Date Posted: 10-03-2021

WFRP: ALTDORF, A CITY IN FLUX Part 2

#WarhammerWednesday

Not only did we release Patrons of the Old World 1 today, we also have another blog post from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay developer Dave Allen regarding Altdorf’s Notorious Docklands. If you missed part 1 on Mutant Monstrosities in the Capital, you can find it here.

A City in Flux – Altdorf’s Notorious Docklands

‘Wot separates the ’Ooks from the Fish? Well, you’ve probably ’eard that the ’Ooks is big into smugglin’, but even more into extortion. The Fish is no slouches when it comes to extortion, but come into their own as smugglers. This is accurate ennuf, but you see your average ’Ook, right, is more likely to ’urt you, whereas the Fish is more likely to kill everyone you know, even your old dear. Whilst the Fish’ll admit to being a lawbreaker as ’e stuffs bricks in your jerkin and tosses you in the Reik; the ’Ook will say that snappin’ each long bone in your body is totally in line with ’is duty as a patriotic Altdorfer.

 – Gunther Schmidt, Bawd of the Reikerbahn

If it’s protection you’re after, a bit of dealing, or you’re looking to lose someone, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t ask questions and make sure no one is on your tail, or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes before you know it. To find out what’s really going on in the Empire, have a trawl through Altdorf’s docks, try a little catch of the day, by all means, but don’t get hooked. 

Noble visitors to Altdorf think the city is little more than an adjunct to the mighty Imperial Palace, whilst Pilgrims see Altdorf embodied in the Grand Cathedral of Sigmar. But most people know that the true heart of Altdorf, and the Empire as a whole, is to be found in its bustling docklands. 

People from all over the Old World and beyond arrive here tending their cargoes and looking to strike lucrative deals. With their freshly earned silver they are drawn to the entertainments of the Street of a Hundred Taverns, where fine ale, cheap theatre, and a myriad of other distractions awaits them.

Crime is endemic here, and the Altdorf Dock Watch are notorious for cracking heads first and asking questions later. It is not an unjust reputation, for the Watch are riven with corruption and a summary approach to justice that would cause a Verenan litigant to weep.

The Dock Watch at work – Scene by Sam Manley

Yet without the Watch visitors would be at the mercy of Altdorf’s two warring gangs: the Fish and the Hooks.

The Fish (so called for their ability to come into the possession of items that ‘fell off a boat’) are thoroughly, proudly criminal. Their leadership, self-styled War Chiefs, style themselves with tattoos and strange garb to pronounce their gang allegiance. They have opened up chapters in the riverside cities of the Empire and Marienburg, a franchise of smuggling and racketeering.

The Hooks (named for the sharp docker’s hooks with which they ply their trade), for their part, insist that they have reformed. Under the consolidated leadership of veteran War Chief Willi Pick, they have moved away from their more overtly criminal operations. They contribute to the emergency vigilante brigade known as the ‘Citizens Vigilance Committee’, and have won a number of prestigious contracts working in the naval dockyards.

Most of the docklands’ dwellers regard this as a farce – the Hooks are barely less criminal than the Fish with whom they vie for territory and extortion work.

Members of the Hooks and the Fish square off – Scene by Yugin Maffioli

You’ll find out more about the Dock Watch, the Hook and Fish Gangs, and what it is really like to visit the Docklands of the Empire’s capital in Altdorf: Crown of the Empire

Altdorf: Crown of the Empire is coming soon, a 224-page entertaining guide to the capital of the greatest nation in the Old World. 

Next week, from the lows to the highs, we’ll share some information about the denizens of the Imperial Palace.

Lady of the Commandery Yabo Chao, Weijin’s Venerated Envoy – Portrait by Yugin Maffioli

Browse all Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay titles here.

Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.© Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2021