Heads or Tails
Marienburg is a wealthy trading city, and capital of the Wasteland, which was a western province of the Empire until its secession in 2429 IC. It is renowned for its flourishing sea trade and the flamboyant dress of its merchants.
Marienburg re-gained its independence though a massive transfer of gold into the imperial coffers during the reign of Emperor Dieter IV. All subsequent attempts to subdue Marienburg and bring it back within rule of the Empire have failed, and today Marienburg remains a fiercely independent city where the Count of Nordland, the nominal ruler of Marienburg, is forbidden to return under pain of death.
Marienburg has long been the largest and most prosperous trading city in the Old World. Many call it the City of Gold which alone conveys a good idea of the wealth of this sprawling cosmopolitan city. Nowhere else can be found the vast array of shops selling goods from as far away as the Elven kingdoms of Ulthuan in the west and distant Cathay in the east. The city’s craftsmen represent every skill known to man, and a few others beside, so that it is said in Marienburg there is no activity that cannot be quickly turned to profit.
Many mercantile guilds have their headquarters in Marienburg, most important of all the secretive High Order of Honorable Freetraders which represents the elite amongst mercantile society. This large, rich and ambitious body of men feel themselves shackled by the old order and are eager to seize power for themselves.
When the great port city of Marienburg lay within the Empire’s borders, it was part of the province of Westerland, at the mouth of the River Reik. Upon declaring independence, the region is now referred to as the Wasteland, yet those within the Empire who would seek ‘reunification’ retain the use of the previous term.
Timeline of Marienburg
(notes: This Timeline is based on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and as such there have been a few changes, most notably that Sea Elves are now considered High Elf traders. Also note that the abbreviation IC= Imperial Calendar)
-4550 to -2000: Elves founded Sith Rionnasc’namishathir, “Fortress of the Star Gem on the Sandy Coast.” They were joined by the Dwarfs who provided much construction work in the city.
-1997 to -1500: The ‘War of the Beard’ between the elves and dwarfs , which tore the Old World apart, causes the cities downfall. Although the dwarves won control of the city after a protracted siege, they left after several decades, razing the city to the ground.
-20 IC: After being defeated by the Teutogen Marius, called the Fenwolf, has a vision of Olovald, to lead his Jutones west of Nordland. There he becomes first king of the Jutonsryk and fights ten years against marauding Fimir groups.
-10 IC: Marius takes the ruins of Sith Rionnasc’namishathir. He starts building the Rijkers Island Fortress. His tribe of the ‘Jutones’ becomes Marienburg’s founder. The Jutones were fiercely independent, being the last tribe to swear allegiance to Sigmar Heldenhammer.
501 IC: During the reign of Emperor Sigismund II, the Conqueror, Marienburg becomes finally part of the Empire. The former king of the Jutones becomes Baron von Westerland.
632 IC: Norse raiders frequently sack the city of Marienburg. In this time the city is burned to the ground first time.
765 IC: The ‘Treaty of Traktatsey’. Concluded at Althing, it ended the long wars between the Norse and the Empire, and inspired trade. It is of particular interest to historians, the treaty is the earliest original documentation of Marienburg still present in the Old World today (held in the University Library).
936 IC: Marriage of Maud du Goiscin, daughter of the Duke Simon Beaumanoir of Mousillon with Arnout van Daalen, Baron of Westerland to fix their alliance against the city of L’Anquille
1087 IC: ‘Treaty of Pend’ seals the relationship with eastern Albion. There were several, shorter lived, treaties in the preceding years with other countries, but the overall effect was to increase Marienburg’s influence as an accessible trading port.
1102 IC: The Council of Marienburg declares Olovald not a god but only a servant of Manann. Prosecution of Olovald-Cults.
1109 IC The Norse start again to treaten Marienburg. The city is sacked by an army, led by Snorri Half-Hand, who declares himself as Jarl of Vestland ausruft. The Barons of Westerland take cover in the fortress of Rijkers Island.
1111 IC During the Great Plague Marienburg is sacked once more by the Norse who flee then from the shores of the Old World.
1152 IC: Marienburg, being removed from the centre of the Empire is unaffected by the 200 year Age of Wars.
1360 IC: Grand Duchess Ottilia of Talabecland declares herself Empress and outlaws the Cult of Sigmar in Talabecland. The Age of two Emperors and a series of civil wars inside the Empire starts. Marienburg is burned to the ground a third time.
1597 IC: Marienburg is seized by the Bretonnian army. After five years, the Empire forces the occupiers to retreat.
2100 IC: Helmut, Baron of Marienburg and one of the would be Emperors, is killed by Konrad von Carstein during the Battle of Four Armies (aka Battle of Three Emperors). He is raised as a Zombie by Konrad and rested later by his own son, Helmar.
2121 IC: Helmar executes revenge on Konrad von Carstein during the Battle of Grimmmoor, killing the Vampire together with the Dwarf Hero Grufbad. After doing so he becomes Baron of Marienburg as the heir of his father.
2132 IC-2145 IC: During his horrible Winter War Mannfred von Carstein is defeated at the walls of Marienburg with the help of the High Elves including a Wizard.
2150 IC: This marks the important date when the Sea Elves finally returned to the Old World, and Marienburg offered their original Land back in exchange for exclusive trading rights. Marienburg now plays host to the largest Sea Elf Enclave, with all the riches that entails.
2302 IC: The last of the Van der Maacht Lineage and Baron of the Westerland was killed in battle in the last incursion of Chaos. He was 15 and left no heirs. A power squabble immediately broke out amongst the other Imperial Nobility, all of whom tried to claim that they had rights to Westerland. But three powerful Marienburg merchants, Jan Koopmans, Pieter Winkler and Thijs van Onderzoeker approached Magnus (Emperor) and proposed that a council of merchants run Marienburg to save political favouritism.
2305 IC: The edict was signed that officially changed Westerland from a barony to a province, still remaining part of the Empire.
2378 IC: Successful campaigns against raiding pirates by the private Marienburg’s Merchant Navy allows the council to persuade the Emperor to disband the Imperial Second Fleet in Marienburg. Marienburg also appointed its own excise officers, with the Imperial Tax men merely checking the books. The true power had shifted to the side of the Merchants.
2429 IC: Westerland formally seceded from the Empire, due to punitive Imperial Wars and Taxes. Prince Wilhelm attempts to regain the city three times, but a war-exhausted Army fails.
2448 IC: After a very hard and cold winter and the following melting of the snow half of Marienburg is flooded. The Vloedmuur is near to colapse. The wall can only kept standing by the help of Dwarf Rune Magic and technics.
2499: Marienburg Present Day. Marienburg has only been independent from the Empire for seventy years. Although the majority of tension between the two has died down – Marienburg is far too important to the Empire’s trade routes for it to be ostracised for long – Marienburgers will be treated slightly coldly if they choose to visit the Empire