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Talabecland

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"Before all the other Gods, there are Taal and Rhya, the Father and the Mother. Without their blessing and union, there would be no world for us to live in."
—Carlott Edelbrecht, Priestess of the Cult of Taal and Rhya[2a]
Talabecland Banner

Banner of Talabecland

The Grand Duchy of Talabecland is a major and founding Imperial Province that lies at the very central territories of the Empire of Man. Talabecland is perhaps one of the largest of the Imperial Provices, whose dominant features include their dominion over the River Stir and the River Talabec, as well as claiming territory of nearly all the Great Forest. Much of the province's trade flows along these rivers, as well as trade that flows through to the north and south along the Great Forest Road.[1a]

When times are relatively tranquil, the province is a thriving center of commerce and the many coaching inns that line the roads of Talabecland are typically filled to capacity with merchants and tradesmen of all kinds. In Talabecland lies the major fortress-city of Heldenhame Keep, which is situated on several key trade routes. The capital of Talabecland is Talabheim, a large city-state built inside a titanic meteorite crater miles upon miles wide.[1a] The very province itself is named after Taal, the God of the Wilderness and is considered the province patron God after Sigmar himself.[2a]

GeographyEdit

"I’ve drunk fine wines with Emperors and tasted the most potent beer of the King of Karaz-a-Karak, but I have never encountered anything as strong as the home-brew thunder-water of the Talabeclanders. My head still hurts!"
—A Bretonnian traveller[1a]
Talabecland

The fertile woodlands of Talabecland

Talabecland Map

A Map of Talabecland

Stretching more than 700 miles from east to west, Talabecland occupies the centre of the Empire, bordering on more Grand Provinces than any other. Consequently, it has become a major transit route for trade within the Empire, with traffic flowing up and down the River Stir and the River Talabec, and north-south trade making extensive use of the Old Forest Road from the town of Hermsdorf to the capital-city of Talabheim. The dominant feature of Talabecland is the Great Forest, which stretches from end to end along the province’s long axis.[1a]

Though less dangerous than the Forest of Shadows or the Drakwald Forest, the Great Forest is nonetheless home to its share of dangers and mysteries. Although there are isolated villages scattered throughout the forest, and despite the Talabeclanders’ skill as woodsmen, the interior of the Great Forest remains a fearful and mysterious place to many. Deep within it lurk tribes of Beastmen and Greenskins left over from many previous invasions, as well as maleficent things that have lived there since the dawn of time. The west in particular, in the region around the Barren Hills, is known for harbouring a large number of Mutants.[1a]

Many Talabeclanders make their living from the woods in one way or another, either as foresters, charcoal burners, or trappers. The woodlands themselves are of the same primordial forest that once covered all of the Empire. Formed of oak, birch, and beech in the south, moving towards darker evergreen pines in the north, the woods are pierced now and again with the occasional clearing of fertile farmlands or rock outcropping. It is in such places that the villages of the woodsfolk can be found. A central spine of hills runs east to west in Talabecland, and cartographers divide them into three distinct regions. Near the province of Ostermark are the Kölsa Hills, which are largely uninhabited but known for harbouring eldritch stone monuments atop many hills, apparently arranged like paths from hilltop to hilltop. Occasionally, farmers that are clearing trees for land have discovered earthworks and odd mounds formed in strange, suggestive shapes. Their purpose is a mystery, but the hierarchy of the Cult of Taal and Rhya have claimed this land as a cult preserve for their own research.[1a]

The Färlic Hills in the middle are home to many clans of herdsmen who are also part-time bandits, preying on traffic along the Old Forest Road. The Elector Counts of Talabecland, therefore, maintain a large number of roadwardens along the road, and have even sent troops into the hills to punish the raiders. The road itself is of patchy repair. In some places, stone flagging and gravel form a smooth surface, whilst it others, it is little better than a dirt path. Tollhouses, many abandoned now, are supposed to raise coin for the upkeep of the road and the troops stationed there.[1a]

Many of these have been attacked and destroyed by forest beasts, and there are few who are willing to transverse it. Talabeclanders fear the eastern Barren Hills, a land they consider cursed. More than 100 years ago, to hear country people tell it, the Chaos moon Morrslieb spat upon the world, its spittle landing on what were then called the Green Hills. Soon, most plants and animals within the area died. Those that did not mutated in horrible ways, had to be destroyed by the Elector Count’s forces. Today, the Barren Hills are shunned by all save a few, either treasure hunters following rumours of lost gold or magical items, or those who think they are protected from the curse.[1a]

InhabitantsEdit

"You want to find your way through the woods, boy, hire that Talabeclander there. No one knows the forest ways like them."
—An innkeeper[1a]

Most of the inhabitants of Talabecland are descendants of the Taleuten tribe, whom after years of wandering the Great Forest,found the Great Crater, a huge bowl in the earth surrounded by a natural wall. The wall itself was pierced by a tunnel. According to legend, Krugar, the chiefian of the Taleutens decided this was a sign from Taal himself and ordered the building of a great city within the crater. Known first as Taalahim, later to become Talabheim, it soon became the largest city within the Empire's eastern territories and is considered by many to be near impregnable.[1a]

A thickly forested place, Talabecland has a reputation for barbarism and ignorance amongst the other provinces.The folk of Talabecland ignore this nonsense, holding instead a private pride in their forestcraft and practical skills. At their best, Talabeclanders are patient woodsfolk, with a quiet intensity and honour. Reading, writing, and the scholastic arts are respected, but held in second place to the lore of the wilds. The men of Talabecland favour silence and deed over long speeches, but their womenfolk have a soft side for a honeyed word. As a consequence, rakish types, poets, and Reiklanders are viewed with firm suspicion throughout the province—though in general Talabeclanders are more welcoming than their rural Stirland cousins.[1a]

The role of the father is considered especially important to the folk of the Great Woods. Even town-born men take their sons to the woods during the summer and teach them how follow a trail, light a fire, and catch a meal. This is considered a matter of practicality, just like a Marienburger learning to swim. A lad without a father to patiently teach him the ways of the wood and the bow is considered unlucky.[1a]

Talabeclanders, even their nobility, are unusually self-effacing. Their histories tell tales of great deeds while downplaying the role of persons involved.  At the tournaments held every two years at Küsel, Talabecland knights wear the provincial colours on their shields, the only indication of their families being a small badge on their shoulders. Tradition considers the glory won to belong to the people as a whole. The Talabeclanders are also a religious people, revering all the gods of the Empire, but holding special reverence for Taal and Rhya. Indeed, Taal’s greatest temple is found in the small woods outside Talabheim in the Great Crater.[1a]

Ulric is also popular, for although not braggarts, Talabeclanders are known for their warlike ways. Talabheim itself was the home of the cult for a while in the Second Millennium, when the Ar-Ulric left Middenheim for Talabheim after a dispute with the local Elector Count. At their worst, Talabeclanders can be argumentative, primitive, hard drinking, and mean. And though they do not wear leaves, as others accuse them of doing, Talabeclanders generally eschew elaborate clothes and prefer practical garb that can stand up to rough handling. Talabeclander speech is smooth with slurred-together words, though the cultured elites of Talabheim prefer to speak “proper” Reikspiel. The rest of the Empire puts this curious speech down to the well-known Talabec tradition of brewing “moonshine” liquor in the woods.[1a]

Province StatisticEdit

Warhammer gazetteer of Talabecland
Gazeteer of Talabecland

Gazeteer of the Grand Duchy of Talabecland

  • Official Name: The Grand Duchy of Talabecland
  • Ruler:  Elector-Count Helmut Feuerbach, Grand Duke of Talabecland, Beloved of Taal, Margrave of the East March[1a]
  • Government: Feudal, with tight central control[1a]
  • Capital: Talabheim[1a]
  • Chartered Free Towns: Küsel[1a]
  • Major Exports:  Salt pork and fish, timber, religious icons[1a]

Locations of ImportanceEdit

  • Talabheim - the fortress-capital of the province, Talabheim lies within a massive crater miles wide, with fertile farmlands lying within.[1a]
  • Bek - Chief town of the province ruled by Count Josef von Behring that specializes in the export of dried fish, timber and tollbooths.[1a]
  • Lieske - Site of the largest fortified coaching inn in Talabecland outside the city of Talabheim itself. The inn is also the main headquaters for the province's roadwardens.[1a]
  • Priestlicheim - A Sigmarite monastary that lies within the outskirts of the Barren Hills. The monks that live there have didicated themselves to the eradication of whatever curse lies within the Hills.[1a]


SourceEdit

  • 1:Sigmar's Heir (Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 1a: pg. 77 - 81
  • 2:Tome of Salvation (Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 2a: pg. 62

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