Karnish, the Crown, and the State

Article by Keith Robinson
Posted August 1 2013 in Zinedoms Vol 6

KarnishKarnish remains the greatest nation in all of Arrasia, despite having fallen upon harder times, and the other free nations of the world all still look to it for guidance and protection, as well as for trade and culture. The new chaos brought by the coming of Zykerathox, however, has seen Karnish borders and influence steadily decline and the nation is now besieged on all fronts. Higher taxes to pay for the war effort are causing some resentment, as the people find themselves poorer and times tougher, and the daily death toll of the soldiers on the front line means that it seems an endless stream of bad news filters its way back to urban centers. Nonetheless, Karnish remains a free nation, standing against the might of Zykerathox and his armies, something of which the Karns are extremely proud.

Standing almost at the very heart of Arrasia, with excellent connections to almost all reaches of the globe, it should come as little surprise that Karnish trade stretches far and wide. Its culture and language have been embraced nearly everywhere, to one degree or another, and their merchants are welcome in the ports of most coastal towns and cities, bringing with them good trade and wealth. The cities of Karnish have grown fat on the wealth brought in from oversees for an unparalled period of peace, until it was shattered by the rise of Zykerathox to the Throne of Herophet, bringing with it chaos and war. Nonetheless, those years of peace saw the royal coffers swell and the wealth of Karnish has largely funded the war effort. As that fortune dwindles, however, taxes have risen and the cost of war fallen more and more on the shoulders of ordinary folk, people who are now feeling the pinch and are hard pressed.

Karnish is now besieged on all fronts. To the west, lands that once fell under the rule of Karnish have fallen to the armies of Zykerathox and are now known as The Fallen Lands, where war, plague and evil are the new masters. To the east, with border defenses weakened as troops head west to make war with Zykerathox, the barbarian hordes make constant raids, often deep into Karnish satellite states. And to the north, the rise of the once defeated evil nation of Amman has seen their lands reduced as war rages there once again. Karnish is a nation besieged, a nation in a fight for its very survival. Trade routes are essential to keep filling the coffers with revenue and forging new alliances to make war on common enemies are top priorities for the King and his entourage.

It is under this onslaught that the ordinary people of Karnish now live their lives, going about their everyday business as a constant stream of bad news reaches their ears of war, chaos, and plague. Their once unshakable belief in themselves is long gone, and though they remain proud and steadfast the people of Karnish fear for their nation and for their future. Nonetheless, life continues, crops are planted and harvested, and people go about their business as they must in order to survive. And while many things have changed for them in recent years, much has also remained the same. They are still ruled by a King, the nobles continue to run the provinces in which they live, and the Church still play an essential and very real role in their lives. Despite the growing tensions, as taxes increase and the death toll rises, the people take comfort in the knowledge that their way of life is still preserved, and that they yet remain free. Their trust in their King remains, so far, unshaken and a belief remains that the war can still be won.

Stability has remained at the heart of Karnish since it first rose from the ashes of war. The political structure put into place at that time has remained largely unchanged since then and has proved largely successful. After centuries of slavery and oppression under the rule of Amman, Karnish emerged as a Kingdom with a single monarch set in place to govern them. The hereditary monarch of Karnish wields almost absolute power and does so with the divine blessing of Fandor, asomething which always brings great comfort to the people of Karnish and fills them with awe and admiration of their monarch. However, Karnish remains a huge empire despite its recent setbacks and no one individual would be capable of running it effectively without a practical and robust political structure that could manage the job of overseeing the empire and implementing the King.s will. As such a three tier layer of government forms the basis of all governance in Karnish and its Empire: imperial, provincial and municipal.

The ruling monarch, currently King Raimond Aramus II, is responsible for the health and safety of the nation and its greater Empire. As such, the imperial political landscape has been divided into four distinct structures: the nobility, the church, the army and the government. It is these entities that enable Karnish to maintain itself and execute the will of the King. Should a monarch die without an heir, claimants to the throne will be sought from the noble houses and the House of Karnish (the government) is vested with the power to choose the next monarch with the best claim – always something of a tense process.

These political structures helped bring stability and opportunity to Karnish and helped the nation become the most powerful in Arrasia. In more challenging times, the people still hold the firm belief that their way of life is the correct one, and is worth fighting and dying for, and that those in authority will find a way to achieve victory and defeat their enemies. Now, more than ever, will their system need to be as robust, as just and as unbreakable as the people of Karnish have always believed it to be and are now fighting to preserve.

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