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- “… a residence where the differing architectural styles were not so much at odds as in outright conflict–and therefore the palace is as fitting a symbol for the Empire as any.”
- Unknown Imperial Architect 
Overshadowed only by the Cathedral of Sigmar, the Imperial Palace of Altdorf is a massive, very elaborate building standing near the middle of the great city. The palace is home to both the infamous Reiksguard household guards, and the great Emperor Karl Franz himself. The Imperial palace is a vast building, easily the largest in the city. The Emperor's court is always filled with nobility from across the Empire, and is a hotbed of political intrigue, social manoeuvring, and hedonistic frivolity.
The first emperor to make his capital in Altdorf was Sigmar.[1a] It is rumored that parts of this original palace remain as part of the current palace. One thousand years later, Ludwig II gained a palace in Altdorf, despite the fact that his capital was in Carroburg. [1b]
Due to its long history, the Imperial palace is a very complex building. Parts of it have been built and rebuilt, others added on throughout the years. Nearby administrative buildings have sometimes been connected to the palace, and eventually become part of it.
The Imperial Palace includes a medium-sized garden, which includes statues of the Empire’s heroes, from both ancient and recent times. It also has a green lawn. The Imperial Zoo is also located on the palace grounds.
Another notable room contains a mosaic mappa mundi of the Empire, called the Great Chart, inlaid onto the floor. Various geographical features are represented by opulent materials. The boundaries of the Imperial provinces are depicted with rosewood, limewood, copper, and brass. Rosettes of oak or maple wound with gold wire mark the locations of the city-states, while other cities are ivory buttons. Rivers of pearl and steel thread flow into silver mirror lakes, and the entire floor is marked by the ebony chevrons depicting forests. The edges of the map itself are made of satin wood and silver thread. As for the rest of the room, it is nearly as sumptuous as the Great Chart itself. The pillars are overlaid with gold leaf and its windows look out upon the River Reik. Its walls are covered by luxurious tapestries depicting Sigmar Heldenhammer.[7a]
The palace, as the hub of Imperial activity, is remarkably tolerant of wizards. Many Imperial counsellors take advice from one or more Colleges in the running of the Empire. And wizards’ influence spreads to facets of Imperial rule far removed from where they might be most expected. The common people may not trust wizards, but those who rule them often do.[3a]
A particularly charismatic or diplomatic wizard might find himself appointed to palace duties, where he is expected to aid the Empire and further the ambitions of his College, equally. Many wizards of different stripes inevitably meet and clash within the palace’s marble halls. They wheedle for more influence while trying to put down their rivals.[3a]
Some nobles and advisors consider that the influence of the Colleges has gone too far. They do all they can to curb this, believing that such reliance is dangerous to the very survival of the Empire. After all, it continued well enough for two thousand years. The last two hundred years, when the Colleges have carved out their unique position in the Empire and the palace, has not exactly seen an improvement in the general state of affairs.[3a]
- In Sword of Vengeance, the Imperial Palace is noted for having eleven banquet halls, allegedly so that rivaling state officials and their entourage wouldn't have to dine in the same room together.[2a]
- 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Sigmar's Heirs
- 2: Sword of Vengeance, by Christ Wraight
- 2a: Chapter 2
- 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- Winds of Magic
- 3a: pg. 10
- 4: Death's Legacy by Sandy Mitchell
- 5: Reiksguard by Richard Williams
- 6: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Empire in Flames
- 7: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Core Rulebook
- 7a: pg. 13