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"When one is tired of Altdorf, one is tired of life."

—Siegfried Johanson, noted rake-about-town[22a]

As the seat of Emperor Karl Franz, Altdorf is the de facto capital of the Empire,[7p] and it has been the Imperial capital since the accession of Wilhelm III, Prince of Altdorf, almost a hundred years ago. As the current seat of the Imperial Court, Altdorf supports a flourishing economy, which attracts all kinds of people. It is a bustling city with a substantial community of merchants, adventurers, mercenaries and fortune seekers from all across the Old World. The wealth passing through Altdorf's gates and the political intrigues that unfold within its courts also support a rotten underbelly, a den for thieves, corrupt city officials and assassins.[9e][9f] Cultists gather by night, ever hunted by prowling Witch Hunters.[35e] There are certain streets that even the city watch avoids at night for fear of finding a dagger stuck between their shoulder blades.[9e][9f]

Aside from the Imperial Court, Altdorf houses many of the nation's other preeminent institutions. The city is renowned as a centre of learning and the University of Altdorf is the most highly respected academic institution in the Empire, where lords and princes from many lands come to sit at the feet of Mankind's foremost thinkers. Altdorf is also home to some of the most important organisations in the Old World such as the Colleges of Magic — the centres of magical lore and learning that are justly famous throughout the Empire and beyond. It is here that the Old World's finest mages learn their art, and where the Empire's deadly Battle Wizards are trained, making it the magical capital of the Old World. Another great institution is the Imperial Engineers School, founded by the Tilean genius Leonardo da Miragliano, where some of the greatest inventions have been made.[3b][9e][9f][35e][40c][40d]

Altdorf stands astride the confluence of the rivers Reik and Talabec, and is renowned for the numerous bridges that traverse these waterways. Many of these bridges were designed by the Imperial Engineers School, and are equipped with hissing steam-driven pistons that raise and lower them in all manner of unusual ways, allowing the many trade ships to travel further up the Reik. The Reiksport, home of the Imperial Navy, is a deep-water harbour built on the shores of Altdorf, where ocean-going ships can unload their cargos.[9e][9f] However, if the merchants want to continue shipping their goods upriver must transfer them to riverboats, and thus pay relevant taxes and duties to the city.[18e]

The city also boasts the famous Imperial Zoo, which houses all manner of large and fearsome monsters, some of which are trained and harnessed as beasts of war. These creatures have been captured from every corner of the Empire, as well as a few more curious specimens from the Northern Wastes.[3b][9e][9e]

Between merchants, pilgrims to the Cathedral of Sigmar, and visitors to the city's numerous government buildings, libraries, and university, Altdorf sees a huge number of visitors. These visitors, in turn, are served by a large sector of inns, taverns, and breweries.[20a]

Altdorf is very well defended. It is enveloped by strong white walls with red slate roofs. It has a large garrison and is home to several knightly orders, including the famous Reiksguard.[41a]


"The stench betrays our city's true nature. It rots from within, and as it decays, so too does our mighty land!"

—Seiger Rohr, Street Preacher[32a]

The bustling Streets of Altdorf

Altdorf ’s rich history begins well before folk knew it by this name. Indeed, it begins long before the foundation of the Empire. Its story is inseparable from that of Sigmar, or of the Empire he founded. Long before Humans inhabited the region, a settlement was established where the rivers meet. Kor Vanaeth was an elven city founded during the reign of Phoenix King Bel Shanaar the Explorer (−4419 IC to −2750 IC). According to the High Elves this was little more than a backwater trading town, but Dwarf loremasters suggest that it was a site of unseemly magical experimentation. Dwarfs stormed the city during the War of the Beard circa −1850 IC. The Dwarfs toppled Kor Vanaeth’s tall towers, and buried the elven monuments there. The Dwarfs occupied the area for a short while, but retreated to their mountain holds when their struggles with the Goblins began. Primitive agrarian tribes moved into the space, raising mysterious Ogham stones and trading with the Grey Mountain Dwarfs.[74b]

Coming of the Unberogen

"In Reikdorf Town did Sigmar stand
and great Empire of Man found he.
There Reik, the bless'ed river, swell'd.
Upon whose banks all great men dwell'd
and would for etern'ty.

—Sighardt Schneider-Koller, from Sigmar, Emperor!, 1797 IC[27a]

Around −1000 IC bellicose human tribes migrated into the lands now called the Empire. They brought with them their gods: Taal, Rhya, Ulric, and Manann. They conquered the Ogham-raisers, those who worshipped the Old Faith. The Unberogens were one of these warrior tribes. By −600 IC they had settled in the Reik basin, the area between the Grey Mountains and the river Reik. Their greatest settlement was built at the confluence of the Reik and Talabec. They called it Reikdorf, meaning ‘town of the river’. They were soon bolstered by a small community of Dwarfs who assisted with the construction of the town’s defences and shared their expertise in blacksmithing. In recognition of its many armouries, the Dwarf quarter soon became known as ‘Metallschlacke’.[74d]

The islands and mudflats that resulted from the rivers’ commingling formed a prized strategic position. Archaeological investigations suggest that at least two areas of modern Altdorf lie over prehistoric settlements. The K Önigplatz is said to be on the site of the Unberogen chieftain’s palace. The hill upon which the Imperial palace now stands was the site of an early fortress and watchtower. Easily fortified, Reikdorf flourished. The muddy riverbanks yielded red clay used in the manufacture of pottery, and the flat plains between the rivers made fine pastures. The Unberogens were known for their wealth in cattle, and the ferocity with which they defended their herds.[74d]

Capital of a New Empire

Over centuries the Unberogens waged bloody war, or formed fragile alliances, with tribes such as the Thurigians and the Teutogens. In −30 IC the child Sigmar was born to Reikdorf ’s chieftain and chieftess. The boy was strong and charismatic, even winning the gratitude of the Dwarf High King Kurgan Ironbeard after saving him from the clutches of Orcs. After Sigmar was made chief, he led a campaign of vengeance against marauding Norsii for the murder of his father, and defied Teutogen brigands who raided cattle. He became convinced that the human tribes would not flourish unless unified and directed under his leadership, and led the Unberogens in a campaign of conquest until twelve tribes recognised him as overlord.[74d]

Sigmar then marched an army to Black Fire Pass, where a horde of Orcs and Goblins had mustered, threatening to overwhelm his Dwarf allies. The Humans and Dwarfs bloodily repulsed the Greenskins, and Sigmar demonstrated that his Empire was a force to be reckoned with. Reikdorf grew in wealth and power, and the people of the Reikland established many smaller settlements. Surplus from bumper harvests was sent to Reikdorf, along with shipments of locally produced wool, leather, pottery, and timber, and from there it was distributed throughout the Empire. A nascent merchant class emerged and crafters travelled to the city, experts in forging swords, weaving cloth, and brewing fine ales. When Sigmar left the Empire, the Unberogens were quick to believe that he had joined the pantheon of the gods. Johann Helsturm, who would go on to become the first Grand Theogonist, directed the construction of Sigmar’s original temple in Reikdorf.[74d]

Dirty Old Town

By 500 IC the burgeoning Reikdorf was home to thousands of citizens. Emperor Sigismund the Conqueror issued an edict that houses must be built from stone rather than flammable wood, but such was the influx of new residents that this went largely ignored. History records that he was the first to officially refer to the city as Altdorf, and that he commissioned Dwarf masons to construct the great white walls about the city. In 557 IC Sigismund’s son, Siegfried the Lawgiver, moved his court to Nuln.[74d]

The disgusted Emperor was heard to exclaim: ‘The reeking streets of Altdorf can go to Morr!’ Hereafter Altdorf became known as ‘The Great Reek’, and Nuln gained a reputation as a royal city of import, high culture, and relatively clean air (at least until the establishment of the Imperial Gunnery School). Altdorf remained important due to the increasing importance of Sigmar’s cult and the wealth generated by trade. During the later years of the first millennium, bandits plagued the Empire. In this time, the worship of Sigmar was a beacon of hope and essential for Imperial unity.[74d] By 990 IC the cult had grown popular and powerful. Grand Theogonist Zigmund II financed extensive renovation of the Imperial Palace, involving the addition of extensive kitchens, feast halls, and a reinforced privy. Wild parties were held, with the Emperor as guest of honour. Emperor Ludwig was enticed, moved the Imperial court back to Altdorf, and signed a charter granting electoral votes to the Grand Theogonist and his two senior lectors. Zigmund II died in bed a short while after, asphyxiated by his own neck fat. The Cult of Sigmar completed work on Altdorf ’s Cathedral of Sigmar ten years later — one thousand years after the Battle of Black Fire Pass. Emperor Ludwig waddled up the stone steps to slash apart the ribbon and lead a congregation of awestruck Altdorfers inside. Grand Theogonist Uthorson read for this congregation from a newly compiled lexicon of Sigmarite lore, the Life of Sigmar.[74d]

Miasma and Filthy Heirs

Feelings of renewed honour and confidence in the Empire and its Emperor did not last. As an Emperor Ludwig was selfish, lazy, and greedy, but he kept the electors happy. His heirs learned this essential tactic for retaining power; the Hohenbach dynasty was a nasty, brutish, and thankfully short line of Altdorf Emperors. Boris Goldgather, also known as Boris the Incompetent, inherited the crown in 1053 IC. His name is a byword for grasping avarice and dithering ineptitude. His heavy taxes and extravagant consumption sparked civil unrest. His mismanagement was legendary. In return for a gift of rare wines he provided Kemperbad with a charter in 1066 IC, removing its obligations to Reikland.[74d]

His scheme to ennoble his favourite racehorse panicked the electors, and resulted in the creation of the Prime Estates as an attempt to check Imperial power. His friend Grand Theogonist Uthorson was wisely denounced as a follower of the Ruinous Powers , inciting further outrage. Boris’s troops bloodily suppressed the resulting riot, but resentments continued to simmer. Ignoring the advice of Shallyans and physicians, Boris demanded people work and raise tax to fund measures he deemed necessary for the prosperity of the Empire. This meant relocating his court to Carroburg, a cleaner, less populous city. Even conservative Altdorfers celebrated the passing of Boris Goldgather in 1115 IC, but worse was to come. The Skaven, a menace hidden throughout most of the Empire’s history, were behind the pestilence and emboldened by its success. These loathsome rat-men openly reaved throughout the Empire. Anarchy reigned, and the people prioritised day-to-day survival over social niceties and the election of a new Emperor.[74d]

Diminishing Influence

Mandred Ratslayer drove the Skaven back underground, and brought a sense of security and stability to the Empire. He was crowned and moved the Imperial court to Middenheim in 1124 IC, and Altdorf ’s importance waned. The focus of trade moved northward and the Cult of Sigmar had to acknowledge an openly Ulrican emperor. As fashion-conscious socialites abandoned Altdorf, the luxury trade collapsed and debts went unpaid. Riots and fires broke out and the Cult of Sigmar attempted to take control of the city. Its cynical ‘Bread for Believers’ policy rewarded citizens with food if they swore oaths of loyalty to the cult. Altdorfers defrauded the drive so extensively that the cult’s coffers were soon exhausted, and once the handouts dried up so did people’s new-found piety.[74d]

The merchant class took advantage of the power vacuum, and the city saw the rise of organised guilds, promising security for their members. In the wake of the turmoil of the Skaven invasion many peasants flocked to Altdorf to occupy empty houses and join a guild. This abandonment of the country, combined with poor harvests, beggared Reikland’s Elector. In order to keep himself solvent, the Grand Count of the Reikland sold many privileges to the Prince of Altdorf. The now-Grand Prince effectively ruled the province, and had to bear the expense. By the end of the 1200s, Altdorf ’s rulers were known as ‘The Poor Princes’. Bribery and corruption became endemic, furthering the rise of the merchant class.[74d]

Hard Times and Dark Ages

By 1547 IC Altdorf was regaining some of its former pride. When Gorbad Ironclaw assailed the city in 1701 IC, he found the Altdorfers to be staunch defenders. Even with the death of Emperor Sigismund IV, the citizens of the city remained resilient and derived strength from the worship of Sigmar. In the aftermath of the siege, Altdorf was rocked by scandal as witch hunters uncovered a number of Chaos cults in the city. Authorities established the execution site of Crackle Hill to the south of the city so that the consorts of daemons met their executioners beyond the city walls. In 1937 IC the reigning Emperor Carolus I made the fatal mistake of trusting the Great Enchanter.[74d]

He and his court met their demise at the poisoned feast in the dining hall of Castle Drachenfels. After Grand Theogonist Vilgrim III refused to recognise the election of Magritta of Nuln in 1979 IC, the Empire devolved into a series of uncooperative, and often belligerent, provinces. The fact that Altdorf and Nuln had so often been the site of Imperial courts in the past saw the western Empire enjoy a degree of stability that wasn’t the case elsewhere. Both cities maintained rulers called Emperors, even if they didn’t have much of an Empire to rule. Power even returned to Altdorf for a while with the rule of Eberhardt the Just of the Holzkrug line, a glint of light in an age of darkness. Eberhardt had trained to be a priest of Shallya until leadership of the Holzkrug Dynasty, thrust upon him, gained him the title of Emperor. He founded the Great Hospice.[74d]

Streets of Blood

The vampiric rulers of the renegade County of Sylvania laid siege to Altdorf in 2051 IC and 2132 IC, breaching the walls and causing tremendous loss of life. Their terror tactic of launching corpses from catapults caused a resurgence of plague and deprivation. Again, the Altdorfers were defiant, even adopting the Shade of Death as their own grim heraldic device. During the Vampire Wars, many newcomers arrived in Altdorf as refugees. They congregated in the East End and docklands areas, a starving diseased mass crammed into the tiny tenements there. The guilds were unable to offer the newcomers legitimate labour, and so a new power grew in Altdorf: the dockside gangs. Many small gangs emerged and subsided, but the Hooks and the Fish of today trace their emergence to this time. Whilst the von Carstein Vampires waged war on the city, the two gangs waged war on each other. Following the defeat of Mannfred von Carstein in 2132 IC, Altdorf entered a period of relative peace known as The Great Reconstruction. Every able-bodied adult was expected to aid in the rebuilding of the city or risk losing their citizenship. Many protested, but after the bitter experience of the gang wars, they lacked the spirit to riot.[74d]

Reign of Magnus the Pious

Altdorf was among the first cities to throw its support behind Magnus the Pious in his efforts to liberate Kislev from the hordes of Asavar Kul during the Great War Against Chaos. With victory achieved, both Magnus and Loremaster Teclis considered Altdorf a perfect site for the establishment of the Colleges of Magic. The news disturbed many of Altdorf ’s residents, and riots erupted throughout the summer of 2304 IC. The elven Archmage worked a great ritual to ensure that Altdorf would be able to support the existence of arcane laboratories and training facilities. This warped a great swathe of the city’s north, turning it into a territory in flux to suit the needs of the wizards. Pandemonium ensued as folk found their homes had moved or vanished. Residents of the Hexxerbezrik, as the area about the colleges became known, learned to navigate by landmarks rather than trusting on streets to remain connected as once they had been. Guides became common, and the watchmen stepped up patrols to prevent rioters from assaulting wizards in the street. The wizards quickly learned to court the guilds and nobility, and Altdorf ’s Grand Prince grew wary of them. The Reikland Diet approved a set of new laws to ensure that wizards were bound by additional regulations to prevent them from dominating trade, owning land, or agitating for political causes. The wizards complained, but were obliged to agree that the compromises were preferable to being burned at the stake.[74d]

The Capital Restored

By 2429 IC, Altdorf was outraged that Emperor Dieter IV had colluded with the burghers of Marienburg to award the city its independence. Grand Theogonist Hedrich excoriated the Emperor for selling a part of the Empire, and the guilds of Altdorf reacted with economic sanctions. Fish war chiefs were more pragmatic, sending envoys to the newly independent city to open links with Marienburg’s smugglers and their Altdorf associates. Legal trade between the cities dropped off, but illicit trade flourished. The electors could not allow Dieter to remain on the throne, and replaced him with Wilhelm Holswig-Schliestein, Grand Prince of Altdorf. The guilds publically swore allegiance to Wilhelm III and scrambled for Imperial patronage. Wilhelm raised significant funds by auctioning off favours and appointments. He sought to wage war on the Westerland and retake Marienburg. After the disastrous battle of Grootscher Marsh, he recognised the Wasteland’s independence and entitled Dieter the Grand Duke and Elector Count of Talabecland.[74d]

Following this setback, Wilhelm rescued his reputation by engaging in a number of popular civic works. He sponsored the improvement of roads between the major cities of the Empire, and worked to improve sanitation and the effectiveness of the Watch in Altdorf. Following the Great Fire of Altdorf, he ordered that many of the devastated streets be rebuilt to more sensible plans, and with stone buildings. He also curbed the rights of wizards to test experimental magic outside of given areas. Wilhelm had a complicated relationship with the Colleges of Magic. In the early years of his rule, he worked closely with the Celestial and Grey Colleges, who advised him on how to wrest back power and control from the merchant class. However, when a trio of illusionists attached to a theatre company made off with treasure from Wilhelm’s vaults, he responded by ordering a mass trial for wizards on charges of witchcraft. No doubt many wizards were bitter about this, but Wilhelm’s resulting popularity with Altdorf ’s superstitious citizens made it difficult for them to object too vociferously.[74d]

House of the Third Wilhelm

Despite his mixed success as Emperor, Wilhelm III was fondly remembered and the dynasty he founded, the House of the Third Wilhelm, has the affection of the people whilst remaining unambitious and eccentric enough not to alarm the electors. As such, they are likely to retain power for the foreseeable future. Wilhelm’s son, Matthias IV, was a prudent if melancholy prince. He disappeared in 2438 IC. He went out into one of the Altdorf fogs to discover what the common folk thought of their Emperor, and was never seen again. Even seventy years later, vagrants sometimes appear at the palace gates, claiming to be the rightful Emperor. Emperor Mattheus II was beloved of the common folk and a strong believer in democratic principles, but nearly lost the confidence of the Electors when he tried to write a constitution for the Empire built around the Council of State. This was quietly quashed.[74d]

Emperor Luitpold was a paranoid ruler, prone to seeing spirits, and was always concerned about his family’s safety. Fortunately for the Empire, his paranoia manifested itself as an eagerness to satisfy the Electors rather than fight with them. During his rule, the House of the Third Wilhelm regained the confidence that Mattheus had risked. Offered the chance to support Oswald von Konigswald’s plan to infiltrate Castle Drachenfels and kill the Great Enchanter, Luitpold declined. Shamed by Oswald’s success, the Emperor planned to send an army to cleanse the castle and raze it to the ground, but Oswald persuaded him to let it stand.[74d]

The Waterfront War

In Altdorf ’s Dockland and the teeming rookeries of the East End, few people care about the edicts and intrigues hatched in the Imperial court. There, life is managed by two sprawling and violent dockside gangs. By 2500 I.C., tensions between the Hooks and the Fish were at a peak. A commonplace brawl on the Street of a Hundred Taverns escalated into what the newssheets termed ‘The Waterfront War’. The usual drunken fisticuffs turned into a campaign of running battles and tit-fortat murder that terrorised the citizens of the East End for five years. One night, a number of war chiefs from both the Hooks and the Fish vanished without trace. Word on the street had it that the hard-boiled watchman Harald Kleindienst, having lost family to the violence, put an end to them. The Waterfront War reduced significantly in severity following the disappearances, but it never truly ended. The two gangs still pursue their bloody vendettas.[74d]

The Rule of Karl-Franz

Upon the death of Luitpold in 2502 IC, his son Karl-Franz was elected. Karl-Franz continues the style of statesmanship practised by his father. He is exceedingly careful, ensuring that no one gets special treatment unless doing so would meet the approval of other power brokers. He has a thorough understanding of leverage, and many of his successes involve assuring petitioners that, even if they haven’t got what they might have wanted, no precedent has been set for their rivals to demand similar privileges. Using such tactics, he was able to convince the guilds of Altdorf to sign on to the infamous Stench Act of 2506 IC. The guilds were drawn into committing themselves to large fines and fees, not because they believed in a cleaner Altdorf, but because they thought the cost would destroy rival guilds. But not all the Emperor’s decisions were so well conceived. He has agreed to delegate much of Altdorf ’s policy on taxation to Chancellor Mornan Tybalt, whose methods of raising revenue have sparked riots on more than one occasion. During the Window Tax riots, the Reiksguard were deployed against the mob, resulting in carnage. A few years later, Mornan again instituted an unpopular tax: a 2 crown tax on all able-bodied Imperial citizens. This fanned the flames of the revolutionary movements, whose agitators dubbed it the Thumb Tax. Horrified by a series of gruesome murders and inspired by the revolutionary rhetoric of the Kislevite agitator Yevgeny Yefimovich, rioting erupted throughout Altdorf, with much of the anger directed at aristocrats. Short-lived but intensely destructive, the riots were quelled when Yefimovich was unmasked as a mutated devotee of Tzeentch. The Fish, who threw in their lot with the rioters, subsequently suffered a significant loss of face whilst the Hooks, who mainly assisted in policing the riots, clawed back losses they had suffered during the Waterfront War.[74d]


"There’s these two thick Stirlanders getting drunk in a field one night and worrying the sheep when one of them gets an idea in his head. I know, I know — it was a shock to him too! He’s that surprised, the straw drops from his mouth! He turns to his mate and says, “Oi Rolf, what’s further away do ye reckon, Altdorf or Mannslieb?” The other one rolls his eyes. Well, he tries to, save they’re so close set he finds it difficult! So instead he just sighs and says, “ Ye daft blighter, Altdorf of course! Ye can’t even see it from ’ere!"

— Gruenlieb the Greasy, once Court Jester to the late Emperor Luitpold[74a]

The Harbors of Altdorf

Spires of Altdorf

Surrounded by tall white walls, Altdorf is the hub of the Empire, home of the Imperial Palace and the Grand Cathedral of Sigmar. Celebrated as the site of Sigmar’s birth, Altdorf has always been the centre of his cult. Throughout the history of the Empire, Emperors have held their courts elsewhere due to the vagaries of civil war and changing fashion, but Altdorf has always been an important city. With the rise of the House of the Third Wilhelm in 2429 IC, the royal court returned to Altdorf. It remains there to this day. Altdorf might appear to outsiders as a sprawling, monolithic thing — an undifferentiated mass of buildings thankfully trapped behind towering walls that protect decent rural folk from the city’s many scandals and depredations.[74a]

To Altdorf’s populace their home, scandals and depredations included, can be divided into three distinct sections, as different from one another as any of the Empire’s vast provinces. South of the Reik is commonly referred to as The Southbank and houses many of Altdorf’s upper-class homes, its finest buildings, vying political and religious centres, and its few sparse green spaces. This excessive grandeur is counterpointed by The East End, nestled between the confluence of the Reik and Talabec. It has an admittedly deserved reputation for poverty, crime, and revolutionary sentiment. To its residents The East End is the real Altdorf, full of people who, if not always honest or decent, are certainly people. The City North makes up the rest of Altdorf, and indeed it can feel like a jumble of assorted and competing interests. Here one can find the capital’s infamous Colleges of Magic, its more mundane university, and the most bewildering array of businesses and commercial interests east of Marienburg.[74a]

Altdorf is sited around the confluence of two mighty rivers, the Talabec and the Reik. It is a city of bridges and islands, but extends widely on the banks of the rivers. The mingling of the waters results in a maze of mudflats, channels, and small islands, though through the miraculous works of Dwarf and Human engineers — and the enchantments of wizards — the land now occupied by the city is mostly firm and stable. Altdorf enjoys the same temperate climate the rest of the Reikland is known for. In the winter, the frosts rarely bite too painfully — though chunks of ice make the rivers treacherous. During a hot summer, the sun is never too merciless, but the humidity and stench become oppressive. However, the city is famed for the thick fogs that rise from the rivers and nearby wetlands. Most mornings the city is lost in a grey haze, and in autumn and spring the fog can persist from dawn until dusk. Cartographers often claim that the city defies their surveys, and lay the blame for this on the warping effects of the city’s many magical institutions. There is truth in this, but the fact that so much of the city is so often swathed in mist results in much of the confusion.[74a]


"We’ve barely a week left in Altdorf and there’s still so much we haven’t seen. Yesterday I had to postpone my jaunt to the Imperial Zoo because it was raining, and I do so want to be able to make my donation to the Hospice in person, but if I do I’ll either miss the opportunity to see the latest haul of the Sudenburg brute finders or I’ll have to rebook seats to dear Detlef ’s latest drama. Decisions!"

—Clothilde von Alptraum, Young Noblewoman of Averland[74a]

The Coat of Arms of the City of Altdorf

Altdorf is known for its university, colleges of magic, libraries, diplomats, and eating houses. A varied programme of entertainments is available to help provide citizens with distractions from their woes, as well as a common communal and spiritual experience outside that offered by the religious cults. Altdorf ’s many theatres run lavish productions of plays and operas. The great Tarradasch penned many of these, and his work remains the measure for all authors and playwrights. The Imperial elite like to regard themselves as patrons of the arts as well as defenders of the nation. The more philanthropically inclined sponsor whole theatres, whilst the less generous maintain private boxes so they can make a point of their attendance far from the muddy crowd in the stalls.[74a]

Magic and Engineering

"Oh yes, you meet mages round here from time to time. Nice folk in the main. Try doing a good turn for those ones in the shiny robes and they don’t half tip generously. I ain’t too keen on those blue fellers mind, the stargazers. Got a way of looking at a man that I don’t quite care for.’"

—Gurt Hartmann, Bawd, shortly before his arrest and summary execution [74a]

Altdorf is the centre of magical learning in the Empire, and each of the eight magical traditions prescribed by Imperial law has a college in or around the city. Wizards, once feared and persecuted throughout the nation, are now treated with a spirit of cautious toleration and even hailed for their assistance in military actions. Still, some remain objects of suspicion to most everyday folk, as all magic is said to have its ultimate origins in the Realm of Chaos, and even the most carefully prepared spell can go spectacularly awry. More prosaic miracles are the product of the Imperial School of Engineering, also located in Altdorf. The celebrated Leonardo of Miragliano established the school, which has fostered innovations in steam power, mechanical systems, and gunpowder weaponry. It is as famed for works of eccentric and audacious hubris as it is for practical inventions.[74a]

Social Life

"Shallya’s mercy, won’t you spare me? I’ve heard it all before. “We’d be the playthings of Gnoblyns and Goat Men were it not for the sacrifices of our noble lords,” you say. “Without his opulent finery no one would take the Groom of the Stool seriously,” you say. “Even under Sigmar’s rule we had the rich and the poor!” Well I wouldn’t begrudge an Unberogen chieftain the biggest hut in a village, but when a starveling family of five is squeezed into a tenement room no bigger than the Empress’s wardrobe, I say things have gone too far, and your easy willingness to play the lackey is to blame."

—Max Roth, Brustellite Agitator[74a]

Altdorf is known for its many lively ale houses and hostelries. These can be found throughout the city but are concentrated around the docks. Heated debate and alcohol combine to make a rowdy atmosphere. Innkeepers accept scuffles between patrons as a foregone conclusion. Many inns ask that patrons turn in deadly weapons before entry, though establishments at the rough end (where people are expected to look after themselves) or the high end (where manners are a matter of solemn social contract and ruffians are not admitted) may forgo the practice. Whilst most taverns are open to a broad audience there are also those that specially cater to those who may not be welcome elsewhere, such as organised criminals, wayfarers, or parties of adventurers.[74a]

Talk in taverns often turns to politics. Since the establishment of the House of the Third Wilhelm, most Reiklanders have held their rulers in high regard. Still, there are those of a different opinion. Dissident groups form under the banner of a philosophy inspired by Verenan radicals termed New Millennialism. Enlightened progressives rub shoulders with resentful malcontents to demand needful reforms, and to threaten rebellion if their wishes are ignored. In the year 2506 IC, the controversial Professor Brustellin was killed in the violence of riots he had helped to instigate. Whilst the establishment has subsequently smeared him as an agent of Chaos, he is nevertheless a martyr to would-be revolutionaries. His creed of overthrowing all vestiges of aristocracy finds many a sympathetic ear.[74a]


"A government? You call that a government? Looks like the invention of a deranged Snotling!"

—Count Claude Villecroix of Parravon, Bretonnian ambassador to the court of the Emperor Karl Franz[21h]

The Imperial Palace, heart of the city of Altdorf

Patriotic Reiklanders have come to see the Empire under the reign of house Holswig-Schliestein as so wealthy, powerful, and stable that they view all foreign governments as temporary, if not funny. Their Emperor embodies the example of Sigmar, so his word must be law and his wish the command of his subjects. For the word of the Emperor to be anything less than law would be a betrayal of the principles that have held the Empire together. In reality, few Emperors wield such power. Desperate circumstances and force of will have seen men like Magnus the Pious wield their influence against little opposition. Most who have sat the Imperial throne have had to balance their desires against those of powerful groups with divergent agendas. Weak Emperors of the past have allowed favourites to overly influence them, have appointed flatterers or incompetents to their councils, and have issued edicts the Prime Estates simply chose to ignore. Wise Emperors know to surround themselves with qualified experts who are able to complement their ideas and provide honest feedback. These advisors and representatives build relationships with cults, guilds, and Komissions to win popular support, and make offers that watchdog bodies such as the Prime Estates find difficult to refuse.[74e]

The Emperor of the Empire

The Royal Family

Karl-Franz, his family, and his closest advisors live in the northern wings of the Imperial palace. Aside from the Emperor himself, few of these people have formal roles to play in government. Their jobs are mostly one or other form of stewardship or companionship. They include tutors, favourites, and domestic staff. Such people exercise enormous power, as Karl-Franz discusses matters with them outside of formal meetings and state occasions. Karl-Franz I, House of the Third Wilhelm, Protector of the Empire, Defier of the Dark, Emperor Himself and Son of Emperors.[74e]

Karl-Franz is a popular Emperor in part because his ancestors kept a tradition of respecting the autonomy of the other elector counts. He is the latest in a line of Emperors of the Holswig-Schliestein dynasty, known to the masses as the House of the Third Wilhelm. He exemplifies the careful statesmanship of his forefathers. Or … he used to. The events surrounding the most recent death of the monster known as Constant Drachenfels have left their scars on the Emperor. He is said to mourn the passing of Ostwald von Konigswald even though the man was a traitor to the Empire. The Emperor is publicly chaste and unattached, all the better to keep the Elector Counts hopeful of a dynastic match. But tavern gossips tell of romantic liaisons in Talabheim, suggesting that he had an affair with Arch Lector Aglim’s niece, Lotte. Others suggest a longtime affair with Duchess Elise. Still others, that he stays in the High Temple of Sigmar with a different priest or priestess each night. The Emperor knows to maintain a dignified silence against such calumny, but the seizure of Ubersreik is an open example of his recent intemperance. Now throughout the Empire noble landlords query whether or not their own realms are safe, and petition their Grand Dukes to check the Emperor’s power.[74e]

The Three Volkshalle Councils

Each day dozens of issues demand the Emperor’s attention, from policies on taxation, to the appeal of noble prisoners seeking clemency, to the official opening of the Grand Altdorf Fair. Whilst Karl-Franz is famed as a great statesman, his success is due in large part to the teams of (mostly) loyal and (largely) competent councillors to whom he delegates the running of his Empire, his province, and his capital. There are three councils in particular that meet regularly at the Palace’s public meeting chambers, collectively called the Volkshalle. The councillors are powerful individuals entrusted by the Emperor to advise him on best policy regarding their area of expertise, and even to act in his stead should he be absent or indisposed. The councils’ role is to support the Emperor, seeking to provide him with good advice and constructive plans to implement his wishes. It may be the place of a councillor to graciously raise criticism, but only if they go on to suggest solutions and improvements.[74e]

The Council of State

The Council of State is the most influential of the three councils. Its job is to advise the Emperor on the state of the nation, to broker agreements between the Emperor and the Elector Counts, and to take the pulse of the national mood. It has no formal power. Mattheus II, grandfather of Karl-Franz, once tried to draft a constitution built round the council, but the Electors saw it as a threat to their authority and refused to support it. The Council of State has been unchanged since Emperor Karl Franz first rose to power a decade ago. Its members are old, powerful, and used to having their say. Like his father before him, the Emperor grants each of his councillors a broadreaching ‘portfolio’ and an official title, and allows the councillor to wield his full authority in their appointed area of influence.[74e]

(NOTE: The following are members of the state as according to new 4th edition book, which takes place in 2512 IC)

The Reikland Council

The Reikland Council

Reikland Council meetings are held each week in the Wilhelm Chamber of the Volkshalle to discuss matters of import. As most of the members of the council have very important roles to perform regarding their own estates and families, it is rare that more than six of the high lords meet at one time. It is Karl-Franz’s privilege as Grand Prince of the Reikland. Due to Altdorf being the capital of the Reikland, many of these positions also overlap with the Council of State.[74e]

Council of Altdorf

The third of the Great Councils is also the largest and most subject to change. The Altdorf council is composed of Komission convenors (who report on the findings of the few Comissions in Altdorf), guild masters (who advocate on behalf of the trades they seek to represent and control), Watch captains (who report on threats to public order and safety), priests (who speak for their respective cults) and burgomeisters (who are the chief politicians of each city district). The cast of characters who attend Altdorf council meetings is difficult for even the secretary to keep track of, and frequent guests of honour do not help the situation. Any particular meeting may see depositions from foreign ambassadors, sales pitches from traders, or Dwarf engineers looking for commissions to improve the city walls or sewers. Even Fish war chiefs have met councillors, according to rumour, in highly secretive meetings. Despite these vicissitudes, two men dominate the proceedings of most meetings.[74e]

Privy Councilors

Ambassadors to the Imperial Court

The Privy Councilors are positions within the Imperial family itself which holds no real politcal power within the Imperial government. There are scores of privy councillors. Many of them have conspicuously menial tasks, such as ensuring the Emperor’s chamber pot is kept clean, or organising his wardrobe. Yet they are all trusted favourites of Karl-Franz. He wishes to speak his mind and think aloud whilst in his own chambers, so even the most apparently modest of his domestic staff is an experienced and trusted diplomat.[74e]

Kazadar Durginsson of the Stonewall clan is one of only two Imperial Dwarfs holding a position of significance in the Imperial court. Bruni Gromsson, the Metallschlacke district elder, is the other. In his capacity as the minister of Altdorf ’s defences, Kazadar regularly inspects the conditions of the city wall and its garrison. Monthly, he issues meticulous and highly regarded reports for review and dissemination by the High Lord Reiksmarshal. There are also ambassadors from the Dwarf realms present at the Imperial court. The most important are those representing the Dwarf Empire of Karaz Ankor as well as the Dwarf holds of Karak Norn and Karak Azgaraz.[74e]

  • Ludwig Schwartzhelm - The Emperor's Champion
  • Bruni Gromson - Voice of Altdorf's Dwarf
  • Daedra Stillwater - Lothern's Chief Diplomat
  • Mordin Harginsson - Karaz Ankor Ambassador
  • Rungni Garilsson - Karak Norn Ambassador
  • Dern Ketilsson - Karak Azgaraz Ambassador

The Prime Estates

The power of the Prime Estates should not be underestimated, even when it comes to local government. This body’s formal purpose is to provide the Elector Counts with a voice in Imperial politics, an early warning if the Emperor should act against their interests, and the power to issue a de facto veto of objectionable Imperial edicts. The relationship between the Prime Estates and the Emperor is not entirely formal. The Emperor is within his rights to issue commands to the Electors and have them seriously considered, but if the Electors are unwilling to enact his orders there is little he can do. Tradition has it that the Electors must provide troops for the Emperor should he wish to wage war, but other demands may be ignored, or outright defied, if the Electors object to them.[74e]

Unpopular edicts of the past, such as Empress Magritta’s Anchor Tax, were implemented briefly before being abandoned as unworkable. The Prime Estates announced that the Electors would not persist in collecting it despite Magritta’s protests. Karl-Franz is generally well regarded by the Prime Estates. He employs soft powers of persuasion rather than issuing commands. Many of the Elector Counts have more reason to distrust their peers than their Emperor. As such, the Prime Estates is not currently the power it could be; its squabbling members are complacent in checking the Emperor’s decisions. Nevertheless, recent events have caused concern. They do not take the Mutant Edict seriously, knowing that it hasn’t got widespread backing. The Emperor’s recent deposition of the Jungfreuds of Ubersreik has raised complaint. The Prime Estates have no direct power to prevent the Emperor from such actions within the Reikland, but they loudly defend the rights of their own noble landholders.[74e]


Komissions are occasionally set up in Altdorf, though they are seen as somewhat unbecoming and tend to deal with trivialities. The intended purpose of a komission is to gather information about how aspects of life in the city, such as the legal system or policing, affect the citizens and what might be done to improve them. A functional komission gathers opinions from the populace and then recommends sensible changes to policy in light of its findings. In Altdorf, komissions are set up to fail, often as not, and in doing so prove the efficacy of aristocratic privilege. There are a few komissions working in the city, but they are regarded as ‘more of a Middenheim thing’.[74e]


Guilds frequently operate as a law unto themselves, policing their members, protecting their interests, and attempting to gain concessions from the various political groupings of the city. There are many and varied guilds offering apprenticeship and career progression to their members — for a hefty price of fees and favours. Admission to a guild allows the individual a chance to earn Altdorf citizenship — without which they may not own private property within the city walls — and, perhaps, a chance to join one of the many district councils. Some guilds are powerful enough to skirt aspects of city law, having won charter to try their own members by private means if they are accused of professional malfeasance. Guilds offer a variety of benefits to their members, from pensions and scholarships to matchmaking and widow funds. A man may easily spend his whole life within a guild, and it is a rare day when loyalties change without consequences.[74e]

Political Organization

There are many organization within the byzantine systems of Altdorf.

The Citizens’ Vigilance Committee

The Citizens’ Vigilance Committee are volunteers who assist the Watch during periods of unrest or crisis. Each member of the Committee possesses an armband decorated with the initials of the group. When the Watch sounds an alarm, Committee members don their armbands to indicate their authority to demand obedience from fellow citizens, and mete out punitive beatings to those who don’t respect their instructions. The Committee is organised by a retired member of the dock Watch called Machar Jessner, who runs the operation from a room he keeps at the Wayfarer’s Rest. Jessner is a conscientious man who believes his organisation is of benefit to the surrounding area, and points to the assistance it has given in putting out fires or quelling riots as proof of this.[74g]

The Revolutionary Movement

The Empire is rife with religious tradition, social inequity, and aristocratic privilege — and this makes some people very angry indeed. The Revolutionary Movement encompasses many splinter factions. Whilst all revolutionaries agree that the social system must be overthrown, they disagree as to the manner of its deconstruction, and the model of society to be built in its place. As a result, revolutionaries squander their energies fighting one another rather than facilitating reform. Whilst political agitation in the Empire has a long history, the Revolutionary Movement in its current form coalesced only in the last few decades. Professor Brustellin of the University of Altdorf published a thesis called An Anatomy of Society. Therein he likened the Empire to a human body and compared the aristocracy to a bone-sapping ague.[74g]

The text was quickly outlawed, and the scholar was publicly scourged and expelled from the university. But the force and passion of his argument, as well as outrage at his treatment, saw Brustellin become a popular spokesman for malcontents. He drew a number of fellow seditionists to his ambit, including two fugitives from Kislevite justice: the radical poet Aleksandr Kloszowski and the firebrand agitator Yevgeny Yefimovich. Together they inspired the anarchic violence known as the Great Fog Riots, which resulted in widespread destruction. However, before the mob could turn its frustrations against the city’s rulers, Yefimovich was unmasked as a follower of the Ruinous Powers and a pattern killer of women. The rioters lost their nerve and returned to their homes. Now the revolutionaries are viewed with suspicion by the same huddled masses they claim to champion. The main factions of the Revolutionary Movement are outlawed. To be found guilty of supporting it is to suffer grievous punishment, up to and including torturous execution.[74g]


Brustellites form the intellectual powerhouse of the Revolutionary Movement. They are typically older, calmer, and more middle class than their fellow revolutionaries. They gather in loosely organised forums in the private snugs of taverns to discuss revolutionary treatises and postulate how to put the theories into action. Whilst militants respect Brustellin as the greatest codifier of their complaints, they tend to view Brustellites as lacking guts. Brustellites suggest that moderate reform might prevent bloody revolution, or that care be taken to preserve aspects of the regime that benefit everyone — that progress is desirable but that utopia is unattainable. Such liberal compromises disgust fierier radicals.[74g]


Kloszowskiites take their inspiration from the poetry and dissolute lifestyle of Aleksandr Kloszowski. Informed by theory and inspired by romance, they win many allies amongst sympathetic students. The Kloszowskiites have a reputation for supporting the notion of violent insurrection in theory, but being rather more interested in cuddling up to the sort of comely youth who is easily impressed by an articulate tongue and wilfully tousled hairdo. Kloszowskiites often affect an appearance of shabby dandyism and an attitude of devil-may-care eccentricity. Those who survive the ravages of weirdroot and pox tend to leave the revolutionary life behind, but there are those who thrive despite the danger and disparagement they expose themselves to.[74g]


Yefimovites are violent hardliners who care so little for the mores of society that they remain loyal to a man who was outed as a worshipper of Tzeentch. Anarchic in the extreme, they respect no government or social convention. Many are committed individualists, and what little cooperation there is between Yefimovites, they acknowledge as a matter of temporary convenience. Despised for their connection with Chaos worship, the Yefimovites are pariahs even within the movement. Yet few of them actually worship Tzeentch. The true Yefimovite disdains all authority, even that of a Chaos god. It is not that they admire Yefimovich for his service to the Changer of the Ways, but that they don’t care. Yefimovites tend to live short lives. They face discovery by the Watch (to be hanged, drawn and quartered) or their peers (to receive a thorough beating before being pitched into the Reik). Those who survive for long usually find their niche within one of Altdorf ’s Chaos Cults.[74g]


The Popular League Against Nobility and Taxation (PLANT) is an umbrella group under which Brustellites, Kloszowskiites, street corner agitators, and radical members of the Fish gather to share ideas and information. The organisers of PLANT are clever and careful. Despite their subversive moniker, they know that to directly quote Brustellin or Kloszowski is to invite sanction and death. So they focus on issues that directly affect the poor, and that would be easy enough for the authorities to resolve, such as the repeal of a particular tax or the provision of a modest social reform. Their pamphlets include guides to Brustellin’s ideology, but carefully reworded to avoid any direct attribution. PLANT has connections to the New Millennialist movement in Middenheim. Like the New Millennialists, PLANT is careful to couch many complaints alongside appeals to Verenan values of Justice and Wisdom. PLANT leaders are cynics in this regard; they are not particularly interested in embodying Verenan philosophy themselves, so much as using an appeal to religion as cover for their ambitions and as a way of shaming their opponents. PLANT is increasing in numbers and influence, and is now so widespread that the authorities lack the nerve to subject its membership to the same rough justice more obvious revolutionaries face.[74g]

Oath of Devotion Societies

Folk tales tell of brave souls born to poverty but raised through virtue to the status of hero. Many people dream of forging such renown for themselves. They usually die or grow out of it, but there is a third way. The members of Oath of Devotion Societies grasp at the chance to bathe in the reflected glory of a great luminary. Members take delight in worshipping their chosen hero, and finding any excuse to brawl with those who defame them. That Konrad is a hero is without doubt; the Emperor himself has publicly praised him for his service to the Empire and issued a royal pardon. Yet many Altdorfers criticise such clemency. Common understanding has it that Konrad saved the Emperor’s life and foiled a Chaos plot, but that he employed such means as the murder of soldiers and paying Wastelander pirates to bombard the city. He is also, according to rumour, a mutant. The Konrad Oath of Devotion Society opposes all defamation of its hero, regarding Konrad as justified in his actions, deserving of praise, and pure in body and deed. Members are infamous for intimidating and assaulting those who besmirch the good name of Konrad, and are suspects in the disappearance of a number of pamphleteers and satirists.[74g]

Student Bodies

Altdorf University attracts young scholars from across the Old World. Freed from parental guidance for the first time in their lives, many of these youths desire to experience the wild side of Altdorf. Student bodies are clubs of fellow travellers who offer guidance and see to it that a wild night out does not result in robbery or death. Student bodies are peculiar to the University. The Colleges of Magic, mindful of the panic that could result from intoxicated parties of apprentice wizards, preach temperance to their charges and ban them from public assembly.[74g]


Altdorf stands as the heart of the Sigmarite Faith

Altdorf may be Sigmar’s holy city, but many other gods are acknowledged and loved by its people. Most Altdorfers pay much the same regard to the gods as other Reiklanders or folk in the wider Empire. However, some cults have a particular experience of the city.[74f]


The official presence of Manann’s cult in Altdorf is small and has a siege mentality. Priests are unsure of how to deal with the bewildering array of local (and apocryphal) folk beliefs that seem to honour a primitive aspect of Manann associated with the Reik. This Grandfather Reik, sometimes known as Reikgott, may be one and the same as a spirit of the lower Reik named Rijkstrum. Smuggling links between Marienburg and Altdorf are also a worry for the cult, as smugglers have been known to turn to the worship of the proscribed god of predators, Stromfels.[74f]


Myrmidia is a poorly understood deity in Altdorf. As patron of the science of war, she is respected by militaristic engineers, scholars, and wizards. Attendees at her temple include military officers and their adjuncts. Her true devotees derive mostly from among the companies of Tilean mercenaries who arrive looking for work, but move on fairly quickly when peace breaks out. A small but growing number of militaristic Sigmarites make a point of paying respect to Myrmidia. Whether this is done out of sincere reverence, or to annoy any Ulricans who might be watching, is up for debate.[74f]


Nobles and middle-class folk find it deeply distasteful to acknowledge Ranald in public (though they make the sign of the crossed fingers when hoping for good fortune) and tend to spurn those who do so. In the docklands and rookeries, casual prayers to Ranald are more acceptable. Even here, sincere followers of the god have their enemies and must be wary of professing their beliefs in unfamiliar company. The Hooks sanctimoniously proclaim themselves to be law abiders, whilst the Fish engage in more violent forms of crime than those Ranald’s strictures permit.[74f]


Tensions exist between some elements within the Cults of Sigmar and Ulric, but most folk in Altdorf have affection for both gods. Sigmar himself honoured Ulric. The Life of Sigmar movingly describes the inspiration Sigmar derived from the god of Wolves and Winter, and his frequent prayers. Most Altdorfers have a relaxed attitude to the existence of Ulrican temples in their city, and might even visit them to make offerings on the onset of winter or war. They may find Ulrican rites to be wild and primitive, but respect them nevertheless. However, a significant minority of Altdorf ’s Sigmarites resent the cult of Ulric. Some see Ulric as an irrelevant vestige of theology that Sigmar superseded long ago. Others feel that Ulricans have been the cause of historical mischief and division, or that moderate Ulricans bear responsibility for the insults and injuries radical Ulricans visit on Sigmarites in the Empire’s north. For their part, Altdorf ’s Ulricans are well aware that they live in Sigmar’s city and keep any qualms they might have about his legitimacy to themselves. Most of them see themselves as ambassadors for their fellow Ulricans, and highlight the positive influence the example of Ulric has on their lives and those around them.[74f]

Gangs of Altdorf

The two most infamous Gangs, the Fish and Hooks

Many individuals feel lost in Altdorf ’s crowd. The Gangs of Altdorf afford people a sense of security and identity, promoting the interests of their members by providing them with opportunities for work, as well as providing a close-knit community for socialising. The dockside gangs seek to represent (and exploit) workers of the docks and the slum-dwellers of the East End. The lower echelons of these gangs are little more than disorganised mobs, and it is a simple matter for a prospective member to affiliate themselves with a gang. Merely wearing a patch in the shape of a hook or fish announces membership. The gangs carve out areas of the waterfront where their members receive preferential treatment.[74g]

They make up informal guilds for stevedores, teamsters, and unskilled labourers, ensuring that their members are gainfully employed in return for a tithe. They also run all manner of crime and vice, cornering the market in bawds, pimps, drug dealers, and muscle for hire. The upper echelons of the gangs take on a more serious paramilitary structure, with ranks of foot soldiers directed and inspired by self-styled ‘War Chiefs’. They command extensive turfs in the East End, the boundaries of which were mostly decided in the Waterfront Wars of 2498–2503 IC. They are also active in the Docklands of the city north, though the merchants here force them to observe uneasy truces.[74g]

The Fish

The Fish are an old dockside gang who claim to have their roots in Altdorf ’s early history. They are widespread, with branches in riverside cities throughout the Empire. The Fish enjoy connections with criminals and revolutionaries. They are prolific smugglers; the gang’s name reflects their skill in finding items reported to have fallen overboard. Despite their reputation, they are still sought after as stevedores and warehouse guards. After all, they work hard, work cheap, and are barely more criminally inclined than their rivals, the Hooks. The connections between the Fish and seditionists harm their reputation more than smuggling. During the Great Fog Riots, the Fish followed the fire-breather Yevgeny Yefimovich whilst the Hooks sided with the city authorities. When Yefimovich was unmasked as a follower of Tzeentch, the Fish realised they had unwittingly consorted with Chaos and ceased the rioting . There is little centralisation within the Fish. Their War Chiefs bear identifying tattoos of gape-mouthed fish on their cheeks. This ink has to be earned. Anyone who wears a similar tattoo without having the respect of the Fish is likely to find irate gangers flaying their face.

The Hooks

The Hooks say they differ from the Fish in that, whilst they might be hard men, they are patriots and law-abiders. What this means is that they run extortion rackets, violent shakedowns, and exercises in petty theft just like the Fish, but eschew revolutionary connections and don’t indulge in smuggling quite as much. The gang takes its name from the signature tool of its trade: keen docker’s hooks that make effective improvised weapons. The Hooks follow a more hierarchal structure than the Fish. Their veteran War Chief, Willi Pick, holds sway over the gang and chairs a council of its senior foremen and leg-breakers in order to review performance and discuss strategy.[74g]

Dwarfs Gangs

Most of the Dwarfs who live in Altdorf see themselves as honourable traditionalists, caring about their own and their clan’s reputations. Yet, there are some Dwarfs who have stepped into the criminal life, joining the Manling gangs. Other Dwarfs have formed armed bands to oppose the gangs. The Hooks and the Fish are but two of the criminal organisations plaguing Altdorf. Up until the Great Fog Riots, there were Dwarf members serving in varying capacities for both gangs, mostly as muscle or moving ‘hot’ merchandise. The Dwarf Fish members grew disenchanted when their gang embraced the seditionist Yevgeny Yefimovich, and abandoned the gang even before the demagogue was revealed as a follower of Tzeentch.[74g]

Many left Altdorf to join Fish chapters in other Imperial riverports, while some changed their allegiance to the ‘patriotic’ Hook gang. The appeal was in the Hooks’ claim to stand on the side of the Emperor against those who would upend the established order. Even Dwarf outlaws detest radical change to the long-standing social structure. Law-abiding Dwarfs in the Metallschlake district take a dim view of criminal gangs, and the clans have paid their own to protect their livelihoods. Known as the Sapphire Hammerers (Zaffengrundi) for their sapphire-coloured armbands emblazoned with a hammer of the same colour, the armed Dwarf band strives to keep their quarter free of all gangs, including Hooks and Fish. The Sapphire Hammerers know the Hook-associated Citizens’ Vigilance Committee for what it is and do not cooperate with it.[74g]

Festivals of Altdorf

Altdorf is not famed for festivals the way that Middenheim or Averheim are. When foreign visitors complain that the city lacks public cheer, Altdorfers respond that they are secure enough in their identity and culture not to make a fuss about it; given the fine theatres and taverns in the city, who would need more distractions? This is not to say that celebrations are unknown in the capital. Instead of hosting grand revels, the city tends to explode into short but intense bursts of celebration throughout the year.[74i]

Year Blessing (1st Day of Nachexen)

Verena’s holy day is marked by a great procession that starts from the Temple-Library in Schulergegend and tours around the districts of the city. At the head of this procession, the High Priest of Verena rides upon a fatted cow. This beast meets a ritual slaughter upon its return to the Temple-Library, and the priests distribute its flesh to the needy. In recent years, agents of PLANT have joined the procession, bearing placards calling attention to various social causes. This meets with mixed feelings from the Verenans. Many of them feel that the airing of grievances is appropriate on the parade, whilst others worry that giving such folk an inch will invite them to take a mile.[74i]

Mitterfruhl (Spring Equinox)

The Karnevalsplatz is the site of a three-day fair that has its climax on Mitterfruhl. The Emperor’s Tournament is held there, in which newly initiated Reiksguard prove their mettle in a series of martial contests. The Temple of Rhya hosts perfunctory fertility rites, culminating in the ceremonial drowning of a fatted piglet. The animal is given to the Reik in the hope that the gods visit good fortune and bounty on Altdorf in the following year. Leading up to the festivities, adventurers scour the Grey Mountains hunting for Griffon eggs. The cult of Sigmar awards a prize for the largest egg, which is decorated and presented to the Grand Cathedral on Mitterfruhl morning. Superstition has it that if no egg is found, then victory will elude Altdorf ’s soldiers until next Mitterfruhl.[74i]

First Quaff (33rd Day of Pflugzeit)

The elders of Altdorf ’s Dwarf community celebrate First Quaff much as do the lords of Dwarf holds. Brewers tap the year’s first batch and the elders inspect its qualities as a measure of fortunes to come. Older Dwarfs take the ceremony very seriously indeed, but other citizens of Altdorf regard it as an excuse to get stinking drunk.[74i]

Sigmar’s Walk (15th Day of Sigmarzeit)

According to tradition, on this day Sigmar embarked upon his final journey. Whilst the Karnevalplatz hosts festivities, the day is a sombre one. Followers of Sigmar walk from the Great Cathedral to the North Gate. Most of the pilgrims pause there, uttering prayers to the Heldenhammer before returning to their homes, but dedicated zealots strike out for Black Fire Pass and beyond.[74i]

Sigmartag (18th Sigmarzeit)

The principal holiday of Sigmar falls on the first day of Summer, recognised as the God-Emperor’s birthday. At noon the Grand Theogonist leads a procession of the faithful from the Grand Cathedral, across the Reik Bridge, out of the North Gate, and around the city walls. The congregation parade for hours until the sun begins to set, whereupon they return to the Cathedral. There the Grand Theogonist intones liturgies, to the light of stunning pyrotechnics courtesy of the Bright College.[74i]

Procession of the Skull and Sceptre (33rd of Sigmarzeit)

Upon this day, Johan Helstrum became the Empire’s first Grand Theogonist. Sigmarite priests mark the occasion by parading through Altdorf bearing Helstrum’s gilded skull and holy mace. Irreverent citizens refer to the occasion as the ‘March of the Mace and the Face’.[74i]

Day of Folly (10th Day of Sommerzeit)

Ranald’s major holiday is popularly known in Altdorf as Jape Day. It is customary on this day for people to play practical jokes and for the butts of such pranks to take them in good humour. In the Karnevalsplatz a celebration of satirical comedy is staged, featuring politically minded jesters and humorous agitators. Discretion is still to be advised, but skits that might earn a person a charge of treason at other times go unpunished (if not unremembered) on Jape Day. In the East End rookeries, a secret pageant is held to the Trickster God. Services are led by masked priests of Ranald to a congregation of beggars, bawds, bookies, and burglars. Whether they are honouring the deity in his protector aspect or his deceiver aspect is down to each individual. After the service a feast is held, with the efforts of thieves and scroungers supplying the food and drink.[74i]

Cavalcade of Victory over the Perfidious Greenskin (9th Day of Vorgeheim)

The many great victories that the Empire has won over Orcs and Goblins are remembered on this day. A mounted honour guard of Knights of the Fiery Heart parades through Altdorf ’s streets the supposed skull of the wyvern that slew Emperor Sigismund, which normally lies in his ossuary. This parade ends at the steps of the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor ceremonially drives the Sword of Sigismund into the skull.[74i]

Saga (33rd Day of Vorgeheim)

Ancient right permits the Dwarf population of Altdorf to hold their Saga celebrations in the Great Cathedral of Sigmar. Throughout the day and night, they gather to share stories of their ancestors. Demand for time at the lectern is so high that speakers must book their places years in advance, and the heads of Altdorf ’s Dwarf families wait with strained patience to proclaim their forebears’ great deeds.[74i]

Pie Week (1st–8th Days of Erntezeit)

During Pie Week the Karnevalsplatz becomes the site of a great outdoor food market, and people from all over Altdorf arrive to enjoy the late summer evenings with a hot pie and a pint of ale. Leading up to the event, many Halfling households buzz with activity, fiercely devoted to producing stock for their own stall. The Rumster clan always sets up a massive tent lined with racks of trestle tables piled high with pies, from boutique creations filled with choice cuts of elusive game, to cheap crusts whose contents are tasty but mysterious. Contests involving either the production or consumption of pies are held throughout the week, with massive outsized trophies awarded to the jubilant winners.[74i]

Triumphal March in Defiance of the Dark (8th Day of Erntezeit)

On this day a grand procession is held in commemoration of Emperor Magnus’s victory at the gates of Kislev. A vast horde of pilgrims from throughout the Empire and Kislev comes to Altdorf to join the parade. They march from the North Gate around the city and end their procession at the steps of the Grand Cathedral, where the Grand Theogonist ceremonially unveils the Holy Shroud of Magnus.[74i]

Mittherbst (Autumn Equinox)

The harvest celebrations so common throughout the Empire at this time are rather restrained in Altdorf. Residents pay quiet respect to the gods. The Temple of Rhya and the Konigplatz host large bonfires, and priests of Ulric tie a smouldering brand to the tail of a terrified sacrificial sheep, which is sent scurrying from the North Gate. The annual running of the rats occurs in the afternoon. Fires lit at key points in the sewers drive a torrent of rats out into the open, where Altdorfers compete to see how many they can snare. At the Karnevalsplatz, city officials award a series of prizes for most rats caught, biggest rat caught, most altered rat caught, and so on.[74i]

Second Breach (33rd Day of Brauzeit)

The third major holiday of the Dwarf calendar, Second Breach is the time when the clan beer kegs are opened and tested once again. Older Dwarfs intone songs and tales of ancestors and heroic battles. Holidays that offer a good excuse to get drunk are popular with Altdorfers, and many outside the Dwarf community observe this night as the Imminence of Winter festival. Taverns throughout the city offer discounts, and the streets are awash with revellers and their vomit.[74i]

Mondstille (Winter Solstice)

In observance of Mondstille, burghers and city officials light bonfires in the many parks and squares of Altdorf. Those who honour Ulric tell themselves that the fires blaze in respect of the chill winter over which he is master. Those who do not honour Ulric tell themselves that the fires are a beacon, beseeching Taal and Rhya to return fertility and vigour to the world as quickly as they can. The city’s two temples of Ulric open their doors to preach sermons on practising resolve and resilience in order to face the cold dark months still to come. At the Cathedral of Sigmar, rites echo those of Ulric, and sermons tell of Sigmar’s regard for the Wolf God. Though, in recent years, these rites have shown little enthusiasm or pomp.[74i]

Keg End (33rd Day of Vorhexen)

The final Dwarf drinking festival of the year exists to ensure that old beer is consumed before it spoils. In Altdorf, with its many taverns and breweries, this is not a problem. However, the city’s Dwarfs still like to mark the occasion by drinking copious quantities of ale. In the Karnevalsplatz, a panel of Dwarf elders judge a singing contest. Troubadours compose and perform a song about the events of the previous year. The best song is rewarded with a purse of gold crowns. Non-Dwarfs may compete, though the judges usually dismiss their efforts.[74i]

The Witching March (33rd Day of Vorhexen)

The evening before Hexenstag, a torchlit parade passes through the charred streets around the Bright College. The tradition is relatively recent and secretly orchestrated by the Pyromancers. The parade attracts vast quantities of Aqshy, which the wizards tap into when performing a great ritual over Hexenstag.[74i]

Older Lore

The following are text and information concerning Altdorf in older editions. The previous sections contain the latest 4th edition source materials



The confluence of the Reik and Talabec rivers was first settled by the High Elves during the reign of the Phoenix King Bel Shanaar the Explorer. The town there was called Kor Vanaeth and was a only a minor part of the Elven settlement of the Old World, though Dwarf sources indicate that some suspicious magical activities occurred in the town. Around -1850 IC, during the War of Vengeance, the Dwarfs attacked Kor Vanaeth,[74d] and in a battle possibly fought where the Celestial College now stands,[36a] defeated the Elves. They stormed the city and demolished its monuments.[74d]

Following their victory, the Dwarfs occupied the site for some time, but abandoned it during the Goblin Wars. Later, some primitive, agrarian tribes of humans lived in the region. They followed the Old Faith and traded with the Dwarfs in the Grey Mountains. They are mostly remebered by the Ogham stones which they raised.[74d]


"In Reikdorf Town did Sigmar stand
and great Empire of Man found he.
There Reik, the bless'ed river, swell'd.
Upon whose banks all great men dwell'd
and would for etern'ty.

—Sighardt Schneider-Koller, from Sigmar, Emperor!, 1797 IC[27a]

Banner and heraldry of Altdorf

Around -1000 IC, warlike human tribes who worshipped the Northern Gods migrated into the Reik Basin and subjugated the Ogham-raisers. Among these tribes were the Unberogens, who settled what is now Reikland. By -600 IC, their chief settlement was located at the confluence of the the Reik and Talabec. It was called "Reikdorf", which meant "town of the river."[74d][Note 10]

The islands at the confluence of the rivers were strategically important.[74d] The town had access to good fisheries, fertile farmlands,[61] productive clay deposits, and fine pastures in the alluvial plain. It included a small Dwarf population, who helped fortify the town. Their quarter soon became known as "Metallschlacke." The Unberogen chieftain live in a palace which was thought to sit where the Königplatz, while the hill on which the Imperial Palace is built then housed a fortress and watchtower.[74d]

Reikdorf did not come to prominence until the year that Sigmar, chieftain of the Unberogens, united the twelve of the largest tribes in the Reik Basin and defeated an orc host at the First Battle of Black Fire Pass, the year commonly referred to as 1 IC (Imperial Calendar). It was here that the High Priest of Ulric crowned Sigmar Emperor, and from here that Sigmar ruled his newly formed Empire. [21b][9a][7a] Altdorfers claim that Sigmar was born there, but so do burghers in towns all across Reikland.[41f]

During the reign of Sigmar, two roads were built to Reikdorf: one connecting it to Middenheim, and the other to Nuln. [21b] By the end of Sigmar’s reign, Reikdorf was said to be the largest city ruled by men. [61]

However, due to the electoral nature of the Empire, the capital did not always stay in Reikdorf [21c] after the disappearance of Sigmar in 50 IC. [7k]

73 years after the uniting of the Empire, a friar named Johan Helstrum came to Reikdorf, preaching the new Sigmarite faith. He claimed to have had a vision of Sigmar being anointed and deified by Ulric himself, the favored god of Sigmar. Here, Helstrum spread his growing faith, becoming its first Grand Theogonist, and eventually building a temple to Sigmar in Reikdorf. [21c][21g]

During the early years of the Empire, Reikdorf experienced a golden age of trade. Wool, leather, timber, metalwork, and ales were exported out of Reikland, bringing money and trade to her capital city.[22a][74e] Meanwhile, scholars translated many Elven works, such as the Book of Gaelen, and compiled them in Altdorf at the first great library in the Empire.[27c] Construction of the High Temple of Sigmar was completed in 246.[74i]

Decline and Poverty

Starting around 300 IC, however, Reikdorf suffered an economic downturn brought about by internal infighting, poor harvest, and goblin raids. In response, walls were built around the city. The walls, in turn, brought large groups of new citizens to the city. [22a]

It was in 522[74i] that Sigismund the Conqueror renamed Reikdorf as Altdorf, meaning the “old city.”[Note 8] Sigismund also refortified the city walls with stone and made a law ordering that all buildings in the city be made of stone so as to prevent fire. This law, however, was ignored. [22a][74e]

In 557 IC, Sigismund’s son Siegfried the Lawgiver left Altdorf due to its horrible smell, and moved his capital to Nuln. Altdorf gained the nickname “The Great Reek” following a comment from Siegfried. [22a][74e][74i] Altdorf, however, remained significant due to its status as heart of the Cult of Sigmar, a status which became increasingly important as the cult expanded throughout the latter half of the first millenium.[74e]

In 924 IC, a Nurglite cult called the Order of the Septic Claw precipitated an infamous disaster. First, the city was tricken by an epidemic of Crumbling Ague. When the Shallyans were on the cusp of finding a cure, the cult ritually summoned a never-ending horde of Nurglings. The tiny daemons piled on top of the Temple of Shallya until it collapsed, crushing all those within. Then the daemons simply popped out of existence.[42a][74i]

Around the turn of the first millennium, Grand Theogonist Zigmund II gave Emperor Ludwig II a palace in Altdorf, successfully luring from his old capital in Carroburg. Around the same time, Ludwig granted the Grand Theogonist an electoral vote. [21d][22a][74e] This was during an era of increased power for the Cult of Sigmar, which also saw the completion of the Cathedral of Sigmar and the eight-volume illuminated manuscript The Life of Sigmar. [21d][22a][Note 1]

Boris Goldgather, last and most debauched of the Drakwald Emperors, began his rule in 1053 in Altdorf. [21e] He was known to be corrupt, tyrannical [22a], easily bribed, and greedy in the extreme. [21e] During his reign, he moved his court back to the cleaner city of Carroburg.[74e] His reign was marked by many urban riots in Altdorf. Not only was the Emperor plagued by scandal, but several high-ranking Sigmarite clergymen were discovered to be adulterers. [22a] The riots only ended in 1111 with the onset of the Black Plague [22a], the worst plague to hit the Empire. [7b] Goldgather died in 1115, but only after years of casualties from the plague.[22a] It was then the Skaven struck, the Empire's population having been decimated by plague. Altdorf was one of the few cities to hold out against the hordes of ratmen.[25a]

All this led to a major drop in trade. This downturn was solidified in 1124, when Mandred Ratslayer of Middenheim was elected Emperor. The Imperial court moved away from Altdorf, and merchants and nobles left Altdorf in its wake. [22a]

Following this economic collapse, the common folk of Altdorf rioted once more, this time against the Cult of Sigmar, who were attempting to take control of the city. The Cult attempted to bribe the citizens with bread, a scheme that turned out to be a major waste of resources. Around the same time, the first guilds in Altdorf were formed. [22b][74f]

During this era, an exodus of peasants from the countryside and a series of poor harvests impoverished the Count of Reikland. In a desperate move, he adopted the Prince of Altdorf as his heir and ceded his electoral vote to him. Thereafter, the rulers of both Reikland and Altdorf were known as the Grand Princes. [22b]

By the 1200’s, the economic fortunes of Altdorf had not improved, and the Grand Princes of Altdorf were called the "Poor Princes" during this time. But as the power of the princes waned, the power of the guilds waxed. In an attempt to lure nobility back to the city, the guilds gave them sumptuous gifts including estates, money, and peacocks. [22b]

In 1489, Altdorf built several low bridges in order to curb the influence of fleets from other provinces.[45q]

Altdorf Besieged

By the time the Age of Three Emperors began, in 1547, Altdorf's fortunes had improved. It profited off the war between the Elected Emperors and the Ottilian Emperors.[22b]

In 1645, Emperor Dieter III imposed a tax on the then-fashionable practice of ear trimming. This engenders a riot among Altdorf's modish upper class.[74j]

In 1707, orc warboss Gorbad Ironclaw invaded the Empire.[Note 2] While Gorbad's army was laying waste to Averland, Solland, and the Moot, Emperor Sigismund, the imperial claimant in Altdorf was preparing for a siege.[2a][7c][7l] He fortified the city walls, brought in the harvest, then desolated the land in a fifty-mile radius around the city. Thus, when Gorbad's army marched north to Altdorf, they could not pillage the countryside, and headed straight to the waiting city.[2a] The orcs trying all the tactics they could, but weren't successful. A frontal assault dashed itself against the city walls and Gorbad's Rock Lobbers were quickly eliminated by the cannons of Altdorf. When four wyverns descended on the city, they managed to kill Sigismund, but didn't make any serious progress taking the city.[2a] During the siege, the citizens made it a point of pride to ignore the death and starvation around them.[22b] As time went on, the Waaagh! lost its momentum and more and more greenskins deserted.[2a] When the cold of winter set in, Gorbad’s army scattered.[2a][7c][7l][39a][39b]

The First Siege of Altdorf, as it was later called, led to an increase in religiosity in the city. This, in turn, was ended by a series of scandals in the Cult of Sigmar relating to chaos cults and (in one case) a wolfhound ordained as a priest. [22b]

In 1786, the Red Plague decimated Altdorf leaving thousands of unmarked graves in what is now called The Haunted Cemetery of Altdorf.[37b]

In 1979, the Grand Theogonist refused to recognize the accession of Empress Magritta, and the Empire devolved into chaos. Because Altdorf had previously been the site of an Imperial court, it maintained a degree of stability not seen in other provinces. A line of Imperial claimants ruled from the city, though they had little to rule over.[74f]

In 2012, Leonardo of Miragliano founded the Imperial Engineers School in Altdorf.[53d][74j]

In 2051 [7l], Altdorf was besieged once more in the aptly named Second Siege of Altdorf.[45r] Coming from the eastern province of Sylvania, the Vampire Count Vlad von Carstein marched across the Empire at the head of a host of undead.[7c] By the time he reached Altdorf, the city was filled to bursting with refugees.[33c] After a multiple month-long siege, Vlad was physically seized by Grand Theogonist Wilhelm III and driven into a stake, simultaneously impaling both.[7c][39b] As Vlad died, much of his army crumbled, leaving only the vampiric contingent of the army. Ludwig, the Prince of Altdorf, attempted to pursue the fleeing vampires, but was stopped by his Imperial rivals, who feared a victory for him might make his claim to the Imperial throne more legitimate. [7c]

After the siege, many of the refugees from the Vampire War remained in Altdorf, settling in the docklands. The Guild of Stevedores, which until then had monopolized dock work in the city, refused to take on such a quantity of new workers. However, there was plenty of stevedoring to be done, and thus the unofficial dock gangs, the Hooks and the Fish, were born.[33c][74f]

Less than 100 years after Vlad von Carstein's siege, an undead army again attacked Altdorf. Mannfred von Carstein, the last Vampire Count of Sylvania, led his horde to Altdorf in the late winter. The city was poorly defended, but Mannfred was defeated when Grand Theogonist Kurt III recited the Great Spell of Unbinding, causing many of the vampire’s undead soldiers to crumble. Mannfred retreated from Altdorf, and was eventually defeated at the Battle of Hel Fenn by Martin, the Prince of Stirland. [7d] The event became known as the Third Siege of Altdorf.[45r]

The von Carstein sieges were crippling to Altdorf, which had been experiencing prosperity since the First Siege. The walls were breached, and the von Carstein tactic of catapulting diseased zombies over the city walls led to many plagues. During the sieges, Altdorf adopted the Shade of Death as the city standard, mocking their undead enemies. [22b]

However, following the sieges, an era called The Great Reconstruction occurred. All able-bodied citizens were required to contribution to rebuildling efforts, on the penalty of loss of citizenship.[74g] The city walls were rebuilt, the citizenry increased, and money and power gradually returned to the city. Even news of the Great War Against Chaos only troubled the Altdorfers a little, for they assumed their city would never fall. [22b]

The Colleges of Magic

After the defeat of the forces of Chaos at the Gates of Kislev, Emperor Magnus the Pious requested that the High Elven archmage Teclis found an institute where human wizards could be trained. Understanding that the survival of the Empire was important to the survival of the Old World, Teclis agreed.[7e] During the Summer of 2304, the Colleges of Magic were established in Altdorf under the protection of the Prince of the city.[7e][23a] Magnus chose Altdorf rather than his capital Nuln because he didn't want his political fortunes to be too closely tied to those of the Colleges, but did want them to be close enough for him to keep tabs on.[23a] In an apparent coincidence, Altdorf turned out to be a prime magical location for several of the orders.[36a] The citizens of Altdorf, however, had no desire to be the site of the Colleges and rioted in an event later called the Altdorf Indignation. In response, martial law was put in place.[22b][33d] During this period of unrest, the waterfront gangs organized the inhabitants of the docklands into militias and attempted to spread their influence beyond their riverside ghetto. However, their momentum was halted by a mysterious event known as the "Night of the Black Waltz."[33d]

In order for the colleges to be built in Altdorf, the elves performed a ritual which warped the fabric of space. This had the side-effect of making the city essentially unmappable. Shortly before the High Elves performed the rituals to do this, many citizens left Altdorf. However, most returned later.[22b][22c][23a][74g]

Almost immediately after settling down in Altdorf, the Colleges of Magic attempted to gain political clout in Altdorf, at first by ingratiating themselves with guild leaders. The Grand Prince of Altdorf, hoping to curb their power, created laws defining magisters as a separate class, and creating restrictions on their rights to trade, own land, and vote. [22c][23b] But this did not put an end to the political amibitions of the colleges—magisters and nobles have been political rivals in Altdorf ever since.[23b]

Around that time, the School of Engineers in Altdorf was given a formal charter by Emperor Magnus I, though it had existed before that time. The word ‘Imperial’ was added at the beginning of its name. [7e]

In 2324, Altdorf's sewer system, long strained by a swelling population, finally gave way and spilled sewage into wells and streams under the city. Emperor Magnus commanded a group of guilds to repair the sewers.[74j]

In 2415, rivalries within the Colleges of Magic erupted in the Night of a Thousand Arcane Duels. Under pressure from the Cult of Sigmar, Emperor Dieter IV disestablished the Colleges.[45s][74j]

Imperial Capital

In 2429, the imperial crown passed to Altdorf once more. Emperor Dieter IV of Stirland had sold Westerland its independence for a large sum of money. The elector counts found this unacceptable, and deposed him in favor of Wilhelm, Grand Prince of Reikland, who became Emperor Wilhelm III.[3a][7e][21f][41s]

One of Wilhelm's first actions was to attempt to reconquer Marienburg. His army failed miserably at the Battle of Grootscher Marsh. Because he felt that the Empire's lack of mages contributed to its loss, he reestablished the Colleges of Magic in 2430. This is quickly followed by the Great Fire of Altdorf, caused by the Bright College. Public opinion turns against the colleges once again, but Wilhelm opts to keep them open, albeit with more oversight from the Sigmarites.[45s]

Over the course of four days in 2431, more than four fifths of the city was destroyed by the Great Fire of Altdorf. Although many commoners blame the conflagration on wizards, Emperor Wilhelm III resists the pressure to close the colleges again. Around the same time, Halfling pies become a popular street food and Pie Week a major holiday.[74k]

In 2453, Arkhan the Black attacked the city in the Fourth Siege of Altdorf. His siege, however, was a mere distraction. His true purpose was to sneak into the vaults of the Holy Temple of Sigmar and steal Liber Mortis. Once this was accomplished, his army crumbled to dust, much to the relief of the Altdorf army.[45s]

In the late 2400's, tensions between the Hooks and Fish broke out into an outright gang war.[33d][74h] The Waterfront War lasted for five years,[33d] and died down only when watchman Harald Kleindeinst killed the war chiefs of both gangs[64d] (though to most Altdorfs their fate remains a mystery).[33d][64d] However, it did not end completely, and continues on a smaller scale to this day.[33d][74h]

In 2502, the current emperor, Karl Franz I, ascended the throne. He ruled, and continues to rule, from Altdorf.[21f] He institutes a set of new taxes which cause the Window Tax Riots. The Reiksguard are deployed against the rioters.[74k]

In 2503, following a combined Empire-Asrai victory at the Massacre Along the Weiss, an emissary from Athel Loren arrived in Altdorf. He brought a griffon egg collected from the Grey Mountains and a simple message: "We will be watching."[10a]

In 2506, the guilds of Altdorf were convinced to sign the Stench Act. This piece of legislation subjected the guilds to large fines, presumably as punishment for producing bad smells. The guilds were convinced by Karl Franz to sign because they were under the impression that the fees levied would cripple rival guilds. [21f]

The Great Fog Riots, Altdorf's most recent major event of civil unrest,[41b][64h] occurred just a few years after the Window Tax Riots.[74h][Note 9] The dual causes of the riots were Chancellor Mornan Tybalt's two-crown tax on all able-bodied Imperial citizens, nicknamed the "Thumb Tax," and the vicious Beast Murders.[41b][64h][74h] The riots were destructive but short-lived, as leading agitator Yevgeny Yefimovich was quickly revealed to be a disciple of Tzeentch.[74h]

In 2518, Emperor Karl Franz was dunked into the river when the raising and lowering mechanism of the bridge he was on malfunctioned. [7f][41b]

Law, Government, and Politics

"A government? You call that a government? Looks like the invention of a deranged Snotling!"

—Count Claude Villecroix of Parravon, Bretonnian ambassador to the court of the Emperor Karl Franz[21h]

The Imperial Palace

The supreme ruler of Altdorf is Karl Franz, the Prince of Altdorf and the Elector Count of Reikland, who is also the Emperor of the Empire. His rule over his city is almost undisputed, not only because of his statesmenship but also because he commands the adoration of his people.[21h] Nevertheless, Karl Franz must balance numerous interests to keep Altdorf stable. The Colleges of Magic, University of Altdorf, School of Engineers, and great merchant houses all wield significant power, and if too many concessions are made to one institution, its rivals will undoubtedly demand the same.[40a]

Yet despite his best efforts, the day-to-day demands of governance are too much for one man or woman to keep track of. Dozens of decisions each day demand the Emperor’s attention, from policy on grain taxes to the final appeal of a prisoner condemned for treason to officially opening the Grand Altdorf Fair.[21h] Because of this, much of the detail of Altdorf governance is carried out by a de facto oligarchy of wealthy merchants and powerful aristocrats who mainly have their own interests at heart.[41g]

Among the powerful are the members of prominent families whom successive emperors appointed to advise them on matters of law, finance, diplomacy, and military matters, among others. Over time, this group of advisors grew into a formal body, the Council of State, the membership of which almost always includes the current Grand Theogonist.[21h]

Altdorf also has a City Council,[32b] and, at least somewhat recently, a Burgomaster.[1a]

Council of States

The Council has no formal power, although Emperor Mattheus II, grandfather of Karl-Franz, tried to write a constitution for the Empire built around the Council. This was quietly quashed by the Electors, who oppose anything that would limit their authority. The Council, however, does control access to the Emperor and thus what information he receives. Their power is, therefore, quite strong—when they can make a united stand. When this happens, it is usually due to the Grand Theogonist’s behind-the-scenes machinations on crucial issues.[21h]

  • Amadeus Mencken - Baron of Stirgau Chamberlain of the Seal (Foreign Relations)[21h]
  • Arne Damstadt - Chamberlain of the Imperial Household[21h]

Prime Estates

The Prime Estates is an Imperial organization which was created to help administrate the actions and well-beings of the Emperor in person. At the end of the 11th century, when Boris the Incompetent tried to confer the title of Duke to his favorite race horse, the Electors unanimously decided that they had to administrate the emperor's actions so as to keep face with the Empire's people. So they assigned one representative each to form a watchdog body that would take the name of Prime Estates.[21h]

This institution is located within a beautiful building in the confines of the capital, ostensibly open to any person of recognized nobility, although the "lackeys" of the Emperor are carefully kept away. In fact, the Prime Estates has now become the Supreme Court. All Imperial Edicts are carefully examined "in the interest of the state", with documented reports being immediately sent to the Electors who would choose either to support or veto the edict. This organization has the powerful ability to refuse any edict that does not suit them or the Empire's interest, allowing the Prime States to have a near-complete control over what the Emperor is logically placed to decide.[21h]

Each Elector Count has ensured an established representation in the capital, embassies directed by a loyal family member or close acquaintance. These ambassadors would discuss new imperial decrees or legislation, as well as send these reports back to the Electors that had elevated them to such a position. As they have the power to reject decisions that do not suit them, it is important for the Emperor to obtain the approval of the Prime Estates if he hopes to accomplish anything. In theory, the Emperor also has a veto over the choice, but in practice, it would be very difficult for him to exercise it. Indeed, without a real majority support amongst the Electors, the Emperor has no chance to assert his right of veto. The latest attempt to do so was Emperor Mattheus II who wised to institute the first ever democracy, but the threat of civil war by the other Elector Counts was so pressing that he was forced to give it up.[21h]


The Guild of Butchers

Guilds in Altdorf first appeared in the early 2nd century. They were originally formed to protect the tradesmen, rather than regulate the trade. [22b]

Today, hundreds of various guilds exist in Altdorf. All guilds offer some sort of apprenticeship process and demand some kind of fee or service, but beyond that there are very few unifying characteristics. Many guilds are very old and have evolved complex bylaws. In a few cases, guilds have even reserved the right to try their members outside the Imperial justice system. In order to officially have guild status, an organization must be on the Civic List of Altdorf, but many informal guilds operate outside of this law. [22d]

  • Ale and Wine Guild: The Ale and Wine Guild has a wealthy owner.[33k]
  • Blackpowder Men: Members of this guild are commonly made fun of due to their perceived fear of Bright Wizards. [22d]
  • Butchers’ Guild: The Butchers’ Guild is currently attempting to survive an incident known as the Dead Body Scandal. [22d]
  • Guild of Leather Workers: Pieter Donaltun is this guild's master.[34i]
  • Guild of Stevedores: Colloquially known as the Wharf Rats, the Guild of Stevedores is known for its physically imposing members. [22d]
  • Honourable Guild of Physicks: Members of this guild include doktors from smaller towns in the Reikland.[42b][Note 6]
  • Imperial Guild of Arms and Armourers: Nicknamed the A&A, this guild generally has a good reputation. [22d]
  • Lawyers’ Guild: The Lawyers’ Guild is not well-liked, but considered unavoidable. [22d] In the past they influenced the city’s citizenship laws so as to make them impossible to navigate without their guidance. [22e]
  • Masons’ and Carpenters’ Guild: This guild of builders are considered to be slow, expensive, and pretentious. [22d]
  • Mercantile Society: This guild of grocers is currently sponsoring a weights and measures law. [22d]
  • Mercers’ Association: The guild of mercers has a reputation for merely being pretentious tailors. [22d]
  • Otto's Flats: This corrupt collective of nine greedy ferrymen is one of the larger passenger ferry guilds in the Altdorf area.[34c]
  • Physicians to the Crown: The official Altdorf guild for Physicians has an agreement with the Emperor by which it is protected against claims of malpractice from plebians, but can only use cures and practices allowed by the crown.[27d][Note 6]


Citizenship law in Altdorf dates back to the time of Sigmar. Today it is an extremely complex system that can only be navigated with help from a lawyer. There are now a variety of legal statuses within the city, including full, half, and quarter citizens, and laws governing what activities they may carry out. [22e]

The most common way of acquiring Altdorf citizenship is inheriting it from a parent. Membership in an official guild also bestows citizenship. In some cases, citizenship may be a reward. For anyone else, gaining citizenship requires a sponsor and a large sum of money. The applicant is then vetted by the Lawyers’ Guild. Successful applicants’ names are then placed on the venerable Civic List of Altdorf. [22e]

However, citizenship law today is largely irrelevant. Since there is no way to check one’s citizenship status on the spot, it is very difficult to enforce laws dealing with citizenship. Citizenship law only applies in a few cases, such as property or trade law. [22e]


There are many ways in which a citizen of Altdorf may be taxed. The city levies excises on goods; tolls on gates, wharves, and bridges; and a business tax on shops. Dues may also be payed to guilds and Colleges of Magic. Between these and the many protection rackets, cons, and burglaries in Altdorf, ordinary citizens only keep between half and two-thirds of their income, and outsiders often lose all of their money before they realize it. Because of these high rates, taxation is something Altdorfers care a lot about, and new taxes are often announced on public holidays, so that a workday is not lost to the inevitable riots.[22e]

Altdorf has the dubious distinction of being the first city in the Empire to collect road tolls.[20c]

Role of the Colleges

The Imperial Colleges of Magic.

The Colleges of Magic jumped into Altdorf politics almost as soon as they were founded. Since then they have competed with the city's aristocracy for political power. Although the Grand Prince initially curbed their ambitions by instituting the special status of "Magister," they have managed to gradually acquire more and more influence since then.[23b] Most believe that the colleges keep tabs on important personages throughout the Empire. This is true, though their eyes and ears are keener in Altdorf and Reikland than the rest of the Empire. It remains to be seen what they will use this intelligence network for.[23b][36f] In the end, however, the colleges are loyal to the Emperor. They are bound not only by law, but also by the fact that the Emperor is the single most generous patron of the colleges.[23d]

For those not in the highest echelons of society, the colleges' economic impact is far more important than its political position. Magisters, after all, are still humans who need food and drink, and the activities of the colleges require plenty of other items. Many merchants and tradesmen who supply the colleges don't really know to whom they sell—magisters wear disguises when dealing with them, or the suppliers are instructed to drop their goods off at other locations.[36a] In other cases, though, the colleges wish to make their economic largesse known, and make sure their suppliers know exactly who is providing them with such good business.[36a][36b]

Magisters are a social class unto themselves, mostly operating outside the rest of the Empire's social structure. Internally, the colleges are a rare example of a meritocracy in the Empire.[40b] Still, they rank higher than the hoi polloi, and they act the part in public. They behave in a civilized manner, and the people around them respect them.[38b]

The Watch

"Sorry, sir, I’ve got a Halfling killer, a Weirdroot smuggling ring, a gang war, and a noble threatening to have me arrested by my own Station. Your missing cat will have to wait until tomorrow."

—Sergeant Harri Makkenpieser, Altdorf City Watch[45h]

Although they're better organized than most other civic watches,[41c] the priorities of the Altdorf Watch are mainly preventing riots and protecting the rich and powerful. They have little regard for petty thieves, routine gang activities, and, in poor districts, even serious crimes such as murder.[22u] The competence and corruption of the watch varies greatly from district to district, from the efficient Palast District watch[41g] to the infamously crooked Dock Watch.[41c]

The Watch is headquartered in the Empire House[22m][41c] and maintains fortified posts throughout the city.[41c] It is one of the few city watches in the Empire large enough to employ specialized detectives.[34j]

A typical patrol consists of four watchmen. Watchmen are typically equipped with a breastplate,[41g] a tabard bearing the arms of House Holswig-Schliestein,[41c] a bell with which to ring for help, and either a spear or halberd.[41g]


Altdorf's large standing army[41g] is the best equipped on any in the Empire.[7q] Their uniforms are red and blue.[41g][53a] Many units' insignia includes the symbols on the Altdorf flag: the crown, Sigmar's hammer, or a griffon's head. The city's detractors imply that Altdorf's troops care more for smart uniforms and parades than fighting, but the city's long history of military success speaks for itself. Indeed, many Altdorf units commemorate their victories with seals or medals.[53a] The cream of the city's army join the formation known as the Altdorf Company of Honour.[53c] Altdorf's wealth also means it has an impressive array of war machines.[53b]

If necessary, many of the nobles who reside in Altdorf could call on their own troops to defend the city. Altdorf is also the home of the Reiksguard, the Emperor's personal knightly order.[41g]



—Pamphlet, Street of a Hundred Taverns[45f]

The varied peoples of Altdorf

Altdorf has three main social classes, and it's hard to imagine them being less equal. In the slums, unfortunate souls regularly starve to death and die by murder. For the rich, absurd luxuries are commonplace. The middle class of burghers and merchants exist between the two, and their numbers are growing everyday. Although they live lives of toil, they're surpisingly cosmopolitan, and many even manage to send their children to the University of Altdorf for at least a couple of terms.[41g] A few groups, such as magisters, exist outside this caste system.[40b]

Altdorfers are a proud lot. Even the lowest citizen takes pleasure in their status as a part of the great city. They may not understand the arcane system of rights and vassalage, but that doesn’t prevent them from telling folk about it. Outsiders from the provinces are treated with a measure of disdain and pity. Whatever they say, nothing compares to the heritage of each and every citizen of Altdorf; at least, that’s what they believe. Dating from the feudal times of Sigmar, the citizenry laws originally dictated who worked where, what tax they owed, and who they served.[22d]

Complex even then, these dubious laws have grown into a bewildering variety of legal statuses that serve mostly to ensure the hegemony of the Lawyers’ Guild. Famously described as “a carbuncle upon the rump of justice,” these laws govern all sorts of activities, including who one may marry, which city gate one can use, and even what type of hat one can wear. Whilst citizenship is usually inherited from parents or granted by a guild, it can sometimes be granted as a reward. Generally speaking, advancement requires a sponsor and a great deal of money. The individual’s status must be vetted by the Lawyers’ Guild and then added to the great Civic List of Altdorf. Folk can be recognised as full, half, or even quarter citizens— temporary men of Altdorf, traders, vagabonds, and outlaws.[22d]

One might attain the status of freeman, friend, or even the infamous dastard. Wizards of course, attain the position of magister once they complete their apprenticeship. This strange status means wizards are technically vassals of their Order, each having a form of baronial status but only within the bounds of their College. In practice, the citizenry laws are seldom enforced, for they harken back to an earlier age. When it comes to tax, the collectors have a difficult enough time collecting a flat rate from people, let alone trying to apply different rates. Unless buying property or dealing in complex trade, ordinary folk ignore these laws and get by on common sense. Those involved in high finance and the like simply pay the lawyers until they receive the desired result.[22d]

Massive inequality combined with a well-educated middle class make Altdorf a hotbed of revolution and liberal rhetoric. Riots and attempted revolutions are commonplace here, far more so than any other city in the Empire.[41h] In particular, riots often follow episodes of deep fog. Fog is fairly common in Altdorf (possibly because of the Grey College), so riots are fairly common also.[45f]

When Altdorfers speak, they speak quickly and use many demonstrative gestures. To outsiders, they seem to have an undue and short-sighted focus on wealth and status in their daily lives.[41g]

Very few Altdorfers are literate—certainly fewer than 20 percent of the population. Despite this, the population are avid consumers of broadsheets. Illiterate Altdorfers crowd around as their literate friends read broadsheets aloud, listen to buskers reading them on street corners, or hear them any other way they can. One broadsheet, the Griffon's Tail, has become especially popular with the unlearned as of late, particularly through its novel use of etched cartoons.[33i] Other newssheets include the Altdorf Spieler, Bizzarre!, Hammerzungen, the Wolf's Call, the Reik Report, Schlag!, The Truth,[33r] The Veracitor,[34f] and the Altdorf Celestial Body.[34g]

Altdorf is knkown for its many taverns, which are found throughout the city, but especially concentrated near the docklands. The combination of alcohol and conversations which often turn towards divise political topics are a recipe for violence, so most taverns have their patrons check any weapons at the door. The only exceptions are those which serve the very poor, who are expected to fend for themselves, and the very rich, whose rules of decorum prevent them engaging in tavern brawls.[74b]

Because Altdorf is the location of the Colleges of Magic, the average Altdorfer has probably seen more sorcery than those from anywhere else in the Empire. Altdorfers try to keep a blasé and dismissive attitude towards magic, but in reality almost all are at least a little bit frightened by it.[23c] Despite their physical proximity, common Altdorfers see the Colleges of Magic as aloof and otherworldly.[38a] Wizards are not the only unusual site an Altdorfer might see: the city is one the few to be visited by Arabyan merchants or Ulthuani diplomats.[41g]


"On my first visit to Altdorf, I was surprised by the number of races rubbing shoulders with each other in the narrow streets: men of every nation, intractable dwarfs and portly halflings. I even met a few of my own kind, as well as a curious representative of those elves who remained in these parts after the exodus. What surprised me more was how they all seemed to get along…well, most of the time."

—Suriel Lianllach, High Elf envoy[35f]

According to the census of 2510, there were 1,100 taxpaying Dwarf households in Altdorf.[16a] Many are metalsmiths or stoneworkers—humans often assume any dwarf they meet is one of the two. There are also rumours of exiled dwarf engineers joining the School of Engineers.[41h] But no matter how long a dwarf has been residing in Altdorf, he or she is far too stubborn to every call it home.[45t]

Halflings are common in the city,[41h] as it is home to one of the largest Halfling populations outside of The Moot.[33q] Anti-halfling discrimation is still commonplace, although less so than in other cities such as Middenheim and Averheim. If one were to observe halflings, they might think the folk were trying to live up to their stereotypes. As always, skilled halfing chefs are in high demand.[41h]

Elven presence in Altdorf began in 2150, when a group from Saphery set up a consolate.[74j] Today, the city's small Elven population consists mainly of Envoys of the merchant houses.[18a][18c] Sometimes Asur visit Altdorf as diplomats from the Phoenix Court, or to oversee the Colleges of Magic.[35a] It's even rumoured that the High Elves maintain a permanent embassy in Altdorf, but nobody seems to know where it is or who the ambassadors are.[41h] There are also Asur spies in the city. A significant portion of the Empire's High Elves report to these agents.[45m] Once rare, elven merchant ships from Ulthuan have become a regular sight during the reign of Karl Franz.[35g]

Wood Elves are also occassionally seen in the city, and they're usually mistaken for dirty High Elves, much to their annoyance.[41h]

Some Ogres also live in the city. Typical ogre occupations include bodyguard, criminal enforcer, and dockworker. Most other Altdorfers are wary of ogres.[41h]

As with wizards, Altdorfers make it a point of pride to act nonchalant about nonhumans—except for halflings, whom they treat like scum.[41h]

Physical Description

"Once you've spent a few years wadin' through the rivers o' human filth, fightin' Goblins under the mountains starts to sound pretty attractive."

—Heinrich, Altdorf Rat Catcher[18b]

The teeming city of Altdorf (dock view)

When the Colleges of Magic were built in Altdorf, the area became slightly warped. This had the effect of making the city essentially unmappable[22b][22c], although it is rumoured that the Emperor and the Celestial College possess accurate maps. Instead, Altdorfers usually navigate using landmarks.[22i]

The streets of Altdorf are furnished with a rarity in the Old World: streetlamps.[22f]

Since space is at a premium within Altdorf’s city walls, houses are typically four to seven storeys[57]—taller than houses in most Imperial cities.[27f] They are built up next to each other, so there are no side windows. Typical houses will contain a shop on the ground floor, a yard in the back, and a residential area in the storeys above. The quality of the houses varies.[22g] Some are old and crumbling, others newly constructed.[41f] There are dozens of Sigmarite shrines and chapels thorughout the city.[41g]

There were defensive walls in Altdorf even before the time of Sigmar.[21a] Later, between 300 and 500 IC, a new set of walls were built. During Sigismund the Conqueror’s reign, work was started on making new stone walls. However, he died before this project was completed.[61] The walls were breached when the von Carsteins besieged the city, but were rebuilt by the able-bodied men of the city shortly afterward.[22b] The current walls are dwarf-built.[41f] Today, Altdorf's walls are famously strong.[31c][33a] They're fortified with cannons and mortars.[41h] They're high and up to fifteen feet thick. They are also painted white.[33a]

The city gates of Altdorf are guarded,[61] and a toll is levied,[22e] although certain groups, such as members of the Reiksguard, have an exemption.[61] The gates close at night.[32c] There are gaps in the city walls through which the rivers Reik and Talabec flow. However, if necessary, giant chains can be strung across the river to prevent waterborne invasion.[57]

The River Reik runs through Altdorf. It is an important trade route in and out of the city[6a] and is often crammed with boats.[41h][57] However, it also smells very bad.[61] In Altdorf, multiple bridges cross the Reik, some of which are equipped with steam powered drawing mechanisms designed by the college of engineers. [7f]

Altdorf has some underground sewers, to remove the smell of human waste.[22h] The sewer system is convoluted, having been built over many generations.[44d] The sewers are generally tall enough for a dwarf or halfling to walk through without bending over. Some of these are effective, but others have been blocked. Of course, operational sewers are more likely to be located in wealthy neighborhoods.[22h]

Altdorf Fog

Altdorf is known for its episodes of deep fog. Fog usually either rises from the Reik or descends from the Grey Mountains[41l] and settles in the bowl of the city.[64e] Fog's prevalence may also have to do with the presence of the Grey College.[45f] Most mornings at least a little foggy, but the fog is especially severe in the spring and autumn.[74c]

Fog greatly alters the character of the city. Riots are particularly common following fog.[45f] Crime and intrigue become even more prevalent. Typical measures taken during a fog include the placement of lanterns along the riverfront and augmenting the city watch with a plotoon of Imperial Militia. Watchmen light a fog fire in the Konigsplatz, and the Cult of Sigmar opens the refectory of the Holy Temple to those who have been stranded away from home.[64e]


Altdorfers usually divide the city into three sections: the City North, which lies north of the Reik and Talabec, the Southbank, on the south side of the Reik, and the East End, nestled between the two rivers above their confluence.[74a]

City North

The City North is probably the most diverse area in Altdorf, including the University, many Colleges of Magic, and a wide array of businesses.[74a]

  • Empire Gate:[32b] Large and well-fortified, the Empire Gate is the largest gate on the north side of the city.[32b]
  • Golden College:[7g][9c][23f] The Golden College is located near the edge of Altdorf on the River Reik. It has the appearance of a large forge, with many furnaces and chimneys. The river waters cool the forges in the college. It would not be uncommon for an Altdorfer to see multicolored smoke coming from the chimneys of the college, or bright substances polluting the river. [7g][9c][23f] It's not too far from the Konigplatz.[41d]
  • Jade College:[7h][9d][23g][23h] Located near the city's north gate,[22i] the Jade College consists of carefully cultivated gardens and halls formed by the boughs of trees, arranged in a spiral shape, and set behind a high wall.[22o][23g][23h][38h]

The Docklands

"You can have Königplatz next week — I need you loud and dirty on Luitpoldstrasse today. For why? Best not ask, all you need to know is the Cutters want the Watch distracted. I make it my business not to offend the Cutters, and if you want a prosperous career you’ll follow my example."

—‘The Kaiser’, Altdorf Beggar-King[45g]

The Docklands are located on the northern bank of the Reik River.[22i] Their downstream boundary is the Three Toll Bridge,[33b] and their upstream boundary is the confluence of the Reik and Talabec.[22i] The district is something of a ghetto, inhabited mainly by the city’s dockers. Rival gangs, most notably the Hooks and Fish are constantly fighting for control over the district,[33b][41a] and the local watch division is notoriously corrupt.[33e] Although the gangs do not tolerate unaligned criminals in the docks, so petty crime is actually fairly low.[41c]

  • Adolphus Junk's Smithy:[41k] Adolphus Junk is a bronzesmith whose shop is on Luitpoldstrasse near the watch station. He is an older man with grey hair and spectacles.[41k]
  • Beloved of Manann Dock:[64e] This dock and quay was run by an ex-Hook named Schygulla.[64e]
  • Fork Wharf:[33g] It's traditional for members of the Dock Watch caught stealing to be hung in chains from Fork Wharf for a day and a night. These days, however, the watch is so corrupt that the only watchmen chained here are the ones who stole from the Watch itself.[33g]
  • Luitpoldstrasse Watch Post:[41c] The Luitpoldstrasse Watch Post is the headquarters of the notoriously corrupt Dock Watch. It is also the closest watch post to the Street of a Hundred Taverns.[41c] There are jail cells under the watch station.[41d] There's rumoured to be a storeroom in the back of the building full of pilfered goods which are split between watchmen every week.[41c]
  • The Mermaid:[33g] This tavern is cheaper than those on the Street of a Thousand Taverns, and is a favourite haunt with members of the Elm Street Mob.[33g] It is located where the Street of a Thousand Taverns intersects the docks.[41b]
  • Reik and Talabec Trading Company Warehouse[64b]
Mercantile Area

Altdorf’s mercantile area is located north of the Talabec River at the eastern end of Altdorf.[22i]

Old Altdorf

The Amethyst College is located on the north bank of the Reik, at the western end of the city.[22i][Note 3] As the district is home to both the college and Altdorf's main Temple of Morr, its few inhabitants generally have a profession related to death and burial, such as that of the undertaker, coffin-maker, stonemason, or lawyer, and are considered somewhat eccentric.[22i][23m] The district's architecture is tall but ramshackle, and it's sometimes described as a "slum."[37b]

  • Cemetery of Old Altdorf:[7i][37b] During an epidemic known as the Red Plague, thousands of victims were buried in mass graves at this cemetery. Today it is reputed to be haunted and is generally avoided by Altdorfers, though this may be because it is overlooked by the Amethyst College.[7i][37b]
  • Silver House[36e] The employees of the Silver House exchange dead bodies for silver coins. It is a front fo the Amethyst Order, who use the bodies for research, teaching, and spells.[36e]
  • Temple of Morr:[22i] The main Temple of Morr in Altdorf is located in northwest Altdorf just a few blocks away from the Amethyst College and Cemetery of Old Altdorf.[22i] It is nearly as impressive as the Cathedral of Sigmar.[41g]

The Schalfstadt area is adjacent to the University District.[32d] Located behind the Colleges of Law, it is full of decrepit grey brick buildings that house impoverished students and poor workers. Many stores in Schlafstadt sell antiques, books, and secondhand goods.[32e]

  • Estlemann's:[32d][32e] Janus Estlemann is a seller of antique books. He is able to procure volumes that none of his competitors can, but is a bit of a shady character. Witch Hunters and priests are convinced that he deals in heretical tomes, but have yet to find evidence. Nobles, wizards, and scholars think of him as a useful but suspicious resource. His shop is in on Hoffbann Street.[32d][32e]
  • Hoffbann Street:[32e] Hoffbann Street is a street full of booksellers. Most sell required law and literature texts to University students, but one could also purchase all sorts of books, from rare antique tomes to lowbrow romance novels.[32e]
Street of a Thousand Taverns

Also called the Street of a Hundred Taverns, this thoroughfare runs from the Konigplatz down to the Docklands. It is arguably the social centre of the city. All day and evening it's full of revellers, musicians, prostitutes, and pickpockets, but mostly drunks. Aside from the many taverns (of which there are actually fewer than 100), many homeowners on the street put a keg in their front room to have drinks with friends.[41b] Fights, of course, a common along the street, and the Dock Watch don't have the resources to imprison every offender. Instead, they dispense the infamous "street sentence"—a swift hit with a club and a warning not to be caught again. Repeat troublemakers will be tossed into the cells under the Luitpoldstrasse Station, but most criminals are resourceful enough to buy their way out again. Because of the local watch's corruption, local vigilante groups exist.[41d]

Carulusstrasse, Sigmundstrasse, and Luitpoldstrasse are streets that intersect the Street of a Thousand Taverns.[41b]

  • The Beard of Ulric: This is a run-down, low-quality tavern frequented mostly by destitute drunkards.[41c]
  • The Black Bat: This is a typical Old World tavern.[41c]
  • The Breasts of Myrmidia: This tavern is hotly contested between the Hooks and the Fish. It's an excellent spot to pick up illicit drugs, such as dreamweed and powdered lotus.[33g]
  • Bruno's Brewhouse: This is a typical Old World tavern.[41c]
  • The Crescent Moon: This small tavern is one of the few places in the city friendly to Strigany.[41b] It is also whispered that the undead frequent the inn.[64c]
  • The Crooked Spear: This small tavern[41b] is a known meeting place for homosexual men.[64c]
  • The Crown and Two Chairmen: This is a very posh and exclusive tavern. One needs to pay an absurd fee just to enter the door, but once one does, the atmosphere, service, and fare are exemplary.[41c]
  • The Dancing Dwarf: This is a typical Old World tavern.[41c]
  • The Drunken Bastard: Located where the Street of a Thousand Taverns spills out onto the docks,[41b] this is a run-down, low-quality tavern frequented mostly by lonely drunkards.[41c][64c]
  • Heads of Traitors: Where the Sigmundstrasse and Luitpoldstrasse intersect the Street of a Hundred Taverns, there's a monument consisting of five pikes stuck in a dirt mound. On these pikes a placed the heads of those considered enemies of the Empire.[41c]
  • The Holy Hammer of Sigmar: This small tavern, located where the Street of a Thousand Taverns meets the Konigplatz,[41b] is a meeting place for hired killers. It does not have a public bar, but rather consists of several private rooms.[41j]
  • Koenigsplatz: Large crowds often gather at this major public square,[57] which features the largest market in Altdorf.[41a]
    • The Cat and Fiddle: The Cat and Fiddle is a coaching inn. The Four Seasons coach line has its main offices here.[41i]
    • Konigstrasse is another street that leads away from the Konigplatz.[41d]
  • The Mattheus II: This is a typical Old World tavern.[41c] It is apparently named for Emperor Mattheus II.
  • The One-Eyed Wolf: This is a typical Old World tavern.[41c] It is located where the Street on a Thousand Taverns meets the Konigsplatz.[41b]
  • The Seven Stars: This is a very posh and exclusive tavern. One needs to pay an absurd fee just to enter the door, but once one does, the atmosphere, service, and fare are exemplary.[41c]
  • Statue of Wilhelm III:[Note 7] Near the Konigplatz end of the street is a bronze statue of Emperor Wilhelm III. It depicts him as a armoured and bearded man, holding a warhammer in his right hand while his left rests on his sheathed Runefang.[41c]
  • The Sullen Knight: This is a run-down, low-quality tavern frequented mostly by destitute drunkards.[41c] It is known for its frequent brawls.[64a]
  • The Temple of Drama Theatre: This theatre is not for those of sophisticated taste: it shows mainly farces and melodramas.[41c]
  • Wayfarer's Rest: This is a typical Old World tavern.[41c]
University District

The University of Altdorf is located northwest of the docks.[22i] It dominates this entire district, which is crawling with students and dons.[36c]

  • Dove & Rose Building: The Dove & Rose, a society of free-thinking doktors, is based in a large townhouse near the University.[43a]
  • Great Library:[37e] This massive library—one of the largest in the Old World—is often mistaken for a component of the University, but it's really a public institution.[36c][37f]


The Southbank is the heart of political and religious power in the city. It feastures many upper-class residences and even a few green spaces.[74a]

  • The Imperial: Located south-east of the Temple of Sigmar,[14a] this hotel is presumably very high-quality, as elector counts and even the Ar-Ulric have been known to stay here.[14b]
  • Light College: The Light College is not technically in Altdorf, as it exists in a parallel, magical, dimension to the mundane one. The building is an enormous shimmering pyramid[7g][9c] which focuses the wind of Hysh.[38i] It's located in a formerly upscale district on the left bank of the Reik. The area around the college is particularly warped, even by Altdorf standards.[23e]
    • Sigmarite Safe House: A safe house of Sigmarite Templars is located near the Light College with the purpose of making sure the area's high levels of magic do not have any ill effects on the locals.[23e]
  • Marketplatz:[64e] Fish (probably among other goods) are sold at the Marketplatz.[64e]
  • Pendersen Brewery Printing House: The Pendersen Brewery on Heidelstrasse appears to be a normal brewhouse, but hidden away in its basement is the press of the Gods edition of the Griffon's Tail,[33j] which serves the area around the Grand Temple of Sigmar and the west of the city.[33i]

Ogasse is the name of an unimportant working class district located in southern Altdorf, east of the Nuln Road. Most inhabitants of Ogasse are either migrants from other provinces or poorer local workers– those who work for a living, but don’t have much money left over. Deeper into the district, the housing is more rundown.[44a]

At night, gangs of thugs and footpads rule the streets, so most respectable folk stay indoors. The watch prefer to leave the district alone.[44a]

  • Schmutzplatz: Although the Schmutzplatz has seen better days, the square serves as a focal point of the Ogasse district. It’s relatively safe, and features an informal market of street vendors and a watch post staffed by a single watchman for two hours every day.[44a]
    • Clock Tower: A four-storey clock tower is located at the center of Schmutzplatz.[44b]
    • Dove of Love: The Dove of Love is a Shallyan kitchen serving Ogasse’s poor and homeless.[44b]
    • Eagle of Luccini: The Eagle of Luccini is a tavern frequented by the down-and-out of Ogasse.[44c]
Palace District

The Imperial Palace is located south of the Reik.[22i] Also called the Palast Districts[32g][33g] or simply Palast District[41d], it is one of the wealthiest areas in Altdorf.[32g] The district features many old, grand, well-kept buildings[41d] and especially ornate streetlamps.[34d] Most of the city's guild halls,[33g] knightly order chapter houses, and major temples are located here. Any private establishments cater exclusively to the wealthy.[41d] It is so exclusive that anyone not obviously a noble or their servant will attract the suspicions of the local watch division,[32g] who are well organized and successfully suppress violent crime.[41d]

  • Artoine of Leonesse's Shop: Artoine of Leonesse is a wig and mask maker catering exclusively to nobles. His shop is on the ground floor of his townhouse.[32g]
  • Celestial College:[22i] The Celestial College consists of sixteen wondrous towers surrounding a magical astrolabe used to predict the possible futures of the Empire. However, the average Altdorfer would not know this, because the college is concealed by cunning spells.[7h][9d][22l][22m][23k][23l][38e]
  • Emperor's Vault: The Emperor's Vault, where he keeps his treasures, is though to be somewhere underground in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace.[26a]
  • Empire House: The headquarters of the Altdorf City Watch, known as the Empire House, is located north of the Imperial Palace, near the River Reik.[22m][22i]
  • Karl Franz Bridge: The Karl Franz Bridge is the bridge you take to get from the Palast District to the Konigsplatz.[41d]
  • Mezzo's: Mezzo's is a banqueting hall run by Tilean chef Giovanni Mezzo. It is a favorite haunt of high-ranking wizards.[36c]
  • Old Horse Tower: This grey stone tower once housed the Bretonnian embassy, but now contains the offices of aristocrats.[41d]
  • Stevedores' Guildhall: The Guild of Stevedores is based in the Palast Districts, close to other administrative buildings, but far from the docks.[33g]

East End

The wedge of land between the Reik and Talabec Rivers, on the eastern side of Altdorf, is a lower-class area.[22i][45e][74a] The area is a mess of oddly-shaped buildings and narrow, twisting streets.[50a]

  • The Cuckolded Rooster: The Cuckolded Rooster is a tavern.[50a]
  • Bright College: An arcane mirage conceals the towers of the Bright College in a section of the East End that burned down long ago, and has not been rebuilt.[7j][9d][22i][22k][22l][38d]
  • The Scalded Cat: The Scalded Cat is a tavern in a wooden building pushed up against the city wall.[50a]
Dwarf Quarter

The Dwarf Quarter of Altdorf was founded shortly after 1000 IC. The dwarf stonemasons who built the Cathedral of Sigmar settled in the city.[22a]


A sub-district of the Dwarf Quarter, many of the inhabitants of the Metallschlacke districts work in the metallurgical and stoneworking industries.[17a][17b] It is one of Altdorf's oldest districts, dating back to before even Sigmar, when a small population of dwarfs worked in Altdorf as builders and blacksmiths.[74d]


This district is also home to many dwarfs employed in metallurgy and stoneworking.[16a] It may be part of the Dwarf Quarter.

Outside the City

Immediately outside of Altdorf is a large space cleared of trees and used for agriculture.[45o][57] There are many villages in this area.[57] Beyond this is the region of extensive mudflats where the Reik and Talabec rivers meet known as the Altdorf Flats. The many channels do not reunite until a twenty miles downstream from the city walls.[11b][27a][41a][45o] The mudflats are fetid and River Troll-infested. Six main causeways cross the Altdorf Flats, each one containg ancient stone bridges of dwarfen manufacture. Both the causeways and river channels are heavily patrolled by roadwardens and riverwardens respectively.[45o] In the summer, the Altdorf Flats smell so bad that many nobles flee the city to rural estates.[45t]

Directly outside the city walls there are slums, despite by-laws to the otherwise.[41f]

  • Amber Hills: The Amber Hills are just south of the city,[45d] and they're where most of the important amber wizards live.[7j] The Eonir have also established a semi-permanent camp here in order to observe and occasionally take part in Imperial politics.[45d]
  • Crackle Hill: Just outside Altdorf, this hill was established as the site where heretics and traitors were executed during the series of religious scandals following the First Siege.[22b] It is unknown if it is still used in this regard.
  • Morr’s Oak: Just outside Altdorf, this aptly named tree was where criminals were hanged during the Time of Three Emperors. [22b] It is unknown if it still used in this regard, or, in fact, whether it even still exists.
  • Susi Olfsdar's Tannery: Susi Olfsdar, a halfling's widow, is an extra-guild tanner who has gained a reputation as one of the finest leatherworkers in Altdorf. Her small tannery is located downwind of the city.[34i]

The waters of the River Reik are deep enough that oceangoing ships can sail as far inland as the Reiksport.[9f][33a][33l] Located where three major channels converge,[3b]The river is slow-flowing here, and a mile wide.[27a] This fortified port is used both to unload cargo of merchant vessels, and as the headquarters for Reikland Fleet of the Imperial Navy.[9f][33a][33l][41a][41f] A shantytown has grown up around the Reiksport to service the merchants and sailors.[33b]

The docks on the Reiksport are mainly controlled by Altdorf's official Guild of Stevedores.[33a][33b]

City taxes are not levied on ships docked at the Reiksport.[33a]

Beneath the City

  • Catacombs: For centuries, Altdorfers have been buried in underground catacombs.[36d][37b] These catacombs connect to several above-ground gardens on Morr.[37b] Naturally, Shyish flows heavily through these tunnels, and the Amethyst Order are said to have passages connecting their college to every corner of Altdorf's catacombs. They also make convenient hiding places for less savory characters, such as robbers and Chaos cultists.[36d] Rumour states that at the heart of the catacombs there is a subterranean temple called the Black Sepulchre tended by a secret order of Morrites.[37b]
  • Under-Altdorf:[25b] Under-Altdorf is the Skaven city below the human city of Altdorf. It is one of the largest and most prosperous Skaven settlements, mainly due to its proximity to the human city—an abundant source of slaves. Under-Altdorf's success, though, is hampered by its lack of warpstone reserves.[24b] Humans know Under-Altdorf in rumour.[41b]

Other Districts

  • Brass District: Deep in the Brass district is the Consorplatz, a small square.[46]
  • Elven Quarter: Founded over a century ago,[45t] Altdorf's Elven Quarter is one of the largest in the Old World, surpassed only by Marienburg's and possibly Erengrad's.[31a] It is home mainly to merchants who ship goods down the Reik and out to sea.[45c] It's located near the Reiksport[45t] and might be adjacent to Little Tilea.[22t][22u]
  • Goellner Hill: This district is located near the Imperial Zoo. Duke Ottokar von Siert resided primarily here as recently as 2511.[45a]
  • Little Tilea: It might be adjacent to the Elven Quarter.[22t][22u]
  • Upper Districts: The Upper Districts include posh hostels.[35b]

The Kleinmoot is the Halfling district in Altdorf.[33o][33p] Also known as Haffenstadt, it is populated by hundreds of halfling families. Taverns, restaurants, and pipeweed shops.[45b]

  • Quinsberry Lodgehouse:[33o][33q] Altdorf contains one of the most important lodges in the Quinsberry Lodge organization, one which is rivalled only by the original lodge in Nuln.[33q]

Obereik is a wealthy district.[32g]

  • Gustaf Ziegler's Shop:[32g] Gustaf Ziegler is a bespoke tailor and costume maker with a shop on the edge of Obereik. He serves the wealthy and the aristocracy.[32g]

A very cheap and rough district, the Reikerbahn is a slum filled with smugglers, prostitutes, and other criminals.[32h][33b] The Old Docks are located on the waterfront of the Reikerbahn. They have been superseded by the newer Docklands. The Fish are the only waterfront gang present in the Old Docks.[33b]

  • Isle of Eels: The Isle of Eels is connected to the Old Docks by a single bridge. Here, an insular crew of Fish runs one of the few active wharfs in the district. Under the influence of the Popular League Against the Nobility and Taxation, the Fish have declared the island independent from the city of Altdorf. The islanders are armed and prepared to defend the isle against a siege.[33g]
  • The Ostlander Bridge: This bridge is located just off the Old Docks.[33f]
  • Theatre Grande: Theatre Grande is located on Bromelhoff Street.[32h]
Theatre District
  • Temple Street: Temple Street is lined with theatres, coffeehouses, costumers, clothes-sellers, and brothels.[32g]
    • Detlef Sierck's House: Detlef Sierck maintained quarters across the street from the Vargr Breughel Playhouse, and lived here with Genevieve Dieudonné for some time. The walls of the rooms were decorated with posters of Sierck in his various roles.[64f]
    • The Flamingo Club: The Flamingo Club is a private theatre.[64g]
    • Rickard Raush's Shop: Rickard Raush makes costumes and masks for actors, merchants, and nobles.[32g]
    • Vargr Breughel Memorial Playhouse:[64f] This theatre is held in high regard mainly because it is the home of Detlef Sierck, who is reputed to be the best playwright living in the Empire.[41c] It is probably the same as "The Breughel," one of the most famous opera houses in the Old World.[31b]

The Werkstette district mostly consists of workshops and manufactories.[32g]

  • Paeter Kohl's Shop: Paeter Kohl is an armourer and leatherworker who makes goods such as saddles, eyepatches, and masks. He sells mainly to tradesmen and merchants.[32g]

Other Locations

  • Amber College:[7j] The Amber Order has no buildings in Altdorf. Most of the most important Amber Wizards reside in the Amber Hills, a roughland near the city. [7j] However, the Amber Order owns one plot of land in the city of Altdorf. It is an open area with totems that is used for gatherings of Amber wizards only in unusual or important circumstances.[9c]
  • Anselmo's: Anselmo's is the largest theatre in Altdorf.[41c]
  • Austauschenstrasse: Austauschenstrasse is a busy lower-class mercantile street near the Market Gate.[32c][32d] The street is lined with shops, taverns, and pie-stands catering to those who have just arrived in the city.[32d]
  • Axe and Hammer Tavern[74k]
  • The Boatman Inn: Located along Altdorf's riverside, the Boatman is a typical inn frequented by riverfolk.[12a]
  • Bosco's Bones: Bosco's Bones is a gamblin house.[45k]
  • Breichs Brothers: Breichs Brothers, located on Schwarzwasserstrasse, sell quality coats.[64i]
  • Breichstrasse: This street is near Vermin Alley and Ragansweg.[29a]
  • The Broken Barrel: The Broken Barrel is a tavern popular with teamsters. It is located in a large room on the bottom floor of a six-storey building. Most of the furniture consists of broken barrels improvised as chairs and tables.[22af]
  • The Burning Table: The Burning Table is a good inn for newcomers to Altdorf. It's run by Matthias Tafel, a relatively permissive innkeeper.[22v]
  • The Cock Pit: The Cock Pit is a famous cockfighting ring. Although its located in a slum, the Cock Pit is prosperous and its well-maintained building stands out. The building features gambling, a bar, and a cordoned-off section for the wealthy.[22ag]
  • The Cordwainer’s Last: This inn serves a generally middle-class clientele and has a reputation for being “not too bad.” It is relatively close to the Von Eckstein Estate.[57]
  • Dieter Klemperer's Townhouse: Naturally for a celestial wizard, Dieter Klemperer's townhouse is stuffed with astronomical instruments.[22aa]
  • Echt Strasse: Echt Strasse is a street full of suspicious priests selling fake relics.[30f]
  • Elizabeth Baern's Estate: Condescending noblewoman Elizabeth Baern lives in a walled estate. She is very concerned with showing off, so the front garden is well maintained and the public rooms lavishly decorated. Meanwhile, the back garden is overgrown, and the private rooms are largely undecorated.[22w]
  • Gottri Hammerfist's Townhouse: Insane witch hunter Gottri Hammerfist lives in a fortified townhouse, with barred windows and reinforced walls. His servants are armed.[22z]
  • Grey College: The Grey College is an unremarkable, decrepit stone building located in one of Altdorf’s poorest and roughest districts. It is connected to much of the rest of the city through a multitude of underground passages. [7i][9d][13i][38g] The interior of the building is just as dilapidated as the outside.[13i] Grey Wizards, though, don't spend too much time at the college, and nobody quite knows what goes on inside it.[13j]
  • Guildhall of the Dwarf Engineers Guild: The hall of the largest such guild in the Empire is located near the campus of the Imperial College of Engineers.[16a]
  • Guillaume Deschamps' Estate: Jade Wizard Guillaume Deschamps gained his walled estate from one of his past adventures. Since then, he has encouraged plants to overrun the crumbling house. He now lives in a shelter of living trees. The walls around the estate remain sturdy.[22x]
  • Hall of Convocation: This appears to be the location of conclaves of the Patriarchs of the Colleges of Magic.[23o]
  • Hall of Duels: This octagonal building is used once every eight years for a duel to determine the next Supreme Patriarch of the Colleges of Magic. The Staff of Volans, the symbol of the Supreme Patriarch, is placed in the center, and whichever wizard can grasp it first inherits the office. [7j][9c]
  • Hammer and Bucket: The hammer and Bucket is a music and entertainment venue.[45j]
  • Jaegerstrasse: Jaegerstrasse is a street with shops where "the quality" can buy "fancy stuff."[32g]
  • The Lord's Bounty: The Lord's Bounty is a famously exclusive restaurant in an upscale Altdorf neighborhood. Only members are admitted onto its posh premises.[24a]
  • Lord Frederick's Estate: Lord Frederick lives in a walled estate in Altdorf. The buildings and gardens are well-kept, and decorated with many memorabilia of the fight against Chaos. The servants dress in green and gold livery.[22y]
  • Magnus Museum: The Magnus Museum is a museum in Altdorf that includes exhibits on ancient history and archaeology.[8a]
  • Market Gate: The Market Gate lies to the west of the Empire Gate[32c] (which is on the North side of the city[32b]). The Market Gate is smaller than the Empire Gate, but busier.[32c]
  • Marketstrasse: Marketstrasse, as its name implies, is full of merchants and pedlars selling their wares.[35c]
  • Maximilian Saer's Townhouse: Merchant and aesthete Maximilian Saer lives in a six-storey townhouse with a roof garden. As befits the man, everything in the house is aesthetically pleasing, from the paintings to the servants (all of whom are female).[22ad]
  • Merchants' Guild Complex: The offices of the Altdorf Merchants' Guild are one of the largest such structures in the Empire. It features numerous panelled conference rooms.[27b]
  • Minstrel School: Altdorf is the location of a minstrel school, actually the sister institution of a larger school in Nuln. It focuses on a variety of musical instruments.[34e]
  • Palaces of Ferdinand von Wallenstein: Ferdinand von Wallenstein, the Graf of Auerswald, owns luxurious palaces in Altdorf, and prefers to spend his time here rather than in his own lands.[45t]
  • Palaces of Reichen von Tellen: Captain Reichen von Tellen became tremendously wealthy in the early 2500's following a three-year voyage in which he captured and sold 53 ships in Bretonnian waters. He retired at the age of 26 and now owns three palaces in Altdorf (as well as some in other cities!)[33m]
  • Pinchpenny Street: This is a street with market stalls.[50a] It may be near Luitpoldstrasse.
  • Ragansweg: This street is near Vermin Alley and Breichstrasse.[29a]
  • The Red Lion Tavern[8a]
  • Reiksguard Chapter House: The Reiksguard Chapter House is a defensible fortress in and of itself, and is used as a major base of operations for the order.[61]
  • Sanatorium of Mercy: At this Shallyan Sanatorium, deep in one of Altdorf's slums, the number of inmates is strictly limited to a manageable number.[37c]
  • The Sheaf and Shears[32f]
  • Smithy of Dalbran Fellhammer: The Dwarf Dalbran Fellhammer is among the greatest armoursmiths in the Empire today. His forge in Altdorf employs 30 journeymen and almost 100 apprentices.[20b]
  • Suderich: The Suderich is a fish market.[32d]
  • Temple of Handrich: Altdorf has one of the few temples to Handrich outside of Marienburg. It's small, but some hope to build a larger temple in the future.[30d]
  • Temple of Manann: The Cult of Manann maintains a decently large temple overlooking the river.[41g]
  • Temple of Shallya: Altdorf's Temple of Shallya is the largest in the Empire. The richly-decorated temple is responsible for the health of a multitude of Altdorfers, including the Emperor himself.[18d] Its High Priestess is seen as the head of the Cult in the Empire.[30a][30b][Note 4]
    • Garden of Morr: A morbidly-placed garden of Morr is located a mere twenty steps from the Temple of Shallya.[18d]
  • Temple of Ulric: Altdorf's temple of Ulric is neither large nor wealthy, much to the chagrin of the Ulricans in this Sigmar-dominated city.[41g]
  • Temples of Borchbach: There are two temples to Borchbach in Altdorf.[45n]
  • Theodora Pferig's Townhouse: The townhouse of retired witch hunter Theodora Pferig is decorated with trophies from her years as an adventurer.[22ac]
  • Valicinian Circle: Located in a neoclassical hall in Altdorf's wealthiest district, this exclusive club for courtiers is the site of much backroom political intrigue.[34a]
  • Vermin Alley: Vermin Alley is the name of a particularly filthy street, where one can find very cheap lodging. Nearby streets include Breichstrasse and Ragansweg.[29a]
    • The Lock and Key: This tavern on Vermin Alley is run by a fellow named Holz.[29a][29b]
  • Von Eckstein Estate: Graf Von Eckstein’s estate in Altdorf is one of the largest properties in the city, about one acre in size. It includes a manor house and gardens.[57]
  • Weissbuten's Warehouse: Mr. Weissbuten runs a warehouse on an island in a very seedy district. He asks no questions about who his customers are or what they're storing, and the warehouse is presumably used regularly by criminals.[22ah][22ai]
  • Western Gate: This well-fortified gate to Altdorf has statues of griffons holding hammers on each side.[61]
  • Zeigmuller's Theatre[22y]


  • Note 1: The dates and order of these events are somewhat unclear.

"Sigmar's Heirs" places the palace gift in the "early 11th Century," and the electoral vote after that. It puts the completion of the temple before the finishing of the (unnamed) book, which took place in 1012.

"Spires of Altdorf" places the electoral vote in 990 and the palace gift shortly after that. The completion of the temple is in 1000, and the completion of The Life of Sigmar at an unspecified date.

  • Note 2: Spires of Altdorf" says the siege started in 1701.
  • Note 3: This district’s name is speculative. The locations listed are those said to be near either the Amethyst College or Temple of Morr, which in turn are located close to each other.
  • Note 4: Different sources have information on temple(s) of Shallya. The Thousand Thrones describes the "Shallyan Temple and Hospital" in the University District. The WFRP 2nd Edition Rulebook mentions that Altdorf's "Temple of Shallya" is the largest in the Empire and ministers to a large number of patients. Signs of Faith describes a "Temple Hospice of Shallya" overrun by the sick and poor. It is not clear if any or all of these are the same location. The Enemy Within (3rd Edition) states that the Temple Hospice is near the Konigplatz, evidence it may be the same as the Temple and Hospital in the university District.
  • Note 5: Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire states that the order's primary chapterhouse is located in Essen after a series of unnatural disasters destroyed previous chapterhouses. Perhaps a similar fate befell the Essen chapterhouse during the Storm of Chaos, and their chapterhouse in Altdorf became their primary base.
  • Note 6: Different sources give different names for physicians' guilds in Altdorf The WFRP Companion (WFRP 2nd Edition) mentions the Physicians to the Crown. Liber Infectus (WFRP 3rd Edition) mentions both the Honourable Guild of Physicks and the Guild of Physicians. It is unknown whether these are all separate guilds, or different names for the same guild.
  • Note 7: The source incorrectly gives his name as Wilhelm II.
  • Note 8: The WFRP 4th Edition Rulebook states that this occurred in 1000 IC by decree of Ludwig the Fat.
  • Note 9: White Dwarf 140 states that the Fog Riots occurred in 2506, but Beasts in Velvet states they happened three years after the events of Drachenfels, placing them in 2508.
    • Note 10: The WFRP 4th Edition Rulebook states that Altdorf's original name meant "rich village."


  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (4th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 94
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (4th Edition)
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 10
    • 3b: pg. 15
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: Undead (4th Edition)
  • 5: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (6th Edition)
  • 6: Warhammer Armies: Storm of Chaos (6th Edition)
  • 7: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition)
    • 7a: pg. 7
    • 7b: pg. 10
    • 7c: pg. 12
    • 7d: pg. 13
    • 7e: pg. 15
    • 7f: pg. 16
    • 7g: pg. 26
    • 7h: pg. 27
    • 7i: pg. 28
    • 7j: pg. 29
    • 7k: pg. 30
    • 7l: pg. 31
    • 7m: pg. 35
    • 7n: pg. 41
    • 7o: pg. 46
    • 7p: pg. 56
    • 7q: pg. 92
  • 8: Warhammer Armies: Tomb Kings (7th Edition)
    • 8a: pg. 72
  • 9: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)
    • 9a: pg. 8
    • 9b: pg. 13
    • 9c: pg. 18
    • 9d: pg. 19
    • 9e: pg. 20
    • 9f: pg. 21
  • 10: Warhammer Armies: Wood Elves (8th Edition)
  • 11: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- Core Rulebook
  • 12: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- The Enemy Within
  • 13: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- Shadows Over Bögenhafen
  • 14: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- The Empire in Flames
  • 15: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- Marienburg: Sold Down the River
  • 16: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- Realms of Sorcery
  • 17: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition -- Dwarfs: Stone and Steel
  • 18: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Core Rulebook
  • 19: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Old World Bestiary
  • 20: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Old World Armoury
  • 21: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Sigmar’s Heirs
  • 22: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Spires of Altdorf
  • 23: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Realms of Sorcery
  • 24: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Forges of Nuln
  • 25: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Children of the Horned Rat
  • 26: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Tome of Corruption
  • 27: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- The WFRP Companion
  • 28: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Game Master’s Toolkit
  • 29: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Night’s Dark Masters
  • 30: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Tome of Salvation
  • 31: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Realm of the Ice Queen
  • 32: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- The Thousand Thrones
  • 33: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Shades of Empire
  • 34: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Career Compendium
  • 35: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Core Rulebook
  • 36: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- The Winds of Magic
  • 37: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Signs of Faith
  • 38: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- The Game Master’s Guide
  • 39: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Omens of War
  • 40: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Lure of Power
  • 41: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- The Enemy Within
  • 42: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Liber Infectus
  • 43: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Liber Ecstatica
  • 44: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Liber Mutatis
  • 46: Warhammer Quest (Video Game)
  • 47: White Dwarf 120
  • 48: White Dwarf 122
  • 49: White Dwarf 140
  • 50: Hammer and Bolter Issue 25
    • 50a: "The Problem of Three Toll Bridge" by Josh Reynolds
  • 51: Inferno! Volume 1 (2018)
  • 52: Liber Chaotica
  • 53: Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire
  • 54: The Witch Hunter’s Handbook
  • 55: The Empire at War
  • 56: Archaon: Everchosen (Novel) by Rob Sanders
  • 57: Death’s Legacy (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell
  • 58: Blood Money (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 59: Mark of Damnation (Novel) by James Wallis
  • 60: Mark of Heresy (Novel) by James Wallis
  • 61: Reiksguard (Novel) by Richard Williams
  • 62: Drachenfels (Novel) by Jack Yeovil
  • 63: Genevieve Undead (Novel) by Jack Yeovil
  • 64: Beasts in Velvet (Novel) by Jack Yeovil
    • 64a: Part One, Chapter Four
    • 64b: Part Two, Chapter One
    • 64c: Part Two, Chapter Two
    • 64d: Part Two, Chapter Three
    • 64e: Part Three, Chapter One
    • 64f: Part Three, Chapter Two
    • 64g: Part Three, Chapter Five
    • 64h: Part Four, Chapter One
    • 64i: Part Four, Chapter Seven
  • 65: Silver Nails (Novel) by Jack Yeovil
  • 66: Elfslayer (Novel) by Nathan Long
  • 67: Dead Winter (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 68: Blighted Empire (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 69: Wolf of Sigmar (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 70: Grey Seer (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 71: Witch Killer (Novel) by C.L. Werner
  • 72: Zavant (Novel) by Gordon Rennie
  • 73: Swords of the Empire (Anthology)
  • 74: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th Edition -- Altdorf: Crown of the Empire
    • 74a: pg. 6 - 8
    • 74b: pg. 9 - 13
    • 74c: pg. 8
    • 74d: pg. 9 - 13
    • 74e: pg. 17 - 26
    • 74f: pg. 27 - 30
    • 74g: pg. 31 - 37
    • 74h: pg. 38 - 41
    • 74i: pg. 42 - 48