Dark Places of the Earth
To call Varisia the homeland of the Varisian people is at once obvious and misleading, for while all of their oldest tales agree as to their origins, the Varisians have always been a wandering people for whom the road is the only true home. Their colorful caravans are most often found along the traditional routes that stretch from present-day Magnimar around Lake Encarthan and as far as Brevoy, but the wanderings of this free-spirited folk can take them nearly anywhere, from the exotic courts of Tian Xia to the Impossible Kingdoms of Vudra. Only in haunted Ustalav have they ever settled down in any great numbers, and they make up the majority of the human population in that land.
In most of the Inner Sea Region Varisians have a reputation for mysticism and superstition, as well as for dishonesty and criminal behavior. While it is true that Varisians have a great respect for Witches and fortune-tellers, and that many have sought their fortune through less than legitimate means (often as part of the Sczarni, one of Avistan’s most widespread and successful criminal organizations), those who get to know a Varisian often find them to be honorable allies and loyal friends.
Most of the Varisians’ reputation as fortune-tellers stems from the important place that Desna, goddess of travel, luck, and the stars, holds in Varisian society. Since the Age of Darkness that goddess has guided and protected the Varisian people, though through the ages they have also adopted many of the gods of the lands through which they travel, particularly Abadar, Calistria, Caiden Cailean, Erastil, Gozreh, Norgorber, Sarenrae, Shelyn, and Urgathoa. Likewise, Varisians have picked up all manner of skills and traditions in their travels, and one can find examples of any class among their caravans.