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"Alas! Though the land of Sigmar was weak and divided none would give up their claims to the crown. IN THE YEAR 1979 THE ELECTORS CHOSE MAGRITTA OF MARIENBURG AS THEIR NEW EMPRESS. The Grand Theogonist was much vexed by this choice, for he was of the kind much opposed to the raising of women to the throne of Sigmar and he did refuse her the crown, though many said it was not his right but that of the Counts alone. Yet his voice was not without influence, and so each Count went his own way and each was divided from each other. The land of Sigmar was riven by war and rivalry. Many powerful cities did look to their own means for defence in those times, and the merchants and usurers did profit overmuch."
Excerpt from Old Reikhard's Almanac. Parte II, by Reikhard of Gotham[4a]

Magritta of Marienburg was the Elector Countess of Westerland during the Age of Three Emperors, and became a candidate to the throne of the Empire in 1979 IC, when she was just a child.[2a][3a]

History

Lady Magritta of Marienburg was brought up by the Sisters of Sigmar, the only female warrior order of the Cult of Sigmar.[3e] In the year 1979 IC, when she was still a child[2a][5a], the secretive High Order of Honourable Freetraders, a large, rich, and ambitious body of men that felt themselves shackled by the old order and were eager to seize power for themselves, exerted their unseen influence throughout the Empire to persuade all the minor Elector Counts to support Magritta's claim to the Imperial throne[3d] against those of the Counts of Middenland, Reikland and Sylvania.[3c] This would allow them to establish a new ruling assembly that would give the mercantile classes political authority to match their wealth.[3b] However, the Grand Theogonist of Sigmar refused to acknowledge the appointment[2a][4a][5a][7a] according to the doctrine of male ascent by which no woman may wear Sigmar's crown.[3a][4a] Since Empresses had been elected before, it is possible that another factor in his decision was her sympathy towards the Sisters of Sigmar who had raised her, as they were being decried as witches and unworthy bearers of Sigmar's holy word.[3e] At the time, it was said the Grand Theogonist secretly coveted not only spiritual but also temporal power over the Empire.[3b]

When a twin-tailed comet of wyrdstone crashed into the city of Mordheim in Ostermark in 1999 IC, the discovery that this substance had the power to turn base metals to gold led all the major claimants, including Lady Magritta, to sponsor mercenary adventurers to recover what wyrdstone they could.[3a] By then, her rivalry with the Counts of Middenland and Reikland was so bitter that it was rare to find men from different places even encamped together around Mordheim, and practically unheard of to find men from one land fighting in the same warband as men from another.[3c]

This power struggle effectively ended the Imperial electoral system, and the Elector Counts did not meet again for over four hundred years, until Magnus the Pious rose to power in 2303 IC and unified the Empire for the Great War against Chaos[2a][6b][7a]. During this time the cities governed their own affairs and many of the larger towns became prosperous under the leadership of Burgomeisters elected from the mercantile classes and other wealthy citizens. The power of the Elector Counts declined as that of the Burgomeisters grew, and many cities began to recruit their own troops.[2a][7a] For all intents and purposes, the Empire ceased to exist as a unified nation under an Emperor. With Sigmar's people divided into petty, squabbling fiefdoms, the Empire was easy prey and its enemies gathered like carrion eaters around a corpse.[5a]

Canon conflict

In both Sigmar's Heirs[6b] and Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)[7a], Magritta is stated to have been chosen as "Emperor", even though all previous editions explicitly say she was a girl and "Empress" - with Mordheim[3a] and Warhammer Armies: The Empire (6th Edition)[4a] even going so far as to say the Grand Theogonist refused her the crown for her gender.

Also, in page 17 of Sigmar's Heirs she is referred to as "Grand Countess Margraritha of Nuln", who was chosen Empress by a "rump council" of Electors and was not recognised outside of Wissenland, Stirland and Averland, leading the Grand Theogonist to declare the office vacant.[6a] This name had also been used in Warhammer Fantasy RPG: The Enemy Within, although her province of origin is never mentioned, and in the very next page she is called Magritta as well.[1a]

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Ed.: The Enemy Within
    • 1a: pg. 11-12
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 8
  • 3: Mordheim
    • 3a: pg. 12
    • 3b: pg. 13
    • 3c: pg. 14
    • 3d: pg. 69
    • 3e: pg. 82
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (6th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 59
  • 5: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition)
    • 5a: pg. 10
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Sigmar's Heirs
    • 6a: pg. 17
    • 6b: pg. 21
  • 7: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)
    • 7a: pg. 16

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