Heroes with no Homeland
Once the strongest bastion of the Five Nations, Karrnath suffered terribly during the Last War. A
proud military tradition and a drive for excellence in all aspects of life empowered Karrnath before the war. However, the reputation of its military proved false after Aundair delivered several swift defeats during the war. Karrnath used necromancy to create undead legions from its fallen soldiers, to no avail. Today, Karrnath struggles against plague and famine.
Karrnath is one of the oldest human cultures in Khorvaire. It is still the mightiest military power on the continent, and King Kaius III is still Karrnath’s ruler. Although some Karrns do not trust the king, they acknowledge that he is methodical, powerful, and skilled. Between his own abilities and those of the lords, generals, and landowners who support him, Kaius could transform Karrnath into an unstoppable force once again. This ambition causes the other nations to eye Karrnath with wariness, despite King Kaius’s public support for peace.
The nation is hardly in a position to engage in an extended military campaign. Even though Karrnath boasts rich farmland, it lacks a sufficient number of experienced farmers to work it, and much of it still lies fallow two years after the end of the war. The nation trades livestock and lumber for the food staples it requires, but its population barely survives. A growing number of nobles, generals, and warlords see the army as a viable solution to this problem, and insist that Karrnath can take what it needs from its neighbors. So far, cooler heads have prevailed.
Unlike people elsewhere, Karrns aren’t horrified at the notion of undeath, due to the large numbers of undead that served—and still serve—in the Karrnathi military. Karrnath’s culture is focused on military service; Karrns value discipline and strength, and they have more respect for a leader they fear than for one they love.
Although ancient structures found across Karrnath predate Galifar, following the Last War Karrnath contains the largest number of modern military structures of any of the remaining Five Nations. Every territory is ruled by a warlord who swears fealty to King Kaius. Travel within the nation is relatively safe near the major communities, where the roads are patrolled by warlords’ soldiers, but a journey through more rural regions can prove dangerous.
Atur: The City of Night stands beneath the peaks of the Ashen Spires, where it remains cloaked in shadows for all but a few hours each day. For the living, the city is known as a hotbed of debauchery, bursting with taverns and bordellos. Below the city lie the Vaults of the Dead, where Karrnath’s undead soldiers await future orders.
The Crimson Monastery: A large, labyrinthine complex overlooking Atur, the Crimson Monastery is
the heart of the Blood of Vol faith in Karrnath.
Crownhome: A heavily built, thickly walled military fortress, Crownhome is the seat of government and the location of King Kaius’s home in Korth.
Karrlakton: Karrlakton, one of the nation’s greatest cities, suffers terribly from its proximity to the Mournland. The populace lives under a pall of despair, and many have fled the city. They have been replaced by crazed prophets and doomsayers who predict the end of the city—if not the world—when the Mourning spreads. Still, the city survives as one of the preeminent sources of arms and armor in Khorvaire.
Korth: The capital and largest city of Karrnath, Korth is a military city with its heavy stone buildings and straight, narrow roads. The city is divided into five major wards, each with its own particular flavor and culture and each marred by the scars of siege.
The Nightwood: Ostensibly a forest preserve, the Nightwood is known for the monstrous creatures that emerge from the forest’s center. Local rumor claims that the forest hides a fissure that reaches to Khyber.
Rekkenmark: Rekkenmark is yet another of Karrnath’s great cities that has lost its purpose since the war. Located at the terminus of White Arch Bridge, the city’s role as a center of trade was lost when the bridge was destroyed during the war. Today, the city is known primarily for the Rekkenmark Academy. It was once the most prestigious military academy in the nation, and although it was forced to close during the war, the academy has recently reopened its doors,
bringing some economic life back to the city.
Sentinel Tower: A great fortress in the heart of Karrlakton, Sentinel Tower is a House Deneith
enclave and the home to Deneith’s Sentinel Marshals.
The Ziggurat of the Twelve: A great floating fortress that casts its shadow over Wollvern Park in Korth, the Ziggurat is the headquarters of the Twelve, an arcane organization founded by the dragonmarked houses during the early days of the Kingdom of Galifar.
People of Karrnath
The people of Karrnath are a disciplined people accustomed to military law. After humans, who make up over half the population, dwarves constitute the second largest group in Karrnath, unsurprising given the nation’s proximity to the Mror Holds. Halflings, often from the Talenta Plains, are the next most common, followed by half-elves and elves. In pursuit of Karrnath’s efforts to improve its military might, it has begun to accept dragonborn warriors immigrating
For a time, the Blood of Vol was the government supported state religion of Karrnath. Those days have ended under Kaius III, but the faith is still practiced commonly throughout the nation. Most of Khorvaire’s citizens devote themselves to the Sovereign Host, and a sizable minority worships the Dark Six.
Karrns favor dark clothing, crisp lines, and military dress; formal wear among civilians closely resembles official uniforms. Bright colors are considered appropriate only for children, and wearing such colors to a formal function is a minor faux pas.