Marienburg and the Wasteland

“The Business of Marienburg, is business.”

—Director Jaan Van de Kuypens

Location

Marienburg is situated at the mouth of the River Reik, adjacent to the Cursed Marshes. It is, in fact, a city of islands in the midst of the Reik Delta. Its proximity to the Great North Road gives its merchants access to that region of the Empire as well.

History

Marienburg was founded in -10 IC by Marius ‘the Fen Wolf,’ king of the Jutones. After being pushed out of his tribe’s lands to the east by the Teutognens ten years before, Marius led his people into the marshes. There, he fought a ten year long campaign to rid the Reik marshes of Fimir. Eventually, he discovered some ancient Elven ruins, and began construction of a fortress on Rijker’s Isle.

In 501 IC, the Empire absorbed the Westerlands and the city of Marienburg. The reigning Emperor, Sigismund II, claimed the lands in order to secure the mouth of the River Reik for Imperial trade.

In 2429 IC, the Burgomeisters of Marienburg purchased the city’s independence from the Empire by bribing the corrupt Emperor Dieter IV with an astonishing amount of gold.

The Guilds

More than a hundred guilds have been established in Marienburg. The most important are the Stevedores’ and Teamsters’ Guild, the Rivermen’s Association, and the Pilots’ and Seamen’s Guild. Others include the Masons and Tilers, the Glassmakers’ Guild, the Unfortunate Brotherhood (beggars), the Litigants’ League (lawyers and judicial champions), and the Entertainers’ Guild.

Important Locations

  • Rijker’s Isle
  • Elftown: Known formally as the Continental Exarchate of the High Kingdom of Ulthuan, this district is an enclave of High Elven civilisation in the Old World – the only existing one, in fact. The ‘Sea Elves’ trade with the Old World through this portal, bringing goods from Cathay, Ind, Araby, and Lustria. The Lustrian trade they claim is an exclusive right, though many Marienburgers dispute it. The enclave is self-governing, independent of Marienburg, though of course, closely tied to the rest of the city.
  • Suiddock
  • Guilderveld: One of the ‘newer’ wards of the city, this is a wealthy district with many businesses and large homes. Not as classy as Goudberg, it is busier and livelier.
  • Tempelwijk: the intellectual and spiritual center of Marienburg, this district has several large temples (including the Cathedral of Manaan and Temple of Haendryk) and Baron Henryk’s College of Navigation and Sea Magicks.
  • Goudberg: One of the wealthiest districts of Marienburg, with a sedate, genteel veneer.

Important Personages

  • The Directorate: The real governing body of Marienburg, consisting of the high priests of Manaan, Haendryk, Verena and Shallya, the Rector of Baron Henryk’s College, and the heads of the ten wealthiest merchant houses in Marienburg (known, unimaginatively, as the Ten).
  • Jaan van de Kuypers: Patriarch of House van de Kuypers, and reputedly the wealthiest man in the world. He leads the Directorate, and by extension, the city.
  • Leo van Haagen: Patriarch of House van Haagen, the second-wealthiest merchant house in Marienburg.
  • Adalbert ‘Casanova’ Henschmann: rumored to be President of the “League of Gentleman Entrepeneurs,” and the boss of the largest and most vicious criminal syndicate in Marienburg.
  • Tarmonagh din-Ciobahn: High Elf, Lord of Clan Ulliogtha, and the Phoenix King’s viceroy (his official title is Exarch) in the Old World. His haughty demeanour has bred some ill-will between the High Elves and the Directorate.

Marienburg and the Wasteland

WFRP - Karak Azgal HPLovecraft