"Beware the lands beyond the Shattered Mountains, for
therein lies the jungle empire of the insect men. A strange place of beasts that take on
the manner of men, walls made of bone and skin, gates that obey the spoken word and other
such wonders. The insect men are strange in thought and deed. Their ways are not our ways.
Be cautious in your dealings with them."
- Citrano Steffar, Freetrader of the Pirate Isles
|Ruler||No single ruler. (See below).|
|Estimated Population||Unknown. Estimates vary widely.|
|Demographics||Karthasian 90%, Human (Myrian) 8%, Human (Kalimuran) 1%, Phellysian 1%|
|Capital City||None (See below).|
|Natural Resources||Abundant plant and animal life including fish, tropical fruit, berries, roots, herbs, lumber, bamboo|
|Manufactured Goods and Major Exports||No exports.|
|Government Type||Provincial Autocracy|
|Government Stability||Very Stable|
|Approximate Land Area||230,000 square kilometers|
Karth is a hot, tropical peninsula inhabited by a single race - the insectoid Karthasians. These strange and alien beings dwell in massive hive-like cities in the depths of the jungle ruled over by their demi-god queens. The lush, tropical Karth peninsula is dense with vegetation. Thick underbrush, twisted tree roots and massive vine draped trees make travel through this region very difficult. Sweltering heat and extreme humidity aggravate the weary traveler further. The air swarms with insects and many dangerous animals prowl the land.
Karth is a peninsula bound on the west, south and east by ocean. The northeast corner of the Karthasian peninsula is hilly as the Shattered Mountains level out into the central rain forests which stretch for hundreds of kilometers. Most of the coastline is rocky cliffs dotted with tiny beaches. Karth is home to several active volcanoes which are buried away in the vast jungles.
The jungle lands of Karth are filled with plants and animals. A group of skypods floating high overhead is a common and pleasant sight. However, the beauty of this land belies the danger all around. Dungflies, bore worms, qirben, arochar, splinter slugs and a variety of spiders and insects are all found here in great abundance. Beyond this, the brave jungle explorer must deal with nests of horrax, the poisonous red asp, the fierce krallinar and the invisible shimmer cat. Lions, tigers, panthers and other predatory cats hunt on the plentiful herd animals. There are also reports of gumric in Karth. Karth and Myria both have access to a staggering variety of plant life. A few examples: blood root, death blossom, itchvine, jungle pipe, meal nuts, tara root and tuskweed are but a few.
Long ago, just prior to the Sundering, a science vessel of the Karthasian Hive (a star travelling race from a neighboring star system) was orbiting the planet, having been sent to investigate odd energy fluctuations in the Khorasian star. When the ship arrived, they found that excessive stellar radiation prevented their communication and propulsion systems from operating. The Karthasian science vessel was helpless, caught in a decaying orbit.
The science vessel was severely damaged by the electromagnetic storm set off in the planetary system by the Sundering. The vessel plummeted to the planet surface. Most of the vessel broke apart in the upper atmosphere. Pieces rained down from the sky and landed in the ocean.
Before the ship disintegrated during its fiery voyage into the atmosphere, the queen (every interstellar Karthasian vessel is commanded by a queen) ordered that the crew abandon ship. They plotted courses for the jungle covered peninsula in southwestern Ithria. (The jungle like environment of this area was very similar to their homeworld).
Of the forty escape pods that were launched, thirty two reached the planets surface intact. Most landed in or near the peninsula. A total of 95 karthasians survived the catastrophe. Despite advanced biotechnology, many succumbed to Khorasian diseases. In addition, the Karthasian technology, which is organic based, would not function on the planets surface due to environmental conditions (primarily, the harsh radiation that the severed sun was now pouring down on the planet). Despite all of this, the Karthasians managed to survive and multiply. Today, there are thousands of them. Over the centuries, the Karthasians have lost all of their advanced technology, though their aptitude for science, mathematics and linguistics prevails.
In the year 970, a Drakkellian ship landed on the southwest peninsula and ran into the Karthasians. Revolted by the Karthasian appearance, they attacked. The Karthasians defended themselves and killed all but a handful of the foreigners. The survivors returned to Drakkel telling tales of horrible insect men living in the distant jungles. So it was that the world discovered Karth and also learned to fear them. Only after subsequent ventures to this land would the peaceful nature of the karthasians become known.
There are currently twenty nine Karthasian hives in the dense jungle of the Karth Peninsula. Each hive is ruled by a queen in an autocratic role. No governmental structure exists. "Her" word is law. The queen makes all decisions and all karthasians are expected to obey without question or hesitation.
All warrior caste karthasians serve in a military or guard capacity. These hulking beetle-like warriorws spend endless hours practicing appropriate skills. They are little more than automatons who mindlessly follow the orders of their queen.
Karthasian hives trade with each other frequently. Some trade with the phellysians and grum has also been established. Peaceful trade with the myrians has been conducted for a long time. Food, herbs and animals are plentiful. Weapons, armour and clothing is imported.
Karthasians seem odd to the other races of the world, especially from a social point of view. Few outsiders visit this nation. And the frequency of karthasians outside Karth decreases with distance.
Because the karthasians are unable to cast magic, there is no magic within this realm. No sorcerers, no schools, no laws.
The karthasians have one name each, given to them by their queen. However, their names are completely unpronounciable by humanoid mouths and tongues. Their names, to our ears, sound like a series of buzzes, clicks and dissonant chords. Usually, when a karthasian ventures out into the world, it will take on a name taken from whatever society it might become a member of. A karthasian traveling with a grumman merchant caravan might be given the name "Sixfeet" by his grumman companions while a karthasian living in Kalimura might go by "Lars" or some other common Kalimuran name.
Karth lies far from the shining, civilized kingdoms of the rest of the world. It is rare for a seagoing ship to visit this distant jungle realm. It typically takes more than a month to reach Karth by ship.
Within Karth, there are no roads at all. The karthasian hives lie deep in dense jungle. Traveling from the coast to a specific hive, or between hives, is very slow going. The jungle is dense and dangerous. The terrain is uneven and the ground under foot is often wet and muddy. Vegetation must be hacked away with every foot step. It typically takes many days of slow and difficult travel to reach a hive.
For more information, see the Travel and Distance page
This website was last updated November 19, 2022. Copyright 1990-2022 David M. Roomes.