Alex Greene's picture

The latest module dropped recently, and it's Karéjia.

So this thread will contain my review of that state in the Venârian Sea.

I'm also going to open it out to anyone else who's got the module, so we can share the experience.

Alex Greene's picture

So, the module has 96 pages, including front and back covers. The dramatic front cover shows some poor doomed sailor about to be deep fried by a ball of "Karéjian Fire" from some huge advancing ship.

The blurb reads ...

"Karéjia - a byword throughout Venârivè for wealth, sensuality and opportunity - and also chaos, tragedy and treason. Ancient myths are echoed in modern events - idealistic democrats vie with bloody tyrants, sweet-tongued demagogues, and treasonous oligarchs in an endless cycle of violence, sedition, bribery and exile. Those of swift wit with an eye for opportunity may thrive, but the naive have scant margin for error. And to the human dangers are added the monstrous Aegesir - immortal beings that even the gods do not lightly cross."

The module comes with single-layer and multi-layer regional maps of the area. The blurb promises that the module covers the "history, geography, commerce and cultures" of this maritime community.

Inside, the book definitely does not disappoint. The region's environment, its active geology (the most geologically-active region of Venârivè) and its climate are described, followed by Karéjia's long, long history of conflicts over three eras - Vénic, Kàruían and Karéjian.

The history section details the region's unique situation, caught as it is between the imperialistic Empires of Dalkésh and Àzeryán. The chapter closes with a detailed chronology.

Next is Culture, and it is as detailed as any Venârivè âlmànác. History tells you what went on before, but Culture tells you what your characters should expect on a visit to the Karéjian Islands.

The Culture section's vital. Karéjia eats up the naive, and a careless adventurer could end up in chains in a penal slave gang - a gig from which there is no escaping.

Urban and rural society are detailed at length, including avenues for personal advancement in Karéjia. Merchants and traders in particular can advance, if they have enough money - Karéjia is the birthplace of the Mángai, and they have considerable power - as much as the Archontes and Elders.

This is definitely not a feudal society, and it is important for player characters who may be used to the more feudal societies of Hârn to learn how things are different here.

There is a section on the role of women in Karéjia, as well - Gamesmasters, and the players of women adventurers, need to look at this.

The Law in Karéjia is unbelievably inconsistent from city-state to city-state. Take nothing for granted.

Examples of what makes Karéjia a unique place to have adventures in:-

Loman Jars - huge jars which have been found in burial grounds of the ancient Antáli throughout the Antalyachi and Samsum Mountains

Nasirhyn Sirens - a danger to navigation on the waters of Karéjia

The Eidenon, or "Daily Acts"

The Karéjia custom of sacrifice to the gods

The Beast Market in Karéjia

Ægesíri, the Karéjian version of the Sarajinian Pradeyalkrie and the ishunai spirit-monsters of Eastern Shoju, possible offspring of Haléa, which owe more than a nod to the stories from Greek mythology, as recounted by Schneer in Sixties Ray Harryhausen monster movies.

Politics, daily life, clothing, food, music, religions - this exhaustive module does not skimp a single detail.

Almost as a bonus, the gazetteer section even lists regions of Dalkésh and Hácherdad which appear on the interactive map, giving fans of Venârivè a first taste of those lands.

Karéjian culture is unique, varied, amazingly colourful and vibrant, a far cry from the more staid feudalism of Hârn. You could get lost reading it, and - like the other Almanacs - almost forget that you are meant to use the book as a stepping stone for roleplaying adventures.

kenolson101's picture

Thanks for the Karejia review. Have you or anyone else written a review of Thonia? I'd be very interested in seeing one.

Alex Greene's picture

Done (http://www.kelestia.com/node/857). I also have Emélrenè, Chélemby, Tuvâra, Býria and Anzelôria to review.

I'm looking forward to reviewing Tuvâra and Býria for their supplements on smuggling and slavery, respectively.

Shealladh's picture

Thanks for the review Alex.
I agree, you can lost in that place quite easily.

kenolson101's picture

Thanks for the Thonia review. I was particularly interested in the non-humans.

Alex Greene's picture

By the way, I've now added a review of Tuvâra: The Great Southern Savannah, including its supplement on smuggling.

It's here - http://www.kelestia.com/node/859