Altdorf is the Imperial capital, the seat of Karl-Franz; home to the Great Cathedral of Sigmar, the Colleges of Magic and the School of Engineers. The city is a centre for trade and learning; its docks teem with merchants, its taverns with students. From the strange creatures housed in the Imperial zoo, to the majestically solid, dwarf-built walls, Altdorf is a city of great beauty and variety. Along with this Aldorf now lies as one of the largest cities in all of Europe.
It is located in the province of Bavaria, and thus has been one of the most isolated of the major Emperian cities, and only has been attacked on two occasions of which both times it repulsed the attack.
The city of Aldorf is led by its Elector Count, and the overall Empire of the The Empire in the form of Karl Franz, but nominally on a day to day basis it is ruled by an oligarchy of rich nobles, and other important men in the city.
The City of Aldorf is one of the largest cities in the entire world, and in terms of just the continent of Europe it is in the top five largest cities, with its nearly three hundred thousand souls living and dying within the walls, or outside in the outskirts of the giant city.
Aldorf was founded before the Fall of the Empire of Numeron, and was founded by the Teutons with the help of an elite group of High Elves led by Tyrion, and Teclic Aestarion of whom also shared with them secrets of Magi. Years after the Downfall of Numeron the city of Aldorf was one of the largest of Germany, and it was at this point that Teclis, and Tyrion returned and would found the Colleges of Magi where the Magi of The Empire would forever train their skills at Magi. Following this under subsequent rulers of The Empire the city of Aldorf continued to be the capital of the entire empire, and this led to it becoming the center of goverment, and trade of which increased its wealth and power exponentially.
Aldorf was founded before the Fall of the Empire of Numeron, and was founded by the Teutons with the help of an elite group of High Elves led by Tyrion, and Teclic Aestarion of whom also shared with them secrets of Magi.
Downfall of Numeron
Invasion by Chaos
College of Magic
Altdorf has been the home of magical study since the time of Magnus the Pious. There are eight colleges of magic, one for each of the ‘colours’ of the winds of magic: Amber (beasts), Amethyst (death), Bright (fire), Celestial (heavens), Gold (metal), Grey (shadow), Jade (life), and Light (light). The three most spectacular college buildings – the flame-topped towers of the Bright college, the lofty spires of the Celestial college and the mystic pyramid of the Light college – are magically concealed so that few residents of Altdorf are even aware of their presence. The Jade college, a thing formed from living trees, is hidden behind high stone walls. The Grey college is a run-down building located in the city’s poorest slums, and allegedly connects to many secret tunnels. The college of the Amethyst order overlooks the infamous haunted cemetery of Old Altdorf, the resting place of the plague victims, and few dare go near it. The Alchemists of the Gold college maintain a vast, smoke-billowing forge complex, and pollute the river Reik with their arcane chemicals. Only the Amber order has no college within the city, preferring instead the caves of the Amber Hills, away from the civilisation that is the antipathy of their magic.
School of Engineers
The School of Engineers has been responsible for some of The Empire’s most amazing technical breakthroughs, especially in the field of warfare. The School’s founder was the legendary genius Leonardo de Miraglio, whose Steam Tanks are still repaired, maintained and refitted here (though it has so far proven impossible to create new tanks from scratch). The weapons produced by the engineers range from the deadly (the infamous Helblaster Volley Gun) to the useless (von Tropp’s Spring-assisted Chain Lasso), though most lie somewhere in between. Many of the engineers are Dwarfs, banished from their holds for showing too much innovation – a trait not popular among the traditionalist dwarfs. Altdorf has a large Dwarf population, not only engineers but merchants, workers, and indeed members of all branches of society. Dwarfs fight in their own units rather than being recruited into state regiments – they will often wear uniforms of their own design, and favour Imperial fashions over the sombre clothing of other Dwarfs.
The city’s official ruler is Karl-Franz; Emperor, Elector Count of Bavaria and Prince of Altdorf. Naturally, the Emperor has other duties to occupy him; as a result, Altdorf is really governed by an oligarchy of rich merchants and minor nobles. Corruption is rife; if the Emperor is aware of it, he does nothing.
The Imperial palace is a vast building, easily the largest in the city. The Emperor’s court is always filled with nobility from across the Empire, and is a hotbed of political intrigue, social manoeuvring, and hedonistic frivolity. Foremost on the political side is the Council of State, a group formed from the noble families of the most ancient lineage. Though the Council has no constitutional authority, it advises the Emperor on all matters of state. The Grand Theogonist is always a member of this council, and is behind many of the more urgent suggestions – not for nothing is the head of Sigmar’s priesthood regarded as the most powerful man in The Empire.
The Elector Counts, though physically distant from the politics of Altdorf, employ their own council of representatives. The Prime Estates, as this council is known, act as a check on the Emperor’s powers – they study the Imperial edicts, tax levies and so on, reporting their findings back to the Electors. Should an Imperial proclamation be regarded as undesirable, impractical, or just plain foolish, the Electors can simply refuse to enforce it. Even the strongest Emperor is helpless in the face of unified defiance from the Elector Counts.