- This is an article on the nation of Nex. For information on the person of the same name, see Nex (person).
Nex (pronounced NEKS)1 is a cosmopolitan realm on the southeastern coast of Garund filled with arcane wonders and ancient scars. It was established by the mighty wizard-king Nex, who vanished 4,000 years ago.2
The nation now known as Nex grew up around the ancient city-state of Quantium. During the Age of Destiny, the ambitious archmage Nex gained control over Quantium and subjugated the nearby cities of Oenopion and Ecanus, which became the foundation of the kingdom bearing his own name. Over the following centuries, Nex travelled Golarion and the Great Beyond, and brought the treasures he found and the magical knowledge he discovered back to his kingdom. He trained hundreds of wizards in the secrets he discovered, and used wish-level magic to improve and protect his realm.23 Filled with unwavering confidence in his achievements, Nex pressed on, leading his formidable armies of constructs even deeper into the southern territories. Their destination was the once-fertile farmlands of an abandoned Osirian farming colony, now under the control of the formidable necromancer-lord, Geb.2
War with Geb
In -892 AR,4 Nex's territorial ambitions brought him into conflict with Geb, the neighbouring kingdom to the south. Thus began Nex's legendary conflict with the necromancer Geb that would change both wizards and their nations forever.2
The war between the two powerful wizards lasted over 1,000 years, as each had found methods of greatly prolonging his life. Geb devastated the land of Nex with powerful necromantic magic. The Nexian cities were protected by magical wards but the rural areas became a barren wasteland that remains to this day.2 The land between the two nations became so thoroughly contaminated by their magical warfare that, by 149 AR, it was permanently transformed into the spellblighted desert known as the Mana Wastes.56
Facing starvation, Nex enlisted the aid of the renegade druid Ghorus to create a new form of plant life that could survive the blighted landscape. These plants did indeed sustain the population of Nex, and over the centuries evolved into an intelligent species known as ghorans.7 Ironically, as the vast majority of his kingdom lay in ruins, Nex found himself with more time to dedicate to his studies and perfect his magical craft. It was during this time that he achieved true immortality by creating his own personal demiplane, a nexus of multiversal energy known as the Crux of Nex. Within this domain of nearly boundless power, Nex carved out a shard to build the towering Spire of Nex, a mile-high structure located outside of Absalom. Additionally, he constructed the Refuge of Nex, a supernatural sanctuary nestled deep within the basement dungeons of his grand palace, the Bandeshar. Through the Crux, the Refuge, and the Spire, Nex established a vast and interconnected multidimensional complex.8 Nex unsuccessfully besieged Absalom in 166 AR from the Spire of Nex, and gained control of the isle of Jalmeray in 253 AR. The archmage eventually gifted Jalmeray to the legendary maharajah of Vudra, Khiben-Sald.4
Disappearance of Archmage Nex
In 576 AR,4 Geb launched a potentially decisive attack on Quantium, covering Nex's capital in a lethal fog which killed thousands of its citizens.2 Nex fled into the Refuge of Nex and has not been seen since.9 The lesser wizards of Nex somehow managed to keep Geb from conquering the country in Nex's absence, and the war eventually petered out. Over time, an uneasy truce was brokered, and eventually trade was established between the two nations. Today, Nex imports most of its food from Geb, as its own land has still not recovered from the devastation of the war.2
Government in Nex has been a chaotic, complicated process ever since the archmage Nex disappeared over four millennia ago. Nex's rule had been unquestioned, but when he disappeared the country was thrown into chaos. Since then, a variety of strange sects, arcane cabals, and cults of personality have ruled the country, each claiming insight into what the archmage's plans were for his abandoned nation. The external threat from Geb finally united the country enough to spur the creation of the Council of Three and Nine, a ruling body which still tries to unify the various squabbling factions.2
Nex's current government is mired in bureaucracy and political infighting. Despite these weaknesses, Nex has never been conquered, and there are no signs of the Council of Three and Nine faltering. Some factions—most notably the Arclords of Nex—clamour for a resumption of the war against Geb on the grounds that it must surely be the will of the archmage to destroy his ancient enemy.2
Nex was devastated by the centuries of magical warfare between the two powerful wizards. All the lands outside of the magically protected cities were blighted by Geb's magic, turning them into a barren wasteland. These lands are now inhabited by tribesmen, outlaws, and the descendants of the magical beasts unleashed by Nex during the war (many of them created in the fleshforges of Ecanus).2 Some hardy animals still survive in these barren lands however, including the territorial axe beak.11
Nex's towns have been in existence since the Age of Destiny, although some have weathered the time better than others. They are among the most cosmopolitan in all of Garund, with the capital of Quantium rivaling the splendor of the Osirian capital Sothis at the height of the ancient god-kings' power.2 The most important cities in Nex are:
- Ecanus: Southern fortress town, home of the fleshforges
- Khulo: Former pleasure retreat, now part of an inescapable prison
- Oenopion: City of alchemists
- Quantium: Cosmopolitan capital, and grand memorial to the vanished archmage
- Elemion River: Forms border between Nex and Katapesh
- Miasmere: Heavily polluted waterway off the coast
- Isle of Black Palms: Haunted island north of Valkus Isle
- Ndele Gap: Pass between Shattered Range and Brazen Peaks
- Shattered Range: Forms the nation's western border with the Mwangi Expanse
- Ustradi River: Flows from Alkenstar past Ecanus
- Valkus Isle: Prison island in the Obari Ocean
- Well of Lies: Ancient dungeon complex closed by Nex
The human population of Nex is primarily Garundi and Keleshite, with a significant Vudrani minority.1213 Among other races, gnomes and halflings are the most common.14 Nomadic caravans of Askedhaki catfolk also roam Nex's blasted interior, making their living as traders while also serving in their traditional role as hunters of any beast that hunts humans.15
Nex is also home to the largest assembly of arcanists in the Inner Sea region. They are drawn there by its magic-friendly government and its unparalleled magical resources. Some of these individuals come to Nex to study the dead magic zone of the Mana Wastes, hoping that exploration of the area will lead to a breakthrough in the understanding of the fabric of magic itself.16
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
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- The Inner Sea World Guide, 130–131. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 80. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 35. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 110. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 74. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- Inner Sea Bestiary, 14. Paizo Inc., .
- “Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 80–81. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 133. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 75. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Animals of the Inner Sea” in Animal Archive, 16. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 14–15. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 23. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 26–27. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Catfolk” in Ancestry Guide, 16. Paizo Inc., .
- “Arcanist” in Advanced Class Origins, 6. Paizo Inc., 2014 .