Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Thyatis (Empire of)
Location: Southeastern peninsula on the continent of Brun, east of Karameikos, north of the Sea of Dread and south of Ylaruam along the Mesonian and Kerenda Rivers. OW
Area: 62,300 sq. mi. (161,350 sq. km.), plus 797,678 sq. mi. (2,065,985 sq. km.) of overseas colonies (973,143 sq. mi. (2,520,440 sq. km.) if Heldun is included).
Population: 3,030,400 of various races (95% human, 3% elven, 2% other), plus 878,400 in overseas colonies (1,003,400 if Heldun is included).
Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian, Hattian, and Kerendan dialects), Alasiyan (Akbiran dialect) is also common around Tel Akbir. Many other languages are spoken within the empire, especially in 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: Parliamentary imperium: monarchy heavily influenced by elective senate overseeing vassal domains.
Industries: Agriculture, crafts (especially metalworking, glassworks, tanning, cloth), fishing, herding (cattle, sheep, goats), horse breeding (Kerendas mainly), magic (Sclaras and Thyatis City), military, mining (gold and other minerals in the Altan Tepes), shipbuilding (Thyatis City, Lucinius, and Actius), textiles (Thyatis City especially), trade, wine.
Important Figures: Eusebius Torion (Emperor), Lucianna Torion (Empress), Coltius Torion (Prince), Gabronius Torion (Prince), Demetrion Karagenteropolus (Imperial Magist), Manfred Torion Dörfer (Former Usurper).
Flora and Fauna: Mulberry trees (for sericulture), grape vines, olive trees, date palms, peach, pear, orange, and cherry fruit trees in cultivated orchards, maple, birch, and oak trees, pine and aspens in the Southern Altan Tepes Mountains. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, swine, and mules. Bees kept for honey. Bears, boars, centaurs, lycanthropes, mountain lions, foxes, dryads, wolves, unicorns and goblinoids can be found in the wilds of the empire. Hill giants and ogres in the hills. Pegasi, griffons, rocs, ruby, gold, and white dragons as well as other aerial mounts are common near Retebius, sea monsters around Borydos, while absolutely anything can be found near the magical estates of Sclaras. 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.
Last Year's Events: The Thyatian Empire continued to strengthen itself, with a steady population recovery, better infrastructure and agriculture, fortified borders, and stronger colonial possessions. On the Day of Dread Emperor Eusebius announced that the Thyatian Empire would continue this policy of growth, both internal and external by way of the conquest of new markets, with a stop to Thyatian expansionism except for the establishment of new trading enclaves beyond the borders of the empire. The last round of expansion was in Norwold, where Thyatis established a small colony, transformed some petty dominions into client-states or outright protectorates, and struck a deal with the Heldannic Knights that resulted in the liberation of Oceansend, now under heavy Thyatian influence and protection. The softening of the protectionist measures and the limitations on military expansionism also defused tensions with Thyatis's neighbours. Of course all is not perfect in Thyatis and the reforms did generate their flurry of difficulties, but by and large it would seem that Emperor Eusebius was right to take his chances and impose his policy, for unlike rival empires Thyatis seems to be headed toward a sound and lasting recovery.
Description by Lucius Metellus.
When I was asked to compile an article for the Mystaran Almanac, I was stunned and lost for words, as I feared I wouldn't be prepared enough to keep up the incredible standards set by the previous correspondents of this almanac in describing the economy, politics and features of our beloved empire. However, when I finally agreed to the task, I asked myself whether it would be of any help to re-propose the competent and complete description of all the various regions of our empire, that have been already described before, or if I had better focus myself on a more personal view of the imperium, providing just a short outline of previous work and encouraging you to search through the older almanacs for a description, say, of the Duchy of Lucinius, or the Island of Sclaras.
Thyatis rose to power about one millennium ago from the southeastern shores of Brun, starting its history from a successful rebellion against the domination of the Alphatian Empire-and setting the tone for the next millennium of Mystaran history, as the two empires would subsequently fight each other extensively all over the regions washed by the tides of the Sea of Dawn. Moreover, the Thyatians have over the time asserted their political control over the lands of Ierendi, Karameikos, Ylaruam; they have influenced Glantrian politics (Glantri even takes its name from a Thyatian lord that had settled in that nation and fought against the Alphatian invaders); their language is the common tongue of the known world, and the name of their empire is known in most of Brun and in many parts of Mystara.
In this entry we will deal with the country of Thyatis, the mainland and surrounding islands, the origin of Thyatis as an imperium and the center of political and economic activities. However, in other entries of the almanac you will find references to the "provinces" of the empire-that is, the other lands that make up the empire. Currently the provinces are: the provinces of the Isle of Dawn, the Thyatian Hinterland provinces on Davania, Ochalea and the Pearl Islands, Minrothad, and last but not least, Thyatis has struck some interesting deals with faraway city-states, that have become Thyatian protectorates, like Latela (in Norwold) and Tyjaret and Kladanovic (among the city-states east of the Savage Coast).
The country of Thyatis is mainly composed of rich farmlands, with hills and mountains filled with mineral wealth to the north. Still, much variety exists among its eighteen dominions, called counties or duchies (baronies are no longer found in the Thyatian heartland as official imperial domains, though many of the dukes have created baronies in their duchies, but at the imperial level such domains are found only among the colonies now). A full description of these domains may be easily found in the previous almanacs.
The western region of the mainland is known as the Kerendan Plains: rich flatlands used for horse-breeding, tillage and pasturage, that gradually give way to a more hilly region (central Thyatis). Here the soil is still good for farming, but becomes less and less productive as one moves eastward toward the sea. Eastern Thyatis is mostly grazing land for sheep, although the Sea of Dawn is good fishing water. To the north there are mountainous and hilly regions, rich in minerals; among these regions is the domain of Buhrohur, settled and ruled by dwarves loyal to the empire. West of Kerendas lies the domain of Vyalia, where elves live following their own rules close to nature. These areas have been expanded due to a deal with the King of Karameikos, which officially granted some stretches of forest already settled by Vyalian elves to the empire.
The form of government of Thyatis is a senatorial imperium, something unique in the known world. Thyatis is ruled by an emperor-but many ruling functions are performed by a senate, which controls and influences the activities of the country nearly as much as the emperor himself (though this depends on how strong-and sometimes ruthless-the current emperor is).
The throne is hereditary, and the emperor has to name a successor before his death. However, the senate has to ratify the rise to the throne, and thus it has been able to dispose of weak successors to put more adequate (or closer to the senate's ideals) figures on the throne.
The emperor chooses all ministers, high judges and generals; he is the sovereign commander of the army. The emperor can present nominations to titles and to possession of confiscated lands, but the senate must then vote to confirm the nominations. Moreover, the emperor is member of the senate, and when in session, as the "humble" Duke of Thyatis, he holds the position of princeps senatus; if he is not present, the crown prince or the most senior senator acts as praesidens pro tempore. The position is that of a speaker of the senate, identifying individual senators in debate and scheduling topics of discussion (which gives a great deal of influence over what is discussed).
The senate writes the laws of the empire; no other body can introduce laws. One or more senators will introduce a bill and then argue on its behalf; arguments and rebuttals can go on for up to a week, the legal limit on debate time. With a two-thirds majority of senators voting for the bill, it will be signed into law. However, the emperor may veto any law that the senate approves. The senate is the only body that can vote a declaration of war against another nation: the emperor, even if commander of the army, is not allowed to attack foreign countries without its approval.
The senate's composition is very complicated and regulated by complex laws (as often is the case in a land where tradition, modernity and bureaucracy are so intertwined). Every major dominion ruler has the right to have a representative in the senate; moreover, all rulers with the title of duke (or higher) also have the title of senator. Forty aristocratic families have the right to have one of their members permanently as senator-the title is passed hereditarily. Last but not least, the major part of the senate is made up of representatives elected by the people about every five years, all over the empire. This is a true sign of the level of civilisation that we have reached, and the sign of what to be a citizen of the Thyatian Empire really means: you are a part of the imperium, not simply a subject, and every Thyatian citizen is proud and aware of it.
One should always be careful when starting to give a description of the "Thyatian people." Although all citizens of the empire-no matter ethnicity-are equal before the law, and some common cultural traits may be found among them, the term "Thyatians" is intended also to describe the original population of the mainland. These Thyatians, divided roughly in three groups (Kerendans, Thyatians, Hattians), each speaking its Thyatian dialect, have generally olive complexions and dark hair, although given the heavy intermingling every type of complexion, hair and eye colour may be found even among the mainland Thyatian population.
Other human races that can be found in Thyatis are Nuari, Ochaleans, Hinterlanders, Alphatians, Alasiyans; and even demihuman and non-human races like lupins, dwarves and elves have role niche in the empire.
Thyatians are proud and practical. This can make up for a dangerous combination-at best Thyatians may be seen as overly efficient, but it's easy to find arrogance, self-confidence and treacherous behaviour. I don't want to seem harsh against my own people, but we all have seen what corruption and decadence have cost our country during the first years of the Great War. The fact is that Thyatians believe that it's not important what you do to reach a goal, the important thing is to reach it. Many excuse themselves telling that "to do otherwise would only be wasteful and inefficient." However, it is a true but sad fact that, with such a large empire to control, it would also be ruinous to a people who have always faced threats on every frontier. When the national interest is for some reason forgotten (especially in times of prolonged peace), a "useful," "socially benefiting" treachery turns into the recurrent tides of government corruption.
Given the multiethnic nature of their empire and traditions, Thyatians are generally cosmopolitan and open-minded. This is probably one of the best aspects of Thyatian culture. The level of alphabetisation is among the highest in the known world (dare I say Mystara?). Thyatians are curious about strangers and are far from xenophobic or hostile toward them-just think about the Torions, the ruling dynasty of the empire: they are of Northman origin!
Thyatis has a long and complex history, and it would be easy for every reader of the almanac to find a good digest of it. You can read it in previous almanacs or through tomes and volumes that can be easily found in any library of the known world's biggest cities. However, my duty as an almanac correspondent is to give you at least an insight on the later years-times of profound changes for the empire...
After the end of the Great War (that many here in Thyatis call the "Wrath of the Immortal," considering it the time when the Immortals stroke down against the crimes of Alphatia, deleting it from the surface of the planet), Thyatis faced the problems of reconstruction. Unfortunately, Emperor Thincol's health dwindled, and he seemed unable to choose the right solutions to lift the dark cloud that had shadowed the empire in the previous years. Things changed in AC 1012 when Thincol died and was replaced by his son Eusebius. For the first, Eusebius signed a treaty with the Thothians, with whom Thincol had engaged in a futile war instead of trying to cope with internal problems like popular riots, famine and plague (the latter apparently sent by the Thothians as an act of war).
Eusebius proved to be an energetic and daring emperor. He has pushed for some major reforms, reorganising the use of colonies and provinces, although in the usual way for an emperor: he purged the senate of his strongest objectors. However, this time he pushed things too far, as a major civil war, the Crown War, exploded in AC 1015, between him and the usurper Manfred Dörfer Torion, illegitimate son of Thincol, who was supported by most Hattians and a good number of senators who had enough of the too aggressive (toward them) politics of Eusebius. Fortunately Eusebius's victory seemed to coincide with a sort of re-thinking of his past attitudes: Eusebius has won also because of the decisive support of most of the senate, even of his political enemies, and he knows it, so maybe he will end up thinking, like I do, that a vital and sparkling senate, not prone to the whims of the emperor, is as important a part in ruling well our country as the emperor himself.
Currently, it seems that the empire has no intention to expand upon its borders. I hope that Eusebius means what he says, as I think it more profitable in the future to try to make the most of the many resources that the nations and lands of our empire has to offer.
If you travel to the Empire of Thyatis, there is one place I'd particularly recommend, especially if it's your first trip here: it is Urbs Thyatis itself, the Queen of Cities.
Urbs Thyatis [Thyatis City. Ed.] is the largest city in the world, having over 500,000 inhabitants (although its population had grown, in the years before the Great War, to over 600,000), and it is a sparkling and marvellous metropolis, a sort of condensation of all the possibilities that our empire can offer. People of all races and ethnicities, every language and religion of the world, every pleasure and every sorrow, every virtue and every sin of humankind, may be found among its colourful and diverse streets and quarters. Urbs Thyatis has everything in it, from the wealthiest palaces of merchants and aristocratic families (some of whom have been influencing the destiny of the empire since the times of the kings, long before the coronation of the first emperor, even before Alphatia invaded Thyatis) to the most squalid barracks of the poor and miserable. After the big fire of AC 1013, however, things have grown a little better, and the worst tenements have been destroyed and replaced by insulae (three- to five-story brownstone residences).
The two most important features of Urbs Thyatis are the Colosseum and the Curia. The Colosseum hosts the famous gladiatorial competitions that Thyatians love so much (although I find them quite boring, and wonder how our civilised and cultured citizens can enjoy so much such a brutal and trivial hobby); the Curia is the place of reunion of the senate. Both are examples of the monumental architecture that is our artistic trademark.