Friday, 12 April 2013

K is for Kemperbad, Freistadt

Kemperbad lies at the confluence the rivers Stir and Reik. Granted Freistadt ("Free State") status in 1066 IC by Emperor Boris "the Incompetent," Kemperbad is known for three things: wealth, corruption, and brandy.

The wealth comes from its status as free state of the Empire. It enjoys a tax free status allowing its Council of Thirteen to directly reap a tax base without tribute to the Grand Duchy of Talbecland or the Emperor. The Council of Thirteen is made of 11 prominent merchant guilds and the representatives of the Cult of Sigmar and Shallya.

Where there is wealth one may expect to find corruption. The corruption does not originate with the Council, but in the streets and docks of the free state. The infamous Tilean Belladonna crime family runs a vast array of unsavory "businesses" and a feared "protection" racket on the river traffic between Nuln and Altdorf.

And where a working class enjoys the riches of the free state, but is pressed into submission by a crime syndicate, a perfection of spirits, beer and wine will fill emotional voids of many. It is not long before such perfection can be made something exportable, taxable, and exploitable. 

The brandy of Kemperbad is sought after throughout the Empire as praised substitute for what passes as "fine wine"--when compared to the wines of Bretonnia of course. Wine makers of Kemperbad began distilling wine as a practical matter to transport and lessen a tax burden (simultaneously enriching the Belladonna's by avoiding tax seals). It was not long before word reached Kemperbad of how prized the distilled wine, aged in barrels of Talbecland wood, was in Altdorf. Today, wine production is up as distilleries run round the clock to satisfy demand and an every increasing "levy" (or "cut") by the Belladonnas.

Kemperbad, sitting a top high cliffs, enjoys a commanding view of Reikland forests to the West. It is also home to a well garrisoned river watch that patrols the river for pirates and other less savory, and certainly less connected, gangs. 

Posted by caffeinated at 12:00 AM in d10