Skull and Shackles
Capital: Alkenstar (53,600)
Major Races: Humans, dwarves, giants
Major Religions: Abadar, Erastil, Irori, Torag
Languages: Dwarven, Kelish, Osiriani
Lying between Nex and Geb, the Mana Wastes are an ever-shifting nightmare of magic-blasted desert forever twisted by the ancient spell duels of the wizard-kings and their potent servants. This forbidding landscape is the fluctuating, unclaimed border between the two nations. The destruction summoned across this vast stretch of desert has made the landscape into something mutable and strange, and while this chaotic, crazy land seems like the very stuff of magic, the place is in fact dead to magic: all available magical power has been consumed by these chaos storms, and any who attempt spellcasting here now are simply wasting their energies.
The Mana Wastes’ unpredictable danger and otherworldly inhabitants promise a swift death for most explorers, but some few political exiles, escaped slaves, and dissident thinkers find their way through the Wastes to the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar, an independent city-state of technological marvels in the western foothills.
Without magic to aid them, the people of Alkenstar have turned to alchemy, engineering, and metallurgy to survive. The dwarves of the Sky Citadel of Dongun Hold provide the engineers, alchemists, and metallurgists of Alkenstar with metals and minerals, and these artisans then design intricate clockwork machines and breathtaking structures. Alkenstar’s impressive Gunworks churns out most of Golarion’s gunpowder weapons, though the Grand Duchy keeps most of the guns it produces. Alkenstar gunmarshals wield their firearms in defense of the nation—making Alkenstar one of the most heavily defended countries in Garund.