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SEPTENTRIONA (Province of)

Location: Northern half of the Shadow Coast, west of the great escarpment on the Isle of Dawn. SD

Area: 95,775 sq. mi. (248,055 sq. km.).

Population: 25,000 including the capital of Rialtos (pop. 2,500) and the town of Laticea (pop. 2,000).

Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian dialect, Redstone dialect also common), Alphatian (Hillvale dialect).

Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), justiciar (ep), asterius (sp), denarius (cp). Alphatian Standard also very common: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (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: Agriculture, logging, mining.

Important Figures: Deitica Baralius (Governor-General).

Flora and Fauna: Septentriona has the usual sorts of the normal animals and plants found for lands of its climate and weather. The black dust desert is known to be the home of several sorts of dragons, and evil fairies plague the dark forests along the southern coasts.

Further Reading: M5 Talons of Night, Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Stefania Torion.

Septentriona is a large but mostly undeveloped province, with a few settlements but vast areas of wilderness. Septentriona has the distinction of not having been occupied by the Alphatians during the Final Alphatian War, mainly because they didn't bother to invade it, bypassing it instead.

The Land

Septentriona covers the western coast of the Isle of Dawn from the sea inland to where the Great Escarpment rises up over the land. It has a widely varied terrain, from the northern prairies south of the County of Kendach, to the vast, deep forests of the Shadow Coast, with towering mountains north of the Great Escarpment. The northwestern region, fronting Seawolf Bay, is probably the most developed. There is an active volcano, inland from Cape Gabrionus, the mount known as Nova Gabriona, that showers ash over the Black Dust Desert. South of Nova Gabriona lay the ruins of Fjellstue, a place of unknown age, whose origins are lost in the mists of time. Dragons are known to inhabit the Black Dust Desert, and the Retebius Air Fleet has attempted to glean recruits from among them from time to time. Curving around the desert in a semicircle, roughly parallel to the coast, is the range of hills known as the Culaesar Bulge, which keeps the dust of the desert contained. The outer rim of these hills is forested, giving way to lush country around Cape Gabrionus and the Liminaris and Salicia Bays. This is the main region of settlement within the province, with a trail (the Linius) running along the coast from the Tower of Lucinius in the north to the village of Perdidis in the south.

Northeast of the Culaesar Bulge are the Tigris Plains, good pastoral country but as yet sparsely utilised. Inland from the Black Dust Desert and running down the coast is the Beocean Forest, a dark wood that remains wild and untamed.

Septentriona is bifurcated in its middle by the Skull River, which runs down out of the Great Escarpment to empty into the Western Sea of Dawn. Indeed, the Skull River valley becomes a gorge at the Great Escarpment, and is one of the few ways to ascend it easily. Here along the river itself is where the most recent colonisation efforts are underway, centred on the recently founded town of Rialtos. Many colonists have been directed to this region, as the banks of the river have good soil, the nearby timber can be culled for export, used to build ships in Thyatis, and the region is suspected of having valuable minerals.

Outside of these zones most of the province is covered in a thick tangle of dark forests, though there are some coastal plains that might make good land for settlement. The forests themselves are known to be the haven for many fell creatures, and fey things happen here more often than even in my own Redstone County, though they are far more often malicious and malevolent. At the point where the Great Escarpment rises up over the lands below, the cliffs are riddled with caves and caverns leading out into the forests. These likewise are very dangerous, and only the most brave and skilled explorers dare enter them, or reach that far into the province's depths. Even so, many of these adventurers are never seen alive again.

The People

As mentioned above, there are two main centres of Thyatian habitation in the province. The first is the northern coastal region, running from Cape Gabrionus to the Bareus Cliffs. There are four main settlements here. In the north is the Tower of Lucinius, a fortified watch post, wizard's tower, and lighthouse. South of the tower, at the mouth of the Cavia River, is Laticea, which has grown in size from a large village to become a small town in recent years. Below this, at the mouth of the Doloma River, is Latveii, while considerably further to the southeast along the coast, at Salicia Bay, is the community of Perdidis. These are all communities of farmers and fishermen, living along the coasts and rarely venturing more than twenty miles inland on hunts and the like, for the lands further inland are known to still be home to dangerous monsters. But this coastal strip is relatively safe, and life here has gone on with little change for several centuries. The people of the region consider themselves fairly lucky as they have rarely been directly impacted by any of the wars fought on the Isle of Dawn, having to deal with only the occasional monster raids. This was true for the most part during the Final Alphatian War, though for a time during the later stages of the fighting this area became the centre of Thyatian resistance on the island, coordinating Thyatian partisan groups fighting the Alphatians elsewhere on the island. The impact of these efforts on the course of the war was small at best, but those involved in them take deserved pride in the part they played in it.

To the south of this zone, and separated from it by a long stretch of coast and thick forests, are the newer colonial settlements along the Skull River. Here is the town of Rialtos, a port near the mouth of the river, sheltered from storms rolling in off the Western Sea of Dawn by a lagoon. The town itself is built on several small islands, with pylons driven into the ground around them to keep them stable. The site was chosen, despite the mild inconvenience of it, because the islands are more secure from monstrous incursions. The townspeople are able to easily reach the banks of the river using barges, which are also used to transport goods up and downstream. Along the river's banks upstream are burgeoning farmsteads and logging camps, as well as some encampments of prospectors hoping to find mineral deposits and strike it rich. Dangers are known to lurk in the nearby forests, however, so colonists are well equipped not only with tools but with weapons.