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BIAZZAN (County of)

Location: Southeastern corner of the continent of Brun, along the southern range of the Altan Tepes mountains, north of Kerendas, south of Ylaruam. OW

Area: 7,392 sq. mi. (19,145 sq. km.).

Population: 30,000 including the city of Biazzan (pop. 15,000; 90% human, 5% elven, 3% dwarves, 2% hin), Fort Nicos (pop. 1,250).

Languages: Thyatian (Kerendan dialect).

Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), justiciar (ep), asterius (sp), denarius (cp).

Taxes: 20% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 15% income tax collected quarterly on everyone else (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. Expensive and magical items are also taxed 25% of their worth. 10% imperial commercia sales tax on all goods except food, clothing, and fixed assets; levied on imports, rebated on exports. Tax on slave owning equal to 50% of the slave's value annually. Property tax levied based on quality of land, roughly 6% of its value annually.

Government Type: Dominion, member of the Thyatian Empire.

Industries: Light agriculture, crafts, scholarship, silk, spices (including tea), trade.

Important Figures: Babrak Biazzan (Count), Gallia Biazzan (Countess), Himerius Biazzan (Heir), Batzas Daphavkarius (Prelate), Damianus Hermongenes (Magist).

Flora and Fauna: Mulberry trees (for sericulture), grape vines, olive trees, date palms, cedar, peach, pear, orange, and cherry fruit trees in cultivated orchards, maple, birch, and oak trees, pine and aspens in the Southern Altan Tepes Mountains. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, and mules. Bees kept for honey. Bears, boars, centaurs, lycanthropes, mountain lions, foxes, dryads, wolves, unicorns and goblinoids can be found in the wilds of the empire. Hill giants and ogres in the hills.

Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, DDA1 Arena of Thyatis, DDA2 Legions of Thyatis, previous almanacs.

Description by Vivianna Romanones.

Recently enlarged and turned into a county, this dominion is centred in the rich mountain pass that functions as a trade route between Thyatis and Ylaruam, and sees much caravan traffic. The town of Biazzan itself (pop. 15,000) is known for its university, one of the foremost centres of learning in all of Mystara.

The Land

The County of Biazzan is divided into two parts. The most important portion is the region around the Greendale River valley, which forms a pass through the Altan Tepes between Thyatis and Ylaruam. Fort Nicos guards the mouth of the pass at its northern end. The town of Biazzan is located at the centre of a broad green vale or dale formed by the river. This area is unusually fertile for a mountain pass, sheltered by hills and mountains. Many traders travel back and forth along the road that cuts through this region-sending goods north to Ylaruam and returning with the produce of that land and the lands beyond. Many scholars travel with these caravans as well, as Biazzan contains a noted centre of learning.

The other portion of Biazzan is the western massif of the Southern Altan Tepes Mountains. This is a frontier region, underdeveloped and surveyed. The county gained authority over this region last year, and except for the hills closest to the Greendale itself no settlement has taken place as yet.

The People

Biazzan is known for its traders, warriors, and scholars. Ever since the creation of Ylaruam, there have been numerous border raids back and forth between the Ylari and the Thyatians, and the frontier soldiers of Biazzan have been at the forefront of these activities. Most recently, during the Final Alphatian War, Biazzan itself was sacked. Just last year, however, a large group of Ylari raiders, overconfident because of their recent successes, were trapped and decimated in the narrowest part of the pass. Many captives are still held in Fort Nicos and Biazzan, while the Ylari Emir of Dythestenia has tried to negotiate for their release.

The people of Biazzan are prosperous, on account of the richness of the dale, the flow of trade that passes through it, and the spread effect of ideas and information due to the presence of the university. For this reason they are recovering fairly quickly from the plundering of their property committed by the Ylari raiders.

Though the town of Biazzan is far from the largest community to host a major university, many people enjoy the tranquillity the lack of crowds brings. Biazzan University is a complex of buildings built atop a hill just south of and overlooking the town. The scholars and students have access to all the goods of a major city, because of the continual passage of trade caravans through the town, but without the hassles of overcrowding and noise interrupting their studies and researches. The university has Thyatian, Vyalian, and even Ylari scholars among its number. The presence of the Ylari professors and students proved a great boon to the university when Ylari raiders occupied the town. On account of their intercession, the university was not looted or destroyed, though most faculty and staff had to turn over some of their personal wealth in exchange for this exemption from the ravages of the sack.