D&D 3.0: Tales from Mystara
Kingdom of Karameikos
The Grand Duchy of Karameikos
“Why should you ever want to go to Karameikos? There’s nothing there – no comfort, no big cities, no luxury, no good food nor wine. Just superstitious natives, humanoids and stupid Thyatian soldiers.” Boris Gorevitch-Woszlany, Glantrian nobleman
Ruler: King Stephan Karameikos the Third and Queen Olivia Karamiekos
Other Locations: Dmitrov, Hagar (former Black Eagle Barony), Highforge, Kelvin, Marilenev, Penhaligon, Rifflian, Threshold, Verge, Sulescu and Vorloi.
Languages: Thyatian (official), Traladaran, Elvish ( Clan Callari and Clan Vyalia dialects )
Thyatian Families: Karameikos, Kelvin, Halaran, Penhaligon
Traladaran Families: Radu, Torenescu, Vorloi, Marilenev
Rumors, Lore and Places of Interest:
Specularum is named for the mirror-like reflective quality of its harbor.
The forests of the nation are still largely unsettled, and hence, unexplored. Most villages have legends of ancient ruins haunted by spirits of the past, or tales of werewolves or other creatures roaming the woods.
Karameikos is a deep, dark land; mostly wilderness which man throughout recorded history has tried to occupy. Karameikos sits on the south shore of the continent of Brun, west of The Thyatian Empire and east of the Five Shires; to the north, broad mountain ranges separate the nation from The Republic of Darokin and The Emirates of Ylaruam.
Most of Karameikos is covered with thick forests, hardwoods and softwoods, and is largely unexplored. There are broad patches of rich soil, especially beside the broad Highreach River where farming is good.
The capital city of Specularum is a thriving and very active seaport with around 50,000 inhabitants; other notable sites are the city of Kelvin and the town of Threshold, in the northern hill country, a haven for adventurers surrounded by humanoid-inhabited wilderness.
In ancient times the land of Traldar was home to a heroic civilization of barbarian-like people. About two thousand years ago, a massive army of beast-men attacked the Traldar people. The war raged for years and spawned countless legends (chief among them the stories of Halav, Petra, and Zirchev, the later patron Immortals of Traladara); but eventually, the gnolls were driven out, leaving the glory of the Traldar heroes in ruins. The people, now calling themselves the Traladarans, then founded a nation of loosely allied, small communities in the deep woods.
900 AC: About a century ago, the Thyatian Empire, on one of their periodic conquest sweeps, moved an army into Traladara, conquering the coastal regions and some inland communities and declaring the nation to be a protectorate of the Empire.
970 AC: Duke Stefan Karameikos III trades his ancestral lands (the Duchy of Machetos) to Emperor Thincol for independent rulership of Traladara, which is renamed the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. Duke Stefan sails to and takes possession of his duchy, then begins parceling out land and titles to his Thyatian followers. He begins building roads across the Duchy and a strong military to protect it.
An Overview of Traladaran Culture and Customs
There are several distinct cultures present in Karameikos. The Traladarans, a pale, dark-haired people, have lived here for thousands of years. Energetic, romantic, artistic and superstitious; they are descendants of the Traldar. The Traladarans are ruled by a conquering class of Thyatians brought here about thirty years ago by Duke Stefan Karameikos.
There are also two elven clans here: the vigorous Clan Callari in the central parts and the Clan Vyalia in the northern parts of the eastern forests. In the north is a community of dwarves and gnomes called Highforge.
There are many frictions between the Thyatians and Traladarans, but increasingly they are coming to think of themselves as a single nation. Despite the exploitative nature of many Thyatian nobles, who see the Traladarans as a work resource to be used for maximum profit, Stefan has enforced many laws to ensure Traladaran equality.
A Traladaran custom for kicking the birds out of the nest which has been adopted by the Thyatian living in Karameikos: The Shearing Ceremony.
Government and Religion
Karameikos is officially a Grand Duchy for political reasons, but is effectively a monarchy. Stefan Karameikos, the ruler, chose to be only (Grand) Duke as a political signal to other nations that his nation has retained its ties to the Thyatian Empire, and that to invade Karameikos would therefore be to invade Thyatis. The nation also has several semi-autonomous baronies.
The patron Immortals of the Traladarans are Zirchev, Petra and Halav, the heroic leaders of the Traldar war against the “beast-men”. The so-called Church of Traladara worships them. Thyatians for the most follow the Church of Karameikos, founded by Thyatian priests about thirty years ago. More conservative Thyatians still have representation in the Church of Thyatis ever present in many mayor cities.
Information about Karameikos Army.
Notable Rogues’ and Thieves Guilds:
The Kingdom of the Thieves and The Veiled Society are headquartered here, along with numerous cells from the Iron Ring. Various freelance rogues operate within city limits, as well as gangs of toughs that roam most of the poorer sections of the city.
The Duke’s Law is as follows, with repeat offenders of these crimes getting stiffer sentences within the fine category or even raised by one category:
Class One Crime (Unarmed Assault, Theft of goods totalling less than 10 gp in value): 1-6 gp fine and/or 1 day in jail.
Class Two Crime (Lesser Armed Assault [improvised weapons], Theft of goods totalling between 11-100 gp in value: 10-60 gp fine and/or 1-6 weeks in jail.
Class Three Crime (Attempted escape/flight from authorities, Slander, Theft of goods totalling between 101-1,000 gp in value): 100-600 gp fine and/or 1-6 months in jail.
Class Four Crime (Greater Armed Assault [using deadly weapons or magic], Accidental Murder, Endangerment, Theft of goods totalling between 1,001-10,000 gp in value): 1,000-6,000 gp fine and/or 1 year in jail.
Class Five Crime (Attempted Spontaneous Murder, Theft of goods totalling in excess of 10,000 gp in value: 5,000-30,000 gp fine and/or 1-6 years in jail.
Class Six Crime (Spontaneous Murder, Attempted Deliberate Murder, Mutiny, Disobedience of Orders by Military Personnel in Peacetime): 10,000-60,000 gp fine and/or 5-30 years in jail or death.
Class Seven Crime (Deliberate Murder, Treason [assault against the Royal Family, Mutiny, Disobedience of Orders by Military Personnel in Wartime, Betrayal of State Secrets to a Foreign Power, Disobedience of a Royal Command from the Duke or Duchess]): Death.
In addition to these, all weapons except daggers are peacebound. Carrying an unbound weapon is an automatic Class Two crime, but murder with an unbound weapon is automatically tried as a Class Seven crime. Casting a spell on an unwilling party is tried as a Class Two crime (or greater if the effect warrants a greater punishment).
Karameikos is noted for its high share of monsters. From Vampires and Werewolves to Goblins, Bugbears and Orcs. People of Karameikos are superstitious and they have a reason, monsters do wander around and are a real danger to their lives. See for example: Karameikos Semihuman Tribes
Other aspect of the country is the many legends related to the times before the conquest of Karameikos by the Thyatian Empire for example:
Beastmen of Traladara
Caverns of Quasqueton
The Eyes of Traldar
The Palace of the Silver Princess
For more information see GAZ 1: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, and Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure.