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Karthain-144

Map of Karthain, drawn by Scott Lynch

Karthain is the sister city of Lashain, both of which sit on The Amathel (Lake of Jewels) at the head of the River Cavendria. Karthain serves as home and headquarters to the Bondsmagi from their inception until their mass exodus.

The main body of the city is composed of several islands and peninsulas connected by a series of bridges, similar to Camorr. Though in Karthain the land rises in tiers as one moves away from the Amathel, giving the impression that the entire city is tilted at an angle and creating a series of waterfalls through the city. This makes for nice views, but it does hamper any attempts at water travel between distant parts of the city. The population is around 70,000, with about 5,000 of those having the ability to vote.

The Bondsmagi always kept a close watch on their home city. A normal person might not have recognized the influence of the mages on their everyday life outside of a sense of their Presence. However, in secret, the Bondsmagi controlled everything with an invisible hand.

The city had no military or defenses that might be found in every other Therin town because the Bondsmagi saw to their protection. Much more energ is out into making sure the streets are clean and everything is well-kept and running smoothly.

The primary unit of currency in Karthain is the Karthani ducat, a coin consisting of about one-eighth of an ounce of gold.

The Five-Year GameEdit

For the most part, Karthain's political system existed only to amuse the Bondsmagi. The elected officials on the Konseil, who were ostensibly in charge, were good enough to take care of day-to-day concerns, but anything of importance was secretly decided by the Bondsmagi.

Every five years, Karthain hosted an election. There were two major political parties. The Deep Roots party was founded by old aristocracy, conservative types. Their titles had been done away with, but they still had money and influence. The Black Iris party was composed of younger more progessive types, artists and young merchants. Each party put forth one candidate for Konseil seats in each of Karthain's nineteen districts, fourteen districts within the city and five representing the rural manors. The election season, which lasted for six weeks, was generally an energetic affair.

The people of Karthain thought they were dealing with actual issues and making important choices when choosing how to vote. In actuality, the entire election was a game between the two major factions within the Bondsmagi. In the long term which side won was no more important to the course of events in Karthain than the outcome of a sporting match. Every five years each of the two factions would recruit people to run their side's campaign, and then the mages would sit back and watch the show. 

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