Earldom of Karant Organization in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

Earldom of Karant

The most southerly geo-political entity on the continent of Austal, and one of the most southerly on the entirety of Kelbonnar’s Material Plane, the Earldom of Karant is a poor nation, nestled on a small peninsula against the foothills of the Stiletto Mountains and the Alm’Izra marsh. Once it was a seat of great power and learning and it was regarded as being one of the favourite places of the goddess Menella, who showered gifts upon the Earldom and allowed it to become a prosperous and mighty nation, able to exert its influence over all of the west of Austal and over much of the Stiletto Mountains to the north and the Jem’Hal desert to the east.   However, with the outbreak of the Divine War, Karant’s fortune’s changed. Menella, distraught over the death of her husband and father of the Divines, Prota withdrew and became reclusive, at the same time withdrawing her divine patronage of Karant as she slipped into despair at the blood shed being wrought over the Material Plane by her kin. Since then, the Earldom has waned, the ditches, canals and drainage channels they had constructed to harness the power of the Alm’Izra fell into disrepair, its outer villages became abandoned and now the Earldom is little more than the city of Karant itself and the meagre, poorly maintained land around it that is enough to allow its people to scrape together enough food to feed themselves.


The Earldom of Karant is an autocracy, which has been ruled over since its foundation by the Earls of the Rhoderick family, who despite the span of time and the more recent hardships that Karant has experienced, have managed to maintain an unbroken line of succession through to the present day.   Each Earl holds the position for life, unless they decide to abdicate in favour of their successor first, and the Earls hold absolute power in Karant, able to make executive decisions on anything they so please. Most, but not all of the Earls have chosen to empower advisors with an allocation of their duties, so that their noble person is troubled with trivial matters.


Once the Earldom of Karant was a vibrant, lively place, but since the outbreak of the Divine War and the loss of the divine patronage of Menella, a sense of hopelessness and apathy have infected the place, made deeper by the loss of territory in the early years of the conflict and the Earldom’s increasing isolation from the rest of the world. Nowadays in Karant, it is unusual to hear joyous music or song, with most music to be heard there having a sad, melancholic tone, often with lyrics harkening back to better times. Growing scarcity of food means that few people, even in Earl’s household now feast, but with that has come an appreciation of the simplest things in life, with the people of Karant often finding an incredible amount of solace in things most other people would disregard.   In addition, the loss of the Menella's protection has led to the vast majority of the nations populace becoming irreligious, see below.


Before the outbreak of the Divine War, the Earldom of Karant directly controlled all of the Alm’Izra, an area of swampland that makes up the deep river valley of the Gritwater River, which flows down from the Stiletto Mountains, creating a deep 'v' of low lying land in the south of the continent of Austal. This land was tamed by the construction of canals, ditched, dykes and drainage channels, which allowed the fertile soil beneath the marshes to be farmed, which contributed greatly to Karant’s early prosperity and reduced illness by reducing the amount of stagnant water that disease carrying creatures could spawn in, and pushing the monstrous creatures which called the marsh home to its extremities. However, it has become clear that part of what allowed the Earldom of yesteryear to do this was the Divine Menella's guiding hand and help in all of this, as she influenced the landscape to make their work easier and helped the population thrive in good health and prosperity.      Since the retreat of Menella from her previous life (see below), Karant has suffered, unable to maintain the waterways and protect their fields as they once did, its people succumbing to illnesses caused by the marshes of the Alm’Izra that they were once able to endure, and the creatures of the marshes becoming bolder with each passing day. Now the Earldom of Karant is restricted to a small peninsula on the south-east edge of the Alm’Izra, which comprises the town of Karant itself and a small amount of hinterland that its people are able to keep mostly free of the marsh’s water to farm.


As Karant no longer has a large swathe of territory it needs to protect, its military force has shrunk substantially to a body of c.300 professional soldiers, known as the Earl’s Guard. They protect the person of the Earl themselves, the Earl’s castle and household and act as the guard for the city of Karant. Occasionally small expeditionary forces are sent beyond the walls of city to deal with monstrous creatures who too closely threaten the Earldom’s borders.


Once, the Earldom of Karant was one of the biggest heartlands for the worship of Menella, the Divine, whose domain is life and creation. Under her caring eye, Karant flourished, but with the outbreak of the Divine War all of this changed. As the conflict was sparked by the murder of Menella’s husband Prota, the goddess’ mourning and the growing ferocity of the conflict drove her to despair. She retreated from the planar stage and became reclusive, avoiding contact with the other Divines and she began to travel the planes of existence, trying to help those she thought were most in need. As the Earldom of Karant has not suffered directly from the actions of the Divines against one another in their conflict, Menella did not view them as being in as much need as others, so her kindly eye moved away from them, and has been so focused and distraught on suffering elsewhere that it has not returned.     Consequently, the people of Karant view their decline as being the fault of Menella, and it is now widely accepted that the Divines are nothing more than long-lived humanoids who play god with lesser mortals, but who are at their core deeply flawed, manipulative beings. Few in the Earldom now claim adherence to any Divine, and the grand temple dedicated to Menella that stands in the main square of the city of Karant has been abandoned and vandalised, its clerics having long been driven out of the Earldom and banished.

Foreign Relations

The Earldom’s position, in the south west corner of the continent of Austal means that it is isolated from the rest of the world geographically, and without the prosperity to be able to afford to send out trading caravans or envoys to the wider world, it has fallen into isolation. It’s nearest neighbours, the City-State of Promellion and the Sultanate of Qish, across the Stiletto Mountains and Jem’Hal Desert from it maintain sporadic contact with Karant, but now only the occasional trading caravan arrives to trade with the Earldom, often only one or two a year.

Agriculture & Industry

There is little concerted agricultural or industrial activity that takes place in the Earldom of Karant, and none that is particularly noteworthy. All of their farming, fishing and industrial activity is purely geared towards local consumption and survival.


Before its decline, the Earldom of Karant used to provide education to all of its citizens for free, but nowadays this has slipped and education is really only available to the family of the Earl and selected high status members of their court.
Founding Date
Geopolitical, City-state
Alternative Names
Menella’s Orphan
Government System
Monarchy, Absolute
Economic System
Mixed economy
Whilst the Earldom does still officially recognise the use of the Empire of Turelion Imperial Coinage, which is regarded as being the most stable currency on the Material Plane, the economic situation in Karant means that most people, including the household of the Earl, have turned to a more barter based system, with items of food at its heart, rather than the use of money.
Judicial Body
The Earls of Karant have long held a tradition of holding sessions of court once a week, where they can adjudicate on matters of dispute or criminal activity which are presented to them. Plaintiffs and Accusers have only a short span of time to make their arguments before the Earl makes a decision on the matter, which means that justice in the Earldom is quite arbitrary, with the severity of sentences often depending on the mood of the Earl at any given time.
Controlled Territories
Neighboring Nations

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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