Citizens of the Empire
Middenheim, city of the white wolf, is second only in influence to Altdorf. The city stands upon a sheer pinnacle of rock, five hundred feet high, and is reachable only by four highways that run along colossal viaducts. Middenheim may seem invulnerable, but the rock it stands upon is riddled with ancient tunnels that are home to things best not thought about too closely.
Here the worship of Ulric overshadows that of Sigmar. Ar-Ulric, the high priest is an Imperial Elector and wields tremendous temporal as well as spiritual power. Ulric’s insistence upon hand to hand combat, and his hatred of gunpowder weapons, is a strong influence on the city’s army.
The rock the city stands upon, called the Ulricsberg or the Fauschlag, is said to have been stuck by the axe (or alternately the hand) of Ulric, leaving a flat top a mile across. On this site the god intended a great city to be built; with a temple where his holy fires would forever burn and that his followers would revere above all other places. It was Artur, chief of the Teutogen tribe, who discovered the rock and founded the city. Roughly a century later the High Priest of Ulric received a vision from his god that inspired him to found a temple upon the Ulricsberg.
Ulric’s temple is a vast castle, dominating the city. The holy fire that burns before the great altar is said to do no harm to true followers of the god – something that was proven true by Magnus the Pious when Ar-Ulric Kriestov accused him of heresy, and the saviour of The Empire stepped into the flames and emerged untouched. The Knights of the White Wolf, templars of Ulric, are based in the city and utterly dedicated to its defence.
The city is ruled by Boris Todbringer, Elector Count of Middenland, a descendant of Gunthar von Bildhofen, brother of Magnus the Pious. Gunther should by rights have become Emperor after his brother’s death, but a disagreement with the Grand Theogonist cost him the throne. Boris himself sought to become Emperor, but accepted the accession of Karl-Franz and is now one of his most loyal supporters. Boris is protected by the Knights Panther, a secular order of knights dedicated to the eradication of mutants. The knights, together with their associated sergeants and men-at-arms, are a key part of Middenheim’s army.
The city always houses a contingent of Kislevite mercenaries – these are ‘loaned’ by the Tzarina in exchange for a unit of Knights Panther. Middenheim is a cosmopolitan place, with a sizable population of Dwarfs, many Halfling and even a few Elves.
One of Middenheim’s most celebrated sons was Count Mandred, called the Skaven Slayer. In 1118 the Black Plague was in full swing; Middenheim had become one of the few remaining bastions of Imperial civilisation in a land overrun by Skaven. The city was under siege by the rat men and the situation appeared hopeless. However, Mandred co-ordinated an amazing defence of both the city and the tunnels beneath it. The months passed, and the Skaven horde eventually ran out of food.
In 1122 Mandred rallied enough of the nobility to proclaim a crusade against the Skaven. In a series of great battles the Skaven were driven back below ground. The Empire was saved, and Mandred the Skaven Slayer was crowned Emperor. Mandred rebuilt the shattered infrastructure of his nation during the glorious twenty-five years of his rule; tragically though he died to the cowardly poisons of an assassin, the last act of spite from the broken and bitter rat men.
More recently, the city was besieged by the barbarian forces of the traitor Archaon. This army had ravaged the lands to the north of Middenheim for many months, but reached the city a broken and pathetic rabble. Lacking any understanding of the arts of the artillerist or the sapper, the dispirited army broke upon the Fauschlag and left not a scratch. The arrival of the Emperor at the head of a large and well-trained army sent the barbarians fleeing, only to be cut down as they ran.
Nigel von Lancaster is a commissioned officer in the 14th Middeneim Cavalry who are stationed here when not on active duty.