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THYATIS (Empire of)
Location: Southeastern peninsula on the continent of Brun, south of Ylaruam, East of Karameikos and Minrothad.
Area: 42,300 sq. mi. (109,557 sq. km.).
Population: 2,750,000 of various races.
Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian, Hattian, Kerendan, and Tel Akbirian dialects). Many other languages are spoken within the empire, especially in Thyatis City.
Coinage: Emperor (5 gp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp).
Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. 5% sales tax on all transactions.
Government Type: Monarchy heavily influenced by senatorial body, overseeing vassal domains.
Industries: Agriculture, crafts (especially metalworking, glassworks, tanning), fishing, herding (cattle, sheep, goats), horse breeding (Kerendas mainly), magic (Sclaras and Thyatis City), military, mining (gold and other minerals in the Altan Tepes), shipbuilding (Thyatis City, Lucinius, and Actius), silk, trade, wine.
Important Figures: Eusebius Torion (Emperor, human, male, F16), Coltius Torion (Prince, human, male, normal human), Demetrion Karagenteropolus (Imperial Magist, human, male, M20), Heinrich Oesterhaus (Count, human, male, C20), Tredorian (Prince of Alphatia, human, male, F12).
Flora and Fauna: Bears, boars, centaurs, lycanthropes, mountain lions, dryads, and goblinoids can be found in the wilds of the empire, hill giants and ogres in the hills. Pegasi, griffons, rocs, ruby, gold, and white dragons as well as other aerial mounts are common near Retebius, sea monsters around Borydos, while absolutely anything can be found near the magical estates of Sclaras.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperor boxed set, DDA1 Arena of Thyatis, DDA2 Legions of Thyatis, previous almanacs.
Description by Vivianna Romanones.
I cannot possibly do justice to the imposing and glorious Thyatian Imperium within the scope of an entry in the Mystaran Almanac. None the less, I endeavour to describe Thyatis as fully as possible so that you may learn of this remarkable country and perhaps impart to you a new perspective so that you may view it in a fresh light.
This entry describes the COUNTRY of Thyatis, which is the heart of the EMPIRE of Thyatis. Thyatis is a state surpassing all nations in wealth and might. What allows the Thyatians to call their state an empire is the fact that it includes several other nations elsewhere in the world as members. These nations are called provinces, and at the moment there are several: the provinces of the Isle of Dawn; the Thyatian Hinterland provinces on Davania; and the island of Aegos. This entry will deal solely with the imperial heartland on the continent of Brun. The other regions will receive full attention elsewhere.
The country of Thyatis is mainly composed of rich farmlands, with hills and mountains to the north. Still, much variety exists, and only a brief description will be given. Mainland Thyatis is composed of eighteen dominions, called baronies, counties, or duchies. These dominions are:
Actius: A small island known for its fishermen and shipyards which serves as a trade way station for merchants travelling the southern route around Hattias. (Pop. 10,000.)
Biazzan: This dominion is centred in the rich mountain pass that functions as a trade route between Thyatis and Ylaruam, and sees much caravan traffic. The town of Biazzan itself (pop. 12,000) is known for its university, one of the foremost centres of learning in all of Mystara. (Pop 30,000.)
Borydos: This island protectorate has been a prison for the last several centuries. However, following the recent prison escape, debate has started in the senate about the possibility of putting it to other uses. Little is known about what such plans might entail. The island is still surrounded by dangerous sea monsters. (Pop. 5,000.)
Buhrohur: This barony is populated almost completely by dwarves, and is entirely mountainous. (Pop. 15,000.)
Carytion: This dominion consists of a large, beautiful island off the eastern coast of the mainland. Many elegant estates and a major naval base can be found here. (Pop. 5,000.)
Halathius: This mountainous region is rich in gold mines and other minerals. It is almost invulnerable to attack due to the rugged nature of the terrain. (Pop. 20,000.)
Hattias: This county is known for its racial intolerance. The Storm Soldiers make their home here, and they preach about racial purity and how women should stay at home to raise families and not try to learn to fight or obtain power. Hattias has rebelled several times against the empire. (Pop. 320,000.)
Kantrium: This fertile duchy is the home to farmers and fishermen. Kantrium is a historical site since it was the first dominion formed within Thyatis. (Pop. 90,000.)
Kerendas: This duchy is the centre for cavalry training and the source of the best horses within the empire. The land is mostly grassland, and everyone in the duchy is a horseman. The capital, Kerendas, is the second largest city in the empire (pop. 90,000). Much grain is grown in Kerendas, the surplus is exported throughout Thyatis. (Pop. 540,000.)
Lucinius: This county is a hilly spur off the east of the Duchy of Thyatis, a land of vineyards, fisherman, and the proudest seamen in the empire. (Pop. 100,000.)
Machetos: This is a small but rich farming duchy that is now, with Kerendas, a main source of food for the empire. It has only recently regained its agricultural state after suffering severe exactions over 30 years ago. The Karameikos family once held this duchy, but the duke exchanged his birthright with the emperor for rulership of the Grand Duchy of Traladara (which he then humbly renamed after himself). (Pop. 30,000.)
Mositius: This island duchy is, with Carytion, a centre of tourism for the empire. There is an active volcano that releases strange mists unto the island. These mists can influence the behaviour of the inhabitants. (Pop. 15,000.)
Retebius: The capital city of this duchy (pop. 20,000) is home of the Retebius Air Cavalry Training Academy, a flying-mount cavalry renowned throughout the world. The Retebius Air Fleet suffered tremendous casualties during the Great War, but is beginning to recover from the losses. Eusebius is considering renaming the fleet as the Retebius Air Cavalry to differentiate it from Thyatis' growing fleet of airships. The duchy was one of those recently enlarged, receiving additional land all the way to the Trevanion River, to help provide land grants to air knights. (Pop. 180,000.)
Sclaras: This tiny island is divided into some 250 estates, each a quarter of a mile in size, each by ancient tradition the retreat of a powerful Thyatian wizard where they can conduct their researches undisturbed by even each other. (Pop. 5,000.)
Tel Akbir: This is a grassy duchy inhabited by Thyatians of Alasiyan descent untainted by the cult of the Ylari brigand al-Kalim [this choice of word is the correspondent's, not that of the editors, and has been left to pinpoint her bias to the reader. Ed.]. The legion keeps a close eye out for Ylari raiders in the area. (Pop. 140,000.)
Terentias: This island was hotly contested between Thyatis and Minrothad. The elven inhabitants seem to prefer the empire, and focus their lives on pirating and sailing. So far, Terentias has remained a grand duchy of Thyatis for over 200 years. (Pop. 25,000.)
Thyatis: This duchy, an incredibly wealthy and fertile region that lies just north of Vanya's Girdle, bifurcated by the Mesonian River, has been a centre of trade and military recruits for over a millennium, and will likely be so for a millennium more. More towns than can be conveniently shown on any map dot this domain, each with a unique charm. Rich estates and palaces line the shores of the girdle, whose sparkling waters are often the scene of yachting races and are kept securely patrolled by the sharp-prowed imperial dromonds. Many tall lighthouses guide the way for merchant ships, as well as serving as lookout towers watchful beforehand for invading fleets. At the centre of the duchy lays the queen of cities, the wealthiest, grandest and most powerful city in all of Mystara (pop. 500,000). This is a city that surpasses all in wealth and vice, and is the true heart of the empire. (Pop. 1,200,000.)
Vyalia: This county is known for its elven population (roughly a third of the inhabitants now) and its Forestry Academy. Many Vyalia elves live across the ostensible border, within the Dymrak forest of Karameikos. Few Vyalia elves obey the rulings of their "king," however, looking instead to their clan leaders and to Yldysyl Greenheight, the Count of Vyalia, for guidance. (Pop. 20,000.)
Thyatians are a justly proud people, the possessors of a long tradition of civilisation and imperial might. Pure Thyatians have olive complexions and dark hair, although since any member ethnicity becomes a part of the empire, equal to any other citizen, absolutely any physical characteristics can be found among the people.
Thyatians are efficient, disciplined, and practical. Others may view them as treacherous, but often the same people who decry "Thyatian treachery" ignore (or excuse) duplicity and deceit among their own people and allies. Thyatians simply do what is needed to do to achieve their goals and preserve their nation. To do otherwise would be dangerous and inefficient; however, true Thyatians understand that keeping the letter of their agreements is in their interest. Most Thyatians are cosmopolitan, quick to embrace new cultures and customs. Thyatian scholars eagerly rush to learn more about them, writing treatises about their history and lore that are widely read by Thyatians, who learn and absorb much. This makes Thyatian culture rich and robust, strengthened by the best concepts of many lands.
If there is one thing Thyatians respect, it is fighting prowess. Colosseums can be found in almost every Thyatian city, and gladiatorial combats draw in crowds like never seen in other nations. The virtues Thyatians hold most dear are dignity, duty, loyalty, respect, honour, and piety [some would say in that order. Ed.]. But, ironically, while those who discipline themselves and follow the code of virtues are respected, Thyatians tend to reserve their adoration for the self-reliant person who achieves greatness in preserving the empire but who do not surrender their individuality to it. It is the insolent but worthy rogue who receives the accolades of the crowd, if not their respect.
The Thyatians have a long and glorious history, a history of both triumph and tragedy. Many non-Thyatians judge them harshly, not aware of the burdens and responsibilities Thyatis carried. These duties led Thyatis to make pragmatic decisions in the interest of not only the imperium, but of all Mystarans.
The people now known as Thyatians had their origin on the distant shores of the Davanian continent. Some sixteen centuries ago the tribes, Thyatian, Kerendan, and Hattian, departed from Davania settling on the small southeastern spur of the continent of Brun. The tribes were warrior people, hardy and unafraid of death. For four centuries they lived free, eventually coming into contact with the expansionist Alphatian Empire, whose drive for conquest they resisted with raids (which Alphatian histories depict as piracy). Eventually the Alphatians came to learn that the mountains in Thyatian lands held rich deposits of gold, and ever greedy for resources and people to exploit, the Alphatians set out to conquer the Thyatians as they had so many before them. The Thyatians resisted valiantly, but were no match for the Alphatians' strong magic.
For two centuries the Thyatians lived under the domination of the Alphatian Empire, forced to work in its mines in conditions that the Jennites of today nod knowingly about when they hear of it. But the Alphatians inadvertently also taught much to the Thyatians. Hardened by their experience after two centuries of Alphatian rule, the Thyatians led a grand revolt against the Alphatian despotate. The Alphatian regime crumbled, and only their timely surrender prevented their collapse. In exchange for peace, the Alphatians ceded much of the lands they had occupied for so long. Thus, the Thyatian Imperium was born.
For a millennium Thyatis stood as a bulwark against Alphatian expansionism. The Known World was shielded from Alphatian aggression by Thyatian strength, and thus allowed to develop. The modern world owes its shape and its culture to Thyatis in more ways than one. Many nations speak Thyatian and have derived elements of their civilisation from it. Empress Valentia's enlightened Citizen's Proclamation twenty years after the empire's foundation made all the people of the Thyatian Empire full participants in the empire, unlike Alphatia's tradition of subjugation and oppression of conquered people. She took the further step of granting independence to both the Pearl Islands and Ochalea, then formally inviting them back into the empire under the terms of her proclamation, and they accepted. This made Thyatis strong in ways that Alphatia could not replicate without changing their society, something the Alphatians would not do. So while Alphatia was larger and ostensibly more powerful than Thyatis, Thyatis made more efficient use of its strength.
Most recently, and for perhaps the last time, Thyatis again used its strength to shield the world from the advance of Alphatian armies. This final war between Thyatis and Alphatia lasted from AC 1005 to AC 1009. It was a war Thyatis fought on behalf of Glantri, and by extension all the nations of the Old world, against the threat of Alphatian dominance. The war is often called the Wrath of the Immortals [most other peoples call it the Great War. Ed.] because the Immortals punished Alphatia for attempting to impose its regime on the world by sundering the Alphatian Empire. During this war the Alphatian attackers caused much death and destruction in the empire, but were eventually thrown back just as during the earlier Spike Assault.
Emperor Thincol became gravely ill towards the end of the war, as the Alphatian onslaught entered Thyatis itself. Shortly afterwards the continent of Alphatia sank, and the tides of war turned. In AC 1010, the emperor tried to absorb the remaining Alphatian kingdoms so they would never again rise to threaten the world. He did this instead of focusing on rebuilding Thyatis, spending the last of the empire's strength in an effort to secure a lasting victory. These plans were shattered when revolts occurred and when Thothia's undead minions defeated the legions on the Isle of Dawn. The old Thincol would have known how to deal with the Thothian threat, dispatching Thyatian clerical orders and members of the Retebius Air Fleet to vanquish Thothia's dark magics. But by this time Thincol was a shadow of his former self, senile and decrepit. These battles ended in AC 1012 when Thincol died and was replaced by his son Eusebius. Eusebius restored order to Thyatis, taking steps to end the plague and famine the Thothians had spread into Thyatis. Thothia requested a truce and signed the Isle of Dawn Treaty with the empire insuring peace on the Isle of Dawn. This treaty cost the empire the conquered cities of Ekto and Trikelios and a few Alatian Islands, but the empire has now recovered almost fully.
Emperor Eusebius is now looking at Davania and plans on expanding the empire into the unclaimed jungles of the southern hemisphere. Emperor Eusebius is widely expected to be considering a number of long overdue reforms intended to restore the empire to its former glory, doing what Thincol perhaps should have done after the war. He has purged the senate of many of its most corrupt members [defined as those who oppose his wishes. Ed]. Last year the emperor called on the services of many of the empire's top people, both military and civil service, to submit to him proposals for improvements, and many think he will begin to implement the best of these plans now.
There are many things to see in Thyatis, notably the various gladiatorial games-especially during holidays when they are spectacular and most spirited. Thyatis also boasts fine theatres and plays and many well stocked libraries and noted universities. Many nobles throw lavish parties in their estates throughout The City. Thyatis is a centre of theology, with large temples and clerical orders dedicated to many of the Immortals. Entering The City by water is by far the preferred method. Sailing up the sparkling sound of Vanya's Girdle to approach the capital by sea will give you a fine impression of its greatness, the glittering domes of its temples rising above the strong walls, the magnificence of its palaces and public buildings.
Of particular note, I would recommend a trip to Argevin Town in Mositius. This island is geared for tourism, and the taverns are open at all hours. In fact, no business ever closes, regardless of how late at night you visit. Servants are found everywhere and are ready to cater to your every need. Theatres, dancing halls, and gambling establishments make up every second building. What makes the place even more famous is Mount Mositius, a volcano that emits magical mists that descend upon the population of the island. This mist radically alters the behaviour of those who inhale it, causing blind optimism, love, drunken giddiness, laziness, giggling hilarity, or almost any other emotion imaginable. Duchess Triella Tien-Tang somehow controls this mist and makes sure only harmless emotions are inspired by its magic.