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Thyatian Gazetteer Variant (regions)by James Ruhland
This Gazetteer is part of my "Thyatis variant" series, based on the Byzantinised Thyatis used in my campaign (with some modifications to render it more generally suitable). This article covers only mainland (or "metropolitan") Thyatis. A later one will cover the overseas colonies.
A note on Province nomenclature: I have eliminated the category of "barony," at least in mainland Thyatis. However, I have retained Duchy and County. At first glance this is not very Byzantine. However, at various points in time Byzantium had administrative districts known as "Ducates," administered by a Doux evolved from the Roman title "Dux". Venice was a Ducate, and the title of its governor, "Doge," is derived from this.
On the other hand, if you prefer accuracy, you can change the nomenclature and titles to be more suitably Byzantine. The Duchies are analogous to a Theme, and the Counties are roughly analogous to a Cleisura or Archonate (however, with respect for the later, I have reserved that status for overseas colonies). Themes have a military governor known as a Strategos, and a civil governor known as a Praetor, a judge known as a Praktor, and a record keeper known as a Protonotarius. Cleisura are administered by a Cleisarch. There will be more on administration in another file. None of these officials hold their offices by hereditary right, but members of the same family (IE the Retebii) somehow always seem prominent in a given region, with a senior family member holding at least one of the aforementioned offices.
Side Note: efforts have been made to not directly copy the descriptions in Dawn of the Emperors. Of course there are some similarities, even significant ones. But if you want the information contained in that product, including NPC descriptions and the like, I recommend you buy it. It is available if you're willing to scavenge.
And now, the regions themselves:
Thyatis the City:
Consists of Thyatis city and the surrounding countryside (effectively the 8 mile hex it sits in). It is administered by the Eparch and his subordinate officials, but the Imperial Court and Senate overshadows this official administration. Thyatis the City is the only Megalopolis in the Known World, with enhanced significance following the disappearance of the major Alphatian urban centres. The importance of the City cannot be overstated, and it will be given detailed attention elsewhere.
Thyatis, Duchy of:
This region consists of the countryside around the City itself, including the town of Hillfork. This wealthy and beautiful province has been a thriving centre of trade and warfare for a millennium, and could well be for another millennium. It includes beautiful orchards, including mulberry groves that feed Thyatian silkworms, numerous watermills along the Mesonian River, and luxurious country estates along the coast of Vanya's girdle. The Emperor's most trusted associates govern this Province. Thyatis the City is administratively and militarily distinct from Thyatis the Province. Fishing fleets form a prominent component of the local economy.
Kerendas, Duchy of:
One of the most prominent dominions of Thyatis, Kerendas consists of all the lands south of the Trevanion river and the Counties of Biazzan and Buhrohur, west of the Duchy of Thyatis, and east of the Kerenda river. It is a province of horsemen, and cattle ranching is a mainstay of life here. Not to be underestimated are the productive grainfields of Kerendas, which provide food for the large population of Thyatis the City. Cattle drives from Kerendas to Thyatis the City take place periodically. The city of Kerendas itself is becoming an important entrepot for trade, and is ranked as the second city in the Empire (population 100,000).
Hattias, Duchy of:
Recently elevated from the status of County which it had been lowered to following an ancient revolt, this province has the distinction of being the largest in size, and possibly the most unique of all Thyatis. It consists of the large peninsular island just south of Vanya's Girdle. It is a county of hills and forests where animal husbandry (sheep, goats), fishing, and orchards (olive groves, fruit) form the most important industries. The people of Hattias are tenacious warriors, but somewhat distinctive from the rest of the Thyatian population. Many Hattians are emigrating to Heldann, and Milenian refugees from Davania are taking their place. At some point, the Hattians may have their own domain elsewhere, and Hattias proper may become a Thyatian Milenia. The most significant community in Hattias is Hattiburg (which the Milenians have taken to calling "Attiapolis"), a city of 50,000 that sprawls along the Stegger river. A newly constructed wall surrounds it.
Retebius, Duchy of:
This Province consists of the area north of Thyatis Province (minus the town of Hillfork, now in Thyatis), running west of the Polithius river through the hill country to the Trevanion river. It is a land of well-watered grasslands and lush hills, raising fine cattle and horses that rank second only to those of Kerendas in quality. The city of Retebius (pop. 20,000) is significant as the training centre for the Thyatian aerial cavalry (popularly known as the "Retebius Air Fleet"), and as the headquarters of the Knights of the Air, an independent order of aerial warriors dedicated to serving the Empire.
Kantrium, Duchy of:
This region of rolling hills and grassy plains consists of everything south of Halathius and east of the Polithius river (including the Tel Akbir region). The hills are lightly inhabited, with most of the population concentrated around the coasts and on the plains. The eastern portion has a large proportion of Alasiyans loyal to Thyatis, and the current Doux of Kantrium is of Alasiyan decent. Kantrium has two cities of importance: Kantridae itself (15,000) and Tel Akbir (20,000), both significant seaports. The town of Dawnpoint is evolving into a prominent naval base, and may reach the status of city soon as well. The Kastra of Zendrol guards the frontier with Ylaruam.
Machetos, County of (Army):
This County consists of the coastal region west of the Kerenda river and south of Vyalia, forming the frontier zone with Karameikan Traldara. Grain, lumber, and fisheries are its most important industries. The Kastra of Blackpoint faces the western border. The town of Machetos (3,000) is the only settlement of significance in this district.
Terentias, County of (Naval):
This island County is sited south of Machetos, and north of Minrothad. The people of Terentias are excellent seafarers and traders (and pirates). The town of Chandax (population 5,000) is the County's capital. A large percentage of the County's population (40%) is elven.
Vyalia, County of (Army):
This small border county consists of the forested region around the Kerenda river, west through the Dymrak. The Vyalia elves do not much respect the Karameikan border, ranging as far as the Rugalov River but keeping themselves distinct from Karameikan society, aligning themselves with Thyatis. This region is a potential border dispute between the nations, more so now that Karameikos has forsworn his affiliation with the Empire. Elven crafts are the areas most important export. The town of Foreston (5,000) is the capital of this County. Vyalia's population is 50% elven, with the remainder mainly human.
Biazzan, County of (Army):
A literal "Mountain pass" (Cleisura), this County consists of the region north of Kerendas and west of Buhrohur, through the hills and peaks of the Altan Tepes mountains, bordering Ylaruam and Karameikos. Though large, only the valley of the Greendale is settled, the rest being largely mountainous wilderness. The small city of Biazzan (pop. 15,000) is the County's capital. The Kastra of Nikos wards the northern frontier. The University of Biazzan is a famous centre of learning, concentrating on metallurgy and related studies. Many trade caravans pass through Biazzan's bustling Grand Market. Due to tense relations with Ylaruam, a wall has been built around the city.
Buhrohur, County of (Army):
Buhrohur is a province consisting of the mountainous border with Ylaruam, running east to west between Halathius and Biazzan. Many extroverted Dwarves who chose not to "go to ground" when the people of Rockhome hid from the world came to settle here among the clans of Buhrohur, accounting for the increased population. Several new settlements and mining communities have been set up, transporting metals and dwarven wares down the river for sale in Thyatis the City. With the coming of the new Dwarven immigrants, Buhrohur has become less insular, as these new arrivals are more open minded and gregarious, at least by Dwarven standards. The town of Makrast (pop. 5,000) is the County's capital.
Halathius, County of (Army):
The last of the mountain Counties, Halathius occupies the eastern tip of the Altan Tepes, north of Retebius and Kantrium, bordering Ylaruam. Gold and other minerals and metals are mined here, supplying mainland Thyatis with the majority of its iron ore. Mountain sports including rappelling and, recently, skiing, are popular pastimes here. The town of Goldleaf (pop. 5,000) is the capital of this County.
Lucinius, County of (Naval):
Consisting of the hilly peninsula southeast of Thyatis, this region of fishermen and sailors is the most important naval base outside Thyatis the City, headquartering the Thyatian Naval Academy. Port Lucinius, a city of 40,000 inhabitants, has the finest shipyards outside of Thyatis the City itself.
Carytion, County of (Naval):
A collection of littoral islands off the eastern coast of Hattias and Lucinius (Carytion, Mositius, Borydos, Sclaras, and Actius), this is a diverse and sprawling County, bound together by its nautical nature. Carytion itself is a rich and beautiful resort island, with many estates, including an Imperial Palace. Borydos, formerly a prison island, has been converted to a Naval base, a proving ground for some of the most secret military development projects in Thyatis. Mositius is a long island with lovely beaches and enchanting mists, a tourist retreat. Sclaras Island is the reserve of Thyatis' most powerful citizens, being divided into estates for reclusive mages, where they can conduct their researches in peace. Actius holds a well-maintained seaport, an island of fishermen and a way station for traders on their way to the Isle of Dawn or Davania. Actian Shipyards are an important supplier to the Imperial Navy. Each island is semi-autonomous, but report to the Count.
Total Population: 3,420,000
Thyatis consists of one Polis, 5 Duchies, and 8 Counties (5 Army, 3 Naval). Slightly over one quarter of the population lives in cities. Thyatian Duchies form the "core" of the nation. Every border save one is guarded by a County, and that is the region around Tameronikas. IMC, the Tameronikas region is a Cleisura itself, wrested from Ylaruam as punishment for the raids on Biazzan, thus completing the Praedentura Imperii.