Separated from the Great Forest by the road from Altdorf to Middenheim and the Howling Hills. The Drakwald is one of the most ancient woods in all the world and is notorious for being the most dangerous and untameable territory within the Empire, and has since been infested with many types of strange and terrible creatures, the most prominent are the lurking tribes of Beastmen. The threat from the forest to imperial trade and travel necessitates regular sweeps by specialist troops such as the Drakwald Patrol and other state troops, as well as the construction of fortified inns and watchtowers along the wide roadway to from the south to the Middle Mountains and Hochland.
Once, the Drakwald was a province of the Empire in its own right, having been the ancient homeland of the fearsome Thuringian tribe who aided Sigmar in uniting the tribes. Its ruler was even recognized as an Elector Count of the Empire, with full rights and powers. The Drakwald Elector House was formally and permanently dismantled by the edicts of the new Emperor Mandred II as punishment for the Drakwald Emperor's incompetence as a leader of the Empire.
"How much flesh can a Ghorgon gorge on?
A Ghorgon gorges on flesh 'til it's gone.
He'd gorge on more, of it that you can be sure
If only he could find more to gorge on."
- —Tongue-twister popular amongst woodcutters' children in the Drakwald Forest[7a]
In the pre-Imperial age, the Drakwald was the savage homeland of the fierce warriors of the Thuringian tribes, led in the age of Sigmar by their ferocious warrior-king, Otwin the Berserker. The Thuringians were famed for their mighty berserkers, warriors so deadly and fierce that they can match the savagry of even the mighty Norsii of the North. When Sigmar waged his war to bring the tribes into his Human confederation, the Thuringians fought against him at first, not wishing to be brought into subservience to another without first fighting, as that would have been a breach of their honor. Sigmar thus led the Imperial warriors against the Thuringians where in that battle, he defeated the famed warrior-woman Ulfdar, and even overcame the hulking King Otwin in the throes of his berserk rage. Sigmar presented Otwin with a choice: either swear to him his Sword-Oath and accept Sigmar's offer of brotherhood, or he would wipe the Thuringian tribe off the face of the earth. Otwin is said to have laughed before offering Sigmar his brotherhood, and remarked that the Unberogen king was a man with whom he would gladly walk with towards the Halls of Ulric. From that day forward, the mighty Thuringians were brought into the Empire and fought in the vanguard of Sigmar's armies.
After the unification, the Drakwald was declared a province of the Empire, under the rule of its first Count, King Otwin, who was unwilling to shed his old title of the 'Berserker King' in favour of the less threatening 'Count'. Nonetheless, the Drakwald would continue to remain a proud part of Sigmar's great Empire for a thousand years.
This sense of pride and accomplishment all came crashing down in 1110 IC, when the then Count of Drakwald, Elector Count Vilner, was slain in battle fighting the loathsome Beastmen warherds that inhabits his lands. Having no heirs, the legendary Runefang Beast-Slayer was given to the safe-keeping of the Emperor Boris Goldgather. A new Elector Count of Drakwald was never declared, for the most eligible candidate, Duke Konrad Aldrech, died under unclear circumstances during the time of the terrible Black Plague which ravaged the Empire in 1111 IC. Over the centuries, the province was left unsupported, with its towns and cities falling into a state of disrepair and depredation of Chaos attacks. Beastmen tribes began to overrun the province, and by the end of the 12th century, much of Drakwald and her people cease to exist.
One of the last attempts to purge Drakwald of its unholy inhabitants occured in 1265 IC. In a bid to gain support for annexation of the Drakwald, Count Faulk of Middenland gathered an army intent on restoring the Drakwald to its "rightful owners." Catching wind of this, the Beastman warlord Kartok Great-Horn assembled 30 warherds, which consisted of nearly tens of thousands of beastmen in a temporary alliance and destroyed Faulk's army in its fourth week of campaigning. Kartok was then slain himself in a honour duel with a Doombull shortly thereafter.
Finally, in 1414 IC, the Elector Counts of Nordland and Middenland, after centuries of intermittent warfare over the province, signed an agreement to divide the contested area of Drakenwald between them. Predictably, Middenland received more from this division than her sister province of Nordland.
- 1: Armybook: Beasts of Chaos (6th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 11
- 2: Armybook: Empire (7th Edition)
- 3: Heldenhammer (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- 4: Empire (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- 5: Life of Sigmar (Background Book)
- 6 Dead Winter (Novel) by C.L. Werner
- 7: Warhammer: Storm of Magic (supplement)
- 7a: pg. 109