The Empire is the largest and most powerful nation of men in the Old World. It is a confederation of provinces, each led by an Elector Count, which are united under the rule of the Emperor Karl-Franz I.
Standing proud in the heart of the Old World, the Reikland is the richest, most cosmopolitan and most powerful of the Empire’s grand provinces. Known for its engineers, wizards, and merchants, and for being the birthplace of the Cult of Sigmar, it is a realm of soaring mountains, snaking rivers, dark forests, and powerful trading centres. From his throne in the city of high-spired Altdorf, Emperor Karl-Franz I rules not only the Reikland, but all the Empire that lies beyond.
The town of Ubersreik is situated in the south west of Reikland, near Grey Lady Pass, one of only two major passes over the Grey Mountains into the neighbouring Kingdom of Bretonnia. Because of this, the town regularly sees traders and travellers from across the Old World. The mighty fortress known as the Black Rock is connected to the walls of the town should any less welcome travellers attempt ingress. Ubersreik has had a long association with the nearby Dwarven clans of the Grey Mountains, and in a situation unique to Ubersreik, representatives of the city’s Dwarf population sit on the town council. One of Ubersreik’s more famous edifices, its spectacular bridge over the River Teufel, was built by Dwarfs during the time of Magnus the Pious. Widely regarded as one of the most impressive feats of engineering to be found in the Reikland, it connects the trade road which runs all the way from Bögenhafen to Dunkelberg then Nuln. Ubersreik deals in trade of all kinds, but is most well-known for ore and the skilled metal-work of the Dwarfs.
It is late spring, and you find yourselves on the barge Trandafir , floating south down the Verfelfluss river from Ubersreik towards the village of Grausee. The three of you have just been ushered aboard, having each been contacted independently by a factor working for a merchant. He was sparse on the exact details, but mentioned the merchant simply needed some extra hands to guard some supplies and to help out around a work camp that is being established downriver, and that there was good coin on offer. You’ve yet to meet the merchant himself, being told that he would be greeting you on the barge once you arrived. It seemed harmless enough to at least meet the merchant and find out more details before fully committing yourself to the job, but as soon as you stepped foot off dry land, the barge was cast off onto the waterway.
Sunlight is just beginning to break through the early morning cloud, and it looks like it will be a fine and pleasant day for being on the water. That optimism is soured somewhat when you glance around your immediate surroundings, taking in the barge itself which is in poor shape, faded paint peeling from its age-worn timbers. The crew are Strigany, the wandering folk known across the Old World from their dark superstitions. They busy themselves keeping the barge away from the river banks, and checking the teetering piles of wooden crates, barrels and building supplies that are stacked across the decks. They chat away amiably in heavily accented Reikspiel, appearing confident and competent about their work. An elderly woman sits at the prow on a three legged stool, swathed in a black woollen shawl, muttering to herself as she gazes out over the river, seemingly at nothing. To the stern of the vessel is a large cabin, its interior concealed behind a number of hanging drapes.
What reasons might you have for wanting to join this expedition? Was it the simple promise of good pay, a chance to travel perhaps, or are you egaer to leave town for some reason? What are your immediate thoughts on seeing the others arrive on the barge with you?