Overview of Averheim's Political Situation
The Electorship of the Grand County of Averland remains in dispute following the death of the previous Elector, Marius Leitdorf, who was killed whilst campaigning in Black Fire Pass in 2520. Most Averheimers still regard the Leitdorfs as the most important noble family in Averland, and expect them to decide on the next Elector. Unfortunately, the Leitdorfs are a deeply eccentric and fractious dynasty, even by the generally dubious standards of Imperial nobility. Marius himself was famed for his frenzied black rages, and was widely known as the ‘Mad Count of Averland.’ The Leitdorfs have made little progress in reaching a consensus as to which of them would make a good claimant. Political pundits suggest that Baron Kastor Leitdorf is the man to watch, though most people are hedging their bets.
Part of the reason for such caution is down to the fact that the von Alptraum family, who ruled Averland prior to the rise of Marius, are still very much a force to be reckoned with. The von Alptraums own large estates in the country surrounding Averheim, and have heavily invested in the city’s cattle trade. The current head of the family is Marlene von Alptraum. Her habit of accompanying her cattle drovers, and even assisting them in repelling greenskin raiders on one occasion, has won her great regard amongst the common folk, and she is proud to have earned the affectionate nickname of ‘Iron Countess.’
For the time being the situation seems to be one of interminable political deadlock. The Leitdorfs remain the most powerful faction, but are divided as to which of their number would be best to put forward as a new ruler. The von Alptraums are not powerful enough to mount an effective coup, either politically or militarily, but Marlene’s growing popularity marks her as a contender to watch. In the meantime other nobles throughout Averland scheme to take advantage of the situation and play the various actors off against one another. Averheim has also become a hotbed of political radicals who want to see new forms of government arise from the ashes of the old regime.