The Empire of Thyatis
“We’re not conquering the world, we’re civilising it!” – Thyatian Legionnaire stationed in the Hinterlands
The Empire of Thyatis is composed of several nations, separated by the Sea of Dread and the Sea of Dawn, the core of the nation is the Thyatian mainland where the capital, Thyatis (pop. 500 000) – the biggest city of the Known World, lies. The region is known for its warm and hospitable climate, and its good farming land, where corn and wine are produced in abundance, and horses and cattle are raised. Directly to the south of the mainland lays the Isle of Hattias where the Hattians, relatives to the Thyatians, live. To the southeast of Hattias are Ochalea (an island settled by descendants of the mysterious, copper-skinned easterners called Alphatians), and the Pearl Islands (an island nation with a predominantly black population), while to the east is the Isle of Dawn, traditional fighting ground between the Thyatians, who hold its western part, and their eternal enemies, the Alphatians. Recently, the Thyatians have occupied the Hinterlands, a heavily forested area on the northern tip of Davania, the southern continent. Some native Hinterlanders conduct guerrilla action against the invaders.
Mainland Thyatis is a mostly flatland (with mountains bordering it to the north and running through the Island of Hattias to the south). The further west you go, the greener things are; the western border is heavily wooded.
Thyatis borders the Emirates of Ylaruam to the north (and is normally unfriendly with them), Karameikos to the west (and remains friendly, although one day it plans to conquer that kingdom), and the Minrothad Guilds to the southwest (and remains friendly, trade relations are cordial). Elsewhere, the nation is bounded by seas, which have helped Thyatis become an important naval power with a tradition both of trade and piracy.
The nation consists of the following dominions, the County of Actius, the Barony of Biazzan, the Protectorate of Borydos, the Barony of Buhrohur, the Protectorate of Carytion, the County of Halathius, the County of Hattias, the Duchy of Kantrium, the County of Kerendas, the County of Lucinius, the Duchy of Machetos, the Duchy of Mostius, the Duchy of Retebius, the Protectorate of Sclaras, the Duchy of Tel Akbir, the Grand Duchy of Terentias, the Duchy of Thyatis and the County of Vyalia.
The Empire of Thyatis is probably the most important and influential nation of the Known World, and one of the most ancient, too. Thyatis’ history dates back to 2 BC, when Lucinius Trenzantenbium overthrew the Alphatian invaders that had occupied the lands of Thyatis, Ochalea and the Pearl Islands. The three nations declared independence, and after a victorious war were reunited by General Zendrolion in the form of an Empire, which soon annexed the western half of the Isle of Dawn.
In its centuries of existence, the borders of the Empire have changed much; at various times, the Empire has occupied several nations of the Known World, like Ierendi, southern Ylaruam, Traladara (now The Grand Duchy of Karameikos). Thyatians have influenced directly Glantri’s history, as Lord Alexander Glantri, founder of the nation, was himself a Thyatian. Recently, a group of Hattians known as the Heldannic Knights have left the Empire to conquer the lands of Heldann, to the north. Thyatians have been fighting with Alphatia for about a millennia for possession of the Isle of Dawn. Thyatians have imposed their traditions and language on the Known World’s nations; most still resort to Thyatis for their common tongue and calendar.
A more detailed history is provided in the Thyatian Timeline.
Thincol I (Thincol Torion). Thincol was once a very famous gladiator in Thyatis City. Many years ago, during an invasion from the faraway empire of Alphatia, Thincol seized control of the city’s troops and repelled the invaders. He later married the daughter of the emperor (who was slain in the invasion). Thincol is still a great fighter; he is also an accomplished politician in the Thyatian tradition of deception, cunning, and treachery.
Thyatis is mostly home to humans of the Thyatian stock tending to have a light olive skin tone, with hair ranging from light to dark brown and are of medium height. The Thyatians see fighting ability and efficiency as the founding values of the Empire, and believe in the superiority of their civilisation, although they also think that they enrich their culture by absorbing the traits of the conquered cultures. The Hattians belong to the same racial stock, but believe exactly the opposite: that they are the greatest race ever to be, and other races are of little worth – to avoid decadence they believe that the Thyatian Empire should follow the Hattian traditionalist ways.
Thyatians are a treacherous race. They give a tremendous importance to politics and power, and to reach an end they resort to any means. It is common knowledge that Thyatians easily break promises if this can help them to achieve a goal. As it is often the case with generalisations, this is an exaggeration, but it’s a matter of fact that the Empire builds itself, and finds the roots of its decadence, in the mixture of efficiency and corruption that is generated by the obsessive pragmatism of its people.
There are also other human races in the Empire: the Pearl Islands are settled by the Nuari, a black-skinned people that believe in the values of self-development; Ochaleans are descendants of pacifist Alphatians and are of coppery skin tone. They believe in non-violence, disrespect magic users and can be rather sexist; Hinterlanders are of fair skin tone and of light brown, blonde or red hair and are very warlike. Moreover, on the Thyatian half of the Isle of Dawn there are several people of Alphatian origin, and in the cities of Tel-Akbir and Biazzan, on mainland Thyatis, more than half of the population is of Alasiyan origin.
In addition to the humans, dwarves and elves have their own personal dominions on the Mainland: respectively in the Barony of Buhrohur, a rich mining land, and in the County of Vyalia, where an elite fighting organisation of humans known as the Foresters was formed under the patronage of the elves and their Immortal protector Ilsundal.
The capital and greatest city of the Empire is Thyatis City, population 600,000. Thyatis City is justly renowned for the magnificence of its marble architecture and the sophistication and decadence of its noble ruling class. Thyatis City is the empire’s greatest seaport, with an enclosed and defended harbour, and is the seat of the empire’s trade and naval fleets. Like ancient Rome at the height of the Roman Empire, it is a vibrant, teeming city whose population is so great that it strains against the very walls, whose people are enthralled by gladiatorial spectacle (the Coliseum seats nearly one-tenth of the city population at a time), and whose Senate is virtually a school for intrigue and deception.
Government and Religion
Religion plays an important role in the Thyatian way of life; however, like many aspects of their lives it is a mixture of formal acts and of a more relaxed private attitude: Thyatians see religion as a contract of mutual benefit between the mortal and the immortal. Among the most important Immortals are Vanya, Patroness of Conquerors; Tarastia, Patroness of Justice; Korotiku, patron of the Nuari; Koryis, worshipped in Ochalea but mostly sneered at by Thyatians because of her pacifism; Protius, whose importance is directly linked to that of the sea in Thyatian life; Diulanna, patroness of the Hinterlanders and many others.
Adventures in Thyatis can arise out of the empire’s efforts to keep subject states in line, to conquer new territories, and to explore new territories to conquer.
PCs adventuring in Thyatis need to be cautious about how they deal with employers and nobles; taking care to make it hard or unprofitable for their employers to betray them.
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