Sunday, August 14, 2022

Weird Revisited: Graustarkian Karameikos

This post originally appeared in 2014. I think several Known World/Mystara nations could be fictional countries in the real world. I may do a further post on it.

The Grand Duchy of Karameikos is a small nation in the Balkans on the Adriatic Sea. It has a long history going back to ancient times when the Romans built a fort and founded a trading outpost at Specularum--now Karameikos's capital, Spekla. Since those days, Karameikos has been in the hands of a succession of empires: the Byzantine, the Serbian, the Ottoman, and briefly, the Austro-Hungarian.

The current ruler of Karameikos is Stefan III. He has retained the title of "Grand Duke" despite his nation's liberation from Austria-Hungary. Grand Duke Stefan and most of the nobility trace their families back to Byzantium, but rule over an ethnically mixed populace of Albanians and Serbs, as well as Greeks. The predominant religion is the Orthodox Church of Karameikos, though there are also Muslims and a small number of Roman Catholics.

Believed to be the only photo of the leader of the Black Eagle
One of the greatest threats to modern Karameikos is the terrorist group known as the Black Eagle. The group is vaguely related to Albanian nationalism, but its direct aims seem to be criminality and destabilization of the current government. It's leader is named either Ludwig or Henrich. As his name would suggest, he is said to be of Austrian descent. His primary advisor and bomb-maker is believed to be a former monk named Bargle.

The Mad Monk Bargle, while briefly in custody
This post relates to my previous Ruritanian ruminations--and of course to D&D's Known World.


bombasticus said...

all time hall of famer

With hindsight, it needs the entire map built out into a "fantasy gilded age Europe" . . . and just maybe a diplomacy variant to work out the flavor

eLarson said...

Almost had me running to an atlas to see the real world Karameikos. Were there more in the series?

Trey said...

None as yet, though I thought about doing one for Darokin, and maybe Glantri and the Isle of Dread.