Varisia is a true frontier, stretching from the Varisian Gulf in the west to the sheer peaks of the Mindspin and Kodar Mountains in the east. Fertile lowlands are divided from an arid plateau by a thousand-foot-tall cliff that extends across the region from the northwest to the southeast. This cliff is known as the Storval Rise.
The lowlands west and south of the rise, hold lush expanses: woodlands like the Churlwood and Sanos Forest, expanses so tangled even experienced trackers shy from their edge; the Velashu Uplands, a gentle plain home to the rugged Velashu horse lords; and the Mushfens, a dangerous marsh that straggles along much
of the land’s southern length.
The Storval Plateau, which includes the burning wastes of the Cinderlands, encompasses the east and north. The Cinderlands are a dry desert where regular firestorms scour the thorny scrub brush and sear the reddened land. Much of the Storval Plateau proves slightly more hospitable, though, and this arid stretch of grassland and hard-packed plains is home to equally hard tribes of reclusive giants and proud Shoanti.
Most dwarves in Varisia live in their mountain community of Janderhoff. Many hunt the great creatures of the land, live as traders, or serve as guides for those seeking underground wonders. This race’s ingenuity has also led to the creation of several marvels in the region, such as the Gas Forges of Riddleport.
Many of Varisia’s elves hail from Crying Leaf in the Mierani Forest, near the ruined elven city of Celwynvian. Adventuring elves find themselves attracted to the many wild areas of Varisia, and often seek to either free such regions of monstrous threats or protect them from exploitative settlers.
Gnomes have two major homes in Varisia: Whistledown and the scattered communities of the Sanos Forest. Many Varisian gnomes travel throughout the nation to sate the innate curiosity of their kind or see the region’s varied marvels.
Relatively rare in Varisia, half-elves often avoid tying themselves down, preferring to sign on with caravans or adventuring parties as guards, trackers, or healers.
Halflings often live as servants in Korvosan lands—much like they would in Cheliax—or make their own ways in Magnimarian holdings or other frontier towns. Others, however, have found the life of Varisian wanderers highly appealing and travel widely, living each day as a new adventure.
Half-orcs typically come from Urglin or the Hold of Belkzen on Varisia’s eastern border. They roam the region with orc raiders or live on the outskirts of settled areas. They avoid Shoanti, knowing that most will attack a half-orc on sight.
Varisians and Shoanti are the native people of Varisia, but while they are not enemies, neither are they particularly close. The bulk of humans living in Varisia’s settled lands are of Chelish heritage, and cling to or shun the ways of that nation as their home cities’ philosophies dictate.
Most humans and halflings worship one of the divine aspects.
- The Warbringer, Gorum the Lord in Iron, encompassing both the positive (glory) and negative (destruction) aspects
- The Trickster, Calistria the Savored Sting, encompassing trickery,and revenge.
- The Arcanist, Nethys the All-Seeing Eye, encompassing Magic, Knowledge, and Runes
- Iomedae the Lightbringer – covers both Sun and Law (judgement) aspect
- Sarenrae the Lifegiver – Healing, Good
- Abadar the Protector, Travel and Nobility are among his domains.
- Pharsma the Reaper, Repose and Knowledge add to the thought of all things come to an end.
- Gozreh the Stormcaller
In addition, The Cheliaxian empire has allied itself with Asmodeus and the legions of hell.
The human and half-orc barbarians worship totem spirits. See Shoanti worship for details. Change this to orc tribes?
Dwarves practice a form of ancestor worship, honoring the dwarven fathers.
Gnomes and elves don’t worship “the gods”. Instead, they owe their alliegance to one of the archfey and their courts. The courts are the Court of Stars, Court of Coral, Gloaming Fey, Green Fey, Summer Fey, Winter Fey, and Unseelie Fey. The sidebar of p13 of Heroes of the Feywild has more information. Another possible useful resource: Feywild Codex