In the lands of Karnath, there are 5 major races: Humans, Giants, Orcs, Dwarves, and Elves. Others exist, but they arenít as plentiful as these, nor do they have as much of an impact on the events of Karnath.
Humans, the children of the god Humar, are the most diverse race in Karnath. They have built grand bastions of power in the nations of Tenedel and Halidar, and have served loyally under the giant kings of Anvar and Angaz. In sharp contrast, the humans of Dorin prefer not to alter the land and are quite comfortable simply living in peace with nature.
As a result of their relatively short lives of no longer than 80 years, humans have much more of an impact on the world than other races do. That being said, their kingdoms donít tend to last as long as the nearly eternal lands of the dwarves or elves. Humans are like a weathered piece of wood that burns brightly, but devours itself quickly.
Humans are of average size, that is, as the humans of Earth are. They wear their hair short or long, and of any color. Their dress depends on the area in which they reside. Humans choose any profession, but out of all races they are most likely do dabble in dark arts such as necromancy and assassination.
Giants are the children of the god Hromgardt and as a majority have seen themselves as the superior race since the beginnings of time. They originally came from the frozen wastes of the Frostlands, which describes how they received their pale skin and hair. Millennia ago the god Hromgardtís two youngest sons, Angaz and Anvar, left the Frostlands with their sons and daughters and went south. They established two nations named after themselves and took the humans of the regions under their protection against the encroaching orcs. Their eldest brother Haroth saw this departure as weakness and he and his descendants have waged war upon his good-aligned brothers ever since.
Giants are impervious to slow death by aging. Although still vulnerable to other ways of death, a giant never loses the strength of body and mind that he had in his prime. Once they reach 25 years of age they are considered mature and of childbearing age. Giants multiply very slowly however, and can only bear children, which always come in the form of twins, once every hundred years. Because of this, there arenít more than a few thousand giants alive today. A couple hundred of them form the ruling class in Angaz and Anvar, while the others remain in their ancestral home of the Frostlands.
The culture of giants is extremely patriarchal. The eldest male giant of a family holds supreme rule, and all of his children and grandchildren follow him without question except in extreme cases. If a giant abandons his family he has lost his honor within his culture and can never gain it back. Marriage is arranged by the patriarchs of both families, and the female giant becomes a permanent member of her husbandís clan, even if her husband later dies.
Average giants stand 8 feet tall and weigh about 400 pounds. They are lean, but well muscled. Their skin is always very pale, and their hair ranges from silver-white to a golden brown. Because of their build, many choose the path of the warrior. Because of their long life however, just as many choose to spend their days following the mage's profession.
+2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, -4 Charisma. Giants are strong and hardy, but somewhat clumsy. Also, their "better-than-you" mannerism sometimes makes them hard to tolerate by other races.
These ursine creatures were made by Greff, god of war. They are the results of an experiment lasting many years in which Greff crossbred humans and the warbears often used by giants. Originally he had planned to use giants in the experiment, but Hromgardt learned of his intentions and beat Greff nearly to the point of death, or as near to do death as a god can be.
Since their creation, orcs have been content with breeding and fighting. They are found in the northern reaches of Karnath, but they breed very quickly and when they are beaten out of a region they simply move on to another. A person once asked what the orcs would do if they actually won a war, and the answer came after Warlord Urkas conquered a corner of the Frostlands and claimed it as an orcish nation. Although the orcish name for this region is called Urkassathramanch, most beings refer to it as the Uplands.
Orcs group together and form clans, which often only lasts until the leader of a clan is slain. At that point the members spread out and flee until they find another clan to join up with. Rarely, orc clans join together under one leader, and this is when they are to be feared.
Although not very good at most skilled labor, orcs are actually quite good at smithing. They forge their own weapons and armor when they can find a suitable dwarven mine to invade or caravan to raid so they can aquire some ore.
Out of all the races, orcs live the shortest. An orc who lives to see his 50th year is rare indeed. By their tenth year an orc is mature enough to fight and bear children. This culture has no sense of marriage however, the woman bears the child then it is raised by the elders of the clan. From their fourth year orcs are instructed in the use of weapons by the adult males of the clan who train them brutally and without relent.
An average orc stands just over 6 feet tall and around 200 pounds. They have long maws like that of a bear, and are covered in short, coarse hair along most of their body. Their voices are rough and low, like that of a wagon wheel over gravel.
Orcs described here have the same in-game statistics as those shown of the half-orc race of the PHB. Orcs of Karnath aren't as large or strong as the orcs of other realms, nor do they suffer from light sensitivity.
Dwaves can trace their ancestry back to the renowned weaponsmith of the gods, Drungar. They are content in simply building their magnificent citadelís beneath the mountains and living out their days in peace. Unfortunately for them, they are not the only creatures who live in the underground caverns. Dwarves are often thrust into battle with orcs and goblins to defend their lands. As such, they are hardy folk with battle tactics second to none.
Dwarves were originally only found on the island of Dunreth, but later they tunneled onto the mainland using a cavern that runs beneath the ocean floor. Now they can be found in every major mountain range, although it is rare for a dwarf to let an outsider into their citadel. Instead, they set up a town just above their fortress so that traders may come and peruse their goods.
Each Citadel has a king who holds absolute power in times of war, but during peacetime the Council of Five rules and the king becomes a figurehead leader. This is a group of the masters of the four major dwarven guilds, including the masons, the smiths, the miners, the bakers, and also the general-at-arms who sees after the training and maintenance of the army. Every dwarf who isn't in the army is taken in as an apprentice to a guild, usually the guild his father belonged to.
Dwarves are shorter than humans, but not by much. An average dwarf stands about 5 feet tall and weighs as much as 225 pounds. From the day they complete their apprenticeship into a guild or are accepted into the dwarven army they begin to grow their beards. A dwarf with a beard is seen by others as respectable, an unbearded dwarf is either a youngster or a deserter of his clan. They can live to be over 200 years old, but most dwarves die by their 150th year. They are mature when they reach 30 years old and can bear children.
Elves are the kin of Alleth, also known as the goddess of nature. They can be found in all the wild places of Karnath, dwelling in their ancestral homes. They are a generally peaceful, reclusive people. When their lands are invaded however, their vengeance comes swiftly. Every elven nation has contact with the others through bird messengers, so an injustice to one group of elves is met by warriors from all the elves in the area.
Every elf in a village has a profession, but this isn't always hard labor. For every hunter or woodworker in a village, there is a harper or storyteller. Almost every able bodied elf, male and female, is also a member of the local militia. They train in military tactics three days out of the week and practice their other professions during the next four. Despite working every day of the week, elves will usually take a few days off per month. This is due to the large number of holidays celebrated by the forest folk. In addition to large, week-long celebrations held at the end of every season, elves celebrate ceremonies such as births and weddings lavishly.
Elvish craftsmanship is sought after by adventurers and mercenaries from all over Karnath. Elvish bows and staves, while expensive, are the best in the known world. Iron weapons are rare in elvish society, because only the most skilled craftsmen can make them. Instead of forging the metal, they coax the iron into shape by force of will. Because of this, only kings and generals among the elves wield these weapons. Elves have had a longstanding trade relationship with the dwarves, and often can be seen wielding weapons crafted by the other. That being said however, the two races don't generally interact outside of trade negotiations.
Government in elvish society is very loose and unneeded for the most part. Elves value ideas of individuality, but never break their laws. An elf who doesn't like his or her government will just leave and follow his own path, not rebel. A king or queen is at the head of society, but holds no real power. Instead they usually lead religious ceremonies and various other celebrations. On the very rare occasion of a rogue elf, they are banished from the kingdom. If they ever return, they are slain.
Elves are almost the same size as humans, but tend to be slimmer. They are hairless except for their heads, and that is usually grown long and braided. Their skin color depends on their location. Snow elves from the Frostlands are pale and fair, while forest elves are usually tan with darker hair. Elves don't start to feel the pains of old age until they reach almost 600 years old. Once they reach 50 years of age, an elf takes at least 10 years to travel the world. This is how most elves come about the adventuring profession. After they have made their fortune or are injured too badly to go on, they return home and live out their days peacefully.
Last edited by BlackAssassin19; 11-15-2009 at 08:31 PM.
Name - Portfolio - Alignment - Domains - Favored Weapon
Felcor - God of Death - True Neutral - Death, Destruction, Law - Dagger
Aelith - Goddess of Life - Lawful Good - Good, Healing, Protection - Longsword
Humar - God of Change/Humans - Chaotic Neutral - Chaos, Trickery, Luck - Quarterstaff
Hromgardt - God of Giants/Strength - Lawful Evil - Strength, War, Protection - Mace
Greff - God of War - Chaotic Neutral - War, Chaos, Destruction - Battleaxe
Alleth - Goddess of Nature - True Neutral - Animal, Plant, Earth - Club
Kiln - God of the Sea - Chaotic Neutral - Water, Travel, Healing - Shortspear
Nemerin - Goddess of Light - Lawful Good - Sun, Good, Air - Longbow
Olvar - God of Magic - True Neutral - Magic, Fire, Knowledge - Dagger
Last edited by BlackAssassin19; 11-15-2009 at 08:39 PM.
Nations of Karnath
Population- Humans, Rogue Dwarves, Rogue Elves
Government- None to speak of.
Exports- Stolen goods.
Alignment- Individuals are any but good, usually chaotic neutral or chaotic evil.
The Pirate Isles were formed by ...pirates looking for a place to store their stolen goods. Eventually small towns were built by the most profitable captains, but Wildport is the most common trading post out of all the small ports on the islands, dubbing it the unofficial capital.
These islands are a tropical paradise, surrounded by warm, clear water. The land is covered in palm trees and citrus fruit.
Life and Society-
Life in the Pirate Isles is either unbelievably hard or exceptionally easy depending on social status. For a young pirate trying to rise in power life is filled betrayal and blood, but for a veteran captain who has seen his share of sea battles, life is good. An average pirates day in port is spent loading or unloading stolen goods going to and from market, or sabotaging another crew's cargo.
Wildport- After a ship is ransacked on the open sea, Wildport is usually the first stop for the assailants, eager to get rid of their new cargo. From here it is sold to various merchants then rearranged to ship. Most of the buildings here are either inns, warehouses, or brothels. Various pirate lords live here when they aren't at sea.
Angaz, under contract from various merchants, has formed a fleet of pirate hunters and released them upon the seas. A few lesser pirate captains have already been sunk, the survivors executed. As a response, Angaz soldiers are fetching a high bounty in Wildport.
Capital- Cardea City
Population- Humans, Elves
Government- Monarchy, currently under the rule of the steward Jarame Biovode.
Exports- Timber, Ships, Fish
Alignment- Lawful Evil
The nation of Cardea is currently being rebuilt, as it was mostly destroyed by Angaz. The Archmage Kranar Blacknova rose to power in Cardea, drawing an evil cult of undeath around him and claiming lordship over the nation. With a skeletal army that grew instead of diminished after each battle Kranar conquered all opposition in Cardea and drew more and more living supporters to his aid. They pushed on into Angaz too eagerly however, and drew the wrath of Angaz's mighty army. The lich was slain by the giant Larone, son of Angaz, and his undead army was shattered. The living members of his army fled back to Cardea, but are now watched closely by Angaz troops that still inhabit the nation.
Cardea is a temperate, heavily forested country. A few mountains linger on the horizon, but for the most part rolling hills and dense forests are as far as the eye can see.
Life and Society-
Life in Cardea is heavily observed by Angaz troops. Jarame Biovode, Blacknova's head general, rules over as a steward, but the troops hold sway over any major decisions. This is mostly to keep Cardea from rising again to threaten Angaz, but also to tax the citizens and grow rich off the work of others. There is no Cardean army to speak of, only rabbles of Blacknova loyalists still holding on to their old ideals.
Al'naleth Forest- This forest is the one most heavily logged for the timber trade. The elves here take offense to that, but lack the numbers to mount any successful attack. Instead they have been resorting to guerrila tactics, and it has been working. Loggers return home speaking of elves attacking like ghosts in the night, killing dozens then retreating before losing one of their own.
The Black Keep- Located in the northernmost reaches of Cardea, this was the former seat of Blacknova's power. It is now a ruin of black granite, and all the mountain passes leading to it have long been collapsed.
The Archmage Kranar Blacknova's sons have found his body and successfully resurrected him, and he has since crossed over into lichdom. His sons have also grown in power, almost ready to begin the descension to undeath themselves. They have drew in several loyalists from the war and are amassing troops in an attempt to take back the nation.
Government- Monarchy (Ruled by Prince Artheril Nethermoon)
Exports- None, these solitary elves prefer to be self-sufficient.
Since the beginning of time, Deran Elves have dwelled in this primordial forest. They have chosen a life of seclusion and therefore remain unaffected by the outside world. In the past warlords have sought to deforest Dera, but to no avail. The elves have always held their borders and remained untouched.
All of Dera is forested with thick, ancient trees. Small rivers flow to and fro, and gentle foothills rise every few hundred feet. To someone unfamiliar with this forest it appears to be overgrown and impassible. The magic surrounded the forest does indeed distort the images to nonelvish creatures, effectively keeping them out of the forest or trapping them in.
Life and Society-
Life inside Dera is rarely seen by outsiders. The elves there live in perfect harmony with the creatures of the forest as they have for as long as any can remember. Their homes are spread out among the trees as small cottages in the upper branches. To a stranger walking through the forests it would seem uninhabited, that is, until an elvish arrow finds their heart.
Lifegiver Tree- This tree is said to supply life to all the creatures flora and fauna of the forest. The tree itself is gray in color, with small round leaves. A small stream of pure liquid nutrient flows from it's roots into the nearby rivers, and any creature drinking from this stream is cured of it's ailments nearly instantly. The elves protect this tree with their lives. Any attempt to harm it is dealt with swiftly.
The new Prince Artheril Nethermoon has discussed opening trade routes with other countries, much to the dismay of the elders and wisemen among the elves. They say the elves have remained unaffected for so long because of their self-imposed solitude, and interacting with other races will prove to be their downfall.
Capital- New Retheden
Population- Humans, Elves, Dwarves
Exports- Timber, Wine, Metals
Alignment- Lawful Neutral
Tenedel has long been the most powerful human led nation in Karnath. Since the King Tenedel founded the nation a thousand years ago Tenedel has been through many wars with both Anvar and the orcs to the north. At one point the capital Retheden was burnt to the ground, but has been rebuilt since then by the steadfast inhabitants. At one point in it's history Tenedel became a democracy. Every region of Tenedel has a group of representatives who bring the people's ideas to the government.
The lands of Tenedel are filled with forests and flatlands. In the west is a sprawling temperate forest filled with elves allied with the Tenedel humans. The humans dwell in the plains to the east.
Life and Society-
Many of the humans of Tenedel live in one of the many small towns or cities that dot the landscape. These cities however, are usually dominated by the powerful merchants that run the day to day operations. Some cities have slums that sprawl through the common section, housing many thieves guilds and houses of ill repute. For well-born humans, life is a struggle for power, with lesser families plotting against the powerful ones. Now, Tenedel is at war with Anvar over the rich supply of resources coming from that giant nation. Many common folk signed up willingly, eager to get a chance to raise their station by any means.
New Retheden- This is by far the biggest human city in Karnath, although many other races dwell here as well. Among the prominant guilds here are the Smoke Swords, a thieving and smuggling operation that have their hands in affairs across Karnath.
Yekadell Post- This outpost is located in the heart of the elvish forest to the east, and is mostly used as a meeting post for the hunters and trappers for the reason. Elves often come here as well on friendly terms, trading furs and tales with the humans.
-Though news from Yekadell Post usually comes into the more civilized lands monthly, no news has came for almost a year. Scouts sent into the woods return saying they were unable to locate the trails leading to the post, or they don't return at all.
-The Smoke Swords thieves guild has been experiencing losses to it's members almost on a daily basis. Not even the thick network of affiliated spies can determine why the assassinations began, or where they come from.
Population- Giants, Humans, Dwarves, Elves
Government- Monarchy (Ruled by King Larone)
Exports- Ale, Grains, Fruits
Alignment- Chaotic Good
The nation of Anvar was made when the giant princes Anvar and his brother Angaz had a realization of their older brother's evil ways and left the Frostlands. Each brother took his household and left, each going their separate ways. Angaz, the younger and more savage of the two brothers, made his settlement in the east and named it after himself. He observed the tribes of humans warriors as they fought each other, then stepped in and brought them to peace with each other. Ever since, with his powerful army of giants and humans he has tried to keep the relative peace of eastern Karnath intact by any means necessary.
Angaz is a rough, rocky land. The only suitable farmland is in western Angaz, along the border with Anvar. To the south is a large forest that is home to a few primitive humans tribes that rejected the giant's rule long ago.
Life and Society-
Life in Angaz is usually based around war in one form or another. Nearly every citizen is at the very least trained in basic weapon use. Angaz troops are currently heavily involved in the affairs of Cardea, after crushing an uprising of undeath cults there.
Everfount- This is the biggest lake in Karnath, and the main water supply in the otherwise rocky land of Angaz.
Pillea- This keep is one of the most well fortified positions in all of Karnath. It also serves as the capital of Angaz. Many great war heroes from across Angaz and Anvar have been trained here. Any common warrior from either of those lands willing to work hard often comes here for apprenticeship and training.
-A rogue group of warriors trained in Pillea have fled into Cardea, offering their help against their former Angaz allies.
Government- Monarchy (Ruled by Warlord Urkas)
Exports- Slaves, weapons, armor.
Alignment- Neutral Evil
The Uplands, or Urkassathramanch in the orcish tongue, is a new nation formed after Warlord Urkas conquered a corner of the Frostlands and successfully defended it against all invaders. Now they struggle to set up a trade with other nations outside the orcish community.
The geography of the Uplands is much like the Frostlands. Snow covers the northern reaches year round, while the southern reaches are an icy tundra.
Life and Society-
The orcs here have a hard time not slaughtering each other from day to day. Settling down is a rare thing for an orc, they have very short attention span. Now their Warlord has tasked it upon them to build fortifications and long term structures and they are still trying to adapt. In the meantime Urkas is trying to establish contacts in the outside world to drive back invading orcish nations and giants who would have the Uplands for their own.
Urkassa- This is the Warlord's stronghold, and where the majority of the troops reside. In the few years since it's creation it has grown considerably, and now produces a good number of excess high quality weapons and armor.
The great wall- This is truly a wonder considering it was built by orcs. This wall stretches along the Uplands border one hundred miles from the Sea of Frost in the north to the mountains in the south. It is around 15 feet tall, made of wood and stone, and coated over with ice most of the season. So far, it hasn't been breached.
Since most of the dwarven trade routes are cut off to the mainland, Urkas hopes to open up a new trade route with the Cardean loyalists for arms and armor.
Population- Giants, Humans, Elves, Dwarves
Government- Monarchy (Ruled by Anvar, son of Hromgardt)
Exports- Stone, Grains, Vegetables
Alignment- Lawful Good
The nation of Anvar was made when the giant princes Anvar and his brother Angaz had a realization of their older brother's evil ways and left the Frostlands. Each brother took his household and left, each going their separate ways. Anvar, the older and more rational giant, settled in the west. His people observed the inhabitants, primitive human farmers. They learned from the humans then approached them, gaining their trust. From then on Anvar gained more and more followers and built a great kingdom for his followers, offering the protection of the giants. When his eldest brother Haroth found Anvar and attacked the peaceful humans fought back, eventually driving them back. From then on they have driven the evil giants from the north back every time, his country growing in renown and prosperity every time.
Eventually Anvar hired craftsmen from the elves and dwarves to come construct a great city, Lavgarde. When it was half completed, the country of Tenedel attacked in force without warning, seeking the riches of Anvar's many national resources and halting the construction. Anvar went on the offensive, eventually driving the Tenedelians back. He then hired the craftsmen to construct a keep near the Tenedel border, showing them their attacks would not go unpunished. Even now he raises an army their to move into Tenedel in reprisal.
Anvar is a land of flat, rich farmland. Rivers flow through heading west or south, feeding the soil. In the northeast is a large forest, Alleos, inhabited by elves who have lived in peace with the humans and giants of the region.
Life and Society-
For the average human living in Anvar, life is either that of a soldier or farmer, sometimes both. All the subjects are fiercely loyal to their king, the millenia old mage, Anvar. Because of the war with Tenedel and fear of an attack from the Frostlands a draft has been put in place. Every able-bodied man with a healthy, born son is expected to be trained with the militia in case of an invasion. Trade is more important than ever, with weapons coming in from the dwarves and elves on a daily basis.
For giants, life is different. They serve as the generals of the army, the heads of the trade guilds, and the overall leaders of society.
Lavgarde- The old capital, also called Lavgarde, was broken down to make room for a new, better city. The people of the city moved into a great tent city outside the walls, awaiting the construction crew to be finished. Unfortunately this came to a halt when the current war started. Those citizens lucky enough to have their houses completed moved back into the city, but the majority of citizens still dwell in the tent city. King Anvar, as a sign of humility, dwells in the tent city with his beloved citizens.
Hammerhold- This is the new keep built to keep Tenedel at bay. Hammerhold is basically a show of power, but is a powerful fortress nonetheless. Thousands of human soldiers dwell here at all times, along with their giant commanders.
Backbreaker Pass- This pass is the only way into Tenedel from Anvar without traversing over the harsh mountains. Needless to say, this important military site is very well defended from both armies. At it's widest the pass is a mile wide, and is only three miles wide. In the past few months it has been the site of many bloody battles, with neither side gaining much ground.
One of the giant generals, Yurni, has crossed the mountains with his loyalists, betraying Anvar's secrets and military tactics to Tenedel. The good king Anvar, usually reserved and free of anger, has put a bounty of ten thousand gold pieces for his head. This has drew the attention of many assassins of the world, notably the master assassins from Halidar.
Government- Council of Ten, a group of the most profitable merchants.
Exports- Pottery, Fabric, Fish
Alignment- The government itself is Lawful Neutral on the surface, behind the scenes it could be described as Chaotic Neutral or Lawful Evil.
Halidar has always been a wasteland and has been mostly overlooked by the conquering warlords of Karnath. Before it was civilized Halidar was used by criminals as a place to lay low. A particularly clever criminal named Regan Halidar seen the land for what it was, a perfect place to start up a criminal enterprise. The nation of Halidan grew from that enterprise into possibly the most profitable nation in Karnath.
Sandy dunes and rocky outcroppings are the only thing to see in Halidar. Though there are a few oases spread out among the wastes, these are usually already inhabited by a rich merchant or group of traders.
Life and Society-
Life in Halidar revolves around making money. Nearly every member of the Council of Ten resides in Halidan overseeing their operation, but a few of them have manors outside the city as well. Citizens find jobs as package carries, spies, or petty thieves. Every member of the Council has his or her own small army of guards, but these are mostly for show, as no other nation is remotely interested in attacking Halidar in open warfare. On the surface Halidar exports goods such as fine pottery and fabrics, but most of the business goes on behind the scenes. Corrupt merchants often dabble in prostitution, assassination, and fencing stolen goods.
Halidan- This city was founded by the thief and merchant Regan Halidar, originally from Tenedel. While passing through the desert on the run from Tenedelian army he found a lush oasis, the biggest in the desert. He called in his former contacts from Tenedel and made a small settlement, offering free trade and sanctuary to every visitor regardless of criminal background. The settlement grew and drew in criminals from all over Karnath. Today it is a walled city filled with clean cobblestone streets and many well kept estates. Behind the facade of lawfulness however, the city operates an illicit criminal enterprise.
Port Juram- Juram is a place full of pirates and stolen goods, as it is the only free port outside of the Pirate Isles. Most trade caravans deport from here, make a stop in Halidan, then ship out all across Karnath.
The richest of the Council of Ten, Wil Greylark, has been slowly gaining ground on the others in an attempt to control all of the trade in Halidar. Many of the lesser merchants have hired assassins against him, but he has retreated to his walled estate in the desert, surrounded by his legion of highly trained soldiers.
Capital- Citadel Minath
Government- Ruling council in peacetimes, monarchy in war. (High-King Erthmen Silvershield)
Exports- Metals, gems, weapons, tools, stone.
Alignment- Lawful good.
Duníreth has been the home of the dwarves since the beginning of Karnath. It is unknown whether they were made here or simply tunneled here and stayed. The land is rich in raw materials however, and has yielded great profit for the dwarves. Seeking easier trade routes to the mainland (dwarves arenít known for their masterful sailing), they tunneled beneath the oceans to southern Cardea. They tunneled too deeply however, and awoke the menace of underground caverns of goblins. Since then tunnels have been infested with them, and every caravan that passes to the mainland has an accompanyment of armed guards.
Duníreth is actually two islands, but they are connected with so many tunnels beneath ground that the dwarves refer to it as the same place. Aboveground, Duníreth is a land of rolling foothills and huge mountains, both covered by rich and ancient forests. In the tunnels beneath however, the dwarves have carved out a home.
Life and Society-
Life as a dwarf in Duníreth is spent constantly building onto homes and constantly scouring deep mines for veins of expensive metal. Over millenia the dwarves have smoothed out tunnels, making wide, well-traveled roads. At the end of each tunnel is usually a crossroads, often used as a marketplace, and a map carved into the wall so that dwarves unfamiliar with that particular corner of the nation know where they are. Occasionally, a huge chamber is found, housing a citadel of dwarves and making a formidable defense against would-be attackers. Dwarves of Duníreth are always busy improving themselves and the land around them. Dwarves can be found mining ore in deep shafts, forging powerful weapons for days on end, carefully preparing food for their clan, building magnificent new structures, and logging the trees of the surface to bring back to stoke the forge fires. (The giant underground mushrooms work as firestarter, but give off a gas that makes metals impure. Mushrooms are therefore used in cookfires.)
Maybe the most important aspect of life to the dwarves of Duníreth is trade. Caravans depart from the citadels there every day towards the mainland. From their they travel above ground towards whatever nation put in the order for fine made dwarven weapons or tools.
Citadel Minath- This is the most powerful dwarven settlement in Karnath. Here is where High-King Erthmen Silvershield resides over the dwarves of Duníreth. The city itself is located on the eastern island under the Minath mountain, one of the tallest in Karnath. The city was once overrun with goblins after the tunnels to the mainland was first opened, but under the leadership of Silvershield and the help of dwarves from all across Duníreth the city was reclaimed.
Citadel Urnath- This citadel is relatively new, only about 200 years old. It is found on the western island. It was created when the largest known gold vein in Karnath was discovered and thousands of dwarves rushed to get in on the action. A few years later, mithril was discovered in a parallel vein and even more dwarves came with their picks and dreams. This citadel is ruled by itís namesake Urnath Silvershield, High-King Erthmenís son.
Lately the goblins of the deep tunnels have blockaded all the tunnels from Duníreth to the mainland. Until the dwarves attack them en masse, supply of dwarven tools and weapons arenít able to get to market. Demand is still high however, so prices are double for the high quality goods.
Capital- None, there are no permanent settlements.
Government- Loosely Tribal
Exports- Horses, grazing animals.
In ancient days Dorin was called Anithil and was a primeval forest teeming with life. The elves that lived their grew greedy of nature and claimed much of the forest to build a great city from the ancient oaks that grew there. The city became known as Othenel, and was the largest elven city ever made. This brought on the wrath of Alleth, goddess of nature. The city and land around it became cursed and all itís inhabitants either moved away or died. Since then the land has become a grim testament to the power of Alleth and a reminder to the elves.
In the past few centuries humans have moved into Dorin and found their own niche. They have since grown much more numerous, but tend to only dwell in units of five or six families. At times they come under attack by the orcs from the Frostlands, but have successfully succeeded in driving them back each time.
While Dorin was once a great forest, now it is only flat prairie land. Nearly every tree in the region died long ago, but the ground is blanketed with a thick grass perfect for grazing animals. A long, meandering river flows from the ancient elven city Othenel to the Sea of Nera, and branches out to form small streams and creeks all over the prairie.
Life and Society-
The humans that live in Dorin are expert horsemen and herdsmen. They build tents out of animal hide, but are constantly on the move after their herds have depleted the food sources of a particular area. Each tribe is made up of a few families who gather together for safety and companionship. They are looked after by a council, usually the patriarch of each family, who run the day to day affairs. Excess animals are brought into Cardea or Angaz and sold. The horses of the Dorin people are soft after all over the world by cavalry officers and scouts. They are lean and powerful, but donít require much food or water. Such animals cost double the going rate for a standard house.
Because they are under constant threat from orc attacks, every tribe has a force of warriors who defend it. They use short recurve bows for quick attacks from horseback, and bone tipped spears for short range combat. Occasionally when orcs encroach in greater numbers tribes will get together, but usually disperse once the threat has been abolished. The people of Dorin understand that grouping in large numbers make it harder to feed and keep order efficiently because they are forced to move constantly. They see the wisdom is staying in small groups.
Othenel- This is the once magnificent city of the elves of Dorin. Now it is said to be cursed and any self-respecting creature wonít go near it. The humans who now inhabit the land always keep a safe distance away, not wanting to disturb the spirits that may still rest there. The city itself is almost entirely wooden, with walls made from oak that has been hardened by the magic of elves. Great towers loom above the residential structures, but a few of them have succumbed to gravity and toppled. Treasure hunters sometimes make their way here seeking ancient elven treasure, but they usually donít make it out. Those who do tell of ghosts and spirits of the forest folk still dwelling in the city. Elvish clerics often take pilgrimages to this city to witness the awful power of the goddess of nature.
One of the most prosperous tribes of Dorin, the Uktuu, has struck up a deal with the newly formed orc nation in the Uplands, trading warhorses for quality weapons. It is unknown if tribe Uktuu has struck up a military alliance as well, but the other tribes are furious of the betrayal and partnership with their racial enemy.
Capital- Droknalthar, the Frosthold
Population- Giants, Orcs, Elves
Government- Tribal (Orcs), Monarchy (Giants), Republic (Elves)
Exports- Fish (Elves)
Alignment- Chaotic Evil (Orcs), Lawful Evil (Giants), Chaotic Good (Elves)
The Frostlands are the ancestral home of the giants of Karnath. Since the beginning of recorded time, no army has been able to conquer the evil giants who dwell there. When the orcs were created by the god Greff, he sent them here to gather and build their armies, thinking the harsh climate would toughen them. Since then they have sprung out from their icy homes to wage war on all of Karnath. The giants however, are content in waging a genocide against their goodly cousins to the south.
In the past millenia elves have moved into the north as if they had grown bored of life in the easier climates. They have somewhat thrived in the Frostlands, carving out a niche for themselves as fishermen and traders.
Snow and ice are the most abundant features of the Frostlands. In the southernmost regions tall mountains seclude this region from the rest of Karnath. Patches of trees can be seen from time to time, but it is scarce and usually used for firewood instead of building material. There are no roads here, as they would be covered in snow year round. In this vast, white wasteland travelers almost always stray off course unless accompanied by a guide accustomed to the region.
Life and Society-
Life in the Frostlands is rough, harsher than anywhere else in the world. An outsider not used to the weather can freeze to death in a few hours without the warmth of a fire. Because of this, the races that live their are hardy and tough. Every race that has carved out an existence here is well schooled in the arts of war.
Giants in the area are continually bringing orc tribes under their hold and expanding their kingdoms. They drill and train their armies mercilessly in preparation for battle in the blood feud against the giants of Angaz and Anvar. They train the bears of the area, sometimes using them as companions and sometimes as mounts. Almost every aspect of life in this society is based upon war.
Huge orcish war parties roam the lands at all times. Tribes often clash against each other, usually with the stronger backed by giant nobles. When the mountain passes are clear the orcs move south to wage war on the other nations, looting and killing mercilessly then retreating to their homes.
Elves here live in small groups of 100 or fewer, and get by as fishermen. They take their rare fish to the elvish lands of Tenedel and northern Cardea and sell and trade for meat and grains. Elvish caravans travel only in the summer months, while they spend the winter months storing their products.
Droknalthar, The Frosthold - This is the capital of the giant population in the Frostlands. It is built on top of a hot springs system which keeps the streets clear of snow. At the center is the keep, where the god Hromgardt is buried, and where his son Haroth still rules. Deep ice a foot thick covers the walls, keeping the inside well heated. Past that is the city, a sprawling complex of individual walled estates surrounded by markets and slave houses. The entire city is surrounded by a stone wall carried from the mountains to the south.
Spearmeet - On the first day of summer, every orc tribe in the Frostlands meets at this ground, reputedly where the first orc was created. They plan their raids in the southern lands, and carry out their attacks. After the summer season is over they retreat back here to show off their plunder. This is the only time rival orc tribes aren't hostile to each other. Upon the grounds of Spearmeet no orc may shed another's blood unless they would draw the wrath of Greff, god of war and creator of orcs.
Lake Telathin - This is the most profitable lake in the Frostlands, and is highly guarded by the elves. Through the use of nature's forces they have constructed a wall of ice around the lake, protecting them from orc and giant raids. This is the largest settlement of snow elves in the world, but population here is only about 2,000. In the summer months caravans depart from here on a daily basis towards the southern elvish lands.
Haroth the giant king is slowly and forcefully encroaching against the elves. He has led a few unsuccessful raids against Lake Telathin in an attempt to take over the profitable fish trade but has been driven back each time. He has hired a group or rogue dwarves to divert the hot springs under Droknalthar into the streams feeding Lake Telathin, heating up the water and bringing down the icy wall that protects the elves.
Last edited by BlackAssassin19; 11-15-2009 at 08:57 PM.