Gho Vella is a small island in the Obari Ocean off the northeastern coast of the island nation of Jalmeray. The closest larger settlement to the island is the port city of Padiskar. The island has an ominous reputation, as it is the final destination of the Jalmeri who suffer from incurable afflictions. As Jalmeray is a nation of many spell-casters, genies, and other creatures capable of performing magic, it has its fill of strange curses and diseases. Those who are incurable (or who can't afford a cure) are sent via small boats to Gho Vella. These transport vessels are operated by a dedicated group of philosophers known as the Curse Shepherds, who make sure that anyone who wishes to reach the island can do so, but who keep the motivations for performing this dangerous task hidden to outsiders.