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HALATHIUS (County of)

Location: Southeastern corner of the continent of Brun, along the eastern spur of the Altan Tepes Mountains, south of Ylaruam. OW

Area: 3,920 sq. mi. (10,155 sq. km.).

Population: 25,000 including the town of Goldleaf (pop. 5,000).

Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian dialect).

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

Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 20% 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, mining, metallurgy, gold-working.

Important Figures: Sabrina Andreana (Countess, human, female, F11), Anthemus Adreanus (Heir, human, male, F9), Maximillian von Hauptstein (Guard Commander, human, male, F16), Brackularus Lactanius (Prelate, human, male, Pr16 of Kagyar), Mercurius Praesentinus (Magist, human, male, M20).

Flora and Fauna: Pine trees and aspens in the Southern Altan Tepes Mountains. Herds of sheep, 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. Pegasi, griffons, rocs, ruby, gold, and white dragons in the mountains.

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

Description by Vivianna Romanones.

This mountainous region is rich in gold mines and other minerals. It is almost invulnerable to attack due to the rugged nature of the terrain.

The Land

Halathius is a county of rugged mountains, covering the eastern tip of the southern Altan Tepes. All sorts of minerals are mined here, but Halathius is most famous for its gold. Most of the iron used in Thyatis City's armaments industry comes from here, shipped overland to the Mesonian and then down river in great barges. Some also goes by way of the Polithius through Retebius, and then either forged there or shipped by sea to Thyatis City. The range is steepest on its northern face, across from the Ylari border, making it difficult if not impossible to attack from that direction. The river valleys leading down into mainland Thyatis make Halathius much more accessible from the south.

Numerous small villages and mining communities are scattered throughout Halathius, but its most significant settlement (and the county's capital) is Goldleaf. This town is located near the source of the Polithius River, at the highest point that it can be used by raft and barge traffic. The town itself is built around the river valley, with trails leading out to the nearby gold mines. The slopes around the river itself are fairly steep, except in the vale of Goldleaf around the town, which is broader. The narrows leading into the vale are heavily protected with fortified artillery positions overlooking the river and the trail alongside it. This is also true for the pathway west leading to the Mesonian River.

The People

The lives of the people of Halathius focus around one of two things. The first and foremost thing is mining: either working in the mines, in mine-related industries (like smelting), or serving the needs of the mining industry (taverns catering to miners, for example). Running a distant second is a tourist industry providing for hikers and mountain climbers who visit the area. The town of Goldleaf is known for its goldsmiths in particular, but there are smiths of all sorts living in this settlement. Goldleaf's gates close at dusk and aren't opened again till dawn.

This regulation is on account of the many brigands that infest Halathius, looking to steal what they aren't able to make. The count's agents are always hiring adventurers to seek out and destroy the camps of these criminals, and rewards are fairly high for this sort of thing.

Halathians have a strong work ethic and, despite their mineral wealth, are not given to ostentation or spectacle. They prefer activities such as hiking and skiing to arena combats and the like. There are numerous pretty mountain chalets in Halathius, but few that are as grand as the villas elsewhere in Thyatis-even if the owner is very wealthy. Do not let this fool you, though: Halathians are as concerned with keeping their property from being stolen as the next man. While they do not have numerous servants (and slavery, except for criminals consigned to the mines, is almost unknown) or a plethora of guards, they pay good gold to protect their wealth. A few very capable bodyguards and discrete anti-thievery devices are the norm here.