WFRP 3E - Dirty Waters
In the history of the Warhammer World, Marienburg was once part of the Empire, but gained independence though a massive transfer of gold into the imperial coffers during the reign of the corrupt Emperor Dieter IV. Any subsequent attempts to subdue Marienburg and bring it back within rule of the Empire have failed, and today Marienburg remains a fiercely independent city-state where the Count of Nordland, nominally the ruler of Marienburg, is forbidden to return under pain of death.
Graf Paulus van der Maacht was the last Baron of Westerland. He was killed in 2302IC during the last Incursion of Chaos. He was 15 years old and unmarried, leaving no heir to the Barony. The van der Maachts were also a junior branch of the ruling house of Nordland who immediately put forward candidates upon Paulus’ death. So did many other houses from right across the Empire. The decision of Magnus the Pious over whom to appoint looked ready to destabilise the Empire. It was at this point that the three envoys, Jan Koopmans, Pieter Winkler, and Thijs van Onderzoeker from Marienburg’s merchant families entered the scene.
In 2305IC Magnus the Pious created the Province of the Westerland from the Barony of Westerland. The Province was to be governed by a Council made up of the heads of the merchant families of Marienburg. For over a hundred years this council operated successfully but they had insidiously extended their powers, allowing merchant princes to keep private fleets and militias (in order to protect the Province from pirates). In 2378–79 IC a successful campaign against the privateers was brought to a close but still the fleets and armies did not disband. The key point was when the Council approached Emperor Leopold and offered to relieve the Imperial Second Fleet (stationed at Marienburg) and conduct the defence of the city themselves. Leopold agreed as he was facing uprisings in other areas and the upkeep of the Second Fleet was a drain of the Imperial coffers he could do without. The council also relieved the Imperial Excise men of their duties and collected taxes themselves on behalf of the Emperor. In the spring of 2429 IC the Province of Westerland refused to provide any more troops for the Imperial armies and when Emperor Dieter IV was replaced by Prince Wilhelm of Altdorf, Westerland formally seceded from the Empire. The city is now ruled over by the High Council.
In the most recent incarnations of the Warhammer family of Games, 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.
Marienburg relies mainly on the sea and river for trade, and accordingly its patron god is the Warhammer setting’s god of the sea, Manann. The Old World’s largest temple to Manann is on the shores of the city, where the god is represented by a huge aquarium. The temple, or Great Cathedral, is highly influential in the city’s politics and trade, offers priest-navigators to ships, and oversees much of the city’s nautically-related guilds and unions. The Arch-Priest of the temple is a ranking, permanent member of the Executive Council of the Stadsraad. The cult has forbidden the cult of Stromfels, a violent aspect of Manann, and has largely absorbed the cult of Olovald (see below).
Marienburg is also home to a great temple to Handrich, or Haendryk, as the locals call him, the Warhammer setting’s god of merchants, prosperity, and trade. Marienburg is completely reliant on trade, and this god is quite popular with the upper and middle classes. The god’s temple is ornate and gilded, and also operates as a bank and financial center. The lower classes tend to look to Ranald, the god of traders and sharp dealers, for aid in their transactions.
An unusual and very small cult to Olovald, god of the delta, also remains in Marienburg and the Wasteland, worshipped by a small number of marsh-folk and river workers, financially supported by a few more prosperous cult members. The cult has a small church on the southside of the city.
Notable Citizens and Institutions
Brother Marijkus: A priest of Shallya. He has a brother called Bertholdt. He is of the Edelmoed Temple
Marius the Fen Wolf: A descendant of Gulderic, Marius was made the first Baron of Westerland. His name is spelled differently in various documents; Marjus, Marikjus, Ma.rus and Marjoos are all valid. He conducted a long- running and successful campaign against the Fimir and goblins who plagued the marshes and fens of the region. It was during this campaign that he discovered the ruins of Sith Rionnasc’namishathir and set up his capital there, calling it the City of Marius, or Marienburg. Cousin to Pieter Winkler
Marienburg Home For Foundlings is an institution that lies on Potion Square and is run by Sister Marianne Liefeder. It consists of three buildings that back onto Poultice Water. The Home is well run and organised. Its orphans don’t wander the streets begging, they wander the streets in a smart blue uniform and shake a tin for people to donate money to the Home. Gunther and Anders Grimm act as servants.