The City States

Wien (DVI)

It is frequently argued between scholars whether Wien should be classed amongst the city states due to its cultural similarities or with the forge towns due to its geographical position and place within imperial society. I’ve decided to place it amongst the city states.

While the Hive may be the greatest city in the world, Wien, centre of the empire comes a close second. Birthplace of both the Hapsburg and Babenbery dynasties, domicile of the regent and home of the Shamic throne, Wien is famed for its culture, its military presence and the enormous political and bureaucratic infrastructure that is present there.

As with the Hive, a truly comprehensive picture of Wien would take a volume many times the size of this pamphlet, but we shall cover a few facts and places to give the reader an impression.

The Rathouse

An amusing name, and one considerably more so when one knows the fact that the RatHouse is the very centre of the bureaucratic shambles of the empire as well as doubling as the town hall for Wien.

Rudolphina University

Founded by Emperor Rudolph, immediately before the rise of the real emperor Corsini, who finally acknowledged that every so often it was feasible that a someone without land or riches might have a bright idea occasionally. Rudolphina is now almost completely imperially funded exchanging qualifications for set terms of services in all their branches. This stated there are two exceptions. Firstly, it is still possible to buy a scholarship and indeed many of the dynasties consider this more honourable and less shameful then their scions being accepted upon talent alone (or to be more blunt and slightly more suicidal in my writings, as the exams are taken annually and the results a matter of public record, no noble family would be willing to risk their scion being derided by all as a failure.)

The second exception is that the Toubibs have a secondary physicians college here, though the legal teachings and archivists are still state run, admittedly with a high number of Maccelum lecturers.

Habsburg Opera House

Another example of the impact the Habsburgs made upon the eastern empire, for it is yet another building in the imperial capital bearing their name. Since its foundations the greatest operas and orchestras have played here and I myself have borne witness to the incredible sounds of the famed singer Greta Van Glogsing (hailing from Hive town).

Velten Express Station

After travelling through Zurich, the next stop for the Velten express is Wien and is the second busiest station after the Hive, for what it loses in trade goods it more then makes up for in imperial troops. Indeed the consortium was approached only five years ago and granted a massive influx of funding to lie a second line which flows to Prague and then onwards to the forge town of Liepzig. The imperial garrison lies just outside of the station therefore and includes a number of specially built armoured engines and cars for rapid deployment of troops.

Florence (DXI)

Florence was the first of the southern city states to be taken by the empire, and the first to be taken in the counter attack by Venice, after Corsinis death. It was then the first to be retaken by the empire and then was the first to fall to Venetian reinforcements and then it was the second to be taken by the empires legions again (see, humans learn! Occasionally, but this time the empire attacked Venice first!)

Due in part to Florences historical history as a battlefield, a historical history that stems all the way back to the first empire it should come as no surprise that Florence is the site of a famed military college, specialising in siege warfare.

Venice (DXVIII)

At the time of Corsinis birth Venice was already implementing expansionist plans of its own and had already claimed its two neighbouring city states of Milan and Modena and made no secret of its further ambitions. Indeed far and wide it was known that Venice was offering lucrative pay for anyone, foreigner or national who chose to join its army, which due to the great poverty at that time was an offer that many accepted. This threat was considered so dire that Florence took the step of making it a crime penalised by death for any that left to do so, for both them and their families – an act that many of the city states followed, and one that even Vienna adapted, albeit slightly less harshly. Venice has recently partnered up with Florence in lobbying for a second southern line to be laid, however they have been partly blocked by Marrechia and it remains to be seen if the bid will be successful or not.

Marrechia (CI)

Directly to the east of Venice lies Marrechia, holy city of the Acainistic faith. Marrechia is technically autonomous from the empire; its temporal ruler being the pope himself, and there is no imperial garrison or official agency within its walls. Indeed even the marketplace is maintained by the church and the guilds are quite bluntly made aware that in the papal city they are not welcome.

Milano (DXVII)

Home of the Dynasty of Sforza, Milano was at its peak before its forced induction by emperor Corsini and was vying for power with Venice over the southern parts of the empire. It was however at an significant disadvantage, for while Venice focused upon the city states as its initial targets Milano had foolishly looked north at the ripe provinces of the Habsburgs. Needless to say although Milano did significantly weaken its northern cousin to the point were Corsini was able to take Wien with ease its armies were mercilessly crushed and Corsini was forced to literally race Venice for claim of this city, a race which Corsini won barely, and the first historical clash between these two armies occurred here.

Modena (DXIX)

Between Venice, Florence, Marrechia, Milano and Perugia lies Modena. Thus Modenas history has much to be compared with Florence’s, in that this city state enjoyed frequent employment as a warzone by the above cities. While others turned to war however, Modena turned to religion frequently requesting that it would be claimed as territory by the papal throne. Sadly this request was granted once and led to two centuries of peace before a pope gave Modena to Milan – a move which lasted all but ten years until Venice moved its forces in to reclaim Modena and the cycle began anew.

After Modena was finally claimed by Empress Jelana, successor to Corsini, Modena rapidly moved away from both religion and military endeavours, instead focusing their energies upon the arts. A true sense of cynicism can be seen in their most enlightened work, some of which has been almost outright banned by the church.

Perugia (DXX)

Ironically Modenas embrace upon the arts was to cause it yet further conflict as to do so was to clash with its southern neighbour Perugia, city of the white Griffin. This conflict still stems here to this day (though in this age of decadence many of the city states pride themselves now on their artistic rather then military endeavours). However unlike the more adventurous in Modena, the Perugian art movement is more heavily religious in tone, often influenced by the neighbouring scholar monasteries of the Ordo Fratrum Minorium.

Thrace (DXXI)

Thrace was the last of the city states to fall thanks in part to a set of highly sophisticated technofacts that guarded the landing points on the island by Archimedes of Syracuse, who was possibly one of the greatest human inventors your species has ever produced. The most famed of these was the claw of Archimedes and the Archimedes heat ray which were rightly feared by the imperial navy for their power. However Archimedes in fact designed a myriad of these inventions and whenever imperial engineers thought they had a solution to one, they then realised this had be countered by another. It took them twenty years to perceive the truth, that they were not dealing with singular inventions reinforcing one another, but one single monstrosity of an invention, almost mathematical perfect in its entirety.

Once this was understood, it became something of a challenge to the scholars of the empire and several expeditions had been mounted upon the claims of a senior academic who was convinced he had cracked the problem.

In the end it was a young Maccelum scholar who finally figured out the flaw in the equation and Thrace was subsequently taken by surprise and with ease.