Timeline of Thyatian History, continued
The Middle Centuries
Upheaval and Resilience
- AC 313 - 320: Savros Kallastines ruled for less than two years, while the storm clouds gathered. Another general, Demosthenes, in battle near Hillfork defeated him in AC 315. Following this he was captured, and beheaded. Demosthenes himself ruled briefly and cruelly, before being overthrown in a coup by his own soldiers early in 316. The troops then acclaimed Savros' son, Savros II Kallastines, Emperor. But by this time every general began to see himself as a potential Emperor, and were scrambling to gain the crown for themselves. While this was going on, the Alphatians attacked Aegos and the Isle of Dawn. They swiftly overran most of the island of Aegos, besieging Aegopoli in the summer of 316, and advanced deep into Westrourke. Tiberius II Isauricus overthrew Savros II in 317, but reigned for only a few months before being poisoned by court functionaries. The Imperial Court then had Savros II's sister, Eugenia Kallastines, crowned as Empress. She ruled for only a few months before the army's disaffection resulted in General Derentius Machetos being let through the gates of The City. He forced Eugenia to marry him, and became Emperor. But the disorders continued. In 318 the island of Terentias defected to Minrothad. The merchants of Minrothad were, at this time, taking advantage of the disorders wracking the Empire to expand their trading network at the expense of Thyatian merchants, while in the east the Alphatians continued their advances on the Isle of Dawn. Aegos fell late that year. In Newmont of 319, Derentius himself was deposed by Mucius Sergius Scaevola, and Eugenia was sent to a clerical retreat (monastery) in Thyatis City. Mucius declined the title of Emperor, claiming instead to rule as Regent on behalf of Eugenia. He immediately embarked for the Isle of Dawn, where he led his armies in the relief of Newkirk. But the following year the Alphatians killed him in battle. One of his aides, Gaius Otonis, was acclaimed as Emperor by the troops, and marched back to the capital to gain control of the Empire. But as he arrived there Eugenia decided to marry a prominent young Senator, Alexandros Kerdolion. Alexandros and the senate spent lavishly on "donatives" (bribes) to the troops, convincing most to abandon Gaius Otonis and support Alexandros as Emperor. Gaius Otonis was blinded and exiled to the island of Borydos in 320.
- AC 320 - 367: Alexandros then led the Imperial army back to the Isle of Dawn, and after several years of hard campaigning managed to restore the border to near its former frontier. Aegos remained in the hands of Alphatia, however, and Terentias remained loyal to Minrothad for the time being. In order to pacify some of the still discontented soldiers, Alexandros raised pay some, and retired some of them, giving them land grants and founding colonies of ex-soldiers in Thyatian-held Alaysia (the town of Dawnpoint being one of the most notable of these new colonies). Order was soon restored, and the Empire began to recover from the effects of the Civil War during the long and able reign of Alexandros, who was capably advised by his wife, the Empress Eugenia during his reign. Eugenia died in 361, much mourned throughout the Empire, and the vitality seemed to drain away from Alexandros. Minrothaddan traders took over much of the slave trade in the Sea of Dread from native Thyatian merchants during this period (circa AC 360), selling slaves to Thyatis but also enslaving halflings on their islands as well.
- AC 367 - 386: his son, Tiberius II Kerdolion, succeeded Alexandros. Early in his reign the Alphatians launched an attack against the Pearl Islands, but it was repelled with heavy losses. As a result, however, Tiberius II spent considerable funds building up the fortifications and harbors at both Seagirt and Beitung. He later sent his son and heir Gabrionus to supervise the follow up on these projects, and due to this Imperial attention these domains underwent considerable development. During his sojourn to the islands, Gabrionus met and fell in love with an Ochalean lady, and married her.
- AC 386 - 412: Gabrionus returned home from the islands upon the death of his father in AC 386 and ascended the throne. He stirred up unrest in Alphatian-held Bogland (Dunadale), subverting the populace with blandishments of Thyatian Citizenship, resulting in a major revolt in that region against Alphatia. Thyatian troops then moved in, securing much of the southern region, all the way to the eastern shore, separating Bogland from Hillvale. During this time some trade developed between the Thyatian and Alphatian colonies on the Alaysian coast, with Thyatian merchants smuggling goods between the ports (this trade was considered illicit by the Alphatian Empire at the time). Gabrionus expanded Thyatian colonization in the region, founding the town of Fabia, which was named after his eldest daughter. During the reign of Gabrionus, somewhat greater settlement of the Shadow Coast region on the Isle of Dawn also occurred. The town of Laticea was founded, as well as several other settlements. Many of these were not successful in the long run, in the face of the creatures inhabiting the dark forests of the interior, and these eventually became ghost towns.
- AC 412 - 459: Gabrionus' daughter Fabia married an Alaysian freedman named Ishkan, who became Emperor on the death of Gabrionus, reigning as Alexian III. Northman pirates and Vikings were an increasing problem, raiding the Isle of Dawn and even Thyatian (and Alphatian) - held areas of Alaysia. Alexian III spent much of his time on the navy, building it up to combat this problem. Though pitched naval battles generally went the Thyatian's way, the raiding continued and the Northmen proved very elusive. Alexian III encouraged the development of maritime magic to help combat the threat of the Northmen, to some effect. As a result, he was able to convince the folk of Terentias to switch their allegiance back to Thyatis, re-asserting the Empire's authority over this isle.
Of Wars and Heresy
- AC 459 - 515: Emperor Romanos succeeded Alexian III. He divided the Shadow Coast region into the Provinces of Septentriona & Meridiona, to better administer them. Early in his reign the main temple of Vanya in Thyatis City was heavily damaged in an earthquake and the rioting that followed. He ordered the construction of a new shrine, built on a grand scale. The project took ten years to complete, and resulted in the High Temple of Vanya that stands in Thyatis City today. Late in the 5th Century the Alphatians initiated an offensive on the Isle of Dawn, overrunning West Portage and Helskir. Romanos mobilized the Imperial troops, gathering them at Redstone for the counter-attack, but by the time his forces got to the Island Redstone Castle was already under siege by a large Alphatian army. Romanos broke the siege, defeating and scattering the Alphatian troops, then swept his forces south in an ark, relieving Kendach (which had held out despite the fall of West Portage). This trapped the Alphatian troops garrisoning West Portage, as Romanos' army acted as an anvil while marines formed the hammer, landing just north of the town then crushing the Alphatian troops. The fighting on the island then ground down to a stalemate for several years, as control over the northern head of the island passed back and forth. Romanos broke the stalemate by initiating the first skirmishes against the Alphatian colonies in Alaysia, paying desert nomads and northman Vikings to perform as auxiliaries alongside Thyatian troops in the region. He then marched his forces on the Isle through presumably "impassable" bogs to Dierdren, catching its garrison unawares and sacking it. All of Bogland (Dunadale) was in Thyatian hands by the end of Romanos' reign.
- 515 - 528: Perseus followed Romanos as Emperor. A few short years after his ascension, the Alphatians began an effort to retake Bogland, landing troops in the city of Dunadale and pushing north from Hillvale. A few Alphatian refugees, loyal to that Empire, had convinced the Alphatian Empress of the time (Tylari I) to designate Bogland a Kingdom and allow it to adopt some of the aspects of Thyatis' political system (elected rulers, local democracy) to try and put an end to the problem. This undermined native support for Thyatis in the region, and Dunadale (the city) and Dierdren were soon recaptured. Perseus' forces managed to stop the Alphatian advance in the highlands of central Bogland, but the Alphatians recovered firm control over the eastern coastal strip once again. They also began a counter-attack in Alaysia, hiring Alaysian auxiliaries of their own, and the battles there grew fiercer before finally dying down in the early 520s. Perseus himself had fallen in love with and married an Alphatian slave girl. As a result of her prodding and suggestions, he proposed the Lex Legislativa Perseana, a series of laws limiting the abuses that slaves could legally be subject to. The Senate passed these laws narrowly. But the military reverses which occurred during Perseus' reign undermined support for him, and in 528 he was murdered by members of his own guard force, and his son Miklas was acclaimed Emperor.
- AC 528 - 541: Emperor Miklas almost immediately proved controversial. He initiated a religious upheaval by attempting to proscribe how the Immortals ought to be venerated and to outlaw faiths he disapproved of. He believed that the setbacks the Empire suffered during the reign of Perseus were due to the Immortals anger at the Empire for not properly venerating them. He elevated the faith of Vanya to the foremost religion of the Empire, and declared all other followings to be secondary, refusing Imperial recognition for their holidays. He exiled members of the religious hierarchy who didn't agree with him, and promoted priests of Vanya who supported his changes in their places. The Senate took umbrage at this, but through arm-twisting and other means, he managed to pack the Senate with those who shared his religious views, and got his measures passed into law. The result was a decade of religious conflict, disputes and sometimes even rioting between those who followed Miklas' way and supporters of other Immortals. Miklas gained the support he did because of the apparent success of his measures in returning Immortal favor to Thyatis. Soon after he passed them, he marched against the Alphatians in Alaysia, defeating them soundly. He then sailed against the Ostlander reavers that were raiding Imperial territory on the Isle of Dawn, and they too were defeated. Finally, he marched into Alphatian-held Hillvale, capturing it. He returned to the capital to celebrate his many triumphs, only to learn the Alphatians had marched into Hillvale and were besieging East Portage. He sallied back to the Isle, defeated their forces at the neck, then marched south against Ekto, planning on conquering the entire Isle of Dawn. But he was trapped in a valley between two looming hills by a large Alphatian and Thothian Army. A grim, costly battle resulted - the Thyatian troops managed to push through the Alphatian forces and retreat north, but Miklas himself was slain.
- AC 541 - 557: Miklas had two sons, Theophobus and Theophilius. Theophobus was with the Imperial Army, and when it reached East Portage they acclaimed him Emperor. But back in the Capital the Senate voted on which of the two to elevate to the Throne, and they picked Theophilius (who happened to be present in the capital, and it is said that he gave lavish "gifts" and "donations to worthy causes" to gain the Senate's support). Theophobus still had the matter of the war with Alphatia. Troops were sailing from Alphatia proper and marching down from Dunadale, to re-enforce the Thotio-Alphatian army to his south. Acting quickly, he burned and destroyed the harbor at East Portage so the Alphatian troops arriving by sea would have difficulty landing. Then he struck north, mauling the army of Dunadale before withdrawing westward to Kendach, where he met the Thothio-Alphatian force and engaged it. But he underestimated the amount of time it would take the Dunadale Army to regroup, and the forces from Alphatia proper to arrive. They caught his forces in a vise and smashed the army. But, fortunately for Thyatis, the Alphatians had concluded a peace treaty with Theophilius the day before the battle, and Thyatian territorial losses were limited. Theophobus then sailed for Thyatis proper, intending to wrest the throne from his brother, but was defeated near Lucinius City by the Imperial fleet, and captured. His brother had him blinded and exiled to the island of Puir, in the Pearl Islands. Theophilius attempted to continue his father's religious policies, but they made him increasingly unpopular. In 557, when supposedly sailing to reside for the winter at the Imperial Estate on Carytion Island, he and his ships disappeared. Some say he sailed to the south, landing somewhere in Davania with his household staff and closest supporters, to found a colony there. But all that is known for sure is that he was never seen again, leaving no clue of his destination behind.
Years of Reverses
- AC 557 - 567: The Senate found itself in great difficulties, with religious unrest all over the Empire, causing economic difficulties as well. The Hattians (stirred again by Thanatos) were again in an insurrectionary mood (with the first stirrings of the Storm Soldiers instigating things). They went through several caucuses, but no candidate for the throne received a majority of the Senate's support. Finally a wealthy merchant, Lucius Nuar, using well-placed bribes and a bit of blackmail, managed to get himself elected. Lucius was the son of a Thyatian naval officer on his mother's side and a Nuari Pearl trader on his father's side. He had built up a fortune through the creation of his own mercantile enterprise, and been elected as Senator representing the Pearl Islands several years before, becoming one on his own merits, and not due to his family's wealth or noble ancestry. Lucius used some of his personal fortune to replenish the Imperial Treasury, and set about dealing with the Empire's problems. He pushed the Senate to repeal the religious legislation of Emperor Miklas, and recalled the exiled Clerics, restoring the Empire's religious hierarchy. He then sent agents into Hattias, to undermine the insurgency, and followed this up with troops, suppressing overt resistance to Imperial rule. Lucius increased the size of the Senate, using this as a way of packing it with his supporters (a method that was at least less bloody than purging the existing members). But the military was less satisfied, and late in his reign a naval officer, Tiel Dun Wei, declared himself Emperor and revolted, sailing with his fleet to the mainland. Tiel Dun Wei's forces were defeated, but the heavy losses depleted the Empire's fleets. Northmen took advantage of this to raid Imperial territories once more, as did the Alphatians. The Alphatian fleet had generally been inferior to Thyatian naval forces, but with the Empire's number of ships at a low ebb they were able to inflict costly defeats on Thyatian forces, and raid Thyatian shipping lanes, over the next several years. They also tried to gain ground on land, launching an attack on the Thyatian colonies in Alaysia, but this was repelled with heavy losses when the Alphatian army was decisively defeated near Fabia. Even Minrothad attempted to take advantage of the comparative weakness of the Thyatian fleet, launching an attack that seized Terentias from the Empire in AC 567.
- 567-574: Upon the death of Lucius Nuar, the Senate again stepped in, electing an Ochalean Cleric, Wien Dien-Ling, as Emperor. Wien Dien-Ling also believed in penal reform, and sent many of the Empire's criminals to the Ierendian Isles starting in 571, in the belief that hard work would make good citizens out of them, and that they would provide service to the Empire as a means of "paying their debt to society" by building ships and settlements in the colonies. Wien Dien-Ling also elevated the Retebius Air Corps, giving it the new title of Retebius Air Fleet, in recognition of its instrumental role in repelling the Alphatian attack against Fabia. The Thyatian navy begins to recover from its losses, and by 574 Wien Dien-Ling feels it is strong enough to recapture Terentias. He dies just before the fleet sails, and this delays the expedition.
- AC 574 - 581: The Senate then elected one of its own members, Tiberios Monomachos, to reign as Emperor Tiberius III. He continued Wien Dien-Ling's program of colonizing the Ierendi Isles with criminals, hoping to reform them. In 576 the fleet finally sailed for Terentias. The elves of Minrothad were prepared, but they found themselves outnumbered and their sea and wind magics countered at every turn by Thyatian mages and clerics. The invasion was successful, and Terentias once again became part of the Empire. Tiberius elevated it to the status of Grand Duchy, hoping this would stop the continual conflict with the Minrothadans over control of it.
- AC 581 - 618: Tiberius III was murdered by his stepson, Lucius, in 581. Lucius then bribed the Senate into electing him as Emperor, and ruled as Lucius IV Monomachos. Lucius was unprincipled and corrupt, and soon faced a revolt against him. This was put down with some brutality, and the defeated rebels were exiled to Ierendi. Lucius used Ierendi as a dumping ground for incorrigible criminals and for his enemies, using this as a way to save money. He closed most of the prisons in Thyatis itself, and cut corners on the funding for the Ierendi colonies as well, diverting the money into the hands of his cronies and members of his family. As a result, the conditions on Ierendi grew progressively worse, and unrest began to rise. He also sent forces to seize the Ierendi Islands in order to gain complete control of the shipbuilding facilities there in 586, and the revolt of the islands in AC 600. As a result of Thyatis' seizure of the Ierendi Islands, the Hin resort to piracy and find they enjoy rapine and looting, and continue their tradition of reaving down to the present day. Renewed warfare broke out on the Isle of Dawn, and the proxy-war in the Alaysian desert became increasingly savage during this period as well. The Alphatians, having hired Northman longships to support their fleet, inflicted a severe defeat on the Thyatian navy in AC 600, just off the northern tip of the Isle of Dawn. When the prisoners on Ierendi heard of this, they revolted. Lucius was faced with a choice of either attempting to subdue the Ierendian rebels, or sending re-enforcements to the Isle of Dawn, and chose the latter. As a result, Ierendi slipped from Thyatis' grasp, and became a haven for buccaneers and cutthroats of all types. Due to this, and his continued desire to cut costs in housing criminals, Lucius had the population of Borydos, at the time a Barony of farmers and fishermen, deported to the mainland or the Isle of Dawn, and converted it to a prison island.
- AC 618 - 643: Lucius IV had only one child, a daughter. Upon his death, she seized the throne, reigning as Valeria II, rejecting all suggestions that she marry or step aside in favor of a male Emperor. She foiled two coup attempts against her, personally defeating both attempts through superior swordsmanship. Her skill at arms surprised many, for the tradition of female warriors had lapsed in the preceding centuries. Her example led to a revival of this practice, at least for a time. It also led to a surge in scheming and plotting, for Valeria II was a mistress of intrigue. She convinced several Alaysian clans which had supported the Alphatians that they were planning on enslaving them, resulting in a revolt against them. When the Alphatians subdued the rebels, they did enslave them, making it seem to the other desert tribes that she had been truthful. She then convinced the King of Hillvale to betray Alphatia and pledge loyalty to Thyatis. This embroiled the Isle of Dawn in yet another war, but Valeria II was careful not to expend too many of Thyatis' resources, supporting the King (now Duke) of East Portage just enough to keep him from being crushed, but not enough to drain the Empire. Eventually she signed a peace treaty with the Alphatian Emperor, Tylion II, abandoning the "Duke of East Portage", who was then crushed by the Alphatians.
- AC 643 - 680: Though Valeria II never married, she none the less managed to bear many children during her reign. In 643 one of these, Gabriel, managed to poison "dear old mom," and murder his siblings. Gabriel then took the throne as Emperor, announcing his intention to return Ierendi to the Imperial fold. He sent a fleet against the islands in 644, but the expedition was poorly planned from the start, and the Ierendians (with some help from the Honor Island mages) managed to defeat it. As a result of this humiliation, Gabriel was beaten by the Imperial Guards, dragged through the city streets, and executed in the coliseum to the loud cheers of the crowd. The Senate then elected the commander of the Imperial Guard, Gabrionikos Tatzianes to be Emperor, and he reigned as Gabrionus II. Despite the inauspicious beginnings of his reign, Gabrionus II reigned capably and established a reputation for honor and justice. He weeded out the administration, punishing corrupt officials and reforming the legal code. New legislation was passed mandating better treatment of slaves, insuring they would get enough food and shelter and that they would be permitted to keep a small amount of property of their own. Gabrionus II also took steps to strengthen Thyatis' hold on the western half of the Isle of Dawn, building fortifications such as the Tower of Lucinius, Hold of Fenswatch, Trombel Keep, and Finnegar's Watch. Though there was skirmishing in Alaysia throughout this time, this was largely a period of peace for the Empire.
- AC 680 - 704: By the time Gabrionus II died, his son Andronikos was already 51 years old. Andronikos followed the footsteps of his father, carefully administering the Empire and insuring justice was properly applied. The Alphatians launched an attack on Kendach in 698, but it was repelled handily. They followed this with subsidizing nomads for stepped up attacks against Thyatian holdings in Alaysia. Ctesiphon was raided in 701, and Andronikos responded by paying Ostland reavers to raid Alphatian settlements in northern Dunadale and Alaysia.
- AC 704 - 728: his well-meaning but somewhat bumbling son, Angelos, succeeded Andronikos in the Imperial Throne. Angelos dispatched another fleet to retake the Ierendi Isles in 713, but it was defeated (many of the vessels were lost in a storm rather than in combat with the Ierendians, though the magnitude of the victory grew in Ierendian lore and legend). Recriminations were widespread due to the lack of proper preparation to control the weather as needed. To make matters worse, the Minrothadans took advantage of this to once again seize Terentias. Andronikos, needing to concentrate his ships against the Alphatians, who were once again pressing the Empire at sea following the debacle in Ierendi, tried to use diplomacy to get the contested island back, but to no avail. To make matters worse, in AC 728 the Alphatians launched their "final offensive" against the Thyatian colonies in Alaysia, spending lavishly to encourage the nomads to strike at Thyatian settlements in Dythestenia and Nicostenia while their army marched down the coast. Several colonies were destroyed, and the Alphatians captured the town of Fabia. For a time it looked like all the Thyatian colonies in Alaysia would succumb, and many settlers fled the region. Giovanni di Malapietra accused the Thyatian Senate of not caring enough about the northern dominions, and left Alasiya for the Flaem lands, where it was rumored that good lands where at disposal of the brave colonists that would dare to enter them. His following settled far to the northwest, north of the Amsorak Mountains (in what is now Glantri). At this point the Commander of the Imperial Fleet, Marcianus Dalessenos, confronted Andronikos and forced him to abdicate. Andronikos was allowed to retire peaceably to a monastery in Machetos, living out the rest of his life as a Cleric.
Copyright © 2000, James Ruhland and Giulio Caroletti. All rights reserved. Used by permission.