home

Author Topic: WIP Guide to the Empire:  (Read 31987 times)

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: Sylvannia incomplete
« Reply #75 on: May 07, 2020, 05:36:41 PM »

The County of Sylvania
State Livery: Black, Red, and Purple
Heraldic Devices: Dragons and Skulls

History
Before the foundation of the Empire there is little record of the area that would become Sylvania. A poor and boggy land, the Dwarfs had little contact with Fennone tribe which inhabited the region and even the other human tribes regarded its people as an insular and suspicious lot. With the victory of Sigmar’s Confederation at Black Fire Pass, The conditions under which Sylvania became subject to the Asborns of Stirland is not entirely known but it appears to have been a peaceful accommodation. The lands were not divided into smaller fiefs subject but a large marcher fief subject only to the Count of Stirland. Growing population elsewhere in the Empire coupled with local encouragement brought Sylvania an influx of immigrants, peasants seeking lower rents and lesser sons seeking new fiefs. These newcomers largely intermarried with the native population and as the provinces population increased the greater amount of land was able to be reclaimed for farming slowly bring the region above subsistence levels of agriculture.
   As the first millennium was drawing to a close the Counts of Sylvania increasingly began to bicker with their lord the Elector of Stirland.  The Drakwald Emperors, ever greedy and grasping, were willing to entertain offers of independence or Electoral investure. Sylvania, though poor was no longer a complete backwater, as it’s agricultural gains were quite significant and large enough to be a substantial income compared to their liege.
At the time of the Empire’s founding, its meager soil supported a very small population. Incorporation into Stirland brought some improvements to the land but warpstone showers in the year 1111 destroyed any gains the previous millennium had made.  The malignant affects of the warpstone twisted the regions fens and woodlands into sinister and horrifying landscapes and reduced the region’s meager farmland into producing barely subsistence levels of agriculture. Infused with dark magic, the land also attracted warlocks, cultists, necromancers, and beastmen. Under the rule of Vlad von Carstein the province did enjoy a bit of a renaissance but the region itself was not improved. Many Vampire Counts constructed their great castles on site particularly strong in dark magical energies amplifying the flow of the winds of magic in the region. After the Wars of the Vampire Counts some attempt was made on the part of the Counts of Stirland to improve the region but truly cleansing the land is far beyond the resources of the Stirland Electors. Sylvania continues to be a land of harsh winters and sparse harvests. The truth of tales by travelling merchants which speak of a village in autumn and a den of ghouls in spring are far more correct than many would hope.   

The People
   In the days of Sigmar, the land of Sylvania was at the very edge of the domination of the Asborn tribe. The foothills of the World’s Edge Mountains were a very poor place to live in those days and those that resided there were of a particularly desperate sort. Scholars argue as to the origins of Sylvania’s original inhabitants with some attributing them to merely a sub-tribe of the greater Asborn tribe while others attach the title Fennone to the people who inhabited Sylvania. The Fennone tribe theory by far has the largest backing, perhaps in large part by the fact that Stirlanders do not care to have their bloodlines mixed with that of such an ill omened race.
   Sylvanians do not care for outsiders and are even less welcoming than their Stirland cousins. Sylvania’s dark history sees similar sentiments reflected back at Sylvanians by outsiders. The fact that the incident of mutation in Sylvania is many times higher than anywhere else in the Empire is extra incentive to steer clear. This insularity leaves many Sylvanians ignorant of the world outside their own village. Sylvanians take stoicism to a near masochistic level. Not only are many Sylvanians proud they are made of tougher stuff but relish in pointing out how well they are dealing with hardship particularly when said hardship is still occurring.

The Ruling House

Religion
Sylvannians are renowned for the large number of bizarre and strange superstitions. For the most part these replace in the daily life of a Sylvannian what another citizen of the Empire might get from one of the organized Cults. As Stirland’s vassal, Sylvannia was subject to a great deal proselytizing on the part of the ardent Sigmarite Stirlanders. While the religion did not catch on particularly well among the suspicious peasantry, Sylvannia’s town and cities were brought into the hierarchy of the Sigmarite Cult. Other than the Van Hal years, this situation remained much the same into the late second millennium with the ascension of Vlad von Carstein in 1797. 
Vlad pursued a harsh policy toward all the Imperial cults in Sylvannia. At first merely administrative pressures were put upon Cult Temples but this soon gave way to outright intimidation and expulsion. By 2000 IC, all but a handful of remote monasteries remained. Cultivated in part by Vlad but perhaps more so by his deranged and vain wife Isabella, a new Cult of the Risen began to grow among the provinces peasantry. In place of traditional Gods, the people worshipped their Vampire lords as living deities to which the rule death had been conquered. Though these lords demanded strict obedience, they protected their people and Sylvannia seemed a peaceful land when compared to the warring states elsewhere in the Empire. When Vlad revealed his ambitions in 2010, many Sylvannians were more than willing to march to war for his cause.
Following Vlad’s death during the siege of Altdorf in 2051, Sylvania’s peasantry quickly realized the error of their beliefs. The Counts that followed offered none of the s

Important Towns
Waldenhof

Military
During the last of the von Drak’s are great deal of effort was taken to modernize the largely feudal Sylvanian military establishment. Regular regiments were mustered but a large portion of Sylvania’s military was still drawn from militia and levies. During Vlad’s reign, all these units were rigorously drilled and generally well officered, the militia regiments being better than most of their counter parts in the more war torn regions of the Empire. Even after Vlad revealed his true nature these regiments stayed loyal and his personal regiment of greatswords, the Drakenhof Guard, served as a ‘living’ regiment to the siege of Altdorf and Vlad ultimate death. Little of the old military traditions of Sylvania remain today and though the Counts of Stirland retain the right to call up Sylvania’s militia and levies but such actions have not been taken for centuries.

Famous Regiments
Sylvanian Macemen/Flailmen
While many of regular regiments were armed much like their contemporaries elsewhere in the Empire, Sylvania’s militia and levies were famed for wielding modified agricultural tools often. Simple cudgels and agricultural flails could be readily converted to military needs by the addition of metal studs and the peasantry would at least have some proficiency with them. It is argued, with the cursed nature of Sylvania, that these blunt instruments are more useful at dispatching undead assailants than swords or spears but they have proved at times equally useful against knights from Stirland.
Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: solland incomplete
« Reply #76 on: May 07, 2020, 05:38:05 PM »
The Former Grand County of Solland
Last Elector: Count Eldred Heugenloewd (deceased since 1707), attached to the Wissenland
State Livery: Yellow and Buff
Heraldic Devices: Suns
Runfang Title: The Sun Tooth (before 1707 ic) now Grudge Settler. Currently carried by the Reiksmarshall, Kurt Helborg.

Geography
The old borders of Solland were defined by the River Soll in the west, the Upper Reik in the east, and the Black Mountains to the south. Those lands closest to the confluence of the Reik and Soll near were rolling plains of farmland of wheat and cattle very similar to neighboring Averland. As the countryside approached the Black Mountains, the hill country boasted vineyards, fields of barley both for consumption and brewing, as well flocks of sheep for meat and wool. Interspersed among these lands were light stands of forest which provided a wealth of yew and ash which were a source of raw materials for the bowyers and fletchers of Pfeildorf. After the ravages of the Ironclaw much of this land has never been completely reclaimed. The woods are still used for timber but many have grown wild without the foresters to keep them. In the south the recovery has been the worst. Only the shepherds returned in any number and almost all these lands are dedicated to the production of wool.

The People
Sollanders are the descendants of the Menogoth tribe, one of the smallest of the ancient tribes to join Sigmar’s confederation. As much of the old line of Menogoths has been absorbed into their sister people of Wissenland many attribute similar qualities to both peoples, however as Wissenlanders are accounted as simply dour, true Sollanders often border on morose. The loss destruction of the province still ways heavily on Sollanders. Many have taken to their new lords, the Counts of Wissenland, but there are bitter few that agitate for the full restoration of the province. 

Solland’s Lament   
   Throughout Wissenland and most of the rest of the southern Empire, it is impossible to find a person who has not heard in some form the tragic ballad titled ‘Solland’s Lament’. In the year 1707 ic a Waagh the size not seen since the days of Sigmar, descended upon the Empire. The ravages this horde were felt from Averland to Altdorf and Solland suffered the greatest blow at the hands of the greenskins and their great warlord Gorbad Ironclaw.
   In the centuries preceding the invasion Solland had begun to fall on increasingly difficult times. Located in the heart of the Electoral and Sigmarite lands, Solland’s Counts pursued policies that continually put the province at odds with the Emperor and more importantly the Grand Theogonist, most notably in attempting to arrange a marriage between the royal line of Solland and the Grafs of Middenheim. The Sigmarite faith had a great deal of strength in Solland but it was the opinion of province’s Electors that the message of Sigmar was one of unity and not the sectarian strife which dominated Imperial politics. When the hammer blow of the Ironclaw fell on Averland, Eldred Heugenloewd, Count of Solland, was quick to marshal his forces despite his marginalized position at the Imperial court.
   After the greenskins sacked Averheim, the Solland army was fully mustered. The Count felt, given the strategic position of Solland, the greenskin horde would press on first greater prizes, first Nuln and then up the Reik to Altdorf. This left the strong and intanct army of Solland a prime threat to attack the rear of the invasion and with proper coordination catch the invaders between two Imperial forces. Unfortunately for Solland, Gorbad Ironclaw was an orc of exceptional strategic mind. While he was correct in surmising the greenskins would first push on to Nuln, which was promptly sacked, they horde did not continue on to Altdorf. It rested briefly instead to collect the foragers which pillaged Stirland and the Moot and when again at full strength turned south on the isolated province of Solland.
   There was no hope for direct relief to Solland’s position. The nearest Imperial army was the scattered forces of Erich Adolphus, Elector Count of Wissenland which had withdrawn to the southern Reikland in order to gather strength.  Count Eldred’s only hope was to buy enough time for this force to come into play and hoped to prevent the Solland capital of being invested by the greenskin army for as long as possible. It is here that Imperial records argue as to the events that followed for there were so few survivors for the events to be properly be recounted. Almost all accounts, say that in order to buy time for Pfeildorf to prepare for lengthy siege, Count Eldred met the Ironclaw’s army south of the River Soll and contested the greenskin’s crossing. In a day long battle the greenskins were unable to bring their greater numbers to bear for the fords and bridges across the Soll were few and narrow. It looked as though the Solland army had won the day and would force the Ironclaw to seek passage either farther up the Soll where the waters were less deep and give Pfeildorf and the Solland army additional time to prepare for the assault. The Ironclaw had foreseen that, if his crossing were contested, he would have little chance of success and it was at that late hour of the day the orc unveiled his true cunning. Before he had given battle at the fords, Gorbad had sent a large portion of his mounted forces up the eastern bank of the Upper Reik in hopes of finding a crossing there. With the bulk of Count Eldred’s attention on the battle along the Soll, the garrisons on the Upper Reik bridges were weak and the greenskin forces quickly overpowered their foes. In the late afternoon a great force of wolf and boar riders appeared on the right flank of the Solland host. Tired from the long day’s battle and the attack from the unseen quarter, the fragile resolve of the Solland line was shattered. Count Eldred worked as fast as he could in order to form an orderly withdrawal on Pfieldorf but retreat turned into rout.
   It is at this point the story takes divergent paths. In the account common in the north, as Count Eldred and his bodyguard remained the last organized resistance on the field, the Ironclaw personally lead the attack to break the doughty Solland greatswords. In the midst of this melee, the Ironclaw challenged the Count to single combat and though the Elector was a capable swordsmen he was no match for the great orc. From the corpse of the Count, the Ironclaw took the Crown of the Solland and placed it upon his own brow to mock those that had stood against and for this act the battle is named. However the orc’s greatest prize was the Solland Runefang which he would wield in tandem with his own terrible axe, Morgor the Mangler, for the remainder of the campaign. Pfeildorf was then sacked and over the following weeks the greenskins laid waste to the rest of Solland and Wissenland.
   To Sollanders, as tragic a tale as it is, it comes nowhere near close to representing the actual events. Sollanders say that during the midst of the rout Count Eldred and his bodyguard remained on the field to buy time so that a greater number of Solland troops could fall back behind the walls of Pfeildorf. Knowing the prospects for his survival were minimal, Count Eldred ordered his Runefang borne back to Pfeildorf to be given to the Crown Prince Eldred the Younger for a crown could be remade but the Runefang was the legacy of Sigmar. The Count and the whole of his greatswords were slain by the orcs lead by the Ironclaw but in their sacrifice a good portion of the Solland army made back inside the gates of Pfeildorf. The walls of Pfeildorf were old and with its distance from the Imperial rivals in the north had seen no war for some centuries. The city should have fallen in a matter of days but for the spirited defense offered by the young Count. For three weeks Gorbad Ironclaw’s Waagh threw themselves at the walls of Pfeildorf to no avail. In those twenty-four days the garrison held out hope that perhaps from the north deliverance would come or that the great orc would grow weary of such a minor prize and turn that way instead. On the dawn of the twenty-fifth day however a concentrated barrage by the greenskin warmachines and siege engines broke the eastern gatehouse and so enraged that he had been so long delayed, the Ironclaw lead the final assault personally. The young Count Eldred waited for the Ironclaw with the few knights he could assemble as his guard. No exact account exists of the battle between the orc warlord and the late count save that the Ironclaw again proved victorious. The Runefang fell into the hands of the Ironclaw and though it was a hated piece of dwarf crafted steel and gromril, it was a reminder to the great warlord the strength of men. Possession of the mighty weapon was a far greater slight to heirs of Sigmar than the destruction of their cities and the utmost testament to the power of Gorbad Ironclaw.

The Union of Solland and Wissenland


Famous Regiments
Knights of the Shining Sword   
The Knights of the Shining Sword are the spiritual inheritors of a much older Knightly Order, The Order of the Southern Sword. In the wake of Gorbad’s devastations much of the martial tradition of Solland was lost. One of the few military units to escape this fate was the Order of the Southern Sword, Solland’s oldest Knightly Order. Since its founding in the first millennium the Order had been the champions of the province and protectors of the Menogoth line. Much of the Order was slain during Gorbad’s invasion including the Order’s chief officers and inner circle during the siege of Pfieldorf. Following Solland’s dissolution as a province, the Order’s remaining knights chose to stay on with the Counts of Wissenland and in the last centuries of the second millennium were the most prestigious formation in all of Wissenland’s armed forces. Despite their loyalty to their new lord, the Order dreamed of a day when once again the Runefang of Solland was in the hands of men, a new Elector crowned and Solland’s honor restored. Sadly the Order was annihilated by an incursion of undead in the late 20th century, leaving their visions of Solland’s rebirth unfulfilled.
   Ironically little more than a century would pass after the destruction of the Order until the Solland Runefang was indeed recovered. A party of treasure hunters, consisting to both dwarfs and men, pursued a rumor of the blade’s resting place in the Black Mountains. The blade had become part of a chimera’s hoard and after slaying the beast the party returned triumphantly to the Empire. The expedition’s leader, a disgraced knight from an unknown Order, used the sizeable reward and fame to found his own order of knights. It is unknown what motives inspired the knight but the Order he created drew heavily on the traditions of the old Order of the Southern Sword.

Solland Archers
Whilst most of the famed archer regiments hail from the more arboreal northern provinces of the Empire, Solland was one of the few southern province which retained an archery tradition. 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. To this end most regiments of archers and huntsmen raised for the service of the Count of Wissenland are entirely raised from bowmen found in old Solland. Though they are no longer independent these troops are still rightly respected and up until the construction of Wissenland’s network of border forts were solely responsible for the defense of southern borders.   
Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: extras
« Reply #77 on: May 07, 2020, 05:39:47 PM »
Cult of Ulric
Head of the Order: Ar-Ulric Emil Valgeir
Center of Worship: Middenheim
Holy Texts: The Book of the Wolf (Liber Lupus), Ulric Creed

The Cult of Ulric is one of the most ancient cults of the Empire. As God of War, the worship of Ulric and the blessings of his priests were of utmost importance to the warlike tribes that founded the Empire. Sigmar himself was a follower of Ulric and during his coronation as Emperor it was the Ar Ulric that placed the crown upon Sigmar’s head. The Ulrican faith has remained a major power in the political and religious life of the Empire since. However with the growth of the Sigmarite faith, the Cult of Ulric’s influence is much reduced, particularly in the southern and western provinces. Only in Middenheim does the Cult of Ulric still enjoy spiritual supremacy.

Organization.
The Cult of Ulric is made up of two heavily intertwined orders: The Holy Order of the Howling Wolf and The Order of Knights of the White Wolf.  A number of smaller, Templar Orders are also attached to the cult but are highly regional and play little part in overall Cult operation. As a warrior god, Ulric has little interest in

The Holy Order of the Howling Wolf
makes up the orders priesthood. The head of this Order and the entire Cult is the Ar-Ulric. From his seat in Middenheim, the Ar-Ulric administers primarily to the maintenance of the Cult’s position within the Empire. The great temples of Ulric are looked after by the Cult’s High Priests. When the incumbent Ar-Ulric dies it is the duty of the High Priest to elect a new Ar-Ulric from one of their members. Though there are a number of High-Priests who are not Middenlanders, none have ever been elected to the position of Ar-Ulric. Lesser priests oversee smaller shrines and temples and are sometimes referred to as Denfathers. The lowest level of priests are the initiates in the order.
    Denfathers political position

The Order of Knights of the White Wolf
Grandmaster: Rein Volkhard
No other cult enjoys the same level of integration with its templars as that of the Cult of Ulric. The Order’s Grandmaster is ranked directly below the Ar Ulric in the Cults hierarchy. Though he has no power over religious doctrine, the Grandmaster does vote with the High Priests to decide the new Ar-Ulric when the post is vacant. The primary duty of the Grandmaster is to manage the deployment of the Orders knights.
   Militarily, the Order is organized into a number of companies, captained by their own Seneschal. These vary drastically in size from being anywhere from a handful of Templars to several dozen. Each and every Ulrican holy site is protected by a compliment of Templars and those of particular importance may even be guarded by several companies. The most prestigious companies are the five Great Companies of Middenheim each of which bears the name of a color, Red, White, Grey, Gold and Silver.    
   In addition to be an integral part of the Ulrican Cult, the Knights of White Wolf are the oldest and largest Knightly Order in all of the Empire. Ancient texts refer to the bodyguards of the early Emperors, Sigmar included, as being known as the White Wolves.
   Membership in the Knights of White Wolf is not limited to only sons of the nobility much like most of the other Knightly Orders of the Empire. Ulric does not care about the class of the applicant merely whether the applicant is a skilled and faithful warrior. The Order is not however without its prejudices. Ulric was the patron god of the Teutogens and many in the Order feel that the order should be indicative of this fact. While non-Middenlanders are welcome to join the order very few ever earn the right to join the prestigious Wolf Companies of Middenheim and none can expect, baring saving the life of the Ar-Ulric, to be chosen to join the Teutogen Guard. As class may make little difference in joining the ranks of the order ascension to a position of leadership for those of common birth is extremely rare.

The Lesser Cults
By no means is it to say that the other Cults of the Empire are ‘truly’ lesser than the Cults of Sigmar and Ulric but more that those two Cults have tended to dominate the Imperial religious life. With this domination has come political power which in turn has fueled greater domination, so much so that in parts of the Reikland and Stirland it is not uncommon for a Priest of Sigmar to perform burials and adjudicate minor legal disputes.

Taal and Rhya
Despite being one of the largest Cults indigenous to the Empire, the dual Cult of Taal and Rhya has surprisingly little power. The Cult has never been very particular about strict rules of hierarchy or on official doctrine, Priests of each province larger follow customs past down for generations by the previous priest that instructed them as initiates. Nominally the heads of the Cult are based in Talabheim, Taal’s holiest place, but they have little power beyond Talabecland and the north Empire. Reikland, Wissenland, and particularly the Stirland Cult branches are particularly resistant from outside influence.
To a degree, the Cult limited influence is its own making. When Emperor Magnus reforged the Empire and established the current Electors, it is rumored overtures were extended toward the Hierarchs of the Cult of Taal to become a Spiritual Elector of the Empire. For whatever reason the Cult leaders declined and only the Arch-Lectors and the Ar-Ulric were added. 

Morr
The worship of Morr has been part of the Empire since its founding but it is in the Tilean city of Luccini that the Cult has its center of worship. Priest of Morr are not overly particular about organization and while all owe fealty to the High Temple in Luccini it meddles little in local affairs. Cult practices are generally similar and are kept to an orthodox by a ecumenical council which convenes every seven years.
The greatest influence by those that are adherents to the God of the Dead are the Knightly Orders which are common on the borders of Sylvania

Verena
Priests and Priestesses of Verena are considered the highest authority on law

Shallaya
Misery and suffering are everywhere and so too are the Priestess of Shallaya. Most Imperial towns have at least a small temple dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy which tend to the ill or as flop houses for the itinerant.

Myrimidia
Ever a popular God to Officers and General’s, Myrimidia has little presense in the Empire beyond various Knightly Orders dedicated to the Goddess. Major cities, those with large numbers of Tilean and Estalian expatriates in particular

Ranald
The trickster God of luck and thieves has little to no established shrines in the Empire, at least not those that are know


Chapter Ten
Institutions of the Empire

The Colleges of Magic

As a portion of their charter, all Orders are required to provide Imperial armies the service of a number of Magisters. These numbers are increased during times of war and crisis but during relative peace most Magisters are free to pursue their own personal interests or more often those of their order.

The Bright Order: Thyrus Gorman
Members of the Bright Order a masters of the wind

The Amber Order: Setenta Lobas
The Jade Order: Tochter Grunfeld
The Celestial Order: Raphael Julevno
The Light Order: Verspasian Kant
The Gold Order: Belthasar Gelt
The Grey Order: Reiner Starke
The Amenthyst Order: Viggo Hexensohn   

Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: knightly orders
« Reply #78 on: May 07, 2020, 05:40:14 PM »
The Knightly Orders
   It is the goal of most of the Empire’s warlike nobleman to become a member of one the great Knightly Orders of the Empire. Some are motivated out of religious conviction and are drawn to one of the many Templar Orders, serving their chosen god through both martial and spiritual means. The vast majority are drawn to the Empire’s many secular orders which often grants them prestige, glory, and a place in one of the most exclusive societies of the realm. There is no set size for a Knightly Order as some number a handful of knights while others boast hundreds. The majority of Knightly Orders are small and often recruited from a single province.

Major Empire Based Templar Orders
   Most of the large Knightly Orders of the Empire are Templar Orders. Religious convictions are less confining than political boundaries and suitable candidates for these Orders can be drawn from any part of the Empire and sometimes beyond. In addition most Templar Orders are in part bank rolled by the Cult of their patron deity or at least can rely on the generous donations from pious benefactors.
   Selection for Knights to join a Templar order is far more rigorous than that of a secular one. Young noblemen with some service in the Pistol Korps should have no expectation to ever being accepted directly as a brother knight in a Templar Order and in fact such service might often preclude an aspirant knight entry. Joining a Templar Order requires years of training both in martial and religious instruction and is for the most part started when the youth is in their early teens. Methods vary from order to order but many still require a long period of apprenticeship as a squire in order to be eligible for elevation to full Knighthood. Veteran Knights subject to some sort of religious experience are generally also not immediately accepted as brother knights either unless suitable religious education is conducted. Exceptions do happen however and particularly in cases for those that have been part of important holy miracles.

Knights of the Everlasting Light
Religious Affiliation: Verena
Headquarters: Essen (Ostermark)
Largest Chapter House: Altdorf
Grandmaster: Sigismund Drak
Livery: Dark Blue, Yellow, and White
Heraldic Designs: Candles

   Verena is not an indigenous deity to the Empire. Common folk in the remote regions of the Empire have little dealings with the Cult of Verena for they are in little need of scholarship and can often do without the meddling of judges and lawyers. Nobles and burghers have time for the abstract ideas to which Verena is a patron and the following of the cult has mainly been limited to the major cities of the Empire. Here Verenian Clergy endorse learning and culture as well as codify and moderate the sometimes esoteric laws of the Empire. It is the latter aspect, Goddess of Justice, that Verena attracted the more militant members of her Cult to form the Knights of the Everlasting Flame. The great ballads of the Old World are filled with tales virtuous knights who go about the world punishing those that would break or bend the law to their own gain and defending the righteous. Such idealism has little place in the real world but to youthful nobles it is a powerful force.
   The Knights of the Everlasting Light are the largest Order of Verenian Templars in the Empire. Every province of the Empire has some tale that involves the Order, often fighting at impossible odds, to preserve one community or another from the injustices the world is wont to lay upon them. These stories contribute to prestige and mystique of the Order and while a peasant may have little use for the Goddess herself, her Templars are thought of fondly. Their fame and idyllic cause attracts a large number of recruits eager to make a name and perhaps a ballad for themselves. Unfortunately for many of these aspirant Knights, the Order is cursed.
   

Knights of the Blazing Sun
Religious Affiliation: Myrimadia
Headquarters: Carroburg (Middenland)
Largest Chapter House: Talabheim
Grandmaster: Seigfried Trappenfeld
Livery: Black and Yellow
Heraldic Designs: Suns
   Not the largest organization of Myrimidian Templars, the Knights of the Blazing Sun are by far the most wealthy and famous. When the crusades began, the Order was just another secular order of knights among the multitude that answered the call to aid Estalia against the Arabian invasion. The knights played a key role in the siege of the city of Magritta and found divine inspiration when a great statue of Myrimadia crushed Arabian forces poised to overrun the Knights position.  Since that day the order has been fervent Myrimadians, offering praise to the southern war goddess above all northern gods. The wealth of the Order does not lie in their piety but their pledge to provide pilgrims free passage from the Empire to Estalia and Tilea.
   Most Myrimadian holy sites lie in the south of the old world and Merchants are more than willing to donate to the order for escort service to go on ‘pilgrimages’ to visit these sites. In addition to military escort, the Knights of the Blazing Sun offer letters of credit to pilgrims seeking to go to southern holy sites. For a minimal payment of tribute, the investment of the would be pilgrim is insured by the Order that upon reaching their destination they will receive in full the desired amount left safe with the Orders holdings.

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. 


Other Notable Orders Present in the Empire by Faith
Taalite Templars
The Longshanks: More ranger than Knight, the members of this order are dedicated to preserving the wild places dedicated to Taal and are more adept with bows then they are with the lance.

Morrian Templars
 Black Guard: Headquartered out of Luccini, these Knights are the silent guardians of sites sacred to the Death god. The Black Guard are also entrusted by the cult with the duty of pursuing and destroying any Priest of Morr that falls to heresy or necromancy. While it is the primary order of Templars for the Morrian Cult, the Order is not particularly popular as it is more aimed at defense of Cult sites and clergy. In the Empire the more militant Orders tend to attract the majority of those Knights wishing to enter the service of Morr.
Knights of the Black Rose: Morrian Templars that play the political game far too much for the cults leaders. They have been found in the service of the Electors of Talabecland and Stirland and their ultimate fealty, beyond Morr of course, is unknown.
Order of Raven Knights: Owners of a number of estates in eastern Stirland, including the entire village of Sigfriedhof and its famous Abbey of St. Aethelbert the Vigiliant, the Raven Knights are dedicated to containing and hopefully one day destroying the undead that still menace Sylvania. The Order has very good relations with any other order espousing similar aims, particularly Sigmarite Orders.

Myrimidia


Sigmarite Templars
Knights of Sigmar’s Blood: Famous hunters of Beastmen and Mutants, the Order has perhaps the most strict monastic vows of all Sigmarite Templar Orders.
Knights of the Hammer: Armed with cavalry hammers, the order is often derided by Ulircans as ersatz White Wolves.
Knights of the Jade Griffon: The order seeks a great deal of redemption after the defection of one of its Seneschals, Alkelod Hellbrass, to the service of Chaos
Knights of the Twin Tailed Orb: The Order wields Flails shaped like the comet of Sigmar in combat over lances or hammers

Ulrican Templars
Ragnarites: Jaded and hardened northerners, these Ulrican Templars emphasize the uncompromising nature of the Winter God. The Order has some following in the northern Empire but is largely based on a number of southern Norcan converts who are used to such harsh demands by their gods.

Major Secular Orders
By sheer number, secular Orders are more prevalent than that of Templar Orders in the Empire. Secular Orders however do not garner the same political clout or prestige of the religious counterparts and are for the most part relegated to at best regional interests. The exceptions to this are the great Orders from the crusades, mainly the Knights Panther but to a lesser extent the Knights of the Golden Lion and the Knights Jaguar as well. Steeped in centuries of tradition and appealing to the spirit of adventure in some of the nobility, these orders have managed to survive whilst others have disappeared or been relegated to little more than honorable drinking societies.


The Knights Panther
Headquarters: Carroburg
Largest Chapter House: Talabheim   
Grandmaster: Baron Heinrich von Torlichhelm
Livery: Blue and Yellow
Heraldic Devices: Panthers of all sorts

Founded during the era of the Crusades, the Knights Panther are one of the most renowned Knightly Orders of the Empire and many Imperial youths dream of one day being a member. Having chapter houses spread throughout the Empire, the Knights Panther are most heavily concentrated in Middenland, Talabecland, and Reikland.
   Though a secular Order, the Knights Panther have not been able to avoid the political wrangling of the Sigmarite and Ulrican Cults. The Order has long sent that most Chapter Houses offer shrines to Sigmar, Ulric, and even Myrimidia but tensions between brother knights of rival confessions have at times grown high. Baron von Torlichhelm, the Order’s current Grandmaster, was elected to the position by his peers not only for his martial skills but that he was a man well versed in soothing squabbles not only between brothers of the order but as liaison to the White Wolves in Middenheim.
   The influence and political power of the Order have come at a price and in recent years the Knights have suffered a number of scandals. In truth only a handful of the scandals have ever been officially censured on the part of the Imperial government but there are rumblings as to what the Order manages to hide. The very public corruption scandal of the Light College of Magic has only added fuel to this fire what with the long standing relationship between the Knights Panther and the Hierophants of the White Order. Of late the Order has become increasingly active in aiding the militant branches of the various Imperial Cults in combating cultists, necromancers, mutants, and rogue magicians. In Middenheim additional squadrons of Knights Panther rotate through and serve alongside the White Wolves during purges of the beastmen of the Drakwald. It is even encourage by some Seneschals and Preceptors that these units, should they slay particularly fierce monsters to adorn their armor with these pelts as well as those of the more traditional panthers and other noble cats.

Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: kislev
« Reply #79 on: May 07, 2020, 05:41:04 PM »
Sons of Ursun The Czardom of Kislev
Current Ruler: Czarina Katarina Bohka “The Ice Queen”
Heraldic Devices:

While Kislev is not part of the Empire the connection between Imperials and Kislevites is greater than between any other human nations. Trips through any major city within the Empire will most likely include a run in with a Kislev expatriate.

The People
Unlike the people of the Empire, the horsemen of Kislev are not descended from the migration of peoples that crossed the lands of the Dwarfs in the millennium before the rise of Sigmar.  As there were few Dwarf holds in the northern reaches of the mountains, there is little recorded history for the era and all scholars have to go on is the folk tales and legends of the Kislevites themselves.
At some point in far antiquity there was a great and mighty steppe people called the Scythians. They were masters of all the northern steppes from western Kislev, across the northern plains of the Zorn Uzkul and even to the steppes where now reside the marauders known as the Krugan. A savage and bellicose people, the Scythians warred amongst themselves and their neighbors erecting great barrows to honor their greatest kings. The Scythians were also skilled metal workers crafting some of the finest swords made by men as well as exquisite jewelry which their great lords bore into the afterlife as part of their barrow hoards. Much like their environment, their religion was harsh. Nature spirits demanded appeasement and only through sacrifice, often human, could the world be soothed. What fate these ancients, none now know. However even the most terse survey of the traditions of the steppe tribes of the north suggests the continuation of many long lasting customs from Ungol to Kul or Gospodar to Dolgan.


The Ruling House
The House of Bohka which rules Kislev has overseen an era wjicj Kislev had corrected itself from years mismanagement following the Great War on Chaos. From the early 24th century on Kislev was either ruled directly or dominated by a Vampiric Queen. This “Katarin the Great” as her historians dubbed her was only overthrown in during the mid 25th century and the Bohka rulesrs have tried their best to remodel the Kislev state, The works of Alexi Bohka are overlooked compared to his far more extensive changes enacted by his energetic son Boris ‘the Red’ Bohka. Since the mid 25th century Kislev has been creating a standing army, facilities for manufacturing of fire arms and more modern administration modeled on Imperial lines. This modernization has not come at a cultural price either. Czar Boris recognized the importance of Imperial military innovations but was a very staunch supporter of Gospodar religious tradition. Since the Great War on Chaos the gods of the Old World had held increasingly greater sway among the populace of Kislev. Ulric in particular. Boris single handedly revived the Cult of Ursun, the bear god of the Gospodars.


Religion
Kislevites are relatively religious people though since the beginning of the reign of the Bohka Czars people that are increasingly so. Following the Great War in 2305, much like Kislevs political climate, following of the old Cult of Kislev fell into decline. The triumph of Magnus and his Sigmarite force brought over a large number of converts to the Sigmarite faith. Many other Imperial Cults, seeing the Sigmarites successes, followed suit.  Kislev cities and towns, predominately those of the south, saw new temples built dedicated to foreign gods a turn of events the Czars of the period had little interest in reversing.   

Important Towns
Kislev
Praag
Erengrad.
Erengrad is the most progressive city in Kislev, perhaps because it is the country’s only port city. Erengrad is above all famed for its large foundry that is second only to Nuln in the production of artillery pieces. Erengrad guns are nowhere near the scale of the Great Cannons and Culiverns produced by the Nuln foundries, but have a very good market amoung naval vessels that desire greater power to weight ratio. In addition Kislev’s entire stock of firearms are produced by the smiths of the Erengrad Foundry. Sterletsi formations may be a new wing of the Kislev military but Erengrad Engineers have long prepared for the greater implementation of the match lock and harquebus into the Kislev army

Military
Since the reign of the first Bohka Czar, Kislev’s military has been subject to a massive overhaul.
As a nation on the steppes, the bulk of Kislev’s military has always been and continues to be, predominately based on cavalry. These formations range from the unruly Ungol nomads from the farthest depths of the north steppe to the elite Palace Guard in Kislev itself. The core of this force however is comprised of two arms; the Winged Lancer rotas drawn from the Gospodar or Gospodarized stanitsa and the Horse Archers recruited from the Ungol stanitsa
Among the most unprecedented of Boris’s reforms was the expansion of the register of Kossars. When the Gospodars conquered the Ungols, the Kossars were a tribe of Ungol who fought for the invader over their hereditary king, preferring to fight on foot with axe and bow. As reward for their service, these tribesmen were granted special tax and settlement status within the Czardom of Kislev, a position made hereditary through continued military service. Early Kislevite rulers had little administrative ability and the position became used in designating slightly more professional foot troops over the traditional ad hoc levies.  Greatly admiring the professional regiments of the Empire, Czar Boris hoped to create similar formations but with a heavy dose of Kislev traditionalism.
War bears –eat criminals-military funerals

Famous Regiments
Erengrad Kossars Gun naming- Beardish and Gunne badge

Gryphon Legion

Palace Guard

Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #80 on: May 07, 2020, 05:41:59 PM »
I won't finish this stuff anytime soon so here is the random crap I had already written some years ago. My official posts need a lot of editing these will be even worse
Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline GamesPoet

  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 15525
  • Summer has arrived! : )
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #81 on: May 07, 2020, 06:08:22 PM »
Thank you for posting your efforts.  I will read them in their entirety at some point. :icon_cool: :::cheers:::

Have read the bit on Solland already. Very well written. :icon_biggrin: :eusa_clap:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #82 on: May 07, 2020, 06:38:30 PM »
Solland lament is one of my better bits since it marries the much better local traditions of Black Library books with that of the boring and awful account in the official fluff.

My dream was also to include this boards Solland story bit but I only got to the history writing
Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan

Offline GamesPoet

  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 15525
  • Summer has arrived! : )
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #83 on: May 07, 2020, 07:15:45 PM »
I once started writing a synopsis of the Solland Effort of 2524, and probably need to finish it at some point.  That story campaign was such a bunch of fun to create with the teamwork of the other folks involved.  It really deserves a synopsis, and perhaps even putting together all the story work into a single paper as well.

It takes place after 2522, the last year used by GW during the last few editions of WFB, and during what one timeline was calling the Dark Years, intended for after the Storm of Chaos fluff.  It story campaign also used information from Madalfred's site ... a map and list of the communities in Wissenland and the Border Princes.  And we also included Wissenlander's fluff town as well.  For my own personal fluff, it included actions taken by one of my characters prior to his involvement with the war in Araby told in the Animosity 3 campaign.

And it of course all takes place in along a line or alternative version of the Olde World where certain destruction of the Olde World doesn't really take place, and there is no such thing as Warhammer: AoS.  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_lol:
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 07:47:45 PM by GamesPoet »
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

Offline Zygmund

  • Pure of Heart
  • Posts: 1954
  • Europe, Finland
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #84 on: May 08, 2020, 07:06:39 AM »
Oh... Wow!  :icon_eek:  :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:

That's some real effort!  :smile2:

Thanks for sharing.

-Z
Forget the 6'x4' game, focus on the story beyond that. Because fantasy matters.

Offline wdv331

  • Posts: 17
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #85 on: June 19, 2020, 12:33:00 AM »
you got the sons of manaan and knights mariner mixed up, the sons still serve and reside in marienburg while the mariners serve nordland, other than that awesome thread!

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2652
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:
« Reply #86 on: June 19, 2020, 01:53:27 AM »
you got the sons of manaan and knights mariner mixed up, the sons still serve and reside in marienburg while the mariners serve nordland, other than that awesome thread!

Not per the WHFRP 2 Tome of Salvation.
Soldier of Fortune
Crazy DOW player
Rabid Mets Fan