The Empire is a nation of laws, which means it’s also a nation of jails. Despite the best efforts of the clergy of Verena, the Goddess of Justice, the innocent are just as likely as the guilty to end up in jail. Better too harsh than too lax is the opinion of the law. Imperial jails are foul dungeons that smell equally of fear and excrement. Jailers preside over these institutions, using a combination of brutality and humiliation to keep order. Jailers generally have no sense of justice or pity, and are seldom swayed by pleas or speeches (though bribes are gladly accepted). The worst are outright sadists, delighting in the power they hold over their charges.[1a]

The Empire's Strange Penal Code

It is assumed by most of their "guests" that jailers are simply brutish sadists who enjoy torturing them. And while certainly this is true of some, many jailers are bound by an archaic and often bewildering code of laws.[2a]

For example, in Altdorf it is illegal for a jailer to beat a prisoner with a club thicker than this thumb. In Middenheim, any prisoner that will be executed must be fed roast beef.[2a]

The city with the most and widest variety of bizarre and even laughable penal laws, is Talabheim. In Talabheim, prisoners must wear colour-coded tabards according to their most heinous crime. This bizarre selection of often garish colours (yellow for theft, red for murder, green for forgery, pink for rape, and white and grey stripes for treason, to give a few examples) creates a prison that to one observer's eye looks more like a circus than a jail.[2a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 42
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
    • 2a: pg. 115

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