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"The Business of Marienburg, is business."

—Director Jaan Van de Kuypens.[1g]

Marienburg is considered to be the largest trading hub in the Old World and is the greatest of its ports, far more wondrous than even the city-states of Tilea. Straddling the mouth of the River Reik as it drains the mainland into the Sea of Claws, nearly all maritime trade that concerns Bretonnia and the Empire happens here. It is a place of great wealth and great opportunity. It is a place despised by the Empire, despite its reliance on the fabulous port city’s good fortunes.[2a]

Marienburg is vast; a bright spot in an otherwise forlorn and wretched landscape. The people of the city are descended by the tribe of the Jutones, who drove the Endals and the Fimir off their lands and made the marshes their new found home. In fact, the people of Westerland are of Endal stock while the city itself is purely Jutones in origin. The city itself rises from the foetid swamp that typifies the Wasteland, that gloomy march between the impenetrable Drakwald Forest and the immense Pale Sisters. With the regular rains, sucking mires, and the strange breed of peasants that make their living trawling the dark waters of the countryside, reaching the grand city can sometimes be a feat in and of itself. A visitor to Marienburg can quickly be overwhelmed by the sheer size of this metropolis, with its innumerable islands, canals, and labyrinthine streets. So large is the city that many of its denizens rarely venture beyond their own districts, and can only speculate about what happens on the other side of the city.[2b]

Anyone wishing to get anywhere in the city must cough up a few coins to pay for passage on one of the canals. Certainly, one could get where they want to go on foot, but the streets are so narrow, so twisting, it’s easy to get lost, swallowed whole by a city that always hungers for fresh meat. Thus the canals are the main thoroughfares and the murky waters, glistening with the oily sheen of filth, are filled with skiffs, rowboats, sailing ships, and even galleons come to pass through the city and venture onwards to Altdorf or even as far as Nuln.[2b]


The facts of Marienburg's origins are all but lost in the distant past. War, fire, floods, rats and even the Cult of Manaan have all done their best to obscure the truth. What have come down to the present are little more than tall tales told in tap-rooms and educated guesses by Old World scholars poring over crumbling manuscripts. Marienburgers are a practical lot; their city just is, and that's that. As long as it's a profitable place to be, then how it came to be here is of little concern to its average inhabitant. Still, almost any street urchin will gladly sell a visitor a map to Marius's secret treasure hoard, or showing the vault where the cult of Manaan hid their altar-pieces during the Bretonnian occupation.[1e]

Marius the Fen Wolf (-20 to -10 IC)

Yet despite this layer of fabrication, some accurate facts are known about the city's early history. According to sagas set down in writing centuries later, between the departure of the Dwarfs and the coming of Man, the fens around the islands of what would become Marienburg came to be infested with Fimir. At the same time, far away in the northern forests of the Old World, the Juton tribe was at the brink of destruction at the hands of the far larger and seemingly invincible Teutogens, a warlike tribe that dominated all the others in the days before the coming of Sigmar. Faced with the choice of slavery, starvation or suicidal battle, their paramount chief, the semi-mythical Marius, persuaded his people to instead flee the Forest of Shadows and head west with all they could carry in a great exodus.[1e]

However they got there and for whatever reason they left, it's agreed that the Jutones were in the Wasteland by the year -20 I.C. There, all the tales state, they engaged in a fierce war with the Fimir, with neither side giving quarter, each bent on genocide. Around -10 I.C., the Jutones and the Fimir met in a climactic battle amidst the ruins of the Sea Elf fortress. The Saga of Dobbe Arend, the oldest known with fragments dating from the sixth century, says that Marius met the Fimir queen in single combat and killed her on Slagveldsrots ('Battlefield Rock'), the old name for the island on which the Staadtholder's palace sits. He laid claim to the marsh and all the lands between "the forests and the seas" and founded his city on the Elven ruins of the ancient Elven city, proclaiming himself King of Jutonsryk ('Realm of the Jutones').[1e]

He saw fit to name the city for himself, and built his tower on Rykseiland ('Realm's Isle'), these days called Rijkers' Isle. The next several centuries are shrouded in obscurity. A column in the crypts of the Cathedral of Manaan bears carved names and accomplishments, some of which are still readable. Though styled 'kings', they were little better than chiefs in these days, ruling a crude fishing village amongst the ruins. Euricius Mariuszoon and the twin-tailed comet of his reign are mentioned. Then Gijsbert Mannelykheid of the dozen sons in the third century I.C., and his heir, known only as Grootneus ('Big nose').[1e]

Sigismund the Conqueror (-10 to 501 IC)

The Jutones tried to settle the Wasteland, too; especially the fertile country around the banks of the Reik. One can still see the artificial hills of old motte-and-bailey forts, some maintained as places of refuge to this day. Small towns and villages were founded on the Tumble Downs, of which Aarnau is the largest and oldest. None survived the few attempts made to settle the Bitter Moors, Almshoven being the last to die. After the first few centuries, these attempts at colonisation were half-hearted at best, a bone thrown to disaffected factions or young nobles who "wanted land, not fish!" Even in these early days, Marienburg was not only the chief city of the Wasteland, it was the Wasteland.[1e]

The next time the city enters history with any certainty is in the Chronicles of the Venerable Ottokar, an early Grand Theogonist of the Cult of Sigmar. The unknown scribe records Ottokar's blessings on the efforts of Emperor Sigismund II "the Conqueror" to extend the domains of "the unity of Divine Sigmar". While the chronicle concentrates on wars to the south and east, it makes brief mention of a campaign against the "barbarians of the Reik's mouth" in the spring and summer of 501 IC.[1e]

Mustering a great army, Sigismund is said to have swept aside the resistance of the Jutones and received the submission of King Bram, the Jutones ruler. The chronicler praises the wisdom and generosity of the Emperor, for "he neither razed their Citadel nor reduced them to charcoal, but rather loved them as Children, making their King a Baron and Vassal of the Empire, and naming the new province 'Westerland'. And so he shewed His Love for all the Children of Sigmar."[1e]

The Raiders of the Far North (501 to 632 IC)

Two key factors shaped Marienburg's early history: the people's growing love of the sea and their contacts, violent and commercial, with the Norse. The Manaanspoort Sea was Marienburg's gold mine - its seemingly inexhaustible supply of fish provided a large surplus that was salted and exported to the growing towns and cities of the interior, while the King of Jutonsryk (and, later, the Barons of Westerland) enjoyed a monopoly on the production and export of salt. In fact, the salt trade was so profitable that the earliest Imperial laws against smuggling were devoted to it. The penalty for salt-smuggling was imprisonment for life in the dungeons of the Baron. But bright gold often draws greedy eyes. Across the Sea of Claws the Norscan jarls saw the gathering wealth to the south and decided that taking it all at once would be more profitable than trading for it with amber and furs.[1e]

It was in 632 I.C. that the first raiders appeared, their dragon-headed longboats bringing terror to the coasts of the Old World. In the library of the Temple of Verena, an ancient diary records the fear the Norscan raids inspired: "Merciful Shallya," pleaded the unknown writer, "spare us the fury of the Norscans!" Mercy was apparently in short supply, since this year also saw the first sacking and burning of Marienburg, an event that would happen three more times over the next 1200 years. Not that the Marienburgers took it quietly. From studying captured longboats they learned how to built their own open-ocean craft and tried time and again to fight the attackers on their own ground. Sometimes they succeeded, sometimes they didn't. When they didn't, the Barons would agree to some enormous tribute, usually gold, in return for peace - at least until the next time the Jarls of Norsca wanted more. When it did work, treaties would be signed that provided for trade instead of tribute, the Marienburgers always seeking to bind the Norscans with luxury imports they could obtain more easily than by risking lives in a war.[1e]

The Rise of the Merchants (632 to 2150 IC)

All this bound Marienburg's inhabitants more closely to the sea. With their new-found confidence, they explored the coasts of the Old World, making contact and trading with the cities and towns of Bretonnia, Estalia and Tilea. They even crossed the Sea of Claws to sign treaties of commerce with the inhabitants of Albion, and ventured far to the south to bring back silks and spices from the distant lands of Araby and Ind. At first, trade was run by the noble families of the Wasteland, who were traditionally close to their people and not above working side-by-side with their villeins. But, along with Imperial fashion, Imperial attitudes took hold among the Wasteland's nobles, who began to sniff at commerce and leave it to the common folk.[1e]

It was an unwise move. The new merchants took up the slack with such gusto that successful trading houses soon began to rival the nobles in terms of wealth, even becoming the creditors of those that had fallen on hard times. By the Time of the Three Emperors, the influence of the middle class and its entrepreneurs had grown to the point that they could demand and get seats on the Baron's advisory council, the Stadsraad, which had formerly been restricted to the clergy and the nobility. At first, Baron Roelandius van Buik refused absolutely: 'Admit commoners to governance and you might as well give Chaos the keys to the Old World!"[1e]

The Arrival of the High Elves (2150 to 2301 IC)

He saw the light, however, after the Merchants' Association revealed several past-due loans against the homes of the nobility, including the Baron's new palace, that would sadly have to be foreclosed upon. Not relishing the thought of moving back to the draughty castle on Rijker's, nor of being stuck there again with his dispossessed noble chums, Baron van Buik relented in return for a renegotiation of the loans. The real turning-point in Marienburg's history came in 2150 I.C., when a strange ship was sighted approaching the Manaanspoort Zee. While not obviously hostile, its alien design prompted Baron Matteus van Hoogmans to dispatch four ships of his own to make contact and discover the newcomer's intent. Within a day caution had turned to joy as the ship sailed into Marienburg harbour with the four carracks as escort, firing their cannons in salute. The Sea Elves had returned to their ancient port. Having the chance of a lifetime fall into his lap like a ripe apple, Baron van Hoogmans immediately opened negotiations with the Sea Elf Wavemaster, Sullandiel Fartrader. A team of negotiators comprising the Baron himself, the chief priest of Haendryk and the heads of the great merchant houses worked for two hard weeks with the captain and officers of the Lughsoll. The result was the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. With this coup, Marienburg made fast its claim to be the premier port in the Old World.[1e]

The Sack of Mariemburg (2344 IC)

The Sack of Marienburg was a battle that occurred in XI, 181 (2344 IC) between the retaliating High Elves and the merchant city of Marienburg.[3a]

Guided by luck more than judgement, Otto Steinroth -- the infamous Red Pirate of Marienburg -- led a mighty fleet through Ulthuan's mist. His wolf-prowed ships laid waste to the city of Sardenath and his crews plundered its treasures. Thus did Steinroth's ships depart for home far wealthier than they had arrived.[3a]

With these deeds did the Red Pirate bring woe upon the city of Marienburg, for he earned the wrath of Sea Lord Aislinn, whose fleet had come to Sardenath's aid too late. Aislinn's ships were swift, and could easily have overtaken the Red Pirate and destroyed him at sea, but the Sea Lord was determined to set an example not soon forgotten by the upstart race of Man. So it was that he shadowed Steinroth's ships across the stormy seas, using every ounce of nautical cunning at his command to remain undetected. Only when the Red Pirate's fleet was berthed once more alongside Marienburg's Guilderveld docks did Aislinn strike.[3a]

As the battle began, the gunners in Marienburg's coastal fortresses -- long practiced though they were at repelling raids from Bretonnia and Norsca -- found their aim cheated by an inexplicable mist that swept over the Reiksmouth the instant the first shot was fired. Under cover of the mist, the High Elf fleet took up blockade formation and began bombardment of the port. Aislinn's flagship, the Brinedragon, its gunwales filled to bursting with the finest warriors of Lothern, sailed full into the harbour and disgorged its troops along the dockside. Had the Marienburgers known the reason for Aislinn's attack, they might well have stood aside and allowed his vengeance to proceed unimpeded, the better to end the blockade of their city. As it was, they knew only that their home was afire, and that Elven warriors marched in their streets. Thus, Aislinn's warriors found their path to Steinroth's wolfprows blocked not only by the Red Pirate's rough curs, bu some of Nordland's finest troops.[3a]

So began a confused battle along the dockside. The Elves had the better of it from the start, for the mist was their making and thus little impediment to their eyes. It was soon too much for the Red Pirate's men, who had no taste for fighting on the losing side. When Steinroth himself was cut down by Aislinn's blade, the survivors threw down their blades and dove into the water to escape. Yet there was no escape there from Aislinn's keen-eyed archers. The will of the pirates might have been broken, but the soldiers of Marienburg fought with all the desperation of men defending their home. Handguns coughed and boomed as Nordland marksmen vainly searched for targets in the mist. The harbour rang with the clash of steel upon steel as halberdiers and swordsmen sought to drive the Elves from the quayside. Yet they fought in vain. Little by little, the High Elves scoured the docks about the wolfprows. As the Lothern Sea Guard formed spear-walls to secure the quayside, other Elves boarded the wolfprows and retrieved all that was truly valuable: books of ancient lore, sceptres and circlets of rule and the weapons of Sardenath's princes.[3a]

Then, at Aislinn's command, the Elves retreated to the Brinedragon, taking with them not only their dead, but also a large number of (extremely vocal) Elven merchants whose stores of fine wine and eastern silks would now have to be abandoned -- no Elf could hope to remain free in Marienburg after that day's deeds.[3a]

As Aislinn's flagship rejoined his fleet, he turned back towards Marienburg with narrowed eyes. He gave a sharp nod to the mages assembled upon the foredeck, and they called down a conflagration of living flame upon the dockside. The fires quickly spread from ship to jetty, and from jetty to warehouse, consuming all in their path. By the time the Brinedragon had reached open sea, all Marienburg's merchant fleet -- and much of the city's hoarded wealth -- had been reduced to ashes upon the wind.[3a]

Aislinn returned to mixed a reception on Ulthuan. The kin of those slain at Sardenath hailed him as a hero, as did those princes who believed the power of the High Elves should be felt more keenly in other lands. Many others -- especially those who had benefited greatly from trade with Marienburg -- declaimed Aislinn's actions as unnecessarily ruthless and nothing short of declaration of war. In the months following the sack of Marienburg, the Sea Lord's standing at court diminished almost to nothing -- a situation not helped by Aislinn prosecuting new campaigns of reciprocity against Norscan settlements. Ironically, the same actions that isolated the Sea Lord amongst the courts of Ulthuan soon drew him closer to the Phoenix King, for Finubar saw a ruthlessness in Aislinn that Ulthuan could ill afford to lose.[3a]

Imperial Crisis (2301 to 2378 IC)

Crisis came to Marienburg, as it did for the entire world, during the Incursion of Chaos in 2301 I.C. The last Baron of Westerland, Paulus van der Maacht, died without heir while serving in Magnus the Pious's army in Kislev. Almost as soon as the war was over, Emperor Magnus was besieged by claims to the province and its vast wealth. The ruling families of both Talabecland and Nordland had reasonable claims, but literally hundreds of petitions flooded the Imperial Palace from noble families across the Empire who sought the office. Lawyers and genealogists worked overtime to produce connections to the House of van der Maacht, no matter how tenuous. More disquieting were the reports from spies that several of the Empire's electoral provinces had begun to secretly gather armies.[1e]

Magnus saw the full picture; should any of the great noble families feel slighted, the resulting animosities could rekindle the civil wars he had so recently ended. It was late one spring night that Magnus received yet another deputation, not from an Imperial noble, but a committee representing the wealthiest merchants of Marienburg, bearing a proposal. Their scheme was simple yet daring: rather than risk renewed fighting by choosing one noble house over another, Magnus could refuse to appoint anyone and instead let Marienburg be governed by a directorate comprising the greatest of its Merchant Houses and temples. Business would go on as it always had - taxes would be collected, trade goods would flow into and out of the Empire, and Imperial peace and unity would be preserved.[1e]

The Emperor, according to legend, prayed hard for several days and nights. In the end, he agreed and declared the Barony ceased, renaming it the Province of Westerland and placing the merchants in charge. All seemed to be in order, and things ran so smoothly that subsequent Emperors came to take Marienburg for granted and largely forgot about it. Whether it was part of a grand plan on the part of Marienburg's plutocrats or simply a canny sense of the opportunities that came their way, over the next century the Directorate concentrated more and more power in their hands, loosening the ties that bound them to the Empire.[1e]

The Directorate of Marienburg (2378 IC to Present)

First, the Merchant Houses gained the right to arm and maintain large private militias, ostensibly to deal with the pirates of Reavers' Point. After the successful campaigns of 2378, this right was made permanent and the Imperial garrison was withdrawn. Playing on that success, the Directorate offered to take over the maintenance and operations of the Imperial Second Fleet, which had been stationed in Marienburg for over a thousand years. The financially strapped Emperor Leopold von Ulhafiger was only too happy to agree, freeing the funds he needed to fight wars to the east and put down revolts at home. Content to leave the defence of Westerland to its helpful burghers, Leopold swiftly disbanded the Second Fleet. Not surprisingly, its ships and sailors quickly found their way into the private forces of the Merchant Houses.[1e]

Finally, the Directors appointed their own excise service in 2399 IC to see to the efficient collection of taxes and tariffs and control of smugglers. Every penny was neatly counted and tallied before it reached the Imperial Legation, while the Marienburg excise men proved themselves skilled at catching smugglers. Some said at the time that the innocent people were framed when no real smugglers could be found, just to make things look good. A grateful government in Altdorf allowed the Imperial Excise Service in Marienburg to wither until it did little more than receive the Directorate's payments. The final break with the Empire came at the end of the reign of Emperor Dieter IV, last of the Unfahigers, who imposed heavy taxes on beer and sausages to prosecute his invasion of the Border Princedoms. In the chaos caused by revolts against the taxes and Dieter's deposition in favour of Grand Prince Wilhelm of the Reikland, the Directorate seized the moment and had the Stadsraad declare Westerland's independence.[1e]

The newly made Emperor Wilhelm III did not take the news quietly. He sent three expeditions against Marienburg. All three were defeated, and the last resulted in the surrender of the Imperial Army at the so-called Battle of the Grootscher Marsh. This also revealed the ties between the Directorate and the Sea Elves, whose wizards were decisive in the final campaign. With threats on all sides, Wilhelm acceded to the inevitable and recognised the independence of what was now proudly calling itself the 'Wasteland'. With the treaty of 20 Kaldezeit 2429, Marienburg was free to chart its course in the world.[1e]

End Times

Attention, Empire Citizens!
This article contains information regarding The End Times, the final campaign that ended with the destruction of the world, which is considered canon by Games Workshop.

In the late winter of 2525 IC, the Sea Elf fleet of the city sailed out alone to deal with an approaching fleet of Chaos and Norse warships. The same night an in their wake, the Meesterhand also set sail, hoping to loot the destroyed Norse vessels but finding instead the wreckage of the Elf vessels and a vast fleet of Plague Hulks and Longships making directly for Marienburg.[4a]

The Vloedmuur is breached by strange growths of foul vegatation and the fleet led by the Greenwolf sailed into the harbour despite the ferocious barrage from the fortifcations, gun batteries and the human ships in the harbour which had formed a wall around their flagship, the mighty Zegepraal. Yet the Greenwolf sailed on and through and with its consorts unleashed plague catapults upon those who stood against them. The harbour was swiftly taken allowing hordes of marauders to pour out into the streets.[4b]

Enraged by the attack on his home, the count Mundvard and his vampires countered by raising a army of the dead and attacking the invaders even as the city burned.[4c] The count summoned a terrorgheist who he first unleashed upon the Greenwolf which it destroyed[4d] before moving to engage the leaders of the host, the Glottkin as a magical duel was being fought between them and the vampire lord. However as it approached, a magical blast turned the monster into dust and shortly after Mundvard was himself cut down, his body flung into the Reik and the undead army he had commaded, collapsing. The remnants of the city would soon fall completely.[4d]


  • -4550 - Elves establish fortress of Sith Rionnasc'namishathir at the mouth of the Reik.[1y]
  • -4500 - Coming of Chaos.[1y]
  • -4119 - Elves and Dwarfs combine armies and drive the last remnants of Chaos from the Old World.[1y]
  • -2839 - Pledge of friendship between Dwarfs and Elves. The sea wall, Vloedmuur, is built by the Dwarfs.[1y]
  • -1997 - The 400-year War of Vengeance begins between Elves and Dwarfs.[1y]
  • -1502 - Sith Rionnasc'namishathir falls to the Dwarfs after a long siege. Fortress is razed to the ground.[1y]
  • -1501 - Elves withdraw from Old World, leaving isolated colonies in the deep woodlands (the largest in the Loren and Laurelorn Forests).[1y]
  • -20 - After his defeat by the Teutognens, Marius receives a vision from Olovald to lead his people the Jutones west from Nordland. There Marius the Fen Wolf, the first King of Jutonsryk, begins 10-year campaign to rid the Reik marshes of marauding bands of Fimir.[1y]
  • -10 - Marius comes upon the ruins of Sith Rionnasc' namishathir and founds Marienburg at that site. Begins construction of Rijker's Isle fortress.[1y]
  • 501 - Independent Marienburg absorbed by Empire during reign of Emperor Sigismund II, the Conqueror. The King of the Jutones becomes an Imperial noble, the Baron of Westerland.[1y]
  • 632 - Norscan raids commence. Marienburg sacked for the first time.[1y]
  • 765 - Barony ofWesterland and Norscans conclude treaty ending the latter's raiding at the Althing of Traktatsey.[1y]
  • 936 - Marriage of Maud du Goiscin, daughter of Duke Simon Beaumanoir of Moussillon, to Arnout van Daalen, heir to the Barony, cementing an alliance against L'Anguille.[1y]
  • 1087 - Marienburg concludes treaty with the eastern kingdoms of Albion.[1y]
  • 1102 - Council of Marienburg. Cult of Manaan declares Olovald " not a god, a servant of Manaan". Cults are merged; history is rewritten to make Manaan the patron deity.[1y]
  • 1109 - Norscans resume raiding. Marienburg sacked and occupied by army of Snorri Half-hand, who proclaims himself Jarl ofVestland. Barons ofWesterland hold out in Rijker's Isle.[1y]
  • 1110 - Devastating outbreak of Black Plague begins in the Empire and spreads throughout the Old World over the next five years.[1y]
  • 1111 - Norscans abandon Marienburg.[1y]
  • 1152 - Inconclusive Electoral Council starts the 200-year Age of Wars. Westerland ignored by the rest of the Imperial Provinces.[1y]
  • 1360 - Start of the Imperial Civil Wars. Defenceless Marienburg sacked for third time.[1y]
  • 1547 - Age of the Three Emperors begins.[1y]
  • 1550 - Steady disintegration of Empire over next 430 years sees increase in the number of Daemonologists and Necromancers, as well as proliferation of secret Chaos worship.[1y]
  • 1597 - Marienburg seized by Bretonnian army under Duke de L'Anguille. Five-year occupation ends when army under Grand Duke of Middenland approaches city. Occupation army severely harassed over five years by Marienburgers.[1y]
  • 1604 - Baron van Buik grants seats on City Council to merchants and ship-owners. Beginning of democratic government in Marienburg.[1y]
  • 1850 - Norscan raids along the coast of the Sea of Claws resume. City sacked for the fourth and last time.[1y]
  • 1980 - "Wizards' War" reaches Marienburg from Middenheim. Dark Ages spread as central authority collapses in the Empire for the next 230 years.[1y]
  • 1991 - "Wizards' War" ends in the banishment or execution of a number of Daemonologists and Necromancers.[1y]
  • 1993 - Religious pressures bring a bloody repression of sorcery in the Old World. Marienburg wizards are given protection by the Fraternal Order of Burgomeisters (precursors to the Wasteland Export-Import Exchange).[1y]
  • 2000 - Old Worlders discover the Elf Lands, and are denied access by the Elves.[1y]
  • 2150 - Sea Elves return to Old World. Marienburg signs treaty granting them exclusive trading rights with Sea Elves. Sea Elves return to a portion of Sith Rionnasc fortress.[1y]
  • 2301 - Incursion of Chaos.[1y]
  • 2302 - Magnus the Pious appears in Nuln and unites the Empire. Paulus van der Maacht, last Baron of Westerland, dies in battle against Chaos.[1y]
  • 2305 - Emperor Magnus the Pious decrees the cessation of the Barony and formally establishes the Province of Westerland. An appointed Council drawn from the burghers of Marienburg is installed to govern the Imperial province.[1y]
  • 2378 - Merchant fleets and militia from Marienburg conduct a highly successful campaign against pirates.[1y]
  • 2391 - Two days of riots result from Elves arresting a Human in the Suiddock and dragging him off to Elftown. Many Elves lynched before tempers are calmed.[1y]
  • 2402 - Discovery of Lustria.[1y]
  • 2403 - First traders return from Lustria.[1y]
  • 2421 - Discovery of the New Coast.[1y]
  • 2423 - First traders return from the New Coast; Ivory Sea-Route established.[1y]
  • 2429 - Marienburg City Council declares the Wasteland's secession from the Empire. Battle of Grootscher Marsh deals decisive blow to Imperial designs. Emperor Wilhelm III recognises the Wasteland's independence.[1y]
  • 2448 - A harsh winter is followed by spring floods, putting nearly half of Marienburg underwater. Vloedmuur defences are extended and the drainage system improved. Dwarfen Rune Magic and engineering are used to control the flow of water through the various channels.[1y]
  • 2449 - Rioting spreads from the Suiddock throughout the city in response to anti-Labour Guild laws passed by the City Council at the behest of the Export-Import Exchange (the 'Change). Scores perish before the two sides agree to rescind the offending laws and limit strikes.[1y]
  • 2463 - Gold discovered in the hills around the New Coast. Southlands Gold Rush begins.[1y]
  • 2475 - Lustrian trade develops, trade with the Southlands, Nippon, Cathay and Araby continues to bring in wealth.[1y]
  • 2502 - Karl-Franz elected Emperor of the Empire. Marienburg Directorate denies bribing Elector-Counts.[1y]


"Of course they should be Directors! Their very success shows they have Heendryk's favour. What's good for them is good for Marienburg."

—priest of Haendryk answering a student radical.[1g]

The "Democratic" Government of Marienburg.

Marienburg is so different from the rest of the Old World in its culture that it is unsurprising its government is different as well. Since the passing of the Barons of Westerland, it has had no royalty: no kings, no princes, no dukes - not even an odd baronet or two to form a proper government. Needing something to describe themselves to others, the scholars of Baron Henryk's College of Navigation and Sea Magicks recently coined the term 'democracy', meaning 'rule by the masses'.[1g]

Marienburgers are proud to say that they make their own laws, and see themselves and their city as shining examples of how good things can be. "Let each man have his say, let each tend to his own business, and it'll be clear sailing for all", according to a Wastelander proverb. That's how the visitors' bureau says it's supposed to work,at least. The truth, as always, is somewhere else, and it's far darker than even the populace fail to realise. While Marienburgers enjoy more social mobility than their Imperial cousins, the city is dominated by a clique of the wealthiest of the wealthy, governing from the smoke-filled lounges of the Export-Import Exchange with no more regard for the common man than a kennel owner has for his dogs. While a haughty matriarch sips cold Norscan akavit and stuffs herself with Kislevan caviar in Goudberg, families starve in tiny rooms in Suiddock. And in between are all the factions, people who've gathered together to protect people like themselves from people who aren't, all aiming to climb another step up the ladder towards riches of social classes.[1g]


"Figgers all them roosters would want the best-lookin' hen house to squawk in. 'Course, it's the common man what has to clean up the droppings..Mustard wif that?"

—Local herring-sausage vendor.[1h]

The Stadsraad building.

The Stadsraad is the building occupied by the two houses of the Wasteland's parliament, in the Paleisbuurt district. The upper house is the Rijkskamer, a sleepy body comprising all the priests of the recognized cults, the deans of the university and the few of the old nobility that remain. The Staadtholder presides over it on the rare occasions that it meets. The lower house is the Burgerhof, a rowdy chamber in which are represented all the city's guilds and aldermen elected by the householders of the city's wards and the major Wasteland towns. It meets more frequently, and its sessions are marked by sharp debates and even fist-fights.The Burgerhof's leader is Speaker Nieut Gyngrijk, a firebrand demagogue especially popular with the working classes.[1h]

A skilled political manoeuvrer, he is adept at manipulating the various factions to get what he wants. Though it has the authority to pass laws, conduct investigations and set Wasteland policy, the Stadsraad is really just a glorified debating society whose true role is to approve decisions already made by the Directorate. Many of its law-making powers have been passed to the guilds, who make regulations concerning their own trades. Even when it issues formal "instructions" to the Staadtholder and the Directors, the crucial decisions have already been made behind the scenes by the leaders of the city's many factions. The Clerk of the Stadsraad, Ulric Vanden-Bogaerde, acts as the informal conduit for instructions between the Directorate and the two houses of the parliament, and once a law reaches the floor of the Burgerhof, Gyngrijk deftly makes sure that, while the debate flows freely, the votes follow their destined course. Clandestine gifts from the Directorate make him quite happy to do that. The Rijkskamer meets mostly when called by the Staadtholder to veto some objectionable measure that has slipped past the Speaker's best efforts.[1h]


"Amazing, isn't it? Rulers of the most complex city in the world, and yet their meetings are models of efficiency and unity. It's almost as if they knew in advance what the decisions would be... but that would be dishonest, of course."

—lawyer of the Inns of Court.[1h]

The Directorate is the Executive Council of the Stadsraad, which meets in weekly sessions to make the major decisions affecting the Wasteland's affairs. Its meetings in the New Palace in Paleisbuurt are open to any citizen of Marienburg and its debates are a matter of public record. Decisions are made by a majority vote, with the Staadtholder voting in case of a tie. Its membership consists of the High Priests of Manaan, Verena, Shallya and Haendryk, the Rector of Baron Henryk's College and the heads of the ten wealthiest Merchant Houses. Its public image is of Marienburg's finest citizens working mightily in a dangerous world for the best interests of all the Wasteland's people.[1h]

Like the Stadsraad, this carefully crafted tableau hides the realities of power. While the seats held by the priests and the university are permanent, the ten chairs held by the merchant houses are supposedly open to any member of the Burgerhof, rich or poor. Since the time of Magnus, though, these seats have been reserved in all but name for the merchant houses. By informal agreement, the heads of the ten wealthiest families win the election at the start of each two-year term, their liberal patronage ensuring that they have the necessary votes. The only way to lose one's seat among the Ten, short of treason or murdering one's granny in public, is to suffer such a reversal in the family's fortunes that one's house is no longer among the richest. Predictably, there is stiff competition among the almost-wealthy enough merchants to make that final leap to the top.[1h]

Most of the time, this is done by means of (relatively) honest business competition, but impatient or less scrupulous houses may use nastier methods to sabotage the business of a Director who seems vulnerable. The Directorate achieves its amazing unity because it reaches its decisions through back-room deals. Those in the know refer to the Boardroom, the private meeting room of the governors of the Export-Import Exchange, as the genuine centre of power in Marienburg. It's no coincidence that its membership comprises most of the Directorate. Here, and in the opulent drawing rooms of the wealthiest of the wealthy, is Marienburg's real government.[1h]


"Van Rcemerswijk is the ideal Staadtholder. He lets the Directorate get on with business, while he concerns himself with looking good at balls and parades."

—Director Clotilde de Roelef.[1h]

As a concession to the sensitivities of the Empire's noble houses, incensed at having mere shopkeepers put in charge of the Empire's wealthiest province, the Merchant Houses of Marienburg agreed to have one of the Directorate elected Staadtholder, to act as regent "until a true heir to the House of van de Maacht can be found". Of course, no heir has ever been found. The Directorate is careful to see that no one can meet the conditions. The Staadtholder is chosen each year from among the Directors, and has always come from the heads of the ten Great Families.[1i]

While he chairs the meetings of the Directorate and sets its agenda, his role is strictly ceremonial. He only votes to break a tie and, on the rare moments he has had to do this, always sides with the interests of the merchant houses. To maintain this pleasant situation, the Ten and their allies on the Directorate are always careful to choose the least ambitious and most pliant among them. With the considerable perks of the office and the opportunities to advance one's own House, no Staadtholder has ever betrayed his fellows. Among his duties, the Staadtholder receives foreign ambassadors and represents the Wasteland at various state functions, such as the ceremony that officially opens the year's trading season.[1i]

He is the commander of the Wasteland's military, giving him authority over the City and River Watches, the Excise Service, the city's mercenaries and its militia. But these commands are usually in name only, their daily affairs being run by various commissioners, captains and commandants. He can even, in times of emergency, commandeer the private militias and ships of the city's merchant houses and temples, though this hasn't been done since the war for independence. He is also a priest of Haendryk and Manaan, though the titles are strictly honorary.[1i]

In one way, though, the Staadtholder has real power, power that a ruthless man or woman could use to become supreme on the Directorate, and thus in Marienburg. In a side room accessed only through his office sits his permanent secretary, officially known as the Steward of the Palace. He is actually the head of Marienburg's intelligence service, the Fog Walkers. Quiet and unassuming in public,few outside the Directorate know his real job: to gather information and take covert action against all internal and external threats to Marienburg's position. He maintains an extensive network of spies and informants throughout the Old World and Marienburg itself; even, it's said, in the mansions of the Directors. He makes daily reports to the Staadtholder. In a city of secret deals, information is worth more than gold.[1i]

Minor Boards and Commisions

The Directorate and the Stadsraad would be overwhelmed if they had to take care of every niggling detail of Marienburg's business themselves. Happily, such work is best left to those best suited to minutiae: bureaucrats. Befitting a city set in a marsh, the bureaucrats work through a morass of commissions, chambers, offices, guilds, departments and boards of all sizes, each with its own jurisdiction that often overlaps and conflicts with other bureaux, and all of which require forms in triplicate. Some are so ancient that their purpose has been almost forgotten. This confusing system has spawned an entire class of lawyers who do nothing but deal with administrative law - for large fees, of course.[1i]

Because the bureaucrats are so adept at justifying their funding to the Stadsraad (and because these positions are often simply sinecures handed out to favourites and family members),they are almost never eliminated in the name of efficiency. Ever resourceful, Marienburgers have become experts at cutting through the red tape with a well-placed bribe or two, often couched as a donation to the office 'shrine club'. The Board of Public Health in the Temple District is a typical recent creation, a pet project of Sister Anneloes van de Maarel, High Priestess of Shallya. Under the direction of its head, Dr Anders Vesalion, it pushes the strange idea that disease may be caused by dirty canal water and insects, and spends much money hiring poor people to scoop filth out of the canals. Its small successes in improving the health of poor Suiddockers by teaching them to boil water has earned it the derisive name of "muckrakers" from the Physikers' Guild, which considers it a threat to business.[1j]

It also frequently files complaints against the Elf Quarter for its practice of using small water elementals to sweep trash out of their canals and into the rest of the city. Though ignored by the Directorate, its lack of tact has earned it some powerful enemies, who are seeking to have its budget cut at the next session of the Burgerhof. The Commissariat of Public Works and Reclamations is charged with maintaining the canals, the great flood wall and the breakwater. Headed by the Dwarf Waltonius Joken Fooger,a cousin of Director Fooger, it is the source of large contracts for the city's labour guilds and architects. Though hotly denied by the commissariat's public relations office, it is an open secret that Commissioner Fooger favours whoever gives him the last and best bribe, which has led some to call him "Goldbeard" behind his back.[1j]

Ward Committee

If dealing with dozens of obscure commissions isn't confusing enough for someone doing business in Marienburg, there's also the by-product of the Wastelanders' egalitarian nature: a proliferation of local committees for each district in the City. Chosen by acclamation in public meetings, the boards are filled with respectable citizens who are charged with collecting funds to maintain the local stations of the local Watch and the Black Caps, and providing crossbowmen for the militia.[1j]

The ward committees have the authority to enact bylaws "for the maintenance of the public good". Rarely reviewed, this has led over the centuries to a mountain of ancient, picayune and often contradictory regulations that vary from district to district, most of them forgotten soon after their enactment. These regulations deal with everything from public conduct to local commerce. The only time most people encounter them is when some watchman or other official takes a dislike to someone and decides to levy a spot fine, ranging from a shilling to a couple of guilders. Few bother to contest these fines, since it almost in-evitably leads to a charge of 'resisting lawful authority' or 'public disorder' and a larger fine, a day in the stocks or even a beating. That the money collected often winds up in the pockets of the watchman rather than the ward treasury is written off as part of everyday life in Marienburg.[1j]

Great Families

Long before the Incursions of Chaos, merchants, traders and sea captains had become Marienburg's real rulers. Having led the resistance to L'Anguille's occupation, they demanded a share of power, and they got it. Over time they accumulated more and more influence: first the barons were so in their debt that they could do little without prior approval, then they convinced the Emperor to place them in charge, and finally they told the Empire to "kiss the Chaos Moon". By the time of independence, the greatest among them had come to be known as the Merchant Houses, the Great Families, or simply the Ten. One criterion alone determines the membership in this exclusive club: wealth.[1j]

Whilst Marienburg sports dozens, perhaps hundreds, of mercantile concerns, only the richest gain the coveted seat on the Directorate and admittance to the boardroom of the Change. There is no fixed measure for this - it simply comes to the notice of the Directors and other savvy observers that, while one House is in serious decline, another is on the rise, perhaps even helping the fall of the former. This is permissible as long as it is not too obvious or violent. When the challenger has demonstrated sufficient will, business acumen and a willingness to play by the rules of the game, the next election in the Burgerhof sees the fading House defeated and the newcomer in its place, perhaps taking the loser's mansion,overseas interests and even their household militia.[1j]

A place among the Ten does not mean that all is peace and harmony among the elite. Each has its own interests, and the competition for even more wealth and power is fierce, sometimes violent. While recognizing the need for peace and stability in Marienburg, the Houses use spies to ferret out each other's secrets, hire criminals for occasional acts of sabotage and burglary, and even, it is said, send pirates and wreckers against each other's trading fleets. Assassinations are not unknown, though such extreme measures are usually limited to blows against lesser retainers - Directors are reluctant to send killers after one another, for fear of the vendettas that make Tilean politics such chaos. But one should not assume the Great Houses are in a state of war with each other: far from it.[1j]

While individuals and even Houses may come and go, their instincts as a body remain true. They are businessmen, and it is because of their ability to see mutual need and make a deal that they retain their hold on power. With marriages among their peers and generous patronage for those loyal to them, they have built a web of relationships and obligations that gives many in Marienburgan interest in keeping things just the way they are. And while the other Directors, lesser merchants, powerful labour guilds and even the Elves demand their share of the prize, the Ten keep their hold on the purse strings, as they have since the long-ago fateful meeting with Magnus the Pious.[1j]

Known Families

Crime and Law

"The only two real crimes in Marienburg are being poor and getting caught."

—taproom lawyer explaining the legal system.[1n]

Marienburg is a wealthy city - money and goods flow through in immense quantities every day, and everything about life in Marienburg encourages people to make more money, make a deal, get rich quick. At the same time, layer after layer of government and guild laws stifle the creative businessman. So, being enterprising people, many Marienburgers turn to other means to get ahead: crime.[1n]

The most common crime in Marienburg is smuggling. Almost everyone engages in it to some degree, from the seaman hiding a few baubles in his personal chest to professionals like Donat Tuersveld at the Red Cock Inn and big-time operators like Adalbert 'Casanova' Henschmann and his Suiddock-based empire. In some cases they are simply avoiding the many taxes and tariffs imposed by the city: "engaging in a bit of free trade", as they put it. In others, however, smuggling is the only way to go because the cargo itself is illegal: drugs, stolen goods, forbidden magic, or even human (or other) flesh.[1n]

Other types of crime are common, ranging from simple back-alley robbery to arson and murder in clandestine feuds amongst the Ten. Swindlers abound, always looking for someone new to the city and its ways, and therefore ripe for the picking. More than one visitor has bought a worthless deed or phantom cargo only to discover that the seller has disappeared. And pickpockets love the crowded docks.[1n]

But where there's crime, there are crime-fighters. Several law enforcement agencies, public and private, have been set up in Marienburg over the centuries. Given the confusing mass of often contradictory local and city-wide laws, jurisdictional conflicts between these agencies are common, especially between the City Watch and the River Watch. Many a suspect has languished for days in jail while these two sort out whether the crime was "wet" or "dry".[1n]

Law Enforcement

The Black Caps

"Where's a Cap when you need one?"

—Imperial merchant finding his purse missing.[1a]

Officially known as the Honourable Company of Lamplighters and Watchmen, Marienburg's city Watch is better known for the distinctive floppy black hats they wear. They are charged with the protection of property and public order, and the investigation of all crimes that occur on land. They are also empowered to administer spot justice in small cases such as public drunkenness, disturbing the peace and breaking ward laws. Such matters are usually dealt with by the sergeant of the local Watch house, with punishments ranging from a small fine (no more than 5 Gu) or a night in jail, to a few hours in the stocks or even up to ten lashes if the sergeant is in a particularly bad mood.[1n]

The Black Caps are organised into Watch Barracks, one for each named district in the city except for the foreign ghettos, which are under the jurisdiction of a barracks in a neighbouring area. The size of each barracks varies from ward to ward, depending on the area covered and its local character. Small, relatively peaceful areas like Schattinham have a correspondingly small presence, while Suiddock rates the largest Watch presence in the City and a barracks that looks more like a fort. Headquarters is in a large building in the Palace District near the High Court. Typically, though, each barracks is left to handle its own affairs. Ward Captains only request help from headquarters when a case requires specialized investigators or resources.[1n]

Watch Posts are placed at strategic points in each of the city's districts. Each post is manned by anywhere from four to twelve Watchmen, depending on the Ward Captain's judgement. The staff of each post are responsible for patrolling their area and enforcing any laws and bylaws, referring serious crimes to higher authorities. In some areas, these patrols are supplemented by citizen volunteers who help by lending numbers to the Watch patrol and acting as impartial witnesses. In poor quarters like Suiddock or the foreign quarters, anyone doing this is seen as little better than a traitor and a spy, and had better not be caught alone near a convenient canal.[1n]

The Black Caps also form the core of Marienburg's militia. Dating back to the patriotic fervour that followed the expulsion of the Bretonnians, the law requires that each ward shall provide a certain number of volunteer crossbowmen to fill out the ranks of the Watch in times of emergency. Since the secession, though, the city has come to rely on mercenaries and the alliance with the Sea Elves, and the Watch's militia roles have been allowed to atrophy until its monthly crossbow drills are little more than social events and contests.[1n]

Marienburg Secretariat for Trade Equity

This office, located within the Admiralty Building on High Tower Isle, operates both the Excise Service and the River Watch. It is charged with making sure that the city gets the tax money it demands from its inhabitants and with enforcing Port Law -the body of law that governs ship traffic within Marienburg and any crimes that are committed on the water. It has the responsibility to stop smuggling, and has jurisdiction over any crimes in the harbour or on the canals.[1n]

The River Watch functions as the Secretariat's enforcement arm, always at the service of the excisemen. As a body they are zealous, but undermanned, underpaid and overworked. They have city-wide power to arrest suspected tariff-dodgers, though an ancient statute limits this authority to within 100 feet of any canal. Creative River Watch officers have been known to interpret this to include the sewers, much to the irritation of the Black Caps. Arrested suspects are held in the Lord Harbourmaster's jails under the Admiralty Building.[1n]

At the order of the Excisemen, the River Watch also has the power to collect taxes by force, impound vessels and cargoes, and auction the properties of anyone defaulting on their payments. They can also order fines, imprisonment or even the destruction of the vessel of any captain whose craft is impeding traffic in the harbour. (The Directorate will not tolerate any impediments to the free flow of commerce!)[1n]

The Secretariat can also commandeer the services of the Watch at any time. This leads to mutual dislike and resentment between the two forces, since the Black Caps hate being associated with the unpopular tax collectors, while the River Watch consider their land-bound cousins to be a bunch of corrupt slackers.[1n]

Private Militias

Among the privileges of being one of the Ten is the right to maintain a private militia. Originally an emergency measure to deal with the threat of piracy, these became a permanent fixture after the Battle of Reavers' Point in 2378. The militias are generally used to protect House interests over-seas. House van de Kuypers, for example, keeps a flotilla of more than twelve carracks fitted for war and a company of more than 500 marines - not counting their armed merchantmen and their crews.[1n]

While they are not per se a law enforcement agency, the militias of the Great Houses do act as guards and nightwatchmen for the more important properties of their Houses. They have the power to make citizen's arrests and to hold a trespasser for the Watch. In times of extreme civil disorder they can be used as paramilitary forces to defend their House's property, as they were during the anti-Elf riots of 2391.[1n]

Witch Hunters, Bounty Hunters and Others

Like the rest of the Old World, official law enforcement agencies aren't the only ones interested in fighting crime. Marienburg plays host to many bounty hunters, amateur sleuths and Witch Hunters, careers all suitable for those who want to clean up the city. In addition, several vigilante organisations do their best to help the course of the law, with varying levels of success.[1n]

Though most people associate Witch Hunters with the Temple Court (and there are a few in its employ), they do not operate as freely in the Wasteland as they do elsewhere in the Old World. Soon after the secession, the Stadsraad passed a law that required all Witch Hunters to be licensed, and set down guidelines for the conduct of secular witch trials.[1n]

Not requiring any rules for evidence and proof of guilt, the Witch Hunters had earlier come to be one of the weapons of choice in the clandestine wars between the Great Houses. Nowadays, many Witch Hunters seek their prey covertly, not wanting to obey an insipid law which they believe was obviously authored by Chaotics.[1n]

The Court System

"Yer honour! I wuz framed!"

—famous last words, oft heard.[1n]

Somewhere, somehow, adventurers are going to get into trouble with the law. It's as certain as anything can be in the Old World. They may find themselves sued in a civil proceeding, trying to avoid a heavy fine, or possibly imposing one on someone else ("Your Honour, how can I prove that she's a swindler after she's stolen all the evidence?") or hauled into criminal court, facing a flogging, jail or possibly even death ("But, your Honour, I tell you he was a Necromancer! He only appeared to be a toymaker!"). In either case, while the specifics of the law vary, the procedures are the same. In fact, the same courts are used for both civil and criminal proceedings.[1n]

Lawbreakers will find themselves facing arrest by one of the many law-enforcement agencies of Marienburg, and sometimes by several at once. Those who are sued will receive a summons to appear in court. Failure to appear results in a bench warrant for the person's arrest for contempt of court.[1n]

In addition, specialized courts have arisen over the years to allow various groups within the city to make and enforce laws in their own areas of interest. Sometimes they act as supports for the main court system, but more often this leads to bewildering arguments over jurisdiction, with the courts bickering with each other. A wily lawyer can tie a case up for months or years by encouraging such squabbles, and some cases have been running for decades.[1n]

The Criminal and Civil Courts

Marienburg's criminal courts - from the sergeants' hearings and Ward Assizes through the High Court in the Palace District - deal with all violations of criminal law, including ward bylaws. This covers a great many offences, from public drunkenness to murder, so which court handles which case depends on the seriousness of the charge.[1n]

Commonplace crimes such as vandalism, being drunk and disorderly, and violations of bylaws are handled by the Watch officer on the scene, or in the nearest Watch post, depending on the latitude that the post sergeant gives his men. The local Watch has some discretion to decide punishments, from a fine of no more than 5 Gu to a few hours in the stocks, a night in jail, or even up to ten lashes.[1n]

As one can expect, the attitude of the Watchmen and the social standing of the accused plays a big part in the determination of arrest, guilt and punishment. Only the most hard-nosed Watch Sergeant will object to Crispijn van Haagen relieving himself on the steps of a public inn. On the other hand, a Tilean boatman who's had frequent brushes with the law might get a few lashes just for singing off-key at three in the morning.[1n]

While there is no way to appeal against the sergeants' court, outraged defendants can complain to the local Watch Barracks and ask for a review by the Captain. Complaints like these have a way of getting lost among all the paperwork for all but the most well-connected defendants.[1n]

More serious crimes are handled by one of the courts which are headquartered in each Watch barracks — the Ward Assizes. Junior magistrates are assigned to these and hear cases involving assault and crimes involving money or property of no more than 500 Gu in value. The accused is held in either the Watch post or barracks while evidence is gathered and witnesses questioned. While Marienburg has no right of habeas corpus, bail is an accepted tradition and a defendant may be released on bond, unless the court rules that he is likely to flee. Defendants are allowed lawyers in the Ward Assizes, and trials are generally held within two weeks.[1n]

Magistrates of the Assizes have the authority to order fines of up to 500 Gu, 30 days' imprisonment in the Ward barracks,or thirty lashes. (Branding is still on the books, but only the harshest judges ever impose it.) The presiding judge will usually refer the case to the High Court should evidence come to light that the crime is more serious than first thought.[1n]

The most serious criminal cases include assault that causes permanent injury or mutilation, arson, rape, murder, kidnapping, crimes of money or property involving more than 500 Gu, forging commercial papers or deeds, fraud and so forth. Being a city dependent on trade and the confidence of traders, the Export-Import Exchange, through its dominance of the Directorate, has made sure that most commercial crimes fall into this category. And they've ensured that the punishments are very heavy indeed.[1n]

Defendants are normally first held for a preliminary hearing in the Ward Assizes, where a magistrate will confirm the chargesand refer the matter to the High Court. The accused is then taken to the Tombs, the great dank warren of holding cells beneath the High Court, there to await trial. No man may represent himself at the High Court (the Litigants' League has seen to that), and someone without representation automatically loses their case. Though the cults of Shallya and Verena sometimes provide attorneys for the needy, they have limited funds and can't meet the demand.[1n]

Each chamber of the High Court (there are four in the building) is presided over by a panel of three senior magistrates, one of whom acts as President of the Court. They take an active role in the case, interjecting their own questions and comments about the proceedings. Verdicts are decided by a majority vote, and the Court has unlimited discretion as to punishment. These range from heavy fines to imprisonment for any length of time, confiscation of all assets, hard labour (sea-wall and canal repair is a favourite), debt slavery, mutilation and even death.[1n]

Those sentenced to imprisonment inevitably receive at least the year-and-a-day minimum needed to send them to Rijker's Isle. Defendants have the right to appeal the verdict and sentence to the Staadtholder and Directorate, but the permission of the Court itself is needed for this. It is rarely granted.[1n]

Civil cases are similar, and will be assigned to the appropriate court based on the money or value involved. Corporal punishments are rare, the courts preferring to award damages to the victorious party. Anyone failing to pay fines or damages is considered to be in contempt of court - a criminal act.[1n]

Guild Courts

The myriad guilds of Marienburg are (in theory) responsible for policing their own members over the practice of their trade. The Stadsraad has given them various powers of coercion to enforce this authority. For example, the Merchants' Guild (which has become synonymous with the Export-Import Exchange) makes all commercial law in Marienburg and has the power to resolve all commercial disputes, which puts them in a powerful position with regards to the other guilds in the city, should they choose to exercise their authority.[1n]

Guild courts can fine, suspend, or even expel a member. In addition, the court of the Export-Import Exchange hears all cases relating to trade, and can order fines, confiscations and even imprisonment. Sentences of imprisonment face review by the High Court, but this is usually a mere technicality.[1n]


Located in the busiest of the docklands, the Handelsrechtbanken are special commercial courts run by referees appointed by the 'Change. Trade is too important to Marienburg to allow anything to be tied up in legal wranglings, so these courts have the authority to hear disputes immediately and render instant judgements. Most commonly, they hear cases involving the valuation of a cargo for tax purposes or the validity of a contract. Other commercial crimes are referred to the court of the'Change and, if need be, to the High Court. Losers have the right to file a civil suit for redress, but the commercial court's judgement is immediately enforced.[1n]

Admiralty Court

This court is located in the Admiralty Building on High Tower Isle and hears all cases involving violations of Port Law, smuggling, piracy and those crimes occurring on water that would normally be heard by the Ward Assizes and the High Court. Like the Handelsrechtbanken, the emphasis is on speed and efficiency.[1n]

The Admiralty court has the authority to order fines, confiscations, whippings, imprisonment, and even death by hanging (usually reserved for pirates and mutinous lower-class seamen). There is a right of appeal to the High Court, but it is little inclined to trample on the Lord Harbour-master's authority.[1n]

Temple Court (Star Chamber)

Religious matters are the province of the Temple Court, also known as the Star Chamber for the night-sky mosaic that decorates its ceilings. It is a grim building, built of dark stone and decorated with ugly gargoyles. It is always guarded by a squad of templars provided by the cult of Manaan. Located in Tempelwijk, it is the main library for canon law in Marienburg, though each cult will keep a copy of those laws that deal with their particular sect. Like so much of the law in Marienburg, canon law has accumulated over the centuries and is a confusing mass of often contradictory statutes, which only a skilled lawyer can hope to interpret.[1n]

The court has jurisdiction over all crimes that involve religious doctrine, temple property and personnel, and all templars and priests may make arrests in its name. A priest accused of a crime under the secular law of Marienburg may demand trial in the Temple Court. Likewise, laymen accused of crimes against the cults, such as striking a priest, are under the jurisdiction of the Star Chamber.[1n]

These trials are open to the public and are presided over by a panel of three priests. Two are chosen by lot from the priests assigned to the Temple Court by the cults. The third, who acts as chairman of the tribunal, is always drawn from the cult most directly affected by the case. Anyone found guilty is either fined or flogged for minor offences, or condemned to Rijker's Isle in serious cases.[1n]

Crimes against religious dogma such as heresy, apostasy (worshipping proscribed cults or consorting with demons and mutants) and necromancy are judged in secret trials in a candlelit chamber beneath the court building. Defendants may not call witnesses on their own behalf and are allowed no counsel other than that appointed by the court itself. This has often led to the odd scene of a counsel for the defence referring to their clientas the "heretic" or the "chaotic filth". The verdict is usually "Guilty", after which the defendant has only to wonder if their execution will be public or private, and whether it will be by burning (always popular), keelhauling, hanging or immurement. Most executions are performed publicly as a lesson for the righteous, unless the crime is so heinous that even its existence must be kept secret.[1n]


"It isn't hard to find one's way around Marienburg, provided one is part fish."

—Imperial Diplomat.[1b]

The City of Marienburg.

Marienburg is a city of islands, bridges and canals. When travellers arrive here, usually from the sea or after sailing through the fens on the Reik, the first thing that strikes them is how it rises from the water like some behemoth, safe behind the massive wall of the Vloedmuur, unconcerned with anything around it. The second thing that strikes them is how crowded all the islands are, with every inch taken up by residences, shops and warehouses, even on the bridges. The third and final thing that strikes the new arrival is the need for a large parasol when travelling the canals under the bridges or beneath overhanging windows. Marienburg's islands are the remnants of the land on which stood the ancient Sea Elf port of Sit Rionnasc'namishathir, (Fortress of the Star-Gem on the Sandy Coast), the Vloedmuur itself following the outline of the old Elven fortress wall.[1b]

By the time Man arrived, nothing but broken ruins remained on the surface, though their foundations provided the base for future building. Why these islands remained above water while the swamp swallowed so much of the surrounding land is a mystery, though scholars of the College of Navigation and Sea Magicks have speculated that it may have something to do with Elven High Magic, the obscure runes of which have been found in the deepest ruins' chambers. Nowadays, most of the islands rise up to twenty feet above the canals (though that's less than ten feet at high tide, and the waters rise even higher during the greatest tides around the spring and autumn equinoxes) and are threatened by only the worst floods.[1b]


"Velvet and timber, ships and liquor, even someone's life - they say everything can be bought and sold in Marienburg. But, there's one thing you can't buy here, not for all the tea in Ind: open land. "

—Marienburg Trader.[1b]

The extensive tunnel networks of Marienburg.

The tallest are found in the oldest or wealthiest parts of the city, such as Oudgeldwijk, the Temple and University district, or Guilderveld. Further out and closer to the walls,the poorest neighbourhoods, such as Doodkanaal or the Flats,lie on low land and flood at least once a year. Over the city's first thousand years, as Marienburg grew from a place of refuge to a fishing port to a great centre of commerce, the people built the islands up from the water, facing their sides with stone and filling the interior with earth and rock. Noble families would spend vast sums to add another foot or two, each new layer visible sign of their power and wealth. Every so often, when the walls had risen high enough that it was time to fill the interior in, the Barons of Westerland would command the levelling of all structures and their rebuilding on the new surface.[1b]

Though orders were given that all rooms were to be filled, many found ways to avoid this and constructed their new structures atop the chambers of the old. As a result, many Marienburg buildings have basements, sub-basements and sub-sub-basements, some still in use, others long ago walled-off and forgotten, and some connected by networks of tunnels dug by long-forgotten architects. While most are used for legitimate purposes, many are popular routes and bolt-holes for smugglers, criminals and cultists who access them via hidden or forgotten doors in the archaic system of cisterns and flood sluices under the islands at water's level. The canals are Marienburg's highways, crowded with boats of all kinds. The largest is the Rijksweg, the main channel of the river Reik which bisects the city and along which most ships pass. A branch of it, the Bruyn water, courses between the islands of die Suiddock and provides access to some of the city's busiest docks.[1b]


"Look around you! Dozens of islands lashed together by hundreds of bridges, tall spires like masts. This city is like a fleet braced for the worst the sea can throw at it. Too bad the officers have it beaded for the rocks. "

—student of the College of Navigation and Sea Magicks.[1b]

The Commercial District.

At the far north, the Noordmuur canal is a popular route for people conducting business in the commercial and government districts, as it lets them avoid the heavy traffic on the Rijksweg. Contrasted with this is the southernmost channel, the aptly named Doodkanaal or 'Dead canal', a sluggish and malodorous waterway choked with trash and sometimes bodies from the worst parts of the city. Evil smells and vapours rise from it, and only those who can't afford anything better or who aren't welcome anywhere else willingly live along its banks. Dozens of other canals meander among the islands, some so small they aren't even marked on city maps. Little more than alleys, these narrow channels lead to the backs of businesses or homes, or to private lagoons hidden among the overhanging buildings. It's easy for a stranger to get lost among all the waterways, named but not marked, so most visitors to Marienburg hire one of the many local water-coaches to take them around.[1b]

Stairs cut into the islands themselves whilst the poorer districts provide rickety wooden stairs in order to gain access to the canals and docks. Some, like the Grand Sweep on the Reik-side of the Palace District, are broad and open. Others, especially deep within the old quarters like Suiddock or the forgotten tenements of the Doodkanaal slums, are little more than cuts in the rock barely large enough for a man to get through. Ill lit and hidden from view, what were meant to be simple pathways often become death-traps for those who have an enemy or two.[1b]

In a city built upon islands and surrounded by a swamp, it's only natural that space is at a premium. Th opportunistic as always, have built wherever they can find a spare yard or two. The gabled roofs of their narrow buildings regularly climb four or five storeys, some leaning so far over the streets and canals that they look as if they might crumble down at any moment. Even the many bridges connecting the islands have been built on, with structures hanging over the sides and sometimes into the span itself. Some of these 'bridge-towns' have existed for so long that they have become recognised city wards, with their own characters, personalities and confusing bylaws. One or two, such as Suiddock's notorious Three-Penny Bridge, have actually achieved fame outside the Wasteland.[1b]

Two bridges, though, are kept clear by law; One is the Niederbrug Bridge, the only link between High Tower and the main islands of Suiddock, but the more famous is the mighty Hoogbrug Bridge, a spectacular span with arches high enough to let a full-masted shipsail under it, that leaps the Reik channel from High Tower Isle to the Palace District. At each end is a high tower with a ramp spiralling around its outside,wide enough for two carriages to pass each other. Apart from ferries, bargesor swimming, the Hoogbrug Bridge is the only route between the northern and southern parts of the city, and the Directorate will not let anything get in the way of the free flow of commerce - or soldiers sent to put down a riot in Suiddock. While there are no laws against it, nobody tries to build on the Draaienbrug Swing Bridge, an engineering marvel that pivots on a central pillar to let ships coming down the Reik reach Suiddock. After several buildings toppled into the river, people got the idea that living on it was a bad idea. Still, charlatans manage to sell the occasional Draaienbrug building permit to less savvy newcomers.[1b]


"It's-a magnifico!"

—Tilean seamen on his first sight of Marienburg.[1b]

The Walls of Marienburg.

Surrounding Marienburg like a mother sheltering her children in her arms is the great wall of the Vloedmuur. This is the city's main protection against the dangers of flooding from the sea, and against the possibility of attack from any side. It runs for miles around the perimeter of Marienburg, built on the foundations of the walls of the old Sea-Elf fortress, but the Directors have lavished the most money and attention at either end of the Reik and at the important Oostenpoort and Westenpoort gates.[1c]

Here, ramparts of stone and great round towers face the entrance of the Reik, known as the Strompoort Gate. In times of emergency, officers in charge of the Strompoort towers can order the raising of huge chains that have been laid across the bottom of the channel. Within a half hour, a metal fence can block entrance to all ships coming down the Reik; and can- non on the towers ensure that vessels trapped by the chains will be in for a very rough time. At the opposite end, where the Manaanspoort Zee begins,the entrance to Marienburg's harbour is primarily guarded by the fortress-prison of Rijker's Isle and its cannon and fire-hurling catapults.[1c]

Here the towers of the Vloedmuur are smaller and the walls are meant more to shelter the harbours of Manaanshaven and Elftown, whose ships and marines are vital to the city's defence. In between Strompoort and Rijker's Isle, broken only by the imposing gatehouses of Oostenpoort and Westenpoort, the Vloedmuur is more of a large dike, built of packed earth, stone and wood pilings, constantly reinforced and rebuilt. Brick-lined tunnels pierce it at several points, each built within the base of a stone watch tower. During times of dangerously high tides, residents near the walls can hear the rhythmic thrumming of the Dwarf-built pumps forcing water out into the swamp. Each end is guarded by twin metal portcullises to prevent entrance from the swamp, while the city's lamplighters keep a regular patrol on the wooden palisade that tops the Vloedmuur.[1c]


"Worship of the Gods is, for the Wastelander, like everything else in his life — a business deal in which he has every expectation of making a profit. It's little short of blasphemy."

—disapproving priest of Sigmar.[1o]

A Marienburg ship offering up a pray to the Gods.

Religion is a part of everyday life in Marienburg, pervading almost everything Marienburgers do, think or say. They see the reality of the gods all around them: when a priestess heals a dying child, it is because Shallya heard her prayers; when a ship carrying a loved one returns safely, it is because of Manaan's protection; and when a merchant makes a small fortune on a single deal, it is because Haendryk favoured him. Marienburgers perform small rituals with each act, almost unconsciously invoking a god's favour: a trader will spit on his palm before shaking hands on a deal, affirming to Ranald 'the Dealer' that his business is clean. A mother will tie the first tooth to fall from her child's mouth in a bag and hang it on the child's bed to remind Morr of her baby's innocence and beg for its protection.[1o]

Organized religion and formal worship are important to Marienburgers, too. The census of 2500 IC listed 157 recognised places of worship, from the great temples and cathedrals of Tempelwijk to small churches and shrines hidden down nearly forgotten side canals. And there are many more private shrines to gods and saints in homes, businesses, offices, boats, guilds, etc. All this is not to say that Wastelanders are religious fanatics. Their attitudes toward their gods are just as pragmatic as the rest of their views. The High Priest of Haendryk describes it as an attitude of "religious commerce - I give the gods worship and, in return, they give me what I need. Everyone comes out ahead."[1o]

And, like other Old Worlders, they pray to whatever god most fits the circumstance.A lawyer on his way to court might stop at a shrine to Verena, but never to Morr (unless his client's prospects are particularly bleak). A docker playing dice at the Pelican's Perch would say a quick prayer to Ranald, not Shallya. While a Marienburger might have a favourite god, exclusive devotion is rare, a thing for saints and other fanatics. Even priests will pray to other gods from time to time, sometimes even officiating at the services of friendly cults when no cult priest is available. The calendar is filled with major and minor religious holidays, and the sight of a parade by some guild or other organisation to honour their patron god or saint is common in Marienburg. And not just in honour of the Old World gods, either, for Marienburg is home to large communities from Araby, Nippon, Ind and Cathay.[1o]

Each has brought their gods with them, and their public celebrations lend an exotic air to the city's daily life. More open and tolerant than most of their Old World cousins, Marienburgers take it all in their stride. It's not at all unusual, for example, to pass a solemn procession of Shallyan penitents at one corner and have to wait for a parade of leaping and singing red-robed Indie monks at the next. Many Marienburgers take this religious stew as a sign of their city's vitality. Many, but by no means all. The Star Chamber and its Witch Hunters watch the foreign cults for signs of Chaos worship, while conservative factions in the temples press for campaigns to convert the heathen, peacefully or otherwise. Many among the labouring classes and the poor resent foreigners - even other Old Worlders - accusing them of taking work that rightfully belongs to "real" Marienburgers. Their cults and churches become a lightning rod for this resentment, often leading to violence and vandalism. Guildsmen of the Stevedores and Teamsters have been blamed for a recent series of arson attacks against shrines in Elftown, their anger over the Sea Elves' labour practices well known to all.[1o]

Major Cults

  • Cult of Manann - The Cult of Manann is the most prominent Cult within Marienburg, due in most part to their shared relations with trade and the sea.
  • Cult of Haendryk - The second largest of the Cults, Haendryk is the God of Merchants and with trade being the lifeblood of Marienburg, it has made Haendryk second only to Manann.
  • Cult of Verena - The Cult of Verena has extensive reach within Marienburg, due in most part because of the city's close relations to Tilean ports and trade.
  • Cult of Shallya - The Cult of Shallya is not an uncommon occurrence in such a large city. Indeed, for nearly every city with large populations of people suffering poverty and abuse will always have a Cult of Shallya there to nurse them.
  • Cult of Ranald - The Cult of Ranald is prominent within Marienburg, due in most part to the cut-throat society of its inhabitants and the large amount of smuggling going on everyday.

Minor Cults

  • Cult of Sigmar - Being Imperial in origin, the people of Marienburg have had many dealings with the scions of Sigmar.
  • Cult of Morr - The Cult of Morr is almost a common occurrence within every facet of Human society, and Marienburg is no exception.
  • Cult of Solkan - An ancient and almost forgotten Cult which once worshipped a vengeful deity of Light.
  • Cult of Ulric - There are few worshippers of Ulric within Marienburg, and those who do worship him are typically Norscan immigrants.
  • Cult of Myrmidia - Another Tilean Cult brought about by close interactions with Tilean merchants and trade.


"After you shake hands with a Marienburger, he's sure to count your fingers."

—Imperial Proverb.[1b]

The Marienburgers, the greatest con-artist the Old World will ever see, so it is said by their jealous rivals (and by the Marienburgers themselves)

Newcomers to the Wasteland and Marienburg often have a skewed view of its people. This is especially true of Imperials, who have trouble forgiving the Marienburgers for seceding in the first place. The easiest mistake to make is to assume that Marienburgers and Wastelanders are the same. Given that the census of 2500 I.C. counted 135,000 heads of households in Marienburg and just 15,000 in all the rest of the Wasteland, it's an understandable thing to do. Wastelanders, though, tend to be more conservative and less open to strangers than their city cousins, who, of course, are open to anyone and anything that brings a profit.1c

Popular stereotypes in the Empire picture the typical Marienburger as a sharp-witted con man, one who could sell snow to a Kislevite or get a Tilean to buy his own wine. Marienburg documents are said to be nine-tenths fine print, no contract is written without an escape clause, and every handshake hides fingers crossed behind the Marienburger's back. You might as well sign over your goods lock, stock and barrel right now, since you'll never get the better of a Marienburger in a deal. Like any stereotype, it's an exaggeration, albeit one encouraged by Marienburgers themselves, since a reputation for sharpness gives a welcome edge in a deal.1c

Still, Marienburg lives for and by trade, and the desire to get ahead makes wheeler dealers of almost everyone. Naturally, a Marienburger - and a country Wastelander, to a lesser degree sees this differently. They look out for themselves, and expect others to do the same. It's just hard-headed, practical business: if you don't grab the gold ring first, someone else will. Maybe it comes from the poor nature of the land around them: living in such a barren place, Marienburgers had to learn to trade to get any of the good things in life. After a while, it became a habit. With this in mind, it's no surprise that Marienburgers are an active people, always on the move. There's always a new deal waiting to be made. Their neighbours in the Empire and Bretonnia say, only half-jokingly, that the Marienburger is always moving about because he's trying to avoid the last chump he swindled. Still, Marienburgers treat the stuffy buffoons of Bretonnia and the angst-laden, dark-garbed grandees of the Empire with amused tolerance, they know who's going to come out on top when the real business starts.[1d]


The Wastelanders use a calendar fundamentally the same as the Empire's. The weeks are eight days long and there are four hundred days in the year. As a bow to regional pride, or maybe just to tweak the Empire's nose, the city council changed the sixth day from Konistag ('King's Day') to Guilstag ('Guild's Day'). Marienburgers are known to use the two names interchangeably just to prod any Imperials within hearing.[1d]


Money is similar to that used in the Empire, too. The City has its own mint located under the Staadtholder's Residence, and its coins are recognised as a standard for value throughout the Old World. All Marienburg coins carry the city's seal (a mermaid holding a bag of money in one hand and a sword in the other) on the obverse and the value and year of minting on the reverse. The gold coin is called a Guilder, representing Marienburg's control by its guilds, and is equal to the Imperial Crown. It is abbreviated to 'Gu', so '7 Gu 15/5' is seven guilders, five shillings and five pence.[1d]

For clarity's sake, the Directorate ties it to the standard counting system in the Empire, though patriotic money changers claim it's the other way around.As a cosmopolitan city, Marienburg is accustomed to seeing money from many different lands. Most merchants and shops will take coins at their face value whatever their origin, though they will weigh them carefully. Still, there are always travellers foolish enough to insist on having their coins officially changed at a counting house or goldsmith's shop. The money-changer will just smile and charge the standard 19/- on the Crown (for it's usually an Imperial on the short end of this stick), plus an additional 10% for handling fees.[1d]

Merchant Guilds

"Sure the guilds are a racket! But the guildmasters came from ordinary folk and they don't forget their own. They may be crooks, but they're our crooks."

—Marienburg Pilot.[1b]

The cut-throat Guilds of Marienburg.

The Ten aren't the only ones to see the benefits of sticking together: almost all Marienburgers are members of trade guilds. The guilds exist to regulate business, protect members from competition from outsiders, and provide the only social safety net in the city outside of Shallyan poorhouses. While all Old World cities and towns have guilds, from the highly controlled 'tame' guilds of Talabheim and Kislev to the anarchic 'clubs' of Brionne and Miragliano, in Marienburg the guild system has reached its highest development. There are so many guilds wielding so much power that an Imperial playwright, when told that he would need workers from four different guilds just to set up and strike his sets, cried out that he was "a bard trapped in a gilded cage."[1l]

There are around a hundred guilds in Marienburg, from the massive and wealthy to the tiny and insignificant. Three of the most important are described in detail later: the Stevedores' & Teamsters' Guild, the Rivermen's Association and the Pilots' and Seamen's Guild. But there are others: the Masons and Tilers, with their secret handshakes and rituals; the Glassmakers' Guild, banned to a small island off Rijkspoort because of the frequent explosions in their workshops; and the Physikers' and Barbers' College, formed in the days when Marienburg law allowed only barbers to perform surgery. Every possible trade has one and sometimes several guilds: even beggars must join the Unfortunate Brotherhood, which regulates who can beg where.[1l]

Permits and Regulations

No one can work or practice a trade in Marienburg without belonging to a guild. The city has closed its ranks to prevent outsiders from coming in and stealing business and jobs from its citizens. Enforcement of privileges varies from guild to guild. Some take legal action and bring the Watch down on the offenders. Anyone practising the trade for more than one week must either apply for full guild membership or be subject to criminal charges, usually fraud. Repeat troublemakers are eventually banned, meaning no master of that trade may ever hire that person nor teach them the secrets of the guild.[1m]

Other guilds are harsher in protecting their turf. Unlicensed practice of medicine in Marienburg is seen as attempted murder, with five years on Rijker's as the minimum sentence. Wizards new to Marienburg should report immediately to the Board of Examiners at Baron Henryk's, or the authorities must regretfully assume them to be Necromancers and turn them over to the cult of Morr and the Temple Court for interrogation and burning - unless they wish to take an emergency exam, at short notice and for an extortionate fee. The labouring guilds are more direct in their approach: off-loading your own cargo from your ship will earn you a "chat" with four or five members of the Stevedores in a back alley.[1m]

Welfare and Benefits

While setting standards and collect dues, guilds also provide their members with many benefits, the most basic of which is finding work in the first place. People needing work done go to the guild hall, which assigns the work amongst its members, perhaps even subcontracting portions to other guilds. Captains with cargoes to move shouldn't hire anyone around the docks - not if they want to keep their knees. They either go to the guildhouse or, more commonly, find a foreman on the docks and hire a crew from him. For an extra bit "for the widows and orphans fund", he may even see that your ship is unloaded before next Marktag. The guilds serve as a welfare system too, a way of giving a hand-up to one's fellows. Often this is done through "shrine clubs", dedicated to honouring an aspect of a favoured deity, such as Ranald the Protector. One member acts as deacon and keeps all donations at the shrine.[1m]

How elaborate such support is depends on the size and wealth of the guild. Some are very basic: the Bilge Muckers' Guild is so poor that it doesn't have its own guildhouse, or even a room in another guild's headquarters. Instead its members meet in the Lucky Loon tavern in Suiddock, where the owner acts as deacon and keeps their meagre funds in a box behind the bar. All the guild can provide for its members is a pint of ale every other Festag and a shilling to pay a priest of Morr to say a few prayers over a mucker's corpse so he doesn't show up at the next meeting. At the other end are the elaborate benefits offered by powerful guilds, like the Stevedores and Teamsters.[1m]

Not only do they guarantee work at a fair wage, but regular breaks, widows' pensions, subsistence wages while you're sick or during a strike, a Hexenstag "goose club" and loans for bail money should you be arrested. In return, the guild expects absolute loyalty: you work when it says work, strike when it says strike, and don't ask about those funny crates being loaded. And woe betide anyone who turns scab. Guilds are central to the common man's social life and a throat for his voice in politics.[1m]


Wastelanders speak Reikspiel with a rapid and staccato accent that easily identifies them from their Imperial cousins. The vowels are stretched and the sentences rise and fall in an almost sing-song fashion. More expressive than the Imperials, the Wastelanders talk a lot with their hands, frequently making jabbing gestures for emphasis. At the same time, they won't waste words like a loquacious Tilean or Bretonnian. Marienburgers are famous for coming right to the point - point by point by point - and pointing a lot as they do. Notwithstanding their devotion to the god Haendryk's divine precept of "Make money fast", Wastelanders are gifted with a wry wit and a keen ability to poke holes in the posturings of stuffy visitors. This appreciation of the absurd includes themselves: Marienburg has a lively theatre, and the arts of satire and farce are appreciated even by their victims. All this has led more than one Imperial to dismiss Wastelanders as "flippant smart-arses". To which a Marienburger will just smile - all the way to the counting house.[1d]


The image of Marienburg around the Old World is of a city filled with warehouses, docks and vaults, stuffed with fabulous trade-goods and treasure. The streets are cobbled with gold nuggets and the windows are glazed with real glass. Everyone is either a merchant, a banker, a lawyer or a wizard. Even the poor dress in rags of silk. And no one goes hungry.[1p]

Of course that's nonsense. Marienburg is a patchwork of neighbourhoods, each with its own personality and fortune: some rich and opulent, others a morass of stinking poverty, desperation and crime.[1p]

Wards and Boroughs

The city is formally divided up into twenty wards; districts that have their own legal identity. Wards have the right to elect Ward committees, pass bylaws, send representatives to the Burgerhof, the lower house of the Stadsraat, and even to raise taxes to pay for extra Watch patrols, road and bridge maintenance, or - since many Wards committees have become excuses for greedy citizens to do a little empire-building - pocket-lining and palm-greasing. Not all named areas of the city are Wards. Some with reputations beyond the city walls, such as the great harbour of Manaanshaven, have no legal status at all. Others, mostly the enclaves and ghettos forms by various social and racial groups within the city, are usually referred to as 'boroughs'. Just because a borough does not have any legal status does not mean that it is simply a part of the ward in which it exists: most boroughs have their own rules and laws (often unwritten), their own temples, holidays and religious festivals, and their own community leaders who, while they may not have as much power as the members of the Stadsraat, almost certainly have more respect from the borough's citizens, as well as their own ways of getting things done.[1p]

As befits somewhere with as much international traffic as Marienburg, the city's foreign boroughs are numerous, and are little diluted by the city's own personality. There are people in Remasweg, Noord Miragliano and Messteeg, for example, who speak no Old Worlder at all, even though some are second- or even third-generation Marienburgers. Walking into these places is like stepping into a Tilean or Estalian city, with only the damp climate to remind a traveller that they're still in Marienburg.[1p]

Tension and resentment simmers between many wards and boroughs, over new issues or more often over decades-old insults or scandals. These battles are fought not only in the ward committees and in the Burgerhof, but also outside taverns, in dark alleys and - rarely - in pitched battles in the streets. Wise visitors do their utmost to stay out of this part of local politics.[1p]


"Suiddock is the heart and soul of Marienburg — and considering what a run-down pesthole it is, that's a frightening thought."

—Young broker at the 'Change.[1q]

The Bruynwater canal is one of the few waterways in Marienburg deep enough to handle ocean-going vessels. It runs for almost a mile, both sides crammed with warehouses, docks, offices, shops, taverns, flophouses, shipyards, tenements and brothels. Its streets are filled with crowds of people always in motion, all Marienburg's classes and races blending together in an ever-changing swirl. The Bruynwater itself and its many side canals teem with ships large and small, from sea-going clippers, caravels, ketches and dhows to riverboats and barges from the interior of the Old World. Amongst them all dash the small dories and skiffs of the locals, darting in and out of the traffic like water-beetles and creating nightmares for pilots trying to bring large vessels into dock.[1q]

The north side of the Bruynwater takes in the islands of Riddra, Stoessel and Luydenhoek, from west to east, while the south bank runs from one tip of Sikkeleiland to the other. The magnificent Hoogbrug bridge rises from Hightower Isle, the northernmost isle of Suiddock, which is itself connected to Luydenhoek by the Nederbrug bridge. Foot and wheeled traffic across the Bruynwater is only available via the Draaienbrug swing-bridge.[1q]

The oldest parts of Suiddock - and arguably the oldest parts of Marienburg itself - are in the west. Starting in Noormanswijk and heading east to encompass the western half of Stoessel and the corresponding portions of Sikkeleiland, this heart of the Suiddock has become a warren of run-down slums where the Watch rarely ventures and only the residents really feel at home. Many of the docks and buildings have a decrepit look to them, and the warehouses only sometimes hold legitimate cargoes.[1q]

Over the last few decades, most of the area's commercial activity has headed east, into the relatively newer portions of Suiddock. It is here, in what Suiddockers variously call the Luydenhoek Stretch or the East End, that one will find the newest and busiest docks in the city. It's also here that most of the real business of Suiddock is done, among the hardworking and pragmatic East Enders.[1q]

Travellers coming to Marienburg will likely start their visit in Suiddock. Coming by road from Middenheim, they will enter via the Oostenpoort Gate, racing through the sights, sounds and smells of Messteeg, Handelaarmarkt, Nipponsstad and Paleisbuurt to cross the Hoogbrug bridge and finally disembark in Beulsplaats (Hangman's Square) on Luydenhoek. The coaching companies keep their depots here because of the cheap (for Marienburg) land and their contracts with the Stevedores and Teamsters Guild. From here, passengers can either walk or hire small boats to other parts of the city.[1q]

Travellers coming from Bretonnia enter through the Westenpoort Gate, their carriages moving as quickly as possible through the parts of Winkelmarkt that border on Doodkanaal to get to their destinations. Coachmen who frequent the Suiddock inns still talk about the Four Seasons coach that stopped too near Doodkanaal so the coachman could answer nature's call. When it was found the next day, the doors had been hacked off and all that was remained of the crew and passengers was a woman's severed hand.[1q]

Finally, those arriving by river or sea will almost certainly disembark in Suiddock. Almost all ship traffic passes through here - especially if it has something to hide.[1q]

Stevedores and Teamsters Guild

The Stevedores and Teamsters Guild has its headquarters in an old converted warehouse on Riddra Isle, south-west from Three Penny Bridge, down a cobbled alley in the old heart of Suiddock. It looks much like any other ageing structure in the docklands: half-timber construction with a peaked shingle roof and a mangy hound guarding its front door. Other than the sign of three barrels hanging over the doorway, there's little to mark it as the headquarters of one of the most powerful forces in Marienburg.[1q]

The interior is well-kept and quite comfortable, especially by Suiddock standards. A great fireplace warms the meeting hall, heavy tapestries line the walls to guard against the chill, and a fresh keg of ale is always present to slake a workingman's thirst. Since Lea-Jan Cobbius came to power over thirty years ago he has made sure that all stevedores and teamsters feel welcome in their own guildhall. Consequently, there are upwards of twenty guildsmen to be found here at all hours of the day or night, either on guild business or simply playing cards and sharing a drink and some gossip.[1q]

The upper floor houses the business offices of the guild, which are as well furnished as the meeting hall. Even the waiting area outside Cobbius's office is outfitted with comfortable chairs, and the Guildmaster himself has a chamber worthy of one of the Ten, a desk of imported Kislevan oak resting atop an Arabian carpet, and alibrary of over a dozen books. These reflect Cobbius's eclectic tastes, ranging from Legendary Beasts of the Sea of Claws through Admiralty Law to di Martini's Rules of Tilean Pit-Fighting.[1q]

The Stevedores and Teamsters Guild enjoys a complete monopoly over unskilled labour on Marienburg's docks. Its power dates from its victory in the general strikeof 2482, which came about in response to a law passed by the Stadsraad that only guilds certified by the Stadtholder's office could represent the city's workers. The guild provides the most complete set of benefits for its members of any labouring guild in the city and possibly the world, with payment of medical bills, widows' and orphans' pensions, and even short-term unemployment pay for those temporarily unable to work. In return, though, the guild demands absolute loyalty from its members. The harsh treatment given to the occasional scab works as a reminder of the benefits of loyalty.[1q]

What's more, through Cobbius's leadership the guild has come to be seen as a speaker for the Suiddock as a whole - which is not surprising given that most of the residents are members.[1q]

Open meetings are held once a month, at which Cobbius and other guild officers review the guild's business and other important issues for the membership. They are loud and raucous affairs, but an astute observer will note the guildmaster's control of the seeming chaos. While any member can challenge or question the officers at these meetings, such is the loyalty of the membership to Cobbius that his view always prevails. The guild's day-to-day business is managed in weekly meetings of the Central Committee, headed by Cobbius and filled with his hand-picked lieutenants. These meetings are surprisingly open. Cobbius actively solicits the opinions of his underlings, who in turn are free to speak their minds. However, everyone understands that the final decisions always rest with the guildmaster.[1q]

A records room keeps extensive files on the guild's business, both legal and illegal. Off-limits to all but Cobbius and his lieutenants, there are not only records of members, income and expenses, but also detailed lists of illicit cargoes that the guild has handled on behalf of others. The guild maintains this information as a form of blackmail and insurance, to make sure that the merchant houses don't take undue advantage of Suiddock's working men. The Excise would love to have access to these files, but so far all their attempts to get to them, clandestine and otherwise, have failed.[1q]

Lately, though, stormclouds have appeared on the horizon, threatening the Guild's little empire. Suiddockers have always resented the Sea Elves' habit of docking only at their own docks and using only Elf labour to move their cargoes. While this is legal under the terms of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, hotheads among the membership have grown tired of Cobbius's counsels of patience and have taken matters into their own hands. Cases of Elf-bashing are on the rise, and a series of fires in Elftown have been laid at the door of the Guild. After a recent beating of some dockers by revenge-minded Sea Elf marines, Guildmaster Cobbius was able to avoid another anti-Elf riot only by personally promising to do something about this. What this something is, though, Cobbius has yet to figure out.[1q]

Riverman's Association

"Dammit, I grew up on these canals and I know them like the back of me hand! I don't need no high-and-mighty pilot to tell me how to run my own lighter!"

—Angry riverboat owner.[1q]

Located in a small building on Sikkeleiland, across from Stoessel where the Geligwater Canal enters the Bruynwater, the Rivermen's Association is the enemy of the Brotherhood of Seamen and Pilots. The rivalry was born over a century ago when a group of bargemen formed their own breakaway group because they felt the Pilots' and Seamen's Guild was favouring saltwater sailors at the expense of those who really kept the port moving. Bad blood has run between the two groups ever since, with disagreements between them often turning into full-scale brawls.[1q]

The root of the dispute lies in a clause in Admiralty law giving members of the Brotherhood of Seamen and Pilots the right to guide all boats and ships entering or leaving Marienburg harbour, for a fee of 1/- per foot of boat. The Rivermen, all of them experienced and many of them native Wastelanders, resent this because they feel they know the river and harbour as well as any pilot. Many Reik users, whether rivermen or not, claim the Pilots are little better than racketeers, and their power to call on the River Watch to enforce their rights rubs salt in an already open sore. There have been recent groundings and collisions that the Rivermen's Association claims were arranged by the Pilots to discredit those who were complaining too loudly.[1q]

But the Association is poor and lacks the influence of the better-connected Brotherhood. Relations between the rivals aren't helped by the fiery temper of the Rivermen's Association guildmaster, Axel Huurder, who's known across Suiddock for his sharp tongue and his disputes with the Pilots' leader, Albert Loodemans. The guild can't even afford to maintain a full-time staff: Huurder still has to make a living off his own boat (and pay piloting fees to boot). While some members staff the Association's small office on a volunteer basis, its doors are often locked and the windows shuttered.[1q]

Although the guild, and Axel in particular, are vocal about their complaints, lately some Rivermen have been talking more quietly about its lack of success. There have been discussions about the Pilots' dirty tricks, and whether it might be time for the honest rivermen of Marienburg to begin fighting back with the same weapons. At present it's no more than talk, but feelings are running close to boiling.[1q]

Brotherhood of Seamen and Pilots

"It's one of the most effective guilds in the city-not a racket like the Stevedores and Teamsters, but it still takes care of its own. And the Guildmaster, Loodemans, has got more than his fair share of good sense. Likes to think things over, come to a reasonable solution. Too bad they can't bottle some of it and give it to that hothead across the channel."

—Suiddock fisherman.[1q]

Dead centre on the Stoessel waterfront and in sight of the Rivermen's Association lies the guildhall of the Brotherhood of Seamen and Pilots, one of the oldest and most respected guilds in the city. The guildhall is a well-kept building with a pillared facade and a painted mermaid figurehead jutting from the cornice. On its small dome is a brass spire, topped with a representation of Manaan's crown.[1q]

The guild exists to protect the interests of seamen and harbourpilots, and represent them in dealings with the Lord Harbourmaster's office. The Brotherhood is at pains to maintain good relations with local temples, seamen being a superstitious lot, and regularly gives money to the temples and charities such as St Rutha's orphanage. The guild also houses a small chapel dedicated to Manann in his aspect of Rijkstrum the Guide, where members can make offerings and pray in private.[1q]

The Brotherhood harbours a grudge against the Rivermen's Association because of the latter's complaints about piloting fees and, lately, accusations of sabotage by members of the Brotherhood against the Rivermen. While no proof has been offered, a few Pilots have been bragging late at night in dockside inns about how "we put them darned river rats in their place, we did."[1q]

One of Suiddock's landmarks is the mess hall on the ground floor of the guildhall. Lots of guilds serve food, but no one serveshot fish stew as cheap or as good as 'Old Eric' Roergang, a retired ship's cook who also is caretaker for the hall. Eric receives a pension from the guild and cooks for the love of sailors' company and the swapping of old stories- the cost, half the normal price elsewhere in Suiddock, is just to cover supplies. To the dismay of many in Marienburg, though, the mess hall is open only to members of the Brotherhood.[1q]

Albert Loodemans has been the head of the Brotherhood for five years. He's a respected figure around Suiddock, and can be found at the Guildhall most days and often well into the night. Lately his time has been taken up trying to reach some sort of understanding with Axel Huurder.[1q]

Orphanage of St Rutha

"Bloody pests, that's what they are, always jingling their cups and begging for money. They should go out and get honest jobs."

—irritated 'Change broker.[1q]

Known throughout the city as "Brother Bert's", this multi-storey building is made up of three houses knocked together to make one. It is on the small canal known by Luydenhoekers as the Stink Water.[1q]

St Rutha's orphanage looks after waifs who lack parents or guardians, or whose families are too poor to care for them. Children stay up to the age of 14, or until they can be apprenticed in a respectable trade. The headmaster, Brother Albertus Cobbius, is always willing to show visitors around; his star pupils chant their thirteen times table, recite the lengths of all the major rivers in the Old World and demonstrate other feats of learning. There are currently 30 children here, ranging in age from six months to 13 years old.[1q]

The orphanage is staffed by just a few full-timers: Brother Bert; Granny Emma, who cooks for the children and teaches the girls cooking and sewing; and the hulking Krabbenbos brothers, Julius and Jozef, who act as resident handymen and look after the children when they go "collecting". Other people can be found there workingas volunteers. Anders Vesalion comes once every other week to check on the children's health. Haam Markvalt, the leader of the radical Vrijbond "debating club", spends each Marktag at the orphanage teaching reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. Every week seems to bring in someone new who has been cajoled by Brother Bert to spend a little time "for the children".[1q]

St Rutha's is a source of pride, amusement and even irritation in Marienburg. Brother Bert has made a name for himself with his strange ideas. For instance, there is his notion that Marienburgers should give money to help those less fortunate than themselves. The older and more trustworthy children are sent out, in distinctive blue and white uniforms which immediately set them apart from the average street urchin, accosting passers-by for donations. As far as anyone knows, this is the orphanage's only source of income, and the collectors can be remarkably persistent. Marienburgers have been known to take to their heels at the sound of coins rattling in a tin and the sight of a child in blue and white.[1q]

Then there's Brother Bert's belief in "knowing how to take care of oneself, when reason fails". A former pit-fighter, he teaches the children street-fighting tricks to disable an attacker without serious injury. Only his insistence that violence is a last resort, and then to be used only to facilitate an escape, keeps him from being disciplined by the cult hierarchy.[1q]

Pelican's Perch

At the end of a narrow alley off the street that runs behind the warehouses is a large but unobtrusive hostelry called the Pelican's Perch. Every true Suiddocker knows where it is, and it is a favourite watering-hole for stevedores, rivermen and dubious traders of all kinds. It opens from noon till midnight.[1q]

The interior of the Pelican's Perch is larger than one might expect from the modest entrance. There is a large common room, and a number of curtained booths and side-rooms for those patrons who require privacy. It is rumoured that there are secret passages leading to all the canals around, used for smuggling and other nefarious activities.[1q]

The Pelican's Perch is owned by Ishmael Boorsevelt, a former ship's mate who lost his leg (and, some say, a few of his marbles) when his last ship was destroyed by a sea-monster in the Sea of Claws. Sailors are known for being superstitious, but Ishmael is legendary. For instance, he fears being known only by his last name: "That's the mark of a dead man," he mutters. "Just call me Ishmael." Few people even know he has a last name.[1q]

The Pelican's Perch offers a wide range of local beers and spirits, including the notorious Alte Geheerentode rum and Braakbroew strong ale. It also boasts an array of brandies from Bretonnia and The Empire, Kislevite vodkas, Albion uisce beatha and Norse akavit. The range of drink available is well-known throughout the Suiddock - as, indeed, are the prices, which are lower than one might expect. The Perch also offers accommodation - there is a bunk room upstairs, with twelve bunks. Ishmael charges 3/6 per person per night, in advance, whether you get a bunk or not, and he is not averse to overbooking. According to the regulars, the record is thirty-two people in the bunk room.[1q]

Entertainment at the Pelican's Perch includes singers, storytellers and exotic dancers, all on a nautical theme. There is no regular program of entertainment - "it happens when it happens", as the regulars say. A loaded blunderbuss behind the counter prevents critics in the audience from getting out of hand.[1q]

The Perch is named after Ishmael's pelican, Beaky, who has the run of the place - much to the discomfort of unwary customers.[1q]

Wasteland Import-Export Exchange

"The 'Change? That's where all the trading's done. All the large-scale stuff, anyway. Millions upon millions of guilders a day go through that building-that's where all the serious money is made."

—Local merchant.[1q]

This four-storey stone and timber building is one of the largest structures on Hightower Island, apart from the High Tower itself. Its multiple pillars, huge windows and ornate mouldings show that money has been lavished on it, and the constant coming and going of merchants reinforces the impression that something veryimportant happens here. If trade is the life-blood of Marienburg, then the Exchange is the city's heart; all Marienburg's bulk trade takes place here, and cargoes of all types are bought and sold within its walls. The 'Change, as Marienburgers call it, started as the home of the Mercantile Guild. Centuries of increasing trade brought changes to what was once a common-room where merchants met to talk and drink. It's still officially a guildhall, but most merchants prefer to meet in their private clubs - the 'Change is for business.[1q]

The 'Change is run by the eleven-strong Commission of Overseers of Trade. Traditionally these are the heads of the ten wealthiest trading families in Marienburg, plus the High Priest of Haendryk. However, since everyone claims to be extremely wealthy to impress their rivals, and extremely poor to avoid taxes (usually in the same breath), the Stadsraad avoids controversy in selecting its officers and appoints the ten 'elected' Directors with the most experience of mercantile matters - the Ten, in other words - as Overseers. The current Master Overseer is Director Jaan van de Kuypers. Staadtholder van Raemerswijk is a very minor member of the board.[1q]

Whoever the Overseers are from year to year, the deals struck in the opulent privacy of their boardroom affect the economics of the City and the northern Old World. Perceptive observers of Marienburg politics know that it is from here that the City is really governed, and behind the great oaken doors that true fortunes are made. Lesser mortals, such as the Pit brokers, hear only rumours and feel the Overseers' shadowy influence.[1q]

The Pit, the 'Change's central trading chamber, is a madhouse to the uninitiated. During trading hours, between ten in the morning and four in the afternoon, the place is a frenzy as the brokers work. Sellers' agents shout offers and signal concessions, while men working for the buyers scream counter-offers, acceptances and rejections. The buyers are also trading among themselves, exchanging contracts and promissory notes, and selling cargoes that none of them will ever actually see. Pieces of paper fly everywhere, and the runners who post the latest prices on the hall's giant blackboard often have to rub out prices before they've even finished writing them up. It is said that to truly understand the 'Change you have to work there, and that only the mad work there.[1q]

The 'Change also includes a small temple to Haendryk, the God of Trade. Although small, the shrine is richly appointed and well- frequented by merchants hoping to make a killing in the Pit. Each day's trading begins and ends with prayers to Haendryk, and tradition dictates that every trader in the 'Change should make a daily donation of a guilder to the shrine.[1q]

Denizens of the 'Change

The 'Change is peopled by merchants of every type, from the powerful members of the Commission to the frenzied brokers on the floor of the Pit. Adventurers are unlikely to meet the merchants themselves, but will certainly have dealings with their functionaries.[1q]

  • Merchants' clerks are the clerks, notaries, junior merchants, scribes and general lackeys who form the bulk of the population of the 'Change. These are the people with whom adventurers will probably have to deal with if they want to do any trading in Marienburg. They are well-paid and generally quite loyal to their masters, and thus harder to bribe.[1q]
  • The Brokers, on the other hand, are the people who do the real business of the 'Change: the buying and selling on the floor of the Pit. Some are employed by the great merchant houses of Marienburg, while others belong to small independent firms and hire their talents to non-Guild traders. Brokers do everything very rapidly and loudly; they seem to live at twice the pace and twice the volume of other people. Stimulant addiction is common.[1q]
  • Merchants frequent the 'Change, but it is often difficult to meet them, protected as they are by cohorts of loyal clerks. These are seated members of the Mercantile Guild, whose lives are wrapped up in making ever more money to win that coveted seat in the Boardroom and the Directorate.[1q]
Making Deals

"The 'Change? Bunch of overpaid 'ooligans runnin round shoutin' at each other. They're supposed to make thousands of guilders on trade in there. One of 'em explained it to me once, but it made me 'eadache, it did. I still don't see 'ow it's done. I reckons it's some kind of dodge m'self."

—Old Riverboatman.[1q]

Cargoes of almost anything can be bought or sold in the 'Change. The 'Change is run by - and mainly for - the Merchants' Guild, and specifically the powerful families whose representatives make up the Overseers. For a fee, non-members can hire a broker -which is essential, as all trade in the Pit must be conducted through an accredited broker: one can't just wade in and start shouting prices. The major merchant houses include brokering among their commercial activities, and there are a few small independent firms of brokers who are allowed to do business in the Pit. The 'Change provides notaries to witness transactions and attest that all taxes and fees have been paid. These charges are as follows:[1q]

  • Trade tax: The city imposes a 2% tax on all transactions, levied on the seller.[1q]
  • Brokers' fee: Non-members of the Mercantile Guild must pay a brokers fee, typically 1% of the transaction's value.[1q]
  • Notary charge: No transaction is valid without paperwork provided by a notary in the 'Change. This costs 5 guilders, regardless of the amount of the transaction.[1q]
  • Cult Donation: All traders are expected to donate 1 guilder per day to the Cult of Haendryk. This sum is traditional, and must be paid whether a trader makes one deal or a thousand in his day in the 'Change.[1q]
Golden Lotus Dreaming House

"The Golden Lotus isn't your average drug den, chum - oh no, it's a real palace of poison. And possibly something worse."

—Sister Hilaria om Klimt.[1q]

At the Riddra end of the thieves' den known as Three Penny Bridge, hard by the spot where the Red Lantern Canal enters the channel, squats a dilapidated three-storey timber and stone building that has an evil, sick look to it: the Golden Lotus Dreaming House, the most notorious drug den in all of Suiddock.[1q]

Older than anyone's memory and added to by everyone who's owned it, it leans at crazy angles and is built so far over the canal that folks wonder why it hasn't fallen in yet. The only sign marking its business is a faded board over the door with a gold lotus painted on it - that, and the telltale odour of Black Lotus that carries on the breeze.[1q]

The inside is like a vision from some Shallyan nightmare. Down the flight of creaking, stained stairs from the alley door, past the silent Nipponese bouncer, lies a single large room, dimly lit. There clients sprawl in three-high bunks, their hands clutching drug pipes, their jaws slack and their eyes dilated, seeing who knows what. Smoke perpetually hangs in the air, choking those not accustomed to it.[1q]

There are six to twenty-four customers here at any one time, but the only motion in the room usually comes from Kroeller, the attendant whore fills the pipes and takes the money. New customers are admitted only after being screened by the bouncer through a small panel in the alley door.[1q]

On the second floor are private rooms, little more than cots behind a closed door, reserved for special customers for only a guilder per pipe. The House promises discretion in its operations, and some of Marienburg's finest and most prominent come here to indulge their filthy habit. The topmost floor holds the private quarters of the owner, an Indie named Venk Kataswaran but commonly called "the Lascar", and his assistants: a Nipponese ninja (assassin) known only as Toko and the bouncer, a hulking Nipponese mercenary named Masahito. Both are fanatically loyal to Venk.[1q]

The Church of St Olovald

"Nobody uses it now except beggars and drunks. They crawl in there to get out of the weather. That could be warehouses, and a good stretch of docks, hut will those temple fools listen to a reasonable offer? No. They think that a run-down dump is still a temple!"

—Frustrated speculator.[1q]

At the far western end of the channel on the edge of Noormanswijk stands an ancient and crumbling temple to Manann. It's built of old stone around a central nave, with wings on either side of the apse that curve outwards and around like the hooks of an anchor. The area around the temple has become a squalid maze of slums and tenements, and very few worshippers come there nowadays.[1q]

The whole temple is filled with the kind of damp chill that sinks into your bones and stays there; moss grows thickly on many of the walls, the old frescoes are peeling and are black with mildew, and in some places the floor is carpeted with lichen, making the footing slippery and treacherous. Yet despite this the temple has an air of life and vitality which belies its derelict appearance.[1q]

Once the look of the place matched this vitality. Long ago, this was the spot where Marius first made sacrifice to Olovald, the god that had called his people to the Wasteland. For over a thousand years this church was the spiritual heart of Marienburg, until the Great Cathedral of Manann was built. Even after the cult of Olovald declined after the Imperial annexation, this church was important to the city, as the place where the Barons were crowned.[1q]

By the 11th century, the cult of Manann had grown so strong that it was able to declare in the council of 1010 that Olovald was not a god, merely a misremembered saint. His churches were taken over, his priests absorbed, the Barons went elsewhere to be crowned, and only this one rundown temple was all that was left to honour the god's name. The temple has only one attendant, a Cleric of Manann named Hilaria om Klimt, or Sister Hilli. Her congregation is made up largely of local tramps, 10-20 at any time, many of them seamen who can no longer find work due to age, injury or drink. They use the west wing of the temple as a makeshift hostel, even though parts of its roof have recently collapsed.[1q]

There is an air of mystery to the temple. Rumours persist among the city's lower classes that a great treasure lies concealed somewhere in its crumbling stonework, and it's even whispered that Sister Hilli knows of it, and uses her 'mission' to disguise her searches for it. Stranger still, from time to time someone will die in Marienburg, leaving a large amount of money - often far more than their relatives suspected they owned - to the Church, "for services rendered". What those services might be is never stated. And occasionally a ship docks in Marienburg and pilgrims speaking foreign tongues, or not speaking at all, disembark, come to the church, spend hours or days in prayer and then leave the city, their business seemingly finished. Perhaps the cult of Olovald is not as dead as it seems; or perhaps these visits have a more sinister origin and purpose.[1q]

Suiddock Watch Post and Jail

"Watch? Don't talk to me about those lousy Lamplighters. They spend all day bothering honest folk who just want to make a living, awl when you face them with a real crime they don't want to know. Only last week my brother's shop got broken into, and would they do any thing? In calm seas they did. Too busy, they said, got a murder, they said. Took a bribe, I say."

—Marienburg Labourer.[1q]

On the south end of the Draaienbrug swing-bridge stands a Watch Post - Gram Dawys Memorial Post Number One of the Honourable Company of Lamplighters and Watchmen, to give it its full name. (It's named for a Dwarf duellist who gave his life defending it when a lynch mob came after an unjustly accused goblin.) To the casual observer, it looks much like any of the other small shops and houses that surround it, until one notices the strength of its only door and the absence of windows.[1q]

The Watch-house is built of stone and timber, and is at least two hundred years old, like most of the surrounding area. It is typical of the small Watch stations that are scattered throughout the city. Post Number One is manned by six local Watchmen, two of them occupying the place in each eight-hour shift.[1q]

The Post Sergeant is Garik Svitzher, while the night and graveyard shifts are commanded by Sergeants Dumo Pasternak and Crispijn Bezemer. Their beat includes the whole east quarter of Suiddock on Sikkeleiland and most of Dwergsbezit. A jailer, Tobias Baas, lives here and keeps an eye on any prisoners. They report to Captain Graveland at the Suiddock Ward Barracks on Luydenhoek, and can call on reinforcements from the barracks.[1q]

The Watch-house holds an office and a couple of cells generally used for cooling off drunks. Occasionally someone accused of a more serious crime will be held here until the necessary paperwork is drawn up and the suspect can be transferred to the Suiddock Ward Barracks.[1q]

The Watch-house is separate from the buildings around it, with no adjoining walls. The single door is strongly made of iron-bound oak; it may be locked from the outside or bolted from the inside. The walls are of timber-laced stone. The two cells are separated from the rest of the building by stout iron bars. The bars are an inch thick and spaced six inches apart. The locks on the cell doors may only be opened from the outside. Each cell is equipped with a hard wooden bunk and a none-too-clean bedroll.[1q]

The Marienburg Gentlemen's Club

"The Gentlemen's Club? You have a death wish, right?You're completely out of your mind."

—Suiddock Boatman.[1q]

To many people, the Marienburg Gentlemen's Club is Three Penny Bridge. In physical terms, it squats at the west half of the northern side of the bridge, and as most of the locals are well aware it is the headquarters of the dreaded Guild We've Never Heard Of, the nerve centre of the thieves' den. At a casual glance, the Marienburg Gentlemen's Club looks much like any of the small taverns of Riddra. Three centuries old, it is structurally sound but needs some external repairs. Parts of the frontage are cracked and peeling, and a few roof-tiles are missing. The windows are mostly cracked and filthy, making it very difficult for someone outside to see in. But to the average passer-by, it seems innocent enough.[1q]

The tavern sits above the Cut, which crosses between the Bruynwater and the Rijksweg, with the north end standing on piles out over the Cut. The ground floor stands well above the level of the canals - 15 feet at low tide and 4 feet at high tide.[1q]

Most of the ground floor is the low-ceilinged, dingy bar-room. The narrow space between the Club and the abandoned building next door is known to the regulars as the Privy Chamber, and a pair of outward-opening doors lead onto it. It is a common joke for regulars to tell drunken newcomers to the Club that the water-closet is through those doors, and wait for the resulting splash. The doors are also used to eject troublemakers. At the other end of the bar is the Surprise Room. It is windowless and completely dark, and the floor is built to drop away, depositing anyone inside into the Cut. People asking too many questions are often directed into here, and dropped unceremoniously out of the building.[1q]

The upper floor contains three rooms: Adalbert's opulent bedroom, a smaller chamber for his bodyguard, Helga, and the mockingly named Directorate, used by Henschmann for meetings of the League's Board of Masters and occasional private gambling. Off the Directorate, through a secret door which can only be opened by pressing a hearth-stone in the fireplace outside, is a bolt hole used for storage - sometimes holding trouble-makers until Adalbert decides on their fate. The walls are fitted with iron rings for chaining prisoners up.[1q]


"Guilderveld's not as classy as Goudberg, but it's livelier and it's where I'd go to have a shot at some big deals with the Elves, without having to join the 'Change or get past the Mannikins in Elfsgemeente. Dress well enough and hang about in the right clubs, and they'll think you belong there doing business - seems we all look alike to them."

—Devotee of Ranald the Dealer.[1s]

Guilderveld ("Moneyfield") is one of the newer wards of the city, having been completely rebuilt after the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Prior to the coming of the Sea Elves, it was a lower-class district known as Noordhaven, a decaying dockland that had never successfully competed with Suiddock. A mysterious plague struck it the year the Elves came - brought, it was rumoured, on a ship from Mousillon. Although the scourge did not spread much beyond the district, Noordhaven's population was decimated.[1s]

In the wake of the plague, the Merchants' Guild presented Baron van Hoogmans with a plan: since the land was in a good location to take advantage of the new Elf haven, the Baron should simply seize the lands under his ancient rights - the Guild would then buy it from him and develop it. Baron Matteus agreed and, faced with a strong force of Tilean mercenaries, the locals had no choice but to acquiesce. Being poor already, they relocated to the city's slums, notably Doodkanaal. This act is known in history as "The Long Swim". While the Guild paid a considerable sum for the properties, the fortunes made since have more than repaid their investment.[1s]

Nowadays, Guilderveld is home to many successful businesses that provide services to the wealthy and upper middle classes of Marienburg and elsewhere. Large homes belonging to master craftsmen stand next to their well-appointed workhouses, the separate structures attesting to their owners' wealth. There are also the offices of many of the city's mercantile concerns, while goldsmiths and gem cutters share the area with successful artists and brokerage firms. Guilderveld's bustling streets and canals are well-tended, residents and hired help making sure that everything is neat and clean - even pavement artists are run off! Nevertheless, Guilderveld sports a large number of street entertainers who earn quite a bit from the tips of passers-by. Wealth, of course, attracts the attention of thieves and other crooks, so the local ward council is careful to keep the Black Caps well-equipped and happy, and night patrols are frequent and vigilant.[1s]

Sybo's Mystic Emporium

"Used to be his brother Leo ran the business; he always was the more talented of the two. But he went on a collecting trip to the South Lands colony a few years ago and came back changed - strange, you might say. He wouldn't leave his house, nor deal with customers. One day, Sybo sent a message saying Leo had left and moved away - to Kislev, I heard. At first some folks suspected Sybo of doing away with his brother, but we still get letters from him, and he does pay his dues. Guess he just wanted a change."

—Wizard's Guild member.[1s]

Sybo Haan is the ostensible proprietor of Haan's Custom Magicks, where items are given minor enchantments for those rich enough to afford their utility or luxury value. The shop is fairly spacious, the windows are usually shuttered, the curtains drawn, and the doors are both bolted and chained on the inside and have Reinforce Door spells on them. Sybo very rarely opens for business: most customers write to make appointments. Sybo's well-to-do landlord (an agent of the de Roelef family) accepts some minor magical services in lieu of rent, and this allows Sybo to advertise his influential patronage as a mark of the quality of his work.[1s]

Visitors - only seen with an appointment - are expected to wait in the reception room downstairs while Sybo prepares himself and any items he has readied for them. The slightly twitchy young wizard usually entertains visitors with the sounds of his three Norse bloodhounds (huge, vicious, slavering watchdogs) growling and snarling. Sybo is always nervous and feels more secure with these dogs around.[1s]

Sybo's bedroom and his upstairs workroom, which visitors won't normally see, both have very strongly reinforced doors (with Reinforce Door and Magic Lock spells cast on them) which Sybo locks and bolts into the bargain. The windows of this house are made of enchanted glass, as tough as cast iron, and the window frames themselves are just as tough (Sybo is proud of having attended to this detail). The sash windows will only open if the signet ring Sybo wears is touched to the frames. The windows, if struck, emit a loud, ringing tone.[1s]

Down in the basement, a spell rune is carved into the wall at the bottom of the steps. This is a Steal Mind rune of exceptional potency. Without enough willpower, a victim is subject to its effects for one to six hours, during which time any affected creature is also forced to gibber and wail, thus advertising its presence to the wizard working and lurking down in the gloom.[1s]

The Haan Range

"He's never open, dearie. Never opens a window or draws a curtain. The gods alone know what he does in there."

—Char-Lady near the Haan Shop.[1s]

The Haans make fairly minor magics for the rich, and use many of them in their own home. They are talented improvisers, and their creations are enchanted variations of standard household items: among them are coffee-pots which stay hot for hours, talking door plaques that can hold a short announcement, fuelless room heaters and candles that light at a stroke of the wick.[1s]

Prices for these items vary according to the size, utility and complexity of the item and the nature of its enchantment, and how much Sybo thinks his customers will cough up. Prices usually start at 50 Gu for a smail self-cleaning bedpan to 120 Gu for self-polishing and drying boots, and really elaborate magical fashions can cost 2000 Gu or more for a fine full evening outfit complete with magically sparkling earrings.[1s]

Delftgruber and Son, Ship's Chandlers

"Go to old Delftgruber's chandlery and mention my name, and you'll find you can buy more than rope. But not a word to anyone else - if Adalbert hears about this we're all dead men."

—Independent Smuggler.[1s]

At the end of Gold Harbour canal, close to what's left of the Noordhaven waterfront in the oldest part of Guilderveld, stands a small, unobtrusive doorway with a dirty window beside it and a peeling sign reading 'H. Delftgruber & Son, Ship's Chandlers'. The building looks like an old converted warehouse - which, for the most part, is what it is. There is nothing to indicate that it is also the front for a smuggling operation, and was once the headquarters of one of the largest gangs north of the Rijksweg.[1s]

The worn door gives way to a small, neat shop area, with a bay window looking out onto a view of the great harbour's traffic. Hugo Delftgruber usually sits by the window to work, making the most of the daylight. Behind the counter are racks holding small items useful on a ship - lanterns, nails and so on, while a door leads to the warehouse for the larger items like barrels, sail cloth and crates of salted fish. Stairs from here lead to the upper floor, which holds the family's living quarters. A concealed door under the stairs gives access to the deep levels of Guilderveld island and a forgotten cistern in which Gijsbert's gang stores their boats.[1s]

The Delftgrubers were once a powerful local gang, but lost out in a gang war with Adalbert Henschmann. Gijsbert was only young then, and took no active part, but his father Hugo was found, mutilated and barely alive, nailed to a Watch-house door. His wife was never seen again. A broken man, Hugo Delftgruber is now content just to be alive and in business as a merchant.[1s]

Gijsbert runs a small-time smuggling operation with his father's collusion, but is careful not to do anything too large-scale or obvious, which might draw Adalbert's attention. Adalbert, of course, is well aware of what goes on, but lets the Delftgruber gang think that they are outside his knowledge and control with their little operation. In fact, he manipulates them as surely as he does any other criminal in Marienburg, but more subtly. And if they live in constant fear of him discovering them, he reasons, then his hold over them will be all the stronger, should he ever choose to exercise it....[1s]

Groenewoud's Fine Meats, Fresh Fish and Abattoir

"Best meats and fish in the city in that shop, m'friend! Old Boni's a good soul, too. He gives duty Watchmen free meat pies and tea, to show his appreciation for the 'boys in black'. Good enough to make a Halfling cry for joy, they are. In fact, I think it's time for m'lunch break."

—Guilderveld Black Cap.[1s]

At the northern tip of Guilderveld by the Westbrug bridgetown and across from Schattinwaard sit two buildings far too elegant to be called "butcher shop" and "slaughterhouse" respectively.[1s]

The brass plaque by the entrance to the shop reads 'Fine Meats and Fish. B. Groenewoud, prop.' Small diamond-window panes provide passers-by with glimpses of mouth-watering sausages, delectable racks of ribs, and fresh fish, among other delights on crushed ice. Inside, a fur-coated lad offers herbal tea to warm the bones of high-born customers, warding off the chill brought on by the great blocks of ice imported at much expense from the distant north to keep the store and its goods cold.[1s]

The two buildings sit in a walled compound. The shop itself, a two-storey half-timber structure with Bonifatius's quarters on the second floor, faces Three Fools' Lane. The lower portion consists of two rooms, a public display area with icebox cases that display the day's offerings and holds both Groenewoud's desk and some comfortable chairs for clients waiting for their orders. Behind the cases and through a heavy locked oaken door is a cold locker that stores dressed carcasses ready for carving. Only Groenewoud and his abattoir staff are allowed in here.[1s]

The compound opens onto Three Fool's Lane via a double gate that is mainly used by drovers bringing Kleinland cattle and sheep the short distance from Schroedinger's docks - Groenewoud is careful to make sure the animals are delivered by back alleys and side streets, so as not to disturb his neighbours. Daily deliveries of ice arrive during the pre-dawn hours and are handled by the slaughterhouse foreman. A large Imperial bearhound, Griff, has the run of the yard at night and discourages anyone from taking home free samples.[1s]

The abattoir squats at the back of the compound by the canal, a utilitarian structure with thick walls to keep the sounds of slaughter from disturbing the neighbours. Blood and other unused parts are sold to the Channel Rats, who market the remains to shops in the poor parts of town - places where people consider head cheese and pickled knuckles a delicacy. Inside the abattoir is a single large warehouse filled with killing pens, meat-hooks, bloody saws and knives still covered with bits of blood and bone, drains in the floor to collect the fluids, and the occasional human corpse hanging from a chain, ready to be ground up and spiced for tomorrow's sausages.[1s]

For Bonifatius Groenewoud is devoted to Khaine and delights in turning his upstanding neighbours into occasional cannibals.[1s]

Arkat Fooger's Counting House

""Marienburg's a queer place. Where else can an Elf walk up to a Dwarf, ask for money and, instead of being shown the door with a bootprint on his backside, get a loan? Then again, knowing Old Fooger, that same Elf's grandson will still be paying off the debt."

—clerk from the House of Fooger.[1s]

At the eastern end of Guilderveld is an impressive building that speaks of wealth, power, tradition and security -the counting house and vaults of the House of Fooger, bankers to nobility, insurers to the world. Sitting among other banking and merchant houses along the canal known officially as Baron Frederik's Folly and more commonly as Usurers' Row, the building is an impressive four-storey structure built of stone and brick, capped with high-peaked roofs, each sporting several chimneys that speak of the luxuriant comfort of those within.[1s]

The Counting House sits well back from the canal, forming one side of a small plaza with churches to Haendryk and Verena to the right and left of it. Hundreds of people from all levels of society pass through the plaza each day, rushing from one deal to the next. Dozens of them make for the great double doors of "De Oud Foogershuis", built of imported oak and guarded night and day by four axe-wielding Dwarfs wearing the livery of the House of Fooger.[1s]

The ground floor is one large room, a beehive of activity with more than a score of clerks furiously scribbling in their ledgers, tallying the day's profits and losses based on messages bought in by runners. Expensive tapestries line the walls, and a teak railing separates the foyer from the main work area. At the rail's gate, a Dwarf of House Fooger screens incoming clients to check whose business is legitimate and rich enough, and whose requirements "may best be served by other, lesser institutions than this".[1s]

Those who pass muster are escorted by pages to the second floor, where merchants in the House's employ handle all their financial needs. The third is given over to the new Fooger insurance brokerage, a revolutionary enterprise conceived and developed by Arkat Fooger himself, and one that has been very profitable until lately. The topmost office is the private domain of Director Fooger and his staff, where he personally sees important clients, including representatives of nobility and royalty from around the Old World. He also has private quarters here, used when he has to stay late on House or Directorate business. Finally, a secret passage on the ground floor leads down to the Fooger vaults, which hold the House's gold reserves and other precious items that clients pay to have stored there.[1s]

Loans accrue 15% interest per year, or 2% per month for loans of less than a year, and all loans must be made against some kind of physical collateral. The Foogers are very strict about prosecuting anyone who defaults on a loan,and very successful at getting their money from non-payers, in kind if not in cash. Insurance for cargoes is available for 5% of the declared value, which is set by inspectors in the House's employ. Those wishing to store items may do so for a fee of 1% of the item's value per week, minimum 1 Gu. Rates for longer terms are negotiable.[1s]

The bank uses its own team of bailiffs to recover property from those unable to pay their debts. These range from jewellery, paintings and cargoes to horses, houses, businesses and ships. Smaller items are stored in a large warehouse on the old Noordhaven docks, where on the first Guilstag of each month there is a large auction where everything is sold off, attracting people from all over the city.[1s]

The Red Cock Inn

"Now there's the place to do real business, laddie! Donat's one o'thegang, ye know, in like flint with 'Casanova'. Just don't he obvious and he'll provide a safe place to hide hot goods - or your own hot hide, should the Excise be after ye!"

—veteran smuggler.[1s]

Midway along the inner shore of Gold Harbour, by the side of the Onionwater Canal, a thirsty traveller will find the sign of the Red Cock Inn, Donat Tuersveld, innkeeper. For over thirty years the Red Cock has been known for good food, good beer and a respectable atmosphere. And, for the same time, it has been the preferred safe house for smugglers in the north of the city looking for a place to store contraband.[1s]

The inn is a large single storey structure, built of stone and timber about two centuries ago. Up a small flight of steps and through the doors lies the main room, dominated by a central horseshoe-shaped bar that at night is busy enough to be worked by three bartenders. The ends of the bar sit against a wall that separates the main hall from the kitchens. At the rear of the kitchens are doors leading onto the canal, where deliveries are made by boat and trash dumped in the sluggish water.[1s]

The inn's tables and semi-private booths are often populated by local merchants. While the Red Cock doesn't offer private meeting rooms, the staff make sure that customers who don't want to be disturbed aren't. Unlike many business owners, Donat Tuersveld does not live above his premises, preferring to rent rooms at a nearby boarding house.[1s]

The Red Cock has a second life that begins soon after the doors close at midnight. A grate with disguised hinges covers the entrance to what was once, centuries ago, a minor canal that fed the Onionwater. As the island was built higher and higher, the canal was gradually covered over and forgotten. Tuersveld, a former pirate, bought the Red Cock when he discovered the old canal connected to a basement under the inn.[1s]

In the years since, many smugglers have hidden their goods in the Red Cock's secret basement, paying a storage fee that varies on the size and riskiness of the cargo, and how well he knows them. People needing to get in and out of Marienburg unobserved have also used the Inn's services, entering or exiting through the secret door in the kitchen's pantry. A careful watch of the Red Cock might reveal customers who enter but never leave, or who leave without having been seen to enter. If, however, all you want here is a meal, price and quality are both 10% above average.[1s]


"It's one of the oldest districts in the city, but it's not like Suiddock - the Stadsraad and the Directorate care about how Tempelwijk looks. Benefactors fall over themselves to donate money for prayers said in their name or to get part of a temple or university building named after them. I suppose it shows the gods they're making a profit."

—initiate of Myrmidia.[1t]

Tempelwijk is the intellectual and spiritual centre of Marienburg. While Suiddock makes money and the Directorate spends it, the denizens of Tempelwijk see to the city's mind and soul. Within the temples, priests and laity worship dutifully to maintain the blessings of the gods - all part of the deal, according to Marienburgers. Within the lecture halls of the University, the learned doctors of a dozen fields and their students work to maintain the city's standing in the intellectual world - Marienburgers are almost alone in the Old World in their belief that a broad education leads to economic strength. And in the plazas, inns, tea- and coffee-houses and taverns that dot the ward, priests and scholars mix with an ease that is rarely found elsewhere.[1t]

Tempelwijk is an impressive sight, dominated by three great structures: the Cathedral of Manaan with its great golden spires; the gaudy Temple of Haendryk; and the former palace that houses Baron Henryk's College of Navigation and Sea Magicks, Marienburg's world-famous university. Along with the other, smaller temples, Tempelwijk is home to ale houses, inns, bookstores, antiquarian shops, print-shops and scriptoria (notoriously unfriendly towards each other), boarding houses for students, faculty and priests -any sort of establishment that one can imagine serving an educated clientele. There is also the great harbour of Manaanshaven, where the warships and templars in the service of the High Priest of Manaan are based.[1t]

Tempelwijk is always active, even late at night when groups of drunken students serenade their neighbours with the latest bawdy songs. During the day, the streets and canals are crowded with traffic. Priests bustle hither and yon on errands for their superiors, professors dash to their next lecture followed by a gaggle of hem-kissing students, and squads of marines march to their posts as guards for the various temples. Amidst them all are the hundreds of support personnel who keep Tempelwijk running and the visitors who have business there. Not to mention the beggars- lots and lots of beggars, who flock to the prime patches by the Great Hospital.[1t]

Night brings out the more sinister side of Tempelwijk. Foot-pads and burglars of the Guild We've Never Heard Of find profit-able work here, while students gather in their various fraternities to work off a hard day of studies with a hard evening of drinking. Almost inevitably, the Black Caps and the University Proctors are called upon at least once a night to break up a brawl between besotted marines and students. The Ward Assizes of Tempelwijk is famous for raking in the most fines of any in Marienburg. Night is also the time of the witch-hunter. Access to knowledge often leads the weak or the corrupt down the paths of heresy, and the witch-hunters of the Temple Court are always alert for the taint of Chaos. More than one person has vanished in the night, the only evidence of his or her fate being a brief notation inthe records of the Star Chamber - "Case closed".[1t]

There are a number of reasons PCs would seek out Tempelwijk: perhaps they simply want to learn an academic skill - they'll find the best (and most expensive!) tutors here. Tempelwijk is also the likeliest place to find someone to identify an obscure artefact or translate an ancient document. Perhaps they even want spiritual comfort.[1t]

The scholars of Tempelwijk often hire adventurers to undertake expeditions for them, or to travel as bodyguards. Finally, there are the dark secrets buried within Baron Henryk's College or the vaults of the temples - for witch-hunters are not the only ones interested in forbidden things.[1t]

Cathedral of Manaan

"Here we stand in the centre of the cult that made Marienburg what it is - all that we are, we owe to the Lord of the Waves and Storms! And yet, we are ruled by coin counters who see the Great Sea as just one of their possessions? Blasphemy! We are in an age of decadence, headed for the Maelstrom, and even our Arch-Priest is too blind to realize that now is the time for mutiny."

—disgruntled priest of Manaan.[1t]

The "Crown Jewel" of Marienburg, the magnificent Cathedral of Manaan is the undisputed centre of the Sea God's cult in the Old World - even the Grand Chapel in Miragliano defers to its supremacy. Over two thousand years old, its cornerstone is said to have been laid by Marius himself in a pious act after his great victory over the Fimir. It rises at the south end of Heiligeiland ('Holy Isle') where Doodkanaal flows out into the main channel and thence into the bay. The modern structure was built of granite after the original temple was burned to theground by mercenaries during the Bretonnian evacuation in 1602. Faced in bright white limestone, three tall bell towers sheathed in gold stretch heavenward from the comb of the roof in imitation of Manaan's great trident, Zeeoogster ('Sea Reaper'). The great doors are open day and night, and are closed only in the worst weather. They are guarded by two templar-marines, part of a squad that patrols the temple grounds, each squad doing an eight-hour watch.[1t]

The interior of the cathedral comprises two vast chambers. First is the nave wherein the faithful gather on holy days and individual worshippers may pray at any time. On either side of it are shrines to saints and divine servants, private chapels in which petitioners can pray alone or hold a special ceremony with a priest. Given the importance and prestige associated with the Great Cathedral, only the very wealthy or those honoured by the cult are granted such a privilege.[1t]

Beyond the nave nine steps climb to the apse, where sits the great altar, carved from a single stone that, according to legend, Marius stood atop of when he proclaimed the foundation of the city and its loyalty to Manaan. On either side of it stand gold and silver reliquaries, ornate masterpieces that hold important relics like the finger-bones or teeth of saints, which become focuses for worship on particular saints-days.[1t]

But behind the altar is what the Cathedral is most famed for. Rather than a statue of Manaan (the original was destroyed in the fire of 1602), the curving wall of the apse holds a large, crystal-clear plate of glass that gives a view into a vast aquarium, a tank behind the temple that holds hundreds of thousands of gallons of saltwater and a dazzling variety of sea animals, a living symbol of Manaan's kingdom. The aquarium was a gift from the Phoenix King of Ulthuan, in gratitude for the cult's support of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce - and Old World wizards to this day wonder at the great magics that made and preserve the glass, the tank and the purity of the water itself. Clearly an example of Elven High Magick, it's beyond anything even the heads of the great Colleges of Colour Magic in Altdorf are capable of creating.[1t]

The Arch-Priest of Manaan, Wouter Berkhout, is the acknowledged spokesman for the interests of the cults in Marienburg. Though the cults of Haendryk, Verena and Shallya have seats on the Directorate, when the temples must speak with one voice, they know better than to disagree publicly with Berkhout. The other directors are wary of crossing Manaan's Arch-Priest, too: not only is his religious authority immense, but he has at his command a force of a dozen warships and several companies of fanatically loyal templar-marines. Even Jaan van de Kuypers is careful to stay on the cult's good side.[1t]

Baron Henryk's College of Navigation and Sea Magicks

"There's quite a bit here to attract the man of learning. Scholars would sell their souls to have access to our libraries. In fact one did,but he was discovered and burned just in time. Need I mention the generous tuition fees? The Universities of Altdorf and Nuln are kindergartens by comparison. The Collegium Theologica in Middenheim? Don't make me laugh!"

—Proud Academic.[1t]

On the seaward end of Tempelwijk by the entrance to Manaanshaven, Baron Henryk's College of Navigation and Sea Magicks is one of the Old World's premier centres of learning. Since 1947 IC, it has occupied the buildings and grounds of the former palace of Baron Henryk's mother, the Contessa Esmeralda Cioppino of Miragliano, remembered to this day as "La Donna Grossa" for her generosity and her girth. After her death, the Baron endowed the University and donated the palace to it, with the charge that it become a "centre for the study of the Sea and sea travel, for it is through Manaan's realm that Marienburg's true future lies".[1t]

The traditional three-year curriculum is much like other universities on the continent: students finish with a MPN degree ("Magister Philosophiae Naturalis"), having studied the core subjects of Rhetoric, Logic, Grammar, Music, History, Classical Old Worlder and Astronomy.[1t]

But it is in the realm of advanced studies that Baron Henryk's leads the Old World. In cooperation with the guilds and temples of Marienburg, the University has pioneered research work. Doctors use the facilities of the Great Hospital of Shallya to teach medicine and surgery, the Inns of Court train new lawyers, and priests of Haendryk lecture on the new science of Economicks. Foremost among these, though, is the study of Navigation and Cartography, the late Baron's two great passions. Navigators licensed by the Marienburg Brotherhood of Seamen and Pilots must have passed the exams at Baron Henryk's. Because of the high standards of the Brotherhood and the University, Marienburg-registered navigators are in demand across the Old World. Even Sea Elves from Sith Rionnasc have lectured here.[1t]

Baron Henryk's also supports research into applied sorcery, with an emphasis on magic useful to mariners and the merchant trade. Not only does this include Elemental and Illusion magic, but the dangers inherent in travelling about the world make battle wizards a desired commodity, too. The Directorate, through grants made via the 'Change, ensures that there is plenty of funding for training wizards loyal to Marienburg, not to mention the individual Houses of the Ten. Demonology and Necromancy are of course forbidden, and the temples keep an eye peeled for the first signs of forbidden research.[1t]

Student life at Baron Henryk's revolves around studies and status - life is a constant struggle to keep up grades and appearances. All this involves money. Not only must students pay their instructors, who share a portion with the University, but they group themselves into various clubs and fraternities based on interests, social class and - most importantly - the cash one they have to spend. Money is thus a frequent problem for students, especially for those who come on a scholarship from middle- or lower-class families. After all, how can one be expected to show up to the Academy of Drinkers & Duellists, perhaps the most foppish of the University's societies, wearing last year's lace collar? Sadly, it's not uncommon for desperate young scholars to engage in questionable or downright illegal schemes to get a few more guilders.[1t]

Baron Henryk's College of Navigation and Sea Magicks often sends journeys of exploration to the corners of the world. Through the Wasteland Geographical Society - a University-sponsored fellowship of explorers, sea captains, scholars and anyone who has an interest in foreign places and the money for a membership fee — the College's knowledge of the wider world grows each year. Adventurers needing to avoid Imperial entanglements for a while might well consider signing on for that expedition to find Prester Johann's lost Sigmarite kingdom in the Southlands.[1t]

Temple of Haendryk

"This is efficiency! Where else can you pray and take out a loan at the same time?"

—Merchant-priest of Haendryk.[1t]

The Temple of Haendryk is far grander than one would expect for such a small cult, until one realizes its importance here - along with the cult of Manaan, the cult of Haendryk represents one of the two reasons for the city's prosperity: the sea and commerce. Worshipped elsewhere only by merchants and peddlars, the people of Marienburg have taken the cult's message to heart: "Make money fast!" The temple has been adorned by generations of people grateful for striking it rich or hoping to gain Haendryk's favour, till it rivals the Cathedral of Manaan in splendour.[1t]

The temple is the centre of the cult of Haendryk in the Old World — indeed, it is by far the largest temple to Haendryk in the Old World and is one of the few holy sites to the god permanently staffed by priests. Cult shrines in most towns and cities are tended by lay-brothers, though priests are sent out on a regular circuit to tend to the faithful and collect tithes.[1t]

The interior of the temple is unusual: it's a bank as well as a shrine. Amidst the decorations of gold and silver and beneath the golden light from the expensive stained glass, priests sit at tables at which petitioners can seek financial advice or take out a loan. It's considered especially propitious to do this while services are in progress. For a fee, wealthy seekers can be counselled by higher-ranking priests of the cult, including Arch-Priest Simon Goudenkruin himself. The cult has a deserved reputation for discretion, so many come for advice on delicate matters of business.[1t]

The temple has often led the way in advancing business: not only do its priests lecture on the new science of Economics at Baron Henryk's, but it has recently pioneered the use of letters of credit by private citizens in their daily lives. Within the last year it has introduced the "Marienburg Carte d'Or", a small gold tablet which certifies that the bearer has a line of credit up to a certain pre-arranged amount. The tablet is a thin plaque intricately engraved with the necessary information - name, credit limit and so forth - which is pressed into hot sealing wax when a deal is made. The cult then pays the merchant, while the bearer is obligated to repay the cult. As a convenience, the bearer need not pay this debt all at once. The cartes are becoming quite popular, and the Merchant Houses are considering introducing their own cards.[1t]

Of course, the Gentlemen Entrepreneurs have seen the vast potential for profit in this and have set their forgers to work at reproducing the delicate designs and code numbers found on each carte. In spite of their limited success so far, the Stadsraad recently passed at the temple's request a law that makes forging a carte or possession of a forged carte punishable by life imprisonment on Rijker's Isle.[1t]

The Cathedral of Verena and the Great Library

"Of course we supervise the lawyers! You don't honestly think we'd let them operate unmonitored, do you?Lady Verena is the Goddess of Justice, after all."

—Canon of the Verenan Cathedral.[1t]

At the east end of Tempelwijk, along the shore of Sackbut Bay, sits one of Marienburg's jewels: the Cathedral and Great Library of Verena, one of the intellectual treasures of the Old World. Built in the Classical style with a colonnaded facade surmounted by a frieze of owls and the scales of justice above the entrance, the whole building resembles one of the law courts of the city-states of Tilea.[1t]

The interior is a model of simple dignity, unlike the heavy power of the Cathedral of Manaan or the gaudy display of the Temple of Haendryk. A nondescript doorway off the nave leads to the Great Library, while other passages lead to the quarters and offices of the dozen clerics resident here, and to meeting rooms that are available to the public for a small fee.[1t]

At the head of the temple is the altar and statue of Verena, seated on her throne with a spear in one hand and an owl resting on her shoulder. Carved from imported Estalian marble and painted in stunningly lifelike tones by the finest artisans in Marienburg, it is a magnificent piece of art. Visitors have often commented that they felt that the goddess was watching them through the statue's eyes, reading their thoughts and intentions.[1t]

The temple and its staff play an important role in education and the administration of justice in Marienburg. The eldest priest traditionally sits as Chief Judge of the High Court and makes assignments of judges to cases. Currently, the post is held by Brother Kenrol Stonius, 87, who has served in the post for the last 25 years.[1t]

The Temple also supervises the Inns of Court, the associations of lawyers licensed to practise in Marienburg. The cult maintains a Board of Examiners to ensure the professional competence and ethical probity of lawyers. Other than administering the qualifying examination for new lawyers, however, the board only gets involved when complaints have piled up about a particular attorney, or if one commits an especially egregious act in public.[1t]

The Cathedral is closely involved with the University. Verenan priests or devoted laymen are members of the faculty of each department where, in addition to their teaching duties, they keep an eye out for signs of heresy among the faculty and students. It is suspected but has never been proven that the Verenans keep extensive records on the activities and attitudes of everyone at Baron Henryk's - even each other. It is true that damning statements that could be learned no other way have been introduced in Star Chamber proceedings.[1t]

The Cathedral is also famous for the Great Library. This is not like the libraries of Baron Henryk's: the temple library is a far older institution of which only a small section, mostly innocuous public records and legal texts, is open to the public. The main portion is only accessible to resident priests of the Temple, and to outsiders who complete a long application explaining in detail the reasons for their research, followed by an extensive oral interview with the Chief Librarian.[1t]

This practice was recently the centre of controversy, when a member of the Bretonnian court was denied entrance for "lack of scholarly purpose". It took several months of often-heated exchanges between the Directorate and the Oisillon Palace before ruffled feathers were smoothed.[1t]

Why the secrecy? Officially, the cult defends this unusual behaviour by stating that they have a small staff, and that they must restrict access to ensure that true scholars receive adequate help and to preserve the delicate materials in the collection. Rumour has it, though, that the Great Library also houses works that contain terrible secrets, things that would drive most men insane.[1t]

There are even rumours of a special library, dubbed 'Van Eyck's Files", that supposedly only the members of a clandestine inner cult are permitted to see. This library is rumoured to sit on an island in the Rijksweg, which many take as proof of the implausibility of its existence, but the rumours about it persist.[1t]

Adventurers may have need of the Cathedral and its library, and vice versa. Scholars of standing may want entrance to the restricted collection, or perhaps the adventurers will come here seeking the answer to a problem or quest. The Cathedral also pays for rare and obscure tomes and artefacts brought to the city by adventurers, and has been known to hire trusty laymen to travel to distant places to locate and bring back items it wants. They have also hired people to track down scholars suspected of stealing books and papers - in one case as far as Ind.[1t]

Cathedral of Shallya

"Why, just last year I saw a crippled beggar - on crutches with a gammy leg and running sores all over him - walk out of here as healthy as a new-born babe! It were a miracle, it were. Don't believe me? Well, them are his crutches hanging right over there."

—Mason atwork at the Cathedral.[1t]

The Cathedral of Shallya and its attached hospital sit apart from the other churches in Tempelwijk, between the Groeneketter ('GreenHeretic') and Doolweg ('Wrong Way') bridges across from Oudgeldwijk. Unlike Shallyan churches in more hospitable climes, the temple and hospital buildings are closed to the elements. The temple itself, also known as the 'White Chapel', is a simple structure of whitewashed brick, the symbol of a red heart engraved and painted over the main doors. It is connected to the hospital by an enclosed courtyard where the sick can get out for a bit of sun and fresh air when the weather allows.[1t]

The hospital is also whitewashed, its interior having rooms for a surgery, apothecary and dormitory for the ill. The second floor contains the simple quarters of the priests and priestesses. The doors of both are unlocked at all hours of the day and night, giving welcome relief for those in need of aid or sanctuary, which makes the area a haven for down-and-outs and beggars, much to the consternation and complaints of the residents and other temples of Tempelwijk.[1t]

The White Chapel is famous in the Old World as a place of healing, but not just for the skills of its priests. At the foot of the Lady's statue is a large pool of pure water, constantly replenished from some unknown source, which is said to have been called forth by the first High Priestess many centuries ago.[1t]

The crippled and the infirm come from all over the Old World to bathe in the pool's waters, desperately seeking a miracle to relieve their misery. The crutches that hang from the rafters attest to the healings that have occurred here. In fact very few miracle cures happen - perhaps one or two a month - compared to the number of pilgrims the pool receives, but it's enough to keep the shrine's reputation intact.[1t]

The White Chapel is the seat of Sister Anneloes van de Maarel, High Priestess of Shallya for the Wasteland and a member of the Directorate, well known for defending the rights of the poor. It also houses the offices of the Board of Public Health, set up by Sister van de Maarel and headed by Dr Anders Vesalion.[1t]

Currently the centre of controversy, the Board is petitioning the Stadsraad to grant it oversight over the practice of medicine in Marienburg, effectively replacing the Physiker's and Barber's College - which, of course, is angrily defending its ancient rights.[1t]

The temple is no stranger to rancour: it was here that the heretic priestess Astrid von Nimlsheim publicly preached a doctrine of healing and mercy for all, including mutants. The outrage was so great that even the rights of sanctuary couldn't protect her, and she only just escaped ahead of the Witch Hunters of the Star Chamber. The temple still hasn't recovered from the damage done to its political influence, and recently graffiti praising the Knights of Purity has been found scrawled on its walls.[1t]

Temple of Myrmidia di Mari

"One of their priests taught a class here on the History of the Great Incursion and used little lead statues to illustrate the battles -moved 'em about on a sand-table with tiny trees and buildings and what-not, and the students would take sides. There were statues of Imperials and Kislevan cavalry and beastman and even one of Magnus himself! All beautifully worked and painted. It's caught on, too. There's even a craftshouse on the Priesterlijk canal that specializes in making the little statues - they're making money hand over fist! Oddest way to win converts I've ever seen."

—University Doctor.[1t]

The temple of Myrmidia is a recent addition to the religious life of Marienburg. Built in the 24th century by the Tilean mercenaries who guard Rijker's Isle, the temple is a rectangular basilica surmounted at the far end by a pentangular bell tower. Each corner of the tower bears a gilded eagle, while a statue of Myrmidia in Tilean armour stands upon the pinnacle. Unlike the other temples of the ward, Myrmidia's temple is guarded by two members of the Rijker's garrison, who are replaced weekly.[1t]

At the side are barracks with quarters for the priests on the upper floor, while the lower holds kitchens and a classroom for the teaching of strategy and tactics. The interior of the temple is decorated with friezes of weapons, eagles and warships. Like the cult of Sigmar, there are no benches for the worshippers: they either stand at attention or kneel, facing the altar where the priest officiates. Above the altar is a beautiful triptych depicting Myrmidia in her three aspects as Goddess of War: the Ideal Captain, the Mistress of the Battlefield and the Resolute Warrior.[1t]

Though well endowed and generously supported by cultists and gifts from the Directorate, the cult of Myrmidia is not large in Marienburg. Besides mercenary Tileans and Estalians, most of the cult's members are soldiers, marines and watchmen, particularly their officers. This gives the cult and its leaders potentially substantial influence among those who guard the city's rulers - a potentially powerful fact that has not been lost on the Captains-General of the Great Temple in Magritta.[1t]


"It's beautiful here, Mama - there are trees lining some of the canals, fountains in the squares and real parks. It's so pleasant to walk in Goudberg that you forget that you're in the middle of a swamp."

—Imperial tourist writing home.[1u]

Goudberg is one of the wealthiest districts of Marienburg, along with Guilderveld and Oudgeldwijk. Unlike Guilderveld, the pace here is more sedate and genteel, while lacking the backward-looking lassitude of the old nobility in Oudgeldwijk. The people who live in Goudberg, the rich and the filthy rich, can afford to live apart from their businesses, leaving their scores of flunkies to do the real work.[1u]

Elegance is a byword in Goudberg, and the buildings in the ward reflect that. Though small by the standards of Old World nobility, the mansions of the rich are heavily decorated in whatever style was the fashion when they were built. Tilean fluted columns and Nulner statues of Winged Victory mingle with gargoyles and faux-battlements from the time of the War of Independence. The interiors are lavish, and many a rural Imperial noble has felt like a bumpkin after paying a call. Everyone in Goudberg has servants, even if it's just one or two to do the cleaning and cooking. The mansions of the Ten are staffed to the rafters with liveried servants, many drawn from the Cathayan, Nipponese, Indie and Kislevan ghettos under Goudberg's jurisdiction.[1u]

Businesses in Goudberg tend toward luxury, service and the arts. The playwright Willibrord Mengelberg manages the highly regarded Aardbol Theatre, partly famous because it puts on farces lampooning the elite of Marienburg while receiving subsidies from the government. In a house donated by Jaan van de Kuypers, the renowned scholar Timotheus Rogeveen tutors the children of the elite in the finest private Lyceum in the city. In Goudberg the pavement artists, streetwalkers and cutpurses of mundane Marienburg are replaced with sculptors, courtesans and dashing, debonair cat-burglars.[1u]

During the day, the ward streets and canals are filled mostly with servants and functionaries dashing hither and yon on their masters' affairs. Tradesmen make deliveries or perform services,while lesser merchants and brokers cut deals over lunch at elegant cafes. Beggars are forcefully discouraged.[1u]

At night, the streets and canals grow quieter as Goudbergers begin their nightly rounds of social calls. Small parties travel in lantern-lit canal boats from one mansion to another in a whirl of diner parties and less formal affairs. Younger sons of the well-to-do sally forth in small groups of rakes, cutting dashing figures with their cloaks and rapiers, hopping from one drinking-club to the next.[1u]

As one would expect, the Black Caps are well-funded and very sharp about protecting the property of the residents. Because the private marines of the Great Families in Goudberg protect their masters' homes, the Watch is free to concentrate its efforts elsewhere in the ward - although they still come quickly when Mijn Heer Director van den Nijmenks calls. Consequently, the League of Gentlemen Entrepreneurs is circumspect in its operations here: the targets are tempting, but the risks are very high. Alternatively, according to some wags, the Gentlemen are less active in Goudberg because they see no sense in robbing their own.[1u]

Ree's Wax Museum and Studio

"It's a fascinating place, dearie! The sculptures are so lifelike, you'd swear they could talk."

—Goudberg Matron.[1u]

Down Sweet Street off Baron Huybrecht's Square near the Slangenbezweerder bridge, a wanderer in Goudberg will come across an odd building among the scriptoria, confectioneries and luxury flats common to the area. Tall and narrow, it's finished in sombre colours that look ominous amidst its more brightly decorated neighbours.[1u]

Under a dark awning, a hooded headsman stands unmoving, his axe held before his chest as if he is patiently waiting for the condemned. A closer look shows that the figure is merely a wax mannequin, albeit exquisitely executed. Next to him, an ornately painted sign reads "Ree's Museum of Wax Sculpture. Twelve chambers of Marvels, Delights, & Terrors renowned throughout the Known World. Open 8 days, noon to midnight. Admission, one guilder." Within the foyer, a hunchbacked Tilean named Giovanni takes the visitors' money and escorts them to the stairs that lead up to the three floors of exhibits. On each floor are four rooms around a central landing, and all four hold exhibits designed around a theme. Each exhibit changes every few months, so that there is always something new to see.[1u]

The first floor is the Realm of History. It features stunning tableaux that depict great moments of the past: one room shows the surrender of Count von Zelt to the commanders of Marienburg's army; the next depicts the great struggle between Admiral Jaan Maarten and Batholomeus the Black; the third shows the meeting of the Merchants' Embassy with Emperor Magnus the Pious, while the last displays Marius enthroned.[1u]

The second floor is the Realm of Legend, displaying scenes from the classic epics and romances: the doomed love of Romero and Juliana of Remas; the comedy of how Ranald won immortality; the Swan Maiden of the Mirror Moors; and the Bretonnian Lady du Lac, reviving the mortally wounded Gilles le Breton to be her Green Knight. The topmost floor is the Realm of Chaos. Here dark dreams are given form, and visitors see disturbing scenes of Chaos Warriors, witches, undead and other nightmare creatures. In the basement lies the sculpting and casting workshop, with vats of wax and three or four figures in various stages of preparation. This is where Giovanni, Ree's Tilean artistic assistant and the target of most of his wrath, works.[1u]

All who visit the museum come away impressed by the artistry and skill of Wilbert Ree. Few fail to comment on the lifelike quality of the statues, without realising how much pain and despair are contained within their wax forms.[1u]

Marquandt's Escorts

"That's the third of these letters you've had this month, Alfons! You must take it seriously. What will you do if they come after your wife and children? I'm taking you to see Marquandt. If anyone's trying to kill you, he's your best hope of staying alive."

—Guilderveld Banker to a friend.[1u]

Footpads and cutthroats, burglars and pickpockets, racketeers, kidnappers and even hired killers - the dangers to life, limb and property in many of the Old World's cities are a constant worry. The Watch, over-worked and under-manned, if not incompetent or corrupt, can rarely do anything about it. And when they are honest and competent, they still get involved most often only after the crime has been committed - little comfort to the corpse cooling on the cobbles.[1u]

The poor and the middle classes of Marienburg can do little but carry a dagger and pray that it's the other guy's turn. But, for the person of means who wants the best in protection, there is no better place to go than Marquandt's Escort Service, at the sign of the crossed swords and shield, along the Zwaansloop canal in Goudberg.[1u]

Marquandt's storefront occupies the ground floor of a four-storey building next to the Prince's Rest Inn, with Marquandt's own dwelling above. The ground floor is divided into two offices: one manned from 8 o'clock till dusk by Velma Rutten, a former scribe and excisewoman who acts as Marquandt's secretary and accountant. It's her job to weed out the dross from those who might really need Marquandt's help. She is very loyal to her employer and takes her duties seriously. There are usually one or two of Marquandt's "boys" around, too, who are only too happy to eject people who don't take Velma seriously.[1u]

Marquandt's own well-furnished office is behind a heavy oaken door. Here he interviews clients, determines their needs and sets his fee. The office is dominated by a heavy wooden desk topped in Tilean marble (a gift from a grateful client) and the walls are decorated with weapons and armour from Marquandt's adventuring days. His clients include some very important Marienburgers, though rarely anyone closely associated with the Ten, since they have their own household troops. Marquandt's Escorts also provides protection to wealthy visitors to Marienburg, and his agency is popular with those who plan to go "slumming" in the rougher parts of town, like Suiddock. His fees average ten guilders per day per bodyguard, payable in advance.[1u]

Adventurers may well come to Marquandt when looking for work: he has a high turnover of staff, losing them to injury or even death. He provides better than average bodyguards, so people had better have good experience under their belts. His line of work also puts him in possession of often-interesting information, but his dedication to confidentiality is quite strong and he is above blackmail. Anyone seeking to learn something delicate from Marquandt needs to show an excellent reason.[1u]

The Prince's Rest

"The food is exquisite there! Why, Director den Euwe himself raved about the Grootscher Eel in jelly. I love eating at the Prince's Rest -all the best people do, you know."

—Social-climbing Goudberger.[1u]

Next to Marquandt's Escorts stands an ancient three-storey inn that is among the smartest establishments in Marienburg. Named the Prince's Rest for its popularity with Grand Prince Rikard of the Reikland, who always stayed there when visiting Baron Matteus, the inn cultivates an elite, exclusive atmosphere that is reflected in its clientele. Only the best (i.e. the wealthiest) can afford to eat and sleep there, though dedicated social-climbers from the middle classes have been known to save for years to afford one evening at the Prince's.[1u]

The Prince's is most known for its exquisite cuisine and impeccable service. The dining room seats a dozen tables of various sizes, between which servants in royal purple tabards glide - the right to use this colour was granted by Grand Prince Rikard, whose letter is framed above the mantle. The kitchen is supervised by Master Chef August Bardolino, a Miraglianese whose last assignment was in the Royal Palace at Oisillon itself. The wine cellar is without equal in Marienburg, and stocks only the finest Bretonnian, Estalian and Tilean vintages ("Imperial wine" is a contradiction in terms, according to the owner.)[1u]

Rooms are available, though most are taken up with standing reservations. Those few that are available have waiting lists stretching sometimes into years. The rooms themselves are uniformly luxurious, with goose-feather mattresses and pillows, satin sheets and lamb's-wool blankets. Each has its own private attendant only a bell-pull away. Sparing no expense, all the chamber pots are magically scented by Sybo Haan himself. Security for the guests and their valuables is provided through a standing arrangement with Tobias Marquandt. Adventurers planning an evening at the Prince's Rest should expect to pay 500% of the standard prices.[1u]

Rudolph Aasenberg owns the most exclusive inn in the north-western Old World. So why is he unhappy? Why does he pray to Shallya for mercy every night and spend countless guilders consulting useless seers? Because poor Heer Aasenberg is convinced that his inn is haunted and if knowledge of the embarrassing goings-on became widely known, he and the Prince's Rest would be ruined.[1u]

Heer Aasenberg's problems don't stem from any ghost. Rather, he has an unknown guest, a boarder who only wants to help.[1u]

Sign of the Brush and Gull

"He's the finest painter Marienburg has ever produced - artists imitate his style all over the Old World. The sad thing is, he's stopped painting. Drink got to him, I think. Now it's his students who do all the work at the studio, though none have matched his art."

—Would-be critic.[1u]

Towards the north end of Goudberg, near the working-class homes of Ostmuur, is the Garret, an area of winding canals and narrow streets leading to small squares around which many of the successful artists of Marienburg and elsewhere make their homes. Sculptors, painters, goldsmiths, glass-blowers and other masters not only produce great works of art here, but pass on their knowledge to apprentices who show either talent, a full purse, or preferably both.[1u]

The most famous of these houses is the sign of the Brush and Gull. Not a tavern, this is the studio of Hieronymous Deecksburg, widely regarded as the finest painter and portraitist in the history of Marienburg. Unusual for Marienburg, the top floor of three is the studio, wherein students study technique under the watchful gaze of the master. Over a dozen easels are occupied by aspiring artists during the day, studying light and shadow, perspective and paint-making. The lighting is good thanks to several skylights, and the air is redolent with the scents of paints, oils and solvents.[1u]

The ground floor is occupied by a stuffy Ostmuur master stonemason and his family, social-climbers who are ecstatic to have the great Deecksburg as their neighbour. So far, he has managed to fend off their incessant invitations to a little "get-together".[1u]

Deecksburg himself lives alone on the second floor, though a housekeeper from Ostmuur makes his meals and to "make sure he doesn't just drink his supper!" His digs are just what one would expect from an artist - it looks as if a storm from the Sea of Claws has just blown through. Sketchbooks and canvasses with half-finished works are scattered everywhere, and it looks as if the armoire hasn't been used in years. Empty bottles of fine liquor lie amidst the flotsam, testimony to the artist's troubles. It is here also that one will find Deeckburg's very private collection of charcoal sketches, hidden in a secret compartment in the armoire. The supreme expressions of his great talent, they could easily get him killed if they are ever discovered.[1u]

Van Reeveldt's Boatbuilders

"If you want a sea-going vessel, take your guilders to Suiddock or Rijkspoort -or even Elftown. But if you want something that'll make their heads turn while you're tooling along the canals, or the best little ketch for enjoying the bay, then head down to van Reeveldt's. It'll cost, but she makes the finest day-boats around."

—Major-domo of House van den Nijmenks.[1u]

Along the Zijdenmouw canal sit some of the best dockyards in Marienburg. These shipyards specialize in smaller craft, boats that travel the canals of Marienburg or the rivers of the Empire. From early in the morning till after sunset, craftsmen can be seen hard at work along the sloping shorelines, their hammers rapping a steady beat across a wooden skeleton or their voices singing a chant as another boat slides into the water. Captains with money or who demand the best bring their boats here for repair.[1u]

The best among these are the yards of Maria van Reeveldt, a master boat-builder who retired from a prosperous life of river-trading to devote herself to her true love - building exquisite river and canal boats. Opening her first yard in an out-of-the-way portion of Kruiersmuur, van Reeveldt quickly established her reputation as an artisan who would tolerate nothing less than the best. Soon she was able to buy the yards of a failing establishment in Goudberg and her business has soared like a Cathayan rocket.[1u]

Unique among the Goudberg builders, van Reeveldt also sees to the maintenance of the canal boats she sells. Rather than waiting for them to come in for repair, she has been entrusted with keys to the private lagoons of many of the wealthy residents of Goudberg, Guilderveld, Oudgeldwijk and Tempelwijk. All of them see the possession of a genuine van Reeveldt as a sign of status. She and her employees have leave to come and go as they please to inspect the boats, recommending work as needed. These keys are kept in a safe imported from the smiths of Zhufbar, and they are signed in and out every day by van Reeveldt herself. During the night, a guard hired from Marquandt's Escorts stands watch over the safe.[1u]


"They're hard-working, solid people. Not the most popular place to live, what with it being off that damned ditch -you know, the Dead Canal - but the folk there take care of their own business — even the Bretties. Too bad they're stuck with that loony-bin."

—Sympathetic East Ender.[1v]

There are several working-class neighbourhoods in Marienburg, places where the average man and woman have regular jobs and make enough to live with some small comfort and security. Noordmuur, Ostmuur, Rijkspoort, Handelaarmarkt and Schattinwaard all are home to Marienburg's middle classes. Kruiersmuur ('Porter's wall') is the oldest such area in the city, occupied mostly by artisans and shopkeepers. Like most of Marienburg, the buildings are tall and narrow, usually two or three storeys above a ground-floor business. The shop owners typically live on the floor above their businesses, while the floor or floors above are rented out.[1v]

Time and progress haven't been kind to Kruiersmuur. The south side of Marienburg has been gradually declining for some time - more and more trade has moved to the wards north of the Rijksweg, and the people have gone with it. While the windows still spot flower boxes and the locals go to the neighbourhood churches each Festag, Kruiersmuur is decaying around the edges. The paint is peeling on the eaves and shutters, and graffiti mars the walls. Though the people here are typical Marienburgers - friendly, quick-witted, always hustling for a guilder - the residents of Kruiersmuur are oppressed by the thought that luck is against them, and that if things are ever going to get better, they'll get worse first.[1v]

One thing that weighs heavily on the minds of Kruiersmuur's residents is the changing nature of the ward itself - as people move out, more and more "outlanders" are moving in, making the area seem less and less like Marienburg. No less than four foreign ghettos fall under the ward council's jurisdiction.[1v]

The Remeans and the Miraglianese are constantly at odds, and their brawls keep the Kruiersmuur Watch busy on many a night. The southeast has become known as "little Bretonnia" or "Garlic-town" for the culinary preferences and breath of the residents, and at the furthest end of the ward are the Halflings of Kleinmoot. Kruiersmuurers prefer them over any of the human foreigners, both for their sensible attitudes and for the buffer they provide with the dying Doodkanaal district.[1v]

This immigration has in turn has bred resentments among the self-titled "real" Marienburgers, making Kruiersmuur a fertile recruiting ground for groups like the Knights of Purity.[1v]

Dmitri's Apothecary

"A fine man and a pillar of the community! Most chemists would charge an arm and a leg for the medicines you need, but Dmitri is always willing to extend credit to the needy. And people repay his kindness by going back time and again."

—Kruiersmuur physician.[1v]

In the heart of Kruiersmuur on the Zoutevis canal is the shop of Dmitri Hrodovksy, a Kislevan apothecary who emigrated to Marienburg about 15 years ago. It occupies the ground floor of a two-storey half-timber building, while the upper floor holds Hrodovsky's bachelor living quarters. A sign hanging over the door proclaims "D. Hrodovsky, Chemist & Herbalist", with a picture of a mortar and pestle above it for those who can't read.[1v]

Beyond the leaded glass windows and heavy wooden door, the shop is filled with hanging bundles of herbs and shelf after shelf of glass and clay jars holding a multitude of powders, crystals, fluids and seeds. Precisely labelled in Dmitri's spider-like script, they have exotic names like "Tincture of Ogre Tears", or "Powdered Web of Giant Spider". Behind the stained wooden counter sits Hrodovsky himself, measuring and grinding and mixing his concoctions. Many of his customers regularly travel quite a distance, forgoing their local apothecaries to do business with Dmitri.[1v]

Of course, it's easy to get repeat business when half the medicines you sell are designed to make an addict out of the user.[1v]

Hrodovsky is a drug-dealer who verges on being a poisoner. His victims, from upstanding burghers and merchants to little old grannies and small children, are given medicines laced with various drugs, the sole purpose of which is to make the users feel terrible if they don't get a regular dose. Since they have no idea their medicines have been spiked, and since the same medicine from other pharmacists doesn't have the same effect, they're forced to go back to Dmitri, only to find him claiming that "market forces have sadly left me no choice but to raise prices." All this has given the Kislevan a very tidy and steady income, and a bevy of testimonials from people who have benefited from his so-called tonics.[1v]

Adventurers are likely to deal with Dmitri when they need to buy illegal drugs. As a high-ranking member of the League of Gentlemen Entrepreneurs, he can procure almost anything the adventurers have the money for, and is well known for it in the city's underworld. Hrodovsky charges 5 Gu per dose for everyday substances, more for anything rare or dangerous, and he will only sell to people who have been vetted by the League, or who are known to it. He will not negotiate his price.[1v]

Three Guilders Emporium

""That bilge-sucking thief! First he gives me a tenth of what me Mum's silver teapot is worth, then he 'spects me to pay full price to get it back! What do I tell 'er?"

—Kruiersmuur labourer.[1v]

Three gold-painted wooden coins hang from a yard-arm, the symbol of Gideon Scheepscheers, pawnbroker and usurer. The small, unprepossessing storefront sits on the edge of the Wezelwater canal, across from Miraglianese ghetto in the heart of Kruiersmuur. Windows of heavy leaded glass display the varied goods pawned by the desperate, now unclaimed and for sale. The windows are protected by bars and the heavy doors (one streetside, one on the canal) are each reinforced by a ship's timber that can be slid across the inside at closing time.[1v]

Beyond the doors is a hallway bare except for a few chairs where clients can wait their turn to deal with Scheepscheers through a barred and shuttered teller's cage. A single door as stout as the outer doors gives admittance to the storeroom and Scheepscheer's spartan living quarters. Through the bars of the cage and the streetside window, prospective clients can see an amazing variety of goods shelved in a random array. Scheepscheers hires two guards to protect the premises during the day, and one maintains a watch during the night. The three floors above are rented to tenants for an exorbitant rate.[1v]

People come to the Three Guilders when they need cash quickly and have something to offer as collateral. They never get what the item is really worth, but are usually in such straits that they will take what they can get. Locals desperate for rent money, sailors with gambling debts, businessmen whose fortunes have declined and addicts who need their next fix - the clientele at Scheepscheer's is a cross-section of Marienburg society. Gideon will usually offer one-fifth of what an item is worth, less if he thinks a client is particularly needy. He can be bargained up to no more than one-fourth. Pawned items are held for almost a month, with an interest rate of 10% per week. After 30 days, the item is offered for general sale, and the original owner can only redeem it by paying its full value.[1v]

Adventurers might also come here to buy something. Scheepscheers posts a list of "Today's Specials" outside both doors, but adventurers might also hear of something desirable through some poor sod's tale of woe. Almost anything one can think of has passed through the Three Guilders at one time or another. Gideon will ask 120% of the item's value, though he can be bargained down to 90%, since he's making a profit on it in any event.[1v]

Deedesveld Graveyard

"Haunted? Haunted be damned. There's nothing supernatural about the resurrections that go on in Deedesveld. The whole area's a rat's nest - those that aren't smugglers are body snatchers. A lot more than the lamented dead passes through Morr's gates in that graveyard, you mark my words."

—Kruiersmuur Watchman.[1v]

Situated on the southernmost point of Zanderveldt island, looking southward across the Doodkanaal to Heiligdom and the Vloedmuur and eastward towards the keep of Rompvanger Redoute and the Reik Towers, Deedesveld is a small burial-ground dating back seven centuries or so. The site was originally occupied by a small fishing-hamlet connected by cliff-steps to the Doodkanaal below, which was then a main avenue for ships. As Marienburg grew over the centuries the area turned into the notorious Breedmoers slums, which became such a stronghold of lawlessness that the area was eventually cleared by the military in 1796 and demolished. The site was acquired by the cult of Morr and dedicated as a burial ground in 1798.[1v]

Deedesveld is shaped roughly like the blade of a shovel, with a stone wall forming the northern perimeter and the cliff edge marking the southern boundary. The cliff is unstable, and after a storm it is not unknown for bones and coffin fragments to be found on the rocks below, having been washed out of the collapsing cliff face. The smugglers' steps said to have been cut into the cliff hundreds of years ago are long gone.[1v]

The trees in Deedesveld support a large colony of ravens, and since they are one of the sacred animals of Morr, everyone is happy to have them there. A local superstition claims the ravens are Morr's eyes watching over the dead, and it is said that if the ravens should ever leave Deedesveld then the whole city is doomed.[1v]

In a city like Marienburg, where land is at a premium, few can afford the cost of a burial plot. The middle classes often pay for the "basic" interment, which involves placing the corpse in a sack or cheap coffin, filling it with quicklime, and then placing more quicklime atop the sack after it is placed in the grave. This way the grave is soon ready for another occupant. Markers tend to be temporary, replaced when someone else needs the space. Wealthier Marienburgers or those who have performed some great service for the city can get a permanent plot with a formal headstone. Deedesveld has accumulated many of these over the centuries, and such burials have become very rare in recent times.[1v]

Unknown to all but a few, some of the houses of Breedmoers had deep cellars cut into the rock, linking to hidden passages which were - and might still be - used for smuggling. And although every precaution has been taken to ensure that those buried in Deedesveld don't get up again, every now and then one will inevitably slip through the net. Add to this the occasional forager for spare parts in aid of magical or medical research, and you will understand that Deedesveld is far from dead as graveyards go.[1v]

Tarnopol's Clock Tower

"There's something strange going on round there. Nothing to do with all this ghostly lark; that's all superstitious nonsense, of course. But the place isn't deserted; there are things running about at night... maybe some more of those snotlings that escaped from that circus last year."

—Impoverished lecturer from Baron Hendryk's, living nearby.[1v]

Tarnopol's clock tower is a weird folly on the water's edge within sight of both Suiddock and Remasweg. It stands 50 feet tall, but the bulk of the uppermost storey is crumbling and unsafe, with gaping cracks in the walls. The metal struts and girders supporting the great bronze bells are still intact, though, and the bells survive. The grotesque gargoyles and arabesques which decorated the original design have either fallen into the street (once or twice a year more bricks fall from the tower, prompting calls for its demolition) or have been defaced, but the main doors to the clock tower are still intact and show signs of being kept in working order.[1v]

Why haven't thieves attempted to remove the bronze bells, worth many guilders as scrap? The answer is, of course, that they have tried, although few have been so foolish or ignorant as to attempt it recently. The reason lies in the clock tower's history.[1v]

The tower was built as a mausoleum for Lech Tarnopol, a rich Ostlander merchant who emigrated to Marienburg in the 25th century. He was proud of his adoptive home in Kruiersmuur and fancied himself as something of a public benefactor. When he died, rather than having an ordinary ornate tomb or mausoleum with tiresome alabaster angels spreading their wings in all directions, Lech's will left instructions for the erection of this edifice. With his tomb in the basement, the tower's bronze bells would be rung every hour to remind the people of Kruiersmuur, where Lech had done so much of his business, of his generosity in providing such a service.[1v]

When Kruiersmuur started to fall into decline, the clock tower was as affected as anywhere else. The Tarnopol family made no attempt to pay for the work needed to keep the clock tower intact. Most of them hated old Lech, who had made an eccentric will which imposed ridiculous duties and restrictions upon them, and were in no mood to maintain his monument. However, while the tower crumbled, it did not do so unoccupied.[1v]

What keeps the thieves at bay is the ghost of Wim Masaryk which still haunts the tower. Masaryk met an tragic and untimely end and his ghost has come back to haunt the tower which was the scene of his death. Here he frightens potential looters and pillagers. But in life the eccentric lad always had a soft spot for children and has never attacked or threatened the Captains since they first fled here, pursued by cut-throats and scum who wanted to sell them into slavery. They, in turn, grew used to the ghost and see him as their protector; they put new ropes on the bells for him, and they have even begun to try to repair some of the stonework on the upper storeys of the tower.[1v]

Heiligdom, the Shallyan Asylum of Blessed Rest

""I don't like thinking of all those tainted people locked up in there,raving and festering and Manaan knowswhat... but better that than having them loose on the streets."

—Lapsed Priest of Manaan.[1v]

Across the Doodkanaal from Deedesveld graveyard sits the dark stone bulk of Heiligdom, an ancient building originally constructed as a small fort during the Age of Three Emperors. Gifted to the cult of Shallya by the last Baron, Paulus van der Maacht, before he left to join Magnus the Pious's army, its outer walls were torn down, the keep redecorated in a more classical style and the grounds around it replanted and decorated in a fashion designed to be restful for the mind. But there is an old Dwarf saying that a structure reflects those who live within it, and Heiligdom can't disguise the madness and pain it houses, for this is where Marienburg's mentally ill are sent to scream and moan out their days.[1v]

Heiligdom took its modern form in the 18th century, when Baron Loos Ruijkeyser replaced the old fort with a rectangular keep over 100 feet tall. The upper three floors are used as dormitories for the inmates, the trap doors to each kept locked and chained. The first storey is a residence for the nuns who have specialised in caring for the insane. The ground level, accessible both through a trap door in the first floor and a heavy, reinforced outer door, is a storage chamber where supplies are kept.[1v]

At each corner of the 10-foot-thick walls are drum towers 30 feet in diameter. Three are flush with the roof of the keep while the south tower, the Tower of Lamentations, rises another 20 feet. This tower holds the most violent and dangerous cases, and the interior door at its base is secured with iron bars and heavy locks. The topmost chamber, once the residence of the castellan, is now a solarium where the tower's inmates can take the sun without being exposed to the rest of the asylum's population.[1v]

Of the other towers, the north tower is the residence of the Abbess and her assistants. The east one is home to the small library and infirmary, where Sister Katja Faasen is the chief pharmacist and physician. She often experiments with new concoctions made from ingredients brought from the swamp. Rumour has it that her less-successful experiments end up in the Tower of Lamentations.[1v]

The west tower, alone among the buildings of Heiligdom, is empty and its entrances sealed with brick. By order of the first abbess, Sister Eefje Denkers, none are to enter the tower, ever. Her order was reinforced by the Council of Quenelles in 2420 I.C. in the sternest terms: its violation is the only death penalty in Shallyan canon law. Only the senior members of the cult know the reason for the edict, and they won't talk about it.[1v]

Within the half-acre perimeter are the gardens, work buildings and chapter house of the order. Concealed by the walls, the inmates can relax, receive therapy and generally escape from the often cruel attentions of "normal" Marienburgers. Nuns not directly involved with treating inmates see to the various mundane tasks of maintaining a monastery-hospital: cooking, laundry, carpentry and so on.[1v]

Heiligdom is administered by Sister Monica Aarden, an elderly but still active priestess who has dedicated her life to helping Shallya's "lost nestlings". But suspicion lingers about the asylum's activities because she was one of Sister Astrid von Nimlsheim's defenders when the latter was charged with heresy for advocating treatment instead of execution for mutants. The Knights of Purity are convinced that Heiligdom gives comfort to those touched by Chaos, and the witch-hunter van Goor has sworn to expose them. Heiligdom has been subject to occasional raids by the Fen Loonies, after which one or more patients are usually reported missing. Still, there is no proof of Chaotic infiltration, and the asylum's status as a sanctuary has kept it so far free from formal investigation.[1v]

People can wind up in Heiligdom in one of several ways: committed there by the courts after a finding of mental incompetence; placed there by concerned family and friends who pay the Shallyans for their upkeep; and occasionally brought in off the streets by Heiligdom's nuns who happen to cross their path. Treatment for the non-violent consists of work-therapy, prayer and supervised walks in the garden. The violently insane — anyone who resists, which means the majority of Heiligdom's inmates- are confined to cells and chains to keep them from hurting themselves or others. Burly labourers feed them their meals and clean their cells, and always escort the nuns on their rounds through the wards. Someone incarcerated in Heiligdom for more than a week amongst the howling and screaming inmates might go progressively insane.[1v]

Koester's Boarding House

"It's not a bad place to stay. The rates are cheaparid the beds are clean. You just have to put up with Widow Koester's preachin' over your breakfast. Kind of hard to take when you're hung over."

—Kruiersmuur Local.[1v]

Towards the far end of Cutler's Road by Kleermakersvaart ('Tailors' Canal') stands a old house with a small converted shack next door to it. Both properties are owned by the widow Beatrijs Koester and, although separate, they're both known as Koester's Boarding House. There's usually a sign on the door of the larger house announcing that rooms are available and listing prices. The boarding house doesn't look especially prepossessing, but whether it's a good idea staying there depends on the reaction of Koester. If she likes the look of you then you can live there cheaply and, if it isn't luxury, you can at least avoid extremes of discomfort.[1v]

Getting into the building isn't as easy at it might seem. In the larger house, Widow Koester is usually to be found in the kitchen-cum-common room. She may be passing the time of day with any of her boarders here. Once Koester has been located and her charges negotiated, a room to stay in may be reached up the main stairs just next to the kitchen, or via some rickety wooden steps round the back of the building to a single, separate upstairs room if this is the room she offers. In the smaller house next door, the ground floor is a large common room where a bunch of labourers usually flop for the night after a hard day's work. The upper-storey rooms here are accessed via a separate entrance at the front of the building, but these aren't currently to let. Koester herself occupies two of them and Haam Markvalt occupies the other.[1v]

Staying at Koester's

The cheapest way of staying at Koester's is to doss down in the common room, where beds and bunks are available for up to 12 people. (Koester only admits men to the common room). You get an uncomfortable bed with a single blanket, and it's necessary to share with a bunch of labourers, often drunk, smelly or both. However, the subdivision of the common room into three smaller rooms helps one to avoid the more obnoxious sorts if a bed can be found far enough away from them. There are washing and toilet facilities, but they're primitive. For such princely accommodation, Koester charges 3/6 per night or 1 guilder per week, payable in advance.[1v]

For individual rooms, the widow charges 77- per night or 2 guilders per week, and for this a person gets their bed linen changed once per week and the room cleaned on an irregular basis (whenever she feels like getting in some scullion to do it). This charge is for one person. If two people share a room, Koester charges 11/- for the room or 3 guilders per week.[1v]

Koester does not haggle over prices. Her rates are standard and she doesn't budge on them. Any attempt to haggle will be taken as evidence of the person's ignorance by Koester, but anyone being persistent will cause Koester to make her dislike clear! And if you don't pay her on time, she's been known to sell anything left in peoples' rooms for the rent-money.[1v]

Koester only provides a breakfast of dumplings, gravy and tea, but the wood stove in the kitchen always boasts a kettle and pot of tea and sometimes a turnip stew will be offered up for general consumption; if you happen to be around at the right time, you might have the good luck to get some of this - if you think eating some distinctly greasy soup is good luck, that is. Of course, you'll also have to listen to Widow Koester's lectures about "Shallyan right-living". But if you're short of coin...[1v]


"If you're looking to study architecture, you can't do better than the Palace District. If you're interested in government, try the 'Change instead."

—Civil Servant.[1w]

The Palace District is the centre of Marienburg's official government. A showcase for the city's success, generations of rulers - both Barons and Directors - have lavished money here. Many of the government buildings are architectural gems and students come from as far away as Araby to study the works of the continent's greatest architects. It's also the site of the famed Tivolo Gardens, a rare square of urban parkland that's constantly maintained by a small army of groundskeepers paid for by the Staadtholder.[1w]

During the day, Paleisbuurt teems with people who are either in the government, or who have business with it - all classes of Marienburgers have reasons to come here at one time or another. Many, if not most, are headed to the High Court: the lawyers to try their cases, the defendants to plead their innocence, and their families to worry. Others seek audiences with the officers of the Stadsraad or even the Staadtholder himself - Marienburg has a long tradition of its rulers being accessible to the people.[1w]

The ward is much quieter at night. The residents are mostly bureaucrats and lawyers who go home after a busy day to spend a quiet evening with family or exchange visits with friends. Rents for flats in areas off the main canals are actually quite reasonable. But the placid veneer hides subtle intrigue, for the offices and embassies in Paleisbuurt hide secrets that draw spies like Skaven to warpstone.[1w]

Paleisbuurt is also home to the exotic sights of Embassy Row, where the governments of all the Powers of the Old World and beyond maintain official representatives to guard their interests in the City. Anxious to know the plans of the Directorate and each other, the embassies will often resort to any means to gain the information they need. Spies, agents and information-brokers for every side and faction operate in Paleisbuurt, some serving several masters at once.[1w]

As one would expect, the Watch maintains a strong presence in Paleisbuurt. The central headquarters are located in a building next to the High Courts. Black Caps there are responsible for guarding prisoners consigned to the cells under the courts, and for the security of public buildings. They have ample funds, and Headquarters maintains a large supply of firearms in case of civil disturbance. They even have several wizards under contract, whose magic is used for both investigation and enforcement.[1w]

The New Palace

""Looks like a big wedding cake, doesn't it?"

—Imperial Tourist.[1w]

Though its foundations were laid nearly 1,000 years ago, Marienburgers typically call the home of the Staadtholder the "New Palace", a reference to the time when the city's ruling family lived in the fortress of Rijker's Isle. The palace was begun under Baron van Buik in the late 16th century and served as the headquarters of the Bretonnian governor during the occupation. It was burned during the Bretonnian withdrawal and rebuilt with funds borrowed from the Merchants' Association. Because of the role these loans played in the expansion of political liberty in Marienburg,the palace is also known as "Democracy's Cradle".[1w]

Though the city has not been sacked for 700 years, the New Palace still looks very much like a fortress: four stout towers guard the approaches, and the lone gate that pierces the keep wall is made of solid steel, forged by the Dwarfs of Karaz-a-Karak and enchanted with guarding runes. An elite troop of the Black Caps under the personal command of General Escottus van Haaring guards the palace day and night, ready to smite any foe with their halberds and pistols.[1w]

Of course, peace and prosperity have taken their toll on the venerable keep: the walls have been holed in many places with large, modern windows out of place in a defensive structure and, on the north, a great unfortified chapel and banquet hall were added by Staadtholder Willem van Tafte "the Corpulent" in the last century. The watchmen spend more time chasing away beggars than invaders, and one of the towers houses a coop for Staadtholder van Raemerswijk's prized racing pigeons.[1w]

Still, this is the official centre of Marienburg's government - the Directorate meets here in the Azure Gallery, while the Staadtholder hosts state functions here. It is also the headquarters for the Fog Walkers - so security is good, even though it is not obvious. There are secrets hidden here that could bring down more than one government in the Old World.[1w]


Opposite the New Palace across the famed Tivolo Gardens sits the magnificent Stadsraad, Marienburg's city council and the Wasteland's parliament. Built in a flush of municipal pride after independence, the building is a gaudy triple-domed structure of cream-coloured stone decorated with Tilean columns and gold trim, with a massive flight of stone steps leading up to its entrance doors. Atop the domes of the two Chambers are regal statues of Marius, while surmounting the central dome of the great atrium is a gilded statue of the city's symbol, a mermaid holding a sword and a bag of money. The building sits on the west side of the plaza known as Mariusplein, which is dotted with marble statues in the Tilean style and bordered on one side by the New Palace and a smaller temple to Manaan, and on the other side by the High Court, the Inns of Court and various civil offices including the City Records Office. Opposite it, the Grand Sweep stairs lead down to the Reik's edge and the docks where important visitors are given a state reception.[1w]

The central chamber of the Stadsraad is an atrium, with a vast mosaic of the city-state's symbol inlaid in its floor. In niches surrounding the chamber, statues to most of the gods bear eternal watch over Marienburg's fate and receive the prayers of the Chief Priest of Verena, Leontine Tolenaar, at the opening of the first session of each new year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both Ranald and Sigmar are conspicuous by their absences.[1w]

The Burgerhof is a smallish chamber, with tiers of benches on either side of the central aisle, at the head of which is a dais that holds the desks of the clerks and the throne of the Speaker. The Burgerhof is the scene of lively debates as the members of the various factions hurl questions and sometimes rotten vegetables at each other - the junior members, called "backbenchers", are especially enthusiastic hurlers. A door to the side of the Speaker's dais leads to the Burgerhof library and offices, including the office of Speaker Gyngrijk himself.[1w]

The Rijkskamer is much more spacious and comfortable, as befits the senior Chamber. There are chairs, not benches, and they are cushioned in velvet. It is also much cleaner, since the honoured members prefer polite debate to chucking cabbages. When called into session by the Staadtholder, the Rijkskamer becomes a sea of colours and courtesy, with each member dressed in splendid robes and wigs and gracing each other with flowery speeches. It meets rarely, however, and the staff spend much of their time dusting and polishing on the off-chance that someone might unexpectedly want to use the place.[1w]

Embassy Row

"Of course they spy on us from their embassies - but at least we know where they're doing it from."

—Undercover Fog Walker operative.[1w]

Embassy Row is a series of walled compounds near the Vreemdelingsvaart ('Foreigner's Canal'), north of the Mariusplein. Like Elf enclave of Sith-Rionnasc'namishathir, each of the foreign embassies is considered extra-territorial - an area of foreign land, not Marienburg. Unlike Sith Rionnasc, the territory is limited to the grounds around each mansion - and given that this is Marienburg, this isn't much land at all. All embassies, however, are off-limits to the civil and military forces of Marienburg, who may only enter with the permission of the relevant ambassador. To do otherwise is considered an act of war. At the same time, Marienburg is responsible for the security of each embassy: when a recent riot broke out over some intemperate remarks by the Imperial Ambassador, Baron von Heinsoo, it was the Paleisbuurt Black Caps who had to keep the rioters from breaking down the gates. Not surprisingly, the Watch doesn't appreciate having to break Marienburger heads to protect ungrateful foreigners.[1w]

For all these rules of gentlemanly behaviour, though, Embassy Row is a focus for intrigue and espionage. Marienburg's intelligence service, the Fog Walkers, both tries to find out what's going on in each embassy, and guards against the spying attempts launched from each embassy. What's more, various private interests (including the Houses of the Ten, the Elves of Sith Rionnasc and the League of Gentlemen Entrepreneurs) hire freelance agents to ferret out the foreigners' secrets.[1w]

Not that the embassies themselves are innocent victims. All the legations employ spies to some extent. Some, like the Arabyans, rely on relatively open contacts with their kinsmen in their Marienburg ghetto to report what they've seen and heard. Others, like the Bretonnians and the Imperials, run multiple spy rings, each unaware of the other and reporting to the embassy only through the most indirect means, if they are known to the embassy at all. Several embassies hire native Marienburgers as agents, and there are freelance agents who sell their skills and information to the highest bidder, or sometimes to several bidders, playing one off against another.[1w]

There are embassies for all the major powers of the Old World along the Vreemdelingsvaart: Araby, Bretonnia, the Empire, Kislev, Miragliano, Remas, Magritta and Bilbali. From farther afield, both the Monkey King of Cathay and the Divine Sun of Nippon have recently opened formal relations, though their strange custom sand impenetrable language make it hard for Marienburgers to divine their intentions. However, it's clear that there is no love lost between the two delegations.[1w]

Adventurers are most likely to encounter the embassies, in one of two ways: either through dealings with their staff on their errands in Marienburg, or through involvement (willing or otherwise) with the web of plots that surrounds each and every one.[1w]

The Gull and Trident Inn

"If I may advise you, take your honeymoon in Marienburg at the Gull and Trident Inn. It's in the best part of town: you'll have a beautiful view of the river and be near all the finest theatres and shops. The food is superb, too. All prepared by Wilhelmina Thistledown, the owner. Many couples go again and again. Why, I book one Altdorf couple three times a year."

—Four Seasons coaching agent.[1w]

In a city known for its attractions, with its many inns and hostelries catering to travelling merchants and even tourists, one of the best and best-known is the Gull and Trident, owned and run by Wilhelmina Thistledown. It's in Paleisbuurt, west of the High Tower Bridge. Her bed and breakfast is very popular with both travellers and locals. A double-wing, two-storey structure built along the bank of the Rijksweg, it boasts very comfy rooms, excellent food and a magnificent view from its terrace. Coaching and riverboat agents from as far away as Talabheim and Nuln recommend it to their clients, and it's nearly always booked months in advance.[1w]

Of course, that's understandable when one of the most popular hotels in Marienburg is also a front for the biggest fencing operation between Erengrad, L'Anguille and Altdorf. Many local thieves come to the inn for its celebrated breakfast, and order the "special gull-meat sausages" - a signal that they have something to sell. The staff will always tell them that there's a delay of between five and thirty minutes, which is actually how long they should wait before leaving their table and going to the inn's coach house. There they will be met by Egbert the blacksmith/bodyguard and Aunt Mina, who will be smoking the foul cigar she always lights when doing business. Mina will always give good prices, typically about 35% of value, or 30% if the item is particularly "hot". She will insist that the client stay and pay for breakfast. "A working man must keep up his strength, dearie," she says.[1w]

Some of the newlywed couples and tourists who stay at the inn are actually agents representing the biggest gangs in the Empire and Bretonnia. They come to see what's available or by special invitation of Aunt Mina. Stolen goods are sold at roughly 60% of street value, or more if the item is well-known or several gangs are bidding for it. Many clients make regular trips several times a year.[1w]

Adventurers new to Marienburg can hear of the Gull and Trident through contacts when they try to sell or trace stolen goods. Perhaps they will be visiting the inn for its famous breakfasts and become suspicious when two or three men all order gull-meat sausages and then disappear for a time. They might order it themselves and then be surprised when the sausages don't arrive but Egbert -who has no sense of humour at all — comes to find who's been wasting their time. Aunt Mina can also be a source of training to Fences or of a meeting with Adalbert Henschmann. He will be less suspicious of anyone referred by her.[1w]


The Winkelmarkt is one of the larger wards in Marienburg and is home to the city’s lower middle class. Much of its commerce involves the boat-building trade, but there’s also a thriving foodstuff trade—the district is known for its delicious sausages. Caught between the appalling wretchedness of the Doodkanaal to the south and the declining ports of the Suiddock, Winkelmarkt slides inexorably toward poverty as the ward decays and the more successful types flee to the northern reaches of the city. Locals do their best to maintain their homes, but the signs of decay are everywhere—rotting wood, missing shingles, and the growing mounds of rubbish filling the alleys. To make matters worse, the Winkelmarkt shouldered much of the burden of housing the people of the Empire, creating tensions between the entrenched Marienburgers and the frightened, penniless, and devastated refugees.[2c]

The Winkelmarkt is normally more crowded than anywhere else in Marienburg. Outside of the main thoroughfares, the streets are typically so cramped that not even wagons can navigate them. Buildings often share sidewalls, and many are built on top of older buildings, such that most structures have an almost ramshackle appearance, sagging into one another and leaning at uncomfortable angles.[2c]

During a Chaos Incursion and for months after, the Winkelmarkt had been packed with people. Every flophouse, boarding house, and inn had been filled near to bursting with folk desperate to find a new life here. They were only to find, as their money ran out, the embrace of the Doodkanaal and the misfits and destitute living there. Despair sank in and a pall fell over the ward as landlords tossed out people who couldn’t afford the price of lodging. Tensions rose and riots became common.[2c]


The Doodkanaal, or Dead Canal, Ward is the most rundown area of Marienburg though it was once a thriving district where trade flowed freely. Slowly, as the canals and waterways of the rest of the city changed, the currents of the watercourse through the canton became sluggish. The canal became clogged with waste and barges no longer travelled that way. In Marienburg where there is no trade, there is no money. The district fell into disrepair as merchants moved away, closer to the active trade routes. Those who could afford to move did so, leaving behind the poor and desperate. The Dead Canal District turned into a hub of crime and villainy, a haven for those who wished to hide from the more civilised areas of the city. Nowadays the Black Caps fear to enter the district and the ruling guilds ignore it in their bustling city. Though seemingly lawless, some sort of civilisation still exists within shops and taverns, as people attempt to claw their way out of the direst of circumstances.[2d]

Manoeuvring through the Dead Canal is both appalling and deadly. The district is little more than a maze of narrow streets and alleys, winding through a jumble of rundown shops and sagging homes. The stench of sewage hangs heavy in the air, and each breath invites its rancid taste. Visitors are bound to spot the grimy faces of desperate and hungry citizens, brushing passed extended hands hopeful for charity. But for every wretched peasant, there is an equal number of toughs and brutes looking for trouble. The Dead Canal does not tolerate outsiders and gives the impression this is not somewhere to stay for long.[2d]

Rijker’s Isle

The fortress prison of Rijker’s Isle is one of Marienburg’s most recognisable landmarks. The massive fortress is both a prison for hardened criminals and a clearing house for Marienburg’s undesirables. Most days, convicts are locked in grubby two-man cells with rotten straw flooring that is changed annually. A company of Tilean mercenaries man the walls with crossbows, but they are rarely employed. Escape from the fortress is theoretically possible, but the cold water and dangerous undercurrents of Marienburg harbour prevent all but the most desperate attempts.


  • The city aesthetics and features resemble that of the 17th century Amsterdam.


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Marienburg - Sold down the River (RPG)
    • 1a: pg. 6 - 12
    • 1b: pg. 13 - 14
    • 1c: pg. 15
    • 1d: pg. 16
    • 1e: pg. 17 - 20
    • 1f: pg. 22 - 25
    • 1g: pg. 26
    • 1h: pg. 27
    • 1i: pg. 28
    • 1j: pg. 29
    • 1k: pg. 30 - 32
    • 1l: pg. 33
    • 1m: pg. 34
    • 1n: pg. 35 - 42
    • 1o: pg. 43 - 49
    • 1p: pg. 51
    • 1q: pg. 53 - 67
    • 1r: pg. 69 - 73
    • 1s: pg. 80 - 89
    • 1t: pg. 91 - 99
    • 1u: pg. 101 - 107
    • 1v: pg. 109 - 117
    • 1w: pg. 119 - 123
    • 1x: pg. 125 - 127
    • 1y: pg. 21
  • 2: Thousand Thrones (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 2a: pg. 12
    • 2b: pg. 13
    • 2c: pg. 14 - 15
    • 2d: pg. 28
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: High Elves (8th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 31
  • 4: Marienburg's Stand
    • 4a: Late Winter, 2525, Midnight, I, Sea of Claws
    • 4b: Late Winter, 2525, Dawn, III, Rijksmond
    • 4c: Late Winter, 2525, Mid-morning, III, Oudgeldwijk
    • 4d: Late Winter, 2525, Noon, II, Suiddock
    • 4e: Late Winter, 2525, Noon, IV, Suidstrasse
  • 5: The WFRP Companion (WFRP2)
    • 5a: pg. 34
  • 6: Career Compendium (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 6a: pg. 70