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Republic of Karsten

The blood of the barbarians of the Dorian Plateau flows in the veins of the Karstenites, who are not in the least ashamed of their ancestry. In fact, they consider it an honor as well as a sign of their valor and nobility.
What they did consider shameful was the fact that they've been forced to play second fiddle to others ever since they entered the Andalou Plain. Whether on the battlefield or when drawing borders, they have inevitably found themselves at the mercy of the Vecks.
Before Drave the Snake-Eyed died, he passed his position as chief to another Veck, thus breaking the promise he had once made to the Karstenites. But it was not in their nature to submit for the sake of mere survival.

During the Rule of Two Kings, a succession of Karstenite petty kings (a title the Karstenites found humiliating) feigned obedience while secretly building up their military strength. Patrols served as an opportunity to scout conditions all over the Asgardian continent. After crossing the Anjou Mountains, they discovered pasturelands every bit the equal of the Andalou Plain, with fertile soil, plentiful water, and rich grass—the perfect place to expand and flourish.
They found further cause for rejoicing in the form of a yet nameless volcano located in close proximity. It was permeated with veins of blue crystal in liquid form that radiated gorgeous blue light, of a quality vastly superior to that found in most mines.
The Karstenites knew the time had come. They rose in force and sacked the city of Andalou, plundering it of the Arche technology that was theirs by right as well as part of a Ymirus mech frame, before crossing a pass to the other side of the Anjou Mountains to build their own cities and establish their own kingdom.
Thus began a century of strife between Karsten and Veck.
Perhaps something in their nature naturally inclined the Karstenites toward rebellion; even the founding of their own kingdom failed to produce stability. Nearly all of their first several kings were either killed or forced into exile by threat of violence. 
Nor did the successors to the crown remain secure on the throne for long. Despite their wariness of their own vassals, in the end none of them could escape the fate of being overthrown in their turn. As a result, the kingdom remained mired in an ongoing state of turmoil.
Finally, the five most powerful noble houses reached the end of their patience. They formed an alliance and forced out the last usurper, and established a republican government. The Parliament of Knights, composed of members of the nobility, would appoint a consul tasked with commanding the army for a five-year term. With this, Karsten gradually achieved relative stability at last.
Over the years, the Karstenites developed blue crystal technology and excavated many ancient ruins. They were the first to transform liquid blue crystal into gaseous form, which they used to fill blue crystal tanks. These were integrated into the development of blue crystal-armored equipment, further increasing Karsten's military strength. Though their grasp of Arche technology remained inferior to that of Veck, they were nearly unmatched in terms of putting blue crystal to industrial uses.
Their strength reached a peak under the rule of the strongman Nerva, who was eager to expand Karsten's territory.
Swayed by false accusations made by outsiders, he dissolved the Parliament of Knights and declared himself consul for life before crossing the Anjou Mountains to invade the Kingdom of Veck, setting off a series of battles.
The early years of the war went well, but ultimately Karsten found itself hard-pressed to match the combined forces of multiple kingdoms arrayed against it. After poor decisions during crucial battles resulted in the loss of countless bands of knights, the Karstenites became increasingly discontent.
Amid a string of defeats and mutinies, a despondent Nerva stepped down. Aided by the state Military Church, the Parliament of Knights regained control and sued for peace.

The war was a major blow for Karsten. Since then, they have avoided further military engagements for nearly a century. But after a hundred years of reconstruction and rebuilding, the Karstenites have regained their confidence. They have begun forming covert coalitions with other groups, all the while eyeing the Elmo Polis and its recent string of disasters.

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