The Empire

Together we stand divided

Characteristics

The Empire is the largest and most powerful of all the nations of the Old World. The Empire is bordered by the nation of Kislev to the north and the Sea of Claws, the World’s Edge Mountains to the east, and the Great Ocean, Black Mountains, Grey Mountains, the land of Bretonnia to the west, and the Border Princes to the south. To the east the Empire is threatened by the Orcs and Goblins. A large amount of the Empire is heavily forested and large numbers of Beastmen can be found in the deepest forests.

Political Structure

The Empire is a confederation of ten eleven? large provinces: Averland, Hochland, Middenland, Nordland, Ostland, Ostermark, Reikland, Stirland, Talabecland, Wissenland, each of which is ruled by an Elector Count. There were originally two more provinces Drakwald (lands now under the jurisdiction of the Elector Counts of Middenland) and Solland (lands now under the Elector Counts of Wissenland). Another, Westerland, was originally the areas around Marienburg.

The provinces and their counts are derived from the twelve chieftains that followed the god Sigmar. The naming of some provinces of The Empire are also derived from the river that flows through them, like the river Reik flows through The Reikland, the Talabec through Talabecland and Talabheim and such. Also, some of the major cities of the Empire became more important and as such are classed as city-states; namely

  • Altdorf, in Reikland.
  • Nuln, on the borders of Wissenland, Averland and Stirland.
  • Talabheim, in Talabecland.
  • Middenheim, in Middenland.
  • Sudenburg is an Imperial enclave in Araby

The Empire is nominally ruled by the Emperor who is chosen by majority voting of the various electors. The electors are the ten Elector Counts, the Grand Theogonist of the Sigmarite Church, the two “Arch Lectors” who are also clerics of the Sigmar church, the High Priest of Ulric and the Elder of the Moot (representing the halflings). Karl Franz, of the Holswig-Schliestein family, is the current Emperor. The Emperor is usually also one of the Elector Counts; Karl-Franz is the Elector Count of Reikland.

Religion

The religion of the Empire is polytheistic, with the god Sigmar being the most important. Sigmar was a mortal man, who was elevated to equal status with the other gods of the Old World Pantheon after his disappearance following the establishment of the Empire. The Grand Theogonist is the leader of the Church of Sigmar and is analogous to the Pope. Sigmar’s worship is strongest in Altdorf but runs throughout the Empire. Some regions, however, have a stronger link to other gods, such as the Middenheimers who revere Ulric before all others and Talabecland who revere the god Taal. Other gods commonly worshipped in the Empire are Manann along coastal regions and rivers, and Morr by the grieving or those facing death.

Military

The armies of the Empire are amongst the most diverse in the Old World. Older forms of troops like spearmen, swordsmen and halberdiers, crossbowmen, and archers especially the personal bodyguard of the Elector Counts the Greatswords who fight alongside more ‘modern’ troops like cannon, Handgunners and Pistoliers. The inventiveness of the Empire has produced war-machines such as a steam-powered tank, rocket batteries and volleyguns, and in the last edition such steam-punk elements as mechanical horses are also present.

The Empire is also noted for having excellent cavalry in the form of its Orders of Knights. The Empire also often fields state-trained Battle Wizards and religious fanatics known as Flagellants. The armies can be led by Imperial Generals, Grand Masters of the various Knightly Orders, Captains chosen by the Counts, Warrior Priests and Arch Lectors of Sigmar, or even the mighty imperial warlord Emperor Karl-Franz himself.

The historical example for this army is the Early Modern German army, especially that of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and the Landsknechts.

Alliances

The Dwarfs are the Empire’s closest ally and have been from its very founding. This alliance provided not only military support but also technological and commercial trading. A large contingent of Dwarfs have settled in the Empire and owe their allegiance to the Emperor rather than their ancestral homelands.

Bretonnia is an oft rival of the Empire in both trade and war, but in the most dire situations Bretonnia has supported the Empire with a few troops, notably in the recent Storm of Chaos. The wintry kingdom of Kislev to the north and east has been on good terms with the Empire ever since the Great War against Chaos and the then-Tzar declared Magnus the “Eternal Friend of the People”, and their forces have fought together against common enemies many times since. Ties with the High Elves are strong and growing.

The Wood Elves have also been one of the Empire’s allies in times of turmoil, fighting against the beastmen inside the Forest of Shadows, and killing Morghur, master of skulls when he was reborn in that place.

The Empire maintains a cool relationship with its former province of Marienburg, the city of merchants. Trade and travel are maintained with the countries of Tilea and Estalia. Great caravans transverse the mountains and continents to bring sought-after goods and treasures from Ind and Grand Cathay in the east. Although Imperials know little of the East, it appears that they are unwitting allies against Chaos.

In the desert lands of Araby, the Imperial colony of Sudenburg has been established along its coast. Arabian trade is also heavy, and extravagant tales are told of the fabulous and wondrous realm of the Sultans.








The Empire

Buried but not Forgotten Edward_D