Campaign of the Month: September 2013
Located almost exactly in the geographical center of Barsaive at the edge of the Tylon Mountains, Kratas is commonly known as the Thieves’ City. Almost all mercenary and illegal activities in Barsaive take place in Kratas, and some of Barsaive’s most notable thieves and informants make their homes there. Garlthik One-Eye, the legendary ork Thief, controls the city through his gang, the Force of the Eye. A veritable crossroad of information and stolen goods, adventurers can find almost any type of equipment or service in Kratas, though at a higher price than in any other Barsaivian city.
Kratas had been a Theran city before the Scourge, but its citadel did not survive the Horror’s assault. While still maintaining a large population, only roughly a third of what Kratas held before the Scourge lives here today. The city itself is in disrepair, boasting many empty but damaged buildings, with debris from the protective dome still littering the streets and roofs.
Our sister Jenelle was married at the age of fifteen, just about a year before I was first inducted into the Konigsberg Guard. A lord from Kratas came to our keep with a huge entourage, his name was Harold Hausfeld. My father wanted Jenelle to be married to his son Rollo as a way to further tie Kratas to Konigsberg. Harold and his son Rollo both had good reputations, and I can only assume that such a marriage would further tie powerful men of Kratas, which would help keep the banditry on our trade routes to a minimum. Regardless, I met Rollo and he seemed like a very decent man. He was the same age as Sarus, only a bit shorter and thinner with long blonde hair and a groomed beard. I believe he was 17 at the time. Sarus and him hit it off right away, and it wasn’t long before the three of us were joking around like brothers. I remember that all of the men went on a big hunting trip the day before the wedding and Sarus felled a massive stag. The next day, our sister Janelle was married, and she went to Kratas with her new husband. Sarus and I were glad that he was a man that we liked… for Kratas isn’t known for savory characters.
Kratas is a huge city to the North of Konigsberg. There, you can buy anything, you just have to keep your wits about while doing so. It is known as the city of thieves, and Kratas does deserve that name, as gangs of thieves are all over the city, each with their own districts that they ‘control’. It is worse than any other city I have been to. However, having been there several times, it is not as bad as you might be lead to believe by bards trying to tell a good story. Yes, gangs of thieves roam the city and bandits and raiders prowl the countryside… but just like any city, most of this is orchestrated by men with power, money and influence. The powerful in the city fund the leaders of the gangs, and use them to further their own ends and disrupt their rivals. Still, not all of the bandits and thieves play by the rules, or have leaders that are properly managed. Those are really the only ones that a man with normal business in Kratas has to worry about, and even then, some common sense and street smarts goes a long way.
Konigsberg is proof that the grand tales of chaos and anarchy in Kratas are untrue. Yes, corruption of the leaders in Kratas is common, but Konigsberg has been trading with Kratas for centuries without major problems. We are their primary supplier for weapons, armor, bronze goods and marble to the city. We are also one of their major suppliers of grain. There are other suppliers of all of these things of course, but none in such close proximity. Granted that caravans from Konigsberg are under heavy guard, but merchants travelling the road between Konigsberg and Kratas are far less likely to be molested by raiders and bandits than on any other trade route. Some would say that our constant patrols and heavy-handed tactics are the cause for that, but this also is not true. It is the influence of the powerful in Kratas who need our marble for their great houses, and who need our weapons, bronze and grain, which keeps the household gangs at bay. The rest of the bandits, raiders and thieves are easily cowed by a decent show of force.
- Stilicho Alaricson, Lord of Konigsberg