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Isle of Dawn

by Andrew Theisen

>Another question.....Was the whole Island colonised by Nithia?

It doesn't appear to have been. Oddly enough, it seems as if only the far eastern side of the Isle of Dawn (including Ekto and Trikelios) and the Alatian islands (judging by Thothian names of some towns) were settled by the Nithians.

M5: Talons of Night implies that the Nithians "invited the Alphatians" to settle Mystara, so if you buy that theory, then the location makes sense, as Thothia becomes a go-between.

Other theories are that they arguably have the most fertile lands over there (at least, the Thothian river is similar to the environment of old Nithia; a large river with a massive delta and flood plains).

The natives of the Isle of Dawn (ancestors of the Alasyians) and Antalian settlers in the north (where it would have been much colder for the warm clime adapted Nithians, are also another factor.

>And do you know where there is more info on this mysticism?

Get M5: Talons of Night. It's strongly implied there that the mysticism was actually given to the Thothians by the Aranea and their Immortal patron, Arachne Prime. Aaron Allston later altered things to make it a sort of "non-denominational" mysticism, to explain why Thothia was spared. Note that he also left out a number of Thothian leaders, from Pharaoh Tokoramses V through XIV.

Anyway, here's my take:

Thothia was founded by the Tokoramses dynasty, and were (like Nithia at the time) primarily made of fire worshippers (Magians- with Rathanos being one of the pantheon). When Nithia turned to Entropic ways, Thothia (being more distant) retained its Magian leanings. In fact, during the later Pharaohs, they actively combated Entropic ways (coming to a head under Tokoramses XIV, wielder of the Entropy-hating artifact the Periapt of Pax). Tokoramses XIV defeated most of the Entropic Nithians on the IoD roughly around the same time as the Immortals wiped them off the face of the earth. Thus a golden age was ushered into Thothia.

Tokoramses XIV died without an heir (the age sapping powers of the artifact prevented his wives from carrying a child to term), assassinated by his close adviser Ramenhotep I. Ramenhotep tried to take over, but his reign was short- the Thothians (with their memory losses) were only barely held together by the wise Tokoramses. An era of battles and short lived dynasties and chaos overtook Thothia.

Things seemed to stabilise under the rule of Haptuthep I (from Bruce's Voyage of the Princess Ark series), but one of Ramenhotep's successors allied with the Alphatians. Backed by the powerful empire, Haptuthep was forced to flee, and Thothia became an Alphatian protectorate (this was probably around 300 or 200 or so BC- around the time Alphatia had begun to colonise outside of their main continent; they battled the Rakasta of Ochalea (from my Patera timeline, note this is a change to the current timeline there), colonised the Alatians, Bellissaria, etc.)

The Thothians stayed under Alphatian rule for many centuries, even having a series of Alphatian rulers (I based this partly on the Ptolemaic dynasties of RW Egypt). They also began to grow bolder under the Alphatian rulers, and attempted to expand onto the Great Escarpment.

This noticeably upset the Aranea and Arachne Prime, so they arranged to bring the next ruler, one Pharaoh Ramenhotep X, under their sway. He was brought to the side of the Entropic Immortal, and married to her "daughter"- actually a lycanthropic spider creature (magically created by the inspiration of the Alphatian lycanthropic plague of 425 AC). He brought in a new Mysticism- actually a very fatalistic series of beliefs (due to the Entropic influence)- and including some serious population control beliefs (thus the rather low Thothian population), resulting in a static Thothian society. Ramenhotep X also brought about the abolishment of the Magian religion, destroying temples and making the practice of the Magian faith illegal in Thothia.

When Ramenhotep X became too ambitious, Arachne Prime had him eliminated (he actually survived, as a vampire). An unbroken dynasty of Ramenhoteps was ushered in, with the rulers mainly serving as mere puppets to the Aranea. This all began around 500 AC.

It lasted up until around 1002 AC, when the beginnings of the Alphatian/Thyatian conflicts of the Wrath of the Immortals were beginning. During this time (based on the date of ascension of Ramenhotep XXIII from the PWAs), the Aranean plot was uncovered, Arachne Prime banished, and Aketheti (her "daughter") seemingly destroyed. Ramenhotep XXIII, the son of the previous Pharaoh, took the throne. He had been secretly brought up in the Magian religion by his mother, and he was backed by an ancestor of Haptuthep I. Haptuthep II taught Ramenhotep how to tap the power of the ancient Thothian temples and pyramids to create powerful armies (such as those seen in the PWAs). With this knowledge, Ramenhotep's ascension was complete.

Since then, he has worked hard to reinstill the ancient Magian religion, but it hasn't been easy. Which brings us to the present...