Shadows of Change
Karrnath, born in Flames,
Karrnath! Wreathed in Night!
Karrnath, for glory and fame!
Let the world marvel at your might!
“War March of the Karrns”
Karrnath’s National anthem
Known as the “cradle of kings,” the nation of Karrnath was born in war. Karrns are perhaps one of the most schooled people in the arts of war, and every true son and daughter of the land is proud of their heritage. Before Galifar, Karrnath was home to its namesake, Karrn the Conqueror. Forging pirates and pillagers of his north-eastern realm into a deadly army, Karrn the Conqueror marched from one coast of Khovaire to the other, but he was not able to realize his dream, a dream that Galifar made real.
Tradition, discipline, and excellence in all things define the common Karrn. She prides herself for a rich military background, and for centuries, she alone has stood as the strongest of the Five Nations. Her Orders and Military schools produce the finest generals the world has ever seen. But perhaps, it was this pride that almost saw Karrnath’s doom. Refusal to yield when she was beset on all borders, Karrnath succumbed to enemies that were not of the war-like kind: plague and famine.
In 894 YK, King Kaius I proclaimed himself the King of Karrnath and joined his siblings in rejection of Mishann of Cyre’s claim to the Galifar throne. Confident in his nation’s ability to weather the war well, Kaius over-committed himself, and watched as Karrnath’s strength was withered away by food shortages and plagues. Desperate to not let the proud nation fall, Kaius I employed necromancy to bolster his faltering armies. These dark reinforcements came at a terrible price, and Karrnath’s reputation suffered greatly as a result.
Kaius I then created a campaign to win over his people’s support on his use of necromancy. He argued that it was a way to honor the fallen, and at the same time, to protect the living soldiers. His campaign was extremely successful and the Karrns began integrating skull iconography and death symbols into their architecture and culture. It is thus, not surprising to enter a Karrnath city thinking that one might have stepped into a necropolis, with the abundance of death related symbology.
Blood of Vol: Late in the war, the sovereignty of the crown was undermined by the popular opinions of a religious sect called the Blood of Vol. While the sect was mainly harmless and exists strictly as a religion, a small subset of its proponents grow loud and vociferous about governmental policies. They question the need and the wording of several core policies, inciting demonstrations and rallies against the government. Regent Moranna and King Kaius III mobilized the military and the provosts to stifle such unrest, ending the state’s sponsorship of the religion. The religion, now though frowned upon by law and most citizens, is not outlawed and is still being practiced covertly by a substantial populace.
Order of the Emerald Claw: At the same time that Regent Moranna and King Kaius III moved against the Blood of Vol, the military moved against the now outlawed Order of the Emerald Claw. In a joint declaration from their palace in Korth, Regent Moranna and King Kaius III exiled the offending Order and denounced all the Order’s activities.
Karrnath and the Undead
In the Last War, plague and famine ravaged across Karrnath forced King Kaius I to make a desperate decision to save Karrnath from utter ruin – raising the dead and using them in the army. Even today, Karrnath keeps undead legions to defend its border and as reserves in case hostilities break out again.
Karrnath is not, however, a place where the undead are integrated into society. During the Last War, the undead formed separate military units from Karrnath’s living soldiers, and only rarely performed in joint operations. Today, the legions of undead remain hidden, both from the average citizen and the eyes of the other nations.
The average Karrn finds the intelligent undead to be at best creepy and at worst completely terrifying despite of Kaius I campaign. Karrnathi soldiers have better tolerance, but few would actively seek out the company of the undead. Everyone understands and appreciates the role that they play in defending Karrnath, however, and the typical soldier feels a sense of pride in knowing that he or she can continue to protect their homeland even after death.