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About the Alphatian Emperors

by LoZompatore.

Just a couple of thoughts about the Alphatian emperors.

From the official modules the known and mentioned Alphatian emperors are:

Kerothar I
Kerothar IV
Alphas I
Alphas VI
Demases IV
Tylari III
Tylion IV
Eriadna I
Zandor I

Alphas I is inferred by this note from DotE (at the beginning of Book III, Player's guide to Alphatia, "Alphatia First Hand" paragraph):

"Look upon Sundsvall, the city built of magic!" he cried.
Light streamed into the room, with the panorama that was the great city of Alphas.

We could think that Alphas I was the founder of the city of Sundsvall. While DotE is quite explicit about Sundsvall being the original place of the Alphatian landfall, it's likely that the Alphatians dispersed elsewhere soon after their arrival (Aasla, Floating Ar, Citadel and Helskir cities are all 2000 years old, and likely some Blackheart settlements are as ancient as well). The capitol city might have been founded in a later time when the empire consolidated itself.

Demases IV is mentioned in the Dragonlord Trilogy as an early and not very influent emperor. Here is the quote about him from Dragonlord of Mystara:

He happened to see a small glass case tucked in a dark corner of the room, and he peered at the wide, jewelled collar inside. "I say, this is new!"
"Funny you should say that," Sir George commented. "As a matter of fact, it's really quite old."
"Alphatian, and one of the early dynasties, judging by the quality of the work," the mage continued blissfully, ignoring Sir George. Thelvyn was familiar with the piece, and he had always thought the work crude, the jewels large but badly cut.
It was made for a certain would-be great emperor, Demases the Fourth," the old knight explained. "The odd shape of the stones has a purpose. Each of the forty-two larger green stones possesses an individual ward against each of the forty-two legendary poisons used by the ancient Alphatians for political assassinations. It worked quite well, and Demases soon grew secure in his belief that he couldn't be poisoned. That being the case, his enemies eventually circumvented the thing and poisoned his bathwater, that being the only time he was known to remove the collar."
"Very clever!" Perrantin exclaimed, seeming to approve. "But how did you come by it?"
"Well, his successor had an improved version, a periapt against poison made in the form of a ring he never had to remove. I suppose this other one, being superfluous, was given as a gift to some barbarian king or chief, and it eventually ended up in the hands of the Ethengarians, who had no idea what it was.

Another likely emperor (but this is just my speculation) could be the plenipotentiary ambassador Serran, a mage the Alphatians sent to the Known World to coordinate war efforts against the Overlord (who destroyed the Alphatian city of Archport with an air strike of gemstone dragons early in the book) sometime around AC 510 (from Dragonmage of Mystara novel). Serran is for sure a prominent figure in the Alphatian political setting of the time, so maybe he could become the new emperor after the Overlord defeat.

Anyway, neglecting Zandor and Serran, we have:

4 Kerothars
6 Alphas
4 Demases
3 Tylaris
4 Tylions
1 Eriadna

For a total of 22 known emperors.

From DotE we know that Tylion IV ruled for 43 years (from AC 919 to AC 962) and we know also that this is considered a short period of rule for an Alphatian emperor. This seems to me a reasonable assumption, given the fact that the Alphatian emperors are (or should be) all accomplished mages and so they should be able to slow non magical ageing. Notice also that Eriadna ruled in the Outer World for 47 years from AC 962 to AC 1009 and, at the end of her rule, she does not seem old, tired or senile.

If the 22 emperors above ruled for a minimum of 43 years each they would cover about 950 years of rule, which is about half of the Alphatian history after their Landfall.

Now the question is: in your opinion, would it be a good estimate to have just about 50 Alphatian emperors for the whole length of their time on Mystara?