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THYATIS (Duchy of)
Location: Southeastern coast of the continent of Brun, north of Vanya's Girdle spanning the banks of the Mesonian River in Thyatis. OW
Area: 4,000 sq. mi. (10,360 sq. km.).
Population: 600,000 including the towns of Julinius (pop. 12,000) and Hillfork (pop. 10,000). Other communities include Arcadiapolis (pop. 5,000), Raedestos (pop. 5,000), Selymbria (pop. 5,000), Mesembria (pop. 5,000) and countless other villages and communities.
Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian, Heldann, Kerendan, and Tel Akbiran dialects). Many other languages are spoken within Thyatis City.
Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), justiciar (ep), asterius (sp), denarius (cp).
Taxes: 20% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 15% income tax collected quarterly on everyone else (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. Expensive and magical items are also taxed 25% of their worth. 10% imperial commercia sales tax on all goods except food, clothing, and fixed assets; levied on imports, rebated on exports. Tax on slave owning equal to 50% of the slave's value annually. Property tax levied based on quality of land, roughly 6% of its value annually.
Government Type: Dominion administered by civic officials and elected representatives on behalf of the Emperor of Thyatis, member of the Thyatian Empire.
Industries: Agriculture, crafts (especially metalworking, tanning), fishing, military, mounts, raw silk, shipbuilding, trade, wine.
Important Figures: Eusebius Torion (Emperor).
Flora and Fauna: Mulberry trees (for sericulture) along the Mesonian River, grape vines, olive trees, cherry peach, pear and orange tree orchards. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, and mules. Bees kept for honey. Lycanthropes, wild cats and dogs, giant rats, goblinoids. Pegasi, griffons, rocs, ruby, gold, and white dragons as well as other aerial creatures are used as mounts. Currently, undead outside Thyatis City itself, as well as other 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.
One of the smaller duchies in terms of size, but the heaviest populated, the Duchy of Thyatis is the core of the empire's mainland, just as Thyatis City is the heart of the empire.
The lands of Thyatis (Duchy) are incredibly fertile and wealthy, outmatching even Darokin's famous Streel River valley in population density. Just as the Streel River irrigates that valley, so too are the lands of the duchy irrigated by the mighty Mesonian River, shorter in length but no less important for that. The southern coast of the duchy consists of bluffs and beaches overlooking the sparkling waters of Vanya's Girdle. Yachting races are often seen.
Rich estates and palaces line the shores of the girdle and the banks of the Mesonian River, amid the hills and woodlands. More towns than can be conveniently shown on any map dot this domain, each with a unique charm. The most important of these are Julinius and Hillfork. Julinius is a port on the western coast of the duchy, a well-armed naval base protecting Thyatis City from invaders from the Sea of Dread. The waters in this area can be treacherous, so the area features a much-needed and famous lighthouse, the beacon of Julin's Torch. South of Julinius, at the western mouth of Vanya's Girdle, is the lighthouse known as the Tower of Aes, which has its own community nearby. North of Julinius is the Crisaean Gulf, a region of calm waters and excellent fishing.
The town of Hillfork lies on the western bank of the Mesonian River at the northern border of the duchy. It sits atop hills amid a forested area, carefully maintained and grown woodlands. These woods are used for silkworms, vital in the silk industry of Thyatis City, and harvested for shipbuilding materials. Replanting and magically-induced growth insure that this area is not deforested. Until recently the Duchy of Retebius administered Hillfork, but it was transferred to the Duchy of Thyatis last year when the emperor and senate made a number of frontier adjustments in Thyatis proper.
It should not be forgotten that many other communities dot the almost manicured countryside of the duchy. Halfway upriver between Thyatis City and Hillfork is the town of Arcadiapolis, which is often the site of military exercises. East of Thyatis City near the border of the County of Lucinius is the town of Raedestos, while to the west on the road to the Tower of Aes the town of Selymbria can be found.
Often ignored is the fact that the duchy shares the shores of the Gulf of Kantrium as well. Several communities of fishermen line the shores of this gulf, the most significant being the town of Mesembria, located at the tip of a peninsula that juts into the gulf. The area in between the shores of the girdle and the gulf contains the empire's richest farmlands and vineyards, estates of wealthy magnates and farmsteads of hardy peasants both.
This region has been a centre of trade and military recruits for over a millennium, and will likely be so for a millennium more or longer. The Duchy of Thyatis is home to typical Thyatians: olive-skinned folk with dark hair and eyes, and sophisticated civilised ways. Though the duchy is rural in nature, the people who live here are almost as cosmopolitan as those of The City-they see much foreign commerce, most sell their wares in the markets of Thyatis City and visit it often, and town life is typical. Those who live outside towns and cities live comfortably on estates or in fairly prosperous farmsteads, and likewise are in easy reach of the amenities of town life.
The exception to this are the slaves; they are limited to the activities their masters permit, and work as servants and in some cases as agricultural labour, though this is frowned upon because it is thought that free farmers make the best soldiers, while slaves are poor troops at best. Still, slavery is unwarrantedly common here despite opposition by some who see it as an anachronistic and wasteful institution. The good thing is that the slaves of the duchy are closest to the imperial eye, and the legal protections accorded to Thyatian slaves are more often enforced here than elsewhere.
The villas and palaces of the wealthy, which line Vanya's Girdle and the Mesonian River, are wonders of architecture, displays of wealth and engineering artistry. Getting inside is often tricky, as the owners can afford the best protections (magical and mundane) against thievery. They are always looking for good servants and clients, however, and if you have a good reputation and solid references you can find highly-paid employment. The various lighthouses are also worth seeing, as are the mills along the river.