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Carnak

Calling this area in the Small Kingdoms a country is almost a misnomer. The boundaries on the map actually serve as the typical edges of the hunting grounds for the barbarian-like tribes that inhabit this area. The Carnak is the term the tribes use to refer to their joint hunting area, so the rest of the Small Kingdoms have adopted this as the name for the country.

The tribes worship the Shardik pantheon and the priests are typically the ones who keep the culture and are the most likely to be the ones with a knowledge of the outside world. Every other year the tribes all meet to elect a new leader called a great chief. The existing great chief cannot be re-elected, as it would be too much of a hardship on them. There are five large tribes and seven small tribes. Each tribe is made up of several clans. Swiftwing is one of the small tribes and is made up of three clans, Blackwing, Redalder and Whitemist.

There is only one permanent settlement in Carnak. Grolnig is the place where outside traders are permitted. The great chief lives here for two years during his or her time in office. The great chief deals with organizing trade with the outside world and settling any disputes between tribes that are brought to Grolnig.

The tribes wander over a large area extending even into the Great Swamp to the south. The hills to the east are considered sacred ground and it is where some of the chiefs that have been held in higher regard are buried. This is also where the only temple in the Shardik religion is located. The eastern border between Carnak and Drillian is more of a theoretical line that the tribes in Carnak respect that lies somewhere in these hills between the two Countries. They are called the Karnak mountains by the illiterate folk who live in them. There are several flocks of hippogriffs that inhabit the western slopes and the fact that there are several dragon lairs in the hills also contributes to Drillian not claiming any significant areas in the hills while the tribes only look at that as another challenge to survive.

The tribes deal mostly in barter and are self sufficient. They tend to shy away from magic items except for good luck totems. In other parts of the Small Kingdoms it is said that Carnak is the land of shape shifters. Some news of the tribes gets out in the form of very small mercenary units made up of young warriors out to prove their manhood in battle.

One such group was known as the Shardik Regulars. They were slaughtered to a man during a fight in the northern swamps of Drillian in 314 SKR. They were pinned between a unit of knights and the horde they were fighting from the swamps. It is said that if the Regulars had taken a side they might have survived.