[SotE] The Ruins of Magdeburg

Since it has been awhile, here’s another excerpt from the chapter about the not-Holy Roman Empire, the Danubian Empire. 

The Ruins of Magdeburg

The living will envy the dead.

Nikita Khrushchev

Lying on the bank of the Elbe River, the ruins of Magdeburg stand as a reminder of the violence inflicted by Duke Iohannes Tserclaes Kressenstein’s army merely a year ago. The horrors of war are still visible in the ruins: corpses hanging from the burned trees of the plazas, piles of corpses rotting inside the ruins of buildings, victims of crucifixion visible all over and finally, the city itself, turned from the Jewel of the Elbe to the Abattoir of Kressenstein.

Only a handful of the inhabitants survived the sack of the city, quite few of them driven insane by the horrors and the violence they witnessed. They stay holed up in the ruins of their old homes most of the time, living out a sad twilight existence. Travellers steer clear of the city and many opt to keep traveler through the night in order to not have to make camp within eyesight of the city.

According to some rare individuals who have ventured into the city since the sack, two things are worth mentioning. Apparently the Weiderganger are out in significant numbers, stalking out their paths along the ruined city streets, but there’s also one thing that is far more dangerous than the living dead.

Apparently, the Reichsprokurator Odilo Stenthaler has decided for some reason to set up court in the old cathedral and his outriders go to and fro, bringing in victims to be put ot death by Stenthaler’s court. Stenthaler has gone insane and sees traitors everywhere, but his extremely dominant and magnetic personality has kept his underlings in the Vehmgericht in line. These days, a significant number of the Vehmgericht’s agents are in fact bandits who wear the robes of Vogts and judges. Eventually, either the Swedish army or the Emperor will have to deal Stenthaler, but so far, he has been left alone to carry out his reign of terror across the Empire.

 

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