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Kislev (City)
City-of-kislev
Vital statistics
Inhabitants Gospodar, Ungol
Type Capital city
Location Kislev
Population Unknown
Allegiance Tzar
Industry Multiple
"The city rises from the oblast like a jagged spike on the landscape, dominating the countryside around it in a vulgar fashion that is only to be expected of this rude nation. The walls are high and impressive to be sure, but how high must a wall be before it becomes unnecessary? It seems that these Kislevites have built their walls higher than any I have ever seen, and the effect is, though impressive, somewhat gauche for my taste."
—Letter to Altdorf, Andreas Teugenheim, Former Ambassador to the Court of the Tzarina Katarin[4a]

The city that was to become Kislev was founded over two thousand years ago as a small trading colony on the banks of the River Urskoy known as Pelzburg. It enjoyed relative prosperity in its dealings with the roving tribesmen, migrating Gospodars, and hardy merchants from the Empire. Despite being sacked several times in its history, its location made it certain to rise from whatever calamity befell it, much like the Kislevite people. The trading post of Pelzburg was occasionally attacked by invading Gospodar warbands from the east, and at some time during this period of uncertainty, it was renamed Dorogo, in honour of a great war leader of ages past. The city flourished like never before, establishing strong trade links with the Dwarfs and other nations of the Old World.[3b]

Dorogo was, unfortunately, razed to the ground when the great migration of Gospodars came over the Worlds Edge Mountains under the leadership of Khan-Queen Miska. Well aware of the prime location Dorogo had occupied, Miska immediately began rebuilding the city and renamed it Kislev before embarking on a long and bloody campaign of unifying the land in the centre and south of Kislev under her rule. When she declared the wars finished, she returned to the nascent city, though she was never to see it fully built. Miska’s daughter Shoika named herself Tzarina of all the land of Kislev and declared that her capital would be the city of Kislev, where it has remained to this day. Its founding also marked the beginning of the Kislevite Calendar, year 1 (IC 1523).[3b]

Since then, the city of Kislev has prospered like never before, its trade links with other nations growing ever stronger, even stretching over the Worlds Edge Mountains to distant Cathay. As its influence has grown, so too has its stature as a city, and engineers and architects from all over the known world have come to Kislev to raise its temples, bridges, and city walls. Flavoured by the Kislevites’ own distinctive customs that date back to the days of the Ungol chiefs and Gospodar nobles, Kislev has become a truly unique city; its culture is like no other in the Old World.[3b]

From the time of its founding as Kislev, the city has never been taken by an invader, not even during the dark winter of the Great War against Chaos. Every invader has broken against the city’s walls, and the people of Kislev see themselves as the embodiment of all that is Kislevite: resolute, determined never to yield to an enemy, and possessed of an indefatigable sense of honour. Of course, visitors to the city may come away with a slightly different impression, as the city is—like many others in the Old World—suffering under the famines and wars that wrack the land. Beggars and cripples are the inevitable fallout from years of war, and Kislev has seen more than its fair share of battles and blood recently. Kislev’s greatness is a shadow of what it once was, but its streets, known as prospekts, are always thronged with people from lands far away, and such is its bustle and energy that there is never a shortage of things to do and places to see.[3b]

Geography

The city is located on the banks of the river Urskoy, a tributary of the Talabec. Due to its position on the Urskoy, it is virtually on the border with the Empire, and many Imperial customs and aesthetic values have influenced Kislevite life, literature and architecture. At the centre of Kislev lies the Bokha Palaces, the hereditary seat of power rebuilt during the reign of Tzar Boris Bokha after the original Palace Gospodarin was all but destroyed during the Great War against Chaos in 778 (IC 2302).

The Walls

The massive walls of Kislev dominate the surrounding countryside. Machicolations have been cunningly wrought within the decorative gargoyles at the wall head, and smoke lazily curls from braziers prepared on the ramparts. The precise construction of the protruding towers and gatehouse ensure that every yard of rocky ground before the walls is a killing zone, covered by crossbows and cannon fire.[4a]

A cobbled roadway winds up the Gora Geroyev, the Hill of Heroes, to a wide bridge that crosses a deep ditch and leads to a stubbed timber gate banded with black iron and protected by murder holes in the stone roof. Such fortifications are at least the equal of Nuln or Altdorf, yet unlike other cities, Kislev's walls have a smooth, glossy look to them, as though the stone had vitrified under some intense heat. A common embroidery to the tales sung of the Great War Against Chaos is that the mutating powers of the Dark Gods caused Kislev's stone walls to melt like wax. Most scholars dismiss such claims, yet looking upon said-walls, it is easy to see why such thoughts are held in popular belief.[4a]

Streets of Kislev

Beyond the gates and their well-oiled hinges, a cobbled esplanade filled with market stalls is the first things visitors find within the city. The air is thick with the curses of shouting traders and the smell of fish. The buildings here made from well constructed stone, with tiled roofs made of clay. Three streets lead deeper into the centre, each one similarly choked with people and pack animals during the day. The central street, known as the Goromadny Prospekt, leads through the city to Geroyev Square.[4a]

Here, people can be seen hurrying about their business, well dressed in warm fur cloaks and woolen colbacks. Here, Kislevites come across as fierce-looking, shorter folk than most of those found in the Empire. Yet each carries themselves proudly, especially the grim swaggering figures clad in armour and furs. Lining the gutters and street-corners, limbless beggars plead for kopecks, whilst painted whores hawk their wares with weary resignation.[4a]

The Goromadny Prospekt

Running almost half a mile long through the city, the Goromadny Prospekt is a long street made industrious by all manner of businesses. Stall-holders yell at passersby as footpads sprint from their victims whilst fur-clad citizenry travel to-and-fro. Most men sport elaborate topknots and long, drooping mustaches, while women wear simple woollen dresses with richly embroidered shawls and furred colbacks.[4a]

Travelling towards the city centre, the street eventually widens into a tavern-lined boulevard. Here one can find throngs of carousing men singing martial songs as they wave their longaxes. The boulevard continues to widen until opening up to the granite-flagged centre of the city: Geroyev Square.[4a]

Geroyev Square

Hulking iron statues of long dead Tzars line Geroyev Square's perimeter, and forming the square are elaborate buildings of red stone with high peaked roofs crowned with onion-domed towers and windows. But as spectacular as these buildings are, they are all but pale shadows of the mighty structure that dominates the far side: the Palace of the Tzarina, the Ice Queen Katarin the Great. The mighty fortress rises tier upon tier of white stone towers and colourfully festooned battlements that reach their pinnacle as a great golden dome. Such is its beauty like a vast ice sculpture rising from the ground.[4a]

In the grassed centre of the Square a wide corral can be found, where scores of ponies can be walked in circles before baying crowds of prospective buyers. These are plains ponies, sturdy beasts that thrive in the harsh climate of Kislev, but are slower on the gallop than the grain-fed horses of the Empire.[4a]

Located in the southern most corner of Geroyev Square stands the High Temple of Ulric, a massive edifice of white stone adorned with statues of fierce wolves that flank the black wooden doors. A narrow street runs alongside the Wolf God's temple, the buildings to either side shrouding said-street in darkness. Through here is where the Imperial Embassy resides.[4a]

The Imperial Embassy

Perhaps as a joke on the city planner's part, the Sigmarite nation's embassy sits behind the High Temple of Ulric in Geroyev Square. Connected by an overshadowed, narrow street, the embassy's wide courtyard is centered on a bronze fountain, a patina of green covering its every surface. A dirty brown liquid gurgles from a small angel's cup, filling the fountain's bowl. Behind this fountain, and a rusted iron fence, stands the Embassy itself. Between the tenancies of Ambassadors Andreas Teugenheim and Kaspar von Velten, the nature of the building had become one of major neglect. The building's windows had been boarded up, the stonework cracked and broken, and even illegible Kislevite graffiti had been daubed across the doors. The only signs it hadn't been deserted were the presence of two slovenly guards in threadbare uniforms, wielding blunted halberds. One such guard's breastplate was so rusted that it cracked like an eggshell![4a]

The embassy interior was no better. The timber-paneled walls were bare of hangings, whilst the floorboards were discoloured where the carpeting had been ripped up. Climbing the wide staircase, the embassy's second floor was found to have been stripped of furnishings and decoration. Walking along the wide corridor, footsteps are made loud against the bare boards. The only ornamentation to be found was the ornately carved door to Teugenheim's study. When the new ambassador stormed in, he found the study was plushly furnished compared to the rest of the embassy. One wall was dominated by a huge oaken desk and drinks cabinet, while on another, a log fire blazed in a marble fireplace before two expensive leather chairs! Kaspar found the whip-thin Teugenheim entertaining a guest with cigars and brandy.[4a]

Notable Locations

Kislev city

City of Kislev

  • Temple of Myrmidia
  • Raskolnikov's Tavern
  • Temple of Verena
  • Frica's Furs
  • Kossar Barracks
  • Shallyan Mission
  • Temple of Dazh
  • Gryphon Legion Barracks
  • Temple of Tor
  • Geroyev Square
  • Temple of Morr
  • Goromadny Prospekt
  • Pulka's Livery
  • The Bokha Palace
  • The Hanging Fountain
  • Winter Gardens
  • Madame Biletnikov's Balalaikas
  • Korotovsky Theatre
  • The Hammer of the Gods Armoury
  • The Iron Maiden Blacksmith
  • Reliquary of Blessed Alexei Urskoy
  • Lubjanko Hospital
  • Urskoy Prospekt
  • Chekist Building
  • Temple of Ulric
  • Imperial Embassy
  • Morning Market
  • Fabor's Watchmakers
  • Jewel of Kislev Distillery
  • Ropsmenn's Head Tavern
  • Urskoy Docks
  • The Crippled Eagle Bar
  • Madame Katya's Quilted Palm

Sources

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Kislev (6th Edition)
    • 1a pg. 1
  • 2: Warhammer RPG 1nd Edition: Core Rulebook
    • 2a: pg. 278
  • 3: Warhammer RPG 2nd Edition: Realm of the Ice Queen
    • 3a: pg. 9
    • 3b: pg. 78
    • 3c: pg. 79
    • 3d: pg. 80
    • 3e: pg. 81
    • 3f: pg. 82
    • 3g: pg. 83
    • 3h: pg. 84
    • 3i: pg. 85
    • 3j: pg. 86
    • 3k: pg. 87
  • 4: The Ambassador (Novel), by Grahan Mcneill
    • 4a: Chapter 1
  • Ursun's Teeth (Novel), by Grahan Mcneill