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Lost Civilizations of Thyatis and Alphatiaby Francesco Defferrari from Threshold Magazine issue 11
Lost Civilizations of Thyatis and Alphatia
by Francesco Defferrari (Sturm)
To Her Imperial Majesty Eriadna the Wise, a short description of the many ancient civilizations that inhabited Alphatia and Thyatis before our time, compiled by Thiserstian of Alphatia, magician and scholar of the Imperial University.
History of the Alphatian Sea
The History of our beloved great island of Alphatia is more complex than many Alphatians realize, eveng among my people, the Shiye elves. As I recently explained in my small treaty about the Elves of Mystara1, we do not even know exactly when the first elves settled the central forest. Many different waves of invasion, of humans and other races, swept the island in past centuries, and I will try to summarize them here. I will start from the (relatively) recent history, as I have not yet the necessary knowledge to investigate the most ancient inhabitants of the area2. What I know is that fairies, dragons and giants are most certainly among the oldest inhabitants of Alphatia. But not only them. Several reptilian races, the aranea spiders and several rakasta breeds are also among those who have inhabited the Alphatian sea since ancient times. The reader should remember that what follows is just my hypotheses on ancient Alphatian history, and many of my assumptions could be wrong.
The Burrower Wars
More than 50.000 years before the Landfall, ancient kingdoms dominated the Alphatian sea. One was the Empire of Aran, in what is now the southern Isle of Dawn, home of the powerful spider people. To balance its power, there was the Fairy Kingdom of Aasie in the Alphatian mainland. The northern parts of the Isle of Dawn and Alphatia were dominated by Giants, as were several areas of Brun, where the powerful brute men civilization also thrived. Several reptilian and amphibian races, especially lizardmen and frogfolk, dominated the southern islands and Bellisaria. The Burrowers3, powerful monsters created by evil immortals, destroyed these civilizations, or weakened them much, leaving the Alphatian sea partially open to new colonizers. And they came soon.
The First Wave: Pardasta
The Pardasta, a breed of rakasta, started to come after the Burrowers Wars, easily conquering vast areas in Bellisaria and Brun from the failing reptilian, amphibian and brute men nations. They reached also the Isle of Dawn, the Alatians, southern Alphatia and Ochalea, but they did not settle heavily the central and northern Alphatian mainland, still dominated by fairies and giants.
The Second Wave: Carnifex
It is not very clear what caused a decline of the Pardasta population in the Alphatian sea, but it may well be a combination of factors. An almost unknown reptilian race, called Carnifex in ancient chronicles, certainly became prominent in Davania and reached as far as the Alphatian sea. Climate changes and diseases probably played a role too in the Pardasta decline. Anyway around 14000 years before the Landfall the Carnifex empire was very powerful, and lizardmen, gatormen and frogfolk, probably used by the Carnifex as slaves, also rose in numbers in eastern Brun, the Isle of Dawn, the Alatians, Ochalea, southern Alphatia and Bellisaria. The Fairy Kingdom of Aasie, the giants of the north and the Empire of Aran however were able to contain the Carnifex advance in the Alphatian sea.
The Third Wave: Oltec and Lhomarrian Humans
The olive skinned Lhomarrian humans and the copper skinned Oltec humans came both from the area of modern Esterhold starting their slow migrations even before the height of the Pardasta civilizations, around 45000 years before the Landfall. At the beginning they were only small and weak groups, who had to bargain for their lives with the more powerful races inhabiting the Alphatian sea. From 11000 years ago however their numbers were considerable, and they had already founded many cities along the coasts of Esterhold, Bellisaria, Alphatia, the Alatians and the Isle of Dawn. The Lhomarrian in particular had a powerful empire in Davania, and they successfully defeated the Carnifex, but they too were destroyed by a great earthquake about 6000 years before Landfall.
According to some texts, they could be the main ancestors of the Yanifey humans who inhabited Alphatia before the Landfall. In this age, Alphatia was called Atlan or Aztlan4, probably the first was the Lhomarrian name, the second the Oltec one. The existence of an actual powerful kingdom called Atlan is disputed, and it is not even sure if it was an human or faerie kingdom, or both. But it seems quite probable that Alphatia was indeed called Atlan by the natives up to the Landfall.
Alphatian sea 8000 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 8000 BC
My main sources were the following articles by Geoff Gander, Giampaolo Agosta, Arila Pires Dos Santos, Giulio Caroletti and Simone Neri, but their ideas about the past of Alphatia could be much different from the ones I detailed above.
The Fourth Wave: Serpentine Empire
The Serpentine Empire of Davania, also known as Old Arypt, had a great expansion after the fall of Lhomarr, and came to rule land as far as the modern Known World and the Isle of Dawn. In the Alphatian sea its expansion was contained by the Gandhar empire of the Giants, which at the time ruled also over fairies and human populations. The Aranea kingdom in the Isle of Dawn and the oltecs of Aztlan were also instrumental in stopping the Serpentines. As said before, I have almost no reliable information on Aztlan, but I have some clues that its capital may have been the modern Archport. It seems that the Yanifey culture developed at this time from an alliance between humans and fairy folks, but it was menaced by the giants and the Aztlan.
In Brun, the powerful Draconic empire dominated vast lands, but the giants of Gandhar kept it away from the Alphatian sea.
Alphatian sea 5000 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 5000 BC
My main sources were the following articles by James Mishler, Bruce Heard, Giampaolo Agosta, Arila Pires Dos Santos, Giulio Caroletti and Simone Neri:
The Fifth Wave: Blackmoor and Thonia
The expansion of the human empires of Blackmoor and Thonia in Skothar had relevant consequences on the Alphatian sea. The Thonians created a powerful colony in the southern Isle of Dawn and the modern Alatians, dominating the local Oltecs. The Blackmoorians had an important colony in eastern Brun and several outposts on the coasts from Skothar to Brun. The Gandhar empire of giants maintained its power in the northern Isle of Dawn and Alphatia. Skandaharian colonies, an ancient northmen culture, were created in north western Alphatia. The rest of Alphatia was apparently ruled by Yanifey kingdoms, the most important being Nafer, probably heir of the mythical Aztlan empire. Bellisaria was ruled by the Asyidhia culture and the powerful kingdom of Bahldaraat-khor. The Mawa human culture, from the Sea Kingdoms of the Farend ocean, also started to colonize the southern seas from Bellisaria to the Pearl Islands and beyond.
Alphatian sea 3100 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 3100 BC
About Bahldaraat-Khor see this article by Geoff Gander: http://pandius.com/bahlkhor.html
About the Asyidhi see Simone Neri: http://pandius.com/rwdawnis.html. They would be an Oltec population related to Afridhi and Jennites of Skothar, progenitors of Nithians, Thothians, Alasiyans and similar Mystaran cultures inspired by Earth’s Middle East.
For the Isle of Dawn, James Mishler: http://pandius.com/dawnhist.html
The Mawa would be M-polynesian created by me here: http://pandius.com/nedavppl.html from previous discussions in the Mystaran community.
The Sixth Wave: Antalians and Dunharians
With the Great Rain of Fire, the existing civilizations were pretty much swept away, and new ones replaced them. The Pardasta and other rakasta breeds, persecuted in blackmoorian times as beastmen, rose back to power in Bellisaria and Ochalea, and other areas. The Mawa humans expanded in the southern islands. Some cultures related to the modern Thothians, like the Asyidhi, the Afur and the Neeth, flourished in northern Bellisaria, southern Alphatia and the eastern Isle of Dawn. Fairies and giants dominated vast lands in Brun, the northern Isle of Dawn and Alphatia, and I have some archeological evidence that elves lived in our island continent too. Further studies will be needed to ascertain the lineage of such elves, who could be related to the mysterious Trueflowers of the Isle of Dawn. Certain nations of Brun had an influence on the Alphatian sea region too, in particular the lizardmen of Mogreth certainly had some colonies in the western Isle of Dawn, the dwarves of the Shimmering Lands probably had colonies both in the Isle and in modern Stoutfellow5. The humans of Taymora eventually founded colonies in the western Isle of Dawn and probably northern Ochalea too.
Some powerful Yannivey kingdoms also rose to prominence in Alphatia around this time, like Zaanidon in central Alphatia, Llyn around the namesake lake and Ogam in the northwest. The latter kingdom was supposedly inhabited by worshippers of unspecified foul immortals, and for this was later destroyed by the Yannivey of the east.
But I believe the most important migration of this time was the spreading of Antalians and Dunharians. The first people founded cities and colonies not only in all of north eastern Brun, but also in the northern Isle of Dawn, Qeodhar and all of northern Alphatia, often fighting the local Yannivey, fairies and giants. The Dunharians, ancestors of the modern Dunael of the Isle of Dawn and the people of the Four Kingdoms in Davania spread in modern Alphatia and the Isle of Dawn. In Alphatia they lived in vast lands and had at least one powerful kingdom in modern Randel, which I believe was called Dunra and had its capital in modern Rardish.
On a final note about this age, I should add that the Great Rain of Fire also caused a temporary resurgence of some non human races. For example lizardmen ruled the modern Haunted Marshes of Alphatia and all the lands around it, possibly allied with the nation of Mogreth in eastern Brun. The aranea of Aran were again quite powerful, dominating the newly created great escarpment in the Isle of Dawn. And the modern Esterhold was largely colonized by the insectoid hivebroods, who in later centuries invaded the Alphatian mainland.
Alphatian sea 2500 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 2500 BC
The Ogam were created by Geoff Gander and are mentioned also by Bruce Heard, see here http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2013/04/Ambur01.html and here
Roger Burns created the Alphatian kingdoms before Landfall here: http://pandius.com/ab4lfall.html
Always James Mishler for the Isle of Dawn: http://pandius.com/dawnhist.html
And John Calvin for 2300 BC cultures: http://pandius.com/kworld_h.html
The Seventh Wave: The Taymorans
By 2000 BC (-1000 AY), the political situation in the Alphatian sea had changed quite a bit. The Taymoran humans of eastern Brun had expanded greatly, founding colonies in the western Isle of Dawn, particularly in the central part, the allied kingdom of Shumar where now modern Thothia lies and the colony of Ymathra in modern Haven. One of their greatest enemy, the lizardmen empire of Mogreth, was destroyed, and their former land was now inhabited by humans related to the Thothians, and likewise dominated by Taymorans.
In the rest of the Isle of Dawn, the Dunael human culture had expanded greatly, while the related Dunharians were much reduced in mainland Alphatia, except for the powerful kingdom of Rardish. Antalians still dominated over all of north eastern Brun and north western Alphatia. The Yannivey ruled the north east, while the central forests were again dominated by fairy folks. Both cultures, like the kingdoms of Zaanidon and Rardish, were hard pressed by a hivebrood invasion which had engulfed large areas of modern Foresthome and Bettelyn. Several new kingdoms had risen in the rest of the Alphatian sea. Hunak, a kingdom of stone giants, in the southern Isle of Dawn had contained the expansion of the aranea of Aran. The Treadan city states were founded on the modern Eadrin coast, probably by Teslan colonists, a people vaguely related to the Jennites that at the time lived in modern Minaea, on Skothar. Internal Bellisaria, also known as the Strifeland, was dominated by the Tiref clans who were probably an asyidhian people.
And lastly, waves of Tanagoro colonists from Skothar began to settle the Pearl Islands, mixing with the existing Mawa. It’s likely that at the time minor settlements of Tanagoro people existed also in other locations of the southern seas, like southern Bellisaria or the Alatians.
Roger Burns as above: http://pandius.com/ab4lfall.html
James Mishler as above: http://pandius.com/dawnhist.html
John Calvin as above: http://pandius.com/kworld_h.html and here:
Alphatian sea 2000 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 2000 BC
The Eight Wave: Humanoids
In 1700 BC, or probably some decades earlier, Brun was swept by the first great humanoid invasion. The powerful Antalian civilization, and many other human and nonhuman cultures, were almost destroyed. The Alphatian sea region was not spared, as humanoids were able to reach the Isle of Dawn, Ochalea and Alphatia through the land bridges that existed at the time. Such bridges were later destroyed by climatic changes and rising sea levels after the earthquakes that destroyed the Taymora civilization from 1750 to 1700 BC.
Only the Pearl Islands, the Alatians and Bellisaria were spared from this invasion, even if as we will see later, the first two were later reached by orcs anyway.
In the Isle of Dawn, Fomorian giants and humanoids allied, laying waste to Firbolg giants, fairies and Dunael communities. Many Taymoran and Traldar colonies were sacked too. Even if they were not normally allied with humanoids, lupin tribes too reached the Isle of Dawn and Ochalea around this time. It’s not exactly clear when ogre magi reached Ochalea, but it must have been between 1700 and 1000 BC.
In northern Alphatia the local antalians, yannivey, giants and fairies suffered the worst of the humanoid invasion, and started a long struggle against them which did not end with the Alphatian Landfall, and could be considered to continue even today.
James Mishler as above: http://pandius.com/dawnhist.html
Giampaolo Agosta’s Gazetteer of Ochalea: http://pandius.com/ochnode.html
The Ninth Wave: Thothians and Varellyans
By 1300 BC the humanoid expansion was contained in most of the Alphatian Sea and eastern Brun, even if humanoids tribes still ruled vast lands. Two great civilizations developed at this time, the Thothians6 in the Isle of Dawn and the Varellyans in Davania. From their rise to the fall of their empire in 500 BC, the Thothians dominated almost all of the Isle of Dawn, several regions of Eastern Brun and as far in the west as the Savage Coast, the Antalians and the Arypt region in Davania. They had trade post in Ochalea, Alphatia, Bellisaria and even Norwold, and there are traces they reached as far as modern Minaea in Skothar, or even the Tangor Empire in the far east. From Southern Davania, the Varellyans reached the southern coast of Bellisaria and the Alatians. It doesn’t seem that the Thothians and the Varellyans fought major wars, as they were far enough from each other to easily share their influence on the world.
LoZompatore on the extent of the Nithian Empire: http://pandius.com/nthxtnt2.html.
More about Varellya in Threshold issue #5: http://pandius.com/Threshold_5.pdf
The Tenth Wave: Paesh, Gnolls and Kara-Kara orcs
Displaced by some invasions in Skothar, the Paesh people, loosely related to the Ethengarians of Brun, settled Ochalea around 1100 BC. Others of these people also reached Vulcania in Davania, and it’s possible they also created some small communities in Bellisaria and elsewhere in the Alphatian sea. Around 1000 BC other humanoids invasions hit eastern Brun, in particular the gnoll hordes that conquered Traladara for a short time and shortly later arrived in the Isle of Dawn, attacking Thothia. Also around this time the southern seas from the region of modern Thyatis to Ochalea, the Alatians and the Pearl Islands were attacked by Kara-Kara orcs, humanoids who had somehow learned navigational skills somewhere. These were probably the last invasions of the Alphatian sea before the Landfall.
More about the Paesh in Threshold issue #5: http://pandius.com/Threshold_5.pdf
More about the Kara-Kara in “Advices to Traders in the Sea of Dread” by LoZompatore in Threshold issue #4: http://pandius.com/Threshold_4.pdf
Alphatian sea 1000 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 1000 BC
The Eleventh Wave: Alphatians
When the Alphatians arrived in 1000 BC (AY 0) the great island was obviously inhabited by many native people. Despite the official history many Alphatian wizards like to learn and teach to others, it’s not true that such people were quickly enslaved or assimilated. In many instances, it happened the other way around, and local people assimilated the Alphatians. In my study of the original Alphatian language and culture, I have developed the conviction that what we now call “Alphatian” is truly borrowed in large parts by the native cultures that already existed in the region. Even the Alphatian alphabet is clearly very similar to the one which was used by Milenians and Varellyans. I have strong evidence that Bettelyn existed already as a deeply religious nation with that same name before the arrival of the Alphatians. Randel was called Rardish, but it was already a militaristic nation with dragon riders. Haven was called Dafe, but it was already famous for its artisans and artists. Shavadze, which was the territory of modern Arogansa, already had a notorious arrogant aristocracy with a relevant number of wizards.
It is true that now most Arogansan claim pure Alphatian blood, but I have investigated enough the first years on Mystara to know how things really went. Alphatians often absorbed by marriage or alliance native wizards and, later, clerics too, because they needed their expertise on local magic. How many Cypric Alphatians will be surprised to know they have bronze skinned Asyidhian or Yannivey ancestors! And how many Pure Alphatian do not suspect they have pale skinned Neathar or Antalian ancestors! That is also due to Alphatian peculiar society, where the daughter of a slave automatically becomes an aristocrat if she has magical power, or she has the means to learn clerical spells. In the first years, the subjected people learned this “trick” rather quickly and exploited it, also because at the same time many Alphatians had sons and daughters born without magical abilities. It should also be remembered that Alphatians had no social classes in their home world, no servants or slaves. The stratification we can observe today was definitely borrowed from native cultures. It is now impossible to say, after 2000 years, how much of each Alphatian Kingdom’s culture comes directly from its native predecessors, but it is probably a very relevant part.
Even if it is historically undisputed that Ar, Sundsvall, Aasla, Citadel and Blackheart were all settled by Alphatians shortly after Landfall, and naval expeditions reached Bellisaria, Trikelios and northern Alphatia just a few years later, that doesn’t mean at all that the Empire ruled over a vast territory from the start. Quite the contrary, indeed. Ar remained independent for centuries, and the nearby kingdom of Argonath, comprising modern Frisland and Ambur, even if it was settled by many Alphatians, did not officially join the empire until 405 AC (AY 1405).
The native kingdoms of Ymathra, Zaanidon, Dafe, Afotir, Shavadze and Rardish were officially under Alphatian rule by AY 100 (BC 900), but the truth was not so simple.
Indeed in the very first centuries the emperor or the empress effectively ruled only over Vertiloch and Theranderol. Haven was hostile to the imperial throne for a long time, as the Wall clearly demonstrates. Bettelyn was normally not hostile, but independent anyway. Randel was a menace so serious that the early emperors built fortifications to defend Theranderol from its raids, even if later that kingdom became loyal to the crown. Arogansa produced a number of emperors and empress, but was often hostile to the current ruler when he or she was not from its royal house. All this should clearly prove that the unity of Alphatia was a fiction to the benefit of foreigners for most of the history of the empire.
The Alphatians were instrumental in defeating the Hivebrood infestation in the east, yet Foresthome was sparsely settled by Alphatians for many centuries and joined the empire only around AY 920 (BC 80). Frisland reached the modern extension only in AY 1556 (BC 556), after the Kingdom of Orzafeth and the antalians of Ystmarhavn were assimilated. The humanoids of Limn and the Antalian people living on the north of the modern kingdom were conquered only after AY 910 (BC 90), even if the first treaties were signed already in AY 500, and Limn has been recognized as a true kingdom only a hundred years ago.
Stonewall was settled by many native and alphatian without magical abilities, who accepted to join the empire only after AY 900, when they received assurances that they could have the same rights as wizards and clerics in their territory. The same happened with Stoutfellow.
The colonizations efforts outside Alphatia proper too were largely exaggerated in subsequent chronicles. For example, Alphatians reached Esterhold as early as AY 800 (BC 200) but effectively controlled only Skyfyr and some trading outpost for many centuries after, and even now the empire’s control over internal lands is more wishful than real.
Other colonial expeditions, like the failed one in Norwold by Alinor in AY 655 (345 BC) were more private initiatives than something sanctioned by the Imperial crown, and the same happened in many other lands, like the settlement of the Alatians and Bellisaria.
The relation with clerical magic was problematic, because the Alphatians did not worship Immortals in their original world. Yet magical power was grudgingly respected, even if given by mysterious powers. In some places, like Bettelyn, clerics became dominant. Elsewhere they were mistrusted for centuries. Many went to Ochalea, first settled by Alphatians in AY 200 (800 BC) or the Alatian islands. When some Alphatian reached immortality and their cults spread, religion became much more popular in Alphatia. Yet even in modern times, many Alphatians are still quite indifferent toward the Immortals.
See James Ruhland for an Alphatian point on view on the Empire’s history: http://pandius.com/ahistrev.html
See Jamuga Khan and Captain Ebenezum for Alphatia Early Years: http://pandius.com/alphconq.html, even if I have partially departed from their history.
About Ystmarhavn and the Antalians see Geoff Gander here: http://pandius.com/ystmar.html and here: http://pandius.com/ant_east.html
About Argonath see Geoff Gander here: http://pandius.com/suppress.html
Alphatian sea 100 BC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 100 BC
The Twelfth Wave: Shiye Elves, Traldar and Milenians
In addition to what I said above, in the very first centuries of the Alphatian presence in Mystara, the expansion of the empire was also limited by the Thothians and by the Shiye elves. The Thothians were immediately friendly with the Alphatians, some sages indeed say that they guided the Alphatian migration to Mystara. They shared their magical knowledge too and were fundamental in aiding the Alphatians adapt to the different magic of the new planet.
Therefore peace was kept with the Thothians for as long as their empire existed. Alphatia assimilated them in AY 500, after a great crisis had collapsed the Thothian empire and its Brunian colonies7. But while the Thothians declined, another power rose in Davania, reaching up to the southern shores of the Alphatian sea, the Milenian Empire.
Alphatia had problems in the central and northern part of its own island too. The Shiye elves arrived in AY 200 (800 BC), and some among my people say that this happened because they were called by the local fairy folks, worried about the Alphatian encroachment. The Kingdom of Shiye Lawr remained independent from Alphatia, and at times hostile, until AY 1000, with an earlier alliance by AY 700. The northern elven kingdom of Ilmaryl was independent until AY 734 (BC 266), when it fell to dark powers and became eventually the infamous land of Blackheart. This latter kingdom didn’t join the empire until it was forced to, by AY 1100 (AC 100). As already anticipated above, Limn and Foresthome became part of the Empire only in AY 910 and 920, but they were mostly inhabited by many humanoids and fairy folks, as they still are. Argonath, part of modern Frisland and Ambur, officially joined the empire only in AY 1405, the rest of Frisland only in AY 1556 after the defeat of Orzafeth.
The story is really different from each kingdom and territory. Some, Ar and Ochalea for example, were settled by Alphatians in the early years, but had no intention to join the Empire. This was true even for Haven and Randel in the early years, and for Blackheart and Argonath for several centuries. Others, like Frisland, Foresthome or Bellisaria were culturally assimilated only recently, and not completely. Others, like Shiye Lawr, Stoutfellow, Limn and Thothia, joined the Empire, but certainly are not dominated by ethnic Alphatians. Others, like Stonewall or Bettelyn are inhabited by Alphatians, but consider themselves very different from the “typical” Alphatian culture and mindset. The Empire has no cultural unity and its political unity is never guaranteed, and that explains why it was never able to dominate Mystara, and probably never will . Still, it has been able to conquer and rule vast territories, and to unite to face great threats and external enemies.
One of such threats was the Milenian Empire, which by 600 BC was ever more powerful and had founded colonies in the Isle of Dawn, Bellisaria, Minaea and the Alatians. The Alphatians traded and warred with the Empire, which often used piracy by proxies to hurt Alphatian interests. Such proxies were often the Traldars, or the Thyatians, who probably were sent north by the Milenians for the exact purpose of creating problems to Alphatia.
From AY 700 to 900 (300 to 100 BC) the Alphatian empire became more and more hostile toward the Milenians, hence the decision to conquer Aeria, Ochalea and Thyatis itself.
The Milenians were not pleased, they fought back in all the southern seas, and keep on harassing Alphatian trade until their ultimate fall in AY 950 (50 BC). The Alphatians had reason to think that, with Milenia gone, the world was theirs to take. But they were wrong.
About Ilmaryl, see Geoff Gander here: http://pandius.com/ilmaryl.html
About Orzafeth, see Geoff Gander here: http://pandius.com/korzafth.html and here http://pandius.com/orzafeth.html
For more about Milenia see Threshold issue #5: http://pandius.com/Threshold_5.pdf and here by LoZompatore: http://pandius.com/milenext.html
The Thirteenth Wave: Thyatians and Minaeans
In AY 1000 (0 BC) the famous or infamous Thyatian rebellion happened, and the Thyatians were able to exploit the Alphatian weakness and conquer not only half of the Isle of Dawn, but also Ochalea and the Pearl Islands. At the same time, Minaea was founded by Milenian colonists, who lost no time to harass the Alphatians in Bellisaria and beyond.
So began a century long struggle with both people, even if the latter one was toned down by Alphatian chronicles as simple piracy.
In the first six centuries of the second millennium on Mystara, the Alphatians however were able to complete the unification of their own island, with Frisland and Qeodhar finally joining the empire with the present borders by AY 1600 (AC 600) after the fall of Orzafeth and Ystmarhavn. The map below shows the extent of the two empires circa that year. Alphatia had not full control of Bellisaria and Esterhold yet, and the colonies in Norwold were endangered by dragon attacks. A first foothold in Brun was established in Alasiya, where a two centuries war with the natives and the Thyatians began. Thyatis in the meantime had expanded in Ierendi and Minrothad, even if its control of such land will be short lived.
Alphatian sea 600 AC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 600 AC
In the following centuries the struggle between the two empires continued, and by AY 1800 (800 AC) the Alphatians had consolidated their domains in Norwold, Alasiya, Esterhold and Minaea, and even occupied, for a short time, the area of modern Glantri.
Thyatis had lost Ierendi and Minrothad, so for a time it seemed that Alphatia was gaining the upper hand.
About the History of Thyatis see James Ruhland here: http://pandius.com/thy_hist.html
For more on Minaea, see here: http://pandius.com/minaea.html
Alphatian sea 800 AC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 800 AC
That proved to be a short living illusion, as the colonies in Glantri and Alasiya were soon lost, and the Alphatians seemed about to be expelled from Brun. A new struggle began in Norwold, with the Thyatians founding the colony of Oceansend and advancing in the northern Isle of Dawn, and the Alphatian resisting in the northern part.
Combined with the Thyatian conquest of Traladara, this seemed a time in which Thyatis could gain the upper hand.
Alphatian sea 900 AC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 900 AC
The Spike assault of AY 1959 changed the picture once again with Alphatia conquering all the Isle of Dawn and Thyatis itself, thus reaching its maximum historical extension, a feat which was replied in AY 2009. In both occasion the conquest lasted just a few months, and then the Thyatians were back, and expanded also in Davania with their conquest of the Hinterland.
Alphatia however gained something in Norwold, as the Thyatians lost control of Oceansend. The Alphatian claim on all Norwold was however more political than real.
Alphatian sea 1000 AC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 1000 AC
After the great war and the great earthquake8 that hit Alphatia at the end of AY 2009, Thyatis conquered the Alatian islands and a relevant part of the Isle of Dawn from Dunadale to Trikelios, but its advance was eventually stopped. Some treaties later, the Isle of Dawn is divided again, with Helskir and Dunadale theoretically independent in the new Kingdom of Heldun.
Alphatian sea 1020 AC
Caption: Alphatian sea circa 1020 AC
Appendix: The Past of Thyatis
As I was examining past cultures and civilizations of mainland Alphatia, I decided to do some researches on the past of Thyatis too.
Before the Great Rain of Fire, this region was apparently inhabited by giants in the mountains and by some human cultures in the lowlands, called Albai and Tjeset9. Apparently they were both descended from Toralai Neathar. The informations about these people are scarce at best, for so far I have only ascertained that Albai were land dwelling tribes, while the Tjeset had relevant navigational skills.
After the Great Rain of Fire the region was slowly taken over by the Taymoran culture, which came to dominate the whole area before its fall around 1700 BC.
From this time to the arrival of the Thyatians in 600 BC several cultures developed in the region. In the area between modern Kerenda and Thyatis city the Etrusna culture flourished between 1500 and 100 BC, with its peak around 600 and 500 BC.
The Etrusna were a sophisticated culture influenced by Taymorans, Thothians and later Milenians, and the dominant power in the region for several centuries. When the late Thothian Empire started to oppress them, they allied with the Thyatians and the Kerendans to fight back, eventually blending with them. Such a blending was not devoid of conflicts. Initially the Etrusna clearly dominated militarily and culturally the newcomers, but from 500 to 200 BC Thyatians and Kerendans eventually assimilated or conquered their major cities.
The Albai lived in the area of modern Machetos, and were the same people from before the Great Rain of Fire. The Thyatian empire eventually conquered them and the related people living in the area of modern Biazzan, but only after several campaigns and relevant difficulties, and not before 200 AC.
The region of Mesonia was the first one settled by the Thyatians and apparently most of the native population happily merged with them to get rid of the Thothian empire.
The eastern part of Thyatis however was also heavily settled on the coast by Doulakki cities. The Doulakki were a culture probably loosely related to the ancient Traldars and the Taymorans which allied firstly with the Thonian Empire, and later with the Milenian colonies of the Isle of Dawn. Each city was rich, powerful and fiercely independent, and the Thyatians had to struggle until 200 AC to fully assimilate them.
Indeed when the Alphatians conquered Thyatis in 190 BC what they really conquered was a collection of different cities and cultures. The Thyatians were the ones who lead the rebellion against Alphatia from 2 BC but, even when they won, the land was by no means completely in their control. Customs and dialects of the native people survive in the more isolated regions of mainland Thyatis, for example in all the internal lands, and in the south of Hattia.
Some regions of Thyatis, the mountains in particular, are still in the hands of giants, ogres, kobolds and dragons and the Empire has little or no authority in such territories, even now.
That is what I have learned so far on the ancient Thyatian history. The most interesting thing was to see that indeed, as happened in Alphatia, in Thyatis too the native populations were not so easily assimilated as the official imperial history would like us to believe.
And, as happened in Alphatia, I think it’s quite obvious that the native cultures had a greater impact on the formation of modern Thyatis than many Thyatians currently know.
Thyatis 1000 BC
Caption: Thyatis circa 1000 BC
The Doulakki were created by the Mystaran community as Mystaran-greeks living in the Known World before the Thyatians, founders of Cynidicea, Selenica, Akorros and many other cities, more informations here: http://search.freefind.com/servlet/freefind?id=574922&pageid=r&query=doulakki&mode=Find+pages+matching+ALL+words. In Thyatis, they would be the equivalents of the greek colonies of ancient Italy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Graecia
All the cultures of ancient Thyatis would be based on the cultures of ancient Italy. The Albai on Ligurians (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligures), the Etrusna on the Etruscans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_civilization) which I also placed in the Hollow World in Threshold issue #9. Teria should be based on Elba (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elba). Mesonia should be based on ancient Latium (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latium) and its populations, and other regions of central Italy. Retia and Alatia should be based on Veneti and Reti (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adriatic_Veneti and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhaetian_people). Carya should be based on Sardinia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuragic_civilization), as explained by Giulio Caroletti in his article in this same issue of Threshold. Tallia and Mosia should be based on Campania, Apulia and Calabria, and other regions of southern Italy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Italy). Cania should be based on Sicily (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Sicily).
1See Threshold issue #10, The Elven Clans and their Migrations.
3The Burrowers are told in the Hollow World boxed set to destroy the Brute men civilizations around 5000 BC, but I moved this date to 50000 BC as it seem more realistic to me and fitting much better with the history of Lhomarr and the rakasta migrations.
4This is a little inside joke as in CM1 Test of the Warlords The crones of Crystykk call Alphatia “Atlantis”, see page 27 of the module. So I suppose it could have been the native name of the great island.
5The Dawn of the Emperors boxed set states that Stoutfellow was settled by dwarves and gnomes only “fifty years ago” (AY 1950 or AC 950). I find this date completely unbelievable, so I’ve arbitrarily decided that Stoutfellow has been inhabited by dwarves for more than 5000 years. That could fit with the dwarven migration from Skothar to Brun after the Great Rain of Fire imagined by John Calvin in his Shimmering Lands work: http://pandius.com/shimland.html. Dwarves however could have been present in the mountains of Alphatia from even more ancient times.
6Thiserstian cannot know this due to the Spell of Oblivion, but Thothia was just a colony of Nithia, see Gaz02 The Emirates of Ylaruam, Dawn of the Emperors Boxed Set, Poor Wizard’s Almanacs.
7See the Ninth Wave and note 5 above.
8In my campaign, Alphatia was hit by the Doomsday device as per Wrath of the Immortals boxed set timeline, but not sunk. A part of its population was still moved to the Hollow World, and the Empire was grievously weakened.
9Briefly described by me in my article New Blackmoor, 3050 BC in Threshold issue #2