The Kingdom of Karrnath
One of the Five Nations of Khorvaire, Karrnath is a nation ruled by King Kaius III 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 dictatorship of its monarch.
Lying in the northwest of Khorvaire, the nation of Karrnath stretches from Scion’s Sound in the west to the Ironroot Mountains in the east, and from Karrn Bay in the north to its tenuous border with the Talenta Plains to the south. It is a nation of equal parts open fields and dense forests with House Orien traderoads and Lightning Rail tracks providing ample travel considerations.
One of the oldest human nations on Khorvaire, Karrnath was built on a strong military tradition, one that carries on to this day. Karrnath supports a heavy middle class with plenty of trade businesses running in the large metropolitan centers throughout the western region of the country. Every Karrnathi citizen is forced into compulsory military service lasting at least two years. While many turn this service into a life-long career, others are quick to fulfill their duty and begin their actual lives. Most interesting about Karrnathi society is their use of the dead. There are no qualms about necromancy or undead in Karrnath and the forces of the military in the Last War were bolstered by skeleton and zombie forces. The summers are hot, short and wet while the winters are long, bitterly cold and full of snow. The people have grown hearty and robust out of this constant weather patterns.
Karrnath was one of the first human established nations on the soil of Khorvaire, founded by Karrn the Conqueror in -1002 YK. Karrn unsuccessfully attempted at the time to unite all of the five settlements of Khorvaire beneath him, but his power was not yet strong enough. 957 years later in -45 YK Galifar I was born in Karrnath. 21 years later Galifar assumed leadership of Karrnath. Ten years into his reign he resumed the campaign that Karrn the Conqueror abandoned nearly a millenium before, the unification of the five settlements of Khorvaire. Galifar accomplished this feet after fourteen long years of struggle. His grandson, King Galifar ir’Wynarn II, “the Dark”, later instituted a new calendar starting at the very year that Galifar I united the Five Nations.
Karrnath always held a special place under Galifar I. In the first year of his reign, Galifar I assigned each of the Five Nations to one of his children to oversee as Governor-prince/princess. To Karrn, his eldest son, he gave the appropriately-named territory of Karrnath. However, by the time he finally abdicated his throne at the age of 85, several of his older children had already died and it was his youngest son, Cyre, who would succeed him as the second King of Galifar.
The Last War:
King Jarot’s son Kaius I was one of those opposed to handing the crown to Mishann of Cyre. This, of course, was the spark that ignited the Last War and Karrnath suffered some of the heaviest casualties of the war. However, three generations later it was Kaius III who ascended to power over Karrnath in 991 YK and who was the biggest proponent of peace. It was he who established that peace talks should commence in Thronehold and though the destruction of Cyre in the Day of Mourning in 994 YK is often seen as being the primary reason to end of the conflict, there is no doubt that it was through King Kaius III’s establishing of an environment where compromise could be reached that the peace talks actually began.