Krarth

(Book 6, Bloodsword 1, Bloodsword 5)

History

TBA

The Blasting of Spyte

Delving too deep in occult magic, the original Magi* awoke ancient evil spirits who smote Spyte* from the earth and set a great chasm about it which, it is rumoured, has canyons leading down to Hell* itself. These canyons are referred to by locals as "the Cauldron*".

Capital

The fortress of Spyte* could perhaps be described as at least once serving as the capital, being the place at which the Magi* would meet once every seven^ years for their evil spiritual ceremonies. However, Spyte* is now in ruins and power is now decentralised - and fought over - by the Magi* lineages.

Kalugen Keep^ now houses the Great Hall of the Magi^, and the assembly of Magi^ that gathers for the Battlepits* is the closest the Magi^ get to co-operative governance.

Government

Though once centrally governed from Spyte*, Krarth is now ruled by the Magi* (or, more correctly, the pale apprentices of the lost powerful Magi*) scattered throughout the nation. In Bloodsword 1's lexicon, Krarth is described as having several dozen states ruled by individual Magi*. The Magi* have lineages or dynasties, such as the Byl*, Lim* and Tor* lines. The 'nobles' of these lineages are only noble by name, and as such tend to sire various offspring each with claims to power, as well as plentiful opponents for the same.

Krarth is not an insular state, in that it seeks trade through the Rathurbosk* with the southern nations. It is fair to say that the Kingdom of Wyrd* was once a vassal state to Krarth's powerful Magi*, but since their disappearance has seceded and has thus achieved tolerated autonomy under the rule of the Witch-King* (referred to in the Bloodsword gamebooks - especially Bloodsword 2 - as the "Warlock King"^). Similarly, the Yggdras Isle* is a vassal-state of Krarth, however it offers little for Krarth and hence its power is rarely seen or exercised here.

For all its foibles and infighting, when marshalled for war the Krarthian army is an ominous foe.

Religion

Given the description on page 25 of Book 6 that the Magi* derived their power from Demon-worship, it is fair to assume much of the nation is similarly inclined and Krarth, unlike a number of its nearest neighbours, is not only a geographical wasteland but also a wilderness for the brave missionaries of the True Faith*, if not also the Ta'ashim*.

Language

The universal language within Krarth and indeed the Kingdom of Wyrd* is Cabbandari*, with various local dialects described as 'Lower' Cabbandari* by scholars. The Higher Cabbandari* is the ceremonial and diplomatic language of the Magi*, and is the only form capable of rendering into writing in the indigenous Majestic* script - and even then, a language that is weird in its written representation.

Climate

In Book 6 (page 22) Dave Morris says in a footnote that Krarth (and neighbouring Mercania*, for that matter) lies at the same latitude as Ellesland* but does not have the benefit of the warm ocean currents passing by Ellesland*. He describes it as a flat country with winter temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius in winter up to 15 degrees Celsius in summer.

Geographical Features

East
Mistral Sea*

North
Flint Knives* - Jagged rocky peaks through which chilly north polar winds terrorise the continent.
Rymchaeld Sea* - Icy winter-impassable sea shielded from Krarth in most respects by Mercania*, except in the northeast where it lies between Krarth and its rogue state, the Kingdom of Wyrd*.

West
Border with Mercania*

South
Drakken Peaks* - Conifer-wooded peaks forming a natural defensible border against the more southerly nations.

Cities, Towns and Villages

East
Citadel of Magus Tor* - Magi*
Dourhaven^ - Coastal port
Port Quanongu^ - Coastal port

Northeast
TBA

North
Kalugen Keep^ - Quasi-capital
Ruins of Spyte*

Northwest
TBA

West
Citadel of Magus Lim* - Magi*

Southwest
TBA

South
Citadel of Magus Byl* - Magi*

Southeast
Citadel of Magus Uru^ - Magi*

Places of Interest

East
TBA


North
TBA

West
TBA

South
Rathurbosk Bridge*

Approximation

At first glance, the icy, inhospitable nation of Krarth would appear to have some approximation equivalent to the Scandinavian nations (e.g. Finnish), or perhaps Russia, of Earth. However, Mercania* and its clear viking parallels accounts to some significant extent for the common heritage of Earth's Norse / Scandinavian peoples, leaving perhaps the peoples comprising north Russia as the best approximation.

Trivia

  • Dave Morris credits Leo Hartas on page 10 of Book 6 as inspiring Krarth.
  • The rare magic user rolling for a historical background can land Krarth as an option, likely with a convoluted backstory.