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Carthak
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General
Type Empire (country)
Location Southern Lands
Size Vast
Terrain Deserts
Mountains
Rivers
Climate Warm
Hot
Islands
Landforms Demai Mountains
Bodies of water River Zekoi
Coastline on Emerald Ocean and Great Inland Sea
Marine Life
Zoology Bright, colorful birds
Dragons
Camels
Location Information
Established Ancient times (state in Thanic Empire)
Official Language Common
Other languages
Religious Head
Leader/Governor
Owner
Population
Residents Carthakis
Religion Tortallan Universe pantheon
Patron God Graveyard Hag
Law Enforcement
Major Events Destruction of Imperial Palace
Affiliation
Architecture
Capital Carthak City
Port Cities
Major Cities
Major Roads
Landmarks
Notable Buildings
Rooms
Politics
Government Absolute monarchy
Head of State Ozorne Tasikhe (442—451 HE)
Kaddar Iliniat and Empress Kalasin (451 & onward)
Councils
Military
Wars Immortals War (unofficial, Carthakis participating were renegades)
Allies Tortall (under reign of Emperor Kaddar)
Enemies
Economics
Main Industry Gold
Silk
Trade Partners Copper Isles
Tortall
Tyra
Currency
Bibliographical information
Tortallan Universe place
First Mentioned Alanna: The First Adventure
First Appeared Emperor Mage
Latest Appearance Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
Last Appeared '
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '

The Empire of Carthak (KAHR-thak) is an ancient and powerful country in the Tortallan Universe. It has been around for a long time, but it was already considered a powerful country in the 200s HE[1].

Geography

Location and political borders

Carthak is located to the south of the Great Inland Sea, which makes up its northern border. Across the Inland Sea to the north lies Tortall, to the northeast likes Tyra, Maren, and Sarain. To the northwest lies the Copper Isles. It is an empire, and holds many conquered countries in the Southern Lands and even up to the Roof of the World.

Nations conquered by Carthak include Siraj, Ekallatum, Amar, Apal, Zallara, Shusin, and Yamut[2].

Landforms and bodies of water

The capital, Carthak City, is built on a delta. The River Zekoi flows near the palace. The southern part of the empire is made up of almost entirely desert, except for quite a few oases.

The Demai Mountains are a range further south of the capital. The ancient dragon known as Kawit slumbered in the mountains for more than a millennium.

Politics

Government

The empire is an absolute monarchy, which means that the monarch, called an emperor or empress, wields considerable and almost absolute power throughout the realm. Although councils of different classes of people are employed, the emperor regnant does not always have to listen to them. This is especially true in the case of Emperor Ozorne, who often vetoed motions from his councils, and refused to listen to them altogether in many cases. Emperor Kaddar, his nephew and successor, is assumed to be a little bit more diplomatic. There are also feudalist elements to the society, and aristocrats wield more power throughout the realm than commoners, or peasants.

Dynasties of Carthak

So far, there are only two known dynasties of Carthak[3].

  • House Tasikhe, Emperor Ozorne's house. According to recent information from Tamora Pierce, Ozorne's dynasty might have started with him and stopped with him, as she said that Ozorne was far away from the throne when he and Numair Salmalín had met.
  • House Iliniat is the current ruling dynasty of Carthak, and is Emperor Kaddar's house. So far, Emperor Kaddar has been the only Iliniat emperor to rule Carthak.

Laws

The empire is a slaveholding nation, and has many slaves. Quite a few slaves are from states that Carthak has conquered, and other slaves are captured from other realms, such as Tortall. The slaves have no legal rights and are considered the property of their human owners. Before leaving the country, Veralidaine Sarrasri asked Kaddar to consider making life better for slaves, and to think of even removing the practice altogether. Kaddar said he would make the first steps to do so, but that he would have to go slowly in order to avoid civil conflict.

Members of the army, who are not palace guards, are forbidden from entry on the palace grounds. Kaddar, while he was still a prince and his uncle's heir, explained to Daine that this was because the army had a long history of mutiny and rebellion in the empire.

International relations

Carthak is a powerful political and economic player. It is not known to play nice with the neighbors, and has conquered many lands and has started feuds with many countries. From 449—451 HE, it started to attack Tortall by sending pirates to kidnap Queen Thayet and her children while they were staying with Alanna the Lioness at Pirate's Swoop[4]. It also got involved with other treasonous plots to overthrow the Tortallan monarchs, including the one involving Yolane of Dunlath and Tristan Staghorn[5]. In 451 HE, it came out of the woodwork as the main perpetrator[6]. With the fall of Emperor Ozorne from power, however, Carthak's involvement is again put undercover, as Kaddar took the reigns. Carthakis still joined Ozorne during the Immortals War, a huge war that involved Scanra, the Yamani Islands, and the Copper Isles[7].

After Ozorne and Uusoae, the Queen of Chaos, were defeated, Kaddar got his country back under his wing. To improve relations with Tortall, he married Princess Kalasin, the eldest daughter of the King and Queen of Tortall.

Culture

Religion

Carthakis worship gods from the usual pantheon, including Mithros and the Great Mother Goddess. Their patron goddess is the Graveyard Hag, a trickster goddess who is on par with Kyprioth. She is the daughter of the Black God and is considered the ruler of Carthak in all matters divine. Although she is a minor goddess everywhere else, her divine brothers and sisters defer to her judgment in matters concerning Carthak.

During the time of Emperor Ozorne, it was forbidden for humans to show too much praise and deference to the gods, as he believed himself a god among men and the only person who really deserved worship. Many priests believed this would anger the gods, and they were right. The Graveyard Hag plotted to have him dethroned. This, of course, was not the only reason that the Hag goddess wanted him gone, but a catalyst.

Language

Many Carthakis speak fluent Common, the language of the Eastern Lands. In conquered lands, there are more diverse languages. Common is also the main language used by the imperial court.

Education and learning

Carthak is known for its very prestigious university. The university classes are taught by some of the most well-known masters of magic and other subjects. It is a storehouse of learning, sophistication, and culture[1]. Emperors Ozorne and Kaddar, Numair Salmalín, Lindhall Reed, Tristan Staghorn, Gissa of Rachne, Alamid Mokhlos, and Varice Kingsford, were all graduates of the university. The university is attached onto the main Imperial Palace of Carthak, which is famed for its splendor and beauty.

Clothing

Due to the heat, Carthakis dress in loose garments that do not represent the clothes of the north like Tortall and Galla. Wealthy Carthakis wear many jewels to show their splendor.

History

Pre-conquest Carthak was a part of the Thanic Empire, the huge country that had territories among the Eastern Lands and across the different seas. This would explain the use of the language called Common, and their calendar.

Events

  • In c. 441 HE, Emperor Ozorne banished Numair on grounds of high treason
  • From 449 HE and onward, Carthak became involved in several plots to dethrone King Jonathan and Queen Thayet of Tortall
  • 451 HE, Ozorne pardoned Numair
    • A Tortallan delegation was sent, including Daine
    • After a few events, Ozorne had Numair's simulacrum executed, believing that it is truly the mage
    • Daine destroyed the imperial palace by waking dinosaur skeletons
    • Emperor Ozorne turned into a Stormwing and thus was forbidden to rule Carthak, the reign passed to Kaddar

Known Carthakis

Please see Characters from Carthak and Carthaki citizens for more information about specific people.

Real life connections

Carthak may be based on Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Rome, for its conquests.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Terrier, Glossary (p. 576; Random House paperback)
  2. Emperor Mage, Chp 7 (Scholastic hardcover)
  3. More information on past dynasties and rulers of Carthak will presumably be expanded upon in The Gift of Power, first book of the Exile trilogy; to be published spring 2017 according to Tamora Pierce.
  4. Wild Magic (Scholastic hardcover)
  5. Wolf-Speaker (Scholastic hardcover)
  6. Emperor Mage (Scholastic hardcover)
  7. Realms of the Gods (Scholastic paperback)

See also

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