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Grenzstadt is an Imperial fortress-town that is located at the northwestern end of Black Fire Pass, and commands lucrative trade traffic from traders moving through the Old Dwarf Road.[1a][2][3a] Ruled by a representative of the Elector Count, Grenzstadt is a centre of the fur, gem, and metal trade, with a large guild market and warehouses within its walls.[1a] At any given time, foreign merchants, trade caravans, and pilgrims can be seen in the town.[3a]

However, Grenzstadt's strategic location means that it also bears the brunt of many orc invasions into the Empire. Because it is in the Elector Count's best interests to keep the town settled, the Leitdorf family has in some cases resorted to giving monetary incentives for tradesmen to settle in the town.[2]

Grenzstadt also lends its name to the Grenzstadter white wine.[4a]

Physical Description

Grenzstadt is somewhat busier than its size, as the forbidding fortifications that surround it might suggest. Grenzstadt's location between the Empire and the Dwarfholds on the other side of Black Fire Pass make it a significant commercial hub and while the many market stalls in the town square sell rather meagre fare, the streets are lined with many up-market emporiums specialising in luxury goods such as furs, gems and precious metals.[5a]

There are many inns and hostelries in the town, catering to the influx of pilgrims that visit Grenzstadt. The inns tend to be named after events told in legends about Sigmar, such as “The Skaranock”, “King Ironbeard’s Rescue”, or “The Last Rest”. Most of these are jam packed with pilgrims, there is no place to sit, no rooms available and the time taken to queue at the bar would stretch the patience of anyone.[5a]

Gates

At the gates is a toll booth decorated with many patriotic inscriptions about the value of defence that the brave men of Grenzstadt provide to the rest of the Empire, as well as a reminder as to how much such a defence costs. Entry to the town is a silver shilling per leg.[5a]

The Eternal Watch Temple

Dominating the Town Square is an odd building, constructed from black basalt slabs and protected by walls as thick as those of the town itself. The building rises to a tall thin square, incongruously fragile-looking compared to the mighty walls that surround it. This is the Eternal Watch Temple of Grenzstadt, home to an order of Sigmarite Priests who keep a constant vigil on the entrance to Black Fire Pass. they hope to be the first to see the return of Sigmar from the land into which he disappeared, as certain holy prophecies foretell.[5a]

Dawr Urbaz

Within the Dwarfen quarter there is a large drinking hall built in the traditional style called Dawr Urbaz, a Khazalid phrase that in this context implies “even though this place of trade has not been here for a very long time it is fit for Dwarfs and therefore admirable”. It was established in 1467.[5a]

Inside are long tables of thick timber hewn from oak, lined with equally sturdy benches. There are many fine Dwarfen beers for sale at the bar, such as Troll Brew, Thengeln’s Golden Preserve and Old Fortitude. The bar also provides dishes of kuri (spiced goat meat). The prices are high, but for a dwarf returning from the Empire, it may be the best meal they've had for a long time.[5a]

Dwarfs & Smugglers

There are a great many Dwarfs in Grenzstadt. Most of them reside in the Town Square or the sizeable Dwarfen Quarter nestled against the southern wall. The Dwarfs make up around 10% of the town's total population, although this number seems smaller due to the large number of human pilgrims and merchants that drift through the town at any given time.[5a]

The Dwarfs of Grenzstadt are gregarious examples of their folk, traders with a gift for gossip and socialising. One would not find it hard to strike up a conversation, and if newcomers keep to themselves they will soon be approached and asked to introduce themselves, tell their tales and generally join in a bit more.[5a]

Grenzstadt's close proximity to the Dwarf Realms also means it houses one of the largest black markets for plundered Dwarfen treasure. While it's true that tomb robbers are despised throughout the Old World, the Dwarfs hold a special enmity for those who would despoil their sacred vaults.[3a] This leads to hostility with Grenzstadt's Dwarf population.[1a][3a]

Some of these are Dwarfen Lawbringers dispatched from Karaz-a-Karak specifically to deal with the black market.[3a] Others claim merely to be traders who provide high quality goods and services for those who can afford their prices. However, they are not above suspicion. Rumours state that many of Grenzstadt's resident dwarfs are in fact agents for their clans on the lookout for smugglers of pilfered dwarf treasures. Although these rumours are generally dismissed, they would explain the recent disappearance of several miners who bragged of a "big new strike" in the hills.[1a]

Although the Dwarfs have recovered many ancestral treasures, one tomb robber continues to evade them – the Ghost of Grenzstadt. Whether the Ghost of Grenzstadt is a lone individual or a team of despoilers is unknown. The only reliable information the Dwarfs have gleaned about the Ghost is that he or she is an experienced tomb robber specialising in the acquisition of Dwarfen artefacts from ancient ruins scattered throughout the pass.[3a]

News from the Dwarf realms has not been reaching the town much recently. Apparently this is a consequence of increased volcanic activity from the fire mountains to the south. Plumes of ash have drifted through the sky, and Gyrocopter pilots have been advised not to fly until the eruptions settle down a bit.[5a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Sigmar's Heirs
    • 1a: pg. 47-48
  • 2: Warhammer Quest (Video Game)
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Career Compendium
    • 3a: pg. 212
  • 4: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Realms of Sorcery
    • 4a: pg. 234
  • 5: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition - A Journey to Black Fire Pass
    • 5a: pg. 14-15

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