Encompassing the vast majority of Harena, Carthak is the military juggernaut of the southern continent. It sprawls across all but the most eastern portions of the sandy landmass, and controls military power more fearsome than any country with the possible exception of Achaemian Empire. However unlike their fellow superpower, Carthak does not presently seem to have any interest in expanding their political influence. Instead, they are fighting a long and bloody war with the nomadic tribes that are native to the sandy land, the Barrir. Once allies against a tyrannical empire, Carthakis and Barrir Tribesmen are now the most bitter of enemies. Though the nomads have the desert on their side, most agree that the sheer military power of Carthak will eventually overwhelm the indigenous people. On an economic front, Carthaki merchants support a thriving trade that brings Carthak enormous monetary gains. The current pharaoh, Idrissu Abdulai, is 78 years old and no longer has the mental fortitude that he used to. The real mind behind the decisions of the empire is Brafar, the Grand Vizier. Nobody is sure how he influences the pharaoh so much, but some of the common people whisper he has magic powers. Nobody says this to his face however, as those who do are infamous for going missing. Many whisper that when Idrissu dies, Brafar will attempt to claim the royal scepter for himself and kill the heir, Ebrihim.

Reigonal History: Carthak’s history is a long and bloody one. It was originally inhabited thousands of years ago by the nomadic Barrir tribesmen. For ages they were the sole inhabitants of the desert and its mountains. Then, three hundred years ago there was a mass exodus from Iussus of two distinct groups of people: the Sassnids and the Carthakis. Both copper skinned to the Barrir’s black, these two groups had huge religious and cultural differences, and a war for land quickly evolved. The Sassnids won and established their dominance over the Carthakis and built an empire that stretched the length of the continent. A reign of oppression quickly followed. The Sassnid’s worshiped the legendary pokemon Giratina. Their leaders were blessed by these pokemon, and with their assistance they ruled the land and people. Only the Barrir remained free. At the cost of many Carthaki lives, the Sassnids constructed huge obsidian towers for their deceased rulers. For two-hundred years their rulers suppressed the Carthaki. Eventually the Barrirs tired of the needless bloodshed and assisted the Carthaki in the great revolution of Harena. The brutal war dragged on for thirty years, but the combined might of the Barrir and Carthaks eventually overcame the Sassnids, who fled to southern Iussus. The Carthak empire rebuilt from the ground up. The Sassnid’s who failed to escape in time were quickly turned into slaves. Their roles had completely reversed, and the reign of terror began again, but this time the country worshiped Groudon. Five years ago, the Barrir decided to intervene on the behalf of the Sassnids, and tried to call in ancient debts. They failed, and now are warding off the might of one of the most powerful nations in the world. The black obelisks still stand, guarded by some ancient power, as the last testament of Sassnid rule.

Geography: The vast majority of Carthak is covered by the great Harenian Desert. This unforgiving environment means that most Carthaki cities lay on the coasts. The Zyra River flows from the Lake of the Dead and is the lifeblood of most of Carthak. It’s annual floods create a fertile soil that encourages not only the growth, but the flourishing of crops that would normally die in such a hot environment. The Serbal Mountains, the mountain range in the north, are tall and wild with a large variety of powerful pokemon that don’t take kindly to intruders. The range of mountains to the south, the Uweinait, are the hunting range of one of the most powerful Barrir tribes, the Silver Stone. It has been a hotbed of military activity in the past years as the Carthaki military tries to unroot this infestation of natives and mine the minerals that are so common in the peaks. Far to the east lay what is known as the Sin Bashar, this mountain range serves as the main defense that Kush has from its much more powerful neighbor. Oasis dot the landscape of the desert, but these are well hidden and defended by the Barrir tribesmen.

Demographics: There are two major ethnic groups in Carthak: the Carthakis and the Barrir. The Carthakis immigrated from southern Iussus hundreds of years ago and rose to power after the War of Shifting Sands. Most Carthakis are located in the northwestern portion of Harena and along the Zyra River. The Barrir roam the desert as the indigenous people of Harena. The only permanent settlements they have are small communities that serve to guard the precious desert oasis. Remnants of the Sassnid empire serve as slaves in Carthak, and large populations are found in the cities and on plantations along the Zyra River Valley and the Northwestern coast.

Economy: The Carhaki economy is one of the most potent in the world. The Serbal Mountains contain generous amounts of natural resources that prospectors aggressively pursue, and there are many pokemon that supply valuable pelts and ivory for merchants to export. They also produce food that is grown in few other places throughout the Aatos. The booming slave trade is distasteful to many foreign merchants, but they put aside their views to partake in the large money that flows through the country. The cities in Harena are filled with large bazaars. These markets are a whirlwind of sights sounds and smells as merchants hawk their wares in these chaotic marketplaces. There are many items that appear impressive but in truth are worthless that merchants sell to unsuspecting foreigners. Every once in a while though a truly marvelous treasure turns up, presumably brought by adventurers that attempt to explore the bowels of the tombs that both the Sassnid and Carthaki rulers built. Many venture into these tombs, but few come out alive. Those who do become rich and famous. The government profits greatly off the expansive trading that goes on in Carthak, and uses it to finance their military, which in turns spurns the market to even greater heights by buying weapons, armor, food, and pokeballs from local merchants.

Politics and Government: The land of Carthak is ruled by the Pharaoh Idrissu Abdulai. The Pharaohs are viewed as the avatars of the sun god Groudon and are obeyed in every way as sacred men or women. To assist him are the Grand Vizier, the Commander of the Army, The Chief Priest of Groudon, and the Minister of Taxes. The land is then split into nine Nomes which are ruled by governors that report to the Grand Vizier. The current Pharaoh is going senile, and a struggle for power is ensuing among the advisers and Idrissu’s heir. Currently the Grand Vizier holds most of the power, though Myrani, the first female Commander of the Army, is beginning to challenge his influence. Despite this internal turmoil, the country remains running smoothly, mostly due to the fact that the governors are united in ensuring the emergence of the state of Carthak as the most powerful nation in Aatos.

Pokemon: Pokemon are used throughout Carthak for trade, business, and pleasure. The desert is filled with ground, steel, and rock type pokemon that can handle the sandstorms that blast through the desert every once in a while. There are also many cacneas and maractuses who roam the desert. The rivers are full of goldeen, and both it and the lake of the dead are famous for being infested by feraligaators and croconaws. Farmers use rain dancers, fountain pokemon, and sprouters to increase the crop yield. Caravans travel with the help of numels, ryhorns, and camerupts. Ekans charmers are common among street performers, and glameow peruse the city streets. Higher class citizens have pet persians as a sign of status. Kafrmietta is famous for having a murkrow infestation and its underground arenas where wild pokemon battle to the death. Though most people don’t know it, unowns guard the obsidian towers that hold vast treasure hordes. The Barrir tribesmen are famous for riding zebrstrika that are famous for being bred to be immune to sandstorms.

Important People:
Brafar:  The Grand Vizier, Brafar Ibin-Alhaz, is the mastermind behind Carthak’s recent and bold political and military moves. Not many people know how he bends the Pharaoh so completely to his will, but there are rumors.  The truth, and a rumor of growing popularity, is that he is a psychic with the power to control minds. The most vocal advocates of this and other popular theories tend to disappear without a trace.  Tall and skinny, Brafar is an imposing figure dressed in billowy red and black robes.  Brafar is an accomplished battler, and is famous for using an intelligent chatot and a shiny seviper when serious.

Ebrihim Abdulai: Ebrihim Abdulai is the heir to the throne of Carthak and Idrissu’s nephew.  Young and adventurous, he is known for exploring the desert whenever he is able.  He has good relations with the Barrir tribesmen, and is a vocal opponent of Carthak’s actions against the native people.  Recently he has spent more time at court in order to wrest control of Carthak from Brafar, but he has little success.  

Myrani:  As the commander of the Army, Myrani is a very busy woman with the war against the Barrir. Though she finds the war distasteful, she follows her orders to the best of her ability.  Currently she has been spending time in the capital to figure out why the Pharaoh is acting so strangely, and now to remove Brafar as Grand Vizier.  She and Ebrihim have become quick allies, and some have noted that the two young leaders have been spending more time together than strictly necessary.  She wields a graceful spear, and is famous for her perfect teamwork with her lucario and buizel in battle.  

Takaa:  The leader of the Bloody Hand assassin guild.  Takaa is a middle aged man and Brafar’s right hand man in Kafrmietta.  He is a ruthless assassin that has no qualms over murder.  He is fond of covering his escape by releasing large amounts of weezings who are trained to explode without warning.

Important Areas:
Bahna: Bahna is the capital and richest city in all of Harena. The massive palace of the sun rises above the city in awe inspiring gold plated marble. A large military presence keeps the city orderly, and crime is not tolerated inside the walls of the mighty city. The city is bustling with artists and scientists who make a living serving the empire. It is the seat of southern philosophy, astronomy, and magic.

Dahr el-Shiekh: This small city on the edge of Harim Bay is the center of Carthak's rigorous military and officer training program. The city is well defended, and is a common spot for caravans to stop for a week or two to recuperate from the endless raids of the desert and restock supplies. Myrani spends most of her free time here, looking over the troops and working personally with future officers.

Damietta: Located at the mouth of the Zyra River, Damietta receives an abundance of traffic both on foot and by boat. A large population of fishing and trade boats pass north to trade with the cities of Bahna and Port Said. Most importantly, however, it is the center of the church of the sun. A large pyramid dominates the center of the city, and the priests worship on the top every day, seeking to be close to the sun. Carthaki's from all over the country flock here every summer and winter solstice to celebrate the sun.

Kafrmietta: The hometown of Brafar, the Grand Vizier, Kafrmietta is a slum of a city. Burglaries happen daily, and disappearing people isn't an uncommon occurence. The Bloody Hand, an assassins guild, makes its base here and is said to be ran by Brafar from behind the scenes. It has a large and thriving black market and gambling operation that keep the city from falling apart.

Port Said: A sprawling city on the coast of the Sea of Shooting Stars, Port Said is one giant crossroads of the world's economies. Products from Iussus come here when entering the country, and all the ivory that Carthak exports travels through Port Said at some point. The Great Bazaar is an expansive maze of a market with rare jewels, worthless trinkets, and everything in between. Street performers frequent the bazaar, as do a large number of eating stalls and brothels. Higher class salespeople use the auction house on the coast. Every year, the richest people in the world gather for the Said Grand Auction in the famous auction house. This event sells treasures and oddities from all over the world at exorbitant prices, and brings a certain prestige to the city. You can find people from all over Aatos in the markets of Port Said, and the boats can take you anywhere in the world, for a price.

Plots and Rumors:
Rumor has it that a group of thieves from Port Said have gotten their hands on an ancient artifact that is the key to unlocking the Obsidian Tower on the other side of the Uweinait Mountains. Moving letters dance across the surface of the spherical object. The group is in the market for a group of adventurers to help explore the obelisk for a small share of the treasure they’ll find.

One month from now the summer solstice will be upon Carthak. The Bloody Hand has been increasingly active in the events leading up to the religious ceremony that will commence. Could they be planning to assassinate Idrissu or Ebrihim and give Brafar a chance to take the throne?

Myrani has recently received information on the location of one of the Barrir’s secret oasis. While she isn’t willing to let her or her right hand commanders leave Brafar to his own devices, she has ordered a large group of warriors to raze the oasis and foul the water and land. If they succeed, it could signal the beginning of the end for the Barrir tribesmen.

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