“Death holds no terror.”
-Karrnathi national motto
One of the Five Nations of Khorvaire, Karrnath is a nation ruled by King Kaius IV that is proud of its martial heritage and is the oldest of the Five Nations. It was founded by Karrn the Conqueror over two thousand years ago. The nation is particularly noted for its widespread use of undead troopers during the Last War, and also the ruthless militaristic dictatorship of its monarchs.
One of the Five Nations on Khorvaire, Karrnath is a nation with a long and proud military heritage. Of all the Five Nations, it is the oldest, founded by Karrn the Conqueror over two millennia ago. Since then, the nation has never lost its touch with the old ways, and martial law is a way of life here. Karrnath is therefore not, strictly speaking, a monarchy; more accurately, it is a military dictatorship.
During the Last War, Karrnath became deeply entwined with the Blood of Vol. In the early days of the War, Karrnath found itself embarrassingly under-prepared for combat, and King Kaius I (great-grandfather of the current ruler) was forced to accept aid offered by the Seekers. The Blood of Vol was made into the state religion, and in turn, the Vol priests used their necromantic rituals to bring back legions of undead warriors, which became a hallmark of Karrnath’s forces during the war.
In 1002 YK, a large-scale rebellion began in the southern region of Karrnath known as Odakyr. This region, once fertile farmland, was severely impacted by the Blood of Vol during the Last War, and much of it is now dead. The warlords gathered behind an unknown monarch and claimed a great deal of land, including Fort Zombie and Fort Bones, at least one of which voluntarily joined the rebellion. The so-called “Kingdom of Odakyr” has reached a temporary truce with King Kaius IV, a controversial move believed to have been guided by Kaius’ wife, Erin.
Society & Culture
Since the end of the Last War, Karrnath has officially broken its ties with the Blood of Vol. Many still follow its tenets, however, revering the undead as aspects of the divine and one’s own blood as the key to life. The city of Atur hosts the Crimson Monastery, the largest worship site of the faith, which sees great traffic of Karrnathi citizens. Despite cutting the ties, however, some lingering undead forces can still be seen in certain areas – particularly Fort Zombie and Fort Bones in the southern part of the nation. Most are believed to have been “decommissioned,” however.
Karrnath is also home to the Twelve, where the Dragonmarked Houses send those most skilled in the arcane arts. The game of Conqueror (similar to chess) is popular here, particularly in days of bad weather – and Karrnath is known to have the worst weather of any of the Five Nations.
Karrnath’s chief exports are ale, dairy, glass, grain, livestock, lumber, paper, and textiles.