Wrath of the Righteous
A demon-haunted wasteland that lies at the northern-most reaches of central Avistan, the Worldwound is an unnatural blight: it is a rift to the Abyss opened on the Material Plane. It appeared shortly after the death of the god Aroden at the beginning of the Age of Lost Omens, and is probably the greatest threat to life on the face of Golarion.
The geography of the Worldwound is a sickening, flexible thing, with the features of the land shifting in front of the viewer’s eyes. This fluidity of form grows worse the closer one gets to the actual rift at the center of this region. The thin veil between Golarion and the Great Beyond tears completely there, and demonic monstrosities pour forth unabated from the depths of the Abyss. At the distal reaches of the Worldwound, where it borders on the surrounding realms, this instability subsides.
The Worldwound is divided into five separate regions along geographical lines.
Most of the cities that once belonged to the Kellid realm of Sarkoris now lie in ruin, but some still stand and are inhabited by both humans and demons. Most of the humans fall into two categories: cultists and immoral mercenaries who have joined forces with the fiends; and humans kept as chattel for food or sacrifice. A few human settlements still exist that have managed to withstand the demonic armies, but they are very few in numbers and have mostly made alliances with other powers for their protection.
Unsurprisingly, considering the inherently chaotic nature of demons, the Worldwound has no government and is instead a loose coalition of demonic tyrants with the strength to rule their weaker kin. They are united by one common purpose: to cause as much misery and destruction on Golarion as possible. The country is split into many, many petty fiefdoms, each ruled by a demonic master. Whether they rule through sheer force (as is favoured by the more powerful demons such as balors or mariliths) or through subtle manipulation (favoured by succubi and glabrezus) each realm is its own hell, and each is equally hostile to mortal life. While there is no central government, certain demon rulers hold more power than others. The most powerful demon is the balor Khorramzadeh who rules Iz, followed by the marilith Aponavicius, who conquered the crusader city of Drezen. Despite not being the most powerful demon, the most respected creature in the Worldwound is the demonic archmage Areelu Vorlesh. She has studied the Worldwound since before its formation, and is believed to have had a hand in first breaching the planes over a hundred years ago.
The Worldwound is hated by almost all of the surrounding nations for its borders constantly push against their boundaries, always trying to expand. The Hold of Belkzen is the realm least overly hostile to the Worldwound, with its bestial orc inhabitants who seem not so distant from the neighbouring savage demons. To the west lies the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, whose tribes fight constant skirmishes with the demons, especially around the eastern city of Tolguth. To the south of the Worldwound lie Numeria and Ustalav, neither of which actively battles the infection of the Worldwound, but both still eye their northern neighbour with fear and trepidation. To the east lies the crusader nation of Mendev, the Worldwound’s most vehement opponent. Once the nation of Mendev surrounded the whole of the Worldwound stretching from the old Sarkorian city of Dyinglight to the now ruined city of Storasta, to the conquered crusader city of Drezen. Now much of its former territory has fallen to the foul Abyssal blight.