The Konaic Empire has is the new rising power in Kalyr, having become an empire since the former city-state of Karmork gobbled up neighbouring cities. It’s a growing threat to both the Great Kandar Empire in the south, and the independent cities of the northwest.
The Konaic empire rules an area slightly larger than the Empire of Vohrleyn, although the total population is considerably smaller. The capital is the heavily fortified seaport of Karmork, in the northernmost tip of the empire. The empire is bordered to the west by the almost impassable Galas mountain range. The southern part of the empire contains the trackless Sel marshes, though which the Sel river winds. Much of the rest of the empire is barren and arid.
The Konaic Empire is a militaristic tyranny. It has become much more powerful in the last twenty years following coups in neighbouring cities of Blikneyr, Selnin and Kezerin, which resulted in the installation of pro-Karmork regimes.
It is ruled by the iron fist of the Sarkan Vorsath, who has risen from obscurity in a small village to ruler of first the city, and then an empire, in a few short years. A cruel and sadistic individual, he has consolidated power by the ruthless murder of any potential opponents. All important positions in the government and military are now held by his cronies. The much feared secret police, the Black Hand, has agents throughout the kandar world.
There is little doubt that Vorsath intends to rule the world. The First and Seventh Legions of the old empire form the core of his army. He and his cronies are rumoured to be creating “ultimate warriors” by some kind of dark sorcery. His agents are widely claimed to be busy subverting other nations.
Vorsath continually condemns the northwestern city-states for their tolerance of humans, and Vohrleyn for it’s decadence. This strikes a chord with many more conservative kandar who fear that the kandar will be overwhelmed by humans in the long term. He claims to be the rightful ruler of Vohrleyn.
He is particularly suspicious of psis, trusting only those totally loyal to him. As a result, a great many psis have either been killed or driven into exile. The Karmork and Selnin Academies of the Mind are dominated by Vorsath loyalists, and no independent psis are allowed to exist. Any humans who develop psionic powers will be killed as soon as they’re discovered.
The Konaic Empire is a paranoid place, where everyone makes public show of loyalty to Sarkan Vorsath, whatever they may think in private. Sometimes not even the privacy of one’s own head is respected; Vorsath’s loyal telepaths have the power to probe people’s minds for disloyal thoughts. Public executions of real or imagined traitors are commonplace.
The caste system is much weaker here than in Vohrleyn, at least for kandar. What matters is not social class, but loyalty to Vorsath. To maintain appearances, it’s common Vorsath loyalists of common birth to be adopted in to clan Tasaan, Vordath’s clan.
It’s not a good place to be human. The human population is far lower than anywhere else, and all humans, without exception, are slaves. They literally have the same status as animals, having no rights whatsoever. It’s also very rare for a human slave to hold any position of responsibility; most slaves are literal prisoners, not even trusted to run errands lest they try to escape. Humans labour on the plantations feeding the cities, just as elsewhere, but their treatment is harsher and their life expectancy shorter. It is rumoured that the Academy of Life is organising a breeding programme, to make these humans duller, more docile, and less likely to revolt. Other rumours say they’re working on vat-spawned creatures to replace humans altogether as brute labour.
The Konaic Empire is the only place in Kalyr where kandar enslave not only humans, but other kandar. These kandar slaves tend to fill the trusted personal servant roles filled by humans in other places.
Adventuring in Karmork
The Konaics are the unambiguous Evil Empire of Kalyr. A game set entirely in Karmork will be a grim affair, but there are plenty of opportunities for high-stakes covert missions into Karmork.. There are lot of people would like to know whether the Academy of Life are really breeding vat-warriors. Or The Progressors might send a mission to locate and extract a human psi before Vorsath’s wizards find and terminate him. Since Karmork has its tentacles throughout Kalyr, Karmorki can be the villains in adventures set just about anywhere.