The wealthiest and most cosmopolitan of all the Empire's Great Provinces, the Grand Principality of the Reikland is also home to the sprawling city of Altdorf, capital of the Empire. From here, Emperor Karl Franz administers his duties as both the leader of the Empire and the Elector Count of Reikland.
The Reikland is the westernmost of the Great Provinces, and its fertile farmland, vineyards and dairy fields are among the most bountiful in all the Empire. The Grey Mountains that dominate the southwestern reaches of the province are rich in ores, marble and gems and the Reikwald Forest provides an ample supply of timber to support the boat-building industry upon which the people of the province depend, for travel by river is the most common mode of transport.
The river Reik is of great importance to the province, and most of the settlements found in the Reikland are built along its banks. The Reik joins Altdorf to the burgeoning seaport of Marienburg and the Great Western Ocean beyond, and is a major artery for the trade that generates a large portion of the city's wealth. Much of this wealth has been returned to the province in the form of canals, road-building, improvements in farming techniques and the development of mercantile "free towns".
Compared to their fellow countrymen in the north, the people of Reikland live a blessed existence. Lately however, a shadow has fallen over the province and the threat of invasion that once seemed so distant has now reached their borders. The warhost of the north has come, and it seems increasingly clear that no force in the Empire can stop it.
Following his conquests in Nordland, Ostland and Talabecland, Tchar'zanek is now poised to strike at the very heart of the Empire. While his ravening hordes of Norscan marauders cut a swath of destruction across the land, the shadowy agents of the Great Manipulator seek to undermine the Empire's defenses and ensure a bloodless victory for their dark master.
With fiery speeches decrying the treatment of the lower classes, an anarchist by the name of Edgar Smythe has stirred the peasants of Reikland to revolt. Now, the loyal Lord Heinrich, one of the Emperor's most staunch supporters, finds his fields aflame and his estate under attack. The rebellion threatens to spread to the nearby Emperor's Arms coaching inn, which is situated at a crossroads vital to the defense of the Reikland. Without roads along which to transport supplies and reinforcements, the soldiers of the Empire will be hard pressed to prepare their defenses in time to meet the coming threat.
Elsewhere, a power-hungry nobleman by the name of Lord Grauenburg has begun to act suspiciously. Though his lands lie directly between Altdorf and the encroaching Chaos warhost, Grauenburg has ordered his militiamen to prepare for an attack from the Empire's capital city. The mystery deepens when the nobleman suddenly evicts the priests from the local Temple of Sigmar. Soon afterward, strange and terrible creatures are seen roaming the countryside, attacking the peasants and slaughtering the livestock.
Hearing of the strange goings-on at Grauenburg's manor, the wizards of the Reik River Observatory, one of many such facilities maintained by the Celestial College, decide to seek truth among the stars. Their divinations warn of a terrible treachery taking root, and they send word back to Altdorf.
In response to these myriad threats, and to coordinate the Reikland's defenses in the face of the approaching enemy army, the Emperor dispatches several regiments of his elite Order of the Griffon. The soldiers of the Order will have their hands full as they confront enemies both within and without. They must act quickly to root out the corruption that has taken hold in Reikland, for the warhost of the north draws closer with each day.
As his plans to sabotage the defenses of the Reikland unfold, Tchar'zanek knows he must calculate the final stages of his invasion carefully. Even now, with victory so close at hand, one false step could cause his scheme to unravel.
Standing between his warhost and the capital city of Altdorf is the Reiksguard, a fighting force as formidable as any in the Empire. The dual threat of the Reiksguard and the Order of the Griffon represents the most dangerous obstacle the evil Warlord has yet encountered. Behind the walls of the mighty Reiksguard Castle, the men of the Empire will prove difficult to defeat by force of arms alone. The dread Champion has dispatched his agents to sow the seeds of fear and despair among the men of the Reikland, but the Emperor has countered with his best Witch Hunters, who work tirelessly to root out the servants of the Ruinous Powers, burning them at the stake.
And so, the great game goes on, with each side patiently plotting its next move and bringing its strongest pieces to bear on the enemy. As Tchar'zanek and the Emperor match wits, the warriors of Chaos and the Empire prepare for a climactic battle the like of which has not been seen for many a year.
For the men of the Empire, the stakes can go no higher. Failure means the unthinkable - the fall of Altdorf and the subjugation of the Empire. What they cannot know, however, is that if Tchar'zanek's terrible master plan is realized, a fate far worse than death awaits them all.