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"When one is tired of Altdorf, one is tired of life."
Siegfried Johanson, noted rake-about-town[22a]

Altdorf is the seat of Emperor Karl Franz, 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. 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]

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.[9e][9f]

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.[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 heraldry

Banner and heraldry of Altdorf

The exact year of the founding of Altdorf is a mystery to the modern scholars of the Empire. It is known that, before the time of Sigmar, there existed at the confluence of the Reik and Talabec Rivers a walled village called Reikdorf possessed by a tribe known as the Unberogens. [21a] The town had access to good fisheries and fertile farmlands.[61] 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 was here that Sigmar ruled his newly formed Empire. [21b][9a][7a] 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]

Decline and Poverty

However, starting around 300 IC, 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 during the reign of Sigismund the Conqueror that Reikdorf was renamed Altdorf, meaning the “old city.” 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 was ignored, however. [22a]

In 557 IC, Sigismund’s son Siegfried the Lawgiver moved his capital from Altdorf to Nuln, due to the horrible smell of the former. Altdorf gained the nickname “The Great Reek” following a comment from Siegfried. [22a] Around the turn of the first millennium, the Grand Theogonist gave Emperor Ludwig II, whose capital was in Carroburg, a palace in Altdorf. Around the same time, Ludwig granted the Grand Theogonist an electoral vote. [21d][22a] 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] 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]

Anarchy ensued in the Empire after Boris’s death. This lead to a major decrease in trade. However, this decrease did not become permanent in Altdorf until 1124, when Mandred Ratslayer of Middenheim was elected Emperor. The Imperial court was moved away from Altdorf, and merchants and nobles left Altdorf by the score. [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]

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, so much that the Grand Princes of Altdorf were called the Poor Princes during this time. However, 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]

Altdorf Besieged

However, by the time the Age of Three Emperors began, in 1547, Altdorf had become richer, profiting off the war between the Elected Emperors and the Ottilian Emperors. [22b]

In 1707, orc warboss Gorbad Ironclaw invaded the Empire.[Note 2] After laying waste to Averland, Solland, and the Moot, he marched north to Altdorf. [7c][7l] During the siege, the citizens made it a point of pride to ignore the death and starvation around them. [22b] The orcs were not successful in breaching the city, though they did manage to kill Emperor Sigismund, one of the imperial claimants at the time. As the cold of winter set in, Gorbad’s army scattered.[7c][7l]

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 2051 [7l], Altdorf was besieged once more. 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. 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]

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 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, a time of reconstruction of occurred. 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. In 2304, the Colleges of Magic were established in Altdorf under the protection of the Prince of the city. [7e] The citizens of Altdorf, however, objected to this and rioted during the summer of 2304 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 fabric of space had to be warped. 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]

Soon after settling down in Altdorf, the Colleges of Magic began to involve themselves in the politics of the city. 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]

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]

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 [21f][7e]

In the late 2400's, tensions between the Hooks and Fish broke out into an outright gang war. The Waterfront War lasted for five years, and died down only when the war chiefs of both gangs mysteriously disappeared. However, it did not end completely, and continues on a smaller scale to this day.[33d]

In 2502, the current emperor, Karl Franz I, ascended the throne. He ruled, and continues to rule, from Altdorf. [21f] 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]

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

Law and Government

"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]
Warhammer Altdorf Imperial Palace

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 of Man. His rule over his city is almost undisputed, not only because of his statesmenship but also because he commands the adoration of his people. 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. To prioritize this mess and make sure that only those with the most urgent business get an audience with the Emperor himself, successive emperors appointed members of prominent families 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]

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]

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]


Warhammer Altdorf Guild

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]

  • 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 Stevedores: Colloquially known as the Wharf Rats, the Guild of Stevedores is known for its physically imposing members. [22d]
  • 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] Historically, they have influenced the city’s citizenship laws to make them impossible to understand without their help. [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]


Citizenship law in Altdorf dates back to the time of Sigmar. Today they are 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 upon a tradesman. In some cases, citizenship may be a reward. Typically, 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, and tolls on gates, wharves 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 loose 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]

The Watch

The priorities of the Altdorf Watch are preventing riots and protecting the rich and powerful. They generally have little regard for petty thieves, routine gang activities, and even serious crime such as murder in poor districts.[22u]

The Watch is headquartered in the Empire House.[22m]


Altdorf Dockers

The varied peoples of Altdorf

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]

According to the census of 2510, there were 1,100 taxpaying Dwarf households in Altdorf.[16a] The city also has a few Elven inhabitants, mainly Envoys of the merchant houses.[18a][18c]

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]
Warhammer Docks of Altdorf

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] 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]

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] Today, Altdorf's walls are famously strong. 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] 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.[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 are 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]


North of the Reik

The Docklands

The Docklands are located on the northern bank of the Reik River.[22i] Its downstream boundary is the Three Toll Bridge,[33b] and its upstream boundary is the confluence of the Reik and Talabec.[22i] It 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] and the local watch division is notoriously corrupt.[33e]

  • 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]
  • 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]

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 inhabitants generally have a profession related to death and burial, such as that of the undertaker or coffin-maker, and are considered somewhat eccentric.[22i]

  • Amethyst College:[7i][9d][22i] The gothic spires of the Amethyst College of Magic loom over the haunted Cemetery of Old Altdorf. Most Altdorfers try to avoid the building, but to those who investigate, it appears to be long-abandoned.[7i][9d][22j]
  • Cemetery of Old Altdorf:[7i] 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]
  • 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]

Street of a Thousand Taverns

University District

The University of Altdorf is located northwest of the docks.[22i]

South of the Reik


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:[44a] 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]

Palace District

The Imperial Palace is located south of the Reik.[22i] Also called the Palast Districts, most of the city's guild halls are located here.[33g]

  • Celestial College:[7h][9d][22i][22l] 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]
  • Imperial Palace:[21j] The Imperial palace is a large and sumptuous building, overshadowed only by the Cathedral of Sigmar. [57]
  • 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, comprises a lower-class area.[22i]

Dwarf Quarter

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


A sub-district of the Dwarf Quarter, many of the inhabitants of the Metallschlacke districts work in the metal and stoneworking industries.[16a][16b]


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

Outside the City

Altdorf is located in a region of extensive mudflats where the Reik and Talabec rivers meet. The many channels do not reunite until a few miles downstream from the city walls.[11b] Outside of Altdorf is a large space cleared of trees and used for agriculture. There are many villages in this area. A few buildings exist just outside the city walls as well. [57]

  • Crackle Hill:[22b] 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:[22b] 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.


The waters of the River Reik are deep enough that oceangoing ships can sail as far inland as the Reiksport. This port is used both to unload cargo of merchant vessels, and as the headquarters for the Imperial Navy.[9f][33a] 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]

Other Districts


The Reikerbahn is a slum filled with smugglers and other criminals. 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:[33g] 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:[33f] This bridge is located just off the Old Docks.[33f]

Other Locations

  • Amber College:[7j][9c] 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]
  • The Broken Barrel:[22af] 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:[22v] The Burning Table is a good inn for newcomers to Altdorf. It's run by Matthias Tafel, a relatively permissive innkeeper.[22v]
  • The Circle Theatre:[33e]
  • The Cock Pit:[22ag] 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:[57] 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]
  • Elizabeth Baern's Estate:[22w] 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]
  • Golden College:[7g][9c] 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]
  • Gottri Hammerfist's Townhouse:[22z] Insane witch hunter Gottri Hammerfist lives in a fortified townhouse, with barred windows and reinforced walls. His servants are armed.[22z]
  • Grey College:[7i][9d] The Grey College is an unremarkable 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]
  • Guildhall of the Dwarf Engineers Guild:[16a] 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:[22x] 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 Duels:[7j][9c] This octagonal building is used once every eight years for a duel to see who will become 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]
  • The Imperial:[14a][14b] 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]
  • Jade College:[7h][9d] 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]
  • Light College:[7g][9c] 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]
  • Lord Frederick's Estate:[22y] 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:[8a] The Magnus Museum is a museum in Altdorf that includes exhibits on ancient history and archaeology.[8a]
  • Maximilian Saer's Townhouse:[22ad] 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]
  • The Red Lion Tavern[8a]
  • Reiksguard Chapter House:[61] 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]
  • Smithy of Dalbran Fellhammer:[20b] 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]
  • Temple of Shallya:[18d] 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]
  • Theodora Pferig's Townhouse:[22ac] The townhouse of retired witch hunter Theodora Pferig is decorated with trophies from her years as an adventurer.[22ac]
  • 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:[22ah] 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:[61] 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.


  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (4th Edition)
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition)
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (4th Edition)
  • 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. 58
    • 7r: pg. 59
    • 7s: pg. 60
    • 7t: pg. 64
    • 7u: 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
  • 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
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  • 44: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition -- Liber Mutatis
  • 45: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th Edition -- Core Rulebook
  • 46: Warhammer Quest (Video Game)
  • 47: White Dwarf 120
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  • 49: White Dwarf 140
  • 50: Hammer and Bolter Issue 25
  • 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
  • 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)

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