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Alphatia (Empire of; a.k.a. Floating Continent of)
Location: Equatorial orbit, Hollow World.
Area: 1,968,134 sq. mi. (5,097,467 sq. km.), comprised of Ambur 11,723 sq. mi. (30,363 sq. km.); Ar 53,375 sq. mi. (138,241 sq. km.); Arogansa 135,183 sq. mi. (350,124 sq. km.); Bettellyn 172,595 sq. mi. (447,021 sq. km.); Blackheart 74,326 sq. mi. (192,504 sq. km.); Eadrin 49,883 sq. mi. (129,197 sq. km.); Foresthome 296,554 sq. mi. (768,075 sq. km.); Frisland 160,124 sq. mi. (414,721 sq. km.); Greenspur 90,787 sq. mi. (235,138 sq. km.); Haven 245,424 sq. mi. (635,648 sq. km.); Jafilia 111,239 sq. mi. (288,109 sq. km.); Limn 9,977 sq. mi. (25,840 sq. km.); Randel 187,560 sq. mi. (486,780 sq. km.); Shiye-Lawr 91,785 sq. mi. (237,723 sq. km.); Stonewall 15,963 sq. mi. (41,344 sq. km.); Stoutfellow 88,542 sq. mi. (229,324 sq. km.); Theranderol 123,710 sq. mi. (320,409 sq. km.); Vertiloch 49,384 sq. mi. (127,905 sq. km.).
Population: 5,096,000 (humans 97%, elves 2%, all others 1%). (Ambur 103,000; Ar 103,000; Arogansa 138,000; Bettellyn 330,000; Blackheart 45,000; Eadrin 90,000; Foresthome 85,000; Frisland 80,000; Greenspur 565,000; Haven 895,00; Jafilia 52,000; Limn 225,000; Randel 130,000; Shiye-Lawr 55,000; Stonewall 1,340,000; Stoutfellow 58,000; Theranderol 182,000; Vertiloch 620,000.)
Languages: Alphatian (official), Elvish (Shiye-Lawr dialect), Dwarvish (Denwarf-Hurgon dialect).
Coinage: Crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax on everyone of servant status or higher.
Government Type: Semiautonomous kingdoms owing loyalty to the imperial throne.
Industries: Agriculture, logging, exploitation of magic.
Important Figures: Eriadna (Empress of the Alphatian Empire, Queen of Vertiloch, Queen of Jafilia, human, female, M20).
Flora and Fauna: With its immense size and use of magical arts, Alphatia boasts a wide variety of plant and animal life. One may find examples of just about any life form known, as well as some previously unknown types.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Dellebram.
As most readers are firmly aware, Alphatia has survived the sinking and found a new place within this Hollow World. With this realisation before the common masses of the surface world, Her Imperial Highness Eriadna the Wise feels that there is the need to properly inform the readers about the particulars of the Floating Continent of Alphatia. Assigned the task rather late, the distance between Alphatia and Karameikos, and this publication's impending deadline time was a limiting factor towards the quantity of this material.
The Floating Continent of Alphatia is nearly identical to the land-bound version previously rested on the surface world: it is as immense now as it was then. With its lofty orbit of Hollow World and its being encapsulated by its own atmosphere, the continent is a world within its own right. Upon its surface rest all of the pre-war kingdoms, each bearing its previous attributes and geographical features. One will notice that certain scars do exist, denoting damage sustained during the sinking. Strangely enough, the common masses know nothing of the sinking or Alphatia's previous existence on the surface, so most afford the damage to memories of some massive earthquake and the resulting fires.
[Contact with the Hollow World has always been difficult to maintain for a private venture such as the Mystaran Almanac. The contacts needed to report on Alphatia are doubly difficult due to its isolated nature. Through the assistance of the Karameikan Court, the Alphatian Imperial Court has graciously contributed information on the continent. As such its contents are dependent upon the security doctrines of the imperial state. Hopefully future segments on this geographical region will be more substantial. Ed.]
Ambur: This kingdom is mostly flat, boasting ample fields and pasturage. The terrain is broken by occasional patches of light forests, which the inhabitants actively harvest for their timber needs. The kingdom prides itself on its promotion of the astrological studies and a passion for the theatre. The kingdom's capital is Starpoint and is ruled by Queen Elshethara (human, female, M16).
Ar: Ar is, and always has been, a farming kingdom. Its open landscape is spotted with farms and towns, most hugging closely to the shores of Crystal Lake. Prior to the sinking the farms had fed the nobles who lived in the lofty palaces and estates of Floating Ar. With the floating islands left behind upon the surface world, Ar can focus its harvests' surpluses towards export. King Qinn (human, male, M11) rules Ar from the new capital of Ceafem. Ceafem was adopted with the loss of Skyreach, which remained with the floating islands.
Arogansa: Resting on the southern coast of the continent, this kingdom is rich in both forests and farmlands. Prior to the sinking, Arogansa had been renowned for its beaches and the tourists they drew. With the continent's lofty nature, the beaches now oversee only empty space; with this primary attraction gone, tourism has plummeted. Of course visitors can still find amusement in the kingdom's other attractions, and there are also the kingdom's noteworthy wineries. Its scenic wilderness will draw one to its natural beauty. Plus, there are ample venues of entertainment available to compliment the beaches. Of course the kingdom still favours the spellcaster, those not of that capability may find the kingdom quite unpleasant. Queen Detteria Scarback (human, female, M19) rules Arogansa from the city of Bluenose.
Bettellyn: This eastern kingdom is rich in farmlands and pastures. The Grey Mountains mark the kingdom's southwestern border. Bettellyn has a strong clerical body, venerating several Immortals. The kingdom is also renowned for its problems with its southern neighbour, Randel. Disagreements and skirmishes have plagued their pasts. Evidence of this is supported by the series of forts that guards its shared border with the Randel. However, since the sinking disagreements have been few and there have not been any reported skirmishes yet. Queen Llynara (human, female, M17), rules Bettellyn from the capital city of Citadel. Citadel is interesting, as it is a single building roughly the size of a mountain.
Blackheart: This kingdom is still a bastion for the mage who desires privacy and a sense of independence in their magical pursuits. Often considered a dark place for the dangerous and even morbid experiments enacted there, it is a place to be avoided. Each mage is the de facto ruler of his or her own estate, creating and enforcing its own laws and traditions. As long as their activities are contained within their own properties, interdiction from higher authorities is kept to a minimum. Ruling this kingdom is King Belgoroth the Lamer (human, male, C14). He rules from the capital city of Shraek.
Eadrin: Nestled on the southeastern coast of the continent, Eadrin is heavily covered with vast forests and boasts ample farmlands. Though it shares a border with Randel, there has been little disagreement between these two kingdoms; there are no defence works along either bank of the Randel River. Similar to its neighbour Arogansa, this kingdom's economy is heavily dependent upon tourism. However, Eadrin's beaches and entertainment venues have always been of secondary quality to those found in Arogansa. With its friendlier attitude towards non-spellcasters and a stronger agricultural base, Eadrin has a definite advantage in this new Alphatia with no surrounding seas. King Idon II (elf, male, F9/M10) rules Eadrin from the capital city of Archport.
Foresthome: Located to the north, Foresthome is a heavily wooded kingdom. Around Llyn Lake, the trees have been cleared to provide tracts of land to be farmed. The lake is also fished to subsidise the farm yields, to add variety to the kingdom's diet, and be used for export. The kingdom boasts a sizeable elven population, roughly 10%, who mainly adhere to the wooded areas. Despite the culture clash, the elven and human communities have lived in peace for centuries. Queen Kikania (human, female, M12) rules the kingdom from the capital city of Greenwood.
Frisland: This northern kingdom lacks the fertile lands of its neighbours. However, its population is sparsely spread throughout its interior and works hard to encourage sustainable crop yields and healthy herds. It is not a wealthy kingdom, nor has its development been actively pursued-in truth, the kingdom is often forgotten as even existing. Ruling this kingdom is King Edjer the Twisted (human, male, M17), overseeing his kingdom from the capital city of Shiell.
Greenspur: This southern kingdom is heavily dependent upon its rich farmlands. Subsidising its economy are the imperial military bases found within its borders. These farmlands and military bases are predominantly encapsulated within the kingdom's lowlands; as such that is where the wealth is. Still, the kingdom's cumulative wealth is sufficient enough to make it one of the continent's most prosperous. King Sildreth II (human, male, C15) rules the kingdom from the capital city of Eagret. Eagret has the honour of hosting Alphatia's largest imperial skyship base, an honour previously held by the kingdom of Haven.
Haven: This southern nation is known for its passion in the fine arts, an attitude that has drawn artists and art patrons to its interior. Examples of their efforts abound: murals, statuary, and paintings are everywhere. Some are individual exhibits; others are interwoven into the general architecture. Even the streets are composed of intricate mosaics. Queen Kryndylya (human, female, C20) rules the kingdom from the new capital of Dovir-the sinking destroyed the former capital of Aasla. Aasla had been the heart and soul of the imperial skyship navy. However its destruction paved the way for Greenspur to assume that role.
Jafilia: This kingdom had once been the Imperial Territories and kept as a wilderness for royal hunting parties. Under Zandor's brief tenure as emperor of the continent, he ordered it settled. In the Hollow World, a revived Empress Eriadna temporarily dubbed the region Zandoria, then changed it to Jafilia. Jafilia has since become the centre of the Alphatian Empire. Ruling Jafilia and the empire is Empress Eriadna (human, female, M20). She rules from the imperial palace in the city of Andaire.
Limn: This region is truly an interesting kingdom: founded as a social experiment, its citizens are non-human creatures. They have their own noble class of spellcasting creatures. Among its population, one can find all manners of races and creature types. Examples of forest folk, demihumans, humanoids, sentient undead, and lycanthropes can be found in a great variety of forms. It is peculiar to see creatures such as these living in a very human manner. Ruling this kingdom are King Drushiye (elf, male, F9/M10) and Queen Mellora (dryad). They rule from the capital city of Trollhattan.
Randel: This southeastern kingdom is graced with vast open plains. To the far north, lay the Grey Mountains. However, Randel's chief industries and exports are its military machine, military training, and its wines. In the past the kingdom could have claimed its forces being among the empire's elite, with many of the imperial navy and guard personnel claiming Randel as their birthplace. However, most of its fighting forces were stranded topside when the continent sank and the kingdom's remaining armies have been mostly absorbed into the imperial legions. Randel is highly tolerant towards able-bodied non-spellcasters, stemming from edicts long established to promote camaraderie within its armed forces. Historically at odds with neighbouring Bettellyn, skirmishes and even their expected disagreements have been noticeably absent. Though the Randel have erected a wall between them relations with its western neighbour, Theranderol, are less hostile. Queen Junna (human, female, C13), rules Randel from the capital city of Rardish. Junna assumed the throne temporarily while her father, King Verothrics, went off to lead the Randel forces against Thyatis and Glantri. With his disappearance she has been officially crowned as the kingdom's monarch. A devout follower of Alphatia, her promotion of artistry and peace has not endeared her to the aggressive Randel.
Shiye-Lawr: This northern kingdom is the bastion for the empire's largest elven clan, the Shiye-Lawr. Considered malicious and cunning, the Shiye Clan holds sovereign rule over their densely wooded kingdom. The elves are known to be at odds with their human and non-human neighbours, going as far as enacting raids. The Shiye are nonetheless loyal to the empire, more so than one might expect from elves living in a human realm. King Acroshiye (elf, male, F10/M11) rules the kingdom from the capital city of Alfleish.
Stonewall: This kingdom boasts a large population and acts as the home base for several of Alphatia's armies. The kingdom is reliant upon the military, which feeds its economy. Perhaps it is this interaction that has bred in a heightened tolerance towards non-spellcasters, similar to that seen in Randel. Non-spellcasters can expect to be treated well, on a near-equal level as spellcasters. Of course only spellcasters can be nobles; that law has not been relaxed. King Koblan Dracodon (human, male, M14) rules the kingdom from the capital city of Draco.
Stoutfellow: With its rugged mountainous terrain, the kingdom is perfectly suited for the dwarves, halflings, and gnomes that call it home. The kingdom is impartial when it comes to non-spellcasters and spellcasters. However, the kingdom is designed to favour the inhabitants: the laws sway in favour of themselves. Buildings and accommodations are dwarf-sized, making even imperial visitors cramped and uncomfortable. Still, the kingdom is loyal to the empire. Queen Buthra Bofadar (dwarf, female, F12) rules the kingdom from the capital city of Denwarf-Hurgon, an exact duplicate of the one still found on Ionace in the outer world.
Theranderol: This pretty southern kingdom boasts rolling hills broken by expanses of lush forests. The Grey Mountains mark the extent of the kingdom's northerly border. The kingdom has strove to keep corruption out of its government. This served it well after the sinking, as the strong government was able to react quickly and effectively to aid in its recovery. Queen Eldrethila (human, female, M20) rules the kingdom from the capital city of Errolyn. For those that are unaware, Eldrethila is one of Empress Eriadna's children.
Vertiloch: Prior to the sinking, this kingdom had been the traditional seat of power for the imperial throne. As such, it had been a rich and lavish kingdom. With the destruction of Sundsvall in AY 2009 [AC 1009. Ed.] and the subsequent sinking, the imperial seat was moved to Jafilia. With much of its populace leaving or killed, Vertiloch has since struggled in its recovery efforts. Vertiloch still falls under the rule of Empress Eriadna (human, female, M20). With Sundsvall in ruins, the city of Ashar has become the kingdom's new capital. Of course the empress has to devote her time to the empire, Jafilia, and Vertiloch and she has not returned to the old capital since the sinking.
For most Alphatians living upon the floating continent, their memories have been altered to remove any traces of their existence upon the surface world. Only Alphatia's more knowledgeable and experienced citizens retain the true memories of Alphatia's past. For the unaware, Alphatia has always been in Hollow World and the sinking has been replaced by false memories of massive earthquakes and fierce firestorms. This has also done much to explain missing friends and family members: either killed during the war, killed during the sinking and not revived, and those stranded on the surface world.
For those Alphatians aware of Alphatia's real history, the empire is full of inconsistencies with its rewritten history. This "Great Lie" has been embraced by the masses, despite the numerous inconsistencies that surround them. Perhaps the powers that altered their memories are just so powerful. Perhaps the masses are too busy in rebuilding to realise these. Perhaps they do recognise them, but subliminally the real truth is too difficult to remember or believe.
Regardless, the general population knows nothing of the Great War: the costly victories, the defeat of Thyatis, the goal of Glantri at hand, and the treacherous sinking caused by the Doomsday Device. To them those events have been replaced by the false memories of massive earthquakes and blistering infernos. Their individual lives and recovering from these catastrophes has occupied the majority of their time. Buildings have had to be rebuilt and deceased nobles have had to be replaced. However, life must go on.
For those like myself that are privy to Alphatia's true history, the time since the sinking has seen us overseeing the recovery process. This not only includes repairing the physical damage; it also includes familiarising ourselves with this Hollow World and its attributes. Recovery is not a massive unified project. Recovery is focused on a need to need basis. Even now, years since the sinking, there is still much damage about. Eventually these projects will be addressed. However, one cannot dwell on such matters.
To list the continent's notable sites in the confines on this publication would be difficult. The majority of the former attractions still exist. The most notable exceptions are sites dependent upon the now absent seas: Arogansa and Eadrin. Aasla and Sundsvall are in ruins, but even the ruined areas may draw the attentions of curious or sentimental visitors. Visitors making the long trek from the surface world would be remiss if they did not visit the new Imperial City of Andaire. Visitors are stressed to keep the memories of the empire's true history to themselves.
Though the recovery process is well underway, there are still areas that are dangerous. Ruins can be unstable and collapse. Dangerous creatures, freed from their confines, still roam portions of the countryside. Some of these creatures have taken residence in the ruined cities. And one must remember that this is still Alphatia and there still exist many of the dangers that existed before the sinking.