Hive World Terra


Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Marienburg: This is the largest port in the Old World, a famously cosmopolitan city where almost anything can be bought for a price. Marienburg’s position at the mouth of the Reik means that for goods to reach the Empire from the far south, they must pass through Marienburg, or brave the Sea of Claws to reach Erengrad. Equally, traders wishing to take their goods in the opposite direction from Nuln and Altdorf are obliged to traverse Marienburg, or send their goods overland to Kislev or through the risky passes of the Vaults to the Border Princes.

Marienburg sits at the edge of the Grootscher Marshes, where the tidal flats of the Reik estuary create treacherous and unpleasant terrain of pools and mud. A series of rocky islands forms the base of Marienburg, linked by various bridges. A single deep passage is maintained, by which ships may pass south down the Reik, north into the open sea or put in to Marienburg itself. This passage is crossed by the High Bridge; a span raised above mast height by a single stone tower on the southernmost island. The road across the bridge joins with the Great North Road to Middenheim on a rocky hill on the opposite side of the Reik.

Marienburg was formerly part of the Barony of Westerland; ruled by Marius the Fen Wolf and his descendants until the death of Paulus van der Maacht. The Barony was dissolved and the Council of Marienburg created by Magnus the Pious in 2305 to rule Marienburg in his name for the Empire. The council was composed of the most powerful of the merchant families of Marienburg; including the Winklers, the Koopmans and van Onderzoeker families. The merchant allowed private militia and fleets to be created and operated, allegedly in the cities defence, but in reality as part of a plan to remove the Empire from Marienburg entirely.

In 2378 the Empire fought a year-long and ultimately successful war against these private forces, but could not force them to disband permanently. At this point, the Council approached the Emperor Luitpold and brokered an agreement which saw the withdrawal of Imperial Excisemen from Marienburg, leaving the collection of Imperial taxes in the hands of the Council and the removal of the Imperial Second Fleet from its base at Marienburg. The city’s relations with the Empire steadily dwindled and, in 2429, Westerland refused to supply troops to the Empire before finally seceding from the Empire during the disastrous reign of Dieter IV. The secession was formally recognised by Dieter's successor, Wilhelm of Altdorf, on Marktag 20 Kaldezeit 2429. Wilhelm is said to have said he had "no interest in the damned wasteland", and from this the region around Marienburg took its name. His decision was influenced by the Imperial Army's defeat at the Battle of Grootscher Marshes. With the aid of Sea Elves, the Mareinburghers led the Imperial Army into a quicksand trap, which decimated their regiments and forced their withdrawal.

Marienburg even uses separate currency from the Empire, with Guilders instead of crowns, a reflection of the power of the various mercantile Guilds within the city.

Marienburg is bounded by walls on its east and west, passage through which is controlled by the Oostenpoort and Westenpoort Gates. Within the walls, Marienburg is divided into districts, often associated with the bridge that links the island that they sit atop, or the island itself. These include: Riddra Isle, Luydenhoek Isle and Hightower Isle. Marienburg has two notable pieces of architecture connectd to its port, the Lighthouse of Mannan, which guides ships to port in the frequent fogs which roll in off the estuary, and the Vloedmuur, a great sea wall protecting the harbour from storms. The Vloedmuur was built by the dwarves for the elves many years before the Dwarf-Elf Wars. In the waters of the estuary there is another curiosity, Rijker's Isle. Upon this stands Marienburg’s greatest prison; a vast fortress used by the Council of Burghomeisters to imprison those who flout Marienburg’s laws.

Riddra is one of nastier islands, not so much because of lawlessness, but simply because it is poor and dirty. Here can be found the Fisherman's Steps and the Three-Penny Bridge, areas where anything can be bought for a price. Buttermere 'Sam' Warble started his search for the Tilean Rat, on behalf of the elf-woman Astra, here in 2505.

Luydenhoek has a cleaner appearance, but an equally dubious reputation. On it can be found Potion Square, officially known as Graf Anders Square. It backs on to Zegepraal Street where physicians and doctors have quarters and the guildhouse of the Guild of Physiks is located. Here a traveller can find the Marienburg Home for Foundlings, the Long Dragon Tavern and Hassan’s Spices. Potion Square is separated from Leech Street by Poultice Water, which is crossed by the Powder Bridge. Luydenhoek Isle itself is connected to the mainland by the Draaienbrug Bridge and to Hightower by the Niederbrug Bridge. Marienburg's Thieves Guild maintains a number of operations and boltholes here, notably Lisette’s Leather Goods.

Hightower Isle is the island base of the tower which supports the Hoogbrug (High Bridge) and holds many of the City’s more impressive buildings and richer families. Most notable amongst the buidings here is the Wasteland Import-Export Exchange, known commonly as 'the Change'.

Hightower is separated from Luydenhoek Isle by the Bruenwasser Kanal, source of the water with which the potent ale Brakkbroew is brewed. Also in the Bruenwasser is Stoessel Isle, on which can be found the Brotherhood of Seamen & Pilots, the guild for Sailors and River Pilots.

Marienburg also has several districts divided along racial lines; the Elven Quarter and the Halfling Quarter are the best known and largest of these. In the Elven Quarter dwell the largest population of Sea Elves in the Old World, and many refugees from Feiss Mabdon. Halfling private investigator Sam Warble had cause to visit the Elven quarter when he lost his mind in a game of cards to Eladriel, a wealthy elven art collector, who 'hired him to steal a precious object from a rival, Periel. When not solving problems and risking his skin, Warble normally spends his free time in the Halfling hostelry known as Esmeralda’s Apron.

Marienburg has a few notable citizens: Muenchbek the mercenary, who travelled for a while with Vukotich, Buttermere Warble, the Halfling private investigator, Wilhelm Rotkopf, alchemist and Councillor and Baron Matteus von Hoogman.

Source: Red Thirst: The Song by Steve Baxter, White Dwarf: Issue 118 by various, White Dwarf: Issue 131 by various, White Dwarf: Issue 133 by various, White Dwarf: Issue 135 by various, White Dwarf: Issue 146 by various, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 1st Edition by , Wolf Riders: The Tilean Rat by Sandy Mitchell

Submitter: Simguinus