The Grand County of Averland is a province of the Empire. Its capital is Averheim and the state colours are yellow and black. The region of Averland is defined by the river Aver in the North and the Upper Reik in the south. Averland is one of the richest provinces in the Empire, though it is neither the largest nor the most influential, and its army is famous for its ostentatious uniforms.
Averland's wide, open plains are perfect for growing crops and Averland horses are valued highly by the nobility of the the Empire, but the most important feature of the province is the Black Fire Pass. The pass, a deep, volcanic cleft in the rock, this is the only reliable route across the mountains. The Old Dwarf Road runs through the pass, connecting the Dwarf holds of the World’s Edge Mountains and the lands of the Border Princes to the Empire; trade goods, especially the valuable metal ores from the Dwarfs, flow constantly into Averheim, from where they are transported by river barge to Nuln. It is this trade that grants Averland its wealth, but it comes with a heavy price. The pass is attacked on a regular basis, mostly by Orc and Goblin tribes, and keeping the way safe for trade is a difficult task. Guardianship of the pass falls to the Mountainguard, the elite of Averland’s forces.
The dangers of the pass were made all too clear by a massive Orc invasion that occurred quite recently. The Elector Count Marius Leitdorf was slain by the Orc general, Vorgaz Ironjaw (later dispatched by the Emperor himself), his holding action buying time for Karl Franz to rally the troops and defeat the horde. Thus far, no successor has been named. The pass has been the gateway to the Empire for many other greenskin invasions, most notably those of Grom the Paunch of Misty Mountain (2410 IC) and Gorbad Ironclaw (1707 IC). The pass was also the site of Sigmar’s legendary defeat of the Orc and Goblin tribes, and remains a place of pilgrimage for the faithful and the fanatical.
Averland has very strong links to Tilea, and the influence of that country can be seen both in the province’s heavy use of crossbows and half-pikes, and in more widespread worship of Myrmidia, the goddess of war. Averland makes greater use of mercenaries than any other province, and the state army almost invariably includes a high proportion of Tileans.
The Bergjaeger are a special detachment of the Mountainguard, comprised of trappers, hunters and other rangers. They are excellent archers and master trap-setters who know the pass like no other. Halflings serve both in the state army and in the Mountainguard-- they have been part of the latter ever since Gorbad Ironclaw’s devastation of the Moot, the Halfling homeland.