The Land

A rocky land that slopes from the high Kodar Mountains in the north to the drenched fens of the south, Varisia is a realm sculpted from stone. Yet between the mountain ranges that carve the region, wildly disparate and vibrant lands flourish.

The most dramatic natural wonder of Varisia is the Storval Rise, a continuous line of cliffs that runs hundreds of miles and
in some places rises as high as 3,000 feet.  Adding to this wonder, nearly the entire face of these cliffs bears eroded sculptures, ruined cliff-castles, and grimly carved passages into depths below. 
Above the rise stretches the Storval Plateau, a barren, hilly land of sparse vegetation and deadly giants. This is the primary home of the Shoanti. A nomadic people, the barbarians range from the Stony Mountains in the west to the Cinderlands—a badland of ragged tors—in the east.

Below the Storval Rise, rolling hills, dense forests, and rocky plains make up Varisia’s more hospitable reaches. Many of these lands are marked by ancient monoliths, eroded statues, and cairns of unnatural size. To the northwest, hills covered in high grass and windy flatlands form valleys between mountains and the sea. In the south, fertile lands pocked by rocky limestone pavements and mist-shrouded moors border the massive rot of the Mushfens.

Numerous dense deciduous forests also huddle against Varisia’s numerous mountain ranges. While spiders and other vermin infest the Churlwood, the ghosts of werewolves are said to haunt the Ashwood. Few dare brave the Lurkwood, for its dark trees grow and shed their leaves in an order not set by the seasons.  Deadly and deathly things have also long been rumored to haunt the northern Sanos Forest, but the gnome population of the wilderness’s southern arm has done much to dismiss such tales. Finally, the Mierani Forest was once and is now again a home to elves. While they have done much in the 200 years since their reappearance to treat with the peoples of Varisia’s southern lands, the elves permit few outsiders entrance to their woodland home.


The largest city in Varisia, Korvosa dominates the lands from the Ashwood to Bloodsworn Vale. Today, King Eodred Arabasti II and Queen Ileosa Arabasti rule Korvosa, their reign epitomized by the exploitation of the city-state’s vassal townships for the benefit and luxury of Korvosa’s elite. Korvosa claims to be the most cultured and civilized city in the region, yet visitors might also grant the city-state the titles of most decadent, exploitative, and socially stratified.

To the west, the city of Magnimar vies with Korvosa for dominance of land and trade in and around Varisia. Spread along the shores and cliffs of the Varisian Gulf, Magnimar’s best-known landmark is the Irespan—the ruin of a  gargantuan and ancient bridge around and under which the city sprawls.

A council of elected elders presides over Magnimar along with the Lord-Mayor, a title held for life. Currently, the overbearing Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras controls the city, his bombastic and largely self-serving voice drowning out those of a fractured council of squabbling merchants, commoners, and bored nobles. 

Beasts of Varisia

Numerous animals unique to the region make Varisia their home. Any druid or ranger native to these lands is familiar with these beasts and might befriend them as animal companions.
  • Auroch: Powerfully built herd animals that range across the northern Storval Plateau and western hills, aurochs refuse to be mere prey animals. With thick, mottled gray hides and forward-curving horns (reaching 2-1/2 feet in length), adult aurochs often weigh well over a ton. Aurochs have the same statistics as an advanced 7 HD bison.
  • Cindersnake: These giant red-patterned vipers hide amid the crags and fine silt of the Cinderlands, crippling prey with a painful, burning venom. Cindersnakes have the same statistics as Medium vipers.
  • Donkey Rat: Snowy white rodents the size of small dogs (in some places known as capybaras or giant guinea pigs), the donkey rats native to Varisia’s coast are popular pets (and meals) throughout the southern lands. Donkey rats have the same statistics as dire rats (without the disease ability) and are CR 1/4.
  • Fire Pelt: These black-and-red-furred mountain lions stalk much of northwestern Varisia. The color of their pelts changes from predominantly black to a range of autumnal colors with the seasons.  Fire pelts have the same statistics as leopards.
  • Giant Lizard: Geckos the size of ponies prowl the moist sea cliffs and forests of southern Varisia, feasting on rodents, giant insects, and even the occasional goblin (see Pathfinder #1). Upon the Storval Plateau, aggressive horned spirestalker lizards hide among rocky outcroppings and fearlessly attack anything that comes in sight.
  • Storm Roc: Proud raptors with wings the color of thunderheads and crownlike crests of tousled feathers, storm rocs are said to live for hundreds of years and eventually grow to the size of the true rocs. Storm rocs have the same statistics as eagles.

Faiths of Varisia

While worshipers of all Golarion’s varied religions can be found in Varisia, the majority of the region’s civilized populace adhere to one of six major faiths.
  • Abadar: Master of the First Vault, gold-fisted Abadar seeks to order the world. Judges, merchants, and aristocrats worship him, praying for his clarity in judgment and business. The poor and wronged also frequently honor him, seeking reversals in their fortunes.
  • Erastil: To his followers, Old Deadeye is a stern father, a helpful neighbor, and a watchful hunter. Small communities, farmers, hunters, and common folk most often pray to Erastil.
  • Desna: The furtive Song of the Spheres, Desna is the goddess of dreams, luck, stars, and travelers. She delights in freedom and mystery, and teaches her people to experience all they can. Mystics, explorers, wanderers, and those in need of a little luck worship Desna.
  • Gozreh: The Wind and the Waves, the god of nature cares nothing for the ways of men and their irrelevant empires, ever demonstrating that mortals are insignificant and would do best to remember such. Farmers, seamen, foresters, and all who live at the whim of nature fear and respect Gozreh.
  • Sarenrae: The Dawnflower, the Healing Flame, the Everlight, Sarenrae brings warmth and radiance to all souls who allow her in. Those with compassionate hearts and kind intentions turn to Sarenrae as both the source and protector of all things good.
  • Shelyn: Goddess of art, beauty, and love, Shelyn encourages creativity and inspires the world. She challenges her faithful to test their limits, share what the create, and delight in the gifts of others.

Varisian Languages

Numerous languages are spoken throughout Varisia, including Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Halfling. Not as commonly heard in civilized regions are the Draconic, Giant, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan tongues. In addition, the following five languages each have their place in Varisian culture.
  • Boggard: A language of croaks and pops belched by the frogmen of the Mushfens. Non-reptiles can only speak the simplest form of this crude tongue.
  • Chelaxian: Only the wealthy of Korvosa and travelers from the far south speak the national tongue of Cheliax. Humans of Chelish descent gain this tongue as a bonus language.
  • Shoanti: The language of Varisia’s Shoanti tribes, this sharp tongue is spoken across the Storval Plateau and any of the other rocky lands the barbarians inhabit. Humans of Shoanti descent gain this tongue as a bonus language.
  • Thassilonian: This is the dead language of the land’s ancient monuments, spoken today only by intellectuals, historians, and arcanists.
  • Varisian: Songs in this rolling, sultry language of Varisia’s native wanderers precede them wherever they travel. Humans of Varisian descent gain this tongue as a bonus language.

Cities, Towns, and Locales of Varisia

Areas of Interest

Varisia holds dozen of locales ripe for exploration and adventure.  Listed here are but a few.
  • Bloodsworn Vale: A fey-haunted pass to southern lands.
  • Brinewall: A mysteriously ruined sea-fortress.
  • Celwynvian: The doomed capitol of the Mierani elves, abandoned by its people.
  • The Sunken Queen: A great, timeless pyramid rising from the Mushfen’s murk.
  • Hook Mountain: A peak of dark repute and ancestral home to several tribes of murderous ogres.
  • Kaer Maga: A city built within ancient ruins, renowned for its anarchic population of squatters and outlaws.
  • The Mobhad Leigh: A vast and deep pit, which the Shoanti say has no bottom.
  • Riddleport: A depraved pirate city whose ancient harbor bears a massive, rune-carved arch.
  • The Lady’s Light: An ancient, towering lighthouse rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of witches.
  • The Storval Stairs: Titanic steps cut into the face of the Storval Rise.
  • Urglin: An ancient ruin overrun by brutal savages, orcs, halfbreeds, and worse.
  • Viperwall: The Citadel of Snakes. Its walls of carved serpents endlessly leak a venomous gas.

Varisia Map