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AMBUR (Kingdom of)
Location: Northeast corner of the floating continent of Alphatia, bordered by Arkan. HW
Area: 11,723 sq. mi. (30,363 sq. km.).
Population: 103,000, including Starpoint (pop. 30,000). [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]
Languages: Alphatian (Arkan dialect).
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp). Ambur also mints electrum stars, coins bearing the images of the currently famous.
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. There is also a surtax imposed on theatre tickets, as well as licensing fees to operate such establishments and to register acting troupes. There also previously existed a tax on astronomical research structures, but this tax has dwindled to a negligible amount in current circumstances, forcing an adjustment in the kingdom's finances.
Government Type: Monarchy, member of the Alphatian Empire.
Industries: Agriculture, arts (especially acting), exploitation of magic.
Important Figures: Elshethara (Queen, human, female, M16), Lodun the Doomed (Fading Star, human, male, M12).
Flora and Fauna: See Alphatia.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperor boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Zweibelterm.
Ambur is a small kingdom in the far northeast of Alphatia. Ambur is the centre of Alphatian artistry, especially with the destruction of Aasla and Sundsvall by the wicked and treacherous Glantrians.
Ambur is a small but densely populated kingdom. However, much of it is undeveloped, with the people clustered along the Ambur River and the north shore of Crystal Lake. The former seacoast here was not as heavily populated as the coasts of other kingdoms, because the sea was so cold here, so the transfer to the Hollow World hasn't affected the pattern of settlement as significantly.
The inhabitants of Ambur are devoted to two things: the study of the stars, and the theatre. With the transfer to the Hollow World, of course, astronomy has become a rather empty and moribund exercise. But even the common rabble of Ambur might hope to strike stardust on stage, and become the next Lodun the Doomed, a star in the firmament of celebrity.
In former times, the aristocrats were so obsessed with these twin callings-astronomy and acting-that they paid little mind to the servile classes. This seemed to attract those who were able to move, making Ambur, along with drab Stonewall, one of the most densely populated of Alphatia's kingdoms, despite its small size. Ambur's importance in the past as a centre of astronomical research should not be scanted, as the star charts they produced remain of great import in navigation on the surface of Mystara even today. Without them, skyship captains might lose their bearings. A side effect of this is that many Amburians are attracted to the adventure and romance of serving on a skyship, and they are found in unusual numbers in the fleet. One other change that has occurred as a result of the move to the Hollow World is that those who passed their time observing the stars now have little to do, and so some have turned their attentions to their duties, though this has caused some friction with the common classes, as many of them seem to have forgotten their place. This shows the fruits of the folly of inattentiveness, as a firm guiding hand is needed to keep the unenlightened in hand.
The theatres in Starpoint are built on a lavish scale, and it is almost worth the price of admission to see experience their luxurious appointments even if the show is bad, which is rarely the case. Of these, the biggest and best is the Elshethara Theatre, built by the queen in her own honour over twenty years ago, with its glorious decorative features and its large staff of liveried servants. Also of note, some of the old astronomical institutes have turned as a means of supporting themselves to giving tours and serving as a museum of astronomical and astrological history, including putting on light shows using illusions of skyscapes and starry vistas.