NEPA Known World
The Empire of Alphatia
The Empire of Alphatia is the most significant nation to affect the Known World. It has two complete continents under it’s sway and has territories on three others, and a thousand years ago it held most of the territories that now belong to Thyatis as well. The centre of the empire is the continent of Alphatia, a rich land of numerous independent nations. In the southwest it is sunny and temperate with prosperous farmland and pastures. The southeast is much the same if not more densely populated because of it’s rich farmland. The northeast and mountainous northwest are wild and cold and only sparsely populated. This however affords many of the countries wizards much privacy and so the land of the northeast is dotted with their towers or summer villas for the nobles that require more luxurious privacy. The central regions are thick with deep forests littered with dangerous beasts and monsters, many of whom are the result of some evil wizards experiment for it is here that those that require the most privacy to conduct their wild experiments come.
Other regions of the empire have been conquered and settled so as a buffer to protect the motherland from foreign incursion and disruption, for the wizards do not like to be disturbed from their work. To it’s southwest Alphatia holds the eastern half of the Isle of Dawn which is the site of constant struggle for power with Thyatis, Alphatia’s nemesis of a thousand years. To the southeast lies the continent of Bellissaria, with it’s rich soil and low mountains, where life is much the same as the Alphatian mainland except it tends to be quieter and more peaceful. To the north of the Known World is Norwold, a harsh and sparsely populated land. Its climate is chilly but temperate, although the north is bitterly cold in winter with it’s Great Bay often completely freezing over. Most of the land here is an untouched wilderness of evergreen hills and steep mountain ranges and still clear lakes. Finally to the east lies Esterhold which is a broad peninsula of the eastern continent of Skothar. It is a barren waste of rolling grassland dotted with light scrub and forest. The two settlements here are kept going mainly by slave labour of the Jennites who account for well over half the population.
Alphatian history on Mystara dates back two millennia, when the first Alphatians arrived on Mystara fleeing from the destruction of their world in a war between their two greatest schools of magic; air and fire. However in their flight much of their magic was lost but still superior to those the peoples that they encountered on their arrival. Within a short time they had brought their new land under their sway and conducted trade with the neighbouring lands. About twelve hundred years ago they began to grow concerned at the growing strength of the Thyatian peoples and decided to bring them under the sway of the empire. Two hundred years later they rebelled and have been struggling against each other ever since. About sixty years ago after another broken Thyatian treaty they almost managed to conquer Thyatis again only to be repelled at the last minute. Fifteen years ago Alphatia began to colonise Norwold to prevent the Thyatians from doing the same. It appears that it is to become another point of contention between the two empires.
The Alphatian Empire as a whole has around eight and a half million subjects. Because of this there is a vast variety of places and peoples under it’s sway from pale skinned “Pure” Alphatians and the more copper skinned “common” Alphatians, and descendants of all the peoples that they have conquered. In Alphatia however the use of magic is held above all else. Those that have the ability to use magic are automatically an Aristocrat, and those that can’t wield magic are treated as second class citizens or worse. All children are tested at birth for magical talent and those with potential are trained in the arcane arts receiving many benefits. While it is possible for anyone to become rich and powerful those without magical abilities can never attain the highest levels of society. There are however a few countries in the empire that are friendly to those of non-magical persuasion, particularly the dwarven Kingdom of Stoutfellow. Outside the mainland itself non-magicians are generally treated better and society is more tolerant, even if magic users are treated better. While in most countries in Alphatia only humans and demi humans are regarded as citizens, in the Kingdom of Limn any sentient creature may be one. Here those creatures that can use magic even hold Aristocrat status, so one cannot simply slay a monster here as it could result in a conviction for murder!
Religion and Government
The Empire is ruled by the Empress Eriadna and a council of one thousand of the most powerful magic users of the Empire, while the individual kingdoms are semi autonomous and run by a King or Queen, which is usually hereditary. Many immortals are worshiped in the empire but the most notable of them are Alphatia, Patron of the Arts and the Empire, and Razud, Patron of Magic. Koryis, Patron of Peace and Prosperity, is also worshiped by many merchants in Alphatia.