"It is your selfish desire to shun the power that makes you the best candidate."

— Kurt Helborg to the to be elected Karl Franz
Imperial Goverment

Emperor Karl Franz, current ruler of the Empire

The Emperor is the leader and ruler of the Empire of Man, the most powerful nation of the Old World. He is chosen from the Elector Counts by the 15 Electors and crowned by the Grand Theogonist. The first Emperor was Sigmar and his crowning started the reckoning of the Imperial Calendar. The current Emperor, Karl Franz, was crowned in 2502 IC.

Despite being technically both head-of-state and commander-in-chief of the Imperial military, the Emperor is not by any means an absolute ruler. He has to share much of his power, influence and responsibilities with the powerful Elector Counts.


Upon the death of an Emperor the throne does not automatically pass to his heir. An election is held with 15 Electors, 10 of which are Elector Counts. The heir of the deceased Emperor is an obvious candidate; under normal circumstances he will be supported by the friends and allies of his predecessor. Therefore a dynastic succession is a strong possibility. However the heir may lose the election due to personal enmities or because of personal failings.

Nearly all emperors were chosen from among the Elector Counts and in many ways being an Emperor means being but the "First among equals". He is largely the leader of the Elector Counts, who are powerful and independent. Many matters are debated between the Emperor and the Counts on an equal standing and then agreed upon, and not always as the Emperor wants. The Emperor's power is severely limited by the inability of enforcing his edicts within the semi-independent provinces. Far from the capital and inside their own provinces, the Elector Counts rule and they can choose to largely ignore his edicts and decrees. Furthermore The Empire is not a centralized state, but a feudal confederacy. The Emperor does not control the entire military of The Empire and he does not receive all, or even the majority, of taxes. His taxes and resources are collected from his own province and his own personal treasury will pay the military units under his direct control.

Each of the Elector Counts collects taxes from his respective province and will spend his wealth as he sees fit. He will recruit and pay his own provincial army, who is far more loyal to its local ruler. Depending upon the wealth of the province, a wealthy Elector Count may even afford and recruit a larger army than the Emperor. A wise Emperor will realise that trying to subdue the Elector Counts through threats and/or force is a very dangerous errand, which all too easily ends up in open rebellion and civil war. Gaining their respect and loyalty through example and fair leadership tends to be the best policy.

The Elected Emperors (1 to 1152 IC)

Name Reign State Notes
Sigmar 1 - 50 Reikland Founder of The Empire.
Hedrich 51-100 unknown Received the Runefangs and distributed them amongst the Elector Counts.
Fulk 100 - ? Wissenland Moved the capital to Nuln as a symbol of support of the Cult of Sigmar.
Hündrod the Furious c.322 unknown Killed Mascar, the Great Dragon, in the Drakwald
Sigismund II c.501 - c. 510 Averland Ruled from Altdorf. Absorbed Marienburg into The Empire.
Siegfried the Lawgiver c.510 - c. 557 Averland Moved the capital to Nuln again
Siegfried I 667-732 unknown A corrupt Emperor who rode a dragon. Died at the Battle of Fates and was burned by his own mount.
Jürgen the Opulant c. 900 N/A N/A.
Ludwig the Fat c. 1000 Drakwald Established The Moot.
Boris Goldgather 1053 - 1115 Corrupt Emperor who died of the Black Plague.

Mandred Skaven Slayer

1124 - 1152 Middenland Unites The Empire to defeat the Skaven.

Age of Three Emperors (1152 to 2304 IC)

Elected Emperors

Name Reign State Notes
The Count of Stirland 1359 - 1375 Stirland unknown
Frederik III c. 1448 Stirland Sent Knights to the Great Crusades
Sigismund IV 1979 - ??? Reikland Emperor during the siege of Altdorf of Waaagh! Gorbad! Slain in combat.
Magritta c. 2000 Marienburg Last possible Elected Emperor. She was refused as Emperor by the Grand Theogonist.

Ottilian Emperors

Name Reign State Notes
Ottilia I 1360 - ??? Talabecland First self-proclaimed Ottilian Emperor
Frederik V c. 1550 Emperor when Middenheim had a self-proclaimed Emperor
Horst the Cautious c 1750 Refused to make war on Nuln Emperors. Talabheim rebelled and now theres two Ottilian Emperors.
Helmut II 1750 - ??? Launched a coup against Horst the Cautious. He becomes the Ottilian Emperor of Talabheim.
Ottilia IV c. 2100 Emperor during the Battle of Four Armies

Wolf Emperors

Name Reign State Notes
Heinrich 1547 - ???


First self-proclaimed Wolf Emperor.
Gerhardt Meister c. 1707 Rival of the elected Emperor Sigismund IV
Mannfred Todbringer c. 2000 Is the grandfather of the current Elector Count of Middenheim, Count Boris Todbringer.

Marienburg Claimants

Name Reign State Notes
Magritta 1979 - ???


The self-proclaimed Empress of Marienburg
Helmut c. 2100 Father of Helmar, killed and turned into a Zombie by Konrad von Carstein.
Helmar 2100 - ??? Emperor who released his father's spirit and killed Konrad von Carstein

Reiklander Claimants

Name Reign State Notes
Emperor Siegfried c. 2000


Ludwig c. 2051 Father of Lutwik, endured the Siege of Altdorf by Vlad von Carstein
Lutwik  ??? - 2100 was killed by assassins after the Battle of Four Armies by agents of Ottilia IV

Elected Emperors (2304 to Present)

Name Reign State Notes
Magnus the Pious 2304 - 2369 Nuln Victor at the battle at the gates of Kislev. Founded the Colleges of Magic.
Leopold 2369 - ? Stirland Grandfather of Dieter IV.
Dieter IV 2411 - 2429 Incompetent Emperor who sold Marienburg's independence.
Wilhelm III 2429 - ? Reikland Established the current royal line.
Mattheus II  ? Father of Luitpold I
Luitpold  ? - 2502 Father of Karl Franz.
Karl Franz 2502 - incumbent Current Emperor of the Empire.

Emperors without clear dates of reign or provenance

Name Reign State Notes
Wilhelm I unknown unknown Early Emperor that was buried in Altdorf. Was reanimated by Vlad von Carstein during the End Times.
Carolus 1937 unknown Was poisoned by Constant Drachenfels during a banquet
Beatrice the Monumentally Cruel Unknown; sometime before Magnus the Pious Unknown Saw many folk in the Reikland become outlaws in order to escape rapacious religious persecution


The following individuals have the right to vote who the Emperor will be upon the death of the incumbent, but only an Elector Count can become Emperor.

Elector Counts:



  • The Prince of Altdorf (Novel) by Andy Hall
  • Tome of Salvation p.17, 19
  • Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition) p.16
  • Sigmar's Heirs p.15,16,17
  • Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (7th Edition) p.14