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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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As a spin-off from another thread, I will try to illustrate the history of the Empire under the Holswig-Schliestein Dynasty with contemporary pictures and paintings. Comments, corrections and suggestions are more than welcome.

Chronology of dates and events relevant to this History.1

1152-2304: Age of  Wars 

The Tree of War




Sigmar looks in horror how the Empire devours itself during the Age of Wars. In the treetop, the elected Emperor (in gold) tries to ward off the Ottilian Counter-Emperor (in black). To the left, the Grand Theogonist (in red) is fighting the Ar-Ulric (in blue). Elsewhere, the various social classes are warring amongst themselves. Illumination from the treatise Arbor Bellorum by Honorius Beckstein (ca. 2450), Imperial Library, Altdorf.2
   
  • 1360: Ottilia I proclaims herself Empress;  Ottilian Counter-Empire 1360-2304
  • 1547: Heinrich of Middenland proclaims himself Emperor.
  • 1547-2304: Age of the Three Emperors

2304- : the Empire re-united
2304-2369: Reign of Magnus von Bildhofen (the Pious), who reunites the Empire.
2369-2401: Reign of Leopold Krieglitz
2401-2429: Reign of Dieter IV Krieglitz, grandson of Leopold

  • 2410-2424: Waaagh of the Goblin Warboss Grom the Paunch. Grom’s huge army first attacks Dwarf territory. In response of a Dwarven request for support, Dieter IV moves the capital from Nuln to Altdorf to remove the court from the threat, but does nothing to remove the threat itself. From 2020 onwards, the Waaagh lays waste to the Empire. In 2424, his fleet, build to attack Marienburg from the sea, destroys the Imperial Navy, but a storm ravages the Orcs, driving them to the open sea and ultimately Ulthuan.
  • 2429: Dieter IV grants independence to Marienburg. As a result, he is deposed by the Elector Counts, who elect in his stead

2429- Reign of Wilhelm III.
  • 2429: After the inconclusive First Campaign against Marienburg, Wilhelm III defeats his rival Frederik of Talabheim in the “War of Succession”. The Golden Bull of Talabheim introduces reforms and secures his position as Emperor. 

2502: Karl Franz elected Emperor.


1. A more detailed Chronology of the Empire from official and unofficial sources can be found in: http://www.madalfred.com/articles/EMPIRE%20HISTORY.rtf
2. Honoré Bovet, Arbre des Batailles, Illumination by Loyset Liédet, (1461-1467), ms. 9079, fol. 10v, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Brussel.





Prelude: Emperor Dieter IV and the end of the Stirland Dynasty

After the death of Emperor Magnus (2369), the crown did not pass to his brother, Gunther von Bildhofen, but to Elector Count Leopold von Krieglitz of the Stirland House of Unfähiger. In 2411, his grandson Dieter succeeded him, but proved to be a vain, corrupt, ineffective, and incompetent ruler, earning him the nicknames der Fette (the Fat) and der Faule (the Lazy/Idle).

1.Emperor Dieter IV with full regalia



His focus was the reconstruction of Nuln, the Imperial capital at the time, as a grandiose and beautiful metropolis. Nearly half of the city was demolished to create space for the Palace of Gold. He also neglected the defence of the Empire, diverting funds from the Imperial military towards his extravagant building plans.

2. The Psalter of Dieter IV.



This is the first page of a Psalter was produced by Johannes Mallard and presented to the Emperor when still residing in Nuln. Dieter, reading the Psalter in the lavish surroundings of the Palace of Gold, is looking to the reader – who was of course himself! The Classical text reads: Beatus vir qui non abiit in consilio impiorum, et in via peccatorum non stetit, et in cathedra pestilentiæ non sedit (Blessed is the man who does not guide his steps by ill counsel, or turn aside where sinners walk, or, where scornful souls gather, sit down to rest). Dieter himself has added in the margin: Nota quis sit beatus (Look who is blessed) - an extraordinary display of smugness and vanity!




1. Henry VIII on an illuminated plea roll of the Court of the King's Bench from 1544. Public Record Office, London.
2. Henry VIII’s Psalter, London c. 1540, by Jean Mallard or Mallart. The British Library, London
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 03:25:37 PM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 06:55:34 PM »
Due to Dieter’s policies, the Empire was largely unprepared in the face of the Waaagh! Grom (2420-2024). The Dwarfs were the first to bear the brunt of the Greenskin onslaught, and, hard pressed, High King Bragarik sent an envoy to the Empire for help. Dieter IV refused. Instead, although the enemy had yet to reach the Empire, he quickly transferred the Imperial court from Nuln towards Altdorf, in order to be as far as possible from the future threat. The Elector Counts were told to defend themselves. While Nuln and the Palace of Gold were soon destroyed and large parts of the Empire laid to waste, Dieter IV in Altdorf proved more interested in creating the Imperial Menagerie than in managing the Empire.

After the Waaagh!, much of the Empire lay waste, the economy was ruined and state revenues had virtually run dry. For his unending plans of luxury, Dieter had to find new means of income. He looked to Marienburg, which had been largely spared from the war. 

In 2429, Emperor Dieter IV visited Marienburg receiving a magnificent welcome. In the fields before the Oostenpoort, the most elaborate arrangements for the accommodation of the Emperor and his large retinue, had been erected, including a temporary palace, modeled on the Palace of Gold in Nuln (destroyed in the Waaagh). The Emperor would have wept when he first saw the replica.
Because of the sumptuousness of the materials used for the tents, pavilions and other furnishings, the terrain became known as “the Field of the Cloth of Gold”. He also received substantial bribes from the city, which was subsequently granted its independence.

1. The Field of the Cloth of Gold




The painting shows only the eastern part of Marienburg; the western part and the entrance of the river Reik are not visible. Various events are portrayed simultaneously. In the foreground, the Emperor enters Marienburg in procession through the Oostenpoort. To the right is the temporary Palace of Gold. Two fountains in front of the palace provided wine and beer for people's consumption (the overindulgence of which leads some of the figures in the painting being sick or engaging in brawling). Behind the temporary palace are the Emperor’s golden dining tent and the ovens and tents in which the his meals were prepared. In the centre background, the Emperor and the Directorate hold talks, and in the right background a tournament is taking place, with the Emperor and Staadtholder watching from the side.



The detail shows Emperor Dieter IV and  the Staadtholder of Marienburg, protected by Altdorf Halberdiers and preceded by the Imperial Champion, holding the Sword of Justice.

Although commissioned by Dieter himself, the anonymous painter seems to have included several subversive scenes, an indication of the general anger and indignation.


In the air, top left, one can see the young dragon procured by Marienburg from an unknown source. Not that it ever actually flew during the visit, the Directorate being far too concerned that it might fly away. It is said that this "gift" for the Imperial Menagerie, established by Dieter, really swayed the Emperor to release Marienburg from the Empire.
(Below the dragon is Rijker’s Isle with its fortifications, and in the distance the contours of Fort Reaver - probably just a scholarly reference, as it is highly  unlikely that it would ever be visible from Marienburg).


In this scene (right hand middle), a vehicle commonly used to transport bullion is speeding out of sight – a clear reference to the gold transports from Marienburg to Altdorf after the visit.


At the corner of the  jousting field stands a tree of honour, with coats of arms turning in the wind. Or in other words: turncoats. Note also that the tree of honour is barren.


Finally, a number of scenes can reasonably be interpreted as harlots conducting their business.  Hardly unknown at such occasions – but perhaps also a reference to the Empire selling its body?



1. The Field of the Cloth of Gold (anonymous painting, Flemish School, ca. 1545), Royal Collection.
On 7 to 24 June 1520, a meeting between Henry VIII (of England) and Francis I (of France) took place, near Guisnes to the south of Calais. The meeting became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, because of the sumptuousness of the materials used for the tents, pavilions and other furnishings.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 01:12:07 PM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Fandir Nightshade

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 09:27:51 PM »
This is great stuff....

Offline Zygmund

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 08:44:47 AM »
Prime stuff, best thing in years.

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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 02:32:10 PM »
The scandal of an entire Imperial province breaking away with the Emperor's permission was so shocking that the Elector Counts demanded Dieter to appear before them to answer to the charges  in an emergency meeting in the Volkshalle in Altdorf.  The Emperor chose not to appear, but fled the city instead. As a result, the outraged Electors unanimously deposed Dieter IV .

1. From the Decree of Disposition (Reichstagsakten III, Nr. 204):
Quote
In Sigmars namen. Wir Johann von Sigmars gnaden erczlector der heiligen kirchen zu Nulne des heiligen richs erczkanczeler.

(…) als unser herren und middekorfursten des heiligen richs und auch wir von (…)den durchluchtigen fursten hern Dieter kaiser und kurfürst von Stirland von langer czijt here dicke und ernstlich davon ermanet und ersucht han (…) daz er dem heiligen riche ny zu fridden gehulffen hait (…) daz yme als eynem voygde und schirmer des riches zubehorte (…).

So hait er auch daz heilige rich swerlich und schedelichen entgledet und entgleden laßen, nemelich Marienburg und daz Westerland, daz deme heiligen riche zugehoret und daz riche großen nucz und urber davon gehabt hait, darinne der von Nordland eyn dyner und amptmann ist des heiligen richs, den er nu widder gelt synen titel und gelimp genommen.
(...)

Und wir Johann erczlector vorgenant, Sigmar zu dem ersten angeruffen, in gerichtes stad geseßen in namen und wegen unsere vorgeschriben herren und middekorfursten des heiligen richs und auch unser selbes umbe diße egenanten und andere vile großer gebresten und sachen uns darczu bewegende abethun und abeseczen mit dißem unserme orteil, daz wir thun und geben in dißer schrifft, den vorgenanten hern Dieter als eynen unnüczen, versümelichen, unachtbaren entgleder und unwerdigen hanthaber des heiligen richs von demselben riche und von alle der wirde, eren und herlichkeid darczu gehörende und verkundigen darumbe allen fursten, herren, ritteren, knechten, Steden, landen und luden des heiligen richs, daz sy nu furbaßer ire eyde und hulde, die sy des vorgenannten hern Dieter personen als von des heiligen richs wegen gethan hant, zumal und genczlichen ledig sint (…).

Quote
In the name of Sigmar. We Johann by the grace of Sigmar Archlector of the Holy Church in Nuln, Arch-Chancellor of the Holy Empire of Sigmar.

(...) our Lords and fellow Elector Counts and we too have the illustrious prince, lord Dieter, Emperor and Elector Count of Stirland, since long often and in earnest admonished (…) and urged (…) that he failed to restore the peace in the Holy Empire, which befalls on him as steward and protector of the Empire ( …)

That he also has severely and to its great detriment dismembered  the Holy Empire, namely Marienburg  and the Westerland which belong to the Holy Empire and which are of great gain and benefit to the Empire, and furthermore deprived for money the Lord of Nordland, a servant and official of the Holy Empire of his title and rights.
(...)

And we Johann, aforementioned Archlector, having first called upon Sigmar, sitting in judgement in the name of and for our Lords Electors of the Empire and also ourselves, for these and many other serious errors and matters dethrone and depose with this our judgment that we pronounce and give in this decree Lord Dieter as a useless, lazy, careless dismemberer and unworthy caretaker of the Holy Empire from the same Empire and all its related honours, titles and glories, and announce therefore to all the princes, nobles, knights, servants, cities, lands and peoples that they from now are released utterly and completely from their oath and allegiance which they have made to the person of the aforementioned Lord Dieter as well as because of the Holy Empire (…).

Copies of the Decree, signed and sealed by all the Electors (except, of course, Dieter IV) were immediately sent to all provinces and city-states of the realm. Dieter first tried to find shelter in Nuln and then Stirland, but both refused. Some say that this was in fact Dieter's choice, as, still suffering from the destructions of the war, they could not provide the shelter of luxury Dieter was looking for.

In another twist of the political wheel, however, he found refuge in Talabheim (v. infra), where he stayed under virtual house arrest, until his death in 2434. Never acknowledging his deposition, he insisted to the last to be called “Imperial Highness”. But true to character, he never attempted to regain the throne. Although the story goes that he choked on a fishbone from a Marienburg goldfish, he probably died of a stroke in his sleep.

2. Dieter in his later years, playing the harp with his jester (in reality a spy of Wilhelm III).



1. Mutatis mutandis otherwise verbatim from the Decree of Disposition of Wenceslaus III (1400) Reichstagsakten III, Nr. 204, p. 254 ff.
2. Henry VIII’s Psalter, London c. 1540. The British Library, London
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 08:44:55 AM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 12:28:39 PM »
An Assessment of Dieter IV:

De mortuis nil nisi bene. If this adagium is indeed true, many will argue that this paragraph should end right here. It certainly cannot be denied that Dieter’s reign proved a major disaster for the Empire, whereby the long-term effects of Marienburg’s secession probably even outweigh the destruction inflicted by Grom’s Waaagh. Much of the responsibility falls to Dieter himself, not really because of incompetence, but because of egotism. This seems to have been his major character flaw. He was not interested in state affairs or the defence of the realm, but in comfort and luxury, art and architecture. His main fault is the failure to recognise that the first is the prerequisite for the latter: its neglection will in the end ruin both.

1. The Empire after the Waaagh: destitute and in ruins.



Note Grom's fleet in the background being ravaged by the storm and swept out to the Western Ocean. The angel indicates that the storm is being interpreted as the divine wrath of Sigmar. 


The Arch-Chancellor Johann of Nuln seems to have blamed this on Dieter’s roots, as he was overheard on many an occasion muttering in despair: “What else to expect from a shoeless Stirlander?”. Presumably he meant that as relatively poor and provincial Stirlanders, the Krieglitzers were ill equipped to deal with a rise from rags to riches (or as the Stirlanders themselves say “from shoeless to slip-shoes”.2 In addition, he may have been referring to the joke that Stirlanders wear no shoes because they would in any case “völlig neben den Schuhen stehen” (stand completely beside their shoes), i.e. to be confused. Or in short: shoeless=clueless.

If Dieter IV lacked good judgment, he does not seem to have lacked good taste – and we do not mean his gluttony. His generous patronage of arts and architecture sparked off somewhat of a renaissance, The sad irony is the same policies ensured that this renaissance was very short-lived indeed – sometimes literally. Many of the artists and architects he sponsored  were killed and most of their works destroyed in a Waaagh, which might have been prevented, if the defence of the realm had not been neglected.

As ruler, Dieter IV was ineffective and irresponsible; as a man self-centred and self-indulging. He was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. But he was not evil, cruel or malicious. His reign was not marred by terror or atrocities (at least not his own). He is not known to have ordered the torture or murder of his enemies, let alone innocents. Neither did he maltreat his kin, his servants or the common man. Although he raised taxes for his extravagancies, they were not collected with undue harshness. The few times he presided over the Imperial Court, his judgements were sound and just.

This forgotten side of Dieter IV was apparently also recognised by Wilhelm III, who put him under only the mildest form of house arrest, instead of eliminating once and for all this potential threat to his throne.

3. The last (extant) portrait of Dieter IV by Hannes Hohlbein
 





1. From Breve trattato delle afflittioni d'Italia et del conflitto di Roma con pronosticatione. (1525) Spencer Collection Ms. 081, f. 3v
3. Note that slip-shoes are about the cheapest footwear available!
3. Portrait of Henry VIII (by or after Hans Holbein ca. 1540), National Gallery, London




Digression: The Imperial Menagerie

As the most visible and known legacy of Dieter IV, it seems proper to add some words here about the Imperial Menagerie. In 2503, the famous artist Albrecht Dierer visited Altdorf and wrote in his diary: Ich hab gesehen ins Kaysers Haus zu Altdorf hinten hinaus die Brunnen, Labyrinth, Thiergarten, daß ich lustiger Ding, mir gefälliger, gleich einem Paradies, nie gesehen hab. 
(I saw in the Emperor’s  house in Altdorf out at the back the fountains, labyrinth, menagerie; a more enjoyable and attractive thing, like a Paradise, I have not seen.)

The diary also contained these drawings of the grounds and some of the animals in the Imperial menagerie:

1.


Note the joustig area and the labyrinth in the foreground.

2.


3.


Dierer also made this etching of the Monstrous Sow of Landser, a pig possessing a single head with two tongues and 4 ears, two bodies and 8 legs.

4.



Last but not least, he made this woodcut of two of the major attractions: the Abomination of Stirland and the Spawn of Hochland.

5.


The Emperor himself is giving a guided tour to foreign dignitaries, who are suitably impressed. The Abomination (known by its caretakers as Mathi) can easily be identified as a chaos hydra.

Albrecht Dierer himself has not left us a picture of the Imperial dragon – most likely because the animal was still injured from a fight with a lion, some days before. However, this incident, in which one caretaker was killed and several injured, was captured by a Tilean artist.

6.




1-2. Albrecht Dürer: The Menagerie at the Coudenberg Palace in Brussels and some of its animals. Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien. The quote in the text (adjusted) is from Albrecht Dürers Tagebuch der niederländischen Reise (1521).
3. Albrecht Dürer: Rhinoceron (1515). British Museum, London.
4. Albrecht Dürer: Die wunderbare Sau von Landser (1496). Metropolitan Museum, New York.
5. Albrecht Dürer: The Revelation of St John, scene 11 (1498). Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe.
6. Leonardo da Vinci: Dragon fighting with lion. Uffizi, Firenze.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 12:56:29 PM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Durloth

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 04:08:08 PM »
Brilliant work! Color me impressed...

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2013, 10:25:08 PM »
Impressed  :icon_wink:
It is not enough to have no ideas of your own; you must also be incapable of expressing them.
Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 02:43:01 PM »
The Empire under the Reikland Dynasty: Wilhelm III.

1. Dieter IV handing over the Sceptre of the Realm to Wilhelm III. Painting from the Volkshalle in Altdorf, 2436.



As so often in earlier art, the picture is portraying several events simultaneously. In the lower band, Dieter IV hands over the Sceptre of the Realm to Wilhem III, in the presence of the Elector Counts and other Princes of the Empire. Note that only Wilhelm bears the title of Imperator, not Dieter who has been given only the imperial honorific Augustus, indicating his deposition.


In the upper band, Dieter IV and Wilhelm III together inspect the troops of the different provinces, who acclaim the new Emperor. 

None of this ever happened!
 
As we have seen, Dieter IV fled Altdorf to finally end up in Talabheim, and never acknowledged his deposition. Besides, Dieter IV was far to fat to sit in full armour on a horse (even if anyone could make a suit of armour that would actually fit). Note also the anachronistic use of the double-headed eagle as the imperial coat of arms. The double-headed eagle (merging the eagles of the Principality of Reikland and the house of Holswig-Schliestein) was introduced by Wilhelm III himself some time after his election as the imperial emblem. It succesfully replaced previous emblems, and thus Wilhelm III created a powerful symbol of his and his family’s claim to the imperial crown. 

Indeed, the whole painting is pure propaganda of Wilhelm III to support these claims, by suggesting that the election of Wilhem III enjoyed unanimous support, including from the deposed Dieter IV! It is probably no coincidence that the painting dates from after the death of Dieter IV, when he was no longer in a position to contradict this portrayal of events.


1. (Part of) The Meeting of Henry VIII and the Emperor Maximilian I (anonymous painting, Flemish School, ca. 1520, Royal Collection).
In 1513, both Henry VIII and HR Emperor Maximilian were part of the Holy League against France. In Aug 1513, while Henry was laying siege to Therouanne, both rulers met in person, in Aire-sur-la-Lys, on French soil. Maximilian's followers are still dressed in black in mourning for his wife Bianca Maria Sforza. Henry hosted Maximilian at a tent with a gallery of cloth-of-gold at his camp over the weekend beginning, 13 August 1513. According to the chronicles, the weather on the day of the meeting was the "foulest ever."
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 05:05:28 AM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline S.O.F

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 05:04:31 PM »
Lovely stuff, though your dates are off as I think you mean 2436 for the 'Volkshalle' painting.
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Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 08:05:11 PM »
Ah yes, of course. Amended.
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 02:38:20 PM »
Election and Coronation

The remarkable unanimity of the Electors on the deposition of Dieter IV soon changed to a more customary animosity, once the question of the actual succession had to be solved. The two contenders for the throne were:

1. the cousin of Dieter IV, Wilhelm Holswig-Schliestein, Grand-Duke of Reikland, Prince of Altdorf



Wilhelm is depicted wearing the ceremonial hat of an Elector Count.

2. Frederik Untermensch, Grand-Duke of Talabecland.




1. Friedrich III, as Arch-Duke, by an anonymous painter (ca. 1460), Stift Vorau.
2. Markgraf Christoph I. von Baden, by Hans Baldung Grien (1515). München, Alte Pinakothek.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 07:26:39 AM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline Fidelis von Sigmaringen

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 09:58:55 AM »
With only a single vote more in favour of Wilhelm, the result could not have been closer. Three electoral votes, however, had not been cast: the two votes (Westerland and Stirland) belonging to Dieter IV, who for obvious reasons did not participate in the election, and the vote of the Elder of the Moot, who had been too busy preparing the Coronation Banquet.
Some historians interpret the result as an indication of a religious rift, as the “Ulrician” vote went en bloc to Frederik.

However, the result would not have been so close, if the Grand-Duke of Talabecland had not secured some “Sigmarite” votes (like Werner von Falkenstein,  Arch-Lector of Talabheim). Besides, he himself, like so many of his countrymen, was primarily a follower of Taal, but hardly exclusive in his worship. Indeed, he provided generous funds to rebuild the Cathedral of Sigmar in Talabheim, severely damaged in the Waaagh, and donated for its reconsecration this painting by his favourite artist, Hans Baldung Grien.


1. Grand-Duke Frederik Untermensch and his family in adoration of the young Sigmar.



Behind Frederik,  Arch-lector Werner of Talabheim is kneeling, and next to the Grand-Duchess Ottilia von Katzenelnbogen we can see the Abbess of the Sisters of Sigmar in Talabheim. Note that the Grand-Duke is wearing the Talabheim colors.

One should not forget that foremost on the Electors’ minds was the problem that caused the Election of a new Emperor in the first place: the secession of Marienburg. We believe that the Electors choice was decided by their views on how to deal with that problem and that Frederik and Wilhelm represented alternative strategies. Both had distinguished themselves in the Waaagh, but in different ways.

The Grand-Duke of Talabecland had bravely (according to his detractors: reckless) taken the Greenskins head-on, achieving several victories in open battle over Grom’s subordinate commanders, before being defeated by Grom himself. Even in defeat, he managed to withdraw in good order to Talabheim, where he withstood all subsequent attacks.

Wilhelm, far more cautious, had always carefully (according to his detractors: cowardly)  avoided open battle, ambushing only small and dispersed enemy elements. Thus he had remained undefeated, securing many but rather inglorious victories. By having the bridges over the Reik destroyed, he had also diverted the main force away from Reikland, limiting the destruction there.

Basically, the Electors had to ponder which strategy would work best to bring Marienburg back into the Empire. In our opinion, it was not religious, but psychological reasons that made the Ulricians (with their “Crush the weak” attitude) to support Frederik. Most Sigmarites, on the other hand, preferred a more cautious approach, that would keep economy and trade in mind, and not end up slaughtering the goose with the golden eggs.

The economic state of the Empire still recovering from the Waaagh will also have played a significant role. The Emperor was supposed to finance revenue shortfalls himself, before trying to raise taxes or introduce new ones. As the economy and finances of Reikland were in a comparatively better state than most of the Empire,a electing Wilhelm reduced the chances of an increased tax burden for the other provinces.

To avoid any uncertainty over the status of Dieter IV, Wilhelm was crowned the same day in the Cathedral of Altdorf by the Grand-Theogonist.

2. The Coronation of Wilhelm III by the Grand-Theogonist.



and as depicted in the Grosse Chronik des Imperiums:



3. Wilhelm III with full regalia.



Wilhelm is wearing the Imperial Crown, the Sceptre of the Realm, the Griffon-Chain and the Sword of Sigismund (instead of his EC Runefang). Note the coat of arms of the house Holswig-Schliestein and of the Reiksguard (founded by Wilhelm III and nominally commanded by the ruling Emperor).
 
4. The Coronation Banquet.



Upper right: the Emperor sitting with the Arch-Chancellor, Johann of Nuln, and the Ecclesiastical Electors. Halflings are tending the tables.

5. The Elder of the Moot, Erz-Truchsess (Arch-Steward) of the Empire, performing his High Office at the Coronation Banquet.






a.With the noted exception of Marienburg. Of course, the fact that they had suffered little to nothing in the Waaagh contributed greatly to their desire and ability to secede.


1. Markgrafentafel by Hans Baldung Grien (around 1511). Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. On the left is Margrave Christoph I von Baden with nine sons, and on the right his wife, Ottilie von Katzenelnbogen with five daughters.
2. The Coronation of Friedrich III by Pope Nicolaus V, by the Master of the St. Barbara Legend, recently identified as Aert van den Bossche (16 century) Westfalisches Landesmuseum Münster. The miniature depicting the same coronation is from "Les Vigiles de Charles VII" Bib. Nat. Paris, Fr. 5054, fol. 224.
3. Emperor Friedrich III. Attributed to Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. (ca. 1468) Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.
4. Banquet of Emperor Friedrichs III. and Duke Charles the Bold, from: Die große Burgunderchronik des Diebold Schilling von Bern, 1474-1483, Zentralbibliothek Zürich.
5. Playing Card, perhaps owned by Ladislaus Posthumus (ca. 1460) Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 01:53:32 AM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

Offline S.O.F

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time.
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 02:24:30 AM »
Again great stuff sir though one question perhaps pertaining to your own construction of the often muddled and contradictory Empire history:

the two votes (Westerland and Stirland) belonging to Dieter IV, who for obvious reasons did not participate in the election,

At the deposition of Dieter the Westerland had no direct electoral vote. The 'Grand' title, Electorship, and Runefang had passed to the Barons of Nordland with the death of Graf Paulus van der Maacht during the Great War.
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 08:26:16 AM »
Thank you for the compliment and the comment. As you say, the history is often muddled and contradictory. I have based this on the history of Marienburg and Westerland as given in "Marienburg - Sold down the River".

According to this source (p. 19), the last Baron of Westerland, Paulus van der Maacht, had died without heir while serving in Magnus the Pious's army in Kislev. There were numerous claims, often highly tenuous, to the province and its vast welath. The ruling families of both Talabecland and Nordland had reasonable claims, but Emperor Magnus feared that offering the province to any great family would be regarded as an insult by the other and result in civil war. When the merchants of Marienburg came up with a proposal of a directorate, the "Emperor, according to legend, prayed hard for several days and nights. In the end, he agreed and declared the Barony ceased, renaming it the Province of Westerland and placing the merchants in charge. All seemed to be in order, and things ran so smoothly that subsequent Emperors came to take Marienburg for granted and largely forgot about it".

Nordland obviously has maintained its claim (which is why the ruler of Nordland is forbidden to enter Marienburg under pain of death), but this was apparently never officially accepted by any Emperor.   
It is not specified what happened to the Runefang or the Electoral Vote by this source (nor any other?). Clearly, the Directorate or Staadtholder never held the Electoral vote. And as granting the Runefang/Electoral vote to any ruling family would amount to an acceptance of its claims to Westerland, I have chosen the option that Magnus retained the Electoral Vote (and RF) himself (thus strengthening the Emperor's position), which then would be passed to the reigning Emperor. 
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 09:33:43 AM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 12:40:37 PM »
Thank you for the compliment and the comment. As you say, the history is often muddled and contradictory. I have based this on the history of Marienburg and Westerland as given in "Marienburg - Sold down the River".

Ah that is a fine book, shame the newest edition of WHFRP stuff is no where near as good.

Quote
Nordland obviously has maintained its claim (which is why the ruler of Nordland is forbidden to enter Marienburg under pain of death), but this was apparently never officially accepted by any Emperor.   
It is not specified what happened to the Runefang or the Electoral Vote by this source (nor any other?). Clearly, the Directorate or Staadtholder never held the Electoral vote. And as granting the Runefang/Electoral vote to any ruling family would amount to an acceptance of its claims to Westerland, I have chosen the option that Magnus retained the Electoral Vote (and RF) himself (thus strengthening the Emperor's position), which then would be passed to the reigning Emperor.

The Runefang bit is the only part I think that has sources to back it up, though which one it is in eludes me at the moment. In general though the Westerland had a Runefang to which must have passed to Nordland as it had no Runefang to begin with and the Drakwald and Solland Runefangs are kept in the Imperial armory.

The latter half is the real issue as there are notes to their being an Elector of Nordland well before 2302. In my mind it always makes the most sense to have Nordland become officially recognized as a Grand Province as part of Magnus's reforms. As for historical mentions of 'Elector of Nordland' I always like to assume that, especially during the civil wars, it is one of the rival Emperors setting a rump 'Westerland' Elector up in Salzenmund to suit there own political ends.
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 04:39:01 PM »
The main problem seems to be that some sources (like WFRP Sigmar's Heirs ), name Westerland as one of the original 12 provinces, instead of Nordland. However, I am not aware of any source ever mentioning (part of) Westerland changing its name to Nordland. Indeed, looking at the map, it would be quite odd to have the northern part of the Empire being called Westerland (west of what?).

Marienburg and the Wasteland (i.e. what is usually known as Westerland) only joined the Empire in 501, at the time of Sigismund II. The WFRP Marienburg mentions (p. 21) that Marius, the founder of Marienburg leads his people, the Jutones, westward from Nordland. Theoretically that could be a geographical, not political term, but that is unlikely, as the book continues that in 501: "The King of the Jutones becomes an Imperial noble, the Baron of Westerland", implying that Westerland is a new creation. If he had unseated an existing Baron of Westerland, I would assume it to be reflected somewhere. As a new (north-western) part of the Empire, it does make more sense to call it Westerland.

That the new Baron would have an Electoral Vote does not pose a problem, as new EV were created at several occasions. But a Runefang does pose a problem, given that Marienburg joined well after the Runefangs were created. As far as I am aware, the only reference to a Marienburg RF is that Helmar of Marienburg beheaded Konrad von Carstein with his Runefang. However, given the date of the reported event (2121), this could be either the Drakwald or Solland Runefang, as by that date both provinces were extinct. The most logical assumption would be that, at some point after these provinces were dissolved, one of these Runefangs was given to the Baron of Westerland (being a temporal EC). It then returned to the Imperial Armoury, when the cessation of the Barony of Westerland was declared by Magnus.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 10:21:56 PM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time (22/10)
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 12:13:47 AM »
The sources are now in disagreement after the Black Library works on the Life of Sigmar and the Age of Legends series which followed as these drastically altered the set up of the lands that would become the Empire during the Age of Sigmar. By these newer accounts (which Sigmar's Heirs is part of) the Reik estuary was inhabited by the Endals at the time of Sigmar, staunch allies of the Unberogens and among the first to join Sigmar's cause. Their capital was Marburg and it's placement roughly congruent with Marienburg. The Jutones are still included but now only hold the upper parts of the Cursed Marshes, driven there by the Norsii, who were then the inhabitants of Nordland, and Teutogens. They as per the old fluff refuse the call to Blackfire Pass but in the years after Marius Fen-Wolf is forced to bend knee to Sigmar. As Sigmar's confederates drive the Norsii across the Sea of Claws some Jutones and other settlers move back into Nordland and it becomes a distinct geographic region. Also Marius marries the heiress to the line of the Endals and the Jutone and Endal lands are joined in personal union.

However this still leaves a myriad of problems with other background, particularly Sigismund the Conqueror. My own interpretation of this is that though Marius submitted to Sigmar's rule their lands, at least in the Cursed Marshes had never been formally incorporated into the Empire and that in 501 a war was fought between those hold outs that refused to recognize full Imperial rule  and the Emperor. When the war was concluded, the Marshes along with the lands of the Endals on the other bank of the Reik, which had been part of the Empire since it's founding, were combined under the title of (Grand) Barony Westerland. As for mentions of Electors of Nordland before 2301, I always think the easiest answer is that the senior branch, be they in Marienburg or Salzenmund, would hold the Electoral title. As lines do die out from time to time this would see the Electorship passing back and forth from the Barons of Salzenmund and Marienburg over the millennium between the founding and today. Thus in 2301 the senior branch was the  van der Maacht's of Marienburg and after his death the Electorship passed to the Baron's of Nordland but rather than a new Cadet branch be set up to rule, it was given to the burghers, though the Nordland Baron's retained the title of Prince of Marienburg.
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2013, 01:46:55 PM »
Theoretically, that could explain the references to Elector Counts of Nordland before 2301. So far, I have found references for Elector Counts of Marienburg/Westerland in the years 897/1979/2100, and for Elector Counts of Nordland in 1244/1375/1414/2150. According to your view, the Electoral title would therefore have shifted (at least) four times. Well, five really, as we all seem to assume that the last Baron of Westerland was also an EC.

However, the theory raises more questions than it answers. The (temporal) Electoral title is linked to a specific province, not a family. That the title could shift between family branches within a province is certainly feasible - but between provinces not so much. If the Baron of Nordland was the heir to the Grand-Barony of Westerland (or vice versa), why should he inherit only title, not the land? Why does he not simply become Elector-Count of Westerland and Baron of Nordland in personal union?  Why should Westerland/Nordland be an exception to this basic rule? Sure, political expediency might in exceptional circumstances require to split the title from the lands – but on several occasions? Without any reference in history? And if the buck had been frequently passed between Westerland and Nordland, why should it suddenly become a problem in 2301?
Of course, if we could find a source that mentions contemporary ECs of Westerland and Nordland, the issue would be settled beyond doubt.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 07:47:34 PM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time (24/10)
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2013, 02:36:25 PM »
The First Campaign against Marienburg


The first orders given by the new Emperor were to send word of his election to all provinces, as well as an Imperial summons for Dieter, Elector Count of Stirland, to appear within a month before the Imperial court. In addition, scouts were dispatched to locate the former Emperor and reinforcements to some strategic border areas, in case unfriendly neighbours would test the resolve of the new ruler.

Given the circumstances of Dieter’s deposition, the new Emperor Wilhelm knew he had no choice but to try and return Marienburg to the Empire. Unfortunately, things came sooner ahead than Wilhelm III may have wanted, when in an escalating local conflict, Marienburg forces occupied the Duchy of Siert within Reikland. The Emperor immediately assembled the available forces and marched along the Reik towards Siert. He was hoping to for a quick success, as his best troops had just been dispatched to the borders.



1. Wilhelm III and his troops leave from Altdorf to face the Marienburgers. The tunic of the Emperor and the trappings of his horse are adorned with hives and bees. On the edge, you can read the motto "NON UTITUR ACULEO REX CUI PAREMUR", which means "the king that we obey will not use the point of his sting." The coat of many soldiers is decorated with a porcupine. The porcupine is known for its ability to direct its spikes to defend itself. However, the king bee is stingless has no defence. Since ancient times, it is the symbol of political and social harmony. The warlike king is peaceful here. It is not insignificant that only soldiers wear the emblem of the porcupine.


As a token of good will, Wilhelm had given command of his small naval force to his rival in the election, Grand-Duke Frederik. His orders were to monitor and report any movement of the enemy on and along the Reik, in particular reinforcements from Marienburg, and, if required, to disembark upstream and attack the enemy in the rear. 

After the defeat of the Imperial Navy in the Waaagh, and the secession of Marienburg, the main base of the Imperial Navy, the fleet consisted only of smaller vessels and merchant ships, which initially caught Frederik’s disdain.  However, while sailing up the Reik, it struck Frederik that this could be used to his advantage, and he devised a daring plan to infiltrate Marienburg. However, he did not request permission, or even inform the Emperor of his plans. Disguised as a merchant fleet (with arms supplies for Marienburg!), he was allowed to enter Marienburg. The gates were too heavily guarded, but it transpired that the Kasteel on Rijker’s Isle was undermanned. As Marienburg expected little threat from the sea, they had moved most of the garrison to reinforce the city itself. If Frederik could occupy the fortress, he would gain a stranglehold on the rebellious city. Only now did he sent word of his plans to the Emperor, telling him to march as soon as possible against Marienburg. Under the cover of darkness, he landed on Rijker’s Isle, preparing to attack at first dawn.



2. The Imperial troops are preparing to attack the Kasteel, under the auspices of Sigmar and Myrmidia. The Banners, and the tunics of three soldiers, have a crowned porcupine. In the distance, the Imperial fleet pass off the rocky coast of Rijker’s Isle.


Against all odds, the raid proved successful, but, recognising the threat, the Directorate reacted vigorously and immediately organised an all out attack by all available troops of Marienburg to retake the fortress. While the Imperial forces were able to withstand the first assaults, without reinforcements, it was clearly only a matter of time before they would have to surrender. 



3. The Marienburgers, recognizable by their banners adorned with the figure of Manaan, try to recapture the Kasteel. To the right you can see part of Marienburg.


And those reinforcements would not be forthcoming soon. Wilhelm III was stuck at Siert: although he had beaten the Marienburg troops, he was unable to retake the fortress for the Empire. Without a clear picture of the enemy force between him and marienburg (which Frederik had failed to provide), he was unwilling to leave a sizeable enemy contingent in his rear. And obviously, he was also enraged at the blatant disregard of his orders and the tone of Frederik’s message.



4. Wilhelm and his army attack Siert. The tunic of the King and the trappings of his horse are more emblematic. Only the white tuft of the crest and the position of the horse identify the Emperor.


Unsure about the strength of Imperial forces, Marienburg sent emissaries to the Emperor. Amidst rumours about Dieter conspiring to return and realising that he was unable support the Kasteel, which would therefore soon fall, Wilhelm feared that he might end up with empty hands altogether. So, referring to the motto "NON UTITUR ACULEO REX CUI PAREMUR", he accepted a truce, whereby both armies withdrew from each others territory.



5. The representatives of Marienburg, dressed in black kneel before the grace of Wilhelm III.


As the representatives of Marienburg had knelt before him, Wilhelm claimed that Marienburg had been paying homage to him as its feudal liege, which allowed him to return as victor to Altdorf. Needless to say, Marienburg had a different opinion. As did the Grand-Duke of Talabecland.




All pictures are illustrations by Jean Bourdichon for "Le Voyage de Gênes" (the Journey to Genoa) by Jean Marot (ca. 1508), which recounts the campaign of the French King Louis XII against Genoa in 1507.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 09:20:44 AM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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Sex, lies and manuscripts: The History of the Empire as Depicted in the Art of the Time (10/07/16)

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time (24/10)
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2013, 06:59:29 PM »
Very clever, very educational and above all very interesting. Please keep it up!  :eusa_clap:

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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time (24/10)
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2013, 07:59:24 PM »
God willing, this history will be continued until and including the reign of Karl Franz. I must admit, though, I am very much inclined to disregard the Storm of Chaos storyline.
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2013, 12:29:45 AM »
However, the theory raises more questions than it answers. The (temporal) Electoral title is linked to a specific province, not a family. That the title could shift between family branches within a province is certainly feasible - but between provinces not so much. If the Baron of Nordland was the heir to the Grand-Barony of Westerland (or vice versa), why should he inherit only title, not the land? Why does he not simply become Elector-Count of Westerland and Baron of Nordland in personal union?  Why should Westerland/Nordland be an exception to this basic rule? Sure, political expediency might in exceptional circumstances require to split the title from the lands – but on several occasions? Without any reference in history? And if the buck had been frequently passed between Westerland and Nordland, why should it suddenly become a problem in 2301?
Of course, if we could find a source that mentions contemporary ECs of Westerland and Nordland, the issue would be settled beyond doubt.

Such is the problem with many of these contradictory background issues.

On the first count, perhaps we are wrong to assume the intrinsic link between 'lands' and an Electorship. Certainly there is a portion but arguably the greater importance is that the Elector's represent one of the founding tribes and a link back to Sigmar. In line with the thoughts put into the book 'Runefang' perhaps a great deal of the credibility of an Elector comes not only from holding an important demesne but that they also bear one of the great swords forged for the founding tribes chiefs. Considering the two fallen provinces, Drakwald and Solland, you have situations in which each is missing one of the components key to reinstatement, the Drakwald 's lands were so devastated and overrun by Beastmenthat it was absorbed into Middenland (by in large) despite it's Runefang still in the hands of the Emperor and Solland though also devastated by Greenskins of Gorbad Ironclaw they did not stay and occupy (unlike the Beasts) but had no Runefang. Thus if the Runefang is passed the to family with the closest relations to the original line that inherits the Runefang then perhaps the Electorship follows it. Thus at times the Prince in Marienburg bore the Runefang and when his line died the Prince of Salzenmund received it and also the title of Elector.   

To further flesh out my theory, the line of Marius and Endal Princess lasts some centuries but as true lines do it dies out and Nordland and Westerland are granted to cadet families with the senior granted the Runefang and the Electorship and the other nominal vassal of the other.


The lack of references is to be expected from the very spotty background but during the Civil War years I think it likely that rival Emperors created a myriad of 'Electors' on a whim. Perhaps some mention of an Elector of Nordland are not a true Runefang bearing elector but merely creation of the Middenheim Emperors to bolster their claim to the throne.

Lastly 2301 was a problem because the plethora of outstanding and long held rivalries between previously warring factions. The Baronial title was dissolved as the burghers and minor nobles in Westerland had no interest in being ruled by a now alien and very recently hostile Prince. The title for Marienburg was retained but the Baron of Nordland had no direct control over the region. WHFRP 2 fluff suggests that the Nordland Electors, Gausser in particular are keen to reunite these lands they feel are rightfully theirs and even suggests that if Gausser were to retake Marienburg he would reinstall the Niske family in Salzenmund as his vassals. (From Shades of Empire if you are curious)
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time (24/10)
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2013, 09:31:02 AM »
That is awesome, strange but not uncommon that these fluff contradictions happen with multiple authors describing same time periods over and over again, maybe there is a lack of interest in researching other works before starting to write new novels or RP books.

Very nice written, I enjoyed it and it resparked my enthusiasm for the empire.
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Re: The history of the Empire as depicted in the art of the time (24/10)
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2013, 10:10:12 AM »
@ Gunman006: yes, one gets the impression that GW treats their stories like their rules. Maybe they could issue fluff Errata & FAQ.  :icon_wink:
 
@ SOF: You have avoided the main objection: title, lands and Runefang (if there was one) are by right all part and parcel of the same inheritance.  Every time a direct line of a ruling family would die out, the rightful heir would inherit the lot: the title, the lands and the Runefang. These would be added in personal union to his existing titles and lands, to be handed down to his heir. I could imagine there being a special rule that an existing Elector Count can only ever possess a single vote and a single Runefang, and thus would only inherit the lands.  But there is no evidence for such a rule and, anyway, that would not be the case here. Edit: In fact, the Paths of the Damned 1 - Ashes of Middenheim p.5 mentions that the Counts of Middenheim held at one point two electoral votes (Middenheim and Middenland).

As I said above, exceptional circumstances may overrule this right - and  indeed it did after the death of Paulus van der Maacht. But as you yourself point out, that does not stop Gausser (with the best claims) to demand his inheritance anyway. To assume that this deviation would have happened already 5 times before in the case of Westerland/Nordland does not seem very convincing.

That rival Emperors may have created additional electors is indeed quite possible, but irrelevant, as our sources mention Elector Counts of Westerland and Nordland well before 1360, when the first anti-emperor (or rather anti-empress) arose. The most probable solution is simply that an early Emperor made either Westerland (most likely in 501) or Nordland (at some point prior to 1244; perhaps by transferring the Drakwald vote) a Grand-Barony/Electoral County (depending on which province one accepts as being original). The funny thing is that Sigmar's Heirs does not seem to say anything about how Nordland joined the Empire or became an Electoral County. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 11:49:49 PM by Fidelis von Sigmaringen »
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