Helskir (Kingdom of)

Location: Northern tip of the Isle of Dawn, north of Westrourke and northwest of the province of Dunadale.
Area: 28,932 sq. mi.
Population: 40,000.
Languages: Thyatian Common (Redstone dialect), Alphatian Common (East Portage dialect).
Coinage: Thyatian Standard: Emperor (pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp).
Alphatian coins are also very common: Crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 20% income tax, collected 4 times a year (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). 5% sales tax on all items except food and clothing.
Government Type: Independent Monarchy with formality ties to the Empire of Thyatis.
Industries: Trade and fishing.
Important Figures: King Eruul Zaar (human, male, F18), Queen Asteriela Torion (human, female, M12).
Flora and Fauna: Standard for it's climate, notably herds of sheep and goats. Dangerous monsters include goblinoids and bandits that are common throughout the Isle of Dawn. Giant lizards and other unknown monsters inhabit the Demeran Moor.
Further Reading: M5 - Talons of Night, GAZ - Dawn of the Emperors boxed Set, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3.

Description: by Titia Solenius

Helskir was the first independent kingdom to be accepted into the Empire of Thyatis. As such, the king and queen of the land have absolute control over the laws, even to the point where they can overrule any Thyatian Imperial Law. In fact , the nation doesn't even pay any taxes to the Empire, nor must it provide military troops for the Legion. In all respects, it is an independent nation with only formal ties to the Empire. Only if the Emperor himself declares war on another nation must Helskir participate in Imperial politics and sends its troops out withthe Legion.

Helskir has its own armies and navies, yet the Legion is also present in this nation. A Helskian officer is always considered to be of higher rank than a Legionnaire, and their orders always come first. They can give us orders, yet the Legion has no say as to what the Helskian Army does. In fact, Helskir still has its own senator representing them in the Imperial Senate. Helskir is therefore independent of Thyatian orders, yet able to itself influence the orders of the Empire.

Is this in fact the start of a new age for the Empire of Thyatis? Is the chain of command among the nobility being destroyed and replaced with this new form of government? I can't help but noticing that independent kingdoms loosely allied together with an Emperor in charge of only the military and foreign affairs sounds way too much like the Empire of Alphatia. Is it a better system? I personally don't think so, as each nation has its own armies, and it makes coordinating military activities extremely difficult. Still, I'm a warrior and not a politician, so I'll let our leaders decide what will become ofour Empire.

The Land

Helskir is a very small kingdom, and it only takes a couple of days to patrol the entire border. The vast majority of the northern coastal area is fertile farmlands which provides slightly more food than needed by the people of Helskir.

The southwestern borders ends at Demeran's Moor. The land is often shrouded in fog, making it very dangerous to patrol. Various bandits, goblinoids, and lizard-monsters make their lairs in this swamp, and strike from their fog-hidden ambushes. In fact, many brave Legionnaire has lost his life patrolling that area.

The southeastern borders of the land are much more rocky and unsuitable for farming. This is were the Helskians herd their goats. Further past the border into Dunadale, the lands rises higher and higher until it finally drops several hundred meters and the Herdane Escarpment. This natural feature is in fact clearly within the borders of Dunadale, patrols of Helskir often go as far as the Escarpment. Another one of their "enter Thyatian territory with impunity but we follow their orders" advantages. I'll never understand nobles and politicians.

The city of Helskir itself is rapidly growing. New city walls have been built to better defend the thriving community, and Helskir is becoming one of the major trade centers of this region of the world. Strategical buildings also have a wooden palisade protecting them. Helskir has a deep harbor which can dock many ships at once, a fact that has helped them achieved their trademarket dominance.

The People

Like most Isle of Dawners, Helskians have learned to ignore most rulers and simply get on with their lives. In fact, Helskir has changed from Thyatian to Alphatian rulership and vice-versa so many times that Helskians have lost count. Strangely enough, regardless of which Empire Helskir has belonged to, Eruul Zaar has always been the ruler of this town.

Helskians are of Alphatian descent, but have abandoned all ties to the Empire of Alphatia. Until recently, many feared that Helskir would be the first place to be destroyed should the two empires go to war. In fact, this has been the only city spared from the famous Wrath of the Immortals and the aftermaths that followed. This is another reason their economy is prospering. Helskians now look forward to a bright future.

Recent History

Helskir is a young nation. Just over 40 years ago, Helskir was nothing more than a simple fishing village. In fact, Eruul Zaar himself founded the village and brought it to the predominance it has today. When the fishing trade started to become lucrative, both the Empires of Thyatis and Alphatia began to take interest in the town, and both have claimed in numerous times. Eruul Zaar remained independent from both, yet claimed to follow whoever was in charge. He had the armies fight for rulership outside of town and declared that he would dutifully follow whoever won the battle. Hence, whenever Helskir changed empires, Zaar still remained the ruler of the town. On many occasions, especially when the Alphatians and Thyatians almost wiped each other out, Zaar even went so far as declaring Helskir independent from both Empires. With all this shuffling around and battles for the small town, it is no wonder that most Helskians feared the future.

In AC 994, Helskir served as the neutral meeting grounds to discuss future expansions for both Empires. Hotly contested were the lands of Norwold, recently granted [that is, in AC 990. Ed.] to Ericall, son of Empress Eriadna of Alphatia. In fact, Emperor Thincol and Empress Eriadna themselves both appeared at this meeting, only to be kidnaped by forces of Alphaks. Brave adventurers rescued the two rulers in a heroic quests onto the Great Escarpment where they faced the intelligent spiders that are now plaguing the southern Isle of Dawn once more [this heroic quest is often told by bards; just ask them to tell you about the M5 - Talons of Night adventure. Ed.]. In the end, King Ericall retained his title over Norwold.

In AC 1008, during the heat of the battle for the Isle of Dawn, Eruul Zaar married Asteriela Torion, daughter of the Emperor of Thyatis, and was declared king of Helskir by the Empress of Alphatia. Thyatis was forced to recognize the kingship in AC 1009 when it signed a peace treaty with Alphatia, shortly before the Immortals sank their continent.

Helskir remained independent until AC 1012, when it voluntarily joined the Empire of Thyatis in fear of an invasion from Thothia. Emperor Eusebius agreed that the ties between Helskir and Thyatis would be mere formalities and that Helskir would in fact remain an independent nation with the protection of the Empire. Thothia never did invade, and peace was re- established with the Isle of Dawn Treaty that same year.

Don't Miss

There is not much to see in Helskir proper, except for the lighthouse which guides ships to the safe deep-water harbor. This building is a good 15 stories in height, and it's base must be at least 15 meters. A huge magical fire lights the top of this tower, and this reportedly allows ships to spot it from at least 150 kilometers (100 miles) away. In fact, this is the biggest lighthouse known in the world. Luckily, mirrors aim the light toward the sea, otherwise people would hardly be able to sleep during the night.

The market of Helskir is also a popular place for off-duty Legionnaires. Here, they can find trinkets from all around the world. In fact, any ship that has sailed the Alphatian Sea of Sea of Dawn has probably stopped in Helskir at one point. Although Thyatian coins are the standard for this kingdom, coins from any nation are accepted by most merchants from the market of Helskir.

Ochalea (Kingdom of)

Location: Island south of the Isle of Dawn, north of the Jungle Coast, west of the Pearl Islands and southwest of theAlatian Islands.
Area: 190,054 sq. mi.
Population: 125,000, including 50,000 in the capital Beitung
Languages: Alphatian (Ochalean dialect), Thyatian (Ochaleandialect).
Coinage: King (a.k.a. Teng, 5 gp), one (gp), tenth (sp), hundredth (cp) (Ochalean coins are octagonal with square holes inthe middle).
Taxes: 15% income tax, inheritance tax of 10%.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Agriculture (wheat and rice), textiles (silk).
Important Figures: King Teng Lin-Dieu (human, male, Pr20 of Korys).
Flora and Fauna: Ochalea is mostly free of monsters. Dangerous creatures encountered include ghouls, weretigers, tigers, panthers and the rare purple worm. Also common are sheep, goats, and snakes.
Intelligent monsters would include ogres (many who know magic and are often called ogre-magi), while lupins and rakasta often roam the Grasslands of Chi.
Further Reading: GAZ - Dawn of the Emperors boxed Set, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3.

Description: by Kalitoru Nuar

Ochalea be a strange land indeed, with customs unlike those found anywhere else in de world. Even der architecture is unique, with der tiered an' slanted roofs and strange, sliding doors made out of what appears to be paper [I doubt they are made of paper, but I left this here because that is what the writer believes. Ed.]. A small bamboo fence be surroundin' their houses. Stepping stones lead around de houses to a little garden with a few trees an' perhaps a shrubbery or two. Even der gardens are designed to give a feelin' of quiet and peace.

The Land

Ochalea be an island kingdom, just like the Pearl Islands, mohn. But dis island is not rich in farmlands and palm trees like Nuar. It be a rocky place, with large uneven hills everywhere. These hills once be volcanoes, but are now completely inactive and have been so for the past hundreds of years.

In de valleys between de hills, however, dere be another story. Water rolls down de hills, mohn, creatin' rivers that make fertile lands. De Shino-Gawa River be de largest of dem crossing almost de entire nation, mohn. It start from de hills around de town of Wongzhao Tsuhao, den moves down to de lake around the town of Chungklang. From this lake, de largest one in Ochalea, de Shino-Gawa then pours into the Sea of Dawn several days walking away. All along this river are forests and very productive farmlands. Dey be so productive that dey be makin' enough food to feed everyone in de kingdom an' even export some out to other nations.

Dere also be two huge grasslands steppes on de island. One, on de western shore, is also the location of Beitung, the capital city. De other, called de Grasslands of Chi, covers de southern shore of Ochalea. De most southern portion of de flat terrain is actually a tropical jungle, mohn, mostly du to de southerly ocean currents that warm its shores.

The People

Ochaleans are Alphatian an' be having de same coppery skin as all de other Alphatians. Dey usually have dark brown hair, an' eyes vary from brown to amber or golden. Fine facial featuresare very common.

Ochaleans are a peaceful bunch, satisfied with de status quo instead of seekin' to improve themselves. Dey be very scholarly, doing a lot of research an' educatin' der people. Many claim dey be de third most educated nation in de world, only behind Glantri an' Darokin, wherever those places be.

De philosophies of Korys, de Immortal of peace an' prosperity, have made de Ochaleans very quiet and reserved. Dey be extremely polite, mohn, an' often things that everyone else do are considered rude here in Ochalea. True to de ways of Korys, all arguments are settled peacefully through negotiation.

Ochaleans believe in de equality of all men, an' der king be treated no differently den any of de peasants that work on de farms. Women, on de other hand, be treated as inferiors. Der husbands decide der every fate, mohn, an' girls are often items to be negotiated away for pre-arranged marriages instead of children to be loved and thought to live der own lives.

One strange custom of de Ochaleans involves der greeting. Dey be seemin' to like kissin' each other, regardless of gender. It be not uncommon to see a man kissin' a man, or a woman kissin' another woman. An' this be a full kiss on de mouth, mohn, not on de cheek. This appears to be der method of handshaking which be common in de rest of de world. Der be no romantic connotations involved in der greeting kisses.

Recent History

Not much be happening in this land over de years. In AC 1007, Ochalea declared der independence from Thyatis with de Pearl Islands, succeeding thanks to de war Thyatis was in against Alphatia.

Recently, uncovered scrolls have stirred up a big debate between der scholars, mohn. De scrolls seem to indicate that de Ochalean architecture be not from Alphatians but from a race previously living on de Alphatian continent before dey arrived from der own world. This other race was displaced to de island of Ochalea along with other Alphatian undesirables [mainly non- spellcasters, that is. Ed.] where dey created der own culture. De Alphatians seem to have dominated in terms of appearance, since no other racial traits are visible among dem, but it is de philosophies an' architecture of this mysterious race that have dominated Ochalea ever since. Scholars believe that de other race be from de land of Skothar and might actually be de same as de ancestors of de Nuari of de Pearl Islands. Would this not be an interesting development, mohn.

Don't Miss

De architecture is unique throughout de world, mohn, so Ochalea deserves a visit by any tourist. It be a land of beauty, one definitely worth seeing. An' they be havin' an interesting culture as well, worthy of study as any other.
Pearl Islands (Kingdom of the)

Location: south and east of Ochalea, south of the Alatian Islands, north of the Jungle Coast of Davania.
Area: 119,719 sq. mi.
Population: 100,000.
Languages: Nuari (believed to be a dialect of Tanagoro), Thyatian Common (Nuari dialect).
Coinage: None (they use barter), although Thyatian coins are mostly used for and by foreigners.
Thyatian standard: Emperor(pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), and denarius (cp).
Taxes: none, people work freely to improve their nation when the king needs the help.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Pearl diving, jewelry making, and export oftropical fruits.
Important Figures: Nurokidu Nuar (king, human, male, T20).
Flora and Fauna: Mainly dominated by fruit-bearing tropical trees and hardy grasses. Animals include cattle and horse imported from Thyatis. Giant lizards (draco) are also common, as are many sea creatures in the surrounding waters.
Further Reading: GAZ - Dawn of the Emperors boxed Set, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3.

Description: by Kalitoru Nuar

Ah, my homeland be de subject of this entry, and I be proud to give it to ye, mohn.

The Land
From de shores to de slopes of de mountains, tropical forests are everywhere. From these forests come all de wonderful fruits that will delight everyone's stomach. Not many animals be livin' in de woods, either. One only needs to watch out for de famous draco lizards. Streams collect the runoff waters from de mountains and bring them back down to de ocean.
The People

We, de Nuari as we call ourselves, are an energetic people who always strive to do de best we can, mohn. We be fierce fighters yet also great philosophers. We believe in individual excellence in everything we do, whether it be warfare, the arts, theology, or magic. Nowhere can ye find better sailors or scouts than here on the Pearl Islands. It be believed that de Nuari are descendants of Tanagoro colonists from long ago. Ancient scrolls claim that we once be a matriarchal society, but now men an' women be treated equally. We have black skin, brown or black hair and eyes. Nuari are taller than de average Thyatian, but we also be leaner.

De Nuari believe that everyone is equal an' and everyone has de potential to be great. We therefore be nice to everyone, an' expect de same in return. Upon meeting a stranger, Nuari present dem with a small gift, usually a pretty colored shell or stone. De stranger be expected to return a similar gift before de day is over, an' to do otherwise be a sign of dislikin' de person.

One thin' that be shocking most visitor be our lack of concern for wearing clothing. We be born without clothes, so why should we be forced to wear dem at all times, mohn. It be strange how other cultures believe that not wearing clothes is unnatural. What could be natural than de way we be born?

Recent History

As with Ochalea, de Pearl Islands do not have much of a history to tell for de past few years. In AC 1007, we be declaring our independence from Thyatis, an' have held on to it since. Now, we be living peacefully on our own since then.

With de departure of de Thyatian Navy, de town of Seagirt be mostly abandoned now. De king be ruling from de mainly because it be de sight of de palace, an' it be the only town with stone buildings an' a wall around it. Most of Seagirt's people have returned to livin' in simple villages like de rest of de Pearl Islanders.

Thothia (Kingdom of)

Location: Southeastern end of the Isle of Dawn, north of Caerdwicca and east of Provician Septentriona.
Area: 458,157 sq. mi. (95,277 sq. mi. for Thothia proper and another 362,880 sq. mi. for the Thothian Plateau.)
Population: 80,000.
Languages: Nithian (Thothian dialect), Alphatian Common (Thothian dialect, official language).
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: Crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge(cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax, collected yearly.
Government Type: Independent Monarchy, a member of the New Alphatian Confederate Empire.
Industries: Agriculture, fishing and trade.
Important Figures: Pharaoh Ramenhotep XXIV (king, human, male, P10 of Rathanos).
Flora and Fauna: In mainland Thothia, standard desert wildlife can be found. Also, various undead and golem/statues protect the numerous ruins and tombs lost beneath the sands. On the Thothian Plateau, the exact wildlife is still relatively unknown, but there is a known presence of phanatons, centaurs, treants, and aranea.
Further Reading: M5 - Talons of Night, GAZ - Dawn of the Emperors boxed Set, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3.

Description: by Kalitoru Nuar

Thothia be a place worth visitin' if ye be havin' de time an' de money. Sure, mohn, dey be treatin' non-Alphatians like uncivilized barbarians, but at least dey complain when ye show dem ye gold. With de proper money, ye be enjoyin' ye stay, no matter how barbaric dey think ye are, mohn.

The Land

Thothia be mainly one large desert, nothing like our home island of Nuar. Yet dere be farmin' land as well. Most of dem be along de Aurora river, especially in de fertile delta at de river mouth. De desert be very inhospitable, mohn, and I be advising ye not to go unless ye be well trained in surviving in such dry place, our that ye have a good guide. De desert is filled with large, triangular buildings dey call pyramids, which serve to house der dead. It be an expensive way to bury dem, but it comes in real handy when dey be needing to raise dem all to fight in their army, as dey did against Thyatis a few years ago. It be a scary sight to see skeletons and zombie charging againstyou mohn.

The southeastern most edge of de kingdom by a dry grassland where a few herders dwell, but they be mostly scarce. Instead, de grassland be de home of the cat-people called rakasta [of the msongo or fast runner race. Ed.] who run around an' hunt for food. De rakasta are not considered to be citizens of Thothia, yet de nobles often use dem in der armies or as pets. I don't be thinkin' that de rakasta like dis deal, but it seems that dere be to few of dem to do anythin' about it.

Not much be known about de Thothian Plateau. Most who go dere don't come back, and those that do claim dey be attacked by giant spiders call aranea by de locals. De plateau seems to be heavily forested, a sharp contrast to de desert and grassland of Thothiadown below.

The People

Thothia be a strange bunch, mohn. Dey call themselves civilized, yet refuse to deal with other cultures. I be thinkin' that talkin' to others is what make ye civilized, mohn. Dey be small people, with a brownish skin and red hair, although mainy Alphatians have fled here since de war and have now mingled with them.

De Thothians have a deep respect for the dead, an' any form of grave robbin' be a capital offense here. I have always believed in letting de dead go, so I can agree with dis law. Dis respect come from der religin toward de Immortal Rathanos. In fact, der king, called a pharaoh, must be a priest of Rathanos. I guess dis be making Thothia a theocracy of sorts. Who really knows,mohn.

Dere be another religion in Thothia, although this one be without any Immortal. A game called de Spider's Wed be holy to dem, but de pharaoh not be likin' dis game. He be tryin' to get his people to abandon it, and the mysticism that be goin' with it. Dis have something to do with de pharaoh's father, Ramenhotep XXIII, who was being controlled by a spider demon. It seems that he be overthrown by adventurers, mohn, just before the turn of de century [we believe it was circa AC 1000, but this is yet unconfirmed. Ed.], and de new pharaoh doesn't want dem spiders back. Could dey be related to dem aranea on the plateau? Who knows, mohn, but I wouldn't take a chance either.

Recent History

Thothia prefers to be left alone, mohn, so dey not be influencing de world much. Of course, when Thyatis invaded dem after Alphatia sank, de pharaoh showed dem Thyatians just how much dey be wantin' to be alone. Dey animated most of der dead and sent dem off to defeat de invaders. I be thinkin' that de sight of de undead alone was enough to rout de Thyatians. Add magical statues and golems into de group, and ye be seeing that Thothia is powerful indeed mohn.

Dey conquered lands that were originally Alphatian until dere be a peace treaty between Thothia and Thyatis. Dis Treaty of Dawn, as some call it, defined what territories belonged to Alphatia and which would be given to Thyatis. In it, Thothia was granted control of the Great Escarpment, now called de Thothian Plateau. Soon after, Thothia be joinin' de New Alphatian Confederate Empire, re-establishin' its loyalties to de Empress.

Since then, not much has happened. Except for on de plateau. De Thyatian colonists dere have been fleein' into mainland Thothia, askin' for help against the aranea that live dere. Thothia does not care much about dem Thyatians left on der land, but now de spider monsters actually be raidin' into Thothia proper. Many believe that Ramenhotep XXIV will be doing somethin' about it soon, mohn.

Don't Miss

For a Nuari, dere be nothing here to miss. Come and see it all, mohn. De pyramids are examples of spectacular engineering, mohn, an' de statues of sphinxes an' other such monuments are larger dan ye would think possible to create. De culture be different to, an' worth learning about. I must say, I be enjoying that Spider's Web game, to.
Thyatian Provinces

Location: Various places throughout the Isle of Dawn, but concentrated mainly on the west shores.
Area: 401,060 sq. mi. (Caerdwicca: 17,459 sq. mi., Dunadale: 168,605 sq. mi., Furmenglaive: 38,410 sq. mi., Kendach: 12,970 sq. mi., Redstone: 57,864 sq. mi., Septentriona: 95,775 sq. mi., West Portage: 9,977 sq. mi.)
Population: 169,000 (Caerdwicca: 2,000, Dunadale: 64,000, Furmenglaive: 3,000, Kendach: 35,000, Redstone: 50,000, Septentriona: 10,000, West Portage: 5,000).
Languages: Thyatian (Thyatian dialect official, Redstone dialect also common), Alphatian Common (East Portage dialect), Nithian (Thothian dialect).
Coinage: Thyatian Standard: Emperor (pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp).
Alphatian coins are also very common: Crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 25% income tax, collected 4 times a year (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1).
5% sales tax on all items except food and clothing.
Government Type: Dominions under the jurisdiction of the Empire of Thyatis.
Industries: Agriculture, fishing, trade (in general; each province might have a few extra industries as will be noted in their description).
Important Figures: Deitica Baralius (Governor-General of Septentriona, human, female, F13), Jules Docerius (Captain of the Guard of West Portage, human, male, F12) Periandra Docerius, Baroness of West Portage, human, female, F12), Phileus Furmenglaive (Count of Furmenglaive, human werewolf, male, F20), Lyra Furmenglaive (Countess of Furmenglaive, human werewolf, female, P20 of Protius), Marie Kendach (Countess of Kendach, human, female, F9), Uthgaard McRhomaag (Baron of Caerdwicca, human, male, F16), Edmondo Tiberia (Duke of Dunadale, human, male, F11), Anaxibius Torion (Count of Redstone, human, male, F20), Stefania Torion (Countess of Redstone, human, female, F5 dual-classed to T14).
Flora and Fauna: The Thyatian provinces have the normal animals and plants found for lands of their climate and weather (which are too numerous to all list here). Of special note, goblinoids and roaming bands of mercenary bandits can be found in the hills of the province of Dunadale and Redstone. Caerdwicca and the Protectorate of Septentriona have also been experiencing raids from the Aranea of the Great Escarpment.
Further Reading: M5 - Talons of Night, GAZ - Dawn of the Emperors boxed Set, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3.

Description: by Titia Solenius

The Empire of Thyatis is a feudal monarchy (where the king is called Emperor) in which several nobles swear fealty to the Empire. These nobles are granted dominions within the Empire, and answer directly to the Emperor and Senate. On the mainland, these dominions are called by their rank, that is Barony, County, or even Duchy. When a dominion is not located within the mainland of the Empire, it is traditionally referred to as a province. In fact, so far only the Isle of Dawn and the colonies on Davania have provinces. Except for this difference in terminology, a ruler from the provinces have all the same rights and privileges as any dominion ruler of the same rank from the mainland.

The Land and the People

There are currently seven provinces on the Isle of Dawn.
Caerdwicca (Barony) is a small forested province just south of the Thothia Plateau. The barony is rather poor compared to most dominions, and there is no military stronghold to speak of. In fact, McRhomaag Castle is nothing more than a simple two-story building with a wooden wall and ditch surrounding it. The Baron doesn't seem to fear attacks or pirate raids. In fact, pirates docked in the ports often and act respectable when in the Ceardwicca Town. Rumors claim that the Baron McRhomaag has made several deals with these pirates, but I cannot confirm or deny these reports. The people of the town don't complain and in fact enjoy the business goods brought to them by these fraudulent merchants. In fact, their largest concerns at the moment come from the several reported sightings of giant spiders near the Thothian Plateau.

The Province of Dunadale {It has been elevated to Duchy status for three years) was in fact a kingdom of the Empire of Alphatia until it was conquered in AC 1010. The Thyatian rulership of the dominion was confirmed with the Isle of Dawn Treaty, after which Governor-General Tiberia was named Duke of the land. Now the Thyatian population is on the rise, while Alphatian residents are slowly moving back to Alphatian dominions. Starting from the shoreline, the first 120 kilometers (75 miles) inland are flat and suitable for farming. This is where most colonists sent to the Isle of Dawn from mainland Thyatis make their new homes. Beyond these plains, hills and bogs dominate. In fact, most valleys between the hilltops are swamplands, and entire patrols have disappeared into the muck. The Dunadale Bogs, as they are known, cover over half of the dominion. In fact, many creatures and bandits make their lairs within these swamps [including Mario's Marauders, if reports are accurate. Ed.]. Entire Legions are often sent to patrol the borders to the Dunadale Bogs, but still raids make it in and out without problem. The Duke rules the province from the City of Dunadale.

Furmenglaive (County) is the province I enjoy the least being stationed at. The people claim that their hills are the home to undead, lycanthropes, and evil wizards. On each of my patrols, I always had this dark feeling of being watched or followed. This leads me to believe the rumors. Even Castle Furmenglaive, a black fortress sitting atop a large cliff overlooking the sea, looks and feels haunted. Strange noises are reported by most Legionnaires who stay at the castle, especially during periods of the full moon. One lieutenant in fact even claimed werewolves lived within the castle walls, but the Count and Countess deny these claims. The provinces itself is mainly hills and grasslands, with forests near the border to Caerdwicca. Most villages in the provinces are well fortified, and the townsfolk diligently patrol the town walls - they do not take their fear of the monsters in the hills lightly, and in fact I can't say I blame them. Many patrols sent into the wilderness have never returned.

Castle Kendach is the heart of the county of the same name. This small province is mainly flat farmlands located just south of the narrowest point of the Isle of Dawn. The southern edge of the county is in fact dominated by marshy wetlands where goblinoids and bandits are known to make their camps. Kendach has always had a military heart out of all the Thyatian Province, and for a soldier like myself, there is no better place to live. Their fortress are in top condition, and everything town has centered their industry on entertaining the military. My men mostly enjoy the numerous brothels and seedy taverns that can be found through the town of Kendach. Kendach laws are more intolerant toward Alphatians, and more recently, of Westrourkites and Helskirians. It is believed that this is because of the Countess' desire of revenge against Alphatians for killing her mother during the Wrath of the Immortals. Her anger toward Westrourkites and Helskirians [if it is indeed because of anger. Ed.] is probably because they have since declared independence from the Empire.

Redstone (County) is another province renown for its military. While Kendach is regarded as the best place to be posted as a Legionnaire, Redstone is definitely the best training ground for new recruits. It's smiths and armorers are in fact the most renown of the entire Isle of Dawn. As to be expected from new recruits, the military part of the population tend to be rowdy and noisy. The local inhabitants, however, are rather superstitious and hold many beliefs in ghosts and fearies and such. In fact, no Legionnaire or official have ever seen any fey creatures in the land, yet everyone can swear that someone they know has. Sidhes are reported in Sidhe Woods, and it is said that evil fearies control the giant wolves that attack travelers near Ashton Woods. People even keep vigils for the Redstone Lough monster [we are still looking for proof as to its existence as well. Ed.]. In terms of land, Redstone has everything from the hobgoblin infested Fengallen Marshes in the west to the Sutherland Grasslands in the north atop the huge cliffs overlooking the Western Sea of Dawn. Farmlands dominate the north-west, while the southern coast is mainly hills.

The province of Septentriona is actually a protectorate under military jurisdiction. Currently, Governor-General Deitica Baralius is in charge of this dense forest wilderness. This land is one of the two places being colonized by Thyatians from the mainland [the other being Dunadale. Ed.]. Still, people here report many strange sightings within the dark woods, and patrols of Legionnaires have in fact disappeared without a trace. The colonists claim that the forest is haunted and that the shadows come alive and slay all those who trespass. This is how the area received the name Shadow Coast during the past couple of decades. What exactly goes on in those woods is anyone's guess, and I myself have never been posted to the area so I cannot comment. From what I hear, the woods are so thick that sunlight barely reaches the ground beneath the canopies, so whatever "shadows" people see, can be any number of creatures simply misidentified because of the poor lighting. The Emperor is keeping Septentriona as imperial territory so he can carve it up as dominions granted to heroes who have helped the Empire.

Finally, West Portage (Barony) is the famous province renown for the Crossdawn Road. This road crosses the narrowest point of the Isle of Dawn, and many merchants prefer to make an overland travel from East Portage to West Portage rather than sail around the entire island. The rugged lands of West Portage have absolutely no resources to offer the people living there. In fact, their entire industries relies on the trade and commerce that uses the Crossdawn Road. More so than any other community on the Isle of Dawn, the people of West Portage are so use to having their city change hands from one empire to the other that they don't even notice anymore. In fact, they simply ignore whoever is in charge and get on about their lives. West Portage is crawling with thieves hoping to get their hands on some (and even all) of the cargo that crosses through the town. Any Legionnaire posted to West Portage is sure to have his hands full with bandits and rogues. Captain Jules Docerius tries his best to rout this thieves, but they are much to clever [I personally believe he is actually working for them, but as yet have no proof. BF.].

Recent Events

During the famous war of the Wrath of the Immortals, the Isle of Dawn practically completely fell into the hands of the Empire of Alphatia. Many Thyatian nobles, including Countess Julia Kendach, General Harantius Lycrandonion (of Redstone), and Archduke Donegal Firestorm (of Westrourke) were killed in these massive battles. They even went so far as to invade Thyatis City. Then the Immortals showed their wrath against the Alphatians who dared attack the empire and sank their continent beneath the cold waters of the sea.

Since that fateful day in AC 1009, Thyatis reclaimed most of the Isle of Dawn. Stefania Torion, daughter of Emperor Thincol, was granted Redstone as a county, dividing the province of Westrourke. In fact, Thyatis continued even pass this point and proceeded to invaded the Alphatian Kingdoms on the Isle. Dunadale, East Portage, Ekto and Trikelios all fell to the might Legions. But then Thothia retaliated and conquered most of them back. With the death of Emperor Thincol, Duke Thrainkell Firestorm declared independence for Westrourke. The wars ended in AC 1012 with the Treaty of Dawn [or Isle of Dawn Treaty. Ed.], in which Alphatia regained all her kingdoms except for Dunadale. In exchange, Thyatis granted Thothia sole ownership of the unclaimed Great Escarpment [now called the Thothian Plateau. Ed.] Dunadale was promoted to full duchy status shortly afterwards.

Now, the southern provinces receive refugees from the Thothian Plateau claiming giant spiders chased them out of their homes. The Legion officially does not involve itself in these matters, even though the refugees are Thyatian colonists, mainly because the land belongs to Thothia. In fact, these aranea spiders have made a few excursions into both Caerdwicca, Kendach, and Septentriona, and now the Legion is definitely looking into things.

Also, Marie Kendach is very disappointed with the results of the Treaty. She lost the Kendach Plateau during these talks, and the new fortress built high atop the plateau now falls into the jurisdiction of Ekto. Because of this, and the relative impunity with which Duke Firestorm separated from the empire, the Countess of Kendach is a rather angry noble.

Don't Miss.

There are many places to see throughout the various provinces. The Herdane Escarpment of Dunadale allows an impressive view of the sunrise, and the cliff itself makes a great challenge for those who enjoy climbing. If you want to taste the life of a pirate, Caerdwicca is the place to go. The impressive Redstone Castle is by far the most amazing fortress to visit on the entire Isle of Dawn. Even the gnomish contraption that lifts boats onto land at West Portage is worth a visit, from far of course - I wouldn't trust a gnomish invention too much.

My favorite sites are in fact the numerous battlefields that dot the land. I find it a shear joy to stand atop the hills once used by commanders of numerous armies and retrace in my mind the maneuvers and battles that took place in the fields below. To relive the tactics used by General Martigan or General Bentharzim of the Alphatians or of the late General Lycrandonion of Thyatis always manages to impress me with the sheer simplicity and brilliance of their strategies. Perhaps one day, people will even come here to see where I stood when I lead my men to victory.