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MOSITIUS (Duchy of)

Location: Island off the southeastern coast of the continent of Brun, east of Hattias, south of Carytion. OW

Area: 1,232 sq. mi. (3,190 sq. km.).

Population: 20,000 including the town of Argevin (pop. 8,000).

Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian dialect), Elvish (Vyalia 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, fishing, oil, magic, tourism, trade, wine.

Important Figures: Triella Tien-Tang (Duchess), Allatine Proavistes (Lord), Frederick Beckman (Provost Marshal), Dong Luc-Thu (Priest).

Flora and Fauna: Grape vines, olive trees, date palms, cedar, peach, pear, orange, and cherry fruit trees in cultivated orchards. Bees kept for honey. Pegasi, griffons, rocs, ruby, gold, and white dragons as well as other aerial mounts are sometimes found as mounts for tourists. Merrow, dolphins, and other aquatic life off the coasts.

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

Description by Vivianna Romanones.

This island duchy is, with Carytion, a centre of tourism for the empire. There is an active volcano that releases strange mists unto the island, influencing the behaviours of the inhabitants.

The Land

Mositius is a long, gently curved island with beautiful beaches and exceptionally good weather. The island is good vine-growing country, and Mositius is known for its wineries. The northern head of the island is hilly, leading up to a semi-active volcano that sits at the centre of the island. Mood-altering mists periodically pour forth from the volcano and cover much of the island. When the mist hits the residents, the whole island seems to fall under the sway of the emotion brought on by the mist. Duchess Triella Tien-Tang insures that only positive emotions are allowed to escape from the volcano's core, so a fun time is had by all that are affected.

The rest of the island consists of beaches surrounding verdant plains. The plains are given over to vineyards or recreation facilities (riding fields, polo grounds, parks for romantic walks, and the like). Interspersed along the length of the island's coasts, from tip to tip, are hostels, resorts, inns, villas, taverns, and the like, all catering to Mositius's tourist trade. The main community, Argevin, is built at the foot of the volcano. Argevin is full of taverns, dance halls, casinos, and a variety of other entertainment establishments.

The duchess's palace is built into the caldera of the volcano, Mount Mositius. It is heavily defended by all sorts of guards, magical and mundane. Visiting the duchess personally is by invitation only. At the northern tip of Mositius is the Cuneus Tower, a lighthouse that appears to be carved from a single huge piece of ivory, like the horn of a narwhal-a beautiful spire soaring high into the sky. The tower's keeper, Lord Allatine Proavistes, is a former apprentice and adventuring companion of the duchess.

The People

The duchess herself is a powerful sorceress who long ago aided Thincol in repelling the Alphatian Spike Assault and was later rewarded with rule over Mositius when she discovered how to control its mists. She is quite personable on the rare occasions when she appears in public, but generally prefers privacy, devoting her time to arcane studies and to the governing of Mositius.

The inhabitants of Mositius work at one of two trades: either in the vineyards and wineries, or serving the tourist trade. Though the island's vineyards are small by mainland standards, they produce wines of excellent vintage. Some say the mists are responsible for imbuing these wines with their special qualities, which consist not only of excellent taste but (reputedly) bringing emotions closer to the surface of the drinker. Recently a community of sea elves from Actius moved nearby, and opened up a new tourist concession-for a reasonable fee they will equip patrons with equipment that allows them to breathe underwater, and take them for a tour of the nearby reefs and submerged grottos. The views are spectacular, along with schools of multi-coloured fish that shimmer in the diffused light of the sea.

The other sorts of people commonly found on Mositius are, of course, the tourists. Most vessels dock in Argevin, but many of the finer establishments further down the coasts have their own piers. Yacht racing in the waters off the western coast of Mositius is common as well. The eastern coasts see some races, but because the winds here are less predictable only experienced sailors participate in these. Many like to swim off the beaches, but an increasingly popular past time is the use of a shaped and polished board paddled out to sea. The sport then consists of standing atop the board and riding the largest waves back to the island. This is usually done off the eastern beaches, where the waves are generally better suited for this sort of thing. This custom supposedly started in the Pearl Islands and has spread here only recently.

The tourists themselves range from wealthy dilettantes to loutish rakes, and everything in between. Be careful when visiting Mositius: though the Island Guard keeps most crime fairly well under control, pickpockets and confidence men proliferate. Violence is almost unheard of (except in establishments that specifically cater to such tastes-be it sporting matches between pugilists or wrestlers, or bars known for, and designed around the theme of, no-holds barred bar fights.)

Crime is kept under control partly by the strong weapons regulations the duchess put in place. No weapon larger than a dagger is permitted on Mositius, nor is the wearing of armour allowed. The Island Guard is particularly well trained, consisting not only of uniformed guardsmen but men wearing regular garments as well, to appear inconspicuous. Both the uniformed guards and the undercover operatives operate in teams, well-supported by magic (including magical equipment enchanted by Triella and her apprentices, and spellcasting clerics and mages). This ensures that the relaxation of the island's guests is not disturbed. The Island Guard has a seemingly uncanny ability to sniff out criminal intent before it even occurs, and is known for being at the right place at the right time. Some suspect the heavy use of divinatory magics, but more likely the guard is simply very well trained. As mentioned, though, they either permit or aren't as well able to deal with con men and petty pickpockets. Do not think that you're going to be swindled or have your money pouch stolen when visiting Mositius (such events are actually fairly uncommon), but do be aware of the possibility.

Don't Miss

Just about everything on this island is geared towards serving travellers and tourists, so a better question might be "what not to see." However, of all the things on and under Mositius, I'd recommend the botanical gardens-a complex of greenhouses, gardens, and the like, expertly arranged and maintained. Just about any sort of plant, even the most rare, can be seen here in excellent form.

Do Miss

Unless you're invited, stay off the high slopes of Mount Mositius and definitely do not go into the caldera or the duchess's palace-as well-trained and equipped as the guard is, Triella's personal guards are even better prepared. Plus, where the guard is polite, the mount guards are fairly stern: trespassers are given one warning (usually by magic-messenger or telepathy) to turn back. If they ignore it, they are treated as invaders and attacked without mercy.