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"What better place in the Empire is there, I ask you? The most fertile fields, the finest wine, the most beautiful palaces, and the fairest women in the Empire. Should the rest of the Empire vanish, I would not miss it."
Reiklander Noble[1a]

Reikland, formally known as the Grand Principality of Reikland, is one of the founding Electoral Provinces of the Empire. It is located in the southwestern Empire in the north-central region of the Old World continent.[1a]

Reikland has been the most important state of the Empire for nearly one hundred years, for it surrounds Altdorf, the current Imperial capital city, and its state armies are those under the command of the Emperor Karl Franz I himself. [1a]

Reikland was one of the provinces created at the founding of the Empire during the reign of its first Emperor, Sigmar Heldenhammer. Indeed, in the eyes of the Imperial citizenry, the territories of the Reikland are considered the heartland of the Empire culturally, politically, economically, religiously and in every other way that matters.[1a]

The Reiksguard, pride of the province's state army and the most powerful and prestigious regiment in the Empire, are the bodyguard of the Emperor himself.[1a]

The Emperor is able to provide the finest equipment and training available for his own state army; as a result, the armies of Reiksguard are said to be the most disciplined troops in the Empire. They are famous for their precise coordination and their steady resolve: few foes can perturb the valiant men of Reikland.[1a]

Geography

Vermintide 2 Reikland

A detailed map of Reikland as found in the PC game Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Westernmost of the Empire's Great Provinces, Reikland is the seat of Imperial power and the richest, most cosmopolitan province in all the Empire -- and not just because the Reiklanders claim thus.[1a]

The Reikland can be roughly divided into three regions: the towering Grey Mountains that form the province's southwestern border, the fertile foothill region of the Vorbergland, and the dense Reikwald Forest.[1a][2b]

Grey Mountains

Reikland Map Cubicle 4th Edition

A more detailed map of the Grand Principality of Reikland.

The enormous Grey Mountains are so high and rugged that only a few passes cross them. The mountains are riddled with Dwarfen tunnels, many of which are abandoned. Some holds still exist in the highlands above Reikland, but these are islands in a sea of Orcs, Goblins, Skaven, and Mountain Trolls.[2b]

The lower slopes of the Grey Mountains, however, are an important resource for the feudal lords of the Reikland. Here they have sunk many mines, extracting minerals such as iron, gold, marble, and precious gems.[1a][2b]

There are two main passes over the Grey Mountains into Reikland: Axe Bite Pass and Grey Lady Pass.[1a][2b] The passes are guarded by the Imperial fortresses of Helmgart and Ubersreik respectively, both built as defences against both Human and nonhuman raiders living in the mountains, as well as the Bretonnians, with whom relations have not always been friendly. The snows of winter close both passages, and travellers are advised to cross them only well after the spring thaws.[1a]

Because they are so heavily tolled, some merchants attempt to take more rugged routes, such as the Crooked Corridor or Durak Way. However, such an undertaking is very dangerous.[2b]

Vorbergland

Located between the Reikwald and the Grey Mountains is a region of rolling hills and fertile valleys, known as the Vorbergland, meaning "foothills country."[1a][2c] The southeastern part of this region, known as "Suden Vorbergland," is the most fertile region in Reikland.[2c]

Market towns such as Ubersreik, Stimmigen, and Dunkelberg have grown up around the plentiful agricultural areas. Suden Vorbergland is also called "Ranald's Garden" because of the large amount of wine it produces.[2c]

However, the western end of the Vorbergland is wilder and more sparsely populated. It suffers from frequent Greenskin raids and is inhabited by many animals and monsters. In spite of the dangers, it is a popular destination for big game hunters and scholars from the Imperial Zoo.[2c]

The many rivers that flow from the Grey Mountains into the Reik are very important for agriculture in the Vorbergland. The Dwarfs of the Grey Mountains have in the past used this to their advantage, damming the rivers during a serious dispute with the Elector Counts over mining rights in 2211 IC.[1a]

This led to the infamous "runtwater" march of the affected Imperial peasants on Altdorf. Since then, the Electors and Emperors have been ever careful to keep the Dwarfs of the Grey Mountain kingdoms happy.[1a]

Reikwald

Although Reikland's forests are generally safer than those in other Imperial provinces, it is still unwise to travel far from the rivers and roads that cut into the forest. Groups of bandits and wild animals make their homes beneath the Reikwald's boughs, and the deeper one goes into the forest, the viler the creatures that may be found…[2c]

Reikland's forests are predominantly populated by oak, pine, elm, and beech trees.[2b] In most places, the canopy is not so thick as to block out the sun. The woods are dotted with ancient stone circles known as oghams, thought to be monuments from the Unberogen era.[2d]

Their precise purpose is unknown, but it's rumoured that isolated communities exist in the deepest parts of the Reikwald that hold these sites sacred, conducting rituals older than Sigmar himself. Magisters tend to be interested in these monuments also. Some postulate that they were the fields of ancient battles.[2d]

Within the Reikwald Forest are two regions of hill country, the Hägercrybs and the Skaag Hills. Both are used for sheep herding[1a] and mining[2b]. The Hagercrybs are also popular with tomb robbers and other adventurers looking for burials of the Pre-Imperial Unberogens. There are reports of ghost hauntings in the Hägercrybs, but these are usually dismissed as the ravings of shepherds enjoying an excess of hard cider.[1a]

Reiklanders

"Stuck-up poseurs, that’s what Reiklanders are, what with their oh-so-elegant ways and their perfect speaking."
Averlander merchant.[1a]
Imperial Goverment

Diplomats of many nations of the Old World travel to the Reikland, and the Emperor's court in the city of Altdorf.

The Reiklanders are the descendants of the fierce Unberogens, a warrior tribe of the northern Old World which saw the lands unified under their king Sigmar during the founding years of the Empire. At their best, Reiklanders are friendly, sociable, and open-minded, more so than the rest of the Empire.[1a]

Reiklanders are optimists who believe that the best is yet to come. They point out several reasons for this: the natural bounty of their lands, an educated and energetic populace, and the fact that Sigmar was one of them. How could the future be dim for a land and people that once gave birth to a god? Reiklanders have adopted Sigmar's message of Imperial unity wholeheartedly.[1a]

Reiklanders take a keen interest in the affairs of the other Imperial provinces, and often point out that "something should be done" when terrible fates befall their neighbours. Robust supporters of the Imperial military, many young Reikland nobles enter the army to make their name and fortune. Considered natural "officer material" the chances of advancement are considerably better for those of Reiklander birth, much to others' disapproval.[1a]

Reiklanders almost always answer an Imperial call-to-arms in large numbers, and feel as if its their duty to come to the aid of less fortunate parts of the Empire. Indeed, among some Reiklanders the ideal of expansion is as strong as it was in the early days of the Empire: Agitators in Ubersreik and Altorf press for war with Bretonnia to reclaim the "West March." [1a]

Merchants' guilds desire to see the Emperor strengthen his position against the Elector Counts, and thereby call for unitary trade laws, which would be overseen by Imperial officials, something the Electors fiercely resist, determined to see no further centralisation of Imperial political power.[1a]

Fashion plays a more important role in a Reiklander's social life than in most other provinces. The peasantry, of course, care little for such fripperies, but amongst the growing middle classes the correct sleeves, shoes, and colours are matters of great import. The Reiklander nobility tend to set the fashion for a season, leaving it to the merchant and other "grubby tradesmen" to copy their new styles as fast as they can. [1a]

The presence of the Imperial Court in Altdorf has only served to exacerbate these tendencies. Recent vogues have included Bretonnian styles, the "new rustic," and most recently a return to simple militaristic clothing reminiscent of an earlier era. Slashed sleeves, elaborate codpieces, and reliquary charms remain as fashionable as ever.[1a]

At their worst, Reiklanders are arrogant, overbearing, and drunken slaves to fashion. Notorious for their ability to celebrate at the drop of a hat, the image of the beribboned Reiklander sot is a popular stereotype amongst the rest of the Empire. In certain places the small black insects that plague an ill-kept taproom are known as "Reikflies" as they can detect the smallest amount of ale unerringly.[1a]

The people of many of the other Imperial provinces are suspicious of the fashionable, cosmopolitan nature of the Reikland men, claiming that they are effeminate and womanish for caring so much about what they wear. Curiously, Reiklander men also have a reputation as wife-stealing, pig-buggering philanderers.[1a]

More than one Talabeclander husband has found his woman seduced by the charming words and dashing look of a Reiklander dandy. Reiklander women, meanwhile, are known for their beauty, as well as unbearably vain personality.[1a]

Loud, outspoken, and often smug about the imagined superiority of their opinions, Reiklanders are traditionally known to be controlling and strongly opinionated. Their lack of stamina is also a welcome source for vituperative and malicious comments amongst the other peoples of the Empire. [1a]

The Reiklander tendency to want to finish a task quickly and then come home is well known. Indeed, as war increasingly consumes the Empire, Reiklanders have flocked to the Emperor's banner, so much so that there have been worries that there would be no one be at home to tend to the fields and bring in the harvest.[1a]

Although they honour all the gods, Reiklanders generally see Sigmar as their special patron, for he was once one of them. Other popular deities of the Old World Pantheon in Reikland include Dyrath, a regional name for Rhya, whom Reiklanders of Vorbergland honour as the goddess of fertility, and Shallya, whose temples and hospices are frequent recipients of gifts and bequests of wealthy Reiklanders.[1a]

Although tolerated and formally respected, the faith of Ulric is not popular in the Reikland region because of the age-old rivalry between the Church of Sigmar and the Cult of Ulric.[1a]

Economy

"Wonder at Reikland's impressive canal network, extensive roadworks, sophisticated farming, and its rapidly developing mercantile class, all of which confirm the Reikland as a true jewel of the Empire. Marvel at this richest, most cosmopolitan of all Imperial realms, and see that it is a cultural, magical, and academic powerhouse without par, attracting the most impressive artisans, wizards, and scholars to its many learned institutions, cementing its reputation as the greatest domain of the Old World."
The words of Holy Mother Halma Habermann of Sigmar, recorded faithfully by the humble scribe Melistius of the Order of the Anvil.[2a]
Reikland

The River Reik, the lifeblood of Reikland's economy.

From the north to the south, from the edge of the Wasteland to the borders with Wissenland, Reikland is blessed with fertile farmlands, vineyards, and dairy fields, all of which produce a surplus for export.[1a]

The mines of the Grey Mountains yield valuable ores ranging from iron to gold, as well as marble and precious gems, whilst the Reikwald Forest, generally considered safer than forest lands in other parts of the Empire, yields valuable timber that supports a thriving boat-building industry.[1a]

Government patronage helps as well. The Emperors, who have also been the Elector Counts of the Reikland ever since Wilhelm III overthrew Dieter IV in the 25th Century IC, have lavished Imperial largesse on their home province. Canals, road-building, programs to improve the farming output, encouragement of the development of free towns and the mercantile classes -- all these have served to make Reikland a gem among the Imperial Electoral Provinces.[1a]

River travel is the most common way to get around the Reikland, since the majority of the settlements are along the River Reik itself. Several tributaries flow from the Grey Mountains to add their waters to the Reik, which carries commerce from the interior of the Empire to Marienburg and beyond, and back again.[1a]

Transportation

Travel in the Old World is very hazardous. Wanderers face hazards ranging from nasty weather to brigands to the worst predations of Chaos.[2g] In the Reikland, travel is a bit safer than average. Transport through the Reikland generally takes place by road or river.[2h]

Although they're crude, Reikland's roads are more reliable than most. The major routes between cities are safe and well-maintained, but the byways can be spottier. However, roads don't maintain themselves, so almost all charge some kind of toll.[2h]

Several coaching lines run routes across the Reikland. These companies are locked in fierce competition, so travellers can expect reasonable safety, reliability, and pricing. The biggest coaching line is Four Seasons, which seems to compete for every route in the province.[2h]

Roadside inns are fairly common in the Reikland, but their spacing is based on coach travel times, meaning that someone travelling on foot may not reach another one by nightfall.[2h]

River travel is safer than road travel, but less flexible. There are dedicated runs of passenger barges, but these only travel between major cities. Smaller villages are usually only served by cargo boats, which can sometimes also be persuaded to carry passengers.[2h]

A down-on-their-luck adventurer may only be able to secure river travel by getting hired as a hand on a cargo ship headed to their destination. On the other hand, wealthy nobles can travel in style on luxurious vessels, such as the famous Emperor Luitpold that runs between Altdorf and Talabheim.[2h]

Politics

"If you want a second opinion, go ask a Reiklander. They have opinions on everything and are only too happy to tell you them all."
An annoyed Physician.[1a]
Reikland Council

A meeting of the Reikland Council.

Reikland has a feudal system of government. Its ruler is the grand prince of Reikland, an Elector Count of the Empire.[2e] The current grand prince is Karl Franz I, who is also currently the Emperor.[1a]

His powers as grand prince of Reikland include the ability to raise emergency taxes in times of crisis, the authority to mint coins, the right to call a High Steward's Court, and the position as commander-in-chief of Reiklands armies.[2e]

Any decree outside of these powers must be ratified by the Reikland Diet, an assembly of the grand prince's vassals. The lands ruled by these vassals are known as the "Reikland Estates." Meanwhile, many of the day-to-day duties of the grand prince of Reikland's administration are actually handled by the members of the Reikland Council.[2e]

Reikland Council

The Reikland Council is composed of ten members, known as the "High Lords of the Reikland." They are appointed by the grand prince of Reikland, and each one handles a specific field.[2e]

The Reikland Council meets in the Wilhelm Chamber of the Volkshalle in Altdorf. However, it's unlikely that more than six high lords are at any particular meeting. The grand prince seldom attends, more busy with his duties running the Empire.[2e]

Composition of the Reikland Council
Position Duties Incumbent Source
High Lord of the Chair Chair of the Reikland Council Graf Archibold von Lilahalle [2e]
High Lord Steward Exclusive right to judge a member of the Reikland Diet Archduke Adelbert von Bögenberg [2e]
High Lord Treasurer Responsible for Reikland's treasury & revenue Grafina Elena von Midwald [2e]
High Lord Ambassador Responsible for Reikland's foreign affairs, head of the Altdorf Black Chamber spy network Graf Liepmund Holzkrug [2f]
High Lord Judge Supreme judge of Reikland law Lector Agatha von Böhrn of Verena [2f]
High Lord Chancellor Spiritual advisor, overseer of the Reikland Chancery and Silver Seal High Priestess Halma Habermann of Sigmar [2f]
High Lord Chamberlain Responsible for running the Imperial Palace and Volkshalle Duchess Elze von Skaag [2f]
High Lord Reiksmarshal Responsible for leading Reikland's state armies Duke Kurt Helborg [2f]
High Lord Constable Supreme authority on noble genealogy and heraldry Grafina Matrella von Achern [2f]
High Lord Admiral Responsible for running Reikland's navy Sea Lord Adalmann von Hopfberg [2f]

Reikland Diet

The Reikland Diet is composed of all of the grand prince of Reikland's direct vassals. Whenever he wishes to make a decree, they look it over, and either pass it, or return it to him with suggested amendments.[2f]

Most lords of the Reikland are too busy handling affairs at home to attend the meetings of the Reikland Diet, which are held in the Holzkrug Chamber of the Volkshalle.[2f]

Instead, the send representatives to most sessions. These may be children, spouses, or particularly trusted minions.[2f]

Reikland Estates

The Reikland Estates are the parcels of land that have been granted to the grand prince of Reikland's vassals for time immemorial. The precise nature of the feudal contract varies from estate to estate, but all are required to maintain at least one regiment for Reikland's state armies.[2f]

Most estate vassals have further subinfeuded their land, carving out new fiefs and granting them to other family members or allies. The creation of a new hereditary title requires the consent of the Reikland Diet, but non-hereditary positions may be created at the estate holder's discretion.[2f]

Notable Locations

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Gazeteer of the Grand Principality of the Reikland in 2522 IC.

  • Altdorf - Altdorf is the provincial capital city of Reikland and the current capital of the Empire itself. [1a]
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Gazeteer of the Grand Principality of the Reikland in 2522 IC, cont.

  • Bögenhafen - Bögenhafen is a market town located at the highest navigable point on the River Bögen[1b]
  • Frederheim - Frederhein is a small town that houses the mentally ill or criminally insane.[1a]
  • Helmgart - Helmgart is a fortress and market town guarding Axe Bite Pass.[1a]
  • Kemperbad - Kemperbad is an ancient town that commands a position overlooking the River Reik.[1a]
  • Ubersreik - Ubersreik is an important trade town located in the foothills of the Grey Mountains.[1a]

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition-- Sigmar's Heirs (RPG)
    • 1a: pg. 77 - 81
    • 1b: pg. 102
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition -- Core Rulebook (RPG)
    • 2a: pg. 266
    • 2b: pg. 267
    • 2c: pg. 298
    • 2d: pg. 269
    • 2e: pg. 276
    • 2f: pg. 277
    • 2g: pg. 261
    • 2h: pg. 262

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