Albrecht Waldfurster is a merchant burgher from the Free Imperial Hansa city of Köln. He has traveled the Hansa trade routes in sturdy Hansa cogs from Novgorod in the land of the Rus to Danzig in the territory of the Teutonic Order to Lübeck, “Queen of the Hanseatic League,” to Bergen, where the Norwegians put up the great stores of herring and salt cod that feed all through the winter. He has also served as a factor at the Hansa station in the Steelyard in London.
His good lady wife, known in their community as Hannah die Näherin, keeps the house and the household going while he is out on his merchant round.
They now have a most excellent house not far from the Kölner Dom (the Cathedral), built new for them in 1475, in the most modern style. It is five stories tall, with his city offices on the street level and a walled yard with stables, a carriage house, and a kitchen garden next to the cook-house in back; his warehouses are part of the Hansa enclave on the piers at the Rhein. He has retired from the traveling merchant life, but still manages his mercantile activities from his townhouse in Köln and oversees his gasthaus, zum Wilden Mann, not far away, near the Neumarkt.