Near the Emperor's Palace and the Temple of Sigmar there is a group of austere stone buildings. These are the Courts of Justice, but they are universally known as the Palace of Retribution in Altdorf. No one in the city wants to end up there, sitting under the stern gaze of a judge. While each courtroom does contain symbols of Verena that promise justice, the judges are known for harsh sentences far outweighing the seriousness of the crimes. Those caught looting, for example, are almost certain to receive a death sentence in the Palace of Retribution. While the complex contains many buildings, the most important are the Imperial Courthouse and the Tower of Altdorf.[1a]

The Imperial Courthouse dominates the surroundings, its tall walls making it look like a fortress. Inside are various courtrooms and judicial offices, as well as a hall of records. Beneath the courthouse there is a small prison complex used to house the accused during trials. Few inmates stay in these cells very long, since justice is swift in the Palace of Retribution. The Tower of Altdorf is a commandery of the City Watch. The special watch unit responsible for guarding the Palace of Retribution is stationed here. It is a prestigious posting and many aspiring watch commanders have spent time in the ranks of this unit. The tower is a simple structure of grey stone bereft of adornment, but it is sturdy, well built, and has withstood several assaults from rioters over the years.[1b]

It is rumoured that a secret dungeon exists beneath the tower for special enemies of the Emperor. If that is true, no one has ever escaped to tell the tale. While many executions are done in the gaol under the Imperial Courthouse, the complex includes the "Widow's Plaza", a public execution ground. Here hooded executioners carry out the courts' sentences. While the axe is favoured for such things in the north, in Altdorf the sword is the preferred instrument. The executioners of the Palace of Retribution use razor sharp two-handed weapons and their practiced strokes can sever a head from the shoulders in one swing. Hangings are also performed in the Widow's Plaza, but they are not as common as beheadings.[1b]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition -- Spires of Altdorf
    • 1a: pg. 30
    • 1b: pg. 31

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