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Karameikos (Kingdom of)

Location: East of Thyatis, west of the Five Shires, and south of Darokin and Aengmor.
Area: 46,750 sq. mi. (105,188 km2)
Population: 351,000 humans (40% Thyatian, 60% Traladaran) and 81,000 demi-humans (90% elves, 5% gnomes, 3% dwarves, 2% halflings).
Languages: Thyatian Common, Traladaran, Elvish (Callarii, Vyalia, Alfheim and Erewan dialects). Thyatian is the official language of the nation.
Coinage: Royal (gp), crona (sp), and kopec (cp).
Taxes: Quarterly income tax of 25% for commoners and 20% for nobles. Sales tax of 5% as well as an import tax of 1%.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Logging, mining (gold and silver), agriculture.
Important Figures: Stefan Karameikos III (King, human, male, F15), Olivia Karameikos (Queen, human, female, T12), Terari (Headmaster of the School of Magecraft, human, male, M20).
Flora and Fauna: The wilderness of Karameikos is inhabited with all sort of animals and monsters. Various reports of lycanthropes, vampires, and other undead are very common.
Further Reading: GAZ 1 - The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, AC1010 Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3, Joshuan's Almanac, and Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure boxed set.

Description: by Joshuan Gallidox

Having lived and wandered through Karameikos for several years, I am honoured to be able to describe the richness and beauties one can find in this energetic, young nation. Karameikos is a land that seeks a bright future, but is also highly respectful of the past. It is home to several large cities of civilisation, yet covered in untamed wilderness. Even the people can be divided in two direction: the Thyatians and the Traladarans. Despite all this, it is wonderfully united all in one, making Karameikos the vibrant kingdom it is today.

The Land

Thick, dark primeval forests is probably the best way to describe the lands of Karameikos. Only a few small stretches of land around the larger cities have been cleared for farmlands, while the rest of the nation is uncharted woods.

Despite being mostly wilderness, King Stefan has been working hard on creating numerous roads throughout his nation. While these roads are impressive near the cities of Mirros and Kelvin, with their fine cobblestones and Thyatian engineering, once the city walls are out of sight, they quickly turn into nothing more than a well-used trail. Still, the King's men patrol these narrow dirt roads, making them some of the safest in the Old World. Also, many villages with welcoming inns and households dot these trails, allowing a traveller to always get a comfortable night's sleep.

Further up north, the relatively flat shorelands slowly turn into rolling hills. Many veins have been discovered in these hills, and the mining industry of the nation is slowly on the rise. Soon enough, the hills turn into the towering Cruth Mountains, marking the northern limits of the nation.

To date, only five baronies can be found within the nation:

Halag, once known as the Black Eagle Barony, is a land trying to recover from a former tyrannical ruler. To date, there is no baron to rule over the land, only a castellan appointed by the king.

Kelvin is a major trade city at the heart of the nation. Almost all trade goods from the northern lands of the kingdom will pass through this walled city. A sturdy stone bridge allows caravans to cross Hillfollow River at the city gates. Strangely enough, it is illegal to cast wizard spells within city walls; a fact that annoys the mages studying at the School of Magecraft in nearby Krakatos.

Rugalov is the newest barony and the first with a Traladaran Baron. Baron Yuschiev is currently settling his land with only Traladarans and discouraging all Thyatians from even visiting.

Threshold is a smaller barony whose main industry is logging. For some unknown reason, the village of Threshold seems to create more adventurers than anywhere else in the kingdom.

Vorloi is named after the Thyatian merchant family who owns the dominion. Vorloi is one of the largest sea ports in the nation, second only the Mirros.

The People

As I have already mentioned, two peoples actually form the inhabitants of Karameikos.

The first are the ancient Traladarans who have lived here for more generations than most people can count. They are short, well, for humans anyway, and have dark hair and pale complexions. Traladarans enjoy a simple life and are often viewed as superstitious by most other humans. This has to do with their love of good luck charms, evil curses, and omens from the Immortals.

The second group consists of the conquering Thyatians. The Thyatians have so many racial stocks mixed into their Empire that there is no one Thyatian look to describe them all. Thyatians care more for efficiency and end results than the Traladarans.

Unfortunately, there is much tension between the two. Thyatians believe that the Traladarans waste too much time with their superstitions and religion. They also believe that as conquerors of the land, they are naturally superior to the Traladarans. On the other hand, many Traladarans view Thyatians as greedy, corrupt, and predatory. Older Traladarans view the Thyatians as simply the next wave of bad luck preventing them from re-attaining the Golden Age of Traldar.

In the more cosmopolitan cities of Mirros and Kelvin, interaction with other races have given the urban Karameikans a better understanding of each other. These Karameikans view themselves as Karameikans, with Traladaran or Thyatian blood being irrelevant. King Stefan calls these multicultural people the "New Karameikans." Since most foreigners usually encounter New Karameikans within these large cities, it is no wonder that they all believe the two races to be strongly united into one nation.

Whether the two Karameikan peoples will manage to solve their differences and truly unite as New Karameikans in the future remains to be seen. I, for one, hope that they do.

Recent History

Karameikos is a young nation making almost all of its history rather recent. Still, a few events in the past couple of years can be singled out for the purpose of the Almanac. Most of them pertain to Karameikos trying to make his nation strong, independent of other nations, yet united from within.

In AC 1006, then Duke Stefan Karameikos crowned himself King, declaring complete independence from the Empire of Thyatis. In AC 1012, he renamed his capital of Specularum to Mirros to better represent the Traladaran people of his nation. Also in AC 1013, Queen Olivia Karameikos began financing several public schools throughout the villages of the nation in the hopes of making Karameikos one of the best educated lands of the Old World. Finally, just this year, King Stefan granted nobility to Sir Yuschiev, his first Traladaran Baron.

On the other hand, Stefan Karameikos also removed the title of nobility from his cousin Ludwig von Hendriks. When brave hin adventurers managed to show the King just how cruel and corrupt the Black Eagle was, the Five Shires were granted permission to invade the barony and dispose of the dark baron.

Karameikos was one of the founding members of the Western Defence League, and still remains a member, just like the Five Shires and Darokin.

Don't Miss

While visiting the city of Mirros, I most definitely recommend staying a few nights at the Black-Heart Lily. This notorious inn is where the famous Yolanda of Luln began her singing career over a decade ago. If you are lucky, you might manage to hear her wonderful voice, as Yolanda often returns to the place of her origins (career wise, that is), giving free performances to the patrons of the tavern below.

The Black-Heart Lily was apparently named after a woman who broke the heart of an ancestor of Luthier Sforza, proprietor of the Lily. Although Sforza is a broad, homely man with bristly brown hair, moustache, and beard, he is a jolly fellow who enjoys sharing drinks with his patrons. He also has a good ear for events that occur on the streets of Mirros, and anyone searching for something - or someone - in Mirros could do worse than talk to him.

Even if not in the mood for socialising, the Black-Heart Lily has many comfortable rooms on the second floor, available for the reasonable price of 2 gp per night. This price includes a good hearty meal early the next morning.

Sforza has been known to accept capable adventurers into his inn on a more or less permanent basis at no cost in exchange for their services as bouncers in the tavern on the first floor. Needless to say, the bouncers here are usually capable of dealing with any trouble that might arise, so one had better be prepared to behave while visiting.