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ATLAS OF THE FLOATING CONTINENT OF ALPHATIA
Introduction to the Floating Continent of Alphatia
High above the surface of the Hollow World, hundreds if not thousands of small islands float about. Since the year AC 1010 these have been dwarfed by a huge continent that also floats in the sky and casts its enormous shadow over the lands below as it passes over them. This immense continent is the location of the magical empire of Alphatia.
Alphatia is an empire of magic and wizards, and anyone possessing the ability to cast magic will be taught and eventually become part of the aristocracy here, no matter what their background is. People without magic are held in lesser regard, and the empire still practices slavery. There are two sets of laws - one for aristocrats, which means spellcasters, and one for everyone else. The reason for this is the Alphatian demand for magic. The empire is steeped in magic, and its pursuit is clearly the greatest priority in the empire. This dates back to the time before Alphatia existed on Mystara, as all Alphatians were spellcasters on their original homeworld until it was destroyed during a massive war among the wizards.
The people of Alphatia are mostly humans, typically with coppery skin and with brown or red hair-these are called the common Alphatians. Some Alphatians are taller and quite pale with dark hair and are called "pure" Alphatians because they are descendants of the original founders of the empire thousands of years ago on another world. There are few "pure" Alphatians today, but they are hardly rare. There are also elves, especially the Shiye-Lawr elves of that nation, and dwarves, hin, and gnomes in the nation of Stoutfellow. Other, more sinister, creatures are said to live in Blackheart and Limn, though Limn is populated mostly by peaceful humanoids who would be considered monsters elsewhere.
At the end of the Great War almost a decade ago, Alphatia was an empire on the surface of Mystara. It was destroyed by the magic of the Glantrian Doomsday Weapon, though the Immortals recreated the continent in the Hollow World and moved most of the population there. The former location of Alphatia is now known as Nayce. However, only extremely experienced people on the floating continent of Alphatia know of its true origin-the general population believe they always lived in the Hollow World, because the Immortals arranged it this way.
Alphatia is divided into kingdoms, each king or queen owing loyalty to the elected emperor or empress, currently Empress Eriadna. The power of the empress is checked by a body of a thousand powerful archmages called the Council of Wizards or simply the Grand Council. The council has the power to veto any imperial decree by the empress. The empress generally tries to avoid becoming involved in domestic matters between the various kingdoms, although she can choose to do so if she deems a situation to be threatening to imperial interests.
Given that Alphatia is now surrounded only by the skies unreachable to their enemies, much of the former naval and militaristic effort has been reduced, as there are obviously no enemies who can threaten the empire now. This does not necessarily make Alphatia a peaceful place, though. Wars among the various kingdoms of the empire are not unheard of, and some have begun fairly recently.
Correspondents for the Floating Continent of Alphatia
Here is our list of correspondents that give us detailed information on the nations, places, and events of Alphatia:
Aritmanes is a cleric of the Immortal Alphatia in the nation of Vertiloch. He used to live in the imperial capital of Sundsvall and was fortunate enough to survive its destruction. In the years since, Vertiloch has been mostly abandoned for the new nation, Alphas'ar, and its new imperial capital Andaire, but Aritmanes is one of those who remained in Vertiloch to help rebuild the declining nation. He is dedicated to the philosophies of peace that his patron teaches, and as an aristocrat he pities the commoners who are without magic.
Aritmanes is not known to be an adventurer, although there are rumours of him having travelled around during his younger days, and that is probably where he gathered his experience and insight. He looks to be in his late 30s, has long, brown hair, and copper-like skin like most Alphatians. He is rarely seen dressed in clothing other than his kihara robe.
Derenwyn is a former deputy treasurer at the imperial court of Alphatia.
Mallok began his life as a slave working in the hot furnaces of Malevolence Estate. For years he struggled there, not only to survive, but also to maintain some shred of dignity-a short commodity to come by in Blackheart. He is a self-taught musician, though none from whence he came could appreciate his art, or even comprehend his desire to ply it. After nearly twenty years of living a life that should have killed him, Mallok was able to escape Malevolent and found shelter in Shiye-Lawr. He lives there still, serving Clan Traedyis and opposing Baron Iarkainnun in any way he can.
Gerta is of Antalian background, hailing from the town of Krakaj in the Hollow World. She seems to have escaped much of her culture's limitations, however, when she left her homeland as a young woman, and somehow gained a high degree of education. Some think that she may be a scholar from the legendary Lighthouse in the Hollow World. Gerta has a knack for acquiring information that eludes many scholars, but rumours that she uses less than legal means to do so seem to be tales spread by envious rivals. Gerta has spent the last several years studying Hollow World Alphatia for her organisation. While she is vague in providing us with information as to how she reached the floating continent to study it, her reports on Alphatia give us a unique outsider's perspective on the mysterious empire.
Khostrubel the Forthright
Khostrubel is a priest of Bemarris, who is called "the Forthright" by his friends, followers, and servants. He is known throughout Alphatia outside of Stonewall as Khostrubel the Agitator (or Khostrubel the Blunt among those with views more sympathetic to those of Stonewall). If he sounds angrier in tone than many of our correspondents, this is because he feels his kingdom is being left to die by those in power within the empire. Try to understand his point of view, even while using your judgment in reading his report.
Xanshahu of Rimpos, Patroness of Enlightenment, Matriarch of the third Sphere of Djaea, Creator of Megtheria Dom, etc, etc...
Xanshahu is a cleric of Djaea and a Bettellyn of common Alphatian descent. She was born to a pair of hard-working Bettellyn supplicants serving Vipric [a Bettellyn honorific meaning spiritual leader. Ed.] Hathender at his cathedral 40 miles south of Rimpos along the Bettellyn Line. Once the vipric recognised her potential, he took her in as an acolyte and began to train her in matters concerning immortality. Once her training with Hathender was complete, Xanshahu journeyed east toward Isoin where she wrested control of the local supplicants from a cleric of Rathanos named Xanfek. After razing Xanfek's cathedral, she constructed one of even greater beauty in its place. Xanshahu was only too happy to share information with us about the grand kingdom she hails from.
Coming from the town of Adiach in the Alphatian Kingdom of Haven, Zweibelterm is the scion of old Alphatian bloodlines, rich in magic and steeped in tradition. Zweibelterm gives us a view of Alphatia from the unique perspective of its aristocracy. While his own attitudes infuse his writings and may put off some readers (especially non-Alphatians and non-spellcasters), the very aristocratic attitude he expresses will give our readers an insight into a facet of Alphatian society and the outlooks of his class and kingdom. For Zweibelterm is a patriot of Haven as much as, if not more, he is of the Alphatian Empire as a whole. Zweibelterm seems to have spent his entire life in the continent, visiting and experiencing one region after another in his social travels.
AtlasALPHATIA (Empire of)
ALPHAS'AR (Kingdom of)
AMBUR (Kingdom of)
ARKAN (Kingdom of)
AROGANSA (Kingdom of)
BETTELLYN (Kingdom of)
BLACKHEART (Kingdom of)
CITADEL (City of)
EADRIN (Kingdom of)
FORESTHOME (Kingdom of)
FRISLAND (Kingdom of)
GREENSPUR (Kingdom of)
HAVEN (Kingdom of)
LIMN (Kingdom of)
MALEVOLENCE (Estate of)
RANDEL (Kingdom of)
SHIYE-LAWR (Kingdom of)
STONEWALL (Kingdom of)
STOUTFELLOW (Kingdom of)
THERANDEROL (Kingdom of)
VERTILOCH (Kingdom of)