Facing the Faceless
The Fortress is the colloquial term for the capital city of Thyatis. Previously called merely “Thyatis” in the early days when Thyatis was merely a nation, it grew too confusing to refer to the noble house, the empire, the capital, and the duchies and ducal seats of Northern and Southern Thyatis by the same name. Consequently, the massive military complex the imperial seat was rapidly becoming was nicknamed ‘The Fortress’, and over the past hundred years it has become so near as to the official name that many minor officials occasionally write in the false title on the capital city in legalese.
The official title of the city, used in property leases and bureaucratic forms as early as fifty years after the empire’s inception, is The Grand Imperial Capital of Thyatis, but everyone still calls it the Fortress. Fortifications outside the Fortress may be known as keeps, castles, or even just fortifications, but only the Fortress is referred to as such by Thyatians.
Centuries after its inception, the Fortress remains a bastion of Imperial might. This is, as most things in Thyatis, as pragmatic as it is symbolic; any duchy who dares secede would face an immediate retribution from a sizeable fraction of the Imperial Guard on its closest city- the ducal seat. Additionally, at all times the Imperial Guard is garrisoned in sufficient numbers that it could overwhelm the combined might of any two given duchies, rendering an invasion logistically impossible.
In times of barbaric marauders like goblins or orcs, the ducal regions are divided by terrain such that a mindlessly marauding force would be channeled towards an Inner Duchy and in dire cases, the Fortress itself. It has withstood over a dozen of these types of invasions; when properly forewarned, the Imperial Guard can flank an army who has penetrated to an Inner Duchy from the other three sides, falling in on the massed foes and cutting off all avenues of retreat.