Right so promised things are close but this had been niggling at me so...Historical interlude:

Men in the Old World in Antiquity
After the might of Dwarfs and Elves drove the hordes of chaos back into the wastes, the lands of the Old World were at relative peace. Both races were in the apogee of their civilizations and the greenskins were kept in check by their vigilance. Many elves crossed the seas from Ulthuan and built great cities on the shores of the old world. Trade flourished between the elder races and the Dwarfs aided the Elves in construction of many wondrous structures. So great was the appeal of the Old World more and more elves came to its shores and spread from their coastal cities inland found yet more settlements in which to trade with the Dwarfs.

Few men lived in the lands that would become the great kingdoms of the Old World. What modest information that was recorded by the Dwarves described them as a primitive and fearful people still using but stone implements and primitive farming techniques. Their villages where based around the ancient stone circles that have become holy places to the Cult of Taal though they did not worship any of the modern gods of the Empire. Called the Belthani by some modern scholars, little else is known of their culture. Some speculate the peoples of Albion retain similar forms of worship to this day, with Ogham stones been a central part of that cultures practices but much else is pure conjecture at least on the part of academics. The Colleges of Magic are far more interested in this era and have many theories of their own involving the fabled Old Ones of Eleven legend, the Hedge folk of today, and the significance of standing stones in the realm of magic. These studies however are almost entirely restricted to members of the colleges themselves and are most likely of little value to the scholar regardless.

The origins of the tribes of men that would eventually come to populate the lands west of the Worlds Edge Mountains are not fully known either but it is speculated they resided to the east in those days. The greatest concentration is suggested to have resided in the plains along the Dwarven Silver Road, a land now dominated by the greenskin. Others still were part of a great steppe culture, called Scythians, which inhabited the steppes that stretch across the northern portions of the world. These lands now are the home of the Kurgan and other marauder tribes but in this time it is greatly believed that the malevolence of Chaos had yet to completely infect these hardy people.

The Coming of Modern Men
Two millennia before the foundation of the Empire, life in these eastern lands seems to have become increasingly untenable. The Dwarfs of this era were consumed with their war with the Elves and began to neglect the dangers that grew in their absence. But these are not the only signals of a change, as when the Dwarfs returned to their homes and were beset by greenskins and their annals record that their foe was now better armed than before bearing weapons of iron which not even the mightiest civilization of men for that era had yet to achieve. How these tribes came to cross the mountains is unknown, some may have already begun to cross during the great Dwarf-Elf war but soon they were in possession of the lands that are now known as the Border Princes and the Badlands as well as some stragglers that may have remained in the Wolf Lands.

For some generations in these new lands they found some peace. The mountains were a great barrier to the greenskins and Dwarfs, though depleted, where obstaninte foes. The great human Kingdom of Nehekahara was in its height and some of its more intrepid rulers brought these humans to pay tribute and some are recorded as to surving as mercenaries in the armies of the ancient kings. Others pushed farther west perhaps finding these lands over crowded or unwilling to answer to foreign kings and moved the lands that became Tilea and Estalia, intermixing with the local humans there, remants of the fabled Kingdom of Tylos. The Dwarfs could not hold back the green tide forever and the southern holds of the Karak Ankor were slowly taken over by foul creatures. Nehekharan support became increasingly intermittent. In those years Nehekhara fell under the sway of the great necromancer Nagash and their empire’s northern frontiers were largely abandoned. Though during this time men learned to craft weapons and armor of bronze their foes grew ever larger in number. Alcadiazzar, the last great King of Nehekhara, restored these tribes as tributaries but he and his entire civilization were extinguished through the machinations of Nagash.
For some centuries after Nehekhara became the Lands of the Dead, men endured in the Badlands. Some records from the Dwarfs and the oral histories of the Strygani tell of the Lodringen tribe founding the Kingdom of Strygos. These men, with aid of refugees from the southern lands, built a realm that spanned all from the Marshes of Madness to the Black Gulf, driving back the greenskins to the mountains. From their capital at Mourkain, called Morgheim, Old Strygos, and a myriad of other names, the Kings of Strygos compelled tribute from the tibes that resided north of the Blood River. Strygani say that the northern tribes grew to resent their kingdom and took up arms against it. They were a weak confederation and were summarily defeated by the better organized forces of Strygos. However, as the Kings of Strygos wasted their time against their fellow men an orc Waaagh descended from Mad Dog Pass, saking Mourkain and destroying the kingdom in a few short years.
Nothing stood in the way of these greenskins and the divided tribes to the north which again faced annihilation. It is at this juncture that the first accurate recordings can be gleaned from the Dwarfs of the Black Mountains, for enmass these tribes of men crossed into the Reik basin. Dwarfs, ever miserly, exacted a high price for the crossing and it is speculated that not all had the wealth to cross over. The Zani people that inhabit the southern foothills of Black Mountains are regarded, by some, as the last surviviors of those too poor to pay. Many however did and, in addition to the fastidious accounting of Dwarfs, survive some of the first written records of these men. Black Fire Pass is dotted with the primitive runes script of these early men marking their passing as many rock walls bear the names of those great tribes which enter written history later: Unberogen, Teutogen, Norsii, Bretonni, Fennone, and many others.

It is believed, concurrent to worsen trends in the south, the Scythian peoples of the northern steppes were confronted with the growing power of Chaos. In these years, it is reckoned, that a greater and greater number of these tribes were seduced into the service of the dark gods. The timeframe in which these developments occurred is a mystery as those that could shed the most light on the subject, the histories of Karag Dum and Karak Vlag, are lost. Scythian peoples had been known to cross into the steppes of Kislev and the moors of Ostermark at quite an early era but it is uncertain if these were permanent. The Ungols, the first promeniant a well recorded tribe is not well known to the Dwarfs until the age in which the tribes that would found the Empire crossed into the Reik basin. Further as the extent of Ungol settlement into the region ended at the edge Kislev steppe with enclaves of southern men, Ropsmen and Firkings it seems highly probable that these events were nearly congruent.

The lands of the Reik basin were of course not uninhabitated, as the old men, the Belthani still lived much as they had centuries before. The newcomers were however a far more bellicose people and gradually all those that resided were subject to or slaughtered by the invaders. The terms of this subjugation is unknown but the new gods brought from the south came to dominate and the older methods of worship vanished.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland
Post by: S.O.F on March 08, 2014, 11:06:22 PM
Right Wissenland...still trying to settle the parts that may move to Solland but still

The Grand County of Wissenland
Elector: Emmanuelle von Liebwitz 
State Livery: Grey and White
Heraldic Devices: Lions and Suns
Runefang Title: Blood Bringer

Geography
   Wissenland’s current borders are defined by the Black Mountains in the south, the Grey Mountains in the west, the River Grissen to the north and the Upper Reik to the east. On the western side of the Soll the lands are rocky but near the river the farm land is quite good but tends to cater to the needs of the important local brewing community. Human and Dwarfs, the famous Bugman Clan of particular note, beer makers have been an important part of trade in the region for years. Closer to the mountains mining is the mainstay of most communities for foundries of Nuln have an insatiable appetite for fresh ore. Winters in this hill country is remarkably cold despite being so far to the south but this does little to dissuade prospectors. A good flow of goods from Tilea enter southern Wissenland though this trade is overshadowed by the more prominent Marienburg and Blackfire Pass points of entry. The eastern side of the Soll is the lands of ‘old Solland’. From the confluence of the Upper Reik and Soll to the beginnings of the Black Mountain foothills, the land is rich though less settled than it was when Solland was still a province of its own. Here wheat and cattle are grown and raised in abundance though they have long since been overshadowed by the more prosperous farms of Averland and Stirland. In the hilly country to the south the economy is entirely given over to the wool industry. Few have returned to settle these lands save for the shepherds and their flocks. ‘Sudenland’ wool, as it is increasingly known, is a well respected textile throughout the Empire famed for its warmth and durability.

The People
As Wissenland now encompasses the lands of Solland, Wissenlanders tend to be a mixed breed from the ancient Merogen and Menogoth peoples. This intermingling is not simply a result of the province’s unhappy recent past but one that has its roots in the years before the formation of the Empire. The southern lands of what would become the Empire were constantly beset by greenskin invaders and the chiefs of the Merogen and Menogoths confederated in order to better defend against these incursions. By the time of Sigmar, this tribal federation had expanded to include the Brigundians, to whom King Henroth of the Merogens and King Markus of the Menogoths had appealed for aid.
Wissenlanders are popularly considered a practical lot, often to the point of dullness. Some suggest the long association with Dwarf traders from the Black and Grey Mountains, who have never been fond of belabored points or long-winded speeches, has had this effect on the province’s culture. This practicality is then reflected in most aspects of everyday life. Clothing tends to be sensible and there is little interest in the latest fashions from the courts in Nuln or Altdorf. Wissenland cuisine is likewise regarded as hardy but uninspiring. Though Tilean merchants do pass through Wissenland in it is no wonder that far more travel through Averland instead where fine cloth and exotic spices are far more appreciated. Wissenlanders are also considered prone to fits of bitter nostalgia, to this end most other Imperials regard Wissenlanders as the worst drinking companions.

The Ruling House
De Jure: Countess Emmanuelle von Liebwitz
De Facto: Feudal Assembly of Wissenland

The Countess Emmanuelle is a largely absentee liege in Wissenland. Though she is the province’s Elector and owns many estates, particularly in the south, she has little interest in ruling Wissenland directly. This leaves the province in the hands of Wissenland’s Feudal Assembly, a collection of prominent nobles, burghers, and clergy. These ancient councils exist throughout the Empire though most are no longer convened as they tend to become a forum for petty parochial disputes. The Assembly of Wissenland is no less fractious but it has been the Liebwitz Counts goal to manipulate these quarrels to best suit their own political ends.   
Wissenland’s current political strife has its roots in Marienburg Crisis almost a century ago. The House of Pfiefraucher was stripped of its Electoral title as well as the County Wissenburg, as through the course of Waagh Grom and the Crisis itself the Pfiefrauchers had alienated most of the other Electors as well as garnered the enmity of the new Emperor Wilhelm III. House Liebwitz, Dukes of Meissen, had conversely been strong supporters of Reikland Count both during the war and in his candidacy for Emperor. They were rewarded for this loyalty with the restoration of their primacy as Counts of Nuln, as the capital and Imperial throne moved to Altdorf, as well as being granted the titles seized from the outgoing Pfiefrauchers. The aftermath fractured Wissenland’s political landscape into distinct regional interests: Northern Wissenland, Southern Wissenland, and Old Solland.
The Northern party is headed by Count Bruno von Pfiefraucher, the descendant of the previous line of Electors. Northern Wissenlanders have never been to keen on the Liebwitz Counts who have in general run Wissenland purely for the gain of Nuln. Much of the provinces commercial success has not reached these lands as their overland routes to Nuln are less viable then those that come along the river from the south. Further many are still sore about the removal of the Pfiefrauchers from the Electoral seat and it is this block that is the primary opposition to the Countess in the Assembly.
Southern Wissenlanders for their part are more than happy with the Countess as their liege. The markets of Nuln have helped expand trade coming down the Sol and many of these burghers and nobles are heavily involved in the metals trade. The Duchy of Meissen has been a demesne of the von Liebwitz family for some time and the Countess is well respected there. Meissen is in fact the only Wissenland town in which the Countess visits on a yearly basis, in the spring to inspect the newest and finest lots from the mountains or Tilean imports. This means at least the important peers and townsmen of the south can meet with their liege, albeit briefly, without making a journey to the court in Nuln.
   The last faction is that of the old Sollanders lead by Baroness Etelke von Toppenheimer of Pfieldorf. Though the southern extremes of the old province have yet to recover, the booming wool industry has greatly increased the coffers of many nobles and burghers. With the recovery of the Solland Runefang during the reign of Emperor Leopold, for nearly a century and a half prominent Sollanders have petitioned the Emperor for restoration of the blade along with restoration of Electoral and provincial status. These pleas have fallen on deaf ears and since the rise of the Reikland dynasty the blade has traditionally been a badge of office for the Reiksmarshal. As appeals to the Imperial government have found little traction the Sollanders have instead looked to exploit the schism between Wissenland’s nobles. This has been done by supporting the aims of the Liebwitz Counts, often securing important positions in the government and Baroness Etelke herself is a favorite of Countess Emmanuelle as she had been under her father Konstantin.
   The most popular court gossip in Nuln has been for some time that ultimately the Countess Emmanuelle will petition the Emperor for Nuln to be elevated to an Electoral seat and pass the Wissenland title and Electorate to Baroness von Toppenheimer. Whether in turn this position will then be negotiated into a reestablishment of Solland it is only speculation.

Religion
Regarded as a religious people, Wissenlanders revere Sigmar, Taal, and Rhya but are not as exclusive in their worship as is common place elsewhere in the Empire. Wissenland towns often have large and well appointed Sigmarite Temples, but most of these towns also have significant shrines to the other major Cults. Even smaller settlements maintain a shrine to each of the gods and on feast days Wissenlanders tend to visit each rather than sit through a service at a single temple. Wissenlanders hold that each god has their domain and it is wrong not to appreciate them all and all in their proper manner.  This is found disconcerting to Sigmarite neighbors, for the worship of the God-Emperor is mainly conducted towards Imperial unity and as the Empire’s protector. These concerns are felt doubly so when neighboring powers share joint actions with Wissenland troops as the traditional battle pennons of Wissenland bare the Claws of Ulric and the Spear of Myrimidia, often omitting any Sigmarite iconography altogether.
In the remotest parts of Wissenland, villages may even worship gods long since forgotten elsewhere in the Empire. Small shrines can be found in these villages to which only historians of the ancient tribes of the Empire would know the slightest bit about. These by no means are evil or outlawed gods but those long subsumed into the major cults or fallen out of favor for small or esoteric dominions. Occasionally these do draw the attention of dogmatic priests but other than berate the locals for observing rights to an obscure god of brewing little comes of these ventures. 

Important Towns
Wissenburg
Wissenburg is the much neglected capital of Wissenland. Countess Emanuelle finds Wissenland a dreary place and the capital of Wissenburg an affirmation of this prejudice. It is a capital without its ruler but still a strong government center. A certain protion of the ruling feudal assembly is in attendance year round with larger gatherings in the warmer months. Prominent members from around the provinces maintain homes in the city for these occasions and there a great number of inns which cater to those less wealthy members how attend only when the court is in full session. Wissenburg also is an important market town and the bulk of Wissenland’s agricultural goods first pass through the city before they are shipped on down the Reik. Ores from the Grey and Black Mountains are also heavily trafficked through the market in Wissenburg. It is common for factors from Imperial Gunnery School, the Nuln Engineering College, and those representing the multitude of Nuln’s foundries to purchase or inspect cargoes before they have made it all the way to Nuln. Wissenburg also has significant smelting operations that prepare ingots for these consignments.

Pfeildorf
Pfeildorf is the old capital of Solland and sits at the confluence of the River Soll and the Upper Reik. Not as grand as when it was home to an Imperial Elector, the city is still a sizeable one. Pfeildorf is the center of Wissenland’s wool trade as well as an important stop for all goods travelling downriver towards Nuln on the Upper Reik. The steady flow of ore, wool, and Tilean imports has attracted merchants from all over the Empire, a large number of merchant houses from neighboring Averland in particular. Pfeildorf was once an important hub for the production war bows and their accoutrements but the marginalization of bows Imperial service along with the deterioration of the woodlands required for their production has seen a steady decline. Outside of Hochland however, Pfeildorf bowyers are considered the finest in the Empire.

Grissenwald
Bastion of House Pfiefraucher, the market town of Grissenwald sits at the mouth the River Grissen where it enters the Reik. The city enjoys a steady stream of merchants plying their trade on the adjacent rivers and has a large number of inns to cater to these travelers. Economically, the town relies predominately on the building of barges which are indispensible in ferrying goods from Nuln to Altdorf. A half century ago the region briefly enjoyed a mining boom but the seams turned out to be entirely too paltry to sustain long term exploitation. This has left the city with a rather large slum and increasingly disgruntled population of Dwarfs that have had trouble finding other work.

Military
While the bulk of Wissenland’s military strength resembles the commissioned state regiments common throughout the Empire, its history as a site of regular invasion strongly influences its composition. Villages are still required to maintain an effective militia and towns must provide troops for their own defense far beyond a simple city watch. Wealthier merchant towns are even expected to be able to field cavalry, often outfitted in the style of pistoliers, though some provide light lancers or mounted crossbowmen.
Even with these considerations, during the Imperial Civil War and the Invasion of Gorbad Ironclaw such provisions proved woefully inadequate. In the Era of Three Emperors, the Counts of Wissenland began constructing a massive system of fortifications which ring the provinces borders.  The largest number of these keeps and their auxiliary signal towers are found watching the passes through the Black Mountains and along the crossings of the Upper Reik. Smaller forts also protect the passes from the Grey Mountains and lesser defenses run the interior lines protecting fords and bridges over the River Sol. Each of these outposts is garrisoned by a unit of Wissenland troops and expected to patrol the surrounding region and report the earliest signs of trouble.

Famous Regiments
Garrison Regiments
Fortifications without men to defend them are of little use and as such, a good deal of Wissenland’s military expenditures goes toward the state regiments which are tasked with maintaining the province’s borders. Each fortress houses a complement of state troops and each of these regiments is named for the fortress in which they are barracked. Most of these regiments are made up of light troops as most fortresses are in regions that require regular patrols to which more heavily armed troops are less fit to perform. The crossbow is by far the most common weapon in part thanks to Tilean influences as well as it is a weapon far more resilient to adverse conditions. Handgun armed troops are at the mercy of their supplies of powder and match cord which in foul weather or through poor storage can be rendered useless. Smaller portions of these regiments are reserved as dedicated melee troops predominately tasked with guarding the keep in which they are housed but also protecting the flanks of the regiment should it need to be employed in an open battle.     
   These regiments are traditionally drawn from towns and villages as close to their cantonments as possible. Men with a closer connection to the lands to which they are directly defending are seen as steadier than those drawn from farther afield. Kreutzhofen, Steingart, and Wusterburg are common recruiting centers but particularly across old Solland there is hardly enough population to keep the forts at full strength. Recruits from further north in Wissenland are used to supplement these shortfalls, along with foreigners and men from other provinces if needs maybe. As they are considered Wissenland’s first line of defense, they are accorded pay and privileges which keep morale even for those non-local recruits generally quite high.   
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: wissenlander on March 19, 2014, 02:23:18 PM
Well done. :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: Khalim on March 19, 2014, 11:07:52 PM
Keep up the good work S.O.F!
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: Krudenwald on March 20, 2014, 04:41:34 AM
Your work is always appreciated, S.O.F.!
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: S.O.F on March 21, 2014, 02:33:49 AM
Thanks gents...Solland is coming along...may even be an homage to something on this fine site...
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: wissenlander on March 26, 2014, 11:30:36 AM
RP related?
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: Derek Contyre on May 26, 2014, 12:45:07 AM
Oh I hope RP related... I still have to go back and re-read it all again.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: S.O.F on June 01, 2014, 04:00:32 PM
Just an update work has picked up again so less writing time but Solland is mainly done the problem has become trying to flesh out the Imperial History of Gorbab's Waaagh to go with it or just leave that to do later. It has been a really annoying write that as since the tale first appeared in the 4th edition there have been 5-6 different versions of the events (progressively worse in how they are arranged as well). Anyone happen to have a preferred version of events of a convincing argument as to how they think it goes?

Also very tempted to make maps to the campaign route as well though that could cause even further delay....
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: S.O.F on April 11, 2018, 12:17:16 AM
Does anyone want anymore of this stuff? So I have large partially finished portions of various Empire background I could post, no full provinces that don't need heavy editing sadly. If anyone wants stuff, or particular stuff, I'll post rather than it languish on my hard drive forever.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Gankom on April 11, 2018, 12:26:23 AM
I'm always happy to read more! I loved your previous writings on it. They were some of the best introductions to the various areas and fluff.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Artobans Ghost on April 11, 2018, 12:44:00 AM
I’m with Gankom. I realize this is a massive amount of work but it is awesome. Just read the entry on nordland. I don’t think I’ve seen an army from nordland yet.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Skarpretter on April 11, 2018, 10:36:48 AM
I would love to read more^^
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Xathrodox86 on April 11, 2018, 12:46:00 PM
That thread is pure gold. Some incredible stuff has presented here. :blush:
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Zygmund on April 12, 2018, 12:56:28 PM
Already the thread is impressive, but I'd always like to read some more.

However, don't have an idea of what, really, at this point. Some Empire expeditions out of Empire proper?

-Z
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Xathrodox86 on April 12, 2018, 01:10:56 PM
Maybe our involvement in the Crusades to Araby? Or the Empire's campaign to Albion?
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Gankom on April 12, 2018, 03:59:58 PM
The Albion campaign would be pretty rad. Or maybe some expeditions/colonies to Lustria?
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
Post by: warhammerlord_soth on April 13, 2018, 08:18:18 AM
Does anyone want anymore of this stuff? So I have large partially finished portions of various Empire background I could post, no full provinces that don't need heavy editing sadly. If anyone wants stuff, or particular stuff, I'll post rather than it languish on my hard drive forever.


Yes, please.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Xathrodox86 on April 13, 2018, 10:48:27 AM
The Albion campaign would be pretty rad. Or maybe some expeditions/colonies to Lustria?

Oh yeah, I love Lustria. :blush:
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: S.O.F on April 13, 2018, 12:38:44 PM
Hmmm well Lustria or Albion are highly unlikely with the dearth of information on Imperial interactions with these regions. I mean when know there have been some and that a prison colony is still maintained in the Southlands but its founding and operation have never been fleshed out. Albion is perhaps worse as I'd argue the Dark Shadows campaign never happened, I've already thrown out the events of Storm of Chaos so as its loosely linked precursor Dark Shadows goes as well.

The Crusades are an interesting choice but we really only have good sources for the initial campaign which saw the defeat of Jaffar. Though Imperials continued to crusade for sometime after the raison d'etre of the whole event was over we have little information as to reason. I have always figured that after over a century of civil war in the Empire, Araby looked like a good place to raid and loot to improve the depleted coffers back in the Empire.

Looking at what I do have written down I think the best to perhaps scratch this foreign adventure itch is talk about the Knights of the Blazing Sun. I've posted bits from this section in other threads over the years asking about them, so perhaps it is time I finished writing it.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: wissenlander on April 13, 2018, 02:47:47 PM
Definitely would like to see more if you can provide it.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Xathrodox86 on April 25, 2018, 12:44:00 PM
Hmmm well Lustria or Albion are highly unlikely with the dearth of information on Imperial interactions with these regions. I mean when know there have been some and that a prison colony is still maintained in the Southlands but its founding and operation have never been fleshed out. Albion is perhaps worse as I'd argue the Dark Shadows campaign never happened, I've already thrown out the events of Storm of Chaos so as its loosely linked precursor Dark Shadows goes as well.

The Crusades are an interesting choice but we really only have good sources for the initial campaign which saw the defeat of Jaffar. Though Imperials continued to crusade for sometime after the raison d'etre of the whole event was over we have little information as to reason. I have always figured that after over a century of civil war in the Empire, Araby looked like a good place to raid and loot to improve the depleted coffers back in the Empire.

Looking at what I do have written down I think the best to perhaps scratch this foreign adventure itch is talk about the Knights of the Blazing Sun. I've posted bits from this section in other threads over the years asking about them, so perhaps it is time I finished writing it.

Well if we're going with the ET timeline, then sure, yeah. However I always considered SoC and DS canon. And DS has quite a lot of info about it.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: S.O.F on April 29, 2018, 05:25:09 PM
However I always considered SoC and DS canon. And DS has quite a lot of info about it.

Background elements sure some of them work, like say that Middenheim employs a giant for wall repairs and to man a collection of ultra heavy artillery in case of a siege but any of the plot points nope. Dark Shadows was almost entirely plot, sure it fleshed out Albion a bit, though Giantslayer arguably did a better job.
Title: Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
Post by: Xathrodox86 on May 04, 2018, 12:10:32 PM
However I always considered SoC and DS canon. And DS has quite a lot of info about it.

Background elements sure some of them work, like say that Middenheim employs a giant for wall repairs and to man a collection of ultra heavy artillery in case of a siege but any of the plot points nope. Dark Shadows was almost entirely plot, sure it fleshed out Albion a bit, though Giantslayer arguably did a better job.

Oh yeah, it did. It was a great story as well. Never before or after, has there been a better portrayal of Albion. :smile2: