Karth historical records go back thousands of years starting with the Age of the Gods in Year 1AG. At that time great heroes from all of the Karth races, once mortal, ascended into the heavens where they became gods watching over their respective Clans. In fact, across the continents all races started off isolated with separate Clans looking after their own as a smaller knit community. The invention by the humans of “Kingdoms” did not occur until 1255AG. Since then, every continent started warring and the notion of Clans faded away. Now only the elves, goblins and dwarves still hold onto loyalties to Clans. The elves in particular refuse to be a kingdom under one king and they set-up a system of rule with Lords from each Clan representing the voice of each community.
The Heroes of Karth Book Trilogy starts in the year 2021AG.
The Hours of the Day
The Karth day is 24 hours long, broken up by the rising and setting sun. In large cities, temple bells toll to mark the hours, and each hour is a “bell” – counting from the hour after midnight or noon and numbering 1-12. Noon and midnight are both referred to as “12 bells”.
The Karth Year
The Calendar defines the year for most of Karth. It defines a 365-day year divided into 12 months of 30 days or 3 ten days. Five special days fall on the Winter and Summer Solstice extending the 21st Day of Deep Snow and on the 27th Day of Spring’s Rain to last 4 and 3 days respectively.
A tenday is also called a ride, and consists of ten days. The days do not have names, but are instead referred to by number: first-day, second-day, and so on.
Days of the Month:
Frostbane = January
Icewind = February
Winter’s End = March
New Blossom = April
Spring’s Rain = May
Summer’s Bloom = June
High Sun = July
Golden Harvest = August
Leaf’s Fall = September
Hallows Eve = October
Cold Nights = November
Deep Snow = December
The moon, stars, mountains, bear, owl, water and ice are symbols for winter and the Winter Solstice. The Solstice occurs on the 21st December and lasts for 4 days before the 22nd December occurs. During this time the day and night re-align with the stars, the moon and the sun.
The sun, stars, spider, werewolf, stag, earth, ash and fire are symbols for Summer and the Summer Solstice. The Solstice occurs on the last Monday of May and lasts for 3 days before the next day of May occurs. During this time the day and night re-align with the stars, the moon and the sun.
The moon, stars, bear, colored lights and snow are the symbols for the Yule Feast.The Yule Feast signals the beginning of the Summer Solstice. To celebrate the re-alignment of the moon, sun and stars, everyone partakes in a great feast full of tons of food ending with gifts exchanged between family and friends.
Winter’s Last Bounty
Water, steam, earth, minerals, mountains, marshes and the dragon are the symbols for the Winter’s Last Bounty. This is the last big meal before holding up and waiting for Spring to bring new bounties.
Water, steam, earth, and minerals are the symbols for the Spring Fast. This is a time to fast and help plant and farm and help the earth bring new bounties.
Earth, water, dust, sun, stag and eagle are the symbols for the Spring Feast. This is the time to have a big meal celebrating the new bounties from the first growth of food and new animals. During this time there is usually a great hunting event to gather and replenish food supplies.
Festival of the New Moon
The sun, stars, stag, eagle and spider are the symbols for the Festival of the New Moon. There is a great feast everyday with a carnival running and during daytime it is also a time to help gather all the new food (fun and hard work both at play). This festival starts on the 1st Day and ends on the 10th day. The new moon brings a strong bounty of spiritual energies where they are peaking with energy flows and the blue energy crystals are a deep blue.
The sun, stars, magma, fire, stag and spider are the symbols for the Summer Feast. To celebrate the re-alignment of the moon, sun and stars, everyone partakes in a great feast full of tons of food ending with an offering to the Gods.
The sun, fire, smoke, and werewolf are the symbols for the Mid-Summer Feast. The werewolves came-out and became an accepted part of the Karth society. With it, the mid-summer feast acknowledges that there are many more races than just human, elf and dwarf.
Summer’s Last Bounty
The wind, fields, and horse are the symbols for the Summer’s Last Bounty. It is time to start conserving food and a small meal symbolizes the preparations of winter coming. It is also a time for hunting to add more stores for winter.
The moon, stars and wolf are the symbols for the Moon Festival. To celebrate the new full moon and the coming of winter, everyone dresses in costumes and has a grand party ending at midnight. The Elders hand out treats to everyone.
The moon, storms, lightning, stars, crystals, night and the beast are the symbols for Hell’s Feast. To celebrate the last full moon, everyone partakes in a great feast full of tons of deserts ending with a sacrifice to the Gods. This is a time of the Shard and the rise of the monster races.
The owl, dragon and eagle all occur at the first three months of the year. With the invention of the blue spiritual energy potion, this period is now seen as the “Sky’s Reach” where gnomes and kobolds have made anything possible with flying inventions. The dragons, hippogriffs and eagles are now not the only thing seen in the sky!
The World of Karth
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“Everyone can be a hero!“
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Key Races and Symbols on Karth
Bear, Hammer and Anvil
Dwarves and barbarians often use the bear, hammer and anvil symbol on their banners and flags. The barbarians also use the bear coat and head in clothing and armor designs.
Owl, Gears and Chisels
Gnomes often use the snow owl, gears and chisels as symbols on their banners and flags. They also have incorporated the owl into their inventions including a flying owl.
Dragon and Skull
The dragon symbol largely replaced the skull as the dominant symbol flying on banners and flags of undead armies. Unbeknown to most, Xeon’s minions were responsible for this change when they first came to karth to start preparations for conquest.
Eagle, Stag and Cougar
The eagle and stag are the main symbols representing the elves on karth and can be found on their elf banners, flags, furnishing decorations and clothing. The eagle also represents the high elves who are city dwellers and upper class versus the stag representing the rural elves or commoners. Elves ride giant eagles, cougars and stags.
Spider, Bow and Spears
Many goblin tribes allied with the spiders and now adopt the spider in flags, banners and clothing designs. They also use spears and bows as other symbols. The goblins also ride the large spiders. The Lizard folk also use the spider symbol in their banners and flags although the spider is a water spider or one found in swamps.
Werewolves, Jackals and the Moon
Since revealing themselves in karth society, the werewolves, vampires and jackals often incorporate the werewolf symbol in their flags and banners. The moon and dark colors are also other symbols heavily used.
Horse, Lion, Shield and Sword
The humans and halflings often use the horse, pony or lions in their flags and banners. They also use shields and weapons in their designs. The Kingdom of Hathaway is renowned for having an army largely made up of knights riding warhorses. The halflings are also famous for breeding a smaller race of Clydesdale horses.
Some goblin tribes, gnolls and human nomads often use the wolf symbol in flags and banners and incorporate designs in their armor and clothing. The goblins also ride the large wolves or wargs.
Demon / Beast
The demon or beast symbol is the most common one used by the orcs, ogres, and giants. It can be found on their banners, flags, armor and clothing. These races are the more ruthless and violent races and its symbol is often seen as representing evil.
On Karth each race speaks their own racial or local language. But to understand others outside their boundaries, there are two common languages: Shard and Allegiance. The intent for the common language was initially to have one language everyone would understand but the warring factions prevented it from being entirely realized. However, the common tongues have many similarities as the dialect started from the same foundation. Hence, someone speaking Shard might be able to carry a basic conversation with another knowing Allegiance.
The undead are far more a threat on Karth especially when they are in mobs.
They crave the spiritual energy of the living and drain it from you to try and make themselves alive again. Undead crave the living spiritual energy and drain it from the living from each hit. Every time they drain energy, it rejuvenates them, giving life back to them. Greater undead can control lesser undead just as necromancers can. Undead without a mouth cannot speak and those that do are limited to mosty moans and shrieks. However, they can use silent talk to speak to their master using very basic words.
Two Spells Common on Karth: Mark and Moongate. A caster can use a Moongate for up to 4 people to enter and travel to a known marked location up to 25 miles from the caster (Lesser Moongate, Level 3) or 8 people (Moongate, Level 4) to enter and travel to a known marked location up to 50 miles from the caster or 8 people (Greater Moongate, Level 6) to enter and travel to a known marked location on same plane as the caster. The caster can memorize up to 3 locations that are marked in their spell book or on scrolls using the mark scroll. A caster can purchase scrolls with marked locations and use them. Guards are always patrolling and looking for marked locations (they can be dispelled or damaged physically to erase the marking).
The elves on Karth hate the undead and proclaim necromancy illegal. Some of the other races are more tolerant but most hide the practice of necromancy that is until the Brotherhood of the Deserted arrived and in many kingdoms a Necromancer Proclamation made them heroes. Since the proclamation, necromancy does not mean mages are practicing black arts and will turn evil. The Brotherhood has sworn to respect the dead and only create new undead in urgent cases. Otherwise they will just control undead that are already in existence. The necromancer brotherhood will also often release undead’s spirits, slaying the creatures in the process and each necromancer has a unique way of doing this.
ADJUSTMENT TO NECROMANCER CLASS: Necromancy works differently with Command Undead available at level 1 with the type of undead and number starting at up to 2 level 1 or 1 level 2 undead increasing by 1 point per level. Therefore at level 10, the necromancer can control 1 level 10 undead. Any undead that a character is trying to control gets to save versus the character’s DC. Undead under control lasts for 48 Hours and then can try and save again.
NEW MOONGUARD CLASS FOR WOOD ELVES: Moonguards are essentially paladins with bows. Check with the DM when creating your character and leveling but essentially instead of sword and shield main attack is with a bow and some of the melee attacks now apply to the bow instead. Moonguard arrows shoot out as blue energy bolts doing double base damage to undead. At higher level they get the Teleport ability where a blue flash of light appears and the caster and depending on the strength of the caster additional people can be teleported short distances. They are the guardians of the spiritual energy crystals and also gain an additional 2 SE. Be careful though as any undead within 50 feet will sense a Moonguard’s energy and will stop attacking other characters and charge at them instead.
The Thieves Guild
The Brotherhood of Shadows is the largest Thieves guild, and its influence extends into the Underdark where the dwarves, kobolds, dark elves, Grey Dwarves and many other underworld races live. No kingdom can rule completely without having some kind of allegiance with the thief’s guild.
The elves in Karth are from Green Valley. The elves do not have a king. Instead, the elf lords rule with the help of the elf high priestesses as their advisers. The elves employ the rangers as their army with captains, warriors, spear men, archers and scouts that protect their lands.
Elves are very in tune with nature and use canoes to travel through their lands as much as they do on horseback. Most of the elves are very religious and show their level of piousness with displays of tattoos. The elf main god is the Goddess Shifra. The high priestesses employ the moonguard warriors to help serve under them. The elf high priestesses are very intolerant of other religions and they despise necromancy.
Druids are barely tolerated by the elf community and are seen as heretics that do not follow the ways of the Goddess Shifra. They interpret the religion differently and believe that all living creatures and all religions have a place and that there is a balance with nature and with all living things. Druids are shunned by most and are usually not seen amongst civilization. The rangers are one of the only elves that have dealings with the druids.
Elves use Eagles and Large Cougars as pets.
The humans are from the Kingdom of Hathaway. Their capitol city of Barsoom is a coastal city which acts as the trade center for the north. Hathaway is ruled by King Rutherford who employs his knights and paladins as his main army to watch over the lands.
Hathaway was one of the first lands to experience the Undead Curse. Over time most of its forests and lands have withered away and are now called the Dying Forest. If it were not for the rich trade city, Hathaway would be faced with a starving population as all the farm lands have been overrun with undead. The only living creature in the wilds is now the Giant Bats and Large Beetles.
With undead everywhere, necromancers are becoming more common and the humans have come to appreciate their profession especially after it was proven that they are not responsible for the Undead Curse. Necromancers and clerics are used to help keep the undead controlled.
Humans use Ravens and Black Panthers as pets.
The barbarians are nomadic and live in the Snowy Owl Mountains and the Dragon Spine Mountains. They are tribal and have Chieftains and shamans that rule over them.
The barbarians are allied with the dwarves and gnomes from the Iron Spike who are at war with the orcs and gnolls.
Barbarians use Snow Owls, and White Wolves as pets.
Dwarves and Gnomes
The dwarves and gnomes live together in the Kingdom of the Iron Spike. They are allied with the barbarians and both are at war with the orcs and gnolls. The dwarves and gnomes are the greatest miners and inventors in Karth. They rely on open routes to Barsoom for trade. Since the Undead Curse, they have started constructing an underground route towards Barsoom which already extends past the Green valley elf kingdom.
The dwarves and gnomes live in the mountains and most of their dwellings are underground. The dwarf citadel of Rochdale is a massive stronghold which the orcs have tried to invade numerous times but have so far been unable to penetrate its defenses.
The dwarves and gnomes sit under a vast wealth of ore and crystals and the orcs and undead clearly want its riches but have been frustrated at the massive defensive posture of the dwarves and gnomes.
Dwarves and gnomes use Snow Owls, Snow Rabbits and Grizzly Bears as pets.
Goblins, Ogres and Spiders
The goblins are a unique race that in many ways is similar to the elves. They live in the Dark Forest and the Goblin Hills. They are tribal and each tribe has its own Chieftain that rules over the tribe. The goblin shamans act as the adviser to the goblin chieftain.
Goblins live under the rule of their chieftain and their is a hierarchy down to the lowest level being goblin peons or goblin slaves. Most goblins are males with only one of eight goblins being born as female. The goblin chieftain with advice from the shamans rewards only the strongest with a wife to bare goblin pups.
The hierarchical structure has changed recently with the coming of the “Dark Ones” and the Curse of the Undead. Now the Dark Ones have taught goblin necromancers who appear to have control over the entire tribe including the chieftain.
Goblins are also often allied with ogres and spiders. The ogres sometimes also ally with the orcs to the north but they prefer the goblins because they are easier to deal with. The giant spiders share the Dark Forest with the goblins and they are used to travel on instead of by horse or warg.
Goblins use Crows, Spiderlings, Rats and Wolves as pets.
Ogres use Giant Bees and Brown Bears as pets.
The undead have started to establish a foothold in the lands of Hathaway and within the Iron Spike Lands at Harrogate. Both the dwarves and humans have tried many times to wipe out the strongholds but the undead forces replenish to quickly with the Curse of the Undead.
The undead are controlled by the Dark Ones although the human lands had undead at the Crypt of Xeen long before the Dark Ones arrived.
Undead use Giant Bats and Large Beetles as pets.
Orcs, Gnolls and Hill Giants
The orcs and Gnolls are allied together. The orcs are the toughest and cruelest race in Karth. They are slave lords that dwell in the north and hunt and capture any other race so that they can enslave them.
They use the gnolls to the south as pawns and often gnolls are enslaved within the orc territories. The orcs have allied with the Dark Ones and also have orc Necromancers except the necromancers have not been able to control the slave lords and work under them instead.
Orcs use Hawks and Polar Bears as pets.
The lizardmen are from the Cursed Swamp. They have a Lizard King that rules over their lands. they have large lizards as pets that make formidable beats. The lizardmen are similar to the jackals where they prefer being left alone.
The Curse of the Undead has affected the lizardmen and they now have necromancers which are used to help control the undead.
The lizardmen blame the humans and are starting to raid human caravans that cross near their lands.
Lizardmen use Giant Dragon Flies and Lizards as pets.
The jackals are from the Howling Burrows. These dog like creatures are nomadic and roam in packs. They generally do not war with any other races unless their lands are threatened. When united the jackals are very formidable as they attack by using a pack mentality with large numbers.
The jackals have managed to keep the Curse of the Undead away from their lands.
Jackals use Giant Scorpions and Large Rats as pets.
Orcs and Vampires???????????????????????
Tim’s featured keynote
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