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THYATIS (Empire of)

Location: Southeastern peninsula on the continent of Brun, east of Karameikos, north of the Sea of Dread and south of Ylaruam along the Mesonian and Kerenda rivers. OW

Area: 62,300 sq. mi. (161,350 sq. km.), plus 797,678 sq. mi. (2,065,985 sq. km.) of overseas colonies (973,143 sq. mi. (2,520,440 sq. km.) if Heldun is included).

Population: 2,765,000 of various races (95% human, 3% elven, 2% other), plus 815,000 in overseas colonies (935,000 if Heldun is included).

Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian, Hattian, and Kerendan dialects), Alasiyan (Akbiran dialect) is also common around Tel Akbir. Many other languages are spoken within the empire, especially in Thyatis City.

Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp).

Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 20% income tax collected quarterly on everyone else (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. Expensive and magical items are also taxed 25% of their worth. 10% imperial commercia sales tax on all goods except food, clothing, and fixed assets; levied on imports, rebated on exports. Tax on slave owning equal to 50% of the slave's value annually. Property tax levied based on quality of land, roughly 6% of its value annually.

Government Type: Parliamentary imperium: monarchy heavily influenced by elective senate overseeing vassal domains.

Industries: Agriculture, crafts (especially metalworking, glassworks, tanning, cloth), 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), textiles (Thyatis City especially), trade, wine.

Important Figures: Eusebius Torion (Emperor, human, male, F16), Lucianna Torion (Empress, human, female, Bard9), Coltius Torion (Prince, human, male, Bard5), Gabronius Torion (Prince, human, male, F2), Demetrion Karagenteropolus (Imperial Magist, human, male, M20), Manfred Torion Dörfer (Usurper Emperor, human, male, F15).

Flora and Fauna: Mulberry trees (for sericulture), grape vines, olive trees, date palms, peach, pear, orange, and cherry fruit trees in cultivated orchards, maple, birch, and oak trees, pine and aspens in the Southern Altan Tepes Mountains. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, swine, and mules. Bees kept for honey. Bears, boars, centaurs, lycanthropes, mountain lions, foxes, dryads, wolves, unicorns 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. Currently, undead outside Thyatis City itself, as well as unknown varieties of monsters in the catacombs underneath The City.

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

Description by Vivianna Romanones.

No one could possibly do justice to the imposing and glorious Thyatian Imperium within the scope of an entry in the Mystaran Almanac. None the less, following in the footsteps of my illustrious predecessors as almanac correspondent, I shall endeavour to describe Thyatis as fully as possible to the best of my abilities. I do this in the hope that you may learn of this remarkable country, the triumphs and the tribulations of its citizens and our contributions to Mystaran civilisation, and perhaps impart to you a new perspective so that you may view it in a fresh light. Thyatis, once merely a spur of land on Brun, began its rise from obscurity over a millennium ago to become the dominant power of the western world. In this imperium races blend freely, organisation and efficiency are the hallmarks of national character, trade and negotiations are taught to children on their mothers' knees, and anyone from any part of the empire can become a warrior-knight. Due to the character of its people, Thyatis has always persevered through periods of trial and tribulation to return to greatness. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the civilisation of the Old World is a by-product of the will of the Thyatian Empire to survive and the simple feat of endurance it has performed, the historic function of Thyatis as a barrier against the invading hordes of Alphatia. Under the shelter of Thyatis' defence of its own eastern frontier, the rest of Brun could fashion its own life.

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, small in size though great in influence. 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: the Provinces of the Isle of Dawn; the Thyatian Hinterland Provinces on Davania; Eusebius recently emulated Valentia and returned Ochalea and the Pearl Islands to the imperial fold, and Minrothad has voluntarily incorporated itself into the empire. This entry will deal solely with the imperial heartland on the continent of Brun. The other regions will receive full attention elsewhere.

The Thyatian language is the common tongue of many nations throughout the area, even those which have never been part of the empire. Within Thyatis itself there are three main dialects, all mutually intelligible. The first is the clip dialect of the City of Thyatis, which is found throughout much of the empire. The other two are the drawling Kerendan dialect spoken in western Thyatis, and the abrupt Hattian dialect spoken on Hattias.

The Land

The country of Thyatis is mainly composed of rich farmlands, with hills and mountains filled with mineral wealth to the north. Still, much variety exists, and only a brief overview will be given here, with each region covered in complete detail elsewhere. Thyatis is composed of eighteen dominions, called counties or duchies (baronies are no longer found in the Thyatian heartland as official imperial domains, though many of the dukes have made barons in their duchies, but at the imperial level such domains are found only among the colonies now). These dominions will be discussed separately elsewhere, as I mentioned.

Alert readers will notice that the area given above is slightly higher than the total of the areas of its constituent dominions. This is because, in addition to the four large islands that have their own entries, there are many small islands within Thyatian waters. The islands discussed here do not include the scattered outposts being developed in the vast reaches of the Sea of Dread or which are a part of some dominion or colony (like the Pearl Islands), but only those nearest the heart of Thyatis itself. Some of these little islets lay near Terentias, but most are scattered in the same chain that forms the larger islands of Carytion, Borydos, Actius, and Sclaras. These are not marked on most maps, and many of them are not part of a dominion. Instead, the imperial government directly administers them. A few of these hold secret facilities, or are used as private retreats. But most of them are not very significant, though they might hold some reclusive residents, and pirates have been known to use them as bases. All are very small (none approach even tiny Sclaras in size). Some of them are very beautiful, however.

The People

Thyatians are a justly proud people, the possessors of a long tradition of civilisation and imperial might. Most 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 characteristic can be found among the Thyatian people. This is because the Thyatian people are not a race as such; anyone of any ethnicity can be a citizen of Thyatis, providing they are loyal to the empire, speak Thyatian, and adopt Thyatian mores. Because of this openness, Thyatis has produced a vibrant, multiethnic culture and civilisation. In Thyatis there are Thyatians, Kerendans, Hattians, Alasiyans, Ochaleans, Nuari, Alphatians, Thratians, elves, dwarves, hin, even Antalians, Traladarans, Milenians and persons from many other nations-but all are Thyatian citizens first and foremost.

Thyatians are efficient, disciplined, and practical. They believe in doing whatever it takes to succeed when all else fails. Others view this as treacherous, even while excusing similar behaviour in their own nations and friends, but Thyatians simply do what is needed to do to achieve their goals and preserve their nation, resorting to expediency only if other means falter. To do otherwise would not only be wasteful and inefficient, but potentially ruinous to a people who have always faced threats on every frontier. 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 ideas, techniques, and philosophies 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. When a Thyatian feels himself slighted by another, a duel will usually be arranged. The challenged party is permitted to set the terms of the duel, after which the challenger may withdraw or reaffirm the challenge. Duels between well-known, skilled participants are very popular, attracting large audiences and at times even larger wagers. Indeed, with the liberation of most gladiators by the senate and emperor last year, some thought has been given to supplementing the voluntary gladiatorial matches in the arenas with duels held there. Such duel-matches would "book" the highest profile of arranged duels.

In Darokin they have a saying, "he who has the gold makes the rules." In Thyatis, the saying is "he who makes the rules wins the gold." Thyatians respect sound laws and good order in their behaviour, knowing that prosperity is the product of virtue, not the other way around. The virtues Thyatians hold most dear are dignity, duty, efficiency, self-discipline, 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.

There are fewer Thyatians than there once were-enough fewer that the dead would equal the population of Karameikos and then some. Many of these fell during the Final Alphatian War, others were laid low by the dark, necromantic magics of mummy rot that Thothia unleashed on the civilian, non-combatant population of Thyatis, a true crime against sentient creation. This demographic change has impacted Thyatian society. Though any waste of life is tragic, and some will think me callous for even saying what I shall say next, it is true that even in the darkest of clouds there are silver linings. The deaths, especially those caused by the Thothian mummy rot, largely fell on the indolent poor and the slave population. Fewer idle hands makes Thyatis more efficient, with less resources going to a non-productive segment of the population. Similarly, I hold that slavery, as a national institution, is retrograde and inefficient. Anything that reduces the proportion of slaves in Thyatian society, or which culls out the weak and unfit making room for the strong and capable to prosper and restore vitality to the empire cannot be all bad. [Pretty cold-hearted if you remember she's talking about death on a massive scale here. Ed.]. Though I must admit that Eusebius' enlightened policies of freeing many slaves in exchange for service to the empire, and making them Thyatian citizens is far to be preferred over the wicked and nefarious Thothian-caused method of killing hundreds of thousands of people. Many of their sympathisers might want you forget who committed this foul and barbarous deed. Similarly, sending idle hands out to colonise the distant lands of the empire, and thus strengthen it, is certainly better as well. Still, these things, bad as they were, have compelled those who formerly relied on slave labour to innovate, and adopt innovative saving-saving devices that are already commonplace in areas like Darokin, and it has begun to sink in that slavery is the wave of the past, not the future. Perhaps some day this pernicious, inefficient institution will go the way of the Alphatian Empire and other obsolete artifacts. It would be ironic if we had the moribund, stagnant Thothians to thank for shaking us out of our complacency regarding these matters, even while they cling to the past.

Also, these demographic and social realities, which we have been forced to face, have compelled policy re-evaluations with regard to land use and pattern of settlement. Already before the current unpleasantness [the Crown War rebellion. Ed.] broke out, Eusebius was fostering resettlement. Not only in the distant colonies, but here in the heartlands as well. There is a recognition among most Thyatians that a more efficient, productive use of Thyatian lands and resources is necessary for long-term success and recovery. Thus, you can be sure that once the current unpleasantness is behind us, many positive changes will be initiated, putting people and land to work and giving them a stake in making the most productive use of their opportunities.

Thyatian History

The Thyatians have a long and glorious history, a history of both triumph and tragedy. Many non-Thyatians judge it harshly, not aware of the burdens and responsibilities Thyatis carried. These duties led Thyatis to make pragmatic decisions in the interest of not only itself, 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, a continent some scholars believe they came from originally. The tribes were warrior people, hardy and unafraid of death. Upon their migration to Brun they fought against a nation, forgotten by time, that it is believed held in them bondage in the murky past and sent them to Davania, fighting them until even the very name of this nation was forgotten. For four centuries they lived free, eventually coming into contact with the ruthlessly expansionistic and despotic Alphatian Empire, a nation that dominated others through fear and intimidation. The Thyatians resisted the Alphatians' drive for conquest with raids (which Alphatian histories depict as piracy) and maritime strength. 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 Alphatia's magical power at the time.

For two centuries the Thyatians lived under the cruel and despotic yoke 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, who took what they learned and improved it, and also learned what not to do. Hardened by their experience after two centuries of Alphatian rule, the Thyatians led a grand revolt against the Alphatian despotism. 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 in its own way. The modern world owes its shape and its culture to Thyatis in more ways than one. Many nations never ruled by it speak Thyatian and have derived elements of their civilisation from its own. 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 its 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.

In the last century, the Alphatians once again attacked Thyatis, which was ruled by a kind, artistic but unmilitary emperor, Gabrionus V. Emperor Gabrionus V had forgotten that the first duty a ruler has is war, and had let the Thyatian military and fleets decline while he shifted funds to artistic pursuits and grand building projects, like the theatre in Thyatis which still bears his name. The Alphatian Spike Assault was initially successful, and many Alphatians to this day insist that this war was a great victory for them. However, though their "Grand Imperial Army" managed briefly to pierce the walls of The Queen of Cities, and they went on a bloodthirsty rampage, believing they had won, the Alphatians had once again miscalculated the Thyatian spirit and the resiliency of its people. The Alphatian invaders were defeated so utterly, their fleets crushed so decisively, that they were unable to hold back the Thyatian tide even enough to retain their gains on the Isle of Dawn. Within two years' time, the Alphatians had suffered crushing a defeat not only in Thyatis but on the Isle of Dawn as well. This debacle was so humiliating to them that they forced their reigning emperor, Tylion IV, to abdicate as a result. His successor, Eriadna, knew the only wise choice she had was to sue for peace with the new Thyatian Emperor, Thincol Torion, before our soldiers advanced into Alphatia's territory. So, rather than being an example of Alphatian supremacy, as they often claim, the Spike Assault is an emblematic example of the indomitable spirit of the Thyatian people, our refusal to be defeated, and our ability to overcome great odds.

More recently, and Immortals willing for the last time, Thyatis again used its strength to shield the world from the advance of the bloodthirsty Alphatian hordes. 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, against the threat of Alphatian dominance. The Alphatians sought to conquer and destroy Glantri, while we sought to prevent their expansionist aims, hoping to curb their appetite for destruction. We also fought because it would not have been in our interest to see Alphatia expand in Brun, flanking us by conquering Glantri. These antagonisms set the stage for a horrific war like none other. The war is often called the Wrath of the Immortals because the Immortals punished Alphatia for attempting to impose their regime on the world, sundering the Alphatian Empire, while some call it the Great War, but I call it the Final Alphatian War in an expression of optimism. Thus it is poetic justice that the Alphatians, while seeking to destroy Glantri, were instead destroyed themselves. Also, this war was an echo of history, as Glantri is named such because it was a Thyatian, Alexander Glantri, who foiled the Alphatians the last time they tried to impose themselves on that nation.

During this war the Alphatian attackers caused much death and destruction in the empire, only to be thwarted in the end, just as during the earlier Spike Assault. During the course of the war, Thyatis suffered numerous setbacks and defeats, though we did succeed in throwing Norwold into a series of disruptive wars, thus preventing the Alphatians from marching south from Landfall through Heldann and Ethengar and right into Glantri. My friend, Knight of the Air Carolianus Ellerius, summed it up best when he said "All throughout the war we had a strange, surreal feeling, as if we were an audience in a theatre, watching the events of our own struggle and yet powerless to affect it. After awhile, it was clear they could not be stopped." As fate unfolded, the Alphatians overran much of the Isle of Dawn. After early reverses the situation seemed to stabilise as we held them off in the northern head of the Isle of Dawn. It seemed for a time that the course of the war might turn in our favour, but our supposed allies, the Heldannic Knights, sent no aid but rather engaged in a series of reckless and unnecessary campaigns which were only distractions. But far more ominously, Eruul Zaar treacherously betrayed the empire to Alphatia, turning traitor in exchange for the title of king and the hand of Asteriela. His betrayal allowed the Alphatian hordes to occupy this strategic position on the Isle of Dawn, giving their fleets an opening to invade Brun.

But our forces were ready to intercept them, and finally free of the debilitating weaknesses that undermined their effectiveness in the early stages of the war, they finally showed what they were capable of doing. In a mighty clash in the Eastern Sea of Dawn in the summer of AC 1008, our Retebius Air Fleet, with the vaunted Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons in the vanguard, defeated their dread skynavy, while our imperial navy repulsed their fleet, sinking many transports and forcing the enemy back to the Isle of Dawn, though at heavy cost to our valiant troops. It took the Alphatians nearly six months to recover from this blow, licking their wounds and rebuilding their fleets. Then, thwarted in their effort to invade Thyatis directly, the Alphatians once again turned to disreputable methods to achieve their goal. Pinning down our forces and those of Heldann with diversionary feints, the Alphatians sneaked into Ylaruam at Cubia in the dead of winter, invading it without a proper declaration of war. Though the locals resisted, the Ylari could not hold off the Alphatian onslaught. The enemy dispatched them, and marched down into Thyatis.

The Alphatian war machine pushed through Thyatis throughout AC 1009, slowly but inexorably, despite a valiant and desperate defence. The emperor brought our fleet around to cover Vanya's Girdle, thwarting their fleet's effort to push up the channel and attack The City directly, but their armies continued to march through Thyatis, wave after wave their hordes came. [I believe that by this time the Thyatians knew they were doomed. But where another people might have given in to despair, the Thyatians strove with even greater determination. They made the Alphatians pay dearly for every inch of ground. No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable could help but be moved by their stubborn bravery. Dorrik Stonecleaver.]. Many battles and skirmishes took place as we fought fiercely to defend our homes, but I will limit myself to a brief description of only the most significant of these. Our defenders repulsed their attack at Kantridae, but they were able to bring up reinforcements to outflank our positions, forcing us to withdraw because we did not have sufficient troops to prevent this manoeuvre. Again we beat back their first attempts to cross the Kantridae River, but again they brought up more men to cross upriver while the Alphatian general formed his army into a large square to ford the river in the teeth of our forces. Though we inflicted severe casualties on them, there seemed to be endless numbers of them, always coming, and they forced us to withdraw again. Our main forces managed an orderly withdrawal to the City of Thyatis while a cadre of volunteers and local defenders bravely held Retebius and fended off the Alphatian war machine for over a month. They finally managed to take that city in a furious assault, overrunning and slaughtering the defenders, though their own casualties were so horrid they were stalled again, forced to bring up additional fresh troops from their lands. Which, in the end, seemed to be our undoing, as by this point our reinforcements consisted largely of youths and old men, plus a very few Heldannic Knights and Glantrian wizards who finally came to support us, their allies in this war. But still the Alphatians came on, disregarding and ignoring their own severe casualties. Though we picked off their elite forces with surgical strikes, and valiant charges by forces formed late in the war, such as the Order of the Silver Shield, whittled them down and made them pay dearly for every advance. This bought precious time for Thincol to prepare the defences of the capital and for our Glantrian allies to complete their own preparations. But the Alphatians always seemed to have more common troops whose lives they sacrificed unsparingly in their drive for conquest, and no method was too despicable for them to resort to in their efforts to terrorise the people into submission. They then managed to ford the Retebius River, again in the face of our resistance, but using their numbers to cross in multiple places so we were forced to withdraw, and they marched into the Duchy of Thyatis.

The Alphatian forces at length pushed forward to the eastern bank of the Mesonian River, where we drew up our forces to oppose them. With us at last were strong contingents from Heldann and Glantri, as well as some northerners sent as "mercenaries" by our allies in Ostland to fight by our side. A skilful battle plan had been drawn up, but a body of Heldannic Knights charged prematurely, and was slain by the Alphatians. Though these men went down in Heldannic lore as heroes, for us it seemed like a senseless waste that, worst of all, threw things into disorder. Seeing this, the imperial generals withdrew the remaining troops into River Guard Town, with the Order of the Silver Shield covering their withdrawal, and boarded them on ships, where they crossed over to The City, to defend behind its stout walls, with the Retebius Air Fleet controlling the airspace above. With our ships patrolling the river and girdle, the Alphatians were faced with the difficulty of crossing over in the face of this. Though they could have landed some troops by skyship to attempt to make a beachhead on the west side, they knew that we would then be able to strike at these forces before more troops could be brought over to swell their numbers, and that thus such efforts were likely to be defeated piecemeal. They were facing this challenge when Thincol's envoys submitted a peace proposal to Eriadna, reminding her of the difficulties the Alphatians would face if they tried to assault the Queen of Cities again, and also what Thyatis' response would be. Though many uncomprehending Alphatians believe to this day that Eriadna made a mistake in not attacking the City of Thyatis, and believe they would have won, Eriadna knew better the capabilities of Thyatis. Because she knew what Thyatis would do if cornered, in the treaty she agreed to a staged withdrawal not just from the Thyatian mainland, but from all the areas of the empire the Alphatians had occupied during the war. Many Alphatians will try to persuade you, as they have in past almanacs, that Alphatia defeated Thyatis, just as they try to claim the Spike Assault was a victory for them. But in the end, Thyatis achieved its war aim, while Alphatia was foiled in their goal of destroying Glantri. In the end, only one empire was destroyed by the war, and it was not the Thyatian Empire, which persevered, as it always has, due to the character of the Thyatian people. Next the Alphatians planned on trampling on the sovereignty of the Five Shires and Darokin in their effort to invade and destroy Glantri, just as they had trampled upon Ylaruam in their effort to invade Thyatis. They commandeered many ships for this purpose, to replace the ones we had sunk during the fighting.

But they didn't last long enough to carry this out, because the legacy of this Final Alphatian War was not be the triumph of Alphatian despotism, nor will it be the irrevocable exhaustion of Thyatis.

Emperor Thincol became gravely ill towards the end of the war, as the Alphatian onslaught entered Thyatis itself, for the first time showing his age, so great was the burden he bore on behalf of the Thyatian people. The Week Without Magic took place while the Alphatians were marching across Thyatis and into Karameikos. Many Thyatians took advantage of the confusion this caused among the Alphatian forces to exact retribution for atrocities visited upon their families during the Alphatian invasion. [These actions possibly explain why, in the aftermath of the war, the surviving Alphatian forces, including those who settled in Karameikos as refugees, those who withdrew to the Isle of Dawn, and those who took service with Thyatis, were considerably fewer than one might have expected. Ed.]. Shortly after the continent of Alphatia sank and the Alphatian Empire was destroyed, the tides of war turned. Imperial authorities impounded the wreckage of the Alphatian skyships which had crashed on imperial soil during the Week Without Magic, for study and because some of them might prove repairable. The empire also, mercifully in a gesture of benevolence, took into its service those Alphatians who were willing to put past differences behind us and work together with Thyatis in post-war recovery efforts. Some, more spiteful and uncooperative ones, withdrew to the Isle of Dawn however, where they indicated they would attempt to carry on the cause of their destructive and yet destroyed empire.

Emperor Thincol scrupulously remained true to his word and observed the terms of the treaty he had signed with Eriadna at the close of the Final Alphatian War, even though a treaty with a dead nation is not binding. This treaty stipulated that the Thyatians would not attack Karameikos, Helskir, Ochalea, or the Pearl Islands, and we did not. But the Alphatians once again let their sense of racial superiority get the better of them, never believing that others would treat their lands the same way they had treated the lands of so many other peoples before. Thus they had left a welcome loophole in the treaty, which Thincol promptly (but prematurely, as it turned out) exploited to our advantage.

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 Thothia's undead minions defeated the legions on the Isle of Dawn using dark necromancy, and spread a plague of mummy rot throughout Thyatis. 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, causing upheaval and civil strife. 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 Treaty of Dawn with the empire insuring peace on the Isle of Dawn. This treaty cost the empire the cities of Ekto and Trikelios and a few minor Alatian Islands, but the empire has now recovered almost fully, and continues to hold a position which allows us to keep an eye on the machinations of the surviving Alphatians.

It was recently revealed that the Immortals, for mysterious reasons of their own, had restored the Alphatian continent and many of its people in the Hollow World. But they wisely placed it in isolation from the remnants of their surface empire, and indeed in isolation from the rest of the Hollow World, so that the Alphatians' passion for destruction can no longer threaten others. The Alphatians now hope to build another new version of their empire, but the truth remains that the Alphatian Empire that made the world tremble was destroyed, and is gone forever. In Thyatis, Eusebius is now looking at Davania and plans on expanding the empire into the unclaimed jungles of the southern continent, so that we will remain strong and vigilant should the surviving Alphatians plot once again in the future. The current unpleasantness has delayed some of these projects, but no doubt they will resume once this crisis is overcome.

This past year Eusebius initiated a number of long overdue reforms intended to restore the empire to its former glory, doing what Thincol perhaps should have done after the Wrath war. His critics said he was pushing things too far, too fast, and that some of his changes threatened Thyatian traditions. Eusebius pressed ahead though, pushing his plans through and working in concert with a senate friendly to these ideas [a senate made friendly by his previous ruthless purges. Ed.]. Though these reforms were greatly needed and will strengthen Thyatis in the long run, Eusebius' critics may have been right in one sense. The rapidity of his innovations vexed many, and his precipitous actions may have sparked the seriousness of the War of the Crown that now plagues Thyatis. The outcome of the rebellion will likely determine the course of the empire for generations to come. Perhaps even whether Thyatis remains a great power or continues its decline will rest on this conflict.

Don't Miss

There are many things to see in Thyatis, notably the various gladiatorial games-especially during holidays when they are spectacularly bloody. Thyatis also boasts fine theatres and plays and many well-stocked libraries and noted universities. Many nobles throw lavish galas in their estates throughout The City. Thyatis is a centre of theology, with large temples and clerical orders dedicated to many of the virtuous Immortals.

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.

Some would caution you to stay away from the Queen of Cities at this time of war. But such people lack the stalwart heart Thyatians respect, and should stay away in any case. 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 panoramic impression of its greatness, the glittering domes of its temples rising above the strong walls, the magnificence of its palaces and public buildings. If you are most fortunate you will arrive to witness the valiant defenders repelling an assault by the rebel army.