The Grand Empire of Krath was one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations in Nybelmar. As early as the 33rd century b.S. it was already the predominant authority on the continent’s western half. The Krathrians’ moment of glory in late 19th century b.S. epitomized the heights of human creativity, might, and artistry. At the pinnacle of its expansion in the 18th century b.S., it included the Peninsula of Shár, the Plains of Zhun, the Zhunith Desert, and parts of Banderran territory. The Empire of Krath is also often referred to as the "Grand Empire of Earth" or in variations the "Great/Grand Krathrian Empire", "Grand Krath" or the "Krath Empire".
Picture description. Evania Asáén, at the tomb of her recently deceased father, one of the most influential Krean merchants of the era. Picture drawn by Linda Tso.
The Grand Empire was an utter conglomeration of tribes, most of which were
conquered by the Krathaszhar in their momentous history of war and conquest.
The only exceptions to this were the Krean
(who voluntarily joined the Empire and retained an autonomous status under
Krath) and the Orihirim (who were - at best - loosely autonomous considering no
one knew about their exact location). Before Emperor Asaen’s reign ethnic
margins were still quite apparent.
Through its all-embracing trade web, the Empire's influence reached even the continent’s most secluded coasts. Krath culture, roughly three thousand years after its fall, permeates some western states even today. The subtle reverberations of its former power can still be felt in the great city-states of the Zhunite Plains.
Location. The Grand Empire of Earth occupied the south-western quarter of Nybelmar. It reached from the Mountains of Maneth in the south to the Isser River to the northwest, stretching diagonally northeast from there all the way up to the River Rissernus. Krath had its northernmost border with the mountainous regions east of the Inner Sea of Nybelmar. In the northeast, the River Rissernus and a great line of fortifications extending to the Benderrath Ranges separated the Empire from the Chyrakisth orcs and the various nomadic tribes living in the Vaenath Steppes. Through the vassal state of Benderrath, Krath territory made contact with the insurmountable Zharkanions in the east. Officially, the south-eastern border was the Kingdom of Anis-Anpagan, but if truth be told it was nothing more than a scorching desert both kingdoms declared their own yet never had mastery over. The huge block of mountains north of the southernmost Peninsula of Shár and the ranges in northern Zhun, known jointly as “the Forefinger of Earth/Krath” as well as the eastern banks of the meandering Iser split imperial territory from Orcal. The Iser River further screened the Empire from the strange kingdoms of the Nermarem Plains.
Description. The Grand Kingdom of Krath comprised the following locations:
Peninsula of Shár
The Peninsula of Shár, aptly called the “Seed Garden of Krath”, was possibly the most densely populated region of the known world. The spectacular diversity of life on the peninsula humbled even the greatest of gods before the majesty of the High Goddess, Ankriss. If Lillivear researchers were right, the rainforests here contained more species of wildlife and flora than twice the rest of the continent combined. But perhaps more awe-inspiring to the socio-political scholar was the incredible cultural diversity of the civilizations. Nowhere else have nations differed so vastly in such limited territory: as a popular saying goes, the Earth Peninsula had life enough to fill three continents.
As the cradle of so many civilizations, the Earth Peninsula was perhaps also the chest of worms that brought the Empire’s demise. This diversity, so wondrous and constructive elsewhere, prevented Krath from ever anchoring its roots on solid, unified ground. The mere magnitude of difference between the lifestyles, beliefs and perspectives of the tribes birthed so many riots and domestic trouble that a Grand-Karoth of the time had to have “two of his vigilant eyes, a troubled mind and an ever-conspiring hand turned eternally to the Peninsula, leaving only a crippled, sickly hand to dig blindly around the soil of the World.” (Emperor Dearan Asaen)
There is great truth behind this understatement: three fourths of the army had to be constantly engaged in keeping the lid on the mainland, at times barely maintaining the peace let alone order and stability. With only a quarter of the Empire’s power employed to secure the trade routes, suppress and control neighbouring threats, Krath’s great achievements and conquests become allthemore outstanding.
The Plains of Zhun
Great white waves washed against the dignified cliffs of the eastern shore and softened in their intensity as they brushed the beaches taking cover in the azure bays resting between cities of the southern coast, perhaps emasculated by the activity in the colossal harbours.
Great settlements brimming with life and commerce lined the coast, hungry seagulls circling above the waterfront. Trade met the lively waters of the Zyloth Sea in the busy docks of these majestic cities. Before the Year of Darkness, these piers were among the west’s most eventful centres of sea-trade, between the political instability of the Zhunite cities and the twisted perils of the Zyloth Sea only a small portion of the merchants that set sail from Anpagan shores actually reached the – relative – safety of these harbours.
The piers along the shoreline were used to transport large quantities of food (mostly grain) and other essential goods from Nybelmarasa and Zhun further south to the peninsula.
The animated Zyloth Sea making the plains’ border with wave embroidery gave way to endless fields stretching all the way to the distant horizon behind the towns. A mesmerizing sense of order and efficiency exuded from the fields, all precisely packed and parcelled into convenient sections. Not a single breath was wasted to idleness; it is said that when a farmer lifted his head from his work or wiped sweat off his forehead to catch the cool afternoon breeze stirring amongst the golden rows, no matter where he was, saw Three Priestesses: The stern gaze of the Overseer always bellowing – even in her silence – further instructions, the reassuring smile of the Grower behind her, and the tireless – and at times lost – scribbling of the Observer.
Mills and patches of sunflowers would begin to dot the almost monotonous expanse of irrigated fields, the autumn harvest matching the sands of the seashore in hue and abundance. Wherever the hand of civilization did not reach to sow its crops, verdant pastures and temperate hills, covered in mantles of wildflowers and daisies in springtime, rushed forth to fill the landscape. Maquis growth sheathed the soil far and wide. Everywhere, everywhere in the wilderness was swathed by forests of fruit-bearing olive trees.
The gradual rise of the terrain to the north heralded the dark heights of the Imperial Mines nestled in the breadth of the great Dragon’s Back Mountains. A perpetual drone resonated in the cliffs, carried away by the wind, howling as it spiralled down from the snow-capped peaks to the valley floor.
Beware: Naezshan Zhunith, the “Desert of Zhun” in the High Tongue of Aca-Santerra, was not always a desert! Until the Breaking (see history), the grassy lowlands of Nybelmarasa as it was then called were perhaps the most fertile and versatile in the Empire. These scenic plains irrigated by so many meandering rivers, with the bright rays of a Zhunite sun sparkling off their waters, supported not only almost every crop known to the Krathaszar but primed the largest husbandry sector of the vast empire, flocks after flocks grazing on its lush pastures.
Nybelmarasa, as the only region not caged in by mountain ranges, served as Krath’s portal to foreign lands, hence the epithet “The Grand Gate”. There is also a less romantic story for how the expression came about: When the Empire expanded towards the north from Zhun, Nybelmarasa became the “Gate” through which the Krathamar expelled the tribal black orcs and human nomads to arid wastelands of Orcal and Vaenath respectively. The open plains were the ideal place to station and manoeuvre the Empire’s gargantuan army. Hundreds of outposts dotted Krath’s new borders, protecting them not only from Orcristh attacks in the west but the reckless assaults of Chyrakisth warbands and barbarian raids to the east; mighty citadels watched over his hidden treasures.
The most important land trade routes of the West once converged here. The Great Asaen Roads, the safest and by far the best tended highways in the Empire, had been built to facilitate this colossal passage of commerce. “The Courtyard of Nybelmar” saw the zenith of Krath architecture during the reign of Emperor Dearan Asaen. Even today, a lonely traveller trekking through Naezshan Zhunith, the barren desert which was once the breathtaking Nybelmarasa, may see the remnants of this august architecture: ruins of an ancient fantasy, which have like the ghosts of the ancient civilization withstood the passage of time unharmed but forgotten.
Surprisingly little is known about the Benderrath highlands in Santharia, despite their proximity to the Anis-Anpagan Dominion, one of the main contacts of the Compendium in Nybelmar. An expedition to discover these fascinating steppes is underway; volunteer scholars, artists and – unavoidably – adventurers may sign up with the Compendium at the Great Hall of the New-Santhalan Library.
People. Abstract. The Grand Empire was an utter conglomeration of tribes, most of which were conquered by the Krathaszhar in their long and momentous history of war and conquest. The only exceptions to this were the Krean (who voluntarily joined the Earth League and retained an autonomous status under Krath) and the Orihirim (who were at best loosely autonomous considering no-one knew the exact location of their country). Except in the truly ‘imperial’ metropolises, ethnic margins were still quite apparent before Grand-Karoth Dearan Asaen’s reign. The great emperor sought to strengthen the fusion between the populace; through rigorous intermarriage and merged settlement policies he significantly altered the demograhical landscape.
|1. The Krathaszar||5. The Qualaris|
|2. The Krean||6. The Evalaris|
|3. The Zhunite||7. The Sharosar|
|4. The Orihirim||8. The Viaquis|
People of the Great Empire of Krath: An Aesteran lady on her way to a midnight soiree and a Lillivear priestess. Note the wings on the priestess' back – an artistic indication of her vocation. All pictures drawn by Sheil.
What is now known as the Krean men was actually an elusive mixture of two tribes, the Aestera and the Lillivear, distinct but complementary to each other like the ocean is to the earth. The Krean were possessed of an undying passion for learning and progress. It was perhaps this yearning which acted as the impetus of these miraculously long-lived humans. The members of this tribe were passionate adherents of meritocracy; no public role was cast in immovable stone or preset by gender.
From keeping the rainforests under control to creating celestial flower gardens, from creating the most spectacular paintings in Krath to crafting devious plots at the imperial court, the Krean were the artists, mages, diplomats and gardeners of the Empire. From dance to music, from poetry and prose to sculpture, all art forms flourished in the breathtaking cities of these patrons of creativity.
Nonetheless, the Krean had a tense relationship with the rest of the Empire. A great fear that the splendour of their realm and the prosperity of the Krean people would be ravaged if the gates to their socio-economically advanced society were opened loomed over the state. This set strict immigrant regulations in motion throughout the Twin Realm, preventing the Krath’amar from taking permanent residence except in a few handpicked cities. Correspondingly, the Krath’amar (“People of Krath”) harboured a mild bitterness against the inaccessible Krean civilization. The awe and deep gratitude they had for the marvels and continued assistance of the Krean and the great self-sacrifice of their priestesses could not entirely compensate this resentment. [Back]
The Zhunite men are a very lively and loquacious people, renowned for their amiability and hospitality towards even ultimate strangers. They have fair complexions tending towards brownish nuances (possible due to their continued exposure to the strong Zhunite sun).
As the only remaining tribe of the once-glorious Krathrian Empire, the Zhunite inhabit an essential trade node between the west and east of Nybelmar, conducted through the many harbours lining the Zhunite coast. Trade is thus a central occupation of this tribe. Zhunite olive oil, pottery and wine are highly sought-after items. Zhun produces great philosophers and orators. [Back]
The only mundane importance of this isolated tribe to the Earth Empire was that an Orihirim adviser was present with the Grand-Karoth every hour of the day. Those who have been to the Grand-Karoth’s court attested that this mysterious “Vizier of Light” possessed an influence over the Emperor unparalleled even by his Grand-Vizier. Everything else we know about the Orihirim stems from Emperor Dearan’s account of the time he spent amidst the “light humans”. With all respect due to his distinguished person, we would also like to suggest if we cannot explicitly state that he may have cleverly utilized these tales of the Orihirim socio-political utopia as justification (and ruse?) for his world-shattering revolutions. Many Santharian scholars treat the Orihirim, often called “the light humans” (alluding to “light elves”), as only a myth. This cynical attitude was perhaps fuelled by the intriguing fact that no one seemed to know the whereabouts of the tribe. No one (other than the Emperors themselves perhaps) has ever seen what they look like; even the Divan’s White Advisors always hid their identity under long, flowing hooded-robes. Further accounts tell us of how a white mist always swathed the ground the Light Vizier’s feet touched and how sometimes a celestial luminosity surrounded his figure. The Orihirim were also believed to possess a perception and empathy beyond mortal facilities, endowing Orihirim mages with legendary powers. [Back]
The Qualaris, Evalaris,
Sharosar and Viaquis
Information concerning these four tribes is not currently available to the Compendium. Researchers interested in this noble quest for knowledge may apply for a meagrely paid post at the grand and glorious Library of New-Santhala. All applications must be placed during office hours. The Compendium is not liable for any mishap that might occur during fieldwork. Proposed expeditions and the results of all research must first be discussed at the Researcher’s Tower for Nybelmar in the West Wing of the Great Compendium. [Back]
Krath Kingdom rested upon the principle of the absolute authority of the
monarch. The key function of the Karoth (the Krath Emperor) was to grant justice
in the land. The autocracy of the Karoth hinged on his personal commitment to
justice. The justice represented by the Krathrian ruler was a distributive
justice, concerned more in fairness and just allocation of public resources than
justice in a particular instant. It was his duty to personally shelter his
people from the excesses of government and local officials. For the Krathrians
it flowed from here that a Karoth could only achieve parity and justice in the
state if he had absolute power. For if he was not an absolute ruler on his own,
he would be reliant on other power levers (hence subject to their whims and
corruption). The Krath’amar, then, viewed absolute authority, or autocracy, as
being in service of building a just administration rather than elevating the
Karoth above the law.
Grand Krath had a ruling class comprised of court officials, military officers, trade representatives, and priestesses. Wealth and rank wasn’t something one automatically inherited, rather they had to be earned. Positions in the ruling class (even nobility) were perceived as titles at the mercy of the Grand-Karoth.
Townspeople, villagers and farmers constituted the lower class. This segregation did not depend on one’s religion; basically all who were not part of the ruling class belonged to the class of ordinary citizens. Military service was a key to advancement in the hierarchy.
Government. Note: The traditional structure of Imperial government and courts is described below. This entry does not account for the tremendous changes fathered by Emperor Dearan Salador Asaen. Neither does this entry specify the fundamental transformation in the empire’s construction known as the Asaen Reforms (aka the Dearan Revolution). We believe these indicate a structure so drastically different than what is characteristically Krathrian that they could not satisfactorily be explained in an entry that deals mainly with the Classical Age of the Grand Krath Empire.
Abstract. Theoretically the Grand Karoth was the state: He possessed absolute power and was believed to be involved in every decision of the government. The administration of the Grand Empire of Krath revolved around its Grand-Karoth (the Emperor) and an established bureaucracy drawn from his inner circles. This officialdom in turn controlled local governments. Thus, in reality the Empire was run by a vast bureaucracy, which was controlled by an unbending and sophisticated code. Appointments to government positions were not arbitrary; although they followed strict rules, the last word on any post was still the Karoth’s.
|1. The Grand-Karoth||5. Political Elite|
|2. The Grand Vizier||6. Economic Elite|
|3. Administrative Elite||7. Religious Elite|
|4. Military Elite|
The Grand-Karoth: Administrative Role
Everything representing the state issued from the hands of the Emperor himself (or by the Grand Vizier acting in his name).
The officialdom was monitored through a vast, complex and elaborate spy network, which would report back to the central bureaucracy. It is an uncontested fact that the intelligence gathering system of the Krath Empire was the best in Nybelmar well until the Year of Darkness. Periodically the Grand-Karoth was expected to tour local governments in disguise to ensure that magistrates and public servants were operating fairly.
Traditionally, perhaps the residue of the Krar’s nomadic heritage, the parliament of the Empire was not fixed in any one city – not even in their august capital. The Travelling Congress, as the imperial assembly was called, periodically met the Grand Karoth on his tour across the Empire. Although in theory the Emperor could call the meetings anywhere in the Empire depending on his present location, in practice there were nine established cities, known as the Council Seats, where the assembly would congregate. [Back]
The Grand Vizier
Because the Emperor spent so much of his time away from the capitol travelling and inspecting the lands, the Grand Vizier as head of the Divan oversaw all the executive functions of the government. [Back]
The ministries and departments in addition to being an important part of Krath bureaucracy and administration also supplied the viziers with whatever information they required. [Back]
For each military corps a Commander of State who had the administrative power existed. Under him was someone who had the ceremonial command of the corps. There was also a corps under the command of the Swordmaster; of these, those taught in foreign etiquette and language (mainly Orcristh or Nermaren) served as the Prohibitors, guards for foreign ambassadors. (For more information the Military section should be consulted.) [Back]
The viziers formed the core of the nobles; yet in political theory even they were only servants of the Grand-Karoth. The most powerful of these were the viziers of the Imperial Divan, a council led by the Grand Vizier where viziers gathered to debate the politics of the empire. The Divan consisted of nine viziers, four of whom served as Viziers of the Dome, the most important figures after the Grand Vizier. The Emperor could also summon additional participants depending on the subject. The Divan also operated as an advisory panel whose opinion was communicated to the Emperor by his Grand-Vizier. Although the Grand-Karoth by and large took his viziers’ counsel in consideration he was not bound to obey the Divan. A Divan could also be assembled if the Emperor had something important to inform his viziers of (such as a coming war) who then carried out his orders.
Another significant division of the Grand-Karoth’s court was the clergy, Priestesses of Ankriss who occupied a special status in the imperial hierarchy. The Temple’s approval was called upon to endorse and sanctify decisions as being according to the Goddess’ will. [Back]
Since the financial system turned around production, economic power centred on those who held the strings of the agricultural sector and the trade networks. Land was chartered out to the officialdom as salary to farm. The highest ranking bureaucrats controlled the most territory and were thus among the richest individuals in the Empire.
The Krean virtually ran the trade in Krath, in command of almost all of the key routes and operations. Thus, although they were not appointed to government posts, the Krean still wielded considerable power within the imperial hierarchy. [Back]
The Krean High Goddess of Earth, Ankriss, was the patron deity of the Krath Empire, and the High Temple Her official representative. The High Priestess always came from Lillivear (one of the two tribes of the Krean) ranks – so had most of the inner circles of the Temple. It is surprising indeed to see how women in this highly male-oriented society could rise to positions of such uncanny influence.
In the vacuum that resulted after Emperor Dearan Asaen’s disappearance a new sect formed and in the centuries thereafter rose to ghastly power – up to becoming the Empire’s official sect during the Year of Darkness. No female ministers were allowed within their ranks. The clerics of this sect, upon discovering that intimidating throngs of people was as pleasurable as bringing them to tears in piety, twisted the tenets into threats of retribution, sacrament and damnation until they no longer resembled the teachings of love and benevolence they in reality were. One brash priest even went as far as to declare that the supreme deity of earth was male, accusing the High Temple of emasculating the divine and degrading His name. [Back]
politics of the Empire were shaped in a triangle around the Grand-Karoth. At the
edges of this triangle were the court bureaucrats, who had the support of
fief-holders; the High Temple of Ankriss, the “Voice of the Krean” in the
Empire; and the military, who, as is the case with most armed men, was for the
most part accountable only to itself.
In order to hold its ground against the other two players, the palace bureaucracy had to please the land-“owners”, often fighting for their rights or intervening in the courts on their behalf, which wasn’t all too difficult to imagine considering these were the largest fief-holders themselves.
In addition to the fact that the crushing majority of the Temple comprised of
female Lillivear priestesses, the religious vertex had much to lose by
frustrating the Twin Kingdom (the Krean
realm). Although the High Temple of Ankriss was the second largest landowner
(term properly used this time) after the imperial family – mostly through the
charities they ran and the private territories bequeathed on them every time a
controversial government decision needed the Goddess’ sanction, their resources
were not inexhaustible. The prosperous
Krean country was its chief benefactor and in order to survive in a male
dominated world and neutralize the conspiracies against them, they needed all
the funds they could get.
The High Temple could be a powerful ally and an arch force to be reckoned with, one not even the military wanted to confront squarely in the face. To begin with, they had the fief-holders on a tight leash, and thus the bureaucrats. Krath probably kept extremely detailed accounts of its fiefs and all the production going on in the Empire. In order to guarantee parity in the reports and prevent corruption, the officials in charge of these land-registers were not given any land to farm but instead received their salary in cash. As both Krean, whom Krath did not lease imperial land to work, and female, whom the Krathaszar did not regard capable of managing estates anyway, the priestesses were the ideal candidates for monitoring the commerce and production. And since the Empire already depended on the magic of the priestesses to promote growth cycles, enhance cultivation and heal diseased plants, these Observers would not look out of place, working along with their Grower sisters in the fields. To make sure that the Growers put all their hearts to the work, they received remuneration as a fraction of the net profit of the fiefs they supported. For the fiefs whose profits were directly transferred to the treasury, Krath also had Overseers from the High Temple to supervise and ensure efficiency in the production. Hence one usually found the High Priestess siding with the Emperor (or the other way around to be more truthful). In return for his protection and continued generosity, the Temple would make sure that his bureaucrats would not turn on him – at least not without dire financial consequences.
The military, other than using itself as leverage by threats of alliance with one of the sides, principally supported contenders to the throne. There were two reasons for this: The imbursement made to the elite forces at every coronation being the first and by far the most common and the unfortunate fact that the presiding emperor needed to buy off the attack to save himself. This untrustworthiness of the military might have been the motive behind composing the main body of the army from soldiers raised by fief-holders, levelling the possible treachery of one against the other. The unreliability of the army was also a contributing factor to the alliances between the Grand-Karoths and the High Priestess, the High Temple providing priestesses to secure the palace when the Emperor’s army turned against himself.
Another key point to appreciate is that the competence of a Karoth was measured by his personal commitment to justice, amount of gold in the treasury and the land conquered in his reign. That might help explain the seemingly illogical ascension of an utterly incompetent emperor every few hundred years followed by that of a highly aggressive Karoth; to avert disillusionment in the populace every time Krath approached its natural boundaries land had to be lost and a scapegoat made so the territories could be re-conquered and the glory of the reign “re-claimed”. Excluding the Asaen Era constant expansion was a requisite for the smooth running of the system. Not only did the people need to be continually reminded of the majesty of their emperor, but new fiefs had to be opened to accommodate the ever-increasing population of the peninsula.
Economy. The economic system depended on production, agriculture and husbandry forming the heart of Krath economy. Naturally, the system revolved around the administration of land. It would be a mistake to describe the Krathrian structure as feudal: Though the allotment of land vaguely resembled a feudal organization, the Krath system supported a number of resourceful differences, one of which was the unique tax system. At the risk of oversimplification: Although the ownership (‘property rights’) of the land belonged to the state, it was ‘leased’ out to the populace to farm. The management of these small holdings was of course subject to several regulations. For instance, if someone left their territory untended for three years in a row, either the land was taken back or he was put through severe monetary punishment. State officers instead of receiving wages were given arable fields (in proportion to their rank) to work and make profit from. Similarly, the government, instead of taxing its officials, asked them to raise one rider (and his family) for every set proportion of the revenue they earned from that plot of land. The state also owned its own arable territories whose income was directly transferred to the treasury. Throughout the Empire’s long history, trade remained an indispensable sector. In relation to agricultural products Krath was a self-sufficient country.
Production. As Krath was primarily an agricultural society, due weight must be given to the procedures of land administration; the original and vastly efficient system merits some detail in its explanation:
If one is to engage in a broad and sweeping generalization and persist in identifying the Empire as a feudal society, the first thing one must note is that fiefs were ‘rented out’ upon condition of military service. Since the state alone held the property rights of the land, it is no surprise that the land-based aristocracy so characteristic of feudal systems never existed in Grand Krath. Perhaps due to this absence of an unregimented nobility and individual ownership, many of the traditional flaws and failings of feudality were avoided: Farming was not seen as the occupation of an inferior class, villagers were not subject to degrading and erratic treatment, although the Karoth’s word was law the citizens knew the general borders of their rights, and taxing did not operate on a cruel and whimsical basis but was subject to rational rules and regulations.
Although in excess of 25 types were recorded during the 19th century b.S., for the purposes of this overview it would be safe to classify the land into three main categories: Private, state-owned and foundation territory:
Private territories were the pieces of land where property rights belong to the cultivators. Land owners could sell, transfer or bequeath their territory as they willed.
The property rights of the lands classified under the second category belonged to the state. The farming and cultivation of these were left to several classes of individuals under the direction of the state.
The revenue of foundation territories was conferred on charities and philanthropic activities like the building of public kitchens, sanatoriums, schools, institutes of arcane sciences and places of worship. The state did not tax land falling under this class.
Military. As the
entire system of Grand Krath depended on constant expansion to sustain itself,
the military was at the forefronts of the imperial landscape. Extending the line
of reasoning, is it any wonder that the Krath Empire had one of the strongest
before the Year of Darkness?
To give a very broad-spectrum impression of the martial structure: Grand Krath had a full time army of paid, professional soldiers virtually since it entered the stage of Nybelmarian history, but the main bulk of its military force (especially its light cavalry and heavy infantry) came from its fiefs (see the Agricultural System under Production for a general idea, and consult the Military section for particulars).
Picture description. The Qualaris architect Renatus Venseslao Vitalis dhil Arke-Akirask Ambroleschi, overseeing the construction of one of the Inner Sea cities for Emperor Dearan. Asaen Picture drawn by Quellion.
Although a very successful initiative for a potent naval force was inaugurated
in Grand-Karoth Dearan’s reign, the lead was not pursued by his successors.
Expanding on what we can tell from the sketches in the possession of the
Anpagan Dominion, the legendary
emperor had an armada of unique Krathrian design. The fleet was exclusively
tailored to suit to the needs of the Empire: the main body of the navy comprised
of heavily armoured transports for the land forces and sleeker vessels which
could swiftly glide between enemy ships to take as many down as possible before
their forces disembarked). Historians now believe that this magnificient armada
was left to decay in the ignorance of battling
Zhunite city-states after the empire
Very odd for an earth-based empire, the first and as far as we know the only aerial forces in Nybelmar were created in the same period . As could be expected, his successors did not share the same keenness for an airborne army. Approaching the subject with the deep-rooted prejudice and suspicion towards anything to do with the skies, the later Karoths abandoned his long-term plans of raising aerial scout, archer and siege units to give Krath the upper-hand in scenarios ppreviously thought unviable. But out of their profound respect for his person (and a widespread superstition that the Emperor would return from the dead to put the gravest curse in history upon whatever short-sighted creature destroyed his invention) none of the successors could wholly disband the troops. In the end the once great innovation was reduced to a parody, used only to bring the emperors refreshments over the battlefield.
 Could this be why perhaps the Krean called it the “Orchard of Pomegranates”? A legendary Krath emperor, Dearan Salador Asaen, had once claimed that “No man, however he be blessed with vigour or time, may ever record or appreciate the glorious beauty of this Garden in its full splendour” (his challenge causing of course a surge of scholars from the eastern nations). [Back]
 Emperor Dearan Salador Asaen’s one failed attempt was to permanently move the beating heart of the Empire to Nybelmarasa, which very nearly cost him (quite more than) his life. Quite an anomaly resulted in the autumn of his reign: the formal capitol back in the rainforests while the Empire was ruled in every aspect from an unofficial capitol in where he called the “true and open heart” of the Krath lands. [Back]
 Lit. “Courtyard of Nybelmar”, from "Nybelmar" and “Arásá” ("courtyard" in Krath’melarian). When this vast territory was first conquered, the Krathrians referred to the feral plains as “Krath-Armasa”, the “backyard of Krath”. In time it became known as “Krath-Arasa”, “the Courtyard of Krath”. The change to the audacious “Nybelmarasa” is attributed to Emperor Asaen, signifying the importance he placed in the area. The word "Nybelmar" itself means “Land of Glory” in ancient Krean from the roots “Nybel” ("landmass" or "continent") and “Mar” ("glory"). Since “Nybel” (or the more formal “Nybelath”) is also a synonym for "splendour", “Nybelmarasa” can also be translated as “The Courtyard of Glory”. [Back]
 Sometimes also called “the Boulevards of Nybelmarasa” or more expressively, “Boulevards of the Courtyard of Nybelmar”. [Back]
 Grand-Karoth Dearan, despite being a Krean (who were traditionally contemptuous of the ruling tribe), was possibly the emperor the Krathaszar in their long history favoured (and supported) most – notwithstanding his world-shattering innovations and radically unorthodox character. He devoted an entire life to building strong ties of citizenship and understanding (not tolerance) between the many tribes of the Empire with a specific vision of bringing the Krathaszar and the Zhunites to their deserved place of respect. [Back]
 He was the only outsider ever allowed into their mysterious realm in the six thousand years of history. [Back]
 Some fanciful historians have even speculated that the White Advisors might actually have been the same person as there seemed to be something very similar in the way each moved and spoke. However the Compendium would like to dismiss these far-fetched theories, asserting once again the need to separate myth from knowledge empirically ascertainable. Indeed there seems to be something quite suspicious in the fact that the White Advisors have all been very consistent in disappearing as breath into the wind after the funeral of the Karoth they had watched over for so many years until the next coronation. We as rational Santharian scholars, led not by a religious hangover but the light of logic, would like to suggest that the Orihirim White Advisor, whoever he (she?) might be, makes great and careful use of this chaotic interlude to change with his successor. [Back]
 Surely these can be nothing more than the work of a fanciful imagination spirited by the excitement of being in the presence of Nybelmar’s strongest persona (refers to the Grand-Karoth of the Great Empire of Earth not his fantasized Vizier of Light). [Back]
 Initially, Emperor Asaen, then the Lord Appraiser of Zhun, had only finding a faster and more secure means of communication between the separated regions of the Empire in his contemplation. It was a general in his army, Lord Celeres, (also rumoured to be a loyal confidant of the Grand-Karoth) who suggested that flying creatures could also be trained as military units. The Grand-Karoth immediately saw the prodigious value of aerial units: Although grudgingly, he had to admit that Krath would never beat a nation with such a deep-seated naval heritage like Anis-Anpagan as a sea-power. Instead Grand-Karoth Asaen shifted the playing ground when realized he could not win by the rules. [Back]