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"At long last we found ourselves in the great Elector city of Nuln, a place of refinement, sophistication, wealth and great learning — and a city in which my family had long had business dealings. At that time, the Countess Emmanuelle was at the height of her fame, power and beauty and her city attracted the wealthy, the aristocratic and the famous like a candle flame attracts moths. Nuln was one of the most beautiful cities in all the Empire."
——From My Travels With Gotrek, Vol. III, by Herr Felix Jaeger (Altdorf Press, 2505)[3a]
Nuln
Nuln
A stylized painting of Nuln
Vital statistics
Inhabitants Humans
Type City-State
Location Old World, Empire of Man, Wissenland
Population 85,000
Allegiance Elector Countess Emmanuelle von Liebwitz
Industry Gunpowder, Cannonry, Government, Trade, Wine

Nuln, the so-called Bastion of the South and the Jewel of the Empire, is the second largest Imperial city and the largest manufacturer and exporter of munitions and blackpowder warmachines within the entire Empire of Man, earning itself the title as the Armory of the Empire. Sitting at the heart of the Old World's southern trade routes, it stands as an imposing bastion, its fortified walls bristling with enough heavy artillery emplacements to arm a fleet of war galleons. In previous times, Nuln was home to the court of the Emperor and today it remains Altdorf's largest rival, both politically and economically. North of Nuln, the River Reik is too wide to bridge, and the great bridge at Nuln, whose central section can be raised and lowered through an ingenious mechanism, is one of the great marvels of the Old World. Though there are bridges at Altdorf, where the Reik divides into a number of lesser channels, it is a point of some pride in Nuln that none of the capital's bridges can be said to span the entire width of the mighty Reik.[1a]

Nuln's reputation as a city of learning precedes that of Altdorf, although it has been overshadowed by the new capital over the last few centuries. Nuln is most famed for being the home of the Imperial Gunnery School, a sprawling network of forges and smelteries where veteran gunsmiths manufacture and maintain the Imperial artillery trains. Steam-powered air pumps work night and day to vent the acrid fumes of the blazing foundries, and portions of Nuln are forever wreathed in palls of choking soot and black smoke. Indeed, the dark smog clouds hanging over Nuln are such a permanent feature that many travellers use them to navigate. Many counts send their artillerymen to the Imperial Gunnery School to learn the art of ballistics, and crews trained in Nuln are highly valued.[1a]

HistoryEdit

"Ours is a land chained by silence; ours is a time when the truth goes unspoken"
—Detlef Sierck, playwright[2a]

Before there was Nuln and before the twelve tribes crossed over the mountains through Black Fire Pass, the High Elves held the territory eventually claimed by the Empire. But even as the first trickle of Human tribes fled the horrors of the east, the ancient Elven civilisation was already withdrawing from the land, leaving the ruins of their once grand society scattered throughout the forests and hills of the Old World. Before the founding of the Empire, much of Humanity existed along the coast of the Tilean Sea, inheritors of the ancient civilisations of the past. But soon twelve tribes came from the east, fleeing some unknowable horror. With the aid of the Dwarfs, these barbarians crossed through Black Fire Pass and settled in the verdant lands of the north. The Old World was unprepared for these warlike and aggressive barbarians, but there were many who thought to profit from their simplicity.[2a]

Tilean merchants, having heard of the newcomers, were eager to widen their nets by establishing trade routes into new markets. But such ventures required a dangerous voyage, sailing through Pirates Current, up the Black Gulf, and then travelling far over land, to eventually enter the Empire through Black Fire Pass. Or worse, they could sail along the coast to the north, through the uncharted waters of the Great Ocean and into the Sea of Claws. Both ventures were dangerous and expensive—in terms of life and gold. However, the logistical problems were solved when an enterprising Tilean merchant from Miragliano discovered the River of Echoes, a ribbon of dark water that passed beneath the Vaults and into the heartland. Seeing this as his opportunity to establish himself as a major mercantile force back home, he gathered a large band of mercenaries and braved the shadowy subterranean route.[2a]

In the end, he lost nearly half his expedition to the terrors haunting the caverns, but they emerged, more or less intact, exhausted and nearly defeated. They wandered north, searching for settlements to establish themselves. With greater frequency, the expedition faced off against the hostile creatures of these untamed lands until they finally settled in the ruins of an old High Elf outpost and stronghold situated against a broad river. They named the site Nuln and set about to rebuild it, hoping to use this place as a trading hub for their new enterprise.[2a]

The Greenskin InvasionEdit

The promise of an established trade would not bear fruit, at least not yet. Within months after the Tileans settlement, a host of Orcs and Goblins pushed north through Black Fire Pass. Bent on plunder and destruction, they carved a burning path directly for Nuln. Leading the Greenskins were the refugees who fled the notched swords and cavernous maws. Humans and Dwarfs alike, these people sought safety in the fortified hill of this new settlement. Food and supplies were scarce; there were too many mouths to feed and the defences were too weak to withstand the host for long. All was not lost. Hope came from the north. Through strength of will and sword, Sigmar united the twelve tribes into a cohesive army and marched south to oppose the invading horde. He paused at Nuln, establishing a camp there to save the fledgling city for nearly assured destruction, and repulsed the host’s vanguard. Knowing more were on the way, Sigmar rallied the people and his soldiers and pushed into the gap of the pass, defeating the Greenskin army for the last time.[2a]

The Rise of the City-StateEdit

Peace settled over the land. While Sigmar hammered out the new government by which he would rule, Nuln remained a minor trade centre, nothing more than a stopover for traders on the way to the larger communities in the north. But this would change. Sigmar realized internal stability depended on being able to move troops and goods quickly, and so ordered the construction of two great roads. The first was from Altdorf (renamed from Reikdorf) to Middenheim. The second connected Altdorf to Nuln. Though the work was years in completing, the results were almost instantaneous. By extending a road to Nuln, it elevated the city to a status equal to the larger and more prosperous northern cities. Merchants from all over entered the Empire through Nuln to trade goods there first before carrying them upriver. As a result, Nuln experienced a rapid boom in growth and wealth that continued throughout Sigmar’s reign and beyond.[2a]

The improvements to Nuln coupled with expanded trade with the Dwarf holds allowed it to grow powerful and the Count of Wissenland moved his seat of government from Pfeildorf to Nuln. The population swelled as darker threats boiled up from the depths of the Vaults and the World’s Edge Mountains, driving more and more Dwarfs from their ancestral homes. With them, they brought knowledge of engineering. Wissenland’s Elector Count was an enlightened man and saw an opportunity with these newcomers, and so, to improve cleanliness of his city, he asked the Dwarfs to construct a sewer system, for which Nuln is famous the world over. Meanwhile, trade along the River Reik—a river both broad and deep enough to allow the passage of ocean faring ships—brought goods from as far away as Marienburg. The gold gained from these ventures allowed the city to expand beyond the original High Elf ruins and erect walled fortifications on both sides of the river.[2a]

The Sigmarite CultEdit

About 25 years after Sigmar vanished, a mendicant friar named Johan Helstrum appeared on the streets, whipping crowds into a frenzy about a new god. He claimed he saw a vision of Sigmar’s ascent into the heavens. On the strengths of his convictions alone, he preached the new religion to any who would hear him. As Sigmar was already revered in this even-then cosmopolitan city, the commoners converted to the Sigmarite faith, establishing small cults in the newer parts of town. Soon after, it became fashionable to buck tradition, and the younger nobles abandoned the old ways in favour of the imperial symbol-made-god that was Sigmar. Encouraged by his successes in his home city, Helstrum travelled north to Altdorf, where he continued his work to spread the word of this new god. The results were spectacular and soon after, the cult of Sigmar received imperial recognition with an official temple in Altdorf. Back in Nuln, the smaller cells united and founded the first temple of Sigmar on the slopes of the hill holding the Count’s fortress. Those people who remained loyal to the old ways were appalled by the presence of the heretical blot overshadowing what they saw as the true gods. The city divided between those loyal to Ulric and the new Sigmarites, and sporadic fighting and riots erupted in the streets.[2a]

Imperial CapitalEdit

In about 100 IC, faced with the growing violence between the rival cults in Altdorf, Emperor Fulk moved the capital to Nuln in an unexpected show of support for the Sigmarite faith. Since Helstrum, now the Grand Theogonist, hailed from this city, it was only fitting the monarch should move to a place friendlier to his politics. Defeated, the few remaining Ulric supporters left the city for Talabecland where the Ulric faith was still strong, but the Emperor’s entourage of sycophants and hangers-on soon filled the vacuum left by the departing nobility. What had been for the most part a frontier city was suddenly thrust into the centre stage of imperial politics.[2a]

Installed in the fortress of Nuln, Fulk ordered extensive renovations to the city. Artisans used stone and timber from the old Elf ruins to rebuild the city in the image of Altdorf, virtually erasing any evidence of the city’s past. With the support of a Sigmarite emperor, the cult of Sigmar made great strides in converting any last remaining holdouts and became the official religion of the city, building on the legends of Sigmar who was said to have drunk from the waters of the Reik when he camped here before stopping the flood of Orcs from Black Fire Pass. For the next 400 years the empire expanded its borders, pushing against the wilderness and rooting out whatever terrors lurked within the shadows of its forests or under its hills. Nuln became the nexus of this activity and the centre of learning and knowledge. The emperors that followed Fulk established universities and great libraries which in turn drew more people to study here. Nuln became more than a trade city, transforming into a vanguard city, poised on the forefront of philosophy, theology, and the sciences.[2a]

Corruption and DespairEdit

Nuln remained an influential centre of the Empire for hundreds of years, but eventually corruption consumed the Sigmarite faith, and scandals emerged in nearly all the lands. In the autumn of 1110 IC, the high priest of Sigmar was exposed as a secret cultist of Slaanesh. Rumours of his perversity had long been a subject of gossip, but when the temple caught fire after a particularly bizarre orgy, it came out into the open that foul Chaos worshippers inundated the Sigmarite hierarchy in the capital. The emperor, Boris Goldgatherer, moved the capital back to Altdorf to deal with the rumours surrounding him, and with him went the Nulners’ veneration of Sigmar. Although the migration was never in great numbers, the damage was done. The corruption and scandals affecting all levels of society were enough to push many people away from the gods. Instead, they embraced darker and more nefarious forces. And then, the new high priest of Sigmar was found dead, his body covered in black buboes. That spring, the Black Plague settled on the Empire. It quickly spread from city to city, wiping out entire towns and villages. They say but three of every ten survived the contagion, but that was nothing compared to the invasion that followed.[2a]

Fear, misery, and desperation seized the land, and afflicted and survivor alike turned to the Ruinous Powers for succour, praying to any god who would alleviate their suffering. Cults formed like boils on the once proud state and in the bleakest of moments, fearsome beasts emerged from their warrens beneath the cities. Seeking to enslave Humanity as labourers in a macabre remaking of the world to mirror their own mad vision, the Skaven spread fear and death. The larger cities promised safe havens against the doom, but even the mightiest like Nuln, Altdorf, and Middenheim were unprepared for the influx of refugees. In Nuln, the displaced erected a shantytown just outside of the Universität, Nuln’s intellectual centre, eventually becoming the Neuestadt. Of course, the Skaven menace was routed, and the Empire emerged victorious against its enemies. Mandred Ratslayer was a hero, crushing the Skaven and sending them scurrying back to their warrens. But this victory was coloured by the widespread loss of life and the ruins of the Empire’s provinces.[2a]

Chaos RisingEdit

The capital relocated many times in the years following Mandred’s death, moving with each new emperor. During this tumultuous era, nobles jockeyed for positions of prominence in an ambitious game of politics. The tensions that had been building for nearly 200 years came to a head when the Grand Duke of Stirland, with the heavy-handed support of the cult of Sigmar, was elected Emperor in Nuln. Though many Nulners strayed from Sigmarite faith in the years leading up to the Great Plague, many—at least those who had not given their souls to the Dark Gods—returned to Sigmar’s embrace during the tumult that followed. It was widely believed that the plague and war were both divine punishments for Humanity’s wayward excesses. This created a powerful backlash of religious conservatism and Nuln became a centre of the Sigmarite religion. Those who didn’t subscribe to the tenets of Sigmar found the city entirely unwelcoming and gangs of zealots prowled the streets looking for non-believers to persecute. Amidst the religious fervour in Nuln, the cult of Sigmar and the cult of Ulric remained fierce rivals.[2a]

The Priests of Ulric never recognized Sigmar’s divinity and saw all of his cultists as heretics. Even with the endorsement of several emperors, tensions ran hot between both cults, and the fact that Sigmar waxed while Ulric waned was not lost on the proponents of the old ways. The cult of Sigmar was a favoured religion of the aristocracies in the most of the “modern” cities such as Altdorf and Nuln, while Middenheim and Talabecland resisted the intrusion of the Sigmarite temple into their territories. Since Mandred’s death, most elected emperors had been neutral towards the raging debates between the various religious factions, but when the last emperor died, the Elector Counts lined up according to their positions on the question of religion. The acolytes of Sigmar were both wealthy and influential.[2a]

Despite every effort of the Ulric-devoted Counts, the Grand Duke of Stirland, a clear apologist for the Sigmarites, won. His first act was to pass a heavy tax on the cult of Ulric. This was the final straw. The Grand Duchess Ottilia of Talabecland felt the crown was hers by right. She believed she had lost the election because of Sigmarite treachery and double-dealing. In 1360 IC, she declared herself empress, banning the cult of Sigmar from her province in retaliation to the tax. Over the next two centuries the Empire plunged into civil war, with each side fielding equally matched armies until both sides settled into a vicious series of skirmishes. Emperors were still elected and crowned in Nuln, whilst Ottilia’s crown passed down to her heirs. The chaos of this period led smaller provinces to declare their independence.

The Nuln emperor bestowed the Runefang of Drakwald onto the von Bildhofen family, as a reward for declaring their independence from the Ulricites of larger Middenheim. War swept the land, and Chaos reigned supreme, only to become even more confused when the Graf of Middenheim declared himself Emperor as well. Just like the years leading up to the Great Plague of 1111 IC, Humanity turned its back to the gods. Politicians used Sigmar to justify terrible laws and brutal edicts, the people once more questioned the legitimacy of the priests and many turned to the Ruinous Powers for answers. The Cults grew in strength and the Witch Hunters were too few to stamp them out. In Nuln, this secular climate was very strong. The character of the city became grim. The new forges across the river sent clouds of ash and smoke into the air. The shantytown evolved into a crowded slum and strange mutations surfaced among the populace. Those afflicted who weren’t cast out of the city fled to the sewers, forming a community of their own.[2a]

Gorbad IronclawEdit

Divided as it was between three Emperors, the Empire was helpless against outside threats. This was made manifest when the Orc Warlord Gorbad Ironclaw invaded through Black Fire Pass unopposed. The Warlord sacked Nuln and then razed the Moot. The Mob then moved on to Solland and, to the great shame of the Empire, slew Count Eldred of Solland, stealing his Runefang. Along the Upper Reik Ironclaw marched, leaving a trail of carnage, destruction, and broken lives. His Mob encircled Altdorf, laying siege to the city that then held the Emperor Sigismund. Though Orc-controlled wyverns slew the Emperor, the city survived and the horde eventually withdrew. With Solland in ruins Wissenland absorbed the territory, and in response the rest of the provinces demanded Nuln separate from Wissenland. To quell the unrest, Nuln became an independent city-state, but it made no difference, for the Empire was in shambles. And in the face of the widening anarchy, Humanity’s descent into corruption seemed complete. Sigmarite worship never fully recovered in Nuln. Instead, the city turned from its religious roots to embrace secular concepts as well as turning to Verena, patron of intellectuals, scholars, and thinkers. The rapid change of attitudes, coupled with the constant threat of new invasion from the south, transformed Nuln from just a mercantile city to one of military innovation. And ever since, the brightest minds of the Old World have come here to learn the trade of warfare.[2a]

Magnus the PiousEdit

The influence of the Ruinous Powers grew for centuries after, bolstered by the growing support of the cults in the Empire and the movements of Beastmen herds in the Drakwald. By 2301 IC, a vast army of Chaos boiled out of the north, invading Kislev and ravaging the land, adding to its numbers many disaffected veterans of the Empire’s civil wars. Praag fell to Chaos and the survivors fled south, bring news of the dire threat to the divided land. Coinciding with the invasion, the Cultists arose out of their hidden warrens to wage war against the people of the Empire. The Beastmen from the Drakwald spread death and destruction, laying waste to the settlements on the forest’s borders. It seemed the Empire was in its death throes. But then a hero emerged. Magnus, a student and theologian in Nuln, grew frustrated by the Empire’s impotence and the greed of the nobility. He was a genius and fanatic with innovative views about nationalism and the divinity of Sigmar, and his family sent him to the University of Nuln to help direct his frightening intensity.[2a]

There, he attracted a large group of similar thinkers who shared his beliefs and passion. And even before the war broke out, Magnus was famous for his tours, in which he and his companions would travel through the Reikland to issue rousing speeches. These early efforts established Magnus as a great hero among the common folk, seeding the ground for his eventual rise to power. War broke out. Magnus saw this calamity as a sign from Sigmar to save the Empire from itself. He redoubled his efforts, appealing directly to the people rather than waste time in the courts of the Elector Counts. He amassed a huge army of converts, becoming so powerful that even the political and economic rulers of the land were forced to rally behind his banner. The final step was to venture north to Middenheim to heal the rift between those who worshipped Ulric and those who followed Sigmar.[2a]

Stepping into the sacred white fires, Magnus emerged unscathed, and with this sign, even Ar-Ulric, the staunchest opponent of the Sigmarite cult, was forced to accept the truth of Sigmar’s divinity. Magnus led his forces north and met the terrible horde in Kislev. Buttressed by Dwarfs, Kislevites, and the High Mage Teclis with his cadre of Elf Wizards and their Human protégés, the Empire defeated the Chaos invaders, allowing Magnus to return in triumph. Within a year of Chaos’ defeat, the Elector Counts nominated and elected Magnus Emperor, uniting the Empire for the first time in centuries. Magnus established his seat of power in his home city of Nuln, making it the imperial capital. He removed the ban on wizardry and created the Colleges of Magic in Altdorf. He reintegrated and reorganized the provinces, restoring them to their former glory. And for the first time in centuries, the Emperor was strong once more, ushering in the Empire’s Golden Age.[2a]

Present Edit

After Magnus, Nuln remained the capital of the Empire until 2421 IC, when a new Orc threat emerged. Grom the Paunch crushed the Dwarfs at the Battle of Iron Gate and moved north, devastating parts of Nuln along the way. Grom’s tour through the Old World wouldn’t last. Soon after he began his crusade to wipe out humanity, he built a fleet and sailed west, never to be seen again. Eight years later, in a scandal surrounding the succession of Marienburg, Emperor Deiter IV of Nuln was deposed, and the Crown passed to the Grand Prince of Altdorf, ending Nuln’s role as principle city in the Empire. Though no longer the centre of the Empire, Nuln has managed to remain strong, as both a commercial and technological capital.[2a]

Nuln proudly boasts the Imperial Gunnery School, the University of Nuln, and even a rival College of Engineering nearly as innovative as Altdorf’s own. Nuln drifted back into the control of Wissenland and the Elector Count of the province gained the title of Count of Nuln. About 80 years later, a pair of heroes uncovered a Skaven plot to invade the city and use it to launch a campaign against the Empire that would be as devastating as the one that occurred nearly 1,500 years ago. Nuln was saved, thanks to Skaven infighting and treachery and of course the skill of Felix and Gotrek, but not without extensive damage from fires, plague, and famine. In recent years, Nuln has rebuilt itself once more to establish itself as a principle city in the Empire.[2a]

GovernmentEdit

Nuln is also unusual. It has been an independent city-state and has also served as the provincial capital. It even served as the capital of the Empire. There are claims the city was part of the Reikland, Stirland, and Averland as well as being part of Wissenland. Regardless, Nuln is and has always been its own city. Currently, Nuln is not really a part of Wissenland, but owes its allegiance to its Elector Count, the Countess Emmanuelle von Liebwitz. While she nominally rules the city, much of the true power is in the burgher class, the various guilds, and among her own advisors. Emmanuelle von Liebwitz, Grand Countess of Wissenland, Countess of Nuln, and Duchess of Meissen, gained her seat around the same time that Karl Franz was crowned Emperor. A childhood friend of the current ruler, she had a claim to the title of Elector Count, but not a good one. By currying the favour of Franz—some suggest she seduced him—she took the title of Elector Countess in 2503 and has ruled Nuln ever since.[2b]

NobilityEdit

Supporting the Countess are dozens of lords and merchant princes. As Nuln is a somewhat independent city, nobles and merchants who come from all over the world to settle in the commercial centre of the Empire advise her. Among those in her court are Tileans, Stirlanders, Wissenlanders, Reiklanders, Marienburgers, Kislevians, and even a few Bretonnians. Each has a finger in Nuln’s economic interests, overseeing the manufacture of cannon, importing commodities from Tilea via the newly rediscovered River of Echoes, to overseeing the ships bringing goods down the Reik from as far away as Marienburg. Each interest has representation on the Countess’ Counsel. This body meets once a week to address matters of the city-state and the outlying villages that supply the city with food and raw materials.[2b]

Aside from the merchants and nobles, the Countess also keeps personal advisors who help administer the city’s government. The most important ministers include the High Steward Hildemar Kalb. He rules Nuln during the Countess’ infrequent absences. The High Chancellor Jekil Rohrig is the supreme justice in the city, and judges cases of the most significance and importance to Wissenland and Nuln. The Exchequer, Reuben Kuhn II sees to the acquisition and distribution of revenue in the city and is thus generally the most hated man in Nuln. In addition, there’s a Chamberlain, a High Constable who sees to the city’s watch and garrisons, and the Marshall who sees to the Elector Countess’ armies. Various other hangers-on, courtiers, and sycophants make up the rest of Emmanuelle von Liebwitz’ entourage. Each member is more ambitious than the last. Backstabbing and treachery are common, and discretely encouraged. A fool’s fortune can be won and lost in a single day, all depending on the moods of this mercurial monarch.[2b]

GuildEdit

Of considerable interest to the Countess are the guilds. These groups are what allow her to throw her lavish parties at the palace. On almost a daily basis, one or more guildmasters gain an audience with the Countess to give her gifts and trinkets to improve their guild’s tax rates and to acquire her influence when it comes to matters brought before the rest of council. All of the guildmasters have seats on the council as well, though their influence over the Countess is considerably stronger than the merchants and courtiers.[2b]

UniversityEdit

Even the Universities have a hand in the politics and governance of Nuln. Being home to some of the most prestigious schools in the Empire, they are big draws. When the sons and daughters of Provincial lords come of age, many come to this city to take advantage of the classical education offered. However, this is less true in recent years. Nuln was once the intellectual centre of the Empire, but more and more Altdorf’s thinkers eclipse those of this 10 A Guide to Nuln southern city. This is not for a lack of funding—the Countess and nobles in the city are ardent supporters of the University, College, and Imperial Gunnery School. It is rather the classical mechanisms of study that are falling out of favour when compared to the progressive systems in the north. Nuln’s student body remains considerable, and although the University itself is in decline, the Imperial Gunnery School is larger than ever.[2b]

Crime FamiliesEdit

Where the Aristocracy and various interest groups control the city in name, the criminal organizations control the city in fact. As a crossroads city, all manner of unsavoury types find themselves here; Nuln inherited something of the Tilean notion of a criminal underworld. Instead of one overarching crime guild, there are over a dozen crime families—some of whom hold seats on the council—who split their activities between legitimate business ventures and shady practices such as smuggling, black market goods, protection rackets, extortion, and worse. In addition, there’s no shortage of gangs on the streets, especially in the Neuestadt, where they serve the various families struggling for control over the city’s poor, one street at a time. Names like Schatzenheimer, Valantina, Sansovino, Huyderman and others still instil fear and respect among the lower citizens in this city.[2c]

InhabitantsEdit

Warhammer Nuln Inhabitants

The cultured people of Nuln

Nulners are intensely proud of their city and some of them boast they live in the “true” capital of the Empire. As a result, they have an intense rivalry with people from the Reikland, especially those hailing from Altdorf—Nulners are quick to remind Reiklanders of their city’s importance at every opportunity. As Nuln evolved from a simple trade centre to an important commercial capital, half the apparent population are not natives. Most residents came here from their native lands to start a business or a new life. These immigrants help to define the city’s character. The people are notorious salesmen, selling everything and anything, and wheeling and dealing is part of what it means to do business here. Haggling is also a big part of living here, and those who lack the skill find they’ll pay upwards of twice what an item would go for elsewhere.[2c]

Outsiders see Nulners as greedy and opportunistic, tight-fisted skinflints every one. As for education, one cannot do much better than Nuln. Well-to-do people come from all over the Old World to study at the prestigious University of Nuln, and so the students are a cosmopolitan mix of Tileans, Estalians, Bretonnians, and even Kislevians. More than the University, Nuln also has arguably the finest schools of military training in the Empire, certainly rivalling those of Altdorf. Because of this, the city has one of the most professional armies in the Empire. A would-be soldier can find a good career in this city. In broad terms, Nulners are practical and honest. The gentry, including those members on the Countess’ Council, have large country estates in addition to their town houses on the hill overlooking the city. These nobles spend half their time or more beyond the city walls.[2c]

On their estates, they manage commoners who rent the land for a portion of their harvest. Though similar in some respects to serfs in Bretonnia, the commoners are free to leave their lands whenever they wish—though few do, for life is good and these people gain the protection of their landowners. The commoners in the city are often fresh from the farms, having left to seek their fortunes in the fabulous city. Few of these rustics ever escape the worst parts of Neuestadt, condemned to tenement living or worse. There is a growing division inside the noble class. A faction of the aristocracy does not depend on the outlying estates to fund their fortunes, instead having made their wealth through shrewd bargaining, trade, and by catering to the whims of the Countess.[2d]

These nobles dismiss the “Farmer Barons” as yokels, unfit for guiding the city in these modern times. The same derision extends to the merchants and even the commoners. City-dwellers, while dependant on the surrounding estates and villages for food, are quick to mock visiting farmers and their uneducated manner. Likewise, the outlying regions resent the people in the city for their soft lives and decadent ways. The city is divided in other ways as well. The older gentry favour the Wissenlandish mien—they are dour, calm, and deeply religious. Contrasting the conservative ways of the old guard, the new aristocracy, many of which are their children, are dandies and fops, influenced by the growing Reiklander presence in the city. These effete nobles are decadent hedonists, and the most ardent supporters of Emmanuelle.[2d]

The same social divisions are emerging amongst the commoners. No longer is the commoner condemned to a life of menial labour. Where a man once may have looked after horses, served food, or delivered messages, he now can mix saltpetre, stoke furnaces, or sort ore and smeltings. As a result, there is a growing worker class that is unlike anything else found in the Empire. Unions of these workers have considerable weight when it comes to decisions about Nuln metallurgical industry. When compared to other Wissenlanders, Nulners seem to be a breed apart. Nulners are more expressive and excitable, gesticulating in conversation, and adopting the customs and mannerisms of outsiders—especially the Tileans. Though the city’s garrison is famous for its black uniforms, the locals are fond of garish clothing and jewellery—it’s said the Countess has over 10,000 complete outfits in her wardrobe. Even their speech is different from the rural people; Nulners shorten vowel sounds and tend to end their sentences with an up-note.[2d]

CultureEdit

If not the heart of the Empire’s culture and character, Nuln is certainly in the running. Home to great artists, including the much beloved Vespasian, a painter who captured on canvas the life and times of Nuln some three centuries ago, it is also home to great theatres, operas, writers, and more. This is a city that values the arts and pays heavily to support them. With its welcoming nature, Nuln attracts the good and bad, the hacks and the artistes. Few, though, recognize the good art and nearly every home features a grand painting or two commissioned by a local. The city’s attitudes towards aesthetics are evident in the fact that statues of great heroes decorate the main roads, and in the attention to detail in the gentle arches and imposing gates.[2d]

From the gargoyles decorating the temple of Sigmar to the Benevolent Countess—a bronze statue some fifteen feet tall standing in the centre of High Gate, Nuln shines with soot-stained beauty. Nobles often sponsor one or more artists, usually a painter, but often a poet or musician. The aristocracy invites their peers to sample the carefully constructed sonnets or the melody played on the Tilean harp by their pet budding performer. Of course, at these gatherings, whilst they politely listen to the performance, the guests are more concerned with passing notes and exchanging gossip rather than some deep-seated reverence for whatever new turn of phrase or clever use of alliteration may be found in a poet’s wandering ode to the colour blue. People prefer the theatre to individual performances.[2d]

Acting troupes from Altdorf spend most of their tour in Nuln, assured of a full house regardless of the play. Nulners have little love for the sombre dramas and tragedies popular in Middenheim, preferring comedies— especially the self-deprecating farces put on by Altdorf troupes. The theatres in the Neuestadt are far less impressive, little more than large open buildings with a raised platform at the end. Alcohol is served at these events and the place gets hot quickly with the press of the people. These shows are lewd and bawdy, featuring tales of cuckoldry and bigotry. On holy days, these playhouses feature morality plays sponsored by the cult of Sigmar. Attendance is always high for these events.[2d]

Known TraditionsEdit

Nuln embraces many of the same traditions as are upheld elsewhere in the Empire. They celebrate Sigmar’s birth, the day of Magnus’ coronation, and many other imperial holidays. Nuln does, though, have its own customs, most of which involve the guns that form the spine of the city’s economy.[2d]

  • Black Powder Week - One of the most popular events in the city is Black Powder week. The Imperial Gunnery School gives away fireworks to common folks, and children and adults come out to set them off in the streets. Although these are mostly noisemakers, those with money to spend can invest in displays that light up the night sky. This is always a big celebration and the villagers outside Nuln come to town for one or more days to take part in the celebration of Nuln’s prosperity.[2d]
  • Feast of Verena - Once a year, to show her gratitude to the Mechanics Guild for their part in making Nuln one of the most important cities in the Empire, the Countess hosts the Feast of Verena, opening her doors to the labourers toiling at the foundries and to those workers who assemble the weaponry. In her Grand Feast hall, she feeds them a sumptuous banquet and bottomless quantities of ale and beer. The revel keeps the Countess popular with the guild and all the mechanics look forward to the event every year.[2d]
  • Guns - With the completion of every gun, the Mechanics Guild and other people who worked on the weapon gather in a solemn event to name it. The weapon is carefully oiled and inscribed with its name, often determined by the Countess—usually after a person who currently stands in her favour. Queerly, Nulners tend to apply almost human characteristics to the guns they produce. Not only are they named, but they have a reputation—a supposed character, similar to those attributed to ships. And every Nulner male worth a whit knows the merits and flaws of guns of all sizes, and often argue about a particular weapon over draught after draught of ale at the local taverns. Some people even go so far as to tally the gun’s performance in war. The various guilds in the city adopt a gun as a mascot and even have their crests emblazoned on them, becoming something of a sponsor.[2d]
  • Iron Silence - It’s said that when a cast gun cools, all should be silent lest the noise cause faults in the metal. Just before the gun is set to cool, special bells ring in the Industrielplatz and silence, for the most part, descends on the city.[2d]
  • Siege Parade - Whenever a Siege train leaves for war, the city has a parade. The train comes across the Great Bridge and into the Reik Platz where it travels either west or east, depending on its destination, along Commercial Way. Everyone turns out for these events, as the Siege train means a boost of income for the city.[2d]

Layout Edit

Warhammer Nuln Map

Map of Nuln

Like any other city in the Old World, Nuln is crowded and dirty. It has debris-choked alleys, winding and seemingly random streets, and dilapidated buildings, all set against the splendour of the wealthy. The plumes of smoke and falling ash from the foundries only exacerbate the wanton filth. Nuln is a riot of architectural styles, from the fortress-like palace on the hill to the ramshackle row houses that fill the Neuestadt. Its very appearance reveals the near constant reconstruction of the city through its long history. But one thing unites, and that’s the soot covering just about everything north of the city. A glaze of ash stains the shingles of the roofs and smokes the windows.[2c]  

The winter months are the worst (Wissenland is famous for its cruel winters) and burning charcoal brought down from the forests shrouds the city in a haze of black smoke, blocking out the sun. The locals are accustomed to the stench of the foundries working day and night, though the Aldig Quarter is spared the worst. In the Neuestadt, the streets are disgusting. People have a callous disregard for what they fling out of their windows, and heaps of waste fill alleys, sometimes spilling out onto the main roads. People rely on the rains to wash the filth into the city’s elaborate sewers. In the meantime, rats fight with dogs over the choice bits buried under the mounds of offal. Things are a little better in the Altstadt. There, Dung Collectors make their rounds, shovelling filth into carts to keep the main thoroughfares clean.[2c]  

But behind the clean and attractive façades, the servants’ entrances around the backs of these buildings are just as foul as anywhere else. Nuln is also loud. The Imperial Gunnery School fires rounds four to six times a day. Preceding each firing, the Gunnery School rings a bell as a warning (usually). In addition to the sudden and often unexpected explosions in the centre of the city, the hawkers and vendors fill the streets, as do their dubious counterparts: the thieves. Nuln is rife with pickpockets and con men, all lying in wait to take the naïve’s purse. In spite of the filth, squalor, and soot, Nuln is one of the most beautiful Human cities. The widespread ruin the city has endured claimed the poorer and older structures first, allowing the city to rebuild better and stronger buildings. Nuln’s leaders have long paid careful attention to architectural aesthetics. Parks are scattered through the city. Graceful arches carved with historical scenes, imposing statues, and the Great Bridge itself all speak of Nuln’s enlightenment and its appreciation for finer things.[2c]

Straddling the great River Reik, Nuln marks the last point at which the mighty river can be crossed. Spanning the waters is the Great Bridge of Nuln, a testament to Nuln’s skill at engineering and artistry. An enormous sprawling city, it is second only to Altdorf in terms of size, and nearly matches the capital with its splendour. How it differs is everything constructed here was built with the defence in mind. Employing the greatest engineers, both Human and Dwarf, Nuln is a fortified community, completely encircled by 20-foot-tall walls on both sides of the river. In times of war, chains are lifted across the waterways to block incoming ships, and wall-mounted bolt throwers and cannons can rain hell on approaching armies. Overseeing all of the cities grand defences is the Duchess’ palace, a fortress-like structure standing atop Nuln Hill. Of course, no city is fully self-sufficient. Nuln, like other large metropolises, depends on the villages and hamlets in the countryside to supply the city with food, timber, and other raw materials. Nuln is rich in these commodities, having farmland along the banks of the river both to the north and south, the Reikwald and Great Forest to the northeast and north respectively, and luxury goods coming from the south and southeast. Nuln offers fair prices (though they are shrewd bargainers), and given its position in the south, it is a natural centre for commerce. Nuln is also the primary industrial centre for the production of cannon and other artillery, and so all cities and provinces depend on keeping this city safe and friendly. So long as people crave gold, Nuln shall remain strong.[2g]

GeographyEdit

Warhammer Nuln Docks

A visitor entering Nuln's harbor-docks

Nuln features three fortified external gates to allow overland traffic to enter the city, and docks and piers along the northern and southern banks of the River Reik for watercraft. Roadwardens and the local militia from the outlying towns heavily patrol the routes into the city from all three directions. Everyone in Nuln wants to keep its roads safe from brigands and worse.[2g]

GatesEdit

Of the three gates, South Gate is the least used by ordinary travellers. Two watchtowers, each defended by bolt throwers and a squad of soldiers, protect this entrance to the city. Used mostly by merchants from Tilea and traders in large raw materials, this is a commercial gate. Foot traffic is encouraged to find another way into the city, as the guards inspect all cargo brought inside and the wait can often be long. West Gate leads into the Neuestadt, one of Nuln’s poorer neighbourhoods. Prepared to handle foot traffic, caravans, and carriages, this gate is always busy as people come and go throughout the day. On a typical day, it takes a couple of hours to pass through this gate. The last gate is Griffon Gate. Nuln is known as the city of the Griffon Emperors, and originally this title applied to Nuln’s most famous son, Magnus the Pious.[2g]

He took the name in homage of the two great Griffons that flank the far gate. Later Emperors continued this heraldic tradition. This is by far the busiest gate, and sometimes it takes all day to pass through the Griffin doors. The guards here are far more vigilant about whom they allow into the city, as the Nuln Road leads directly into the Altestadt, the district of Nuln’s upper class, and home to the Aldig Quarter. In addition to the exterior wall, an interior wall bisects Nuln, standing about 15 feet tall. This wall is the line between the Altstadt and the Neuestadt, a physical separation of the cultured from the rabble. Four gates allow passage to Nuln’s elite neighbourhoods. They are named from north to roughly southeast as follows: Temple Gate, Magnus’ Gate, High Gate, and Altgate. High Gate is the most travelled and spectacular, as just on the other side stands an imposing temple to Verena in full view of those who would pass beneath the arch.[2g]

BridgesEdit

The bridge at Nuln is one of the wonders of the Old World, with a centre section that can be raised for defence or to allow ships to pass. As the last place where the River Reik can be crossed in a single span, this is the northernmost point of crossing in the Empire. The bridge at Nuln is the longest bridge in the Empire. Nuln features four lesser bridges connecting the two islands and Der Halbinsel to the rest of the city. Glory Bridge connects the north city to Aver Island, which connects to the Iron Tower by way of Iron Bridge and to Der Halbinsel by the Reik Bridge. Penance Bridge connects the Iron Tower to the south city. The Leg Tax also applies to any foot traffic crossing bridges.[2h]

StreetsEdit

In a city as large as Nuln, it’s nearly impossible to construct a viable map of all the various streets and roads and lanes that crisscross the city. In fact, the merchants of the city never saw much advantage in actually naming the city’s streets and no one thought to bother providing street signs at the public’s expense. Who among the rabble can read anyway? Over the years, though, the streets have gradually gained names, and some streets have more than one name, sometimes displayed on the decorative woodwork of the buildings on each end of the street. Generally illiterate, Nulners come up with inventive ways to mark their streets. Goose Lane is marked by a large white Goose that stands guard over the house of Hilderbrant the Milliner, whilst the first house on Hobgoblin Hill bears what the artist imagined would be the hideous face of a hobgoblin. None can say whether the name Eyk’s End was intended to honour the sturdy burgher family of that name (several members of which held mayoral posts within living memory) or whether the name was coined due to some perceived resemblance between one of the city’s foremost citizens and the disfigured gargoyle baring its orange buttocks from the large townhouse on the corner.[2h]

RiverEdit

Flowing to the north, fed by the Upper Reik and the River Aver, is the great Reik River. Easily the largest river in the Empire, it is wide and deep enough to accommodate deep-water seafaring ships. Many vessels pass through Marienburg in the north and sail the length of the river to dock in Nuln. At the western edge of the city, the Reik is nearly a league across, but it rapidly narrows as the elevation of surrounding land rises. Although larger ships could pass beyond the Bridge at Nuln, few actually do; only smaller river vessels and pleasure craft move down the Aver or along the Upper Reik.[2h]

Altestadt DistrictEdit

The Altestadt District, or known as the Old City, is a symbol of wealth and power. Comprising the entirety of northeast neighbourhoods of the city, this area is known for its fine shops and restaurants, clean and safe streets, and fantastic homes. Statues line the roads, and columns and arches provide a unique aesthetic, blending sculptural styles from all over the world. Quiet parks with the gentle sounds of splashing water from innumerable fountains complete the atmosphere of prosperity and comfort. Though this is certainly the most influential district, by no means is everyone here equal. The richest citizens occupy the homes and estates closest to the palace, meaning they are literally and figuratively above the rest of the city. One’s status is directly related to the elevation of one’s home. Nuln Hill, the site of the Countess Emmanuelle’s palace and countless estates and townhouses, represents the crème of Nuln’s society. The rest of the Altestadt, although prosperous, pales before the decadence of the elite.[2h]

The Altestadt is home to Nuln’s wealthiest citizens, so even the poorest person living here lives in luxury compared to the people of the Neuestadt. The buildings here are all of stone quarried from the Grey Mountains to the west and hauled with great expense to Nuln Hill. A train of creaking wagons burdened with rock coming up the Emmanuelleplatz is a good sign that someone’s fortunes have changed. In addition to having a fine house, it is also expected that the residents maintain their homes. Work occurs almost unseen and artisans are quick to repair broken windows or structural damage from the weather or war, and they replace shingles with amazing speed. Typical locations found in this district include walled estates, townhouses, restaurants, clubs, theatres, parks, monuments, museums, financiers, temples, and shrines, along with specialty shops that trade in premium goods such as imported foodstuffs, fine jewellery, fashionable clothing, or books.[2h]

Aldig QuarterEdit

The centre of the Aldig Quarter is the palace, which stands atop of Nuln Hill, built on the ruins of the original Elf trading outpost that stood here over two thousand years ago. Emmanuelleplatz, the main thoroughfare, leads down from the grand house of the Elector Countess, and wends its way past the rows of estates and townhouses of the city’s noble elite (and some few powerful burgher merchants). Bordered by the city’s walls, the Tempel Quarter, and the rest of Altestadt, the Aldig Quarter is easily the finest district in the entire city.[2h]

Nuln PalaceEdit

Warhammer Nuln Palace

The gatehouse leading to the Palace of Nuln

Travelling to the palace is always an experience. The Emmanuelleplatz is a wide road that climbs the steep hill, offering a beautiful view of Nuln’s splendour. On either side of the road array the townhouses of the nobility, and each tier offers a better view of the temple spires, the great buildings of the Imperial Gunnery School, the University of Nuln, and the impressive College of Engineering. The palace itself is incredibly large, with tall walls, turrets, and crenulated balconies. More fortress than playground, the only entrance to this great palace is through the gateway, which is a great arch fitted with heavy oaken doors reinforced with bronze. The lucky few who are permitted to enter can easily become lost in the labyrinthine passages and halls. As Nuln has grown, so too has this fortress. Essentially, it expanded by building a larger structure overtop and around the older, so the innermost rooms are the oldest and most clearly of Elven design. Notable locations in the palace include the various art galleries, the Countess’ ballroom where she hosts her all-too-frequent parties and masquerades, and the various offices and quarters of her guests, advisors, and servants.[2j]

Kaufman DistrictEdit

The south side of the hill on which the palace stands drops off suddenly, and then slopes gently the rest of the way. This area houses the merchants. Though all here are wealthy enough, they lack the prestige, status, and Countess’ favour to rise higher on Nuln Hill. In addition to the homes of those on the rise, this district features a number of fine shops and restaurants for those who can afford the price. Everyone who lives in Altestadt frequents these places—sometimes even the Countess herself.[2j]

Banker's RowEdit

One of the more illustrious streets in the Kaufmann District is Banker’s Row. For one, they have a street sign, a placard mounted on a metal pole at the entrance to the street. The road is clean and the buildings are impressive stone structures of the Tilean design. Here are the investment brokers, lenders, and also the city’s mint. A great deal of gold flows through this street, as they finance the sales of the cannon produced in the Industrielplatz to other provinces and cities. Furthermore, nearly all of the aristocracy keeps some considerable portion of their wealth in the vaults. Rest assured, the monies are safe; the Banks employ the best security measures in the Empire, using a combination of muscle, magic, and monster to ensure what is deposited stays that way.[2j]

Temple DistrictEdit

Though not as highly placed on Nuln Hill as the palace or even the homes of the Nobles, the Tempel Quarter remains one of Nuln’s most stunning examples of its attention to detail. The streets here are smooth, paved with white stones, and scrubbed almost daily by the servants of the various temples. Nearly every god has representation here, from the Gardens of Morr to the old Cathedral of Sigmar. Though shrines to the various gods stand in all corners of the city, it is here where the various priests receive instruction and funding. As such, the spires and turrets stretch far above, being a man-made homage to the guiding hands of the benevolent gods who bless Nuln each day.[2k]

Cathedral of SigmarEdit

Believed to be the site where Johan Helstrum preached to the masses of Sigmar’s ascension, this cathedral is a massive castle, glorifying the might of the first emperor. A tower dominates the front of this grand structure, and celestial heroes and saints decorate the façade. Double doors, bound in gromril donated by the Dwarfs, allow access into the inner sanctums of the temple. Two wings branch out from the central worship area. The east wing houses the cells of the acolytes and priests, and the west holds the offices and quarters of the ranking priests.[2l]

Gardens of Morr Edit

The Gardens of Morr serve two purposes. For one, they serve as the city’s cemetery, whilst also representing the interests of the cult of Morr. Though many Nulners can look forward to a pauper’s grave without a headstone, most Nulners can afford the reasonable prices levied by the god of death. The Gardens are well maintained, surrounded by a high spiked wall with a single gated archway. At night, the gate is locked and protected by a nervous watchman. The grounds of the cemetery are filled with old headstones and mausoleums, along with statues of winged saints bearing swords and books, hooded menacing figures bearing scythes, and more. But the most telling features are the gnarled, twisted trees and the black rosebushes that seem to infest the place.[2l]

Local custom is that when a visitor attends a ceremony, he should pick a black rose from a bush growing near the burial site. The most important structure in the Gardens is the temple itself, a squat dark building, a little too similar to the mausoleums in the graveyard. When open to the public, a priest mans the cavernous entrance and requires any visitor to pay a penny and don black robes before going further. The first thing a visitor typically notices is that while dark and gloomy, it is also very clean. The interior of the temple consists of a large central chamber where the bodies are prepared. There, marble slabs hold corpses in various states of preparation, but even the priests who swing censers burning incense have little luck in completely masking the smell of the dead. The rest of the temple holds supplies, quarters, and offices for the clergy.[2l]

Temple of MyrmidiaEdit

This sprawling temple occupies an entire city block. Originally founded by Tilean missionaries, the Myrmidians established themselves here before branching out to other parts of the Empire, where they have enjoyed great success in the south. The cult also sponsors sentries who are posted at shrines in each district of the city. These holy warriors watch the walls, looking for the approach of armies. Should an attack occur, the Myrmidians are ready.[2l]

Temple of VerenaEdit

Although Nuln is home to the Myrmidian cult, its true patron is Verena, the goddess of wisdom and justice. As a centre of learning, the cult of Verena influences nearly every aspect of the Universität, the Imperial Gunnery School, the various colleges, and even what little magic finds support in the city. Verena’s temple stands apart from the rest of Tempel Quarter, situated near High Gate, where the entire building seems to glower at passers-by. The temple compound is large, with four storeys of solid brick. The place also serves as the High Court of Nuln; the Countess leaves judicial matters to the church, though she retains the right to pardon anyone she wishes and the ability to mete justice as she sees fit.[2l]

Neuestadt DistrictEdit

Altestadt controls the majority of Nuln’s wealth, but it is Neuestadt that has the population. Nearly two-thirds of the city lives packed inside one-third of the area. Though they are often lumped together, Neuestadt has distinct quarters, each serving an important role towards the fulfilment of Nuln’s prestige and glory. The Neuestadt’s areas are the Handelbezirk, Universität, Westen, and the Shantytown. Prosperity and squalor run hand in hand here, with the despair worsening the closer one travels towards West Gate and deeper into Shantytown. Living conditions improve closer to the interior wall leading to the gates towards Altestadt. Though bad, nothing compares to what life is like on the other side of the river.[2m]

This is the most populous part of Nuln, so one can find just about anything here. From the hovels and shacks in Shantytown to the row houses of Westen, homes run the gamut. There are even a few townhouses in the Handelbezirk, occupied by brokers and traders of money, but not enough to purchase a plot of land on Nuln Hill. Lesser government buildings such as town hall, an abundance of watch stations, and shrines to Verena and other gods are sprinkled through the Neuestadt. In contrast to these smaller, but still important buildings, are the imposing structures of Nuln’s industry. The new city is home to the great University of Nuln, which stands on the corner of the Reik Platz (the town square, so to speak), as well as the Imperial Gunnery School and the impressive College of Engineering. The granaries and cisterns stand behind a walled compound in the heart of Westen. Inns and pubs line the major routes, catering to visitors and travellers going to and from this grand city. The Neuestadt is called such because it has been toppled and rebuilt more times than people can remember, and yet it always seems to rebound.[2m]

HandelbezirkEdit

Lifeblood of the city, Handelbezirk is the centre of Nuln’s trade. Here merchants keep their offices, and dine in upscale restaurants and cafés, making deals over a fine meal and a handshake. Commerce Street, the artery of the city, is packed with wagons, carts, and foot traffic, a veritable wall of man and beast on the way to the next buyer for their goods. Smaller financiers also operate from this quarter, making arrangements with smaller powers to invest in Nuln’s specialty, guns. And behind the rows of offices and shops lie the homes of Nuln’s burgher class, occupying smaller and less prestigious townhouses and row houses interconnected by a labyrinth of streets and allies.[2m]

Hall of ArchivesEdit

As the record office for Nuln, the Hall of Archives houses the city planners, the laws, tax-codes, censuses, sewer plans, road plans, and more. Fronting the Emmanuelleplatz, this imposing greybrick building is grim and unadorned. Two storeys tall, with offices on the first floor, courts on the ground floor, and storage rooms in the basement, few Nulners have reason to come here except to lodge a complaint about a new road project running through their home, to complain about Halfling meat pie vendors hawking their goods near where the children play, or to bark about taxes and what not. Guards protect the place from unruly and frustrated citizens, but for the most part this duty is more of a punishment than a reward—it’s excessively dull.[2m]

ReikplatzEdit

In the centre of the Neuestadt, though technically still part of the Handelbezirk, stands the Reik Platz—the main square for the city. In the middle of the cobbled square grows the Deutz Elm, an old gnarled tree, with a trunk nearly as large as a small hut. Here, employers post notices for work. Realizing the city is generally illiterate, most employers gather around the tree in the afternoons and hand pick the men they need for the next day. Though a great many notices hang on the tree, most are dead ends: rewards for missing pets (or children), legal statements about a new tax, queries to find old friends, or bigoted statements about the laziness of Reiklanders. Reaching the Reik Platz is easy; it stands on the crossroads of the Emmanuelleplatz (which runs right through the square, down to the docks, and up to the Bridge of Nuln) and Commercial Way, which crosses the city from West Gate through the Altestadt and out the Griffon Gates.[2m]

Universität District Edit

The Universität is a cluster of impressive buildings situated near the city’s centre. Home to such world famous and prestigious institutions as the famed Imperial Gunnery School and the Grand University of Nuln, this part of the city attracts would-be students from all over the Empire and beyond, including such wondrous places as Kislev and Estalia. This neighbourhood also features lesser-known institutions including the Academy of Wizardry. Also found here is the lesser known Halfling University, specializing in the culinary arts, and the smells of experimental cuisine sometimes waft over Shantytown, blending the pungent odours of the docks with the bizarre stench of culinary abominations. Though devoted to learning, this district transforms at night as drinking and howling students create a general nuisance of themselves.[2n]

The Universität is home to a number of smaller schools, all established in the hopes of becoming as great as the other schools. None have. Most of these institutions have a narrow focus, covering the arts or trades. The most notable school of these lesser institutions is the College of Barristers. This unassuming building trains lawyers and is fast developing a name for itself in recent years. The reason for its unusual attention is that it was this school that produced one Rosalia Schultz. As Nuln’s first female barrister, she is a living scandal, dabbling in the affairs of men. Still, despite the attitudes of the Nulners, Schultz managed to help many folks. After winning a few important civil cases, she felt she owed her success to the city and returned to the College to teach. Her return has been met with mixed reactions. On the one hand she’s a skilled professor, but on the other, many families worry that she’s corrupting the youth with her “licentious” behaviour. A few believe she must be in the service to the Ruinous Powers, there being no other explanation for her unexpected success.[2o]

Nuln's College of EngineeringEdit

Few people even realize Nuln has a College of Engineering. The Imperial Gunnery School is much more famous, training the cannon crews that serve in the Empire, and overshadowed by the College in Altdorf. The truth of the matter is that Nuln almost didn’t. The Countess had long supported the idea of building a rival college here, but despite her very best efforts and bottomless well of Karls, she just couldn’t compete with the engineers in the “new” capital. The Countess decided what was in order was to fund the construction of a brand new College of Engineering, one with facilities that would dwarf the one in Altdorf. And dwarf it, it did. The Countess paid handsomely to attract Dwarf engineers and craftsmen from as far away as the most distant holdfasts. Staffing the place with the best people her money could buy, Altdorf finally took notice. The reign of Nuln’s illustrious college was short lived, sadly, for treachery—probably Bretonnian, though some speculate it was the Mutants from the Night Market— caused the grand building to burn down, destroying the new steam tanks and organ guns the College had constructed.[2n]

It’s said part of the building fell into the sewers too, though the Dwarfs still in the employ of the College viciously deny this, claiming if it were true, then it would have to have been a tunnel expansion excavated by Manling hands. In any event, the Countess half-heartedly funded the reconstruction of the College, and soon her latest party distracted her from her cunning plan. Since the rebuilding of this grand structure was never fully completed, it has languished in obscurity ever since. Nuln’s College of Engineering is a building close to being completed. Surrounded by a tall spiked wall, the College is formidable, replete with a barracks, turrets, bolt throwers, and even a cannon. The grounds are maintained, but not manicured as they are over at the Imperial Gunnery School. The central structure is the college itself, a large building designed to double as a castle. A massive archway allows access to the interior, protected by a dozen elite guards. Inside, the building looks a bit worn.[2n]

Enrolment offices are near the front and quarters for the students run along the front of the building on the ground and first floors. The faculty lives in nice rooms on the second floor. An open gallery with catwalks and balconies that rises from the ground floor to the roof is where all the work and classes take place. Here, masters can instruct their apprentices in the finer arts of engineering, devising new and innovative war machines. Currently, the college is committed to developing a new steam tank that requires less fuel to operate, allowing it to be of more use for sustained conflicts on the battlefield. Smaller halls adjoining the large hall serve as smaller classrooms to instruct the novices and to construct new firearms. As mentioned though, enrolment is down, and the college struggles to stay functional in the face of a disinterested Countess.[2n]

Imperial Gunnery SchoolEdit

Far more successful than the ill-conceived College of Engineering, the Imperial Gunnery School is not only Nuln’s most famous attraction, but it’s also the most breathtaking example of Nuln’s innovative architectural skills. A huge sprawling building with towers kissing the clouds, leering gargoyles, and gigantic flying buttresses, the Imperial Gunnery School draws visitors who just wish to see it, to say nothing of the nobles who send their sons to study here. Created for the purpose of training artillery crews and pistoliers, the finest soldiers receive their training in these celebrated halls. The School itself dominates the centre of the Universität, dwarfing the College of Engineering and the lesser institutions crowded in its shadows. A large part of the school’s grounds are given over to shooting ranges, and throughout the days the crack of gunfire echoes throughout the city. Cannon are test-fired from Aver Island or beyond the city walls. In addition to the ranges, the school also has several large lecture halls, dormitories, and smaller classrooms.[2n]

University of NulnEdit

The University of Nuln is an ancient institution, one of the first schools founded in the Empire and certainly dating back to the earliest days of the Empire. Though its prominence has waned somewhat, especially in the face of the progressive centres of learning in Altdorf, the University is respected and regarded as one of the finest in the world. Part of Nuln’s cosmopolitan nature stems from the diverse student body that comes to study here, for wealthy parents send their children from as far away as Araby to study here. The school specializes in mathematics, philosophy, theology, literature, and some sciences, disdaining the fringe sciences of newer programs. A student studying here receives a fine, albeit classical, education, with an attention to becoming a good imperial citizen. The student body is almost exclusively noble, with only a very few sons of the merchant class in attendance—tuition is high indeed.[2o]

The campus of the school rivals that of the Imperial Gunnery School. Situated along Commercial Way, it consists of four large buildings—three hold lecture halls, while the last is for students— surrounding a great statue of the school’s founder, Sebastian Veit, a scholar and pious follower of Sigmar. Each building is named for a cardinal point: North Hall, East Hall, South Hall, and West Hall (the dorms). The school’s architecture is much like the Imperial Gunnery School, being large and intimidating. Visitors can tour the South Hall to look out onto the Reik Platz, though only at certain times, which change with each semester. Decorated with the stone busts that celebrate the great scholars who studied or taught here, as well as religious paintings recounting the deeds of Sigmar, Magnus the Pious, and others of import to the Empire’s history, the interiors are not much more appealing than the exterior.[2o]

Some claim that at night ghosts prowl the halls—ghosts of those who committed suicide because of the pressures imposed by the professors. Perhaps the greatest and most renowned of the University’s scholars is Hieronymous. He recently compiled a great treatise on the history of the Old World for the Emperor Karl Franz himself. In it he offers a broad discussion of the foundation of the Empire, plus travelogues for the major nations including Bretonnia, Kislev, Tilea, and Estalia, whilst also venturing to describe the distant lands of Araby, the Southlands, Cathay, and more. Largely considered the definitive source for historical and geographical information, this volume has been distributed throughout the Provinces of the Empire.[2o]

ShantytownEdit

Where the Universität is the pride of the Neuestadt, the Shantytown is its shame. A collection of shabby houses, filthy streets, and profane odours, the Shantytown is the haven of thief and murderer, men and women of low morals (if they had them, they’d own property), and the diseased and malformed. Most decent Nulners avoid this part of town, seeing the people there as nothing more than rabble. And though it was the Shantytowners who came to the city’s defence when the Skaven boiled up from beneath the city, Nulners have a short memory when it suits them. Most homes here are tenement buildings and bars, with little in between. There’s no industry to speak of; those who work do so across the river in the Faulestadt. Sewers do run under this part of town, but the sewer lines are farther apart, being manmade additions constructed well after the Dwarfs picked up and moved on, and so rubbish takes longer to find its way to the Reik. The entrances to sewers are not well protected either, and many a vagabond hunkers down in the foul smelling entrances for shelter against the harsh winter winds. Worse, the things living under the city come out in this neighbourhood to work their evil.[2p]

Blind PigEdit

Easily one of the roughest taverns in Nuln, the Blind Pig sits squarely in the centre of the Shantytown, on the corner of Blind Alley. Behind this dive, the alley wends into the heart of the Maze (see page 24). It’s sinister reputation is only enhanced by its appearance. A sagging building, inside is just as gloomy as it is outside. Lanterns hanging from hooks on the ceiling shed a meagre light, illuminating the booths lining the walls and the scattering of tables. The Blind Pig is a place to lose yourself. The watch doesn’t come here, and each person’s business is his own. Therefore suspicious looking people come here to be among their own kind. Thieves, bravos, and thugs all frequent the bar, but so do students from the University, and no few foreigners come here, too. On any given night, one can find Estalian dancing girls, Kislevian mercenaries, decadent nobles, and even a few Arabyans, all rubbing shoulders as they toss back the bitter ale. Big Heinz, an old soldier, owns the place. He doesn’t mind the roughness of his clientele—he just hires bigger bouncers. Even still, when push comes to shove, Big Heinz can hold his own—he did his time in the military and he still has the grit to win just about any fight. There are a few rooms for rent upstairs, and though nothing spectacular, they’re clean and well-kept. Half of these rooms are for the staff, but Heinz keeps a few extras for paying customers.[2p]

Drunken GuardsmanEdit

A popular tavern for the watch, the Drunken Guardsman stands on Commercial Way near West Gate. Watchmen at the end of their shifts usually come here to take the edge off a night’s patrol. The low-ceilinged common room is not unfriendly, though it’s not welcoming either. Filled with benches, tables, and a few booths, the place is warmed by two large fireplaces on either wall. Geoff Lang, an ex-Watchman himself, runs the place and he employs a couple of off-duty guards to make sure no one gets too rowdy. An old guard dog, Kraemer, sleeps near the fire and serves as the tavern’s mascot.[2p]

Frau Zorin’s Room & BoardEdit

There’s nothing special about this rooming house, rather it’s just like all the rest. It’s dirty, wooden, and a veritable firetrap. What little décor exists is peeling, faded, mildewed, covered in suspicious stains. This is a place in no way fit for anyone to live, yet people do. Frau Zorin’s Room & Board is a three-storey building with 18 rooms for rent. She charges reasonable rates, usually a few pence a day for the nastiest rooms, more for those in better repair. She lives on the ground floor by the only exit from the place, so she can collect rent from tenants without having them sneak out under her nose.[2p]

The Green Bottle InnEdit

This tavern is typical of most in Nuln, being rather small and nondescript. Inside, the common room is smoky with a low ceiling and filled with long tables with bench seating. A few booths offer some privacy, but these are usually full. The tavern also offers a few rooms for rent, by the hour if need be. After recent events , the inn features a large sign on the front door that states in bold red letters, “No Dogs Allowed.”[2p]

Reavers ReturnEdit

On a dark and dingy lane in the Shantytown near the river stands a vile little two-storey inn called the Reaver’s Return. Bizarrely, a sign with actual letters proclaims this over its door—this is bizarre as almost no one reads in the Shantytown. A rooming house and watering hole for cutthroats and thieves, the Reavers’ Return has an ugly reputation: people tend to go missing from here, never to be seen or heard from again. The interior is nasty. Mud, droppings, and worse paint the floor, and what few tables it does have are held by dangerous men and women, who’d just as soon cut a person’s throat than share a space. The bar lacks any stools; patrons just lean on it, take their drinks, and are grateful. An impossibly old wrinkled man named Rudolf Grasser runs the place. Though frail and in no way the match for any of the regulars, he has the respect of the locals and they look out for him. The food here is poor quality and the accommodations are worse. Grasser rents small rooms, each with a sodden bed, dresser, and chamber pot, with dirty glass windows offering a good view, if cleaned, of the river. For less discerning guests, he rents a cot in the common room, though such accommodations aren’t fit even for swine.[2q]

Westen DistrictEdit

Westen East of Shantytown lays Westen, a middle class district and home to the more successful commoners and tradesmen. Most of the buildings here are tenement houses, but a few row houses are held by the wealthiest of the Westen Nulners. The streets here are wider and lined with trees. A handful of parks are available for the children. All in all, this is a nice place to live.[2q]

GranariesEdit

Sandwiched between Westen and the Universität are the city’s granaries. Four large silos hold the city’s reserve food supply, and in the case of shortages the government parcels out rations to the poor. To ensure the granaries are safe from looters, the city has a watch station directly across the street. A few city-employed rat catchers prowl the grounds as well.[2q]

Harbor DistrictEdit

Along the north there is but a short run of wharfs as the land rises further along the city. Few goods are unloaded here, and most traffic on this side of the river comes from passenger ships such as the Emperor Wilhelm. Here, the docks are nice and maintained, welcoming travellers to the great city. Carriages are always on hand to transport newcomers to the Altestadt or other parts of the city, moving them swiftly past the run-down Shantytown. On the southern shore, the docks are far less endearing. Stinking of rotting food, fish, and waste, all cargo ships dock here, where workers swiftly unload the goods to load into warehouses lining the waterfront. At night tough guards patrol the warehouse to drive off burglars. A few seedy taverns illuminate the alleys leading into the Faulestadt. The River itself is nearly a league wide at the western edge of the city, though it swiftly narrows as it moves through Nuln. The Reik is also deep, allowing even seafaring vessels to travel it, so cargo ships from Altdorf, Bögenhafen, and even as far away as Marienburg occasionally come to port here. The waters are anything but clean, polluted by the soot from the forges of the Industrielplatz. After hours, dockworkers either withdraw to their homes in the Faulestadt or across the Great Bridge to the Shantytown. Most, though, stop in for a nip at one of the many bars catering to the workers, boatmen, and travellers.[2q]

Laughing BearEdit

This small bar has long served the sailors. Offering decent food, clean lodgings, and a friendly atmosphere, the place does a brisk business and is popular with travellers. Situated on the north shore, it is large enough to accommodate the entire crews of up to five vessels. Though it does a legitimate business, the Laughing Bear is actually a front for the Valantina crime family. An old organization, the Valantinas survived the criminal upheavals a few years back and grew stronger for it, doing a good business in smuggling illegal goods, specifically poisons, into the city from Tilea. Antonio Valantina operates the Laughing Bear, having purchased it from a retired Kislevian merchant years ago. He and his family do a great job making sure their customers are comfortable, well fed, and relaxed. The tavern is divided into a common hall for sailors and workers, and private dining rooms for upper class guests.[2q]

Saucy DwarfEdit

The Saucy Dwarf is a hovel perched out over the southern shore of the Reik. An old house, it was converted to a tavern by Aden, a scarred Dwarf who never tires of telling how he survived being vomited on by a River Troll in infamous Karak Azgal. The Saucy Dwarf is closed throughout the day, opening its doors an hour after sunset, which is when Aden wakes up. The walls are covered in graffiti and old stains, and though there are a few tables, only a few actually have chairs. The Saucy Dwarf does not serve food, only ale—stout Dwarf ale, strong enough to curl hair.[2q]

Faulestadt DistrictEdit

If Shantytown is bad, Faulestadt is downright awful. A new expansion, the Countess decreed that all businesses that created offensive odours were to move across the River and set up shop there. It took about two years, but all the dyers, slaughterhouses, tanners, and any other undertakings the Countess deemed unacceptable for her city, were forcibly relocated here. The result of this migration was a crowd of people poorly funded and ill equipped to start over again, and so the living conditions are deplorable. A permanent brown haze hangs over the Faulestadt, and the winds carry sinister scents of blood, death, and the acrid stink of dyes. The goods are produced here and then sent over the Great Bridge or by boat to sell in the markets of the Neuestadt. There is little here to attract attention and the watch never patrols this area. As a result, many of the crime families have relocated here to run their operations without interference from the law.[2r]

IndustrielplatzEdit

Though the Imperial Gunnery School casts and assembles cannons and more advanced artillery in the Neuestadt, the majority of the materials used originate in the forges found in the Industrielplatz. Most of the structures here are factories and foundries where raw ore is smelted into slag and poured into casts. Workers from all over the city leave before dawn to come here for long hours but decent pay. Well after dark the workers tiredly make their way home to sleep for a few hours before their next shift. Casualty rates are high, but the rewards are such that no one cares.[2r]

Artillery WorkshopsEdit

It’s true that the College of Engineering and the Imperial Gunnery Schools do in fact produce guns, but the fact of the matter is that they do not produce all of the weapons exported from Nuln. Most, in fact, come from the artillery workshops in the Industrielplatz. There are six workshops scattered throughout this district, two of which are owned by the Richthoften Foundry and two more by the Countess herself, while several prominent families share ownership in the last two shops. The workshops all have similar layouts, with half the facility devoted to parts storage and the rest holding casting and assembly areas. Raw materials come from the foundries and other businesses that supply wheels, bolts, lubricants, and other needed supplies to assemble the weapons.[2r]

Richthofen FoundryEdit

The Richthofen Foundry is at the leading edge of Nuln’s metalworking industry. The Richthofen family controls the largest Foundry and supplies over half of the Imperial Gunnery School’s raw materials. The foundry employs 300 workers and demands 14- hour shifts, six days a week. Though at least one man dies each week in the foundry, there’s a waiting list of people looking for work here. Karl Richthofen inherited the family fortune and foundry five years ago. A dedicated entrepreneur, he expanded the business by filling the needs of the Empire during the recent troubles in the north. He strong-armed or had killed his competition, to bring them under his family’s control, gaining contracts throughout the Empire.[2r]

Aver IsleEdit

Aver Isle stands at the mouth of the Aver River and connects to the north city and der Halbinsel by bridges. Used to test-fire new cannons, it is uninhabited except for a small garrison of soldiers and a tavern catering to them off-hours.[2r]

The Dog’s BarkEdit

Serving soldiers on Aver Isle, the Dog’s Bark is a small tavern decorated with cannon memorabilia. Paintings of famous guns decorate the walls, as do the tools of an artilleryman’s trade. The most interesting item held by the innkeeper is the Lutzen, one of the Nuln cannons used by the Empire during the days of Magnus of the Pious against the Chaos Incursion. The old gun bears the scars of battle, though the many hands of soldiers who touch it for good luck have worn them down.[2r]

Iron TowerEdit

Rising from the centre of the River Reik is a black and red tower, pointing like a finger at the heavens, as if to remind Nulners of Sigmar’s wrath. Called the Iron Tower, it symbolizes Nulner justice at its worst. It is a dark place, a place where people go in and never come out.[1r]

Constructed over 50 years ago, the Iron Tower was a show of support for the efforts of the Empire’s Witch Hunters. The tower is 75 feet tall and comes to a sharp point at the top. Balconies allow guards to survey the grounds of the island on which it stands. Despite its name, it is not exclusively made of iron; most of it is stone. The iron elements typically are the gargoyles, the latticework on the windows, and a few sections of wall. All of these components are rusted, and long orange-red streaks run down the exterior as if it were bleeding.[1r]

Inside, the place is gloomy and foul, stinking of death and fear. The ground floor is a processing centre, where a clerk enters the prisoners’ names in the records and assigns them a cell on one of the floors above. The cells are small, windowless, and bleak. Strewn hay serves as bedding and a bucket holds wastes. Though consignment to one of these miserable quarters is terrifying, the real horror begins in the basement, where the interrogators go to work on the detainees. Every means available to extract information is used, from iron maidens and racks, to thumbscrews and hot pokers.[1r]

Those who confess to being cultists (and nearly all do eventually) are led outside to the pyres, a permanent area cordoned off by a rusty iron fence, where they are immediately immolated after a reading of their crimes. Through its years, the Iron Tower has seen more and less use depending on the qualities of the city’s monarch. The Countess is not particularly bloodthirsty, nor vigilant about hunting down cultists and Mutants, and so the grim tower serves more as a warning than an actual place of interment.[1a]

MilitaryEdit

Even though Nuln boasts one of the best militaries in the Empire, its streets are little safer than elsewhere. The soldiers in the service of Nuln muster for war, not for walking the city streets to maintain law and order. Instead, the city depends on the volunteers who serve in the Watch and the desperate who serve as Sewer Jacks. The best soldiers are reserved for protecting the palace and the Imperial Gunnery Schools. Most nobles also hire bodyguards for personal protection, never relying on the unpredictable skills and talents of the city watch.[2f]

Known Factions Edit

  • Nuln Secret Police - A few years ago, a particularly zealous man named Felix von Halstadt ingratiated himself with the Countess. Having the support of the Knights of the White Wolf, Felix began a crusade to rid the city of Mutants and cultists, to hunt down every one and make them confess their sins in the bowels of the Iron Tower. Von Halstadt established a secret police force, consisting mostly of informants and disreputable types, to watch for suspicious behaviour. He kept extensive files on all the prominent citizens, collecting evidence, real or fabricated, to use against them. Felix’s reign of fear was brief. He was murdered and his house set on fire. It’s believed Skaven killed von Halstadt, though there is speculation that a certain pair of vagabonds might have had something to do with it. In any event, Hieronymus Ostwald, then the personal secretary to the Countess, stepped in and took over the Secret Police. His tenure has been somewhat more relaxed in regard to the “Mutant threat,” but he is obsessed with Skaven and pressures the Sewer Jacks to be vigilant in their patrols in Nuln’s sewers. Whether the Secret Police still exist or not, or if there are actual operatives, no one is certain. Ostwald still manages the department, but no one knows how many officers and informants he employs, if he does at all.[2f]
  • The Watch - The keepers of the peace are the city’s watchmen. These men (and a few women) walk the streets enforcing the Countess’ laws with a varying level of vigilance, depending on the neighbourhood they walk. When patrolling the Aldig Quarter, they are keenly aware of any infraction, even minor ones. Should a person look suspicious, the Watch arrests them first and asks questions later. The farther one travels from the palace, the more infrequent the patrols, until one reaches Shantytown in the Neuestadt, where few patrols dare to even enter.[2f]
  • Watch Stations - In each of Nuln’s districts stands a Watch station. These large, two-storey houses are fortified with bars over their windows, and are constructed of heavy stone. The stations serve as barracks for the watchmen on duty, jails for criminals, and as minor courts for lesser crimes. Patrols receive all orders from these sites and regularly report back to the station for new orders.[2f]
  • Sewer Jacks - A specialized group of watchmen, the Sewer Jacks patrol Nuln’s sewers. As Dwarfs first constructed Nuln’s sewage system, the tunnels and channels are larger and safer (structurally) than those of other cities, such as Middenheim. Because they are so serviceable, they attract all sorts of nasty things. Goblins, Mutants, and Skaven all claim parts of the sewers, spreading mischief and mayhem in the city above. Families saddled with a Mutant child will sometimes give the tainted baby to the “Night Market,” a renowned city of Mutants purported to be far below the city. Since the Skaven infestation of several years back, Nuln redoubled its efforts in keeping the Undercity safe and cleansed of undesirables. Still, they have a hard time recruiting quality men and so they are somewhat lax when it comes to their recruits.[2f]

SourcesEdit

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Empire (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 20 - 21
  • 2: Forges of Nuln (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 2a: pg. 5 - 8
    • 2b: pg. 9
    • 2c: pg. 10
    • 2d: pg. 11
    • 2e: pg. 12
    • 2f: pg. 13
    • 2g: pg. 14
    • 2h: pg. 15
    • 2i: pg. 16
    • 2j: pg. 17
    • 2k: pg. 18
    • 2l: pg. 19
    • 2m: pg. 20
    • 2n: pg. 21
    • 2o: pg. 22
    • 2p: pg. 23
    • 2q: pg. 24
    • 2r: pg. 25
    • 2s: pg. 26
    • 2t: pg. 27
    • 2u: pg. 28
    • 2v: pg. 29
  • 3: Gotrek and Felix: Skavenslayer (Novel) by William King
    • 3a: Chapter 1: Skaven's Claw

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