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Offline S.O.F

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Stirland Revised
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2011, 01:53:05 AM »
The Grand County of Stirland
Elector: Albrecht Haupt-Anderson
State Livery: Green and Yellow
Heraldric Devices: Skulls, Skeletons, and Hunting Horns
Motto: Victory or Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Nordland Guide 2/5/11
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2011, 04:32:43 AM »
The Grand Barony of Nordland
Elector: Theodoric Gausser
State Livery: Blue and Yellow
Heraldic Devices: Galleons and Anchors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 06:57:15 PM by S.O.F »
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Offline S.O.F

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2012, 05:03:20 AM »
Right so I have near on 78 pages typed on the subject of the Empire from various sources but if there are intrepid other fluff enthusiasts that want this to continue and help me out I am willing to give out sections and have other folks write them. I'd really like to have this done so I'm looking at you other fluff bunny folks please.....

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

Love to hear from applicants.
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Offline Derek Contyre

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2012, 12:48:41 PM »
If i ever finish my background I would be happy to help.... Just gained some more inspiration to start writing my stuff again :):)
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Offline commandant

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2012, 06:17:37 PM »


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

Wasn't he a woman?

Offline S.O.F

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire:Added Nuln 10/17
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2012, 08:12:02 PM »
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Offline commandant

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2012, 01:49:26 PM »
Thought so, though how offical is that fluff?

Offline wissenlander

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2012, 02:09:24 PM »
Not very official.  And it's a bit of a spoiler, too.
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Offline commandant

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2012, 02:23:00 PM »
Did you not see it coming a mile away?

Offline warhammerlord_soth

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2012, 02:24:37 PM »
Did you not see it coming a mile away?


No, because the plot, as in all BL books, was so intricately woven it was impossible to do so...
Have one  on Midaski's tab.  :::cheers:::
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Offline wissenlander

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2012, 02:26:39 PM »
Did you not see it coming a mile away?

More the principal of the matter than anything else.  Can't attest for the rest of BL's stuff, Soth, but that series was fairly unique and quite good I thought.
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Offline S.O.F

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2012, 08:52:03 PM »
Not very official.  And it's a bit of a spoiler, too.

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

A side note though is that this tale was given a nod in the Ambassador series being that the reason for the main characters posting to Kislev was in part due to knowing a bit too much about Leos and the Countess not being to pleased with said knowledge.
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Offline wissenlander

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Looking for aid....
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2013, 05:30:29 PM »
That's interesting.  Didn't know that.
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Offline S.O.F

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2013, 05:26:39 AM »
The Grand Barony of Hochland
Elector: Aldebrand Ludenhof
State Livery: Green and Red
Heraldic Devices: Imperial Cross and the Hunting Horn. Currently also bears the initials of Emperor Karl Franz in gratitude for the service of Hochland troops in saving his life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland 4/27/13
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2013, 12:59:41 PM »
Good stuff.  Where's the Wissenland part? :wink:
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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland 4/27/13
« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2013, 09:29:40 PM »
Where's the Wissenland part? :wink:

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

Ostermark and Solland are what are farthest along with Sylvania not far behind. I really need to work on the cities more as they do have the greatest wealth of background though the Altdorf stuff is annoyingly contradictory.
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Ostermark Guide Draft
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2013, 10:49:39 PM »
The League of Ostermark
Elector: Wolfram Hertwig
State Livery: Purple and Yellow or Purple and White
Heraldic Devices: Crowned Manitcore Rampant and the Crowned Griffon with a Star

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

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

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

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

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

Famous Regiments
The Death’s Heads of Ostermark
During the era of the Imperial Civil Wars, Ostermark suffered greatly at the hands of its neighbors. Ardent supporters of the properly elected Emperor, Ostermark often drew the ire and invasion of the much closer Ottilian pretender. Despite its loyalty, Ostermark rarely enjoyed any aid from the Elected Emperor and after centuries of poor treatment by the hands of Talabecland armies there was great deal of discontentment among the League’s nobility. In order to find stability and protection for their fiefs, some lords withdrew from the league and pledged fealty to neighboring states, the largest of these defection being the city of Essen coming under the protection of the Von Carsteins of Sylvania. Initially Essen enjoyed renewed prosperity, the Von Carsteins were demanding lieges but they did at least protect the city from Ottillian armies and keep the roads clear of bandits, but by the beginning of the second millennium the Rothsmeyer Barons of Essen had had enough. The Von Carsteins imposed increasingly greater tax levies upon the town to the point that they could no longer be afforded.
In 2009 IC, Baron Heinz Rothsmeyer refused to continue his vassalage and was slain shortly afterward.  Vlad von Carstein revealed himself as a Vampire Count later that year set about the claiming the entire Empire as his own. The rebellious streak of Essen however did not die with its Baron. Ruled by Vampire noble and policed by Sylvanian troops loyal to Vlad, the town remained a constant hotbed of agitation. In the midst of Vlad’s drive on Altdorf the city rose in rebellion. Discarding their old liveries, a collection of desperate ex-soldiers and militiamen donned red and black uniforms with skeletal masks which obscured their faces and set about throwing off the Vampire Count’s rule. The Sylvanian garrison was unprepared for such a concerted effort and the band liberated Essen easily. Had Vlad proved victorious in the west, the group would have most likely suffered ghastly deaths at the hands of the Count but as Vlad was slain on the walls of Altdorf, the band expanded to regimental size, attracting many recruits from those that had suffered under the draconian rule of Vampire masters.
The Wars of the Vampire Counts continued for another eighty years after Vlad’s death and the Death’s Heads, as the regiment became known, served with distinction at almost all of the major engagements.  After the wars the regiment became an official part of Ostermark’s army and retained their unique uniforms. Today the regiment is recruited throughout the province, especially from veteran soldiers that have seen service against the undead. The regiment’s heraldry is a white laurel and skull upon a red field.   
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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Hochland 4/27/13 Ostermark 5/7/13
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2014, 02:04:47 AM »
Right so update news. So late Winter/Spring is the off season for my work and with extra time have been plugging away again (aside from edits and changes I'd been throwing in before). Wissenland, Solland, and The Moot should hopefully be out this month as I have the bulk of those at least noted to the points I want to address (Wissenland and Solland has been the most work as to put what information where and try and avoid being redundant).

Anyway there is much other stuff to do and I welcome anyone who may wish to aid. In particular I have lots of holes in sections of general Imperial History that need filling. Certain bits I fleshed out and at least have some notes on direction but others I don't know when I will get to: Sigmar and Unification, The Ravages of Gothor, The Vampire Wars, and the Great War on Chaos/Magnus the Pious. Also some general work on writing about the Colleges of Magic and how they fit in Imperial society are not well developed other than the Patriarch names from RoS2 and the intro blob. I'm not big on Wizardy things so it has been the hardest to get my interest to write. Anyway PM or respond if interested.
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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Soon Wissenland, Solland, The Moot
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2014, 05:19:18 PM »
Looking forward to it.  Been waiting patiently for years.  Years...

;)
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Re: Historical interlude
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2014, 11:44:39 PM »
Right so promised things are close but this had been niggling at me so...Historical interlude:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lands of the Reik basin were of course not uninhabitated, as the old men, the Belthani still lived much as they had centuries before. The newcomers were however a far more bellicose people and gradually all those that resided were subject to or slaughtered by the invaders. The terms of this subjugation is unknown but the new gods brought from the south came to dominate and the older methods of worship vanished.
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Offline S.O.F

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2014, 11:06:22 PM »
Right Wissenland...still trying to settle the parts that may move to Solland but still

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Famous Regiments
Garrison Regiments
Fortifications without men to defend them are of little use and as such, a good deal of Wissenland’s military expenditures goes toward the state regiments which are tasked with maintaining the province’s borders. Each fortress houses a complement of state troops and each of these regiments is named for the fortress in which they are barracked. Most of these regiments are made up of light troops as most fortresses are in regions that require regular patrols to which more heavily armed troops are less fit to perform. The crossbow is by far the most common weapon in part thanks to Tilean influences as well as it is a weapon far more resilient to adverse conditions. Handgun armed troops are at the mercy of their supplies of powder and match cord which in foul weather or through poor storage can be rendered useless. Smaller portions of these regiments are reserved as dedicated melee troops predominately tasked with guarding the keep in which they are housed but also protecting the flanks of the regiment should it need to be employed in an open battle.     
   These regiments are traditionally drawn from towns and villages as close to their cantonments as possible. Men with a closer connection to the lands to which they are directly defending are seen as steadier than those drawn from farther afield. Kreutzhofen, Steingart, and Wusterburg are common recruiting centers but particularly across old Solland there is hardly enough population to keep the forts at full strength. Recruits from further north in Wissenland are used to supplement these shortfalls, along with foreigners and men from other provinces if needs maybe. As they are considered Wissenland’s first line of defense, they are accorded pay and privileges which keep morale even for those non-local recruits generally quite high.   
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Offline wissenlander

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2014, 02:23:18 PM »
Well done. :eusa_clap:
Me and Wissenlander had babies!

not together.

finding photographic evidense that Wiss smiles is going to be hard...

Offline Khalim

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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2014, 11:07:52 PM »
Keep up the good work S.O.F!

Offline Krudenwald

  • Posts: 417
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Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2014, 04:41:34 AM »
Your work is always appreciated, S.O.F.!
No, I'm sending it to people I reckon I can trust. Or, at least, people I think I can murder should it become neccesary.

Offline S.O.F

  • Posts: 2604
Re: WIP Guide to the Empire: Wissenland now up
« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2014, 02:33:49 AM »
Thanks gents...Solland is coming along...may even be an homage to something on this fine site...
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