The Grand Duchy of Karameikos
This Campaign is meant to treat players to the most exciting and enjoyable experiences that Dungeons and Dragons has to offer. Fighting monsters, breaking in doors, solving puzzles, looting dungeons, and immersing yourself in your character.
The setting is not meant to be strange or confusing. It should evoke the feeling of a realistic medieval province with compelling characters, dangerous politics, and plenty of tasty adventure hooks. Since we are playing Original DnD you can expect things to be difficult, only careful play and a solid luck streak will keep your character alive from one session to the next. This is a good thing though, we are playing in a dangerous setting and monsters love the taste of low level characters.
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 Thyatis and east of the Five Shires; to the north, broad mountain ranges separate the nation from other regions and nations.
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 an ancient and powerful civilisation of barbarian-like people (often known as the Savage Kings). About 500 years ago, a massive army of evil humanoids (orcs, gnolls, etc) attacked the Traldar people. The war raged for years and spawned countless legends. Eventually the invaders were driven out, but they left the glory of the Traldarian people in ruins. Those who remained held together a nation of loosely allied communities in the deep woods.
About a century ago, the Thyatians, on one of their periodic conquest sweeps, moved an army into Traladar, conquering the coastal regions and many of the inland communities declaring the nation to be a protectorate of the Empire.
Some thirty years ago, a Thyatian Duke named Stefan Karameikos traded his vast family fortune and homeland, the prosperous Duchy of Machetos, to Emperor Thincol I for a clear, autonomous title to what was considered the uncivilised lands of Traladar. He moved in with his own army and followers, taking over where Thyatian governors had ruled, and began an aggressive program of road building, citadel construction, and heavy fortification.
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 Callarii in the central parts and the Vyalia in the northern parts of the eastern forests. In the north is a community of dwarves and gnomes called Highforge.
There is much friction 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