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Topic of the Month: The Kastelios-Thyatis Accord
[Excerpt from a recently-released Darokinian document. Ed.]
The meetings between the Empire of Thyatis and the City-State of Kastelios, regarding the free movement of shipping through the Sea of Dread, will prove in time to be a ground-breaking example of skilful diplomacy. Both parties had their own interests coming to the table, and it is clear, from all available reports, that both acted in the best manner possible to protect them.
Thyatis, for its own part, was in the throes of its war against the Twaelar, which, it will be remembered, greatly hindered its capacity to continue its colonisation efforts in the Hinterlands, currently considered to be an important imperial policy. With no safe route in the Eastern Sea of Dread, by which to ship its goods, soldiers, and colonists to Davania, Thyatis had to seek an alternative. Ochalea and the Pearl Islands, though not hostile to the empire, were still sovereign states, and thus Thyatian shipping could not pass through their waters with impunity. Fortunately, not all avenues had been exhausted-the Thyatians had knowledge of Kastelios, though it was considered too distant to maintain regular contact. Sending ships to Kastelios would be a considerable journey, but by no means impossible, as the difficulty was navigating the northern shore of Davania, known to be festooned with treacherous shallows, reefs, and worse.
Kastelios, it would seem, has known of the Old World for several years, though its information appears to have been based largely on hearsay and rumour. What is known of the city-state's history is available in other documents [also in the Mystaran Almanac. Ed.], so there is no need to repeat it here. Suffice it to say that, as the rumoured remnant of a long-dead empire, Kastelios has been fighting for its existence for a long time. It is only relatively recently, within the past decade according to Kastelian contacts, that the city-state has started to explore its surroundings and venture farther afield.
So it was that Thyatis approached Kastelios, in the hopes of securing an arrangement by which the city-state could aid it in securing access to the Hinterlands once more, knowing full well that, as a local nation, Kastelios might know of a route by which the treacherous northern coast of Davania could be navigated, thereby bypassing the Twaelar realms entirely. The negotiations were of course tense, with each side trying to advance its own interests as much as possible. Thyatis, for its own part, appeared to be seeking a safe route to the Hinterlands, and little more. Kastelios, on the other hand, apparently saw an opportunity to reach the Old World, through an agreement with Thyatis; the trade agreements they wished to secure, had they been accepted, would have provided the city-state with a stepping stone to establishing firm contacts with the nations of southeastern Brun.
Regardless, the outcome appears to benefit both parties. Thyatis has gained a route to the Hinterlands, as well as a Kastelian guarantee of safe shipping, so long as Thyatian vessels are under escort by its navy. Kastelios has gained revenue from the deal, as well as the likelihood of expanding its diplomatic network, though perhaps not in the manner it had hoped. This deal is an historic one, in that it represents the first official, diplomatic contact between a nation of Davania, and one of Brun, in a civilised context.
What sort of consequences could one speculate from this encounter? It is difficult to say at this point, though in all likelihood the current trading ties that are being forged could very well evolve into a more comprehensive agreement, perhaps covering such diverse areas as cultural exchanges, cooperation in the Sea of Dread region, and perhaps military agreements in the southwest. Regardless, the development of ties between Thyatis and Kastelios, no matter how tenuous at the moment, could signify the beginning of a new era of exploration in the south. How events actually shape remains to be seen, but this region of the world certainly merits further attention, with the revelation that other cities exist further inland.