Located east of the Chalbern double-peak of the Mithral Mountain Range in the Santharian province of Manthria, the forsaken Karthmor Ruins emanate an aura of unease and foreboding. Today Karthmor is just an empty place where you can hear the winds soughing over the remnants of decayed buildings and withered stone. But millenia ago during the War of the Chosen these fragments were part of a citadel, home of a powerful demon-mage, who eventually met his fate through the hands of a group of druids and elves of the Auturian Woods who set out together to defeat the evil nestled in this place. Karthmor is still a condemned area today, avoided by many and said to bear the curse of Ta Ivashi, the horror, who had reigned in these halls.
|Image description. View on one of the few still remaining structures of the former evil citadel of Karthmor, supposedly the summoning tower. Illustration by Quellion.|
you can see today of Karthmor is only a small glimpse of its former
magnificence - but somehow what is still left hasn't lost its menacing aura. Seperated
through a wooden fence from the rest of the landscape
behind some warning signs, you can still see one of the citadel's towers from
supposedly the summoning procedures of the
demon-man, the "Beast"
Ta Ivashi, took place a long
The fence by the way was only recently erected to prevent further tragic incidents like the one that happened a few years ago: A small girl of the nearby fishing village of Nepris got lost in the woods and obviously ended up in Karthmor. What was still found of her days later was a scarf near the so-called "Demon's Chasm", and the story goes that an evil presence lured her into this pit. She was never found again.
This Demon's Chasm is one of the few other man-made items, which can still be identified from afar when looking down from a viewpoint high up in the Mithral like the Toran Falls. It is easy to spot due to its awe-inspiring shape, an enormous well-like hole located at the former center of the citadel, surrounded with claw-like stones. At this place rumour has it that Ta Ivashi sacrificed people's bodies and feasted on the souls of the innocent, to strengthen his magical and spiritual links with the horrible demons of the Netherworlds. And as you can see from the story mentioned above, people still think that this chasm is an unholy source of evil one should avoid at any cost.
The rest of the citadel, along with other adjacent buildings, today stands in ruins. Most of them are covered with vines and creepers and are barely recognizable as stone structures, only a few grey columns here and there indicate the place's terrible history. Especially the dangerous poisonous false heart climber covers vast areas, and in autumn and winter the plant's leaves turn blood red, which seems to be one more reason for the locals to shun this place even more as they see it as an indicator of the unforgetable violence taking place here ages ago! There are various entrances to the citadel's still existing dungeons still accessible, though, leading deep into the underworld under the Mithral Mountains, much further down than any Mitharim ever carved his tunnels into the moutain (or so it is said), but what awaits down there should better be kept a secret. Even daring adventurers, who - against better advice - ventured into the ruins to prove themselves only reluctantly hint at the horrors contained therein.
If you're already uneasy when glancing at the Karthmor ruins from afar, then stay away! At nightime you might even see unexplainable shapes when passing the former citadels, watchers they are, so the locals say, but why they appear or what they'd like to convey to anyone noticing them, no one can say. It is said that people who dare to find out are never seen again. But at daytime often looking at Karthmor isn't any better: In the morning when the crumbled buildings are surrounded with heavy mist the ruins are an eerie sight to behold - often you can only see wilted trees emerging from the grey mass as if gigantic hands are reaching out... If the shudder you get from these impressions is just a personal sensation or an indicator of an ancient presence still lingering down there in the well known as the "Chasm", is something you have to judge for yourself...
Location. Karthmor lies on the east coast of the United Kingdom of Santharia, in the province of Manthria. It can be found between the Chalbern double-peak of the Mithral Mountain Range to the west and the fishing village of Nepris to the east. Though the Crazy Woman Pass leading over the Mithral lies nearby, the linking up Chalbern Route describes an arc around the ruins themselves, so that you need to leave well-trodden paths if you want to get close to or even enter the haunted ruins. From the Chalbern Route and especially from a higher point of view at the Crazy Woman Pass however you can see Karthmor in the distance to the south a bit away from the Toran's Falls.
|Image description. The soulcatcher orb as drawn by an artist based on the description found in ancient documents. Picture drawn by Seeker.|
that millenia ago when the
violent confrontation of the Gods on Caelereth, the
War of the Chosen, reigned the
continent of Sarvonia, a man of
unspeakable power had settled in a proud citadel on the coast of the Adanian
Sea, which was known as Karthmor. The lands were without kings back then,
magic meant dominance and fear. The people had
to obey those who had enough power to oppress them, and in Karthmor lived one
of those men. The fortress was sheltered on the west side
by the Mithral and to the east had a great
swamp, which should become home to many a dark creature, bred there to spread terror over
the lands and to challenge the Gods. Ta Ivashi, this was
the man's name, was not a Chosen, but he endeavoured to match them in power
eventually. He was described as a rigorous Lord already before he fell victim
to an uncurable deadly illness,
which caused him to try strange mixtures and consult wizardly help to save his
life. Finally with the help of alchemists, magi and an artifact they produced
together known as the Soulcatcher he turned to a half man and
demon creature. Ta Ivashi became endowed with the lust for power
characteristic to the race of men and at the
same time he also bore the brutal
and unforgiving force of the
netherworldly creatures in him - the latter he
summoned in a place known today simply as the "Pit". Everyone who had helped him to become what
he was, had to pay with his life, while Ta Ivashi himself became stronger and stronger and
even more unpredicatable. People called him also the "Beast" (or
"Throg" in Styrásh), and
there are many tales where the gruesome details are revealed on how he preyed upon
the life force of unfortunate people, who couldn't escape his hunger for the
flesh and the souls of the innocent.
With him Ta Ivashi had demons hailing from the depths of the abyss below Karthmor, zombiis and corrupted magi, emerging from the Pit, and he also bred monsters in the swamps around his citadel. Filled with hatred and anger on everything alive these creatures spread their master's infamy in all directions. Commanding his dark minions, Ta Ivashi did not only feast on people, he drained energy from the world around him, making the lands withered and dead while he himself grew in power and strength, transforming more and more into a demon. Karthmor became a place of evil, a black hole in the once thriving landscape, sucking all life into its gorge of darkness.
While the lands drowned in the chaos the War of the Chosen had caused, Ta Ivashi thought that his dominion over the region east of the Mithral would go unnoticed for a long time - until he had gained enough supporters to challenge other powerful rulers. However, even though many were embroiled in the great war, Ta Ivashi was in the end confronted by an army of furious druids, elves from the Auturian Woods and magi and his dark machinations were put to an end when his spiritual magical connection to the beings of the Netherworlds was severed. The portal from where he had summoned his horrific helpers was destroyed in a desperate joint effort and the citadel crumbled to dust. But what the attackers did see when storming Karthmor was unlike anything they could have anticipated in their wildest dreams: mephguór, undead, necromancers and numerous beasts of the Netherworlds defended their master.
|Image description. The "Beast", the half-demon and vicious necromancer Ta Ivashi, the horror of Karthmor. Illustration by Quellion.|
Actually he was barely recognizeable as a human
being - people say that he had grown to the size of a tower and that he had six
arms, moving like a spider, constantly consuming the auras of the fallen. When
the hordes of the dark minions charged, so tell the tales, the green druids
began to transform into war dryads or krói'lóns, the browns rose the
earth, the magi cast their spells while
the elves opened
fire with their
bows. Finally the grey druids rose in to the
sky unleashing funnels of devastation upon the black hordes. Ta Ivashi seeing
this screamed, calling his brother, the deadly
Gamosh-Ra, Demon of Lightning, who
pushed the grey back to the ground with its might. Yet the battle raged on for
days, night and day, unceasingly, until just two dozens of the attackers
remained. Standing fast against the hordes, knowing they had no
chance unless they'd unite their powers, and so they did. A huge funnel,
strals wide, ripped
through the heavens, chunks of the earth
itself were torn from the ground, magical
energies encased the twister. Beholding this spectacle, one would have thought
the gods themselves had intervened, and maybe they even did, as for a moment
this raw power was heard vibrating across Caelereth,
then it was gone all of a sudden, as were most of the defenders and also the
The remaining demons, irritated and guideless, ripped their former ,now barely living master to pieces, but also the fighters - druids, elves and magi alike - who had come to annihilate the evil, all found their end when most of the once gigantic citadel was swallowed by the earth as if it had never existed.
Some say that Ta Ivashi's spirit still lurks in the shadows of his ancient fortress somewhere, others say he cursed the place when he died, and even others claim that there are tomes and artifacts of unimaginable power still down there in the cold and damp dungeons below Karthmor, only awaiting to bring havoc to the world again. - How about it? Want to take a look?