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Karameikos (Kingdom of)
Location: East of Thyatis, west of the Five Shires, south of Darokin and Aengmor. OW
Area: 43,950 sq. mi. (113,830 sq. km.).
Population: 354,000 humans (40% Thyatian, 60% Traladaran) and 82,000 demihumans (89% elves, 6% gnomes, 3% dwarves, 2% hin).
Languages: Thyatian, Traladaran, Elvish (Callarii, Vyalia, Alfheim and Erewan dialects). Thyatian is the official language of the nation.
Coinage: Royal (gp), crona (sp), 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: Feudal monarchy, member of the Western Defence League.
Industries: Logging, mining (gold and silver), agriculture.
Important Figures: Stefan Karameikos III (King), Olivia Karameikos (Queen).
Flora and Fauna: The wilderness of Karameikos is inhabited with all sorts of animals and monsters. Various reports of lycanthropes, vampires, and other undead are very common.
Further Reading: GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure boxed set, previous almanacs.
Last Year's Events: Karameikos worked to defuse international tensions and improve trade, notably with its powerful eastern Thyatian neighbour. Internal tensions, about the open policy toward Thyatis and between Karameikans of Traladaran and Thyatian descents, continued to heighten. Glantri finally deported the Black Eagle to Karameikos. The skyship Concordia came back from the Hollow World, though it appears her upkeep may prove to be beyond Karameikos's capabilities, especially with Master Terari leaving unexpectedly the kingdom to return to his homeland, leaving the Karameikan School of Magecraft in disarray.
Description by Sir Cassius Falconclaw.
Well met, good readers. After several years of that odious little creature, Joshuan Gallidox, concocting his version of events for this esteemed publication, Her Royal Highness, Queen Olivia, prevailed upon me, a knight of the Queen's Men, to do better by the nation than the little man-child had. Fortunately, his race is currently seized by a blessed moment of national insanity, and he has set sail with a ship that left the Five Shires late in AC 1018. May he be devoured by a sea serpent and trouble civilised folk no more.
It is my duty and my honour to provide an accurate an informative entry for this publication, as bid by Her Royal Highness. This humble soldier must beg the indulgence of his readers, as his hand is more used to carrying a lance than a quill, and my words cannot do justice to this, greatest of all nations.
Like a dark cloak around the head and shoulders of the Empire of Thyatis, the Kingdom of Karameikos is a land of dark woods, chilly farmlands and forbidding peaks. So it has been for thousands of years, before the light of civilisation came to this land.
A new network of roads, which grows in quality and extent by the year, connects the sturdy settlements the kingdom has created. These roads are well patrolled, giving the common folk a security they never knew prior to the heroic liberation of their land. Indeed, many settlements are now springing up along these roads, which form the bones of this new country, strong and hearty.
The great city of Mirros in the south is the nation's capital, a first-rate seaport and one of the wonders of the Old World. A center for art, industry and culture, the city predates the nation, but all agree that it has only now come into its golden age.
The other large settlement of note is the trading city of Kelvin, a fortified city that stands as a stabilising force in what was once the lawless heart of the land. E'en today, it combats chaos, as wizards from the School of Magecraft in Krakatos are required to restrain themselves by law when visiting this vibrant and earthy city. No arcane spellcraft is permitted within the city, a just and sensible ruling and one that keeps so-called "adventurers" in line as much as it does visiting student wizards.
North of Kelvin, the land rises towards the mountains, where a vassal race of gnomes lives in a region known as Highforge. Each year, these little creatures descend from their burrows to curry favour with their masters, bringing toys, worked metals and clever little clockworks to market in Mirros. A stern hand is needed when dealing with them, as most seem slightly mad, but they respect His Royal Highness as their rightful leader, as do all who have benefited from the benevolent rule of King Stefan.
Prior to the liberation of the land by Thyatis in the last century, the Traladaran people were ruled in the rudest way by hereditary warlords, whose families held the ignorant peasantry in an iron grip, in a fashion more befitting the humanoid raiders of the Broken Lands than allegedly human rulers.
Since that glorious liberation, the Thyatians have taken great pains to educate and elevate that Traladarans. But the latter are a simple folk, whose love of superstition and aversion to hard work has created unfortunate obstacles for the good works set before their undeserving feet.
Some progress is being made, though; while older Traladarans will likely go from filthy hut to muddy grave, ignorant and sullen, the younger generation increasingly is mixing with their Thyatian betters in the modern cities King Stefan the Third has put up in place of the shantytowns that once dotted the wilderness of the so-called nation of Traladara. Few have yet learned to read and write, so I know, alas, that this educational volume will only be intellectual fodder for those who have learned the value of such; perhaps in a generation or five, to be of Traladaran heritage will be little more than an amusing anecdote, rather than a birthright of ignorance and poverty.
His Royal Highness believes this to be so, and sees the "New Karameikans" arising in our cities, towns and schools. It is through his benevolence and wisdom that this great nation is being forged from a deadly wilderness, once home only to bandits and barbarians.
Things go well under the reign of Good King Stefan and Queen Olivia, who ascended to the throne to the joy of all during the dark days of war earlier this century, throwing off the yoke of antique Thyatis for a new and more glorious destiny. Of course, there will always be fools and children who complain that they must work for a living.
Yammering peasants from the Radlebb Forest have tracked their mud into court more than once last year. First, they claimed that the sword Reaver, allegedly a creation of the court wizard of the king's cousin Ludwig von Hendriks (who was framed by those man-children of the Five Shires for alleged crimes they suffered when he entered their territory to suppress the bandits they harbour there), had come to light, and that various bands of humanoids were battling for control over it. Their benighted hamlet of Midwood became a focal point for adventurers seeking gold and glory, and perhaps the sword. What the peasants say became of the sword, I do not know, but as I see no army of goblins marching on Mirros from the room in which I write, high above the castle walls, I think it's safe to say the whole incident was nothing more than yet another drunken peasant running into a solitary goblin with a dagger in the woods and trying to get the attention of his betters with a wild story.
More of a problem has been the so-called "Wolf King" at the northern edge of the Radlebb. Dressing in wolf skins, this bandit chieftain stages raids of dozens of "werewolves" into villages of credulous Traladaran mendicants, and picks the places clean when they all flee screaming into the night. So far, local officials and adventurers have been unable to bring the Wolf King to justice, but Her Royal Highness has asked that I personally lead some troops there to show the locals what's what. That should put an end to things, and no mistake.
While I'm in the northern hinterlands of the kingdom, I've a mind to swing by the burrows of the gnomes in the Highforge province. These twisted little half-men-a sort of debased gutter dwarf, handy but too clever by half-had the temerity to spy upon the court in Mirros and then make a jape of it, with their ridiculous pantomime of secret agents flitting about the capital last winter. I myself shut down the Whizbang Holding Company, by Her Royal Highness's order.
The public school system established by Her Royal Highness is a shining example to nations throughout the Old World. In every pocket of true civilisation in this great nation, visitors can see the New Karameikans being educated, with the Traladaran people being brought up from ignorance and squalor alongside their Thyatian betters, treated as equals in this great land of ours.
While the hinterland provides the nation with its mining, lumber and food, the truth is that outside of Mirros and perhaps Kelvin during festival season, most of the country is deadly dull, and something to be passed through with all due haste by readers of discernment. The heart of the nation is in Mirros, and all that is worthwhile can be found here.