Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

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redking
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Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by redking » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:59 pm

I'm not a fan of Alphatia sinking beneath the waves and ending up in the Hollow World. Here's an alternative.

The doomsday device is activated and a magical attack is centered on Sundsvall (effectively a magical nuke). This attack burns down half the city and creates a magic dead zone comprising all of mainland Alphatia.

At this moment there is no magic in Alphatia whatsoever. After about a month it appears that magic will never return and the wizard and cleric rulers of Alphatia are suddenly vulnerable to the non-magical masses. With Eriadna dead and clear authority undetermined, an Alphatian general named Cromveil takes this opportunity to lead a coup against the magical rulers of Alphatia.

Unbeknownst to mortals, the losing side in the Wrath of the Immortals (the entropics) has been required to fix the magic dead zone within a year. The entropics work out a way to fix the magic dead zone within six months but stick to the letter of the ruling against them and only restore magic to Alphatia exactly a year after magic was lost.

Before a year is out, Cromveil is in control of 2/3rd of mainland Alphatia. Then magic is suddenly restored and Cromveil begins to lose battles everywhere. Two months after magic is restored Cromveil is in chains.

These events are a huge shock to the ruling establishment of Alphatia who have felt vulnerability for the very first time. With about half of their number dead the wizard rulers become more insular and conservative. Alphatia goes through a period of isolationism and self-reflection.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Sturm » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:24 am

Good idea, I did something similar but magic did not go away for so long. However many people disappeared (presumed dead in the earthquakes, but really moved to the Hollow World) and Alphatia became isolationist. IMC Zandor was not madly stupid and tried instead to unify the empire.
I still kept Alphatia in the HW too because it could be interesting, but there to Eriadna was very cautious in interacting with local cultures and limited the activities of the Neatharum as per canon.
Campaign did not progress enough to explore what will happen in the future.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:45 pm

There have been some other counterfactual histories of post-Wrath Alphatia written, along similar lines. My own Alphatia suffered a fate not terribly different from what you describe here. I think one of the best plotted out is Geoff Gander's Alternate Alphatian Timeline at the Vaults of Pandius. You might find some ideas there that support your own counterfactual version.
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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Mike » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 pm

I generally prefer to sink it without the hollow world, so its simply the end of Alphatia. I've always seen Alphatia as a poor fit in Mystara... too big and too powerful. So sinking solves a problem.
Last edited by Mike on Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by stebehil » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:26 pm

Mike wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 pm
I generally prefer to sink it without the hollow world, so itshe simply the end of Alphatia. I've always seenice Alphatia as a poor fit in Mystara... too big and too powerful. So sinking solves a problem.
That was my take on the story anyway: The idea to contrast a fighters empire to a wizards empire was nice, but got way out of hand. So, a world-shaking event was introduced to cut the wizards down to size. I would not have the whole empire obliterated, however, but have it reduced to a fraction of its former power.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:46 pm

I prefer handling this in-game. Instead of removing the effect, I prefer a storyline in which Master Terari manages to bring Alphatia back to the surface as part of his quest for Immortality. This could form the basis of a campaign where the players either aid Terari or oppose him. Restoring Alphatia on the surface does not mean they return to full power right away. It might take decades or even longer before they are restored to the situation in AC1000 depending on the needs of the campaign.

To me, Alphatia is one of the things that make Mystara unique so it is a feature I would rather have in the world.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Mike » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:02 pm

I have contemplated another way to handle it: Alphatia is made up of interesting nations, each as large as (or larger than) a nation on the continent. If Alphatia was a weak confederation, or even just broken up into independent states, its power would be less focused, as it would dissipate a lot of its energy on internal squabbles. Just two or three allied Alphatian states could give Thyatis a run for its money. Breakup could also be a permanent result of WOTI - capital and council obliterated, survivors divided and angry.

For Thyatis to really match Alphatia I feel it needs to conquer the entire known world, as in the old Masters Set map. KW vs Alphatia is a more even match.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:13 pm

Mike wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:02 pm
For Thyatis to really match Alphatia I feel it needs to conquer the entire known world, as in the old Masters Set map. KW vs Alphatia is a more even match.
Although it was never said explicitly, I always assumed that most of the KW nations would side with Thyatis in a conflict with Alphatia. That would really fit with the Cold War analogy with Thyatis allying with smaller nations against a chaotic Empire. X11 Saga of the Shadowlord enforces this by having agents of Thyatis come to the aid of Wendar.

But I think the main thing that kept Alphatia from conquering the Known World was always that the Wizard Kings of Alphatia could never agree on such an undertaking. Eriadna might be their Empress, but they had enough internal conflicts to keep a real conquest from happening.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Mike » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:25 pm

That's a cool idea. Sort of an m-NATO type of thing. The DDC would fit smoothly into that too.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:33 pm

Mike wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:25 pm
That's a cool idea. Sort of an m-NATO type of thing. The DDC would fit smoothly into that too.
Yeah, that is sort of what I was thinking. Or if you want a more historical analogy, the Delian League of Athens might also be appropriate. Ylaruam and Ethengar might be tough to bring into the alliance, but it might work.

Good point about the DDC.

All-out war between Thyatis and Alphatia is hard to simulate realistically due to the powerful magical capabilities of Alphatia (and some extent the KW as well), but cold war rivalry is a cool backdrop for many kinds of adventures.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Sturm » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:11 am

I mostly assumed Alphatia was never much united, which indeed it is quite clear looking at the map with all the fortified borders between Kingdoms. IMC I even had a full civil war after WotI, mirroring Nayce canon squabbling.
In Threshold issue #11 I also assumed not only there were internal conflicts in Alphatia, but also Milenia first, then Minaea and Jen were much more threatening that the Alphatians normally let know to outsiders, and I am going to use this concept too in issue #20

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Havard » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:21 pm

Sturm wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:11 am
I mostly assumed Alphatia was never much united, which indeed it is quite clear looking at the map with all the fortified borders between Kingdoms. IMC I even had a full civil war after WotI, mirroring Nayce canon squabbling.
Makes sense.
In Threshold issue #11 I also assumed not only there were internal conflicts in Alphatia, but also Milenia first, then Minaea and Jen were much more threatening that the Alphatians normally let know to outsiders, and I am going to use this concept too in issue #20
Indeed. Alphatia has alot to worry about other than the Known World. Both Skothar and Norwold come to mind.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by redking » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:44 pm

I assume that Alphatia already has much on its hands. Norwold and the other colonies (except for Bellisaria), far from being profitable, are actually a drain on the treasury. They are backwards lands, undeveloped, and of little interest to the spellcasters of Alphatia. Alphatia itself is a wondrous place. There are conveniences in Alphatia unknown anywhere in the world. These conveniences mean it is very difficult to get Alphatians to go and colonize other lands. Adding more territories is not what the Alphatians want.

My hypothesis is that Alphatia could have quickly won the war with Glantri/Thyatis, but the authorities just couldn't get the most powerful wizards interested in fighting the war. In their minds there was no existential threat to Alphatia, just a war with no real consequences. Until the winter of 1009 AC, that is. The Glantrian doomsday weapon is activated, destroys the Alphatian captial city, Sundsvall, and kills many of the 'Thousand Wizards' rulers of Alphatia. What followed was a week without magic, which united the Alphatians against a concrete threat. It was then that the Thousand Wizards were convened to end the war with a devastating strike against Glantri.

Obviously the Thousand Wizards could have been convened at the beginning of the war and ended the war instantly. The problem is that these are very individualistic wizards, with individual agendas, many of whom do not necessarily approve of genocide. Unleashing the Thousand Wizards in all their might is like using nuclear weapons - only an equivalent attack, like the attack on Sundsvall by the doomsday weapon, would warrant a response from the Thousand Wizards.
Last edited by redking on Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

Post by Sturm » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:38 am

I fully agree that the individualism of wizards explains why the Empire is not bigger. Many fan works assumes rightfully some wizards have carved their own private dominions in Brun, Davania and Skothar, as canonically happened briefly in Atruaghin lands.

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