Duchess Alia rules over the duchy of Desereth, in southeastern Thyatis. The duchy boasts wide open prairies home to the fastest horses in Thyatis and the largest paramilitary force in the empire in the form of the nomadic Bedine. Big Plain Junction and Waterford are two of its larger central baronies, but there are over a dozen more, some barely a hundred acres in size. Bahamut and Kord have a strong following, with Erathis a distant third.
Desereth was one of the last duchies to be conquered by Thyatis, in large part because the nobles believed Desereth was more trouble than it was worth. The Deserethis fought like wolverines for every inch of land, and simply rebelled again as soon as the Imperial Guard left town. The key to conquering Desereth was not arms but words; Alia’s grandmother famously negotiated a truce with the Bedine nomads, trading horses for steel arms and effectively hiring them as a cost-effective, elite border patrol.
Desereth has more than its fair share of adventurers, but it’s also got more than its fair share of goblins, wolves, bandits and cold hard bastards. The Imperial Guard don’t show their faces too often except around Conscription season, when they’re a welcome sight compared to the Bedine, who have been known to drag criminals behind their horses until the ropes snap, leaving their dying bodies to be picked alive by vultures.
Due to coming so late to the Imperial party, Desereth has a tiny duchy connected to a double handful of equally small baronies. Most of its land is on the Outer Rim, and more than half of the folks out there don’t pay tribute. As a result, Desereth tends to pay its tribute in soldiers and horses. What it lacks in population it makes up for in sheer guts: It’s no secret that the Empress herself hails from Desereth, and her elite guard has as many Deserethi as the other houses are willing to let her have.