Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Bettellyn Gazetteerby Jeff Daly
Please read, reply, tear apart. It is placed circa AY2000. If you come across any blanks (?) please suggest some names...
Kingdom of Bettellyn
The people of Bettellyn have faith. Those of like faith gather together around great Cathedrals at the centre of particular cities. They are not a violent people and will try to convert through thoughts and ideas, rather than through conquest. They will not hesitate to fight though, when their values are challenged.
There is a fierce competition between Randel and Bettellyn. Each side believes itself to be right and superior. Bettellyn tends to see Randel as a violent, oppressive kingdom, which if Bettellyn and the Imperial crown did not hold them in check, would enslave every other land in the world. But at the same time, there is an unspoken love/respect between the two kingdoms. If one were invaded, no doubt the other would rise quickly to the call.
Bettellyns don't believe in slavery. While they do practice it, they believe the future of Alphatia lies in working gradually out of it. They recognise the reality of slavery in the empire and that violent opposition will only make the situation worse. Instead, they treat their slaves with dignity and respect, often teaching them and paying them a modest salary, and eventually releasing them well-educated and ready for freedom.
Isoin (pop. 35,000) and Lonval (pop. 30,000) produce grains and crops. The Grey Mages of Sabetta often are hired on a contractual basis to help in the digging of irrigation trenches. This is where all soldiers begin whether they wish to be archers or pikemen or cavalry. They train here until they reach lvl 5 at which point they may progress to Dheys to continue in the typical landbound military or Lewec if they wish to sail in the Bettellyn Navy. Part of the military service here entails a "community service" in which the young soldier helps the farmers working the fields or helps to bring the crops into market. No money is gained from this aside from regular military pay. It is considered part of the soldier's duty to help the common man. There are 3 Councillors living between Isoin and Lonval. Jarastar, Nemwat, and Hulion form the "Triad of Pleth". Pleth is a barely remembered name from the Alphatian's homeworld. These three took the name more for its arcane sound than any real knowledge of what it means.
Lewec: This large town of 20,000 is one of many fishing towns in Bettellyn. It is the smaller, though more fortified, of the two Bettellyn Naval bases. Here would-be sailors learn to fight on the water, under the water, and with their triton allies. An interesting fact about Lewec is that it is often referred to as "Leweo" in older manuscripts. Some of the more conservative residents still prefer the latter pronunciation. There is one Grand Council member living here. He would rather be a big fish in a small pond rather than an average fish among many. And in fact spends much of his time in the form of a huge fish swimming around in the pond located on his estate.
Weltara: With 30,000 inhabitants, is the other naval base and is the ship-producing centre for Bettellyn. The shipyards are actually rather small and the base relies more on equipment gained through trade rather than building. Two Grand Council members make their home here.
Vonboby: This town of 10,000 houses the famous UniCorps. This is a group of 100 women warriors who ride unicorns and owe allegiance only to Alphatia herself. However, if the King of Bettellyn is a respectful yet strong leader he can garner the aid of this force. It is said that any woman wishing to be one of this group must enter the Purewood and gain the respect of the unicorns. It is unknown how this is accomplished. Some suggest that the unicorns look into the very soul of the petitioner and judge her worthiness. What is known for sure is that the petitioners who are found wanting are sent back to Vonboby, their legs and arms horribly maimed. The unicorns are less merciful to any man who enters, though - they are summarily killed. The Purewood lies to the west of Vonboby. The only sentient creature that lives in the wood is the unicorn. This unicorn is more warlike than his shy Known World counterpart. The Maidens of Dawn tell a story of an ancient heroine in a time of war between the unicorns and men of Bettellyn. This heroine entered the ever-shrinking forest and somehow tamed or gained the respect of the unicorns. Ever since this time the unicorns of the Purewood have agreed to serve 100 women whom they find worthy but no more than 100. When one of the UniCorps dies or retires many petitioners come to Vonboby. Only one emerges intact with a unicorn mount. Recently the Grand Council member of Vonboby has been making calls on the current leader of the UniCorps. Some speculate that Dergath and Volustren have a romantic fling going, others suggest there is a political tie there.
Dheys: This large town of 25,000 produces many of the weapons that are found in the kingdom, and in fact the rest of the empire. Smiths specialising in different armaments may be found here. Soldiers who have reached the 5th level may come here to choose any of 3 divisions: Missile, Foot, and Mounted. The missile division is trained in the heavy crossbow, the longbow and in working with the shielding priests. The foot division is trained in polearms and all manner of hand to hand weapons. They are trained to avoid the blinding flashes of the priests' light spells. The mounted division is trained in riding warhorses and using the lance. They are also trained in utilising chevron shields and in accepting the boosts that the priestly regiments give. Missile and foot divisions go on to Masala once they reach 9th level. Mounted goes to either Rimpos or Quanfax. The Alphatian Transportation system has a station here. From it, a traveller can reach Sundsvall and lands beyond, or Rimpos. There are three Grand Council members residing here.
Masala: Masala is located in a light forest along a river. This town of 15,000 produces textiles and much of the paper materials found throughout the kingdom. Archers and foot soldiers receive high level instruction here. There are no less than 10 Grand Council members living in or around the city.
Rimpos: (pop. 30k) and Quanfax (pop. 50k) have vast grazing areas for cattle, sheep, and horses. A few exotic herds are to be found here as well. One can find catobolepas, rhinoceri, llamas, various dinosaurs, stirges, and dragons all being tended by the Mageherds ("Majerd"). Water is brought in through permanent one-way gates and magical compulsions keep the beasts from straying too far or fighting with each other. Their meat, leather, furs, and other products are used all over the empire. Both cities breed the strongest warhorses to be found in the empire. Rimpos breeds for speed and endurance while Quanfax steeds are bred for muscle and power. The Quanfax steeds are huge and bulky and many are bred for the cold. Magic is often used in the breeding process to develop steeds that are unnaturally suited for inclement weather. A mounted soldier of 9th level may choose several paths at these town. Those of a lawful persuasion may pledge to the church of (?) to become paladins. A more chaotically aligned mounted soldier may become an avenger by pledging to (?). Finally there is Castle Arkensheld which lies to the east of Rimpos. Here are several high level knights that a young soldier who does not wish to ally with a church may go to find a sponsor for knighthood. At this point the young soldier becomes a squire and when the knight sponsor deems him worthy the young squire is sent on to Citadel there to pledge himself to the King and be knighted in a grand ceremony. Located in and around these cities are 20 Councillors. They become more and more numerous as one moves toward the capital.
Ufacos: Sometimes written "Uffacos", (pop. 30k) is for low-level clerical and mage instruction. There are more clerics than mages in Bettellyn yet the mage tower in this city is as large and elaborate as the central temple. The temple is a huge building housing all major Alphatian faiths. At a high level some priests are sent on to Rimpos or Quanfax to help in the instruction there and others are sent to Brocto to become battle priests. To the northwest there are ancient ruins. These were left behind by the indigenous people of Bettellyn. The 5 Councillors consider the ruins sacred and untouchable.
Brocto: (pop. 30k) is really the central military headquarters for Bettellyn. Here the battle priests are trained and the various Bettellyn troops are taught coordination and tactics. This city is a consumer of products rather than a producer. Its harbour is for warships only, all "commercial" ships are turned away. Adventurers hired by the state must produce some kind of proof (usually a letter of some kind) to dock their ship. 10 Councillors live here, but only 8 of them are active in military affairs.
Sareba: (pop. 10k) protects the approach to Citadel. Traditionally the people are all responsible for defence in case of an attacking army. Realistically, they know attack is highly unlikely. There are no known Councillors residing here.
The city of Citadel (pop. 40k) is the capital of Bettellyn. This is a city comprising exactly one building and as large as a mountain. It was raised, straight up from the earth, by powerful magics. The topmost suite of the building is built upon the ruins of an ancient people. Paladins, priests, and knights all come here at least once in their lifetime. It is a place of pilgrimage as well as an incredible city. There are 30 Councillors living in or nearby Citadel.
Sabetta: (pop. 10k) is a mining town that does not see much action, though it is on the border of Randel, for two reasons. The first is its fairly snug out of the way position in the Grey Mountains. The second is the presence of the "Grey Mages". These mages are what may be termed "geomancers". They comprise a lost school of magic which fled with the air mages at the end of the other-world empire. There are very few left and they like to be left alone. In return for aiding the miners of Sabetta the town provides for their needs and gives them the privacy they desire. There are 2 Councillors here who are rumoured to be among the
Grey Mages, but they are not telling.
Upon the Alphatians' arrival in this strange new world known as Mystara, several mages and generals of the Alphatian army were given the task of exploring the landfall continent. The great general Zarthurastram is given the task of exploring the eastern half of the continent. To do so, he called upon the men and women that served under him during the war. It just so happens that this was the corp-sized unit, which was the one that laid siege to the Flaemish capital. This veritable horde of powerful men and women of former Alphatia believed in Zarthurastram's leadership ability and remembered his promises in pre-destruction times
of "lands to rule as their own" and were fully expecting to be compensated now that a beautiful new land has been discovered. They thoroughly and methodically explored the eastern portion of the continent. The great general found things moving rather fast even for his quick mind and allowed them to lay claim to present day Eadrin, Randel, Bettellyn, and part of Foresthome before consulting the Emperor and the Grand Council.
The Council and Emperor apocryphally "grant the General a kingdom for his services" so as not to lose face and to avoid any unpleasantness. The mage wanted and expected all that he claimed. However, the kingdom proposed by the Emperor and council was only the combined area of Randel and Bettellyn.
The mage used his power to gain concessions. After all, he occupied a large chunk of Alphatia, and he had a large following, which was composed of many of the elite, deadly soldiers who had followed him in the old world.
Using his power base as a major negotiating tool he received:
1.Autonomy in rule.
2.The ability to appoint the ruler of Eadrin.
3.Retention of command in his armies.
The Emperor agreed but added these provisions:
1. Swear the allegiance of not only himself but also his Armies to the Emperor (Note this was a clause placed by the Emperor. The Grand Council did not notice the reference to "Emperor" and not "Emperor and Grand Council" or "government" until it was too late.
2. Erect a system of schools to train other kingdoms' troops, for which Imperial funding would be given.
3. Neither the mage's family nor his descendants could lay claim to the Imperial Throne.
The mage agreed to these, as they were basically what he wanted. He set up his new kingdom, Zarthura, as detailed in the compact. Since the lands to the north were of better soil they would be used as an agricultural base. The southern lands with their rough soil would be used for the military aspect. Quanfax was the site of the capital of this magnificent kingdom. An order of knights, now retired from military service, built Castle Arkensheld and used the surrounding lands to breed horses. "Horse show" competitions began in Rimpos and Quanfax. These shows were not the contests of skill found in Thyatis, rather they were a chance for a breeder to show off the magnificent creatures visually.
Over the next hundred years or so, the mageking Zarthurastram ruled over a united country. But those who looked closely could already see the makings of disaster. The agricultural north was settling into a comfortable aristocracy - they had served their time in the military and saw it as the job of the south to provide for the common welfare. Instead, they spent their time clearing the land and farming it. Religion was popular during this time and many high nobles took it upon themselves to put up money for a series of cathedral-like buildings across the kingdom. This too was a competition of sorts, as each cathedral was intended to be bigger and better than the last. Towns sprang up around the cathedrals, immigrants having heard of the honour to their own particular Immortal being given in the area.
After the Mageking died, his son carried on as usual. With the figurehead gone, attempts were made by the Grand Council to bring Randel/Bettellyn into a more conventional and subordinate role. The successor proved as stubborn and wise as the founder. He used the law and agreements to his advantage. The kingdom remained as it was until the Zarthura War...
The split occurred during the Alphatian war against Thyatis (AY808). As was customary, the king led his forces in the field. Large portions of his armed forces were back in Randel/Bettellyn. In typical Alphatian arrogance, the king of the time completely underestimated the Thyatian forces. He and his minimal forces were cut off and isolated.
During this time the forest cutting in the northern region had met with some resistance. There was a wood in the western end in particular that gave some trouble. A nearby logging town was completely depopulated by some savage unicorns. It was debated and decided that some evil mage must be controlling the unicorns, for everyone considered the unicorns' actions to be very unusual. A contingent of soldiers was sent in to investigate. They did not return. Adventurers were sent. They did not return either.
Finally an all female adventuring group entered and of them, only one returned. She left the woods riding a unicorn and informed the people outside the forest that the wood was sacred and would not suffer being touched by the hands of mortals. She went on to say that 99 women warriors must enter the forest and join her in a "semi-holy" cause of protecting the forest from intrusion. She concluded by saying that if any man entered the forest, he would be killed. If any woman entered the forest, beyond the 100 "special women warriors" then she would be seriously maimed for her insolence and sent on her way.
While all this is going on, the call to arms sounded for the entire kingdom. Councillor Grakathan told the south to send aid to the king. He declared the north to be in a state of emergency. The southern portion was more readily able to mobilise and left shortly after the call was issued. The northern portion was not as prepared, and took more time.
The southern aspect landed on Brun and managed to break through to the king's forces. Unfortunately, much of them were dead, including the king. The reunited forces fought their way to the coast, and withdrew to the Alphatian Mainland. There, the finger pointing began, as blame was sought for the loss of not only the war, but also the loss of the king. The matter worsened as one of the northern nobles offered her claim to the throne.
Councillor Grakathan, a member of the Grand Council and an aristocrat but not actually one of the kingdom's ruling nobility, offered to take responsibility for his earlier decision and the crown as well. Many southern citizens suspected the north was intentionally slow in mobilising its forces to cause the death of the king, to make a bid for the throne.
At this point Councillor Grakathan apologised for his hasty offer of taking the crown and stepped out of the running. More insults were exchanged between the north and the south. The south was united behind one man but the north had yet to appoint a leader. A civil war broke out. The larger forces of the south marched toward the north under their appointed king Randel (cousin of the dead king). The north finally named their own king, who happened to be a paladin of Alphatia, named Karamor. He attempted to make some overtures of peace, but hotheads on both sides continued fighting and vandalising. He realised that peace was only possible if the entire kingdom was united behind one man. He began the idea of "Peace through
Military Strength" that is still prevalent among Alphatia's followers in Bettellyn.
The North and the South met at a shallow winding valley of a dried riverbed cut by glaciers when ice covered the continent. Seeing that such a war could harm the Empire further, measures were initiated to stop the war. Before the two could engage, the Imperial Throne and the Grand Council intervened. Delegates escorted by Imperial troops and skyships gave cause to stop the war. Not that the force could do so, for it was small. The two combatants were reminded of their oaths to the Throne, and negotiations began.
Seeing that no side would give ground, the delegation decided to split the kingdom. The border would be the lines of battle. That way both sides could say that they lost nothing to the other, giving a symbolic show of saving honour. Symbolism and honour were then and still are very important in Bettellyn. Each town had its own faith and its own symbol. Knowing that means had to be made to ensure that neither invaded the other in the future, the delegation wrote up a pact between the two kingdoms that would forever after limit the number of troops either kingdom could put into an invasionary force. Still, the two
governments placed their capitals as far from the border as possible, Bettellyn building the capital of Citadel in the north, and Randel choosing the city of Randel in the south.
Citadel, too, is a symbol. The wars that Bettellyn fought against the unicorns and against their southern relatives were costly things that took away from the previous cathedral building. So Citadel is not only a mighty fortress, but also a great cathedral with vaulted halls and beautiful windows and wall pictures. Bettellyn was named after a martyr, from the war, named "Tellyn". A literal translation of "Bettellyn" in the old tongue might be "Land in honour of Tellyn" or "Kingdom consecrated to Tellyn".
1.The Citadel: It is a "don't miss" for any cleric or paladin. Tapestries line its walls depicting the history of Bettellyn. It is very much a living tableaux as the images continually shift and change. One may watch the entire history unfold by walking its length. So rapt do people become, the Bettellyns had to install railings lest onlookers fall down the high stairs or from the parapets.
2.The Aquarium at Citadel There are no less than 5 levels of Citadel devoted to aquatic creatures. Many were either captured by intrepid adventurer mages, or created by priests or mages. Specially designed "force cages" were built to house these creatures. A visitor can walk the glass-like halls all day and not see all there is to see. Diffused continual light spells provide illumination without disturbing the sea life.
3.Vonboby's Unicorps: Don't miss them, but don't bother them either. These proud women are only active in times of need, but they remain ever vigilant and are always extremely serious.
4.The Library at Marsala: Not the largest or the one with the most writings, but it does have many copies of the more popular books and tomes. There is a monastery in town, which provides the copying while the paper mills provide the material. Anyone interested in researching ancient history or religions of the world should pay Marsala a visit. Chances are, a long lost manuscript, thought to be destroyed centuries ago, will surface from time to time here.
5.The Grey Mages' Cabal: A stone tower, seemingly one with the rest of the earth, rises from the Grey Mountains. It is a mysterious place that is hard to reach by normal means. Visitors are unwelcome.
6.The Horse shows of Quanfax: The best in horseflesh can be seen in Quanfax. Competitions are held fairly regularly.
7.The Races of Rimpos: The people of Rimpos have gone beyond the horse racing activities of their ancestors. While horse racing is the most popular sport, just about anything that moves has its own race now. It is considered fairly crude to participate in or enjoy human foot races. But any animal that can be bred or magically created is fair game.
8. The Wormhole Commuter stop in Sareba is the only stop in Bettellyn. It is located underground and is bristling with defences, as if the architects were certain attack would come from the capital itself. The "worms" are creatures known as "Phase Worms" or "Astral Worms". Although, it is only known by the mages who control them whether these silver-grey beasts come from the Astral in truth, or whether they are actually from the Dimension of Nightmares. One can almost feel the intelligence bound within these creatures, held tight by shackles of magic, and the hatred that emanates from them is palpable. There are perhaps a thousand that travel from city to city in their daily task of taking commuters to and from the capital. At rest, in the Wormhole stops, they appear as fat, fleshy creatures with holes that sphincter open to allow travellers to enter. Once they start moving, the flesh hardens to a steel-like substance. Suddenly the thing will move with lightning speed as it enters a burst of light and is gone.
And finally, there are many cathedrals in the kingdom. There is one cathedral built into the centre of every town.
Isoin: Is one of two theories, or more correctly philosophies, regarding war. Isoin is the "masculine face", the hard, the aggressive, half of war.
Lonval: Lonval is the other half of war. It is the "feminine", seemingly soft, defensive aspect. The complete meaning of the two philosophies is very complex, but suffice to say that one cannot win without the other, therefore they both contain aspects of each other.
Lewec: Protius is honoured here with a small but well kept Cathedral. As Lewec is one of the older cities, so too is this one of the older Cathedrals.
Dheys: Eiryndul is honoured with an intricate Cathedral shaped entirely by trees. The trees have been bent and twisted by magic to create a huge, strong dwelling. Unbeknownst to Dheysans, Eiryndul really does not appreciate how the trees were forced into these shapes. Elves do not tend to travel to this town, and express their disgust when they do.
Weltara: Vanya has found some following here in the guise of Zhokastia. Her Cathedral consists of several manmade islands connected by bridges.
Vonboby: The Cathedral here is to Terra. It is constructed out of a depression in the earth with trees arranged around the outer rim and centre.
Sareba: This place is considered a Cathedral in itself. It is a fairly small city (only 10,000 people) and every building is connected. The walls are sturdy and the roofs strong. Cathedral Sareba is dedicated to the natural disorder of things (Chaos).
Citadel: An entire level of Citadel houses a the suite of chambers and worship areas that comprise that city's Cathedral. When Citadel was built, the worship of Alphatia was a strong flame sweeping the empire. This Cathedral was designed to honour her. There is not a door in the entire area, part of an idea that "no one needs to hide when Alphatia is with us". The Alphatia-worshipping Alphatians in Bettellyn believe in "peace through military strength" and support the nation in its strong defensive military.
Sabetta: houses a Cathedral to Zyxl, Immortal Patron of Heroes Down on Their Luck. He is "borrowed" culturally from the Thyatians. But his followers in Thyatis are even less numerous than his followers in Bettellyn. He often manifests in the form of a fat "buddha-like" man with four almost elephantine legs.
Rimpos: Kagyar is favoured here with a simple Cathedral. It was originally planned to be built for some forgotten Immortal, but plans changed when the split happened. The Bettellyns built this one as a gesture of hope for peace.
Quanfax: For reasons of its history of being a former capital, Quanfax is the home of the Cathedral to Razud. Quanfax is the city that was first colonised by Zarthurastram and it was the capital during his and his son's reigns. The Cathedral was built both in honour of Zarthurastram and Razud. The statue of Razud, in the courtyard of the Cathedral, has facial similarities to both Zarthurastram and Razud. On the outer walls one will find the busts of many stout warhorses - but Razud doesn't mind.
Masala: Zirchev is honoured with a fairly straightforward Citadel. Truth be told, he is somewhat embarrassed by it. Not even in his native country of Karameikos is he so honoured. Many elves come to this town just to see the huge Cathedral peeking over the tallest trees.
Ufacos: A huge Cathedral representing all mainstream Alphatian faiths is here. It is the largest Cathedral existing in Alphatia.
Brocto: This is sometimes called the forgotten Cathedral. It is said the Bettellyns built it with their backs turned. It is a Cathedral to all those Immortals who generally wish humans or Alphatians ill. The Bettellyns figured they should build the Cathedral "just to be on the safe side".
What others say about the Kingdom of Bettellyn:
Pharimor, Lordpriest of Isoin: "Our people are founded on peace and reverence. Our Cathedrals are magnificent testaments to the might of the Immortals. The people of Bettellyn, as significant from other kingdoms of Alphatia, believe!"
Laugwallis, a Draco Magelord: "No, no my lad. Here in Draco we merely realise the proper use of fighters and we wish them to serve the kingdom happily. If you believe in equality and are against slavery then go to that silly kingdom on the eastern portion. They would have all people be equal. Never mind that slavery is practised in their realm, mark my words."
Dlocteriol, Grand Council Member living in Haven: "The people of Bettellyn provide a special resource for the empire. They let us know whenever we are doing something wrong but of course I say this in jest. They are good, if somewhat over zealous, people."
Commander Broderick: "If ever a force penetrated far enough, they would find a surprise in Bettellyn's army. Therein are many elite units. They are not terribly reliable as an invasionary force because of their tendency to be more chaotic in their makeup than say, Randel. Also there is the unfortunate inclination of the individual to "moralise". In any case some of the greatest warriors come from this land with an incredible number of paladins and warrior priests."