Legends of Golarion
Varisians are a human ethnic group found primarily in the country of Varisia. That said, they are a nomadic people known to favor the open road over permanent settlements, and as such their caravans can be encountered throughout Golarion. Varisians are largely considered to be scoundrels and rogues, a reputation that is not entirely based on misconception; members of other races and ethnicities primarily know of these nomads from interactions with either traveling performers, harrow-readers, or the criminal Sczarni. However, despite outward appearances of frivolity, the Varisian people are fiercely loyal to family and friends, and embrace a rich culture steeped in history and tradition.
The Varisian people typically possess deep, olive-colored skin, and long, dark hair ranging in hue from black to auburn. They often garb themselves in brightly colored clothing; Varisians favor practical dress when completing daily tasks, but are more widely known for the elaborate, embroidered costumes they don during performances. Varisians prefer wealth in the form of gemstones and jewelry, rather than coins, and secure such valuables on their person whenever possible.
Varisians often bear intricate and meaningful tattoos on their bodies. These markings range in scope from those representing notable events in an individual’s life, to runes and symbols charged with magical energies, and even mysterious birth tattoos, present from the day one first enters the world. Varisians are also fond of scarves of all types, and frequently use them to provide emphasis during performances. They also commonly use scarves in more specialized capacities; the bladed scarf serves as a favorite weapon when one must appear unarmed, and a Varisian’s kapenia is an intricate record of his or her family tree.
Varisian wizards often serve as keepers of their people’s history and lore. Such knowledge is typically gathered from numerous sources, compiled from stories and pieces of text gathered during a clan’s travels, as well as insights gleaned from occasional art and writings that remain intact within Varisia’s ruins.
Though now largely nomadic, the Varisian people believe that they originated in a land now devastated by some forgotten tragedy; some stories claim that the Varisian people were the rulers of this land, while others tell of an existence of servitude, but they all seem to agree that the event that brought this life to an end also heralded the beginning of their life as wanderers.
Varisians can be found traveling throughout Avistan, but are most prevalent in their ancient homeland of Varisia, in their adopted homeland of Ustalav, and in the human-dominated lands surrounding Lake Encarthan (i.e. Druma, Lastwall, Molthune, Nirmathas, and Razmiran).