An Imperfect Circle
The furthest flung of the Helot Kingdoms, Varsi is an autocratic city state ruled by sorcerer princes. The city commands a choice location on the Grey River, nestled in the mountains and dominating trade routes that range further south. Dozens of nameless tributaries flow into the Grey River, and Varsi's hinterland is full of rustic towns and beautiful estates.
Varsi is defined by its princes. Anyone who proves their skill in sorcery is granted an ornate staff of office and admitted into the society the rules the city. At any time, it is rare for their number to exceed a dozen. Petitioners come from far afield within the Scavenger Lands seeking their favor and service.
In addition to its magic, Varsi is famed for its tea plantations. Tea from Varsi is considered among the best in the River Provinces and highly prized in lands beyond, including the Realm. Each mountain village produces their own variety usually named for the local god. The most famous varieties are Iron Mercy, named for a mountain goddess, and Laughter at Dawn, a minor river god who's water catches the morning sunlight.
While technically within the sphere of the Helot Kingdoms, Varsi sends no tribute or levies to Lookshy. The sorcerer princes compete with the agents of the Seventh Legion to patronize Scavenger Lords who discover caches of First Age artifice. The princes believe that with their military focus, the rulers of Lookshy squander the subtler wonders of the forgotten past.
With their idyllic lifestyle, the people of Varsi considered themselves rivals to Thorns as a cultural center. The sorcerer princes are great patrons of the arts, each keeping a bevy of painters, poets, musicians, and dancers for their entertainment, and styles often veer to the avant garde. With the fall of Thorns, skilled refugees have fled seeking the patronage of the sorcerer princes. The influx of foreign skill with a more traditional style has created conflict with the local artisan houses.
The clans of Puyo have a longstanding rivalry with the sorcerer princes of Varsi. The clans have long withheld trade wealth from Varsi. Raids are common along the board of the two kingdoms and skirmishes are not unheard of.