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History of the Thyatian Peopleby James Ruhland
Timeline of Pre-Imperial History: Davanian Era
Timeline of Pre-Imperial History: Alphatian Era
The Bright Age
The Middle Centuries
The Modern Era
The Modern Era
Timeline of Pre-Imperial History: Davanian Era
BC 1000: Nithians, made curious about the southern continent due to the Traldar flight in that direction, transport many Antalian slaves to Harbortown and thence to Davania, to colonise there. This is the southern limit of Nithian expansion, and isn't very successful. The Antalian tribes soon rebel and slay their Nithian overlords. These tribes then carve out their own territory in Davania, and are the forefathers of the Thyatian, Kerendan, and Hattian tribes. These tribes are really named after three Thyatian heroes - the men (and, in the case of Thyatis, a woman) who led the Thyatians in their uprising against the Nithians. This becomes the basis for the later legend of the three Kings who led the settlement in Brun, as the oral histories became confused. They name nearby mountains after the tribal kings who led the revolt against the Nithians.
BC 820: First Milenian scouts enter what is now the Hinterlands; contact is established between the three tribes and the Milenians.
BC 800: A series of invasions begins - Milenians annex all the lands east of what will be the River Torion (which runs through Raven Scarp), while established Milenian forces to the west of the Three Tribes press eastwards as well - creating a pincer-like attack. The Tribes hold off very well initially (since they know the land better), but the Milenians soon resort to burning outlying forests and starving outlying clans into submission.
BC 760: The first invasions end; the Tribes' territory has been reduced to a coastal strip of jungle running from what is now Raven Scarp in the east (which is at this time a formidable coastal settlement - surrounded by palisades, pits filled spikes, and other defensive works) to the northernmost cape in the northwest, to an inland distance ranging from 40 - 60 miles. Those tribesmen living in the conquered territories or areas nearest the Milenian frontier (consisting primarily of Thyatians and Kerendans) slowly adopt many Milenian ways and are gradually assimilated into their culture. Many of the tough tribal warriors are recruited into the Milenian army. Others in the conquered areas are enslaved outright. The Hattian tribesmen are the most distant from the Milenians and thus are less easily influenced by their civilisation.
BC 720: A second series of assaults is mounted against the Tribes, with the intention of securing the entire coastline. Several Milenian phalanxes plunge deep into Hattian territory, burning and plundering as they go (as well as taking many prisoners), but are repulsed with the assistance of free Thyatians and Kerendans.
BC 700: The "Second War of Enlightenment" conducted by the Milenians ends. Only a few scattered pockets along the coast remain outside of the empire's influence, but even these have largely been reduced to a client-state relationship with the Milenians. Many Hattians have by now abandoned their homes, fleeing into the more sparsely-populated regions of the jungles to harass occupying Milenian forces.
BC 699: The Milenian Emperor announces that the Northern Borderlands have been pacified. The territory is declared open for settlement.
BC 690: By this time the Thyatian and Kerendan tribes have adopted many Milenian practices, due to continued occupation, intermarriage, and imperial policies of cultural assimilation. Although some have been won over by the cultural and technological achievements of their overlords, many resent being dominated by a distant imperial power that has little, if no, regard for their well-being or their interests.
BC 680: The Milenian city of Melarios is founded on Thyatian territory, to be the province's capital city - thousands of tribesmen are displaced in the acquisition. Those that protest the appropriation of their lands are enslaved, or executed; the Milenian Emperor tells them "you have forgotten how to be free".
BC 675: By this time many region of the Northern Borderlands are in revolt. The incident at Melarios has repeated itself numerous times, with countless Tribal villages, towns, and sacred sites being destroyed or taken over by Milenian colonists. Realising that it is only a matter of time before they are completely absorbed, many of the Tribespeople revolt against Milenian rule. The Hattians, who had been carrying out their campaign all this time, are only too happy to aid their brethren. The Tribes begin forging iron weapons, a process developed by the Hattians, and using it in their wars against the Milenians. Although the rot that will ultimately destroy the Milenian Empire has not yet destroyed its vitality, certain elements of it have already set in. The Northern Borderlands, largely considered the least-desirable territory (due to the fact that it is so close to the sea, still considered dangerous by the Milenians, given how much effort was expended in taking it), have become the dumping ground for the least competent officers and governors. Under such lax conditions, many Milenian settlements in the region have declined, becoming little more than petty dens of crime and decadence. Due to these circumstances, the Tribes attain many decisive victories.
BC 667: The Battle of Melarios. The combined might of the Tribes is set against the Melarian Civil Guard, who, as the lawmen of the regional capital, act as the main embodiment of Milenian power in the region. After a week-long siege, the defenders are overwhelmed by the Tribes, who then sack and burn Melarios.
BC 665: The Milenians initiate a 10-year period of brutal reprisals - hundreds of settlements are razed, and thousands of colonists displace the indigenous inhabitants, driving the Tribespeople northwards - towards the coast. In response, the Tribal armies raid nearby Milenian settlements. The Milenians have also developed iron forging techniques and use it to equip their forces.
BC 650: The conflict escalates as the Empire sends thousands of soldiers northwards, hoping to quell the revolts once and for all. The Tribes send their raiders deeper into Milenian territory, looting towns as far as the northern Meghala Kimata Plains. Widespread panic leads to rioting in nearby cities, as residents' concern over the apparent inability of the Milenians to push back the raiders increases.
BC 630: The tide turns in the Milenians' favour through sheer force of numbers. Although the Tribes know their region well, they are largely unable to stand toe-to-toe with disciplined Milenian phalanxes from the heartland. Knowing the danger they face, the Tribes pull back, leaving looted towns in their wake. The Milenians pursue eagerly, thinking that, finally, they will crush their opponents for good. Groups splinter off from the three Tribes and flee into the jungles, forming their own clans and hoping to avoid the Milenians. These are the progenitors of the Thratians, who live in the Hinterlands of Davania today.
BC 614: The Tribes agree that the situation is growing dire. Although the Thyatians and Kerendans, through their longer time spent under Milenian rule, have learned much from their opponents (including engineering, sophisticated tactics, and magic), they know that the Empire possesses far more resources. It is only a matter of time before surrender becomes the only option. Knowing that this would entail slavery at best, the tribal leaders agree that they cannot remain in their homeland. Vanya, a Princess of the Kerendan Tribe, leads numerous daring attacks against the Milenians as the Tribes consider their options for survival.
Each of the tribes' lore contains old legends of having lived on a northern continent long ago. They decide, using their acquired knowledge of Milenian navigational and shipbuilding techniques, to send scouts northwards - across the Sea of Dread - to seek a new home for themselves. Several dozen such ships set sail over the next few years, with those remaining behind trying as best as they can to delay the inevitable.
BC 608: After years of anguish and fear, the best news possible comes to the Tribes - they have located the northern lands, across the sea. The area is sparsely populated by farmers, hunters, and gatherers. This land would one day be known as southern Hattias. By unanimous agreement, the tribal leaders decide to migrate en masse, leaving in several waves. Vanya, the Princess of the Kerendan tribe, offers to remain behind with a picked group of volunteers to lead the rear-guard action as the Tribes retreat north.
BC 603: By this time the majority of the tribespeople have left Davania. Although many survive the epic journey to southern Brun, thousands are claimed by the Sea of Dread's many perils, and thousands more are separated from their companions during the journey. Some are marooned on various islands in the Thanegioth Archipelago, and others find themselves on the various isolated islets and other lands that dot the sea itself. Vanya's warriors slow the advance of the Milenians, allowing the Tribes to make their escape, but are inexorably pushed back till only one outpost remains.
BC 596: After a long struggle, the last remaining outpost of the Tribes on Davania, Kamades (located where the town of Cittanova stands today), is overrun by Milenian forces. Those who were not slaughtered in the siege and subsequent orgy of looting are enslaved by their captors, and scattered throughout the Empire, their spirit broken. All this time, the Milenians had no idea the mass exodus of the Tribes had taken place; thus, they believe the Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians have been eradicated entirely. The commander of this outpost, the warrior-princess Vanya, is captured by the Milenians.
BC 600: Under the pressure of Milenian expansion three related Davanian tribes migrate to Brun, in the region around present-day Thyatis, displacing the Toralai Neathar, subjects of the Nithians. By this time, the three tribes have adopted a language that we can call Protothyatian, a mix of Milenian and Antalian, and developed an alphabet roughly based on the Milenian one; with slight modifications, it will become the common alphabet used nowadays in the Old World. While the Kerendan and Thyatian tribes have adopted much of the Milenian culture, the Hattian tribe has remained more isolated, and thus their dialect and behaviour bear a few more resemblances to the original Antalian ones, though they still speak recognisable Protothyatian. The date BC 600 is given as the time when the Thyatians settled in Brun, as it is the year Thyatis City was founded. This starts Thyatis' first calendar, which dates time from the founding of The City (AUC Calendar). Thyatis City is founded on the site of a former Nithian city, mostly destroyed and later abandoned during the civil disorders that began to wrack Nithia a century before. The city is built in the middle of a wide channel separating the island that is being occupied by the Hattians from the mainland, alongside a river that makes the surrounding lands particularly productive. The city's first structures are built on one of the largest of these hills in what will become the Zendrolium region, up against a bay, and fortified against the Nithians and their subjects. Over time this bay will be gradually developed into the Great and Lesser Harbours as the city grows.
Ironically, the style of the settlements of the Tribes emulate that of their Milenian enemies. At this time the Thyatians are ruled by a strong Rex (or King), and organized into warbands. Sharp battles are fought against the Nithians and their subjects as that Empire decays, with the Thyatians gradually expanding their colonisation northwards and eastwards. The iron weapons of the Thyatians help them in their battles against the Nithians, who are still using bronze weapons.
BC 597: The City of Hattias is founded as the meeting place for the Hattian tribe on the island of that name. The Hattians face relatively less opposition in colonising the island, with fewer Nithians nearby to oppose them.
BC 596: The City of Kerendas is founded by the Kerendans. They come into contact with Neathar horsemen, subjects of the Nithians who ally with the Kerendans in revolt against the Nithians. Over time the Kerendans and these Neathar assimilate into one people, which adopt the Kerendan name, language, and most customs but become a nation of skilled horsemen. The Kerendans organise their nation on very militaristic lines as they fight against the Nithians and their proxies, as well as large numbers of monstrous hordes that periodically issue forth from the Traldar forests.
BC 584: Thyatians begin to plant settlements on the northern coast of the island of the Hattians, opposite their City. The Hattians take umbrage to this, and soon the Thyatian and Hattians are raiding each other off and on, in between fighting the crumbling Nithians Empire.
BC 566: Kerendans ally with Thyatians against the Nithians, a combined force defeats the army of the Nithian governor in the region, displacing their Toralai proxies (which are now transported to the Hollow World by the Immortals). Nithians begin a wholesale withdrawal northward, concentrating on the still-growing strife in the heart of their Empire. The tribes begin to assimilate the Nithian's former Neathar subjects that remain behind, though pockets continue to hold out in the wilderness areas between the settlements of the Thyatians for some time.
BC 561: Nithian Pharaoh sends a fleet on a punitive expedition against the "southern barbarians" (the Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians) in vengeance over the defeat of his Governor, hoping to restore Nithian sovereignty over the area. The Hattians join the alliance with Kerendas & Thyatis. The Nithian fleet is destroyed off the coast of Hattias at the eastern entrance to Vanya's Girdle.
BC 560: The allied Tribes raid Nithian colonies on nearby islands over the next several years, eventually forcing the Nithians to leave Thyatian waters.
BC 552: Disputes among the allied tribes over who gets control of which small island or who deserves specific amounts of booty results in the alliance dissolving. The tribes then feud among themselves over the next several years.
BC 549: Thyatians found a settlement near what would become Port Lucinius.
BC 543: Kerendans cross the pass at what will become Biazzan and raid Nithia briefly, but the Nithians are still strong in this area and the Kerendan raiding force is ultimately repulsed.
BC 539: Thyatian colonists found a town on the site that will one day become Retebius City.
BC 535: Nithians in the Tel Akbir region wage war against the Thyatian colonists at Kantrium, resulting in a new alliance against the Nithians.
BC 533: Thyatian, Kerendan, and Hattian ships sail against the Nithian's main city in the Tel Akbir region, and lay siege to it. The siege is long and hard fought, going on intermittently for a decade as Nithians receive magical support from their Entropic Clerics but the tribes stubbornly continue it, rotating new warriors in and out periodically.
BC 523: The tribes begin to despair of succeeding in the siege, but the Thyatians come up with an ingenious way of tricking the Nithians into opening the gates. The Nithian city finally falls, and is utterly destroyed and plundered. The ruins form a large mound or Tel, upon which the City of Tel Akbir will eventually be built. The Thyatians begin to honour the strategy of gaining victory through guile and subterfuge.
BC 522: Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians begin to spread out through the peninsula of Tel Akbir, displacing the Nithians of the region.
BC 520: The advance of the tribes grinds to a halt as they turn to fighting each other for control over the conquered territory. Thyatian and Hattian seafarers turn to raiding Nithia's coasts, and battling each other on the seas for the spoils.
BC 517: Kerendans push a weak Nithian garrison out of the pass of Biazzan and found a settlement there (mainly a camp for raiders, who are now able to enter the Nithian heartland with greater ease as Nithia continues to falter.) Most Nithian cities are by now depopulated and virtually destroyed due to the severity of their civil strife, but much booty and magic remains for the raiders to loot.
BC 506: Nithians defeat a large Kerendan raiding force using Entropic magics, putting an end to the most serious raids. Hattian pirate force destroyed off the shore of Nithia proper by similar magics.
BC 505: Nithian Pharaoh begins to gather the resources of Nithia for a strong counter-offensive against the tribes, planning to make widespread use of Entropic magics to subdue and enslave them. He plans to then use the conquered tribes (or undead created from those he slays) to re-assert complete control over Nithia.
Epoch of City States: Heroic Age
BC 500: As the Pharaoh's army finally begins to march south, Nithia is destroyed by the Immortals in the course of less than a year, vanishing almost completely, as if it never existed. The Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians have conquered and assimilated the natives of the area which will one day become Thyatis. Thyatian tribes invent lore of great battles against a vague foe, their history becomes confused due to the Spell of Oblivion, resulting in a variety of discrepancies and inaccuracies. Seafaring Thyatians turn their attentions against the increasing presence of Alphatians in the region, while the Kerendans and Alaysians raid each other back and forth across the Altan Tepes. Thyatians begin forging steel.
Alphatia enters its first decline. Seafaring Thyatians encounter the Alphatians as they expand into the vacuum left by the vanished Nithians. Thyatians begin raids against Alphatians, who do not reach Brun.
BC 498: Tarlin Rex, the King of Thyatis, is overthrown after almost a decade of brutal and corrupt rule. A group of prominent men (warband leaders and wealthy Thyatians) form a Council to govern the tribe. They call themselves Archons and their government is known as the Archonium. During the period of uncertainty caused by these upheavals the Hattians conquer the Thyatian settlements on the northern coast of their island. This begins the First Thassalanian War between the Hattians and Thyatians, as both fight first over control of these northern settlements, then over control of the islands off Hattias' eastern coast.
BC 494: City founded by Thyatian colonists on the site that will one day become Kantridae as part of the war against Hattias.
BC 490: Kerendan raiding outpost in the pass grows into the frontier town of Biazzan (called Vassianis at this time). Control over it passes back and forth between the Kerendans and the Alaysians (now inhabiting former Nithia, the Alaysian tribes develop out of the survivors of the destruction of Nithia) over the centuries.
BC 489: First Thassalanian War ends. Hattias keeps control over all of their island, but most of the eastern islands are settled by Thyatis. Archons praised for managing the war wisely and successfully.
BC 480: Town of Machetos founded by Kerendan colonists.
BC 475: Archonium sends settlers to colonise Actius and Carytion in order to increase Thyatian control over those islands. The Hattians object.
BC 468: Hattians create a settlement on Borydos for the purpose of raiding Alphatian shipping in the Sea of Dread and to re-assert their claim to some of these islands. Archonate of Thyatis threatens war.
BC 467: Thyatian envoys sent to Hattias to demand the Hattians abandon their settlement on Borydos. Hattians refuse. Thyatis declares war. Second Thassalanian War begins, fought almost entirely at sea.
BC 462: Second Thassalanian War ends, Hattians gain control over Borydos and Mositius. This setback causes dissension to rise in Thyatis City against the Council of Archons, which is thought to have mismanaged the war.
BC 460: Popular unrest against the Archons results in a brutal clamp-down. The Archonium is then overthrown in an uprising. Thyatis is governed by "the whole body of the nation, assembled." Leaders are chosen by lot or by popular election (landowners voting). Demagogues quickly rise to the fore.
BC 458: A horde of gnolls and other monsters swarm out of the forests of Traldar and lay siege to Machetos. Kerendan forces, primarily cavalry, ride to Machetos' relief. Monster horde is crushed; the fleeing survivors are cut down and slaughtered. "Kerendan Days of the Hoof" celebration evolves out of a holiday created to commemorate this victory, which took place in Klarmont.
BC 457: Kerendans, emboldened by their victory over the humanoids and by Thyatis' slide into anarchy, raid Thyatian settlements. Thyatian Assembly mobilises the nation and declares war on the Kerendans. Kerendan-Thyatian War begins. Thyatis has initial success against the scattered bands of Kerendan raiders.
BC 456: Kerendas dispatches their army against Thyatis. Elected Thyatian generals squabble over strategy and tactics. Kerendas defeats them decisively. Kerendans plunder the lands of Thyatis up to the banks of the Mesonian River, but do not enter the City of Thyatis. The Thyatian mob has defeated its generals executed.
BC 455: The Thyatian Assembly sends calls for help to their colonies. A few troops trickle in, but the response is disappointing.
BC 454: The Thyatian mob turns against current demagogues and replaces them with firebrands. Previous demagogues are executed publicly.
BC 453: A Thyatian army is again defeated by Kerendas. Kerendans lay siege to Thyatis City. City brings in supplies from sea, as Kerendas does not have a large navy at this time.
BC 452: As what is predicted to be a particularly harsh winter sets in, the Kerendans break their siege of Thyatis City, planning to return in spring. The Kerendans begin building a fleet in the winter and encourage the Hattians to join them against Thyatis. Thyatian warriors depose the generals the Assembly elected and select their own leader. Polytius Nobilissimus Trenzantenbium becomes their General. He drills them throughout the winter and early spring of BC 451, forging them into a disciplined army, dividing them into disparate units (maniples) instead of large Phalanxes. He restores order to the fleet, and sends out a persuasive call for support from Thyatis' colonies, resulting in stronger support and reinforcement.
BC 451: The Kerendan and Hattian fleets sail towards Thyatis City in late spring, while the Kerendan army marches overland into Thyatis. Polytius sends the Thyatian fleet against them, ordering them to concentrate on the less experienced Kerendan squadrons. They are soon put to flight, disordering the Hattian flotilla. The Thyatian forces inflict heavy casualties on the enemy fleet. Polytius then leads his legion against the Kerendans. Their tactics break up the Kerendan cavalry formations with javelins, and shatter the Kerendan's supporting phalanx of footmen. The Kerendan army is routed and almost destroyed. The Kerendan-Thyatian war ends with the Kerendans and Hattians opting for peace.
BC 450: Thyatian army under Polytius overthrows the Assembly. Firebrand Demagogues are exiled or executed. Polytius Nobilissimus Trenzantenbium declared Rex-Consul of Thyatis by military acclamation. The Assembly is dissolved, but Polytius organises a Conclave of Elders to advise him. The approval of the Elders is required for the passing of all laws. Polytian Age begins: this is a period of artistic, architectural, cultural and intellectual brilliance in Thyatis City, extending over a generation. Thyatian shipbuilding reaches a peak of skill, with new Triremes, Quincquiremes, and sailing vessels. Thyatian ships are the best of the era. Thyatis City's population reaches 100,000. Polytius adopts the Immortal Tarastia as his patron, vowing to rule justly. Gold is found in the Altan Tepes mountains, and the town of Halathius is founded by Thyatian settlers to mine some of it, resulting in this period being known as the "Golden Age" of Thyatis.
BC 445: Polytius agrees to allow the creation of a new Popular Assembly, which will select some magistrates to sit in on the sessions of the Conclave of Elders and perform civic administrative functions. Spirited debates occur in the City Forum, but the excesses of the previous period are avoided. Polytius orders a new wall constructed around The City - this follows roughly the same line as the current city wall. Much of the area included is still fields and orchards, however. But Thyatis City is none the less the largest in the region.
BC 442: Polytius' wife Augusta dies giving birth to twins. The Civic Forum is renamed the Augustium in her honour, as she was much beloved and respected in Thyatis (having fought beside and advised her husband during the Kerendan-Thyatian War).
BC 440: Polytius sends envoys to Kerendas and Hattias, inviting them to send representatives to Thyatis City to discuss mutual relations. They agree, and as a result of the discussions a League is formed consisting of members of all three Tribes, for the settlement of disputes and mutual assistance against the growing presence of the Alphatians in the Sea of Dawn area. Thyatians agree to share shipbuilding techniques with the Hattians and Kerendans, and to help the latter form a fleet. The League is headquartered in Thyatis City and becomes known as the Thyatian League as a result. The Footman's Games are initiated as a League-wide event.
BC 436: Kerendans colonise the island of Terentias, finding some elves (Verdier Clan) there as well.
BC 430 - 400: Thyatian League pirates plunder the fading Traldar settlements as that nation's dark age deepens. Raids are also directed eastward and northward, against the Alaysians and (especially) the Alphatian shipping in the Sea of Dawn. Several small Thyatian settlements (little more than bases for pirates and smugglers) are established on the western shores of the Isle of Dawn. The Alphatians destroy these when they are aware of them, but as they sink into decline they become less persistent in rooting these bases out.
BC 420: Polytius Nobilissimus Trenzentanbium dies. His twin sons both desire to become Rex Consul. The Conclave of Elders encourages them to compromise: they will rule jointly, with Thyatis having two Consuls. On alternating years one presides over the League of Thyatis while the other governs Thyatis itself, with them switching roles the following year. This works out well during their lifetimes.
BC 400: The sons of Polytius Nobilissimus Trenzentanbium both die in the same day. They had each made provisions for the other to assume sole rule upon their death, and neither had made preparations for the transfer of power to anyone else, not expecting that they would both die simultaneously. It is later discovered that they had been poisoned by an ambitious Elder. Disputes over who should govern Thyatis and how wrack the nation, resulting in a Conflict of Orders.
BC 380: Conflict of Orders comes to a close with the ascension of a King (Rex), Thenorian Bellantius, who is advised and supported by a group of Tribunal Legates. They restore order to Thyatis, stamping out the last of the strife. However, the prosperity of the Polytian (Golden) Age was lost during the intervening period of upheavals and civic discord. The Conclave of Elders continues to advise him, but is packed with the King's cronies. The Thyatian King initiates a new and greater wave of piracy against the Alphatians, who seem powerless to stop it, in the hopes of getting booty and riches to try and restore the lost glories of the Polytian Age. Kerendans and Vyalia Elves fight goblins and gnolls, clearing the Dymrak woods around Machetos of humanoids. At first the Kerendans and Vyalians were separately attempting the same task, but later began to coordinate their attacks. This marks the first episode of Vyalian and Thyatian cooperation in the region.
Timeline of Pre-Imperial History: Alphatian Era
BC 300: League bases on the Isle of Dawn begin to take on the appearance of full-scale colonies as the Alphatians slide into decadence 6 . Some Thyatian raiders penetrate far across the Isle of Dawn, even sacking settlements on its eastern coasts. Alphatian subjects seem to almost welcome the arrival of the bold Thyatians, doing little to stop their raids and encouraging them to smite the Alphatians, who are ruling over the area harshly and have become widely hated.
Alphatian reprisals against these raids are particularly bloody and indiscriminate, when they occur. About half the time the Alphatians are too absorbed in their decadence to respond at all. But when they do they often lash out at their own subject populations for their "craven support of disreputable barbarian brigands." Alphatian naval reprisals are typically feeble, as their mercenary fleets are a poor match against the superior Thyatian ships and naval tactics.
BC 297: Dislike for the Thyatian King rises as he expropriates a larger and larger portion of the treasury and booty from raids to enrich himself and his cronies. Several prominent Elders organise a conspiracy, and with the help of legionary officers, depose him. Conclave of Elders is re-organized as an aristocratic Senate, purged of the King's cronies (who are exiled to the Isle of Dawn, where they are ultimately captured and enslaved by the Alphatians). This Senate, with some input from the Assembly, selects Consuls and other administrators (Magistrates) to govern Thyatis. The League is re-organized along similar lines, with some input from the other cities.
BC 268: Thyatian raiders from a town near where Dawnpoint would later be built capture a particularly rich Alphatian merchant convoy, resulting in a large haul of Spider Silk, gems, gold, and other booty.
BC 252: A daring Consul of Thyatis decides to launch a strike against the Alphatian continent itself. Eagret and Aasla are both sacked as a result, with the Thyatian raiding fleet returning to port the following year, laden with booty.
Following this Korotiku decides to transport some of the Thyatian pirates to the Hollow World.
Around this time, the tale of the victory at Tel Akbir in 523, which had been matter of epic songs for nearly two centuries with drastically changed events (due to the removal of memories of Nithian culture and the disruption of historical knowledge that resulted from the Spell of Oblivion), is collected in the form of an epic poem by the poet and prophet Tiresias.
BC 250: The "Corsair Consul" leads a new expedition against Alphatia, sailing forth from Thyatis City. It is never heard of again. The Thyatians assume the Alphatians used their magic to destroy the fleet in vengeance over the plundering of Aasla and Eagret.
The truth is that Korotiku transported them to the Hollow World, along with several of the Thyatian pirate-settlements on the Isle of Dawn, as part of his project to create a piratical culture. He has come to the conclusion that eventually the Alphatians will be stirred to action against the Thyatians and he wants to preserve their pirate-culture before it is too late. Korotiku believes the raid against Eagret and Aasla will spur the Alphatians and possibly even reverse their decline into decadence, and that the Thyatians will likely not survive as a result.
In Alphatia, as a result of the "Great Raid", Eagret is rebuilt as a naval base. The Thyatians consider the Alphatian navy laughably inept, sailing circles around it in almost every encounter. But the Alphatians improve their fleet over the following decades, and as the base at Eagret grows they are better able to patrol their home waters at least, and nothing like the "Great Raid" of Aasla and Eagret ever succeeds again.
BC 240 - BC 192: Traldar and Alaysian coastal settlements pay annual tribute to the League of Thyatis in exchange for putting a halt to the raids. Thyatian corsairs clash with Northmen Viking raiders on the open sea during this period. Superior Thyatian ships and tactics generally overcome the still-backwards Northmen in most encounters. Alaysian nomads and Kerendans continue their practice of mutual raids along the frontier, through the pass at Biazzan. Thyatian reavers turn their attentions against the Alphatians to an even greater degree, and the economy of that Empire begins to suffer greatly from the raids. Whole stretches of the Isle of Dawn are depopulated, as many subject races take the opportunity and the weakening of the Alphatian grip over them to flee into the wilderness, where they subsist as bandits.
BC 200: Alphatians discover that the Altan Tepes Mountains held by the Tribes are rich in gold, and decide to conquer them in order to eliminate Thyatian raiders and gain access to the wealth of the Altan Tepes. Alphatians begin to mobilise fleets and mercenaries at Eagret and Draco to invade Thyatis, but are hampered by the inefficiency and corruption of their government. Thyatis City's population is approximately 200,000.
BC 192: Alphatian armies invade Brun in order to conquer the Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians and exploit the rich gold mines of the area. Alphatian fleets sail around the Isle of Dawn while they send troops (including Thothian auxiliaries) across the island to destroy the Thyatian enclaves there. The fleets are then to board the troops into transports and ship them to disembarkation points in Thyatis.
They are successful on the Isle of Dawn, quickly crushing the small pirate enclaves through the use of wave attacks and magic. But the Alphatian fleets are badly battered at sea by the Thyatian naval forces. They withdraw back to the neck of the Isle of Dawn and embark many soldiers, and sail for Brun.
This fleet is met by a combined force from all of the Thyatian League's cities, and almost completely destroyed. However, while the League fleet is away, Alphatian wizards summon hordes of monsters through gates and the like directly into Thyatis' cities. Brutal street fighting breaks out in all of them, with the Thyatians cutting down most of the monsters. But the cities are conquered quickly as the Alphatians destroy opposition through the indiscriminate use of magic and move in more troops via skyships, though several prominent Alphatian Wizards are slain in the fighting.
The League Fleet then withdraws back to Vanya's Girdle, and manages to briefly relieve Thyatis City (where the garrison had holed up in The City's fortress-like Acropolis, at the time a structure built on what would later become Emperor's Hill. The rest of the city had been occupied and partially destroyed). Remnants of the Alphatian fleet and invasion force then sailed across the Sea of Dread, landing in the Tel Akbir peninsula. They vent their rage over the previous defeats they suffered at the Thyatian's hands by utterly ravaging the region, destroying the Thyatian settlements there completely and slaughtering the population, sending the few survivors back to Alphatia as slaves, thus depopulating the area. They then march inland, supported by more mages and monsters, overrunning each surviving Thyatian city and town in turn, though not destroying these completely. Much of the Thyatian population flees into the countryside to continue to resist.
The Alphatian army soon arrives at the walls of Thyatis City, where an epic final battle takes place. The League forces fight bravely, managing to dispatch several Alphatian sorcerers and decimate the remaining Alphatian troops. Alphatian magics quickly pierce the walls, however, and hordes of monsters and mercenaries swarm into the city, plundering and despoiling it, with many fires ignited by magic. The sack goes on for over a week, producing a horrible slaughter, filling the streets with corpses. The Alphatians recover the booty plundered from Eagret and Aasla, and ship it back to Alphatia along with numerous prominent Thyatian captives, amid great ceremony. The Thyatian leaders are executed by magic in Sundsvall as a public spectacle meant to demonstrate Alphatian superiority.
BC 190: The Alphatians hire more troops and send more mages to put down the resistance in the countryside of Thyatis, and a vicious guerrilla war is fought, with unparalleled bloodletting by both sides. The Alphatians finally subdue most of the open opposition to their authority, though by almost completely depopulating many regions. For two centuries the Tribes are subjugated by Alphatia, working in mining conditions similar to that of AC 1000 Esterhold and sending their crops and animals to Alphatia in tribute as well. They gradually recover some of their numbers, and the Thyatian cities are rebuilt to some extent as slave-cities and centres of Alphatian administration in the region. The Alphatians take the Thyatian's seafaring and shipbuilding techniques, adopting them for their own use. They promote Alphatian arts, music, and letters among the Thyatians. Alphatian books in the codex style replace scrolls. The Alphatians promote their language and discourage the use of Thyatian. They teach Alphatian magical techniques to select Thyatians (ones presumed to have the aptitude).
BC 180: Alaysian nomads move into the depopulated eastern peninsula, founding the city of Tel Akbir. Minrothad elves absorb the Kerendan colony on Terentias. Alphatians adopt Thyatian shipbuilding and seafaring methods, revitalising their navy. Alphatian decline is in the middle of a "dead cat bounce" phase - having been spurred to action in the wake of the "Great Raid" against Aasla and Eagret, and is now enjoying renewed economic vitality due to eliminating Thyatian piracy and gaining access to the wealth of the Altan Tepes Mountains.
BC 160: Alaysian nomads occupy the pass at Biazzan, resettling the town as an Alaysian community. A town is founded by Selim ben Hassan opposite the ruins of Vassianis (which was destroyed in the Alphatian invasion), which becomes the town of Biazzan. The Alaysians trade with the Alphatians and Thyatians, also providing covert assistance to the latter. Thyatians begin to turn towards the Immortals for solace, and as a result begin to develop a high degree of clerical expertise.
BC 150: Thyatians begin to organise into resistance cells with the goal of eventually overthrowing Alphatian rule. This resistance movement later evolves into the Ordo Magna.
Thyatis City's population has recovered to approximately 40,000. It is still full of ruined structures, but most of the rubble has been cleared from the streets and the inhabited areas. It becomes the main shipment point for the transport of Thyatis' resources and tribute to Alphatia, eventually becoming a trading centre as well as a result of this. The First pit combats are initiated by the Alphatians, who are getting tired of being assassinated and hope to distract the Thyatians.
Alphatia's decline resumes as its nobility becomes even more dissolute and decadent than before, no longer facing serious competition to spur them to vigorous efforts.
BC 100: Alphatian occupation begins to relax some as they become less vigilant in maintaining their Empire and more self-absorbed. Civic life revives in Thyatian cities. Some Thyatians begin to gain status other than as slaves (as Servants, or in the Gentry as tradesmen and provisioners, and even as aristocrats for those who learn magic). Though Thyatis is one of the smaller areas subjugated to Alphatia, it is one of the more productive and even prosperous in areas.
Thyatis City's population reaches 75,000. First real gladiatorial arenas built in Thyatis. Lazy, dissolute Alphatian rulers begin to appoint Thyatians to administer parts of the region for them, so that they can concentrate on their debauches. Thyatians are able to use this to embezzle funds earmarked for shipment as tribute to Alphatia, enriching themselves at the Empire's expense.
BC 49: Lucinius Trenzantenbium is born, a distant descendant of Polytius Nobilissimus Trenzantenbium (via the daughter of one of Polytius' sons). His parents imbue him with knowledge of Thyatis' independent past, and of the greatness of his ancestors.
BC 41: Zendrolion Tatriokanitas is born in Kerendas.
BC 37: Lucinius Trenzantenbium is discovered to have an especially strong talent for magic. He is apprenticed to an Alphatian Wizard. Lucinius' master is a fairly conscientious mage, one who never takes Zzonga, but is absorbed in his researches rather than interested in administering the decadent Empire. He does have some sympathy for the Thyatians, and grows fond of young Lucinius.
BC 30: Lucinius Trenzantenbium learns the arcane arts quickly. He also manages to convince his sympathetic master of the worthiness of the Thyatian cause. He gains his first supporter, and is taught everything the Alphatian wizard he is apprenticed to knows, not only about magic but about the inner workings of Alphatia itself. Zendrolion Tatriokanitas begins to learn the arts of combat, apprenticed to a gladiator in Kerendas.
BC 26: Lucinius Trenzantenbium moves to Kerendas City where he befriends the young warrior, Zendrolion Tatriokanitas. Over the following years the two engage in many escapades together, exploring old ruins, being recruited into intrigues and cabals, venturing into the depths of the Dymrak Forest, and other activities. Both rapidly gain experience in their chosen crafts, and gather a group of supporters and followers around each other.
BC 20: After performing a mission on behalf of the local Alphatian governor (locating a lost Zzonga shipment for him), Lucinius Trenzantenbium is given an administrative position and Zendrolion Tatriokanitas is appointed Commander of Mercenaries in Kerendas City. Emperor Kerothar IV orders tribute allotments raised throughout the Alphatian Empire.
BC 12: Lucinius Trenzantenbium becomes Governor of Kerendas after the "unfortunate" demise of the previous governor in a "laboratory accident." He appoints Zendrolion as his General and they begin to plan for and prepare an uprising against the Alphatians. Lucinius' old tutor helps by making sure most of the Alphatian wizards in the area become Zzonga addicts. He also ingratiates himself to them, encouraging them to hire specific people or buy certain "choice" slaves for their household staffs of servants and concubines. These are almost all members of the Ordo Magna.
BC 10: Emperor Kerothar IV orders the tribute due to Alphatia from throughout the Empire doubled, so that he can create a glorious millennial celebration. This results in widespread disaffection throughout the Empire and muttering against these harsh exactions rises.
Lucinius Trenzantenbium begins corresponding with the Kings of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands, and learns they are as dissatisfied with the oppressive Alphatian regime as Thyatis is. They are soon recruited into his conspiracy.
BC 2: Lucinius Trenzantenbium, a Thyatian trained in the Alphatian's magical arts, unleashes his plot to overthrow the occupiers. Many Alphatian Wizards in Thyatis are assassinated as a result of the infiltration of their households by the members of the Ordo Magna. Lucinius duels the greatest surviving Alphatian mage in full view of the others, a wretch that his former teacher has insured would be doped on Zzonga and unable to concentrate on his spells. Lucinius wins easily and declares himself King of Thyatis, expelling the Alphatian mages so they can report this occurrence to Sundsvall. His former teacher goes with them, working to spread alarm and undermine confidence in Kerothar IV's handling of the situation. Lucinius and Zendrolion sends out as many messenger-ships and diplomatic envoys as possible to all the areas subjugated by Alphatia, telling them of the glorious revolution in Thyatis. The subject states, also being bled dry by Alphatia, watch the unfolding events with keen interest as war breaks out between Thyatis and Alphatia.
The Alphatians send a reprisal fleet to Thyatis to depose Lucinius and restore their rule over the region, transhipping a large army as well. Crack squadrons from Thyatis City engage the Alphatian fleet, and Thyatian units among the Alphatian armada switch sides during the battle, resulting in a major defeat for the Alphatian forces, smashing the first Alphatian punitive expedition.
Meanwhile Zendrolion organized an army in Thyatis, calling mustering mighty Kerendan cavalry, ferocious Hattian footmen, Vyalian elves, and hiring mercenaries from Rockhome, all supported by special units of high-level Clerics. These quickly dealt with the Alphatian garrison forces in the region.
The Alphatians then sent another army, a huge force of ships and soldiers supported by wizards, and including a force of skyships. These were gradually worn down by Zendrolion's army, fighting a holding action and manoeuvring to baffle the Alphatians while Lucinius used his knowledge of the Alphatian Wizards to pick them off one by one. This he did using ritual magics he had developed, able to strike at them from a distance - magics unknown to even the Alphatians. Ochalea and the Pearl Islands then rose in revolt, allying with the Thyatian rebels. Eventually this spread into a general revolt against Alphatian rule throughout their empire.
BC 1: Rumour spreads throughout Alphatia (spread in part by Lucinius' old tutor at his instigation) that the Thyatians have been using a poison in their assassinations that only Zzonga can counteract. Alphatian wizards and commanders drug themselves into a stupor, crippling their war effort. Thyatian fleets land troops on the Isle of Dawn, quickly overrunning much of it with the help of the Ochaleans and Pearl Islanders. Raiding forces strike deep into Alphatian waters, hitting their naval bases on the continent itself. Zendrolion gathered his forces in East Portage in preparation for an invasion of Haven, threatening to assault the Alphatian mainland itself. At this point the Grand Council of Alphatia deposes Kerothar IV and selects a youthful, energetic wizard, untainted by Zzonga, to replace him. This man takes the name Alphas, ruling Alphatia as Alphas VI, and is none other than Lucinius' former tutor, who had used the Thyatian revolt to manoeuvre himself into power in Alphatia.
AC 0: Alphatia and Thyatis have been ravaged by war. Alphas VI calls for an armistice with Thyatis, Ochalea, and the Pearl Islands to discuss peace terms. They meet in Edairo, on the Isle of Dawn, to negotiate a treaty. The treaty establishes those nations independence from Alphatia, relinquishing its control over them and ceding the Isle of Dawn as a buffer zone. Alphas VI then finishes beggaring Alphatia by hiring skilled mercenaries (some even from Thyatis!) to crush the other revolts that are wracking the Alphatian Empire (go here for a discussion of Alphas VI's motives). Thothia on the Isle of Dawn remains a part of the Alphatian Empire, and as a result Thyatian troops withdrawing from the Isle stop on the western half and hold it. Alphas VI soon moves troops into the eastern portion to hold it for Alphatia, but faces resistance to Alphatian authority everywhere but Thothia.
After the signing of the Treaty of Edairo, King Lucinius invites Thyatis' allies, the Kings of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands to Thyatis City to discuss additional treaties. Realising that the three nations would, if they went their separate ways, eventually become vulnerable to conquest again, he hopes to negotiate an agreement among the three for a permanent alliance. He proposes a league, similar to that of the old Thyatian League, a military, international relations, and trading confederation. The Kings of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands both seem amenable to such an alliance, especially as both nations were severely harmed during the war and see the relatively stronger Thyatis as a key ally in not only their survival as independent states, but in post-war recovery as well. The negotiations seem to go well, but in a closed-door session to hammer out some details in areas of disagreement, General Zendrolion (with some help from his personal supporters) assassinates all three. Unknown to Zendrolion, Lucinius survives in a new form. Lucinius had feared that the Alphatians might manage to kill him during the war, and so had made preparations for a transformation into Lich form in case of such an eventuality. He never suspected his death would come at the hands of one of his closest supporters and advisers. Lucinius' soul goes to the previously prepared Phylactery in a hidden chamber under the City of Thyatis, and he soon invests his life force into one of the bodies he had at hand for this purpose.
Zendrolion claims the rulership of all three nations and is crowned Emperor of Thyatis, ruling over Ochalea, the Pearl Islands, and the western half of the Isle of Dawn as well as Thyatis, Hattias, and Kerendas. The troops obey him, believing (or at least pretending to believe) his story that Lucinius and the other Kings were mad with power and that he had duelled Lucinius and the others to prevent them from ruling despotically. He hires dwarves to build his palace and construct a ring of strong fortifications around Thyatis City (these walls still stand today), along with air defences enchanted by Thyatian wizards and clerics. Thyatis City's population burgeons as an Imperial capital, quickly reaching 200,000 and continuing to grow thereafter. Lucinius becomes a lich, and uses Impersonate spells to appear as a simple man. He quickly regains control over a faction of the Ordo Magna. One of the personas he assumes is in the role of one of Zendrolion's advisers, a position he uses to feed Zendrolion good-sounding but bad advice. He and Valentia, by their magic, make sure that Zendrolion is unable to father any heirs, which effectively insures that Valentia will become the ruler when Zendrolion dies.
The Bright Age
AC 0: Thyatian troops entrench themselves on the Isle of Dawn, disarming the Ochalean and Pearl Islander troops that are present, so that they will not be able to help their nations resist Thyatian occupation. The disarmed troops are sold as slaves in Thyatis City. Zendrolion then dispatches maritime forces to take control of Ochalea and the Pearl Islands on his behalf. Both nations suffered heavy losses in the fighting against the local Alphatian garrisons during the war, as well as in later battles on the Isle of Dawn (where they were in part manoeuvred by Lucinius & Zendrolion so they would face the stiffest opposition in many of the battles). They fall quickly.
Zendrolion appoints one of his generals, Kantrius, as Duke of the Eastern Frontier, creating what will become the Duchy of Kantrium. The Duke guards the border with the Alaysians, who have been conducting raids in the region against both sides during the recent war, and seem inclined to brigandage.
Kantrius rebuilds the city there, still largely ruined by the effects of the Alphatian occupation and the recent war of liberation. He colonises it with those who fought by his side in the war.
AC 1 - 10: Alphas VI continues his efforts to put down uprisings in Alphatia and undo the effects of that Empire's decline.
In Thyatis, Zendrolion begins his reign. The Thyatians have only one real model for governing an Imperial state, the Alphatian model. Zendrolion rules the Empire as a tyrant - though he lowers the tribute owed to him from the high levels imposed by Alphatia's Kerothar IV, he otherwise simply replaces the Alphatian magical despotism with a Thyatian military one. Thyatian administrators are less dissolute and more efficient than the Alphatian ones, but efficient occupiers are not usually admired by conquered people. In their eyes they have just exchanged one oppressor for another, but the Thyatian forces are too strong to expel, and their own forces are too weak to try at present. Recovery from the ravages of the war does begin, however. The Thyatian heartland rebounds fairly quickly.
An Alphatian Cleric from the Isle of Dawn named Retebius, who had helped Thyatis in the war against the Alphatian Empire, offers to organise an elite aerial force to help Thyatis defend itself against the Alphatians. He is granted funding and the dominion southwest of Kantrium. The town there, still largely ruined, is rebuilt as the headquarters of the Retebius Air Corps, and becomes known as Retebius as a result. Zendrolium orders a naval base constructed at the eastern mouth of Vanya's Girdle, renaming the town there (which was largely ruined during the Alphatian occupation and the struggle for freedom) Port Lucinius. It is a sign of Lucinius' continuing popularity and Zendrolion's inability to completely eradicate the good feeling for him that he feels he must build monuments and name cities for Lucinius.
Thyatians occupy Biazzan and fortify the pass. Zendrolion has several palaces built in Thyatis City - one on the old Acropolis, which becomes Emperor's Hill, and another in the district named for himself, where most of his soldiers are garrisoned. Being a military man, he spends most of his time in this latter palace, but the centre of civil government clusters near the palace on Emperor's Hill.
AC 12: Thyatian colonists and traders found a trading port at Cape Alpha in Norwold on the site of present-day Alpha, signs of the expansion of Thyatis' trading network, which is helping the Empire recover from the effects of the war. Alphatia is still busy recovering from internal uprisings and can do little on their own to oppose this; they are still too weak from the recent war and continued revolts to contemplate war with Thyatis over this settlement. They look for another solution.
Dwarves who had had helped Thyatis in the war with Alphatia and worked on building projects for Zendrolion are granted a domain in the Altan Tepes, and found the town of Makrast. This later becomes the Barony of Buhrohur.
AC 15: Northmen mercenaries paid by Alphatia attack and destroy the trading port of Cape Alpha. As a result skirmishing breaks out on the Isle of Dawn and Zendrolion orders raids against the Alatian islands. He also sends arms and support to Alphatia's subjects. A new round of internal uprisings spring up in Alphatia, undoing much of Alphas VI's previous successes in putting them down.
AC 20: Emperor Zendrolion dies; his empire was controlled by force and seems likely to collapse upon his death. The conquered areas have recovered sufficiently from the war against Alphatia that they now feel strong enough to rebel against Thyatis. Zendrolion had sired only daughters, who are meekly devoted to their mother, Valentia. Therefore his wife, Valentia, is able to seize control of Thyatis and undertakes emergency measures to save the Empire, and place it on a firmer foundation than that of the military despotism that Zendrolion had substituted for Alphatia's magical despotism. She will also do so in a way that takes partial revenge against Zendrolion for the murder of her half-brother, by implementing a system that is closer to Lucinius' original dream than to Zendrolion's Thyatian despotism. But Valentia realises it will be more difficult because of the bad will that was built un during the last two decades. She brings the children of the aristocracy of the subject lands to Thyatis, ostensibly to teach them Thyatian ways, but also as a hostage-taking tactic that stalls the revolts. Empress Valentia makes her Citizens' Proclamation, based on Thyatis' old pre-Alphatian conquest traditions. From now on Thyatis will be divided into three classes (Noble, Citizen, Slave), the vast majority of whom will be citizens, with all citizens throughout the Empire having the equal status, including those of the formerly conquered nations, rather than subjects as under the Alphatian system. She establishes a Senate based on Thyatis' old one, with representatives from all over the Empire. The Senate at first has little power, acting in an advisory capacity to the Empress (herself), but conveys the impression that each part of the Empire has a voice in its governance. Local curial bodies, city Senates, are established throughout the Empire as well, to administer local affairs.
She also liberates Ochalea and the Pearl Islands, withdrawing Thyatian garrisons from them, then invites them to re-join the Empire under the terms of her Proclamation, with full representation in the Senate. They accept, rejoining the Empire voluntarily as equal members rather than subject nations 27 . This is closer, but not nearly identical, to what Lucinius had originally planned; but instead of a league, Thyatis remains an Empire.
As for Zendrolion, after he is interred and folks have forgotten about him, he is revived by Lucinius as a form of undead, for reasons of his own. The two renew a complex relationship, antagonism mixed with periods of cooperation but mutual loathing which lasts centuries. . .
Pax Valentica begins (AC 20 - 313). Throughout the next several centuries, while there are a few border wars on the frontiers of the Empire, this is a time when these wars are not very burdensome and do not ravage the territories of the Empire itself. This period of peace leads to a flowering of prosperity and civilisation.
AC 21-50: Valentia turns her attentions to reforming the Thyatian legal code, establishing a uniform system intended to provide the rule of law to the Thyatian Empire, favouring no one on account of rank or station. This, and harsh penalties imposed on corrupt officials, establishes the sense that justice is available to all throughout the Empire.
Valentia chooses to live in the palace on Emperor's Hill rather than the palace in the Zendrolium District. She has the Senate House and other governmental offices constructed nearby, as well as another Civic Forum.
During this time in Alphatia Alphas VI and his successor Alphas VII (AC 30) finally subdues most of the overt resistance to that Empire, and Alphas VII begins the process of rebuilding it.
A strong trading network throughout the Thyatian Empire brings vitality to it, allowing it to recover from the ravages of the war much faster than the Alphatians do. It will take them another two centuries to truly rebound.
AC 23: General Kantrius dies. The people of the Duchy of the East vote to rename the Duchy after him and call the City Kantridae in his honour.
AC 50: The population of Thyatis City reaches 300,000. Sesquicentennial Celebration throughout the Thyatian Empire, celebrating freedom from Alphatia.
AC 53: Empress Valentia dies, much respected. The Senate awards her the title "The Justiciar" and renames the Civic Forum near the Senate House the Forum Judiciale in her honour, and has a large marble statue of her constructed at its entrance.
Valentia was, of course, the Immortal Tarastia. She took mortal form as Lucinius' half-sister. Her motives for doing so may seem obscure, but they reach back into early Thyatian history. Polytius Nobilissimus Trenzantenbium had taken Tarastia as his patron, and governed Thyatis justly, resulting in a golden age. Tarastia had admired the way Thyatian political theory had developed prior to the coming of the Alphatians, though she did not like the direction Zendrolion took the Empire after its foundation.
She initiated a Plot to undo some of the damage the Alphatian occupation had done to the development of Thyatian politics and philosophy, putting it back on course. She also saw the creation of a more just Thyatian Empire as a way for Alphatia's former subject races to exact some revenge against the Alphatians. Tarastia was far from an admirer of corruption, so she created harsh penalties against it. Once she had reforged the Empire, she "died". Some say also that Tarastia had reached the status of Ruling Hierarch in the Sphere of Energy before taking on the Valentia identity, and that she dispersed her power at the time with the goal of trying to reach Immortality a second time, and subsequently Hierarch status as well. Whether this is the case and what will happen if and when she does is for the Old Ones to decide.
In the centuries after Valentia the Empire expands and works to make reality of her promises. Arts and learning flourish, Thyatis City becomes a cosmopolitan mercantile centre, and the security of the Empire is assured as its various components become securely integrated with each other. The various peoples begin to see themselves as Thyatian citizens foremost, and members of a single civilisation. Thyatian rulers support theological and philosophical inquiry, resulting in strong clerical orders, which help defend the Empire from Alphatian expansionism. The strength of the Thyatian Empire becomes based on a combination of fighting, magical, and clerical power.
The Bright Age of Thyatis
AC 53-59: Valentia and Zendrolion's grandson, Valens, succeeds her. Emperor Valens rules for only five years. He is always in poor health, and dies apparently of a heart attack, without heirs.
He is succeeded by his brother, Zendrol. At the time of Valens' death, Zendrol is in the east with several legions, campaigning against the Alaysians of the Tel Akbir region. He is forced to give up the offensive and return to Thyatis for his coronation, but orders construction begun on a fortification in the eastern foothills of the Altan Tepes Mountains. Zendrol rules for only one year, after which he is murdered while going to the Senate for an extraordinary session, during which he would have opposed the Senate's efforts to gain more power. The Senate immediately elects as Emperor a member of the Popular faction who wants more power for the Senate, in opposition to the Optima's, the aristocratic faction closely associated with the Tatriokanitas imperial family. As a result, Tel Akbir remains under control of the Alaysians, though the northeastern frontier is anchored by a strong fortress. The Senate, realising Zendrol was popular with the troops, has this fortress named in his honour to somewhat mollify them.
AC 59 - 68: The Senate elects Aemilius Scaurus Emperor, in exchange for gaining the right to legislate, determining the Empire's laws. The Emperor retains the right to veto them, however. Aemilius also creates numerous new dominions within Thyatis, and gives the noble rulers of these the right to appoint a Senator.
AC 68 - 85: Lucius Aemilianus succeeds his father, Aemilius Scaurus. Several sharp clashes take place between the Thyatian and Alphatian held regions of the Isle during this period, and as a result Kendach is founded on the Isle of Dawn, built initially as a fortress, but a town soon begins to grow around it. The frontier is advanced into Bogland (Dunadale) as many of the inhabitants of that region support the Thyatian advance. In between these skirmishes, West Portage rises to commercial prominence as Thyatian traders expand their trading network, even beginning to send caravans to Hillvale, which soon becomes more commonly known as East Portage.
AC 85 - 95: Upon the death of Lucius Aemilianus, his younger brother Paulus Aemilianus is selected as Emperor. After the Struggle for Freedom against Alphatia, the Thyatians and the Vyalian Elves had remained friendly but had no official ties. During the reign of Paulus they sign a pact of alliance with Thyatis, formalising the relationship. The Vyalians and Thyatians begin to interact more often and some commerce develops along the Kerenda River, though it is closely monitored and regulated by the Elven clans.
AC 95 - AC 111: The third of Aemilius' sons, Leontius I Aemilianus rules briefly. Neither he nor his brothers had sired any children. The aged Leontius realises he would not rule long, and so he adopts his closest friend and adviser, Lucius Metothemios, and insures that he will succeed him. Leontius dies before the year AC 95 was over and Lucius takes the family name Scaurus and wears the crown as Lucius II Aemilianus Scaurus. During his reign, as a result of the growing interaction with the Vyalian elves, the dominion of Machetos is created (at this time it is a County). Lucius II is deposed in 111 by Leontius II with the help of the Senate, because they felt he was abusing his authority and transgressing against the rights of Thyatian Citizens.
AC 111 - 117: The Senate replaces Lucius II with Leontius II Scaurus, a man from another branch of the Scaurus family. He proves to be a caretaker Emperor who does little during his short reign. The Scaurus dynasty ends without violence when Leontius II's daughter Eliana is married to Philippus Isauricus, a Thyatian Popular Senator.
AC 117 - 129: Philippus Isauricus initiates a period of largely peaceful expansion. Early in his reign he comes to an agreement with the Elves of Vyalia, forging agreements regarding human inhabitation in the region. The coastal areas between the Kerenda and Rugalov rivers were cleared, expanding the amount of farmland under cultivation in Machetos, but the forests to the north, where the elves lived, are declared off limits to tree cutting. Humans began to settle in Vyalia, founding the town of Foreston, as a result of the agreement of the elves.
With the help of the Vyalia elves, he also absorbs Terentias into the Empire. Many humans descended from the original Kerendan colonists still live there, with the elves that had settled it after the Alphatian invasion. Though there is some friction, the annexation of Terentias was mostly peaceful on this occasion, and Terentias becomes a County in AC 120.
AC 129 - 143: Leontius III ascends to the throne after his father dies. He tries to continue the expansion initiated by Philippus, but "with more glory," starting a number of wars. He fights on the Isle of Dawn, where the border in Bogland (Dunadale) is shifted east a few miles, and his forces capture the westernmost island of the Alatian chain, destroying the Alphatian settlement on the eastern coast. He renames this island Aegos and founds the town of Aegopoli on its western tip, where it can act as a port for trade with Thyatis. He finally launches a reckless attack against the elves of Alfeisle in the Minrothad chain. This is poorly planned from the start, and Leontius' ship is separated from the invasion fleet by the elves, who skilfully use their sea magic to create fogs and confuse the ship captains. Most of the fleet finds themselves landing on the shores of Hattias, but the flagship, bearing the Emperor, is never seen again (though it is the source of "ghost ship of the Sea of Dread" tales by superstitious seamen to this day).
AC 143 - 175: Zendrolion II succeeds his father, but only after the Senate wrests from him an agreement that from now on all future external wars can only be initiated with the approval of the Senate, a declaration of war by that body being required. The Senate had not been happy with Leontius' wars: even the successful ones had produced little of value (some bogs in Bogland (Dunadale) and an island still suffering from the ravages of the wars that shook Alphatia in the previous century). Zendrolion II patches up relations with the Meditor and Verdier elves.
Zendrolion II is a militaristic man, however. He spends the early years of his reign building up support in the Senate for a new war of expansion. He finally convinces them in 148 to permit him to make war against the Alaysians, on the basis of claims that the Thyatians had held the Tel Akbir peninsula prior to the Alphatian invasion. Zendrolion II plans his campaign well. He sends his armies driving eastward out of Fort Zendrol, sealing off the peninsula from receiving help from the nomads of the northern deserts. He then sends several fleets against Tel Akbir, blockading it. With the help of an Alaysian Emir, Muhad Benaker, who was disaffected from the then-ruling clan of Tel Akbir and opens the gates to the Thyatian armies, Thyatis captures the city.
Zendrolion II then initiates the colonisation of southeastern Ylaruam, founding the town of Tameronikas in AC 150. Muhad Benaker is named Duke (Shaikh) of Tel Akbir that same year.
The population of Thyatis City reaches 400,000.
AC 175 - 197: Zendrolion II is succeeded by his eldest son, Leontius IV, who reigns quietly for five years. He never truly enjoyed the cut and thrust of Thyatian politics or the administrative detail of governing the Empire, and in 180 he abdicates in favour of his brother, Demetius. Leontius IV is appointed an Imperial General. This turned out to be fortuitous, because the Alphatians soon initiate a series of attacks on the Isle of Dawn, and invade Aegos. While Demetius straightens out the Empire's finances (which had become somewhat scrambled during Leontius IV's rule), Leontius repels the Alphatian attack force, sinking their fleet at Aegos. Peace is soon re-established, with the Alphatian gains limited to the areas of Bogland (Dunadale) that Thyatis had captured during Leontius III's reign.
AC 197 - 211: Demetius dies without a male heir and is succeeded by his daughter, Valeria (197 - 202). Valeria marries, but reigns on her own account. During her rule, Halathius is established as a County. Alaysian nomads begin a series of raids along the northern frontier, but are repelled easily. Valeria dies young and is succeeded by her equally strong-willed daughter, Irene (202 - 211). Irene is a descendent of Valentia (on her father's side), and a renowned sorceress. She forges a pact with the Vyalia Elves wherein they agree to join the Empire as a County and to train Thyatians in their arts, creating the Order of Foresters. Irene abdicates the throne in favour of her son in 211, so as to concentrate on her arcane studies, living thereafter alternately on Sclaras, the family estate on Carytion, or in Foreston. She still lives today, kept ever-young by powerful magics, but is very reclusive, spending almost all her time on Sclaras or Carytion, save for periods of emergency that prod her attention.
AC 211 - 256: This is a largely quiet period in Thyatian history. Irene Isaurica's son Alexian I reigns for a decade, working with the Senate on a revised legal code. He abdicates in favour of his son, Tiberius I, in AC 220. During the reign of Tiberius I war again brakes out with Alphatia, and on account of the heroism of the then Count of Machetos during the war that dominion is elevated to the status of Duchy. Tiberius I dies in a hunting accident in AC 223, however, and his brother Phileas is then crowned Emperor. He rules confidently over a prosperous Empire for over a quarter of a century. At the tail end of his reign, the Alphatians begin to conquer the northeastern coastlands of Alaysia.
AC 256 - 287: Tiberius I is followed by his energetic son, Marcianus I Alasyianus. Marcianus begins a series of renewed offensives in Alaysia. Shortly after his ascension he leads his legions through the pass at Biazzan against Ctesiphon. At the time that town is strong and prosperous, due to the trade passing through it, as the northern counterpart to Biazzan. It resists fiercely, and when Marcianus' troops capture the town, he sells the inhabitants into slavery as a result of their resistance, and resettles the town with Thyatians. Marcianus spends the next several years subduing the northern foothills of the Southern Altan Tepes, the arc of land between Ctesiphon and Tameronikas. As each clan in the region is distinct, the area has to be conquered meticulously, piece by piece. Some decide to submit and pay tribute in exchange for peace, while others are forced to flee into the desert, and still others fight to the bitter end. In order to gain control over the region, Marcianus establishes colonies of Thyatians, heavily intermixed with retired soldiers, throughout the hill country.
While the Emperor was engaged in this project, the Alphatians began a major offensive on the Isle of Dawn, overrunning much of the north. Marcianus sends one of his ablest generals, Titus Andronikos, to restore the situation. Operating with limited resources but extreme ruthlessness, Titus launches savage attacks deep into Bogland (Dunadale), and eventually compels the Alphatians to accept peace and return the region to the previous frontier. With Titus returning by sea, Marcianus decides to concentrate on expanding Thyatis' control of the Alaysian coasts. Titus' fleets invest the town of Cubia by sea while Marcianus marches his troops to its walls. With an immense siege train, the Thyatians slowly batter the defences of Cubia, and capture it in 281. The Senate votes Marcianus the appellation "Alasyianus" as a result of his victories. Marcianus appoints Titus Count of Nicostenia, governing the coastal strip. He appoints another of his Generals as Count of Dythestenia, to supervise the hill country.
The population of Thyatis City reaches 500,000 during this time.
AC 287 - 313: Marcianus' son succeeds him, ruling as Alexian II. Early in Alexian II's reign the Alphatians again test the Empire's defences, launching an attack against Aegos. The local commander, Heraclonian Chrysavian, with only local forces at his disposal, manages to defeat a much larger fleet of Alphatian ships. As a result, Alexian II awards him the island of Actius and the title of Lord Knight, and Heraclonian takes the name Actavius as a result. Actius becomes an important stopover on the trade routes to Ochalea and the Pearl Islands. Late in Alexian II's reign Hattias revolts against the Empire. Hattian members of the Imperial guard try to slay Alexian II, but are defeated in a pitched battle with other Guard troops in the Imperial Palace in the Zendrolium district. Much of that palace is damaged at the time, however, and it lapses into disuse.
Most Imperial troops are away from the capital during the revolt, stationed on the frontiers, and the Hattians managed to besiege The City. Alexian's forces hold out, and eventually a relief force arrives from Kerendas, and the Hattian rebel army is smashed. Alexian then sends his legions, under General Savros Kallastines, to re-occupy Hattias and crush the rebellion. After a lengthy and brutal siege, Hattias City falls and the rebellion is ended. At the order of the Emperor, Savros has his troops tear down the walls of Hattias, to make it more difficult for them to rebel again in the future.
Savros then returns to the capital to report his victory to the Emperor, but upon his arrival he deposes and murders Alexian II, occupying The City with his troops and having himself crowned Emperor, having decided that since he won the war and crushed the rebels he deserves to rule the Empire. The Senate, faced with the choice of either acclaiming him or being killed, accepts his coronation. But throughout the Empire the regional generals had different reactions to this, and civil war soon brakes out. This marked the end of the Bright Age, and of the Pax Valenica. Unknown to all, one of the causation's of the end of the Bright Age is the disappearance of the Imperial Crown (an artifact created by Tarastia), which was in part responsible for the prosperity and success of the Empire in the preceding period. The Crown was stolen during the siege and subsequently lost.
Also not known at the time, and even to this day, is that the Hattian revolt was provoked by Thanatos, the civil war that followed being a natural (but not directly Immortal - provoked) result.
The population of Thyatis City reached 600,000 around AC 300, having grown greatly during the height of the Bright Age prosperity.
The Middle Centuries
Upheaval and Resilience
AC 313 - 320: Savros Kallastines ruled for less than two years, while the storm clouds gathered. Another general, Demosthenes, defeats him in battle near Hillfork in AC 315. Following this he is captured and beheaded, and Demosthenes becomes Emperor. Demosthenes himself rules briefly and cruelly, before being overthrown in a coup by his own soldiers early in 316. The troops then acclaim Savros' son, Savros II Kallastines, as Emperor.
But by this time every general has begun to see himself as a potential Emperor, and are scrambling to gain the crown for themselves. While this is going on, the Alphatians attack Aegos and the Isle of Dawn. They swiftly overrun most of the island of Aegos, besieging Aegopoli in the summer of 316, and advance deep into the Westrourke region.
Tiberius II Isauricus overthrows Savros II in 317, but his reign is also short. He rules for only a few months before being poisoned by court functionaries. The Imperial Court then has Savros II's sister, Eugenia Kallastines, crowned as Empress. She likewise rules for only a few months before the army's disaffection resulted in General Derentius Machetos being let through the gates of The City. He force Eugenia to marry him, and becomes Emperor.
The disorders continue as the Empire seems on the verge of unravelling. In 318 the island of Terentias defects to Minrothad. The merchants of Minrothad were, at this time, taking advantage of the disorders wracking the Empire to expand their trading network at the expense of Thyatian merchants, while in the east the Alphatians continue their advances on the Isle of Dawn. Aegos fell back into their hands completely late that year. In Nuwmont of 319, Derentius himself is deposed by Mucius Sergius Scaevola, and Eugenia is sent to a clerical retreat (monastery) in Thyatis City.
Mucius declines the title of Emperor, claiming instead to rule as Regent on behalf of Eugenia. He immediately embarks for the Isle of Dawn, where he leads his armies against the Alphatians and relieves the siege of Newkirk. But the following year he dies in battle against the Alphatians. One of his aides, Gaius Otonis, is acclaimed as Emperor by the troops, and marches back to the capital to gain control of the Empire. But as he arrives there Eugenia emerges from the convent she was consigned to, reclaiming her Imperial prerogatives, and marries a prominent young Senator, Alexandros Kerdolion. Alexandros and the senate spend lavishly on "donatives" (bribes) to the troops, convincing most to abandon Gaius Otonis and support Alexandros as Emperor. Gaius Otonis is blinded and exiled to the island of Borydos in 320.
AC 320 - 367: Alexandros then leads the Imperial army back to the Isle of Dawn, and after several years of hard campaigning manages to restore the border to near its former frontier. Aegos remained in the hands of Alphatia, however, and Terentias likewise remained loyal to Minrothad for the time being.
In order to pacify some of the still discontented soldiers, Alexandros raises pay some, and retires some of them, giving them land grants and founding colonies of ex-soldiers in Thyatian-held Alaysia (the town of Dawnpoint being one of the most notable of these new colonies). Order is soon restored at long last, after a decade of upheavals, and the Empire begins to recover from the effects of the Civil War during the long and able reign of Alexandros, who is capably advised by his wife, the Empress Eugenia during his reign. Eugenia dies in 361, much mourned throughout the Empire, and the vitality seems to drain away from Alexandros thereafter.
Minrothaddan traders take over much of the slave trade in the Sea of Dread from native Thyatian merchants during this period (circa AC 360), selling slaves to Thyatis but also enslaving halflings on their islands as well.
AC 367 - 386: his son, Tiberius II Kerdolion, succeeds Alexandros. Early in his reign the Alphatians launch an attack against the Pearl Islands, but it is repelled with heavy losses. As a result, however, Tiberius II spends considerable funds building up the fortifications and harbours at both Seagirt and Beitung.
He later sends his son and heir Gabrionus to supervise the follow up on these projects, and due to this Imperial attention these domains undergo considerable development. During his sojourn to the islands, Gabrionus meets and falls in love with an Ochalean lady, and marries her.
AC 386 - 412: Gabrionus returned home from the islands upon the death of his father in AC 386 and ascends the throne. He stirs up unrest in Alphatian-held Bogland (Dunadale), subverting the populace with blandishments of Thyatian Citizenship, resulting in a major revolt in that region against Alphatia. Thyatian troops then move in, securing much of the southern region, all the way to the eastern shore, separating Bogland from Hillvale.
During this interval some trade develops between the Thyatian and Alphatian colonies on the Alaysian coast, with Thyatian merchants smuggling goods between the ports (this trade was considered illicit by the Alphatian Empire at the time). Gabrionus expands Thyatian colonisation in the region, founding the town of Fabia, which was named after his eldest daughter. During the reign of Gabrionus, somewhat greater settlement of the Shadow Coast region on the Isle of Dawn also occurs. The town of Laticea is founded, as well as several other settlements. Many of these were not successful in the long run, in the face of the creatures inhabiting the dark forests of the interior, and these eventually become abandoned and eerie ghost towns.
AC 412 - 459: Gabrionus' daughter Fabia marries an Alaysian freedman named Ishkan, who becomes Emperor on the death of Gabrionus, reigning as Alexian III. Northman pirates and Vikings were an increasing problem by this time, raiding the Isle of Dawn and even Thyatian (and Alphatian) - held areas of Alaysia. Alexian III spends much of his time on the navy, building it up to combat this problem. Though pitched naval battles generally go the Thyatian's way, the raiding continues and the Northmen proved very elusive, getting bolder and bolder.
Alexian III encourages the development of maritime magic to help combat the threat of the Northmen, to some effect. As a by-product of this effort (as well as some political manoeuvring), he is able to convince the folk of Terentias to switch their allegiance back to Thyatis, re-asserting the Empire's authority over this isle.
Of Wars and Heresy
AC 459 - 515: Emperor Romanos succeeded Alexian III. He divides the Shadow Coast region into the Provinces of Septentriona & Meridiona, to better administer them. Early in his reign the main temple of Vanya in Thyatis City was heavily damaged in an earthquake and the rioting that followed. He orders the construction of a new shrine, built on a grand scale. The project takes ten years to complete, and results in the High Temple of Vanya that stands in Thyatis City today.
Late in the 5th Century the Alphatians initiate an offensive on the Isle of Dawn, overrunning West Portage and Helskir and recovering southern Bogland. Romanos mobilises the Imperial troops, gathering them at Redstone for the counter-attack, but by the time his forces get to the Island Redstone Castle is already under siege by a large Alphatian army. Romanos brakes the siege in a fierce assault, defeating and scattering the Alphatian troops, then sweeps his forces south in an ark, relieving Kendach (which had held out despite the fall of West Portage). This traps the Alphatian troops garrisoning West Portage, as Romanos' army acts as an anvil while marines form the hammer, landing just north of the town then crushing the Alphatian troops. The fighting on the island then grinds down to a stalemate for several years, as control over the northern head of the island passes back and forth.
Romanos brakes the stalemate by initiating the first skirmishes against the Alphatian colonies in Alaysia, paying desert nomads and northman Vikings to perform as auxiliaries alongside Thyatian troops in the region. He then marches his forces on the Isle through presumably "impassable" bogs to Dierdren, catching its garrison unawares and sacking it. All of Bogland (Dunadale) was in Thyatian hands by the end of Romanos' reign. 515 - 528: Perseus follows Romanos as Emperor. A few short years after his ascension, the Alphatians begin an effort to retake Bogland, landing troops in the city of Dunadale and pushing north from Hillvale. A few Alphatian refugees, loyal to that Empire, had convinced the Alphatian Empress of the time (Tylari I) to designate Bogland a Kingdom. They also convinced her to allow it to adopt some of the aspects of Thyatis' political system (elected rulers, local democracy) to try and put an end to the creeping border problem and lack of support for Alphatia in the region. This undermines native support for Thyatis in the region, and Dunadale (the city) and Dierdren were soon recaptured. Perseus' forces manage to stop the Alphatian advance in the highlands of central Bogland, but the Alphatians recover firm control over the eastern coastal strip once again. They also began a counter-attack in Alaysia, hiring Alaysian auxiliaries of their own, and the battles there grow fiercer before finally dying down in the early 520s.
Perseus himself had fallen in love with and married an Alphatian slave girl. As a result of her prodding and suggestions, he proposed the Lex Legislativa Perseana, a series of laws limiting the abuses that slaves could legally be subject to. The Senate passes these laws narrowly. But the military reverses which occurred during Perseus' reign undermined support for him, and in 528 he is murdered by members of his own guard force, and his son Miklas is acclaimed Emperor.
AC 528 - 541: Emperor Miklas almost immediately proved controversial. He initiates a religious upheaval by attempting to proscribe how the Immortals ought to be venerated and to outlaw faiths he disapproves of. He believed that the setbacks the Empire suffered during the reign of Perseus were due to the Immortals anger at the Empire for not properly venerating them. He elevates the faith of Vanya to the foremost religion of the Empire, and declares all other followings to be secondary, refusing Imperial recognition for their holidays. He exiles members of the religious hierarchy who do not agree with him, and promotes priests of Vanya who support his changes in their places. Many priests of Tarastia, in particular, are displaced by these manoeuvres.
The Senate takes umbrage at this, but through arm-twisting and other means, Miklas quickly manages to pack the Senate with those who share his religious views, and gets his measures passed into law. The result is a decade of religious conflict, disputes and sometimes even rioting between those who follow Miklas' way and supporters of other religious practices.
Miklas gained the support he did because of the apparent success of his measures in returning Immortal favour to Thyatis. Soon after he passed them, he marched against the Alphatians in Alaysia, defeating them soundly. He then sailed against the Ostlander reavers that were raiding Imperial territory on the Isle of Dawn, and they too were defeated. Finally, he marches into Alphatian-held Hillvale, capturing it.
He returns to the capital to celebrate his many triumphs, only to learn the Alphatians had marched back into Hillvale and were besieging East Portage. He sallies back to the Isle, defeated their forces at the neck, then marches south against Ekto, planning on conquering the entire Isle of Dawn. But he is trapped in a valley between two looming hills by a large Alphatian and Thothian Army. A grim, costly battle ensued - the Thyatian troops managed to push through the Alphatian forces and retreat north, but Miklas himself was slain.
AC 541 - 557: Miklas had two sons, Theophobus and Theophilius. Theophobus was with the Imperial Army, and when it reached East Portage they acclaim him Emperor. But back in the Capital the Senate votes on which of the two to elevate to the Throne, and they pick Theophilius (who happened to be present in the capital, and it is said that he gave lavish "gifts" and "donations to worthy causes" to gain the Senate's support). Theophobus still had the matter of the war with Alphatia. Troops were sailing from Alphatia proper and marching down from Dunadale, to re-enforce the Thothio-Alphatian army to his south. Acting quickly, he burns and destroys the harbour at East Portage so the Alphatian troops arriving by sea would have difficulty landing. Then he strike north, mauling the army of Dunadale before withdrawing westward to Kendach, where he meets the Thothio-Alphatian force and engages it. But he underestimated the amount of time it would take the Dunadale Army to regroup, and for the forces from Alphatia proper to arrive. They catch his forces in a vice and smash the army. But, fortunately for Thyatis, the Alphatians had concluded a peace treaty with Theophilius the day before the battle, and Thyatian territorial losses were limited.
Theophobus then sailed for Thyatis proper, intending to wrest the throne from his brother, but was defeated near Lucinius City by the Imperial fleet, and captured. His brother had him blinded and exiled to the island of Puir, in the Pearl Islands.
The returning troops seemed to bring with them a plague, however, which seemed resistant to Cure Disease spells. This plague, known as the Red Death due to its symptoms, ravaged the capital and the rest of the Empire. There were several outbreaks in the following centuries. The population of Thyatis City falls to 500,000 by AC 550.
Theophilius attempts to continue his father's religious policies, but they make him increasingly unpopular, especially since the Cure-resistant plague is interpreted as a sign of Immortal disfavour. In 557, when supposedly sailing to reside for the winter at the Imperial Estate on Carytion Island, he and his ships disappear. Some say he sailed to the south, landing somewhere in Davania with his household staff and closest supporters, to found a colony there. But all that is known for sure is that he was never seen again, leaving no clue of his destination behind.
Years of Reverses
AC 557 - 567: The Senate found itself in great difficulties, with religious unrest all over the Empire, as well as the effects of the plague, causing economic difficulties as well. The Hattians (stirred again by Thanatos) were again in an insurrectionary mood (with the first stirrings of the Storm Soldiers instigating things). The Senate goes through several caucuses, but no candidate for the throne receives a majority of the Senate's support. Finally a wealthy merchant, Lucius Nuar, using well-placed bribes and a bit of blackmail, manages to get himself elected. Lucius was the son of a Thyatian naval officer on his mother's side and a Nuari Pearl trader on his father's side. He had built up a fortune through the creation of his own mercantile enterprise, and been elected as Senator representing the Pearl Islands several years before, becoming one on his own merits, and not due to his family's wealth or noble ancestry.
Lucius used some of his personal fortune to replenish the Imperial Treasury, and set about dealing with the Empire's problems. He pushed the Senate to repeal the religious legislation of Emperor Miklas, and recalled the exiled Clerics, restoring the Empire's religious hierarchy. He then sends agents into Hattias, to undermine the insurgency, and follows this up with troops, suppressing overt resistance to Imperial rule.
Lucius increases the size of the Senate, using this as a way of packing it with his supporters (a method that was at least less bloody than purging the existing members). But the military is less satisfied with his rule, and late in his reign a naval officer, Tiel Dun Wei, declares himself Emperor and leads a revolt, sailing with his fleet to the mainland. Tiel Dun Wei's forces are defeated, but the heavy losses deplete the Empire's fleets, and with the effects of the plague and religious unrest, Thyatis was unable to replace the losses quickly. Northmen took advantage of this to raid Imperial territories once more, as did the Alphatians. The Alphatian fleet had generally been inferior to Thyatian naval forces, but with the Empire's number of ships at a low ebb they are able to inflict costly defeats on Thyatian forces, and raid Thyatian shipping lanes over the next several years. They also try to gain ground on land, launching an attack on the Thyatian colonies in Alaysia, but this is repelled with heavy losses when the Alphatian army is decisively defeated near Fabia.
Even Minrothad attempts to take advantage of the comparative weakness of the Thyatian fleet, launching an attack that seized Terentias from the Empire in AC 567. 567-574: Upon the death of Lucius Nuar, the Senate again steps in, electing an Ochalean Cleric, Wien Dien-Ling, as Emperor. Wien Dien-Ling believed in penal reform, and sends many of the Empire's criminals to the Ierendian Isles starting in 571, in the belief that hard work would make good citizens out of them, and that they would provide service to the Empire as a means of "paying their debt to society" by building ships and settlements in the colonies. Wien Dien-Ling also elevates the Retebius Air Corps, giving it the new title of Retebius Air Fleet, in recognition of its instrumental role in repelling the Alphatian attack against Fabia. The Thyatian navy begins to recover from its losses, and by 574 Wien Dien-Ling feels it is strong enough to recapture Terentias. He dies just before the fleet sails, and this delays the expedition.
AC 574 - 581: The Senate then elects one of its own members, Tiberios Monomachos, to reign as Emperor Tiberius III. He continues Wien Dien-Ling's program of colonising the Ierendi Isles with criminals, hoping to reform them. In 576 the fleet finally sails for Terentias. The elves of Minrothad were prepared, but they found themselves outnumbered and their sea and wind magics countered at every turn by Thyatian mages and clerics. The invasion is successful, and Terentias once again become part of the Empire, but Thyatian naval losses are not inconsequential. Tiberius elevates Terentias to the status of Grand Duchy, hoping this would stop the continual conflict with the Minrothaddans over control of it.
AC 581 - 618: Tiberius III was murdered by his stepson, Lucius, in 581. Lucius then bribed the Senate into electing him as Emperor, and ruled as Lucius IV Monomachos. Lucius was unprincipled and corrupt, and soon faced a revolt against him. This was put down with some brutality, and the defeated rebels were exiled to Ierendi.
Lucius uses Ierendi as a dumping ground for incorrigible criminals and for his enemies, using this as a way to save money. He closes most of the prisons in Thyatis itself, and cuts corners on the funding for the Ierendi colonies as well, diverting the money into the hands of his cronies and members of his family.
As a result, the conditions on Ierendi grow progressively worse, and unrest begins to rise. In AC 586, in an effort to build Thyatian fleet strength back up, he sends forces to seize the Ierendi Islands in order to gain complete control of the shipbuilding facilities there.
As a result of Thyatis' seizure of the Ierendi Islands, the Hin resort to piracy and find they enjoy rapine and looting, and continue their tradition of reaving down to the present day.
Renewed warfare then breaks out on the Isle of Dawn, and the proxy-war in the Alaysian desert becomes increasingly savage during this period as well. The Alphatians, having hired Northman longships to support their fleet, inflict a severe defeat on the Thyatian navy in AC 600, just off the northern tip of the Isle of Dawn. When the prisoners on Ierendi hear of this, they see their chance to revolt, and quickly overcome the local garrison, declaring the Kingdom of Ierendi. Lucius is faced with a choice of either attempting to subdue the Ierendian rebels, or sending reinforcements to the Isle of Dawn, and chose the latter. As a result, Ierendi slipped from Thyatis' grasp, and became a haven for buccaneers and cutthroats of all types under the leadership of Mad Creeg. Due to this, and his continued desire to cut costs in housing criminals, Lucius has the population of Borydos, at the time a Barony of farmers and fishermen, deported to the mainland or the Isle of Dawn, and converts it to a prison island.
AC 618 - 643: Lucius IV had only one child, a daughter. Upon his death, she seizes the throne, reigning as Valeria II, rejecting all suggestions that she marry or step aside in favour of a male Emperor. She foils two coup attempts against her, personally defeating both attempts through superior swordsmanship. Her skill at arms surprises many, for the tradition of female warriors had lapsed in the preceding centuries. Her example leads to a revival of this practice, at least for a time. The Red Plague is fairly quiescent during this period.
Her reign also leads to a surge in scheming and plotting, for Valeria II was a mistress of intrigue. She convinces several Alaysian clans which had supported the Alphatians that the latter were planning on enslaving them, resulting in a revolt against by the Alaysian clans against the Alphatians. When the Alphatians subdue the rebels, they do enslave them, making it seem to the other desert tribes that she had been truthful. She then convince the King of Hillvale to betray Alphatia and pledge loyalty to Thyatis. This embroils the Isle of Dawn in yet another war, but Valeria II is careful not to expend too many of Thyatis' resources on it, supporting the King (now Duke) of East Portage just enough to keep him from being crushed, but not enough to drain the Empire. Eventually she signs a peace treaty with the Alphatian Emperor, Tylion II, abandoning the "Duke of East Portage", who is then crushed by the Alphatians.
AC 643 - 680: Though Valeria II never married, she none the less managed to bear many children during her reign. In 643 one of these, Gabriel, manages to poison dear old mom, and murder his siblings as well. Gabriel then seizes the throne as Emperor, announcing his intention to return Ierendi to the Imperial fold. The Senate is troubled by his means of rising to the throne, but they are intimidated into acquiescence by the Imperial Guard, which is loyal to Gabriel. He sends a fleet against the islands in 644, but the expedition is poorly planned from the start, and the Ierendians (with some help from the Honor Island mages) manage to defeat it.
As a result of this humiliation, Gabriel is beaten by the Imperial Guards, dragged through the city streets, and executed in the colosseum to the loud cheers of the crowd. The Senate then elects the commander of the Imperial Guard, Gabrionikos Tatzianes to be Emperor, and he reigns as Gabrionus II.
Despite the inauspicious beginnings of his reign, Gabrionus II reigns capably and establishes a reputation for honour and justice. He weeds out the administration, punishing corrupt officials and reforming the legal code. New legislation is passed mandating better treatment of slaves, insuring they would get enough food and shelter and that they would be permitted to keep a small amount of property of their own.
Gabrionus II also takes steps to strengthen Thyatis' hold on the western half of the Isle of Dawn, building fortifications such as the Tower of Lucinius, Hold of Fenswatch, Trombel Keep, and Finnegar's Watch. Though there is skirmishing in Alaysia throughout this time, this is largely a period of peace for the Empire.
AC 680 - 704: By the time Gabrionus II dies, his son Andronikos is already 51 years old. Andronikos followed the footsteps of his father, carefully administering the Empire and insuring justice was properly applied. The Alphatians launch an attack on Kendach in 698, but it is repelled handily. They follow this with subsidising nomads for stepped up attacks against Thyatian holdings in Alaysia. Ctesiphon is raided in 701, and Andronikos responds by paying Ostland reavers to raid Alphatian settlements in northern Dunadale and Alaysia.
AC 704 - 728: his well-meaning but somewhat bumbling son, Angelos, succeeds Andronikos in the Imperial Throne. Angelos dispatches another fleet to retake the Ierendi Isles in 713, but it is defeated (many of the vessels were lost in a storm rather than in combat with the Ierendians, but the Ierendians do defeat a major force, and the magnitude of the victory grows in Ierendian lore and legend). Recriminations are widespread due to the lack of proper preparation to control the weather as needed. To make matters worse, the Minrothaddans take advantage of this to once again seize Terentias. Andronikos, needing to concentrate his ships against the Alphatians, who are once again pressing the Empire at sea following the debacle in Ierendi, tries to use diplomacy to get the contested island back, but to no avail. In the middle of Angelos' reign in the midst of these setbacks, the last outbreak of the Red Plague occurs, a particularly virulent outbreak, which reduces the population of the City of Thyatis down to 400,000.
To make matters worse, in AC 728 the Alphatians launch their "final offensive" against the Thyatian colonies in Alaysia, spending lavishly to encourage the nomads to strike at Thyatian settlements in Dythestenia and Nicostenia while their army marches down the coast. Several colonies are destroyed, and the Alphatians captured the town of Fabia. For a time it looks like all the Thyatian colonies in Alaysia will succumb, and many settlers flee the region. Giovanni di Sfonti accuses the Thyatian Senate of not caring enough about the northern dominions, and leaves Alasiya for the Flaem lands, where it was rumoured that good lands where at disposal of the brave colonists that would dare to enter them. His following settled far to the northwest, north of the Amsorak Mountains (in what is now Glantri).
At this point the Commander of the Imperial Fleet, Marcianus Dalessenos, confronts Andronikos and forces him to abdicate. Andronikos is allowed to retire peaceably to a monastery in Machetos, living out the rest of his life as a Cleric.
The Modern Era
Triumphs and Tribulations
AC 728 - 758: Marcianus Dalessenos, member of an aristocratic family of Lucinius and commander of the Imperial Fleet, is unanimously elected Emperor by the Senate. By the time he had secured the throne, the Alphatians had taken Cubia and were besieging Tameronikas.
Marcianus decides to sail against the Alphatians rather than march against them. He orders their positions on the Isle of Dawn attacked by the Imperial forces there, and fleets sails from the Pearl Islands and Ochalea against the Alphatian-held Alatian Islands, landing forces on each of them and tying down Alphatian armies. He follows the practice of hiring Northman sea-wolves to attack Alphatian shipping, and this prevents them from sending further reinforcements to Alaysia.
Marcianus then takes his own fleet, transporting Imperial forces, and hooks around the main Alphatian army, landing at Cubia. They recapture the town, forcing the Alphatians to break the siege of Tameronikas and march north. They meet Marcianus' forces outside Cubia, but he refuses battle, withdrawing back into the walls of the town. While he supplies himself by sea, the Alphatians began to run low on supplies, and by early spring of 729 they begin to withdraw northwards. Marcianus' forces harass them the entire way, restoring Thyatian control to the coastal strip as far north as Fabia, though that town itself remains in Alphatian hands. Some histories favourable to the Alphatians describe their offensive of AC 728 as "crushing" the Thyatian colonies in the region, but the truth was very different. The Alphatians manage to chase down most of the Thyatian probing forces on the Alatian Islands by AC 730, and peace is re-established, though skirmishing soon brakes out in Alaysia again.
Following this experience Marcianus orders the construction of a major road into the interior of Thyatian-held Alaysia, which is harder to reach and re-enforce by sea. This road runs from Biazzan to Ctesiphon, and then east through the hills of Dythestenia and south towards Fort Zendrol, and exists to this day.
Marcianus dies in AC 754, but his wife, Julia, manages to reign as Empress in her own name for four years. A strong-willed woman, she demands that her five sons compete to see who was fittest to rule, granting them each fiefs on the Isle of Dawn to govern. The one that did best would get her blessing, and in 758 Annius, her second youngest son, proves his worth by deftly defeating an Alphatian strike force intent on pillaging the region.
The population of Thyatis City recovers to 500,000 around AC 750.
AC 758 - 783: Julia abdicates in favour of Annius, who becomes Emperor. She advises him until her death two years later, and he rules ably, preventing Ostlander and Alphatian raiders from striking Imperial territory, and after striking a deal with several nomad clans in Alaysia, he extends his father's network of roads north to the oasis of Ylaruam, sparking increased trade. But his brother, Marcus, seethed during this time. He believed that as the eldest son of Marcianus, he deserved to be Emperor, and that it was only good fortune that brought the Alphatian raiders into Annius' lap, giving him the chance to look good. In 761 Marcus finds an excuse to challenge Annius to a duel, and to everyone's surprise the Emperor accepts and, rather than resorting to a Champion (as would be his right), faces Marcus himself. But Marcus slays Annius.
Knowing that Marcus is a better swordsman than they are, the other brothers decide not to challenge his subsequent claim of the throne. The Senate narrowly ratifies his position as Emperor. But Marcus is not well respected by most of the nobility. He avoids revolts by, in effect, allowing most of his vassals to rule their domains pretty much as they please, so long as they send their taxes to Thyatis City. Marcus finds himself largely Emperor in name only, truly ruling only the City and Duchy of Thyatis.
It takes some time for the Alphatians to notice this state of affairs, but when they do they take advantage of it. In 773 they invade Thyatian territory on the Isle of Dawn. They overrun much of its northern head over the next few years, and are stopped only by the ring of fortifications outside Newkirk. In 780 they besiege Kendach, and despite the forces Marcus personally leads to its relief, it soon falls. The Emperor manages to stabilise the situation, maintaining Thyatian control over the region around Newkirk, the Redstone peninsula, and West Portage. During this period the region of the Shadow Coast largely falls into wilderness, with only a few scattered settlements still maintaining ties to Thyatis. The Counts of Dythestenia and Nicostenia govern especially harshly, squeezing every last piece of gold from their subjects, and selling almost all the Alaysians who were captured in the increasingly fierce skirmishes into slavery.
783 - 797: Marcus died as he lived - his life ends when he duels he Duke of Kerendas, finally meeting his match. He is succeeded by his son, Alexandros II. Alexandros II is the complete opposite of his father. Where Marcus craved the throne, Alexandros is disinterested in ruling. Where Marcus was an enthusiastic fighter, Alexandros II is a reticent, scholarly mage. Alexandros found the Empire in a condition that suited him: the dominions were largely governing themselves, and he let that continue. He even turns over as much of the administrative duties he did have to the Senate and, with respect to Thyatis City and the Duchy, to his court functionaries and advisers.
Through deft and efficient deployment of the Empire's magical resources, the one asset Alexandros II was interested in, he manages to defeat the next Alphatian attack against the Empire, aimed at sweeping through Alaysia. An invasion fleet headed for the Pearl Islands is likewise dispatched by elements of the Retebius Air Fleet and numerous wizards, which Alexandros had presciently sent there prior to the Alphatian's sortie. By these means Alexandros II earns a reputation for being a deft Diviner and precognate, but earns little respect as a ruler. The Alphatians do manage to take advantage of Alexandros II's relative inattentiveness in order to add Glantri to their Empire, when the wizard Halzunthram subdued it in 788.
In AC 795 Alexandros' chamberlain, Alexius Penhaligon, convinces him to abdicate. Alexandros retires to the island of Sclaras and Penhaligon becomes Emperor Alexius. Alexius takes immediate steps to re-establish Imperial authority. He dispatches his most able general, Giovanni Porpora, to the Isle of Dawn with a skilled army and instructions to recover Imperial territory there. Porpora was a long time adventurer especially in the savage countries of the Northern Reaches, Heldann and even Norwold, and he takes this experience, and a select bodyguard of fierce Heldanners, with him. Alexius then begins recovering Imperial prerogatives from the Senate.
But he takes a dangerous path when he attempts to re-assert his authority over the nobility, by now used to ruling as they please. Several revolt, and in 797 Alexius is deposed and executed. The victorious faction puts a non-entity, Luigi Villari, on the throne to rule as their puppet. But he reigns for only a few months until the Duke of Kantrium forces his way to Thyatis City, encouraging an uprising that overthrows Villari, and has himself crowned as Emperor Octavianus Kantrius.
During this time Giovanni Porpora had performed magnificently on the Isle of Dawn. With few troops at his disposal, he had none the less recaptured Kendach. Ignoring the Civil War, he continued to fight the Alphatians, marching northwards up the western coast of the Isle of Dawn, defeating every force the Alphatians sent against him until they finally sued for peace. With the borders on the Isle restored to largely their former frontiers, Giovanni sails for Thyatis City to announce his triumph.
797 - 830: To his surprise as much as to the surprise of Octavianus, when he arrives at the capital, late in 797, the people overthrow the Emperor in a bout of seemingly spontaneous enthusiasm and insist that Giovanni Porpora take the throne. The troops of the capital abandon Octavianus, who is forced to flee the city. Giovanni is crowned, and Octavianus is soon captured. But he is treated mercifully. He is compelled to take monastic vows and retire to the island of Mositius (then only sparsely inhabited), to found a monastic community. Octavianus' son is, however, anointed Duke of Kantrium. Giovanni puts an end to the Empire's fractious condition, restoring Imperial authority. In 799 he sends forces to conquer Terentias, recovering it for Thyatis. He works diligently thereafter to return the Shadow Coast of the Isle of Dawn to Imperial control, succeeding in as great a respect as anyone has managed to subdue this dark region. In Hattias the Order of Vanya is founded in 808 as a branch of the Brotherhood of the Grey Lady. It is formed by people who were expelled from the Storm Soldiers hate society because of their rejection of that group's beliefs in racial purity and suppression of women. Around AC 800, the population of Thyatis City reaches 600,000 and then largely stabilises.
In 811 Giovanni dies, and is succeeded by his daughter, Livia. Livia holds the throne through deft political manoeuvring and through playing off the various nobles against themselves, with the implication that any one of them might win her hand and with it an Imperial crown. Then, in 826 an unexpected disaster strikes.
The nomads of Alaysia had united under one leader, against both the Alphatians and the Thyatians. The Alphatians were quickly swept from their colonies in Alaysia. The Thyatian armies hang on longer, but uprisings in Ctesiphon (826) and Cubia (829) allow armies under al-Kalim to enter both cities after he poisons the wells and encourages treason. The siege of Tameronikas (830) is hard fought, but eventually it too falls after al-Kalim undermines morale by poisoning the wells and commits a dwarven siege train to the task of battering down the walls. Livia then leads her armies forth herself, mobilising them outside Fort Zendrol. The forces of al-Kalim attempt to invade Tel Akbir, hoping to recover it as well. But the folk of Tel Akbir, even the Alaysians, do not rally to his cause as the desert tribes did, but instead oppose his troops. They are forced to withdraw northwards, and that is when Livia strikes. The two armies clash in the Battle of Tel Abdallah, a confusing engagement fought amidst a driving dust storm. The result is an unsatisfying draw for both armies. The forces of al-Kalim retreat northwards, and the Thyatian armies withdraw to Fort Zendrol. Soon after Livia signs a treaty with the nomad leader, establishing the frontiers between the Empire and the new nation of Ylaruam more or less at where they are today. The site of the battlefield ended up on the Ylari side of the border, and thus they claim it as a victory.
During this time, Lord Alexander Glantri, a descendent of the Thyatian settlers in Flaemish lands, captured Halzunthram and liberated the region from Alphatia. The population names the land Glantri in his honour.
831 - 876: The treaty with al-Kalim, though it restored true peace to the Empire for the first time in centuries (since endemic skirmishing with the Alphatians was ended), proved controversial. Many in Thyatis thought a strong effort should be made to recover the domains of Nicostenia and Dythestenia. As a result, in order to secure her position against the rising chorus of grumbling, Livia finally marries. She selects the then-Count of Hattias, Rudolf von Hattias, to rule by her side. He becomes known in The City as Rudolvos Porphora, and is recorded in the lists of Emperors as Emperor Rudolvos.
Rudolvos is a kind, noble man, stable and pacific, just what the Empire needed at the moment. During the long period of Imperial control in what is now southern Ylaruam, the fortifications of Nikos and Zendrol had fallen into disrepair. He has these strengthened, to deter cross-border raids. Rudolvos also sponsors the arts, and many fine concertos and operas are written during his reign, works of beauty played throughout Mystara to this day.
Livia dies in 842, and her husband, who had come to love her dearly, does not long outlast her, dying the next year. Their son, Adolphus, succeeds them. As Emperor, Adolphus works hard to try and seal the still seething rift between the people of Hattias and the rest of Thyatis. As part of a program of reconciliation and openness, he legalises the Storm Troopers, long outlawed as a terrorist, subversive organisation. Though he makes some progress in healing the old wounds during his long reign, he feels that every step forward is somehow inexplicably being undone, and eventually comes to the conclusion that some unknown force was behind this. As a result, he appoints one of his close advisers, Gustav Oesterhaus, as Count of Hattias. During the preceding period, both his father Rudolf and he had ruled as Count as well as being Emperor, but Adolphus feels that someone closer at hand, able to concentrate on Hattias, would stand a better chance of getting to the bottom of the problem. He promises Gustav that when he succeeded in uncovering the problem, Hattias would become a Duchy again and Gustav would be elevated to Duke, co-equal once again with the Duchies of Kerendas and Thyatis. The other major accomplishment of Adophus' reign is the passage by the Senate of legislation making it easier for slaves to buy their freedom.
But neither Adolphus nor Gustav were to live to discover the source of the problem in Hattias, for both die of apparent strokes in 864. Gustav is succeeded by his infant son, Hansel, and Adolphus by his eldest son, who rules as Emperor Giovanni II. Giovanni II is known as "the drunkard," and spends much of his time in colourful debauches while his court functionaries and ministers run the Empire. When he is clear-headed and focused, he is a capable ruler, but he finds the details of governance a monotonous annoyance. He is, however, both a capable swordsman and, later in life, a skilled mage as well.
During the last years of his life he promotes a common-born man from the region of Redstone, Gabrion Eusebos, to ever higher rank. Gabrion was born into a family of peasants, and came to the capital when his family decided it had too many mouths to feed, to seek his fortune. He got a job in the household of a city aristocrat, tending the horses, and caught the Emperor's eye one day when he out-wrestled an insolent, but extremely tough (and at the time seemingly unbeatable) Ylari envoy, who was challenging and taunting the Empire's men during a banquet. He was promoted to Master of the Imperial Stables, and subsequently became the Emperor's Vestarios (Chamberlain). In that position he acted as the Emperor's personal servant and adviser. At some point he began a discrete affair with the Emperor's wife, Anna, while Giovanni II was elsewhere, conducting affairs of his own amid the pleasure gardens he had constructed near the Palace, or wrapped up in his increasing obsession with the forces of sorcery.
In 876 Giovanni and Gabrion's relations become increasingly strained - opinions vary: some say Giovanni II suspected Gabrion of plotting against him, and of carrying on with his wife. Others say that he grew irritated at Gabrion's increasing attempts to interest Giovanni in matters of state and pay attention to matters of governing. In any case, what is known is that Giovanni retires to his study and begins a magical ritual aimed at killing Gabrion. Gabrion learns of this, somehow, and with a band of supporters rushes to the study. A melee ensues, and Giovanni II is slain.
AC 876 - 898: Thus Gabrion Eusebos becomes Emperor Gabrionus III Eusebos, after being acclaimed by the troops of the Imperial Palace and elected by a Senate too stunned to object. Gabrionus III cements his authority by marrying Anna, the widow of Giovanni II. They had fallen in love while Giovanni frolicked with other women. It is soon discovered that Anna is pregnant (and some wonder, given how soon the child was born, whether it was Gabrionus' or Giovanni's - for some reason, Divinatory investigations never prove anything either way). Gabrionus III is a stolid, conscientious Emperor. He puts right the Empire's finances, which had fallen into disarray during the reign of Giovanni II, with many exemptions passed out to that Emperor's friends and hangers on. He also cuts expenses by spending less on frivolities.
While there are a few skirmishes on the Isle of Dawn and some raids back and forth between the Ylari and the Thyatians during this period, Gabrionus III's reign is largely peaceful. The only real threat he faces is an insurrection of Hattian troops in the capital in 881, at the instigation of their captain, who sought to become Emperor. But Gabrionus III handles this deftly, putting it down with little difficulty.
It is also during this period that trade and contact with the scattered coastal villages of Traladara increases. Though directly to the west of the Empire it was long ignored by Thyatis because of its backwardness, and the fact that the only threat it posed was occasional humanoid raiders. But as Traladara's dark age begins to lift, Thyatian merchants see new opportunities for trade in this region. The traders of Minrothad are also becoming interested in the area, but competition for the market does not spill over into friction or warfare, because the trade of Traladara is too slight for Minrothad to risk its access to the vast market of Thyatis over.
AC 898 - 913: Beginning a tradition of imaginative naming that would be a hallmark of the Eusebos line, Gabrionus III named his firstborn son after himself (some say to cut short the rumours that he was not the child's father). In 898 Gabrionus III dies, and is succeeded by the young Gabrionus IV. Gabrionus had spent his youth wildly and impetuously, running away from home for a time. But by the time he becomes Emperor, he seems to have matured. He was married, and had a son of his own already.
Gabrionus IV seemed set to follow the diligent, stabilising, unimaginative policies of his father. But at the turn of the century he initiates two surprising moves that will change the face of Mystara.
As Traladara revived, both Darokin and Thyatis began to eye it warily. Both nations are afraid that it might unite under a threatening banner, and begin to take steps to secure it for themselves. The last thing Gabrionus IV desires is to have Thyatis flanked by an expanding Darokin, so he strikes swiftly and decisively. In AC 900, he sends troops to occupy the main trading village of Traladara, the town of Marilenev. The region becomes the Province of Traladara, and the Thyatian military commander renames the village of Marilenev "Specularum". But the ways of the Traladarans are left largely undisturbed. A trade tax is levied, but the greater Thyatian interest in the region means that trade booms and prosperity increases anyway. Gabrionus IV insures the area is governed lightly and justly, largely allowing the Traladarans to handle their affairs by means of their own traditions. The presence of Imperial troops patrolling the region increases safety from monsters and brigands.
Over the preceding decades trade and good relations had grown between Thyatis and the Ostlanders and other northmen. As a result, Gabrionus sends colonists to found a city in Norwold, Oceansend, and re-asserts old Thyatian claims to that region. This was made possible by the increasingly good relations between the Thyatians and the Ostlanders. As the northern trade grew, new settlements were needed to better take advantage of the wealth of the region. Though ruled by Thyatis, the growing population of Oceansend includes not only Thyatians but also Ostlanders and, over time, increasing numbers of the Heldanners native to Norwold. A strong ring of fortifications are built around this colony, to prevent the Alphatians from seizing and destroying it. In 911, they send a strike force to try just that, but it is repelled decisively.
Gabrionus also encourages a wave of colonisation to the western shores of the Gulf of Hule. Most of the colonists are derived from the Ispan ethnic group of Kerendas. Their colonies eventually become known as the Savage Baronies because of the fractious nature of their relations with each other.
Though Gabrionus' other two colonisation efforts are directly controlled by the Empire, these distant colonies are allowed autonomy from the start. Thyatian traders conduct much commerce with them during the first half of the 10th century AC, however, profiting the Empire greatly. This is also the period when Thyatis begins trading with the communities of northern Davania to a limited degree. Kastelios becomes an occasional stopover for merchants travelling back and forth between Thyatis and the Gulf of Hule, and eventually trade is extended to the tribes of the northern coast, in what becomes known as the Hinterlands.
Gabrionus IV also creates the County of Lucinius, splitting it off from the Duchy of Thyatis. He does this to reward the able commander who scouted out and secured the location upon which Oceansend is built. He also because he feels it will be more efficient to administer this region separately from the Duchy, as its population has grown significantly during the expansion of trade and seafaring. Helskir is conquered from Alphatia, and more settlements are founded in the Isle of Dawn. This is when the Baronies of Caerdwicca and Furmenglaive are created in the south, as colonisation is expanded.
In 913 a band of foolish adventurers accidentally unleash a monstrous fiend in the sewers below the capital. All but one are slain by it, the sole survivor managing to report this occurrence to the Emperor's agents. The fiend itself busts its way to the surface in one of The City's main plazas, causing widespread panic. Gabrionus IV decides to confront this threat before it can harm his city, with a band of his most able bodyguards and advisers. An epic melee takes place, and eventually the fiend is dispatched. But Gabrionus IV is mortally wounded in the process, dying moments later, his sword thrust through the fiend's carapace. The fiend is later found to have been in the City of Thyatis at the instigation of an Alphatian wizard who wanted to cause harm to Thyatis, intending to use it to overthrow the Empire and gain control of it. Over the next week Thyatian adventurers sally into the lair the wizard had created beneath the city, rooting out his agents one by one until the area is secured. The tunnels are then sealed over.
913 - 959: Gabrionus IV is succeeded by his son, Gabrionus V, who is only seventeen at the time. Gabrionus V is a scholarly sort, who sponsors the arts, builds many theatres and museums throughout the Empire during his reign, and finances painters, sculptors, architects, and musicians. He feels that the era of major warfare with Alphatia is over, and that the friction that resulted in the death of his father is caused by misunderstanding that can be overcome through cultural exchanges. He believes in promoting goodwill through friendly gestures intended to demonstrate peaceful intent so he cuts funding for the army and fleet. He diverts the funds towards lavish spending on beautiful buildings and increases funding for the Thyatian universities and libraries. Several treaties with Alphatia are signed during this period, limiting Thyatian expansion in Norwold and dealing with trade matters. The Alphatian Emperor of the time, Tylion IV, was concerned with the growth of trade and wanted it regulated, so that the subjects and slaves of Alphatia would not be exposed to outside influences he felt would undermine their loyalty.
Gabrionus is also inattentive to the Ministries and Judges - he appoints people to offices based upon their family backgrounds, and then fails to supervise them diligently. As a result, corruption grows throughout his reign as graft, cronyism, and nepotism become commonplace, undermining the foundations of the Empire. On the other hand, this is an era of economic prosperity, as Oceansend grows into a thriving port city and Specularum expands from a small but prosperous village to become a bustling town.
In AC 948 a faction of the priesthood of Vanya, the Order of Vanya, disturbed by the Emperor's un-militant policies, approaches him with a plan to emigrate from Hattias with their followers and conquer a region of their own. Happy to see them go, Gabrionus V gives his ascent to their plan, and two years later they sail northward to the Heldann Freeholds, landing south of Haldisvall. The ruling Haldis clan is defeated by the knights, who capture their capital city and its vicinity. That same year, AC 950, Thyatis and Ostland formalise their friendly ties through a treaty of alliance. In AC 952, the Order of Vanya conquers Altendorf, completing its conquest of the Heldannic Freeholds. The order is recast as the Heldannic Knights. Over the next several years more of Thyatis' most able and enthusiastic warriors emigrate to the Heldannic Territories. There they seek of the opportunities for glories of war that Gabrionus V's pacific reign denies them in Thyatis. This drains the Empire of many of its most skilled warriors.
The Modern Era
The Spike Assault
AC 959: Early in the year a group of Thyatian smugglers are captured in Sundsvall, found violating the strictures of the trade treaties signed between the Empires. After severe torture (all soon die as a result of their experience), several claim that Emperor Gabrionus V sent them, hoping to destabilise Alphatian society. Tylion IV sends a message to Thyatis with this information, demanding an explanation and compensation for violation of the treaties. Gabrionus V sends a reply saying he had no knowledge of, nor anything to do with the smugglers, decrying their rough treatment but calling for a peaceful resolution.
Tylion IV is enraged - Thyatian smugglers had become an increasing problem during the last thirty years, and he doesn't believe Gabrionus V. Actually, Gabrionus V is telling the truth - the smugglers were acting privately, without the knowledge or control of the Thyatian government. But they are a sign of the increasing disregard for the law and growth of corruption within Thyatis during Gabrionus V's reign, and did break the treaty's provisions. Unsatisfied by the Thyatian response, Tylion IV declares war. Most Alphatians, especially members of the Grand Council, believe he is over-reacting.
Alphatian armies strike suddenly on the Isle of Dawn, and win quickly. So long as the war is successful, few in Alphatia object openly to the war, and indeed as their armies sweep through Thyatis they are supportive and praise Tylion IV's glorious victories.
The Thyatian armies, having experienced over four decades of neglect during the reign of Gabrionus V, are ill prepared and ill trained. Newkirk, Kendach, and West Portage are quickly overrun. The Alphatians send their fleets around the Isle of Dawn to embark soldiers for the invasion of Thyatis itself, while other Alphatian troops secure Helskir and the northern third of the island. As the Thyatian navy is severely under strength, many of its ships having been left to decay due to lack of funding for maintenance, the Imperial Admiralty drafts many merchant ships into naval service, mobilising the fleet outside Port Lucinius to intercept the Alphatian armada.
AC 960: The Alphatian fleet sails from West Portage towards Thyatis as soon as the spring weather permits, meeting the Thyatian fleet at Port Lucinius. The result is a debacle for Thyatis, as the trade ships have little knowledge of how to fight fleet engagements, being better at facing off pirates, and experienced, trained naval ships are few. While they struggle bravely, and sink a number of Alphatian vessels, they are soon defeated. The victorious Alphatians sail up Vanya's Girdle to the City of Thyatis.
The Alphatian Spike Assault reaches Thyatis City. The Order of the White Drake, charged with protecting the City from the air, does not arrive to perform its duty, critically weakening the defences. The siege is short and cruel, the Alphatians shielding their advance with captive Thyatians, making the defenders reluctant to fire at them. The Alphatians batter their way through the gates, and an Alphatian strike force enters the city. They reach the palace to kill Emperor Gabrionus V and murder most of his family. The Alphatian troops then cast discipline aside and begin an orgy of rapine and looting, before finishing the task of securing the City. This proves to be a critical and decisive mistake. At the time the most popular man in The City is Thincol the Brave, a famous gladiator. He organises the surviving gladiators, mercenaries, Knightly Orders, and troops, then leads a counter attack against the Alphatians. They enter the palace area by travelling through the sewers and tunnels under Thyatis. There they witness the aftermath of the slaughter of the Imperial Court. But the Alphatian troops are caught by surprise, having turned their attentions to pillaging and committing various unspeakable acts against their captives. Thincol and his band enter the palace itself, discovering the Emperor dead. The Alphatian commander is found in the Imperial quarters, with a young woman, her gown torn open. The Alphatian throws her out in front of himself, intending to use her as a human shield, but Thincol deftly throws a dagger into the man's throat, slaying him and rescuing the lady. She is found to be Gabriela, and is the sole surviving member of the Imperial family.
The Alphatian forces, now dissipated and disordered, are still scattered around the city, their minds on destruction and rapine. Thincol's forces continue the counter-attack after securing the Imperial Palace, smashing the Alphatian army and capturing many of its ships. The survivors are forced to retreat in scattered bands and small squadrons, fleeing back to the Isle of Dawn. But they lose many additional troops during the retreat as a result of Thyatian counter-attacks by air (Retebius Air Fleet and Knights of the Air strikes) and sea (privateers and pirates from Terentias arriving to sink enemy ships). The severe losses the Alphatian's best troops suffer in this defeat brings into question their ability to keep their conquests on the Isle of Dawn as well. Tylion IV responds by drafting more people to replenish the devastating losses that were suffered by the army in Thyatis, but believes the war can still be a success for Alphatia if they can hold onto their gains on the Isle of Dawn.
Thincol woos Gabriela. He convinces her that the Empire needs as strong, forceful man to rebuild Thyatis. His charm and good looks infatuate her, and by the dashing way he rescued her, and persuaded by his arguments. She consents to marry him, and the Senate confirms him as Emperor. He is crowned on 1 Klarmont, AC 960. Facing a choice between being attacked by the Alphatians itself or forswearing the Empire, Oceansend decides to become independent during the time when the Alphatians are attacking Thyatis. Thincol tacitly allows his home city, Oceansend its independence, and concentrates on recovering Imperial territories on the Isle of Dawn.
In the aftermath of his victory, Thincol kills several of the disgraced Thyatian commanders for their cowardice and incompetence, and gets the rest to see things his way. He purges the Order of the White Drake, disbanding it, exiling the traitors and incorporating the remnants into the Retebius Air Fleet and Knights of the Air. He and his generals begin whipping Thyatis' surviving forces into shape, and start building up a fleet to retake the Isle of Dawn.
Back in Alphatia, grumbling against Tylion IV begins to grow. Gabrionus V was unthreatening and passive, but the invasion of Thyatis has become a disaster. Tylion rationalises that if Alphatia manages to retain their gains the Isle of Dawn, the war will have been worth it. But many begin to think that Alphatia needs a new Emperor.
AC 961 - 962: Thincol and his generals build up Thyatis' forces, constructing new warships. The men of Port Lucinius, chagrined by their failure to protect the capital, work especially diligently. Tylion IV sends more reinforcements to the Isle of Dawn and sends more ships to its western side, planning on staving off the Thyatian counter-attack. But the Alphatian navy is crushed at sea, though the Thyatians lose a number of ships as well. Troops are then landed near Redstone Castle, which had been besieged but not taken by the Alphatian army. Their forces outside Redstone are defeated and forced to retreat. Soon, Newkirk and West Portage are recaptured. The fight for Kendach, early in 962, is exceptionally hard-fought, but it too falls back into Thyatian hands. The levies drafted by Tylion IV are smashed and routed back towards East Portage and Dunadale. Following this string of defeats, Tylion IV is deposed and replaced by his daughter Eriadna. Eriadna sues for peace, and the western half of the Isle of Dawn is returned to Thyatian control by the second anniversary of Thincol's reign.
With the Thyatian merchant fleet having suffered severe losses on account of the war, the traders of Minrothad take advantage of the situation to expand their dominance of the sea trade. In AC 961 Empress Gabriella gives birth to their first son, who is named Eusebius.
The Reign of Thincol
AC 963 - 970: The fighting in the aftermath of the Spike Assault, though victorious for Thyatis, further strained the Empire's still under strength military.
Thincol spends the first decade of his reign rebuilding it, whipping it back into fighting shape. As the strength of the Thyatian military is restored, improved tactics, unit formations and equipment, and training methods are devised. Efforts are devoted to researching new magics, to both counter and defeat Alphatian forces in the future. This takes considerable time and effort, and progress is slow but continuous.
Triella Tien-Tang, a sorceress who had aided Thincol in repelling the Spike Assault, is rewarded with the title of Baroness and the island of Mositius.
She has discovered how to control the strange mists of the island, and turns it into a tourist resort. Over the following decades, as income from her dominion grows, helping to refill the Imperial treasury, Triella and her dominion are elevated subsequently to County and then Duchy status.
On the Isle of Dawn itself, Thincol awards Westrourke to a fiery relative, a man cut from the same cloth as himself, Donegal Firestorm. Firestorm is Thincol's nephew, and is given the status of Grand Duke in AC 970 and ordered to rebuild the region's defences. Thincol also renews the treaty of alliance with Ostland. Some Ostlanders are encouraged to settle in the northern part of the Isle of Dawn. As a result of this, and due to Thincol's own half-northman background, many of the Alphatian's in this region change the names of their villages. This is an expression of their trend-following nature, and Antalian-derived names become commonplace in the northern part of the Isle of Dawn.
The portions of the City of Thyatis which were damaged during the Alphatian assault are repaired during this period as well. But Thincol demands that some areas of the Imperial Palace continue to display the scars of the Alphatian assault. Though the worst-damaged areas are rebuilt, he wishes to leave some evidence of their deeds. This is intended to be a reminder of the barbarism of the Alphatians. But most importantly Thincol means it as a warning not to let the Empire fall into such a condition and allow its enemies to pierce its walls again.
AC 970 - 980: Stefan Karameikos, an old friend and drinking buddy of Thincol, approaches the Emperor with a proposition. Stefan had recently become ruler of the Duchy of Machetos on the death of his father. But Stefan is an impetuous young man, with boundless ambition. He is discontented with the prospect of dutifully ruling Machetos, and dreamed of moulding a nation in his hands. He offers to trade his birthright, the Duchy of Machetos to Thincol in exchange for the dominion of Traladara. Though Thincol knows that Traladara is steadily growing in prosperity under the protection of the Empire and has great potential in the long run, at the moment it still costs the Empire almost as much to patrol and garrison it as the treasury receives in taxes. The wealth of Machetos is more immediately at hand, on the other hand. Thyatis is still short of funds for finishing the rebuilding of the military. Knowing his first responsibility is to the welfare of the Empire as a whole, Thincol reluctantly agrees to his friend's proposal. Stefan gains control of Traladara, which he will rule as an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Empire (essentially independent). Stefan immediately renames Traladara for himself and replaces the native rulers with his own cronies and distant relatives, precipitating a revolt against him and several assassination attempts almost immediately. That revolt is crushed, and Stefan assumes control over the area.
Thincol strips Machetos of its wealth, selling the Karameikos family slaves in the markets of the City of Thyatis and selling the lands, using the funds to finance further military improvements. He then appoints one of his generals, Callastian Jowdynites, as Duke of Machetos, giving the man the responsibility of rebuilding the Duchy's economy.
That same year, 970, Thincol's second child is born, Stefania.
After restoring the military, Thincol spends the next decade attempting to reduce corruption in the bureaucracy and judiciary. Though Thincol gains a reputation as a stern, even deadly ruler, he also earns a reputation for wise administration and impeccable fairness in applying Imperial Law. Under his leadership the Imperial family sets an exemplary example, with no extravagant expenses and wasted resources. The famed efficiency of Thyatis, which had lapsed during the long rule of Gabrionus V, is restored - in part. Though the Imperial government is run with competence and effectiveness, corruption in the upper reaches of Thyatian society proves harder to root out, with many wealthy families still conducting themselves with disrepute. The solid, average Citizens do take the fine example the Emperor provides to heart, however, and Thincol's energetic leadership helps reverse the decline and bring the Empire back to prominence. Even the Empire's aristocracy jumps when Thincol calls, for though loved among the common citizenry, Thincol knows well the old adage that it is better to be feared than loved. He insures that those who must obey him fear his wrath more than any other possible fate, and his orders are followed diligently as a result.
The Imperial family continues to grow as well. In AC 979, Gabriella gives birth to another daughter, who is named Asteriela.
AC 980 - 990: Though Thincol is an excellent, contentious Emperor, he is a less than sterling family man. He takes many mistresses, generally scandalising the court and depressing his wife, Gabriela. He grooms Eusebius to follow him to the throne, but shows no real emotion or fatherly concern for him - the care of Eusebius is mostly entrusted to servants. At the age of 18, Eusebius enters the army, becoming a cavalry officer. Thincol treats his daughters with even more disregard, viewing them as pawns to forge marriage alliances through.
In AC 984 he pledged Stefania's hand to an Ostland prince, intending to further cement that alliance. In AC 987 she was compelled to marry him, but kills him in their wedding bed, prompting Thincol's first real outburst of emotion over his family. He protects his daughter from King Hord of Ostland's demands for vengeance, and the Emperor's skilful diplomacy soon smoothes over relations. Thincol ignores Stefania, pretending she doesn't exist for six months, until she runs away from home, becoming an swordswoman, adventurer, and heroine in the Duchy of Machetos.
Around AC 985 the Savage Baronies assume roughly their current borders, with nine fairly stable but disputatious states in existence. That same year the Alphatians again demonstrates their expansionistic tendencies, initiating a conquest of Norwold. They rebuild a city on the peninsula of Alpha and attempt to claim the entire region. Oceansend and most of the rest of the communities in Norwold ignore their claim.
By AC 988 Thincol believes the Thyatian military is strong enough to face the test of battle. Fighting will temper the force and give it much needed combat experience. For almost a century Thyatis has been trading intermittently with the inhabitants of the northern coast of Davania. Thincol now sends troops to secure part of it, an area occupied by four warrior tribes, for the Empire. Progress is slow but steady here, and soon the coastal areas are under Imperial control. Thincol makes sure to rotate units through the region so all will gain experience, and Thyatian forces are soon penetrating the interior. A strong fortress is built, Fire-Height, as a command post for these efforts. Soon a city, Ravenscarp, grows up around it and efforts are made to assimilate the Hinterlanders into the Empire.
AC 990 - 1000: The incident with Stefania taught Thincol a couple things: first, not to treat his children as chattel, for they were as strong willed as he.
Second, he discovered that he loved them when he found himself missing Stefania. He still disregarded Gabriella for the most part, and he guarded his feelings towards his children, not often displaying them in public (lest someone use that against him). But he occasionally tried various means of making Gabriela happy, for the sake of his children (these did not work, and Gabriela became even more withdrawn). When Asteriela likewise spurned the match he made for her, he was much more patient and considerate. Throughout this he discretely sought the whereabouts of Stefania. When he found her in 996, he convinced her to return to the Palace, and pretended nothing had gone wrong. Though disapproving of the affair Stefania soon began with Anaxibius, the most popular gladiator of the time, he did nothing to stop it.
Throughout the decade there was continued progress in the Hinterlands and occasional skirmishing with the Alphatians on the Isle of Dawn and in Norwold. Though these are minor confrontations conducted largely through proxies and with second-tier formations, they confirm the fact that the Thyatian Empire had recovered. By the millennium, Thincol had rebuilt the empire's military machine to pre-eminence and restored the efficiency of Imperial administration. During the millennial celebrations, an Alphatian plot to assassinate Emperor Thincol on the Thyatian Millennium is foiled by a band of heroes.
Thyatis seems to be entering a new era of strength and prosperity. Ironically, it was the Alphatian Spike Assault, which led to the rise of Thincol, which led to a reversal of the Empire's invisible decline and helped bring Thyatis back to prominence as the foremost power of the western world. Thyatis enters the Empire's second Millennium, the third millennium of the Thyatian people, with confidence.
Alas, this was not to last. Events soon unfolded to undermine the Empire, as its Emperor and its leaders fell prey to their weaknesses and hubris. But this is a tale for another time, covered elsewhere. . .