D&D 3.0: Tales from Mystara
The Empire of Alphatia
Alphatia refers both to a continent and an Empire in TSR’s fantasy game setting, Mystara. The Continent of Alphatia is nearly 2,000,000 square miles in area and has approximately 7,500,000 inhabitants. The continent of Alphatia is the center of the Alphatian Empire.
Unlike most humans on Mystara, Alphatians are an “alien” human race, having arrived from another plane after they destroyed their original Empire. The Alphatian people consist of two sub-races, the pale-skinned, dark-haired “pure” Alphatians and the more common copper-skinned “Cypri” Alphatians.
Ruler: Empress Eriadna the Wise
Languages: Alphatian (official), Elvish (Shiye-Lawr dialect), Dwarvish (Denwarf-Hurgon dialect)
Rumors, Lore and Places of Interest:
The Empire of Alphatia is built on powerful magic, but unlike Glantri all manner of spellcasters are welcome. Spellcasters are aristocracy by default, while all others are second-class citizens.
The Kingdom of Floating Ar is composed of flying cities and mountains.
The Alphatian military maintains fleets of enchanted flying warships.
The city of Trollhattan is inhabited by all manner of intelligent creatures, all of them citizens of the Empire.
The city of Sea Shield is built inside a vast dome on the sea floor off the coast of mainland Alphatia.
Legend has it that the Alphatians are originally from another world, where all citizens were wizards. But a war between two rival schools of magic tore their home asunder. The victors eventually traveled to Mystara to rebuild their shattered empire. It is said that the surviving losers eventually found their way to Glantri.
In the course of their expansion, they came into contact with the Thyatians. Conflicts arose, and eventually Alphatia saw fit to solve the problem by conquering the Thyatian tribes. In a quick and violent campaign Alphatia succeeded in subjugating the Thyatians. Eventually, the Thyatians were able to regain their independence, and to this day are still a thorn in Alphatia’s collective side, as both empires have squabbled over territories in the Kingdom of Norwold, the Isle of Dawn, and even in Emirates of Ylaruam.
Originally, nearly all Alphatians were spellcasters, but after the migration to Mystara, the percentage of the population with the ability to wield magic has dropped. Despite this, Alphatia still has one of the highest concentrations of wizards in the world.
Alphatia is a large Empire within the Mystara campaign setting. It is located east of the continent of Brun and west of Skothar. It is a large Imperial Magocracy (ruled by spellcasters), consisting of numerous Kingdoms loosely united under the rule of an Emperess. In the module CM1, Test of the Warlords, three crones call Alphatia “Atlantis”. This direct reference is not repeated again in canon, but Alphatia is partly inspired by Plato’s description of Atlantis, and its ultimate fate draws upon the legend of Atlantis. However, the Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, which details both Alphatia and The Thyatian Empire, gives Alphatia a unique flavor.
The territories of Alphatia include the island-continent of Alphatia itself, the somewhat smaller island-continent of Bellisaria, the eastern half of the Isle of Dawn, the Alatian Isles south of the Isle of Dawn, Esterhold, a large peninsula of Skothar, and the disputed lands of The Kingdom of Norwold. Alphatia’s capital is Sundsvall, the “City Built by Magic”, a large city in south-central continental Alphatia. Sundsvall is also the capital of the Kingdom of Vertiloch, which is ruled directly by Alphatia’s reigning Empress Eriadna. Other major cities include Aasla, in the Kingdom of Haven, and Draco in the Kingdom of Stonewall, both of which are port cities.
Alphatia’s traditional rival is the Western Empire of Thyatis, which was ruled by Alphatia for two centuries (BC 192 – BC 2) until it successfully rebelled and carved its own Empire out of former Alphatian territories. In the AC 1000 timeline, the two powers are locked in a fantasy version of the Cold War.
Alphatia is ruled by an Emperor or Empress who is advised by a Council of Wizards. The power of the Empire is mitigated by the fact that Alphatia’s fractious Kingdoms, with their own rulers, are only loosely controlled and normally very hard for the central government to coordinate. An exception to this came in the Wrath of the Immortals, where immortal interference caused the normally disunited and chaotic Alphatians to unite in the cause of destroying The Principalities of Glantri. At the end of this campaign, the continent of Alphatia was destroyed, though numerous Alphatian kingdoms on the imperial fringe remained active.
After the events of The Wrath of the Immortals, the main continent of Alpatia and its population were rebuilt by the Immortals as a floating continent in the Hollow World.
Notes from the Dungeon Master:
Obviously this is a good point of origin for spellcasters of any sort. But other professions are also found here, as wizards always need someone to do their dirty work.
Several different cultures are territories of the Empire, including one based on ancient Egypt. There is too much information to list it all here.
For more information see the Dawn of the Emperors boxed set.