Many sensitive to the intersections of arcane ley lines, the rotations of reality’s spheres, and the conjunctions of heavenly bodies journey to the mysterious land of Versex to commune with forces esoteric and occult. Yet those aware of the dread things separated from the vulnerable world by unimaginable expanses of aether shun Versex for the same reason. Here the fabric of planar lucidity wears thin, and stains from a sea of unperceived insanity taints an unassuming realm and unprepared minds. Worse, as naive arcanists and reckless mediums worry existence’s fragile stitches, some of these tattered strands give way, and sanity-shattering forces not meant for Golarion set eyes and limbs without names upon a defenseless world. Few precisely know the corruption that taints the hills and coasts of the uneven county. Many have lived here all their lives, and though escaping the tales of insane prophets and portentous importunities is impossible, they may never have suffered night terrors or witnessed a hunter from a hungry star. Although the living were scoured from this land during the Whispering Tyrant’s rule, the county bears few scars of the lich’s reign, as if the region were swept clean and then purposefully avoided. When the living again ventured into the land, they migrated to places of ancient inhabitation, drawn by voiceless calls to the same sites where Ustalavic psychopaths indulged the drug of suffering, Kellid outcasts performed rites taboo even to their savage brethren, and things that revel in ruin cavorted and crooned during the Age of Darkness. Today, few communities linger on ground that wasn’t inhabited thousands of years ago, and memories that should have long passed from the land cling to inexplicable and malevolent wills. Versex’s hills meander from mountain to coast, their rocky slopes gradually shrouded by a mixture of stunted grasses and dense mosses strewn with eerie spiraling fairy rings. The earth proves ill suited to farming, with most crops growing stunted or crooked. Only tubers grow with any reliable success in Versex soil, but most possess bloated, strangely suggestive shapes when finally wrested from the spongy earth. The beasts of Versex have long suffered from similar unwholesomeness, with wild animals and livestock alike falling victim to “phage,” a starving affliction distinguished by unnatural paleness, starved appearances, erratic violence, and horrifyingly deformed progeny— tumorous bodies, limbs akin to other species, and multiple heads proving most common. The county breeds a stiff, private people, shackled by traditions of reservation and aloof civility. The beliefs that proper folk don’t meddle in the affairs of their neighbors, and that the upright don’t make their lives the worry of others, socially isolates townsfolk and city dwellers alike. Most of the county’s inhabitants don’t bother with their neighbors, and if they do, it’s typically only to malign their improprieties. Such exclusivity extends even between townships, with the residents of one community harboring all manner of prejudices and slanders regarding such outsiders’ depravities. Elevated living concerns most of Versex’s citizens, with commerce, seamanship, and honest agrarian labor taking an elevated position over “immoral” and “questionable” arts. Thus, when such “sensitives”— the regional catchall encompassing all artists, authors, magic-users, and lunatics—behave erratically, as proves somewhat common across the county, none are surprised.
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