The Forgotten Throne
REGION D – The Empire of Karkoa
Perhaps no other nation was so completely transformed by the Cataclysm. In the time before the Vile War, Karkoa was an elven nation that celebrates peace, faith, and the arts. They were amongst the first to be overrun by the Vile warhost, and also the first to see the effects of Vile Corruption visited upon their family and friends. Within a generation, the only people still living in Karkoa were scattered refugees and resistance fighters.
But as the war raged on, the discovery that fire could kill the Vile and prevent it’s spread was made, and the resistance took on a new shape. Scorched-earth tactics became the mode of operations here, and the hardened Karkoan rebels used it with brutal, merciless efficiency. As the tide of the War turned the Karkoans continued their campaign of burning everything the Vile had tainted, and as the obvious targets became fewer the paranoia of a resurgence took hold, and burning began being applied more and more liberally to anything that could possibly be Vile-related. Certain zealous leaders were eager to remind their followers that Magic was the root of the Vile, and so began a long and bloody period of magical persecution in Karkoa.
Finally, an order of Paladins stepped to the fore in an effort to an end to the atrocities being committed. Their campaign to unite and quell all of the individual Inquisitions eventually gathered all of Karkoa under it’s rule, and so the leader of this movement became the first Emperor of the new Empire of Karkoa. Under his rule, the “Justicars of the Holy Flame” became not only a military institution, but a government one as well. Even to this day the Justicars rule in Karoka, and the Order of the Holy Flame make every effort to spread their doctrine throughout the world.
Government: The Emperor rules at the top of the government, but most of the smaller states and cities have their own, self-contained spheres of political rank and influence. The over-riding authority in the region, however, is the Justicars. Those who carry the full rank of Justicar are given license as the Voice of Imperial Judgment, which makes them singular, uncontested authorities unto themselves. Justicars are responsible for serving as magistrates, adjudicating matters of law and passing judgment on those suspected of harboring Vile or misusing magic for their own gain.
People from here are called: Karkoan
Population: While originally an Elven nation, the modern Karkoa has a much more balanced population in terms of the Elder Races. While there are still several prestigious elven families, dwarves, humans and Orcs can all be found serving the nobility, and as Justicars themselves.
Whyr and Gruen are much less common here than they are in other places. Not all that surprising – people who look and act differently are always seen as suspicious by Karkoans, and they are much more welcome elsewhere.
What is interesting about living here:
The Karkoan culture is predicated on the belief that it was ultimately the Temptation of Magic that caused the Cataclysm that ruined the world, and that Magic Wielded by Evil was the source of the Vile. Thus, the desire for magical power is viewed as sinful in Karkoa. Magic is acknowledged as being sprung from divine origin here as everywhere else, but Karkoans believe that magic should only be used when it is required, not when it is merely useful.
In truth, the interpretation of these guidelines has frequently been problematic over the years. Some eras have seen widespread persecution of people born with magic powers, or those who choose to display those powers publicly. In other eras, magic has been heralded as a necessary tool in the war against the Vile, and there have been Sorcerers who were also Justicars.
And in others, as with the present regime, it has been used as a validation for Holy Wars.
Currently, Karkoa is embroiled in a war with their neighboring nation of Quonar, due to the Quonari’s choice to take in refugees from Karkoa who were fleeing persecution from the Justicars for practicing blasphemous magics. Quonar itself has always been an openly pro-magic nation, and the current Karkoan Emperor (Solaris the IV) saw this as a convenient excuse to invade.
What is good about living here:
Being centrally located, it is impossible for most trading vessels to avoid re-supplying in Karkoan ports. This makes Karkoa a powerful trading nation, as well as a powerful industrial nation. The larger cities enjoy a strong middle-class, as well as a strong sense of nationalism from its people.
And in fairness, Karkoa is an extremely safe place to live for most people. The Justicars don’t just hunt rogue magic users, but all criminals in general. This makes the streets of Karkoa some fo the safest in the world. Even people who have some magical power have little to fear so long as they register with the government, and indeed many of those registered are brought into the Order as advisors, clerks and priests. As the Order often says, they do not hate Magic. They hate its misuse.
What sucks about living here:
While Justicars are given their post based on many qualities, a sense of mercy is not necessarily one of them. No price is too great to prevent re-surgence of the Vile, and whole towns can be burned to insure that a single infection does not spread. Scorched-earth is still the policy of Justicar methodology, and the apply it with extreme prejudice.
- Why are people from here coming to the Forgotten Continent:*
While nor every town welcomes the Order of the Holy Flame, its impossible to argue their effectiveness in dealing with Vile creatures and magical corruption. Also, being a legitimate holy order adherent to several of the God-Spirits they wish to spread their gospel to as many people as possible. Where better to do that then the international ports of the Forgotten Continent?