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Ionace (a.k.a. Isle Of the NACE) (Island and Imperial District)
Location: Known World, New Alphatian Sea.
Area: 128,199 sq. mi. plus many small islands that were once part of Alphatia (including Nuntar Island, the Vertiloch Islands, the Aasla Isles, the Grey Islands, Mount Thera, Eagret Island, Arogansa Island, Eadrin Island).
Population: 3,000, including 1,000 soldiers of the Alphatian 6th-Army.
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: Crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax, collected yearly.
Government Type: Imperial District under the direct control of the Alphatian Council of Kings and Queens of the NACE.
Industries: None; imports all it needs from the rest of the NACE. Small mining of Mnemonic Minerals, still sought out by mages despite the drawbacks.
Important Figures: Commander in Chief Broderick (human, male, F17). The various Kings and Queens of the NACE also visit rather regularly.
Flora and Fauna: Ionace is filled with various monsters of all sorts. Most are not even natural to the area, or even the Prime Plane. The first level of the underground city is secured, but the deeper one goes, the worse the monsters become.
Description: by Elidor Murtagh
So, fer those of ye who wanted ta know what's goin' on in faraway Alphatia, lemme tell ye I've been sailin' the seas 'round there fer the last year. I managed ta find that ol' wizard who provided the previous owner of the almanac with all his information on Alphatia. Ye should get his archive fer the year ta come an' the previous one, an', me thinks, some kinda geographical survey too.
Tho' my plans were ta head ta Bellissaria, Alphatian marines I've met at various ports o' call throughout the Isle o' Dawn told me o' great political changes in the empire. 't was not clear whether 't was an empire or a confederation o' some sort, but they all seemed happy with it. So we set sail fer the New Alphatian Sea, where that new capital o' theirs should stand, on Monster Island, or, as they call it now, I' o' NACE, a weird name if ye ask me.
The Callista dropped anchor in the small, temporary harbour outside the capital. It stands in a natural bay, so that it reminds me o' those harbours typical o' the Northern Reaches, built inside a fjord. Looks like the sinkin' of Alphatia created that weird landscape o' high mountains risin' out o' the waters. Then we took the steep, tortuous road ta Denwarf-Hurgon and Ionace.
Tho' I could spend my life in rigging, I hate such roads that take ye far away from the sea into the mountains. There be no roads leadin' directly ta Ionace yet. The road splits in two : there's a new one leadin' north ta Sanctuary, whereas the remnants of the old road lead south ta Denwarf-Hurgon. So we went ta that dwarf city o' 'em, an ugly, mostly deserted ghost town. There I spent time with the sole denizens o' the city : soldiers o' Aquas. They're kinda like me, used ta live with water all 'round 'em, 'n they ended up garrisoned here in diminutive buildings surrounded by tall mountains.
We spent most of the night in a tavern, drinkin' as only sailors an' marines can do. Tho' part o' the conversation's shrouded in dark mists, I be sure they warned me 'gainst walkin' alone at night in the city or tryin' ta go in the lower levels o' the city. No chance I ever do that anyway, can ye imagine me burrowed in the ground like a dwarf? No way. They also warned me 'gainst travelin' without a strong guard 'round the island. Seems the mountains and the underground be both infested with all sorts o' terrible monsters. In fact, they even nicknamed the whole isle the biggest dungeon in the world, an' they probably be right.
I also took a glance at the city of Ionace proper. Brand-new buildings that host the government. Totally impersonal, if ye ask my opinion, almost as ugly as the dwarf town. [Ed. Note: These are obviously the opinions of the writer as everyone knows a dwarf town is not ugly. DS.] I tried ta enter a building, but the guys seem completely paranoid 'bout spies, an' they kicked me out. Seein' no business here, we left the city 'n went ta Sanctuary. Now, that's a real city, the way I like 'em. Livin', bustlin', with merchants an' taverns. Not very dif'rent from a port city back in Minrothad, or anywhere else on the continent, altho' it's no harbour. The men o' Aquas patrol the city, protectin' it 'gainst all those monsters, but in fact the city seems to rule itself : trade and minin', not bureaucrats from Ionace. I heard they mine a strange mineral that's said to enhance one's spellcastin' abilities, but I couldn't find an ounce o' it fer sale. We spent a few days in the city, but we didn't venture in the countryside, then went back to ta Callista, ta sail the New Alphatian Sea. We'll probably be takin' a look at that Sundsvall Maelstrom very soon.