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ALPHAS'AR (Kingdom of)

Location: Centre of the floating continent of Alphatia, between Blackheart and Shiye-Lawr in the west, Foresthome and Bettellyn in the east, and Vertiloch in the south. HW

Area: 111,239 sq. mi. (288,110 sq. km.).

Population: 52,000, including Andaire (pop. 25,000). [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]

Languages: Alphatian (Vertilian dialect).

Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp). Alphas'ar mints the imperial standard only.

Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher. Slaves are counted as the property of the owner and the product of their labour is taxed as income for the owner. Additional taxes include duties on parchments and writing materials. Under discussion also is a property tax, but for now this has been put off to encourage people to move here to settle the kingdom.

Government Type: Monarchy under the direct rule of the empress, member of the Alphatian Empire.

Industries: Logging, military, government sinecures, fur trading.

Important Figures: Eriadna (Queen).

Flora and Fauna: See Alphatia.

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperor boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Gerta Knutsdotter.

Alphas'ar is one of two kingdoms directly ruled by Alphatia's empress acting as the queen. Alphas'ar is by far the younger and less fully settled of the two (the other being Vertiloch), but is never the less the location of Alphatia's imperial capital, Andaire.

Alphas'ar is a long kingdom at the very centre of the Alphatian continent. It consists largely of forests, hills, and wild prairie. One major river waters Alphas'ar, a branch of the Greenlake River, and the capital is located along its banks. Alphas'ar seems to have been a wilderness until less than a decade ago, when it was created as a kingdom, and it became the location of the empire's new capital after the old one (Sundsvall) was destroyed.

This capital, Andaire, the seat of the imperial bureaucracy and the empress's court, is currently Alphas'ar's sole settlement of any significance. But the Alphatians are proud of how quickly they built it up from a collection of wooden structures to a city of stone, and it is an impressive feat. Many artisans, architects, and engineer-wizards from throughout Alphatia are said to have worked on this project. [Indeed, one of the artisans who I had redecorate part of my family estate after the death of my brother Cratham, the highly regarded Hallothia, is one such. I myself recommended that those involved in designing the new city hire her. I can be gladdened to tell you that she brought the same fine touch to work done there, and through the efforts of Hallothia and others, they have made the imperial palace a work of art in itself (well it should be, having been designed by architects and artisans from Haven), and monument to Alphatian power. Surely, no other land could have accomplished the same feat so hastily, and if we sound prideful at times then simply look upon the awesome majesty of the imperial palace, and you will know that we do not brag, but simply speak the honest truth. As Sundsvall was the City Built by Magic, so too shall Andaire be as well. Zweibelterm.] [As one who has had the good fortune to assist in some of these attempts, I must concur with Zweibelterm on this matter, though he clearly forgets about the many skilled artisans of Vertiloch and other Alphatian nations. I just fear that our good empress is forgetting a bit too much about Vertiloch, where reconstruction is also greatly required these days... Aritmanes.]

The rest of the kingdom is a sparsely-settled wilderness, formerly the hunting preserve of the empire. It is attracting new inhabitants at a fast rate, though, people who want to curry favour with the imperial court, hangers-on, and those who seek the life of a scribe or court functionary. Courtiers abound, willing to flatter the empress or a member of her family in the hope of some favour or boon. Andaire also continues to attract skilled artisans and accomplished mages, and the kingdom is the headquarters of the Grand Imperial Army and skynavy. This has resulted in impressive growth, though it has sapped much of the potential recovery out of Vertiloch as these people, once at the heart of that kingdom's economy, shift their abodes north to Alphas'ar.

Don't Miss (by Zweibelterm)

Why, the imperial capital of Andaire, of course, should be your first stopover in this kingdom. While it isn't what Aasla or even Sundsvall was, without the soaring, majestic towers or the massive monuments of two thousand years of continuous habitation, so much has already been done in such a short span, it puts older, squalid barbarian cities such as Mirros to shame. The imperial palace, in particular, sits like a gorgeous pearl set in the centre of the exquisite brooch that is Andaire.

Andaire is located along the Greenlake River, though far upstream from Sundsvall, in Alphas'ar. Picture an isthmus between two lakes; the Greenlake River runs through them, cutting across the eastern/northeastern part of the isthmus, over which some bridges cross. The palace is located on a square in the middle axis of the isthmus, but set off to one side near the river. Eight streets run out from the palace square, as in Sundsvall; to the northeast are some government buildings on the blocks adjacent to the palace square and a park, then the rivers. To the southeast is an aerodrome; on the other sides are businesses and homes for those who work for the imperial government. Along the southwestern shore of the lake are some piers, here river barge traffic can dock, bringing supplies to the city. The northern lake is used for yacht races, and along its shores homes for the wealthy are being built. The rest of the isthmus, as one gets further away from the palace square, is being built up into dwellings owned by landowners who rent them out to commoners, and barracks for the imperial guard in a fortified encampment, shops selling goods of all kinds, taverns, and a hard-ball court.

Also, the untamed beauty of the surrounding forests, the tranquillity of repose it might give you, is an experience not to pass up. Do be aware, though, that these forests were set aside until very recently as a wilderness preserve, and many dangerous creatures may still lurk within their depths.