Curse of the Crimson Throne
The Continent of Varisia
A map of Varisia: http://campaignhq.wikispaces.com/file/view/Varisia.jpg/31738845/Varisia.jpg
A world map: http://puppyrush.net/eqfidel/scorpions/Golarion-Map-2400.jpg
The Cinderlands are a harsh and desolate desert, where emberstorms rain fire and ash onto the land that sees no rain. Volcanoes form the mountain ranges to its right and left, though more than a hundred miles of flat, empty sand stretch between them. Shoanti barbarians are the only non-monstrous race that inhabits the tough land – though their humanity seems implausible to outsiders. Orcs and giants are the most common monsters to roam the Cinderlands, though wretched creatures of fire and ash also call the place their home. The Cinderlands are cut off from the lush, green lands to the south by a tall cliff face. Kaer Maga, which sits at the top of the Yondabakari waterfall, is the only reasonable way to cross the cliffs.
Sitting at the top of the Yondabakari waterfall, the only river to run through the Cinderlands, Kaer Maga is the second largest city in Varisia. Like Varisia’s largest city, Korvosa, Kaer Maga was built on top of ancient Thassilonian ruins, but unlike Korvosa, which is strictly ruled by law, Kaer Maga is a cesspit of thieves and disorder. Also known as the Asylum Stone, the city has served as a refuge for misfits and exiles. It is run by various groups, gangs, and families, with no written law or hierarchy. Anything can be bought and sold here, including slaves, necromancy, hemotheurgy, and plenty more of the bizarre and horrifying.
Janderhoff is a mining city of the Dwarves. It is heavily guarded by their toughest warriors, armed with such amazingly enchanted weapons and armor that they could easily defend their city. Non-Dwarves are not allowed into the city unescorted, and to receive an escort, travelers must first petition for entry. Petitions usually take a handful of days, but can be slowed or expedited by the petitioner’s wares or attitude.
It is said that Gnomes live in the Sanos Forest, but no one ever seems to have a firsthand account of such a community. Visitors to the forest find that they travel through with no disruption or event – so frequently that it has become utterly suspicious in a land so rife with roaming monsters. Some rumors speculate that it is not Gnomes who live there, but Fey, more ancient and wise than the pesky tricksters known to inhabit the Varisian marshes.
Mierani Forest is well-guarded by the Elves as their only home in all of Varisia. It is known for its ancient trees and wildlife, which the Elves tend to with loving care. The Elves rarely receive visitors besides the occasional traveling Varisian caravan, and as such they hold an intense distrust and curiosity for any who arrive. A small band of Elves left Mierani with Ambassador Perishial Kalissreavil three score years ago to visit Korvosa out of wanderlust. Upon arriving, they found themselves possessed of a different kind of lust, and have been steadily increasing the Half-Elven population ever since.