Close to the bank of the Reik, in the Universität Bezirk, lies one of the most curious buildings in Altdorf. But it is not the shape or architecture that makes this building of interest, it is the inhabitants. I’m speaking of course of Otto Stierne, the renowned astronomer, and Heirodüle Krangelschaft, the scandalous inventor. In a tall tower overlooking the Reik, Stierne houses his celestial observatory, filled with advanced Dwarfen telescopes, intricate models of the heavenly bodies and copious maps of the starry sky above us. Here he makes his observations, trying to chart the glittering night sky and link it to our history and future. Stierne is often consulted by the Emperor and his Electors before any large decisions, and this has earned him quite a following in the capital.
Many nobles and merchants seek out his advice, although it has never been proven that his predictions are more or less accurate than any other oracle’s musings. Commanding less authority, but surpassing Stierne in notoriety, is his good friend Heirodüle Krangelschaft, the inventor. He is most known for his theories about aerial flight by the harnessing the power of alchemy and mechanics, which has resulted in several spectacular public experiments.
Curiously quite a few of his failed inventions are acquired by unknown parties, for unknown purposes. His workshop resides in the lower parts of the tower, and are filled with tools, metal, wood planks, chemicals, glass tubes, drawings and books. Every now and then a fire will clear out the workshop, but so far the tower has stood the strain of having a mad inventor residing in it.
Konistag, Vorgeheim 10, 2523 IC
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Die Volksoper Altdorf, or Altdorf People’s Opera, is a major opera house on Münzestrasse in the Werksviertel Bezirk. Some of my colleagues have expressed astonishment over the fact that there is so much interest in the opera, that such an alternative to the Imperial Opera House can exist and even thrive in the capital. But the truth is that one of the most popular pastimes of the Altdorf middle class is attending the Volksoper. Having spent time at the establishment itself, I am less surprised than my scholarly friends; the Volksoper offers fiery passion, blood-spurting violence, hilarious comedy and all this scored by some of the finest composers from history. The focus of the Volksoper is light entertainment, and its repertoire consists of opera, operetta and muscials.
Of course, this is seen as vulgar entertainment by the upper class and the pretentious cultural élite, but this bothers the clientele little, as the seats are sold out almost every night. Each season the Volksoper gives around three hundred performances of twenty productions, closing only during the hottest months of the year, as other open-air entertainments are more popular during those times. The Volksoper has 900 seats, and room for about as many standees.
The most famous plays that have been staged at the venue, and which are habitually restaged every couple of years are such masterpieces as;
“The Angry, the Happy, and the Watchman”, a tale of three mercenaries seeking the same gold treasure in the ruins of Mordheim.
“The Merry-Go-Round”, a farce set in Altdorf guild circles, with plenty of mistaken identities and pratfalls.
“The Bat”, a dark and violent tale of revenge and the mental decay of a noble turned vigilante.
Marktag, Vorgeheim 7, 2523 IC
The grand capital of the Empire is a bustling metropolis, a teeming hive of scum and villainy, a confluence of holy influences, the push and shove of the crowds filling the streets, cries of help and sounds of brawling from the docks, seagulls eager for scraps of food, dogs, beggars, vendors, town criers … during the day the cacophony of sound is an assault on the senses for any right-thinking individual. Even in my lofty abode high up over the barely controlled chaos that is life in Altdorf it is impossible to entirely escape the commotion.
When I feel the need to rest my head I have the recourse of seeking out our libraries, but after my harrowing experience there last year I am loath to go down there. Instead I do as many pious Imperial citizens, I seek out sanctuary in any of the larger temples that are situated in the capital. There is of course one large site dedicated to each of the major deities, as befits proper faith and respect for the gods, but I tend to pay my homage to the lords of our souls at the largest of them all, The Great Temple and Citadel of Sigmar.
This immense structure, reverently referred to as “The Hammer” among the populace, is a haven for those in need of quiet contemplation, and it welcomes all. Well, almost all. The smelly beggars and insane rambling agitators are firmly redirected to any temple of Ranald they might find, and to be frank what business would the poor people have in fancier parts of Altdorf? The interiors are magnificent and lends an air of power and authority to the chambers and halls.
There is a multitude of high columns, pointed arches, ribbed vaults and tall stained-glass windows, all to impress a visitor and make him reflect on the deeds of the great Sigmar. Serene choir music is often heard wafting through the temple grounds, providing a soothing counter-point to the babble of the Altdorf streets.
Backertag, Pflugzeit 25, 2523 IC
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