The Warhammer world map is eerily familiar. Its language, politics, locations, and culture are inspired by the Holy Roman Empire. The Empire is the largest of the human territories of the Old World. Kislev borders it on the northeast and the Worlds Edge Mountains. The Black and Grey Mountains and the Bretonnia hold firm in the west.
The Warhammer Empire map consists of ten provinces that form one confederation. Each of them is governed by its own Elector Count. The Elector Counts choose the emperor by majority vote. Usually, the choice of the emperor is from within the counts’ ranks.
The current emperor is Karl Franz. The Counts rule and keep peace within their provinces, while the emperor holds fragile alliances with other human nations, Dwarf territories, and the magical lands of the Elves.
Welcome to Warhammer
In the first days, the peoples of the world worshipped older gods like Taal and Morr. After the establishment of the Empire, its founder Sigmar was elevated to godhood. Most citizens of the Empire have converted to following Sigmar. Some provinces still cling to the old ways causing friction and misunderstandings.
Besides religion, each province has its distinctive military forces. Altogether, the Empire has all kinds of units and specialists to draw upon. Not content to rely on archers and swordsmen, the Empire invested in modern weaponry like rifles and pistols and increased its technology research to produce steam tanks, volley guns, and rocket batteries.
Provinces of the Empire
Each of the provinces is very proud of its traditions and ancestors. These vary from province to province, resulting in significant differences and variations in dialects, expressions, and customs varying from one area to another.
Thanks to trade with the Dwarfs, Averland is a prosperous province. Its weakness and strength is the Blackfire Pass. This ancient, reliable path is a perennial attack target by goblins and orcs. The Mountainguard of the Blackfire Pass are renowned masters of siegecraft.
Beset by Beastmen and trolls, Hochland’s vast forests are defended by the Jaegerkorp marksmen, rangers, and hunters. Its people are superstitious and worshippers of the gods of the Old Faith. Border skirmishes with neighboring Ostland are nearly an everyday occurrence.
With its forests besieged by Beastmen, this bleak imperial province thrives because of its fierce and stubborn people, the Teutogens. They worship the god of war, wolves, and winter, Ulric. Middenland’s biggest cities are Carroburg, Middenheim, and Delberz. Their special units are the honorable Carroburg Greatswords.
A naval nation of the Empire, it’s ruled by the Elector Count Theoderic Gausser. The main source of economic growth are the tolls that dot its coastal roads. The Nordland Marines serve in the Imperial Navy guarding against elvish raiders out to collect slaves and plunder for riches.
Among the poorest of the provinces, its riches lie in its small, self-reliant population and successful fur trade. Ostland’s Elector Count Valmir von Raukov is in a constant state of war against the Beastmen, Forest Goblins, and other fearsome foes that live in the Forest of Shadows.
This eastern province’s fertile soil is Elector Count Wolfram Hertwig’s saving grace. Bordering the Dwarf lands within the Worlds Edge Mountains, the Ice Queen’s domain of Kislev, and the vampiric region of Sylvania, Ostermark is no tourist destination. Catastrophes befall this province regularly. Because of this, its military forces are disciplined and capable. The Deathshead Regiment and the Knights of the Black Guard are core military units.
Led by the current emperor Karl Franz, this province wields military and economic power. Its military forces guard the river Reik, the lifeblood of the Empire. Patrols have daily encounters with bandits and outlaws hiding in the forests of the Reikwald. The Fortress of Helmgart is full of artillery and a proud home to Invincible, a steam tank war machine.
Rich in land, if nothing else, Stirland watches over Sylvania, which has battle-tested generations of its military forces. It watches over Drakenhoff, the ancestral seat of the Von Carstein vampire, rumored to still house a great evil. Stirland has no special units like other provinces. Its forces prefer tried-and-true weapons like spears and bows over gunpowder. Military generals from Stirland are noted for impulsive valor.
Home to the vast Great Forest, Talabecland’s forces are deadly bowmen and skilled scouts. Situated in the center of the Warhammer empire map, interprovincial trade flows along the rivers of Stir and Talabec and the extensive road network dotted with prosperous coaching inns. Its people worship Ulric and Taal.
Bordered by the Grey Mountains and the Black Mountains, Wissenland relies on its underfunded military to keep it safe from Goblins, bad weather, and occasional invasion. The military prefers horse-mounted archers and wily woodsmen for hit-and-run ambush tactics. People of Wissenland are tough, self-reliant, and independent.
The Empire does not exist in a vacuum. Its city-states defend key areas from enemies and allies:
Perched high on a rock cliff, the city is staunchly defended by the Knights of the White Wolf, which have its headquarters within the city walls. The Knights Panther, rivals to the Knights of the White Wolf, have a small garrison. Influenced by the high priest, Ulric, gun powder is eschewed in favor of hand-to-hand combat.
An independent Human nation sandwiched between the Empire and the barbarians of the Chaos Wastes. Its leader, the Tzarina Katarin Bokha, is known to be one of the world’s most powerful ice witches.
A former minor province, Sylvania was home to necromancers and previously ruled by the vampiric Von Carstein counts. Ravaged by strife during wars with the Empire, Sylvania is a haven for the nefarious and truly desperate. The small, severely superstitious population eke out a meager living from its poor soil.
The fortified capital of Talabecland lies within a crater in the heart of the Great Forest. A tunnel with guard posts on each end is the only entrance. Talabheim is also the headquarters of the Knights Panther. This city is known for its extreme laws like public executions.
- Worlds Edge Mountains
The high peaks of this mountain range have long-served as natural protection from invasions of the lands of men. It is home to the Dwarfs and Greenskins.
Games Workshop created the Warhammer Fantasy for its table-top games in 1983. The fictional Warhammer world harkens back to medieval times. Its dark universe has similarities with the real world while incorporating magic and rich, turbulent history. The Warhammer world reflects the struggle between the forces of chaos and the worlds of men and their allies.
The publisher recently announced Warhammer Old World. This is a return to fantasy settings for its main table-top game, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and the roleplaying game Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Given the popularity of fantasy video games Warhammer 2 and Vermintide 2, this is a wise move.
Games Workshop has performed the rare feat of successfully carrying over its paper-based games to the digital gaming space. Warhammer has successfully transferred to video, computer, and online games. The video editions have proven popular with Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer 2. The most recent first-person shooter releases have been Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide and Warhammer: Vermintide 2.