|Ruler||Grand Duchess Trietta Ricia|
|Languages||Dwarven, Kelish, Osiriani|
|Religions||Abadar, Erastil, Irori, Torag|
Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 110-113
The Mana Wastes are the devastated strip of land that lies between the once-warring nations of Nex and Geb. Its major political entity, the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar, is technically a fiefdom of Nex, but in practice the region maintains strict neutrality between its two powerful neighbours.
Altered magic zones
The war between Nex and Geb turned once-green fields into a wasteland, but it also altered how magic works in the region. The devastation created areas devoid of magic—pockets where magic simply does not work at all. In other areas, the laws of reality themselves have been damaged, and magic becomes dangerously wild and unpredictable. This is known as primal magic, and it sometimes lashes the land with spontaneous waves of raw magical energy. These areas are not stable, often alternating between states of dead magic, primal magic, and normal magic, although the primal magic state is the most common.
To make matters worse, another by-product of the war is that numerous tough and deadly monsters now roam the region.
- See also: Timeline of Mana Wastes
The conflict between Nex and Geb took place between -892 AR and 576 AR, and both sides deployed great magical energies. The dwarves of Dongun Hold eventually used further magic to seal themselves off from the conflict. One or more of these forces were responsible for creating zones of dead magic in the region.
The dead magic zones, and the region’s many dangerous inhabitants, meant the Mana Wastes were avoided by all sensible creatures and remained largely unexplored for centuries. In 4588 AR, a wanted criminal named Alkenstar fled from Nex into the Mana Wastes in the hope that the dead magic zones would prevent his magic-dependent enemies from locating him.
Alkenstar made his way to the ruins of Dongun Hold, and over time established the nation of Alkenstar there out of others also seeking sanctuary in the Mana Wastes. He also contacted the hold's dwarves, and the new nation soon adopted the dwarves’ greatest invention—firearms.
The region has usually been at peace with its neighbours, but the forces of the Gorilla King have made regular raids from the nearby Mwangi Expanse. The most notorious of these raids took place in 4690 AR, when the raiders were able to escape with an experimental bombard.
The Grand Duchy of Alkenstar is ruled by Grand Duchess Trietta Ricia. While the Grand Duchy is theoretically part of Nex, the Grand Duchess herself maintains a policy of strict neutrality between Nex and Geb. The Grand Duchy’s location within a dead magic zone allows it to act as a safe meeting place for rival factions. The growing importance of firearms means the Grand Duchy’s influence is increasing, however, and it could soon become a major force in the region in its own right.
The Mana Wastes is effectively a narrow strip of desert between Nex and Geb. Outside of the civilised environs of the Grand Duchy, monstrous inhabitants include sand krakens, elementals, barghests, mutants, hill giants, ogres, ettins, and calikangs.
Prior to the war between Nex and Geb, there were a number of cities in the region. Only a handful survived the devastation, or were built later.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 110-111. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K. Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor. (2011). Inner Sea Magic, p. 3-4, 12. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-360-6
- Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K. Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor. (2011). Inner Sea Magic, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-360-6
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 58. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1