|Sent on:||Monday, October 11, 2010 7:26 PM|
VARISIA: Wild Frontier Region Crest: A seven-point, hooked, star with a polygon in the center. Alignment: Neutral Capital: None Notable Settlements: Celwynvian, Kaer Maga, Korvosa, Magnimar, Riddleport, Urglin Ruler: No centralized ruler Government: Unaffiliated City-States Language: Common, Varisian, Shoanti Religion: Abadar, Desna, Erastil, Calistria, Cayden, Cailean, Gozreh, Lamashtu, Pharasma, Norgorber, Urgathoa, Zon-Kuthon This region remained wild for thousands of years, inhabited only by barbarian tribes known as the Shoanti and the nomadic Varisian survivors of Thassilon's fall, until it came to the attention of expansionist Cheliax, whose armies marched on the region in 4405. Chelaxian soldiers drove the warlike Shoanti into the rugged regions to the northeast, while colonists adopted a tenuous peace with the native Varisians under the pretense of bringing "culture and civilization" into their lives. It was at this time that the ancient frontier came to be known as Varisia. Modern Varisia is a region of conflict, a strip of frontier laid against the Storval Rise - a land of barbarians and giants to the northeast. Although no central government controls Varisia, three city-states have emerged, each of which could some day soon claim control over the region. The eldest and largest of these is Korvosa, a city of Chelish loyalists ruled by a monarchy but cleaving close to Cheliax in a bid to be reabsorbed into the empire. Korvosa is a haven for merchants and tradesmen, and functions as a gateway for trade throughout all of the region. The second-largest regional city, cosmopolitan Magnimar, is in an era of growth while Korvosa, at best, stagnates in its thick traditional values. Here, unlike in Korvosa, guilds are actively encouraged, and with enough luck and skill, anyone can rise to a place of power. Magnimar is ruled by a lord-mayor and a Council of Ushers. As the city grows, so does its Council, and in time, Magnimar might well outshine Korvosa, especially as word of Magnimar's fewer restrictions on trade reach further into the world. Further to the north lies the region's third-largest city. Riddleport is a solution to those who find law of any sort oppressive, and serves as a safe harbor for mercenaries, thieves, bandits, and pirates of all cuts. Tales of bandits ruling the streets, of muggings and murder taking place in full light of day, and of riots and anarchy are popular among the nobles of Korvosa, yet there is little truth to these tales, for the Overlords of Riddleport are undeniably harsh in punishing those who would attempt to disrupt civic function. Nevertheless, the fact crimelords, pirates, and scoundrels rule the city shows in every street. Riddleport is not a place for the timid. Beyond its cities and its people, many other Varisian sites of particular interest have long lured explorers and adventurers to seek them out. The most notorious and famous of these are detailed, in brief, below. Celwynvian: Deep in the Mierani forest, the ancient elven city of Celwynvian stands haunted, its verdant palaces and delicate towers locked in a mysterious conflict. The elves have tried numerous times to reclaim the abandoned city, but they are silent on what exactly lurks in the ruins that keeps them from success. Some whisper of a strange contagion, others of dragons or demons. A few rumors even speak of the drow, legendary elves from deep underground, and that Celwynvian is now the site of unknown dark elf atrocities that the elves themselves are loathe to admit exist, as if they were too ashamed of what their violent kin were up to. Cinderlands: Home to three Shoanti tribes, the hostile Cinderlands are a unique region. Not quite desert, these rugged badlands are rather volcanic. Black blizzards of emberstorms, immense grassland fires, and deadly eruptions of poisonous gas make it a difficult place to dwell, yet the Shoanti continue to do so, having adapted to the harsh environs as necessary. Kaer-Maga: Varisia's most notorious city, Kaer-Maga perches atop one of the highest runs of the Storval Rise, overlooking the verdant lands to the south. Built into and onto the ruins of an immense Thassilonian fortress, the denizens of Kaer-Maga enjoy anarchy in its purest form. All manner of strange factions hold court in Kaer-Maga's halls, from the bloodthirsty bloatmages to the militant monks of the Brothers of the Seal to the grisly augurs - troll soothsayers who use their own entrails to prophesize with questionable accuracy. The Mushfens: One of Golarion's largest wetlands, the swath of swamp known as the Mushfens stretches along the entire southern border of Varisia. This trackless region has resisted every attempt at colonization so far, and to this day remains a wildland in every sense of the word. Neighboring nations to Varisia are the mysterious island of Hermea to the west, the viking Lands of the Linnorm Kings and the witch-kingdom of Irrisen to the north, the orc infested Hold of Belkzen to the east, the wooded region of Nirmathas to the southeast, and across a small expanse of ocean to the south lie the dark and dismal kingdom of Nidal and the diabolical Empire of Cheliax.
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