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Verces is the fourth planet in the Pact Worlds system. It is tidally-locked, causing one side to perpetually bake under the sun (Fullbright) and the other to freeze in its shadow (Darkside). However, the terminator — the Ring of Nations — is one of the most densely inhabited and technologically advanced metropolitan areas of the system.1
Since Verces is tidally locked, Fullbright is a scorching desert burning under the light of the sun, while Darkside is covered in eternal darkness and cold. In the Ring of Nations, temperatures range from around 40°C near Fullbright to under freezing on the edge of Darkside. Verces has no seasons or day-night cycles: Fullbright is always blindingly bright, Darkside is only lit by artificial lights, and the Ring of Nations exists in perpetual twilight. The slow movement of distant stars, visible in Darkside or the few rural areas of the Rings of Nations, is the only cue for the passage of time. As superheated air in Fullbright rises and expands, the difference in atmospheric pressure result in high-altitude winds from Fullbright to Darkside, where the air condenses, sinks and flows to Fullbright at low altitudes. Fluctuations in this pattern result in storms: plains can experience the most intense tempests, mountains have gustier winds and greater temperature variations, and regions downwind of seas are rainy.2
Most of the Ring of Nations consists of dry land, with a few bodies of water. Fullbright is a sun-scorched desert with no water, with only the remnants of seas whose water boiled away as tectonic activity moved them from the Ring of Nations to Fullbright. Darkside contains most of Verces' water, and is full of glaciers and half-frozen seas.2
The Ring of Nations consists of 27 nations, whose borders are mostly rectangular and partially delimited by Fullbright and Darkside. They are governed from Cuvacara, capital of Vimal, by the Grand Assembly and policed by the Stewards, who have since expanded their responsibility to the whole Pact Worlds. Although the Stewards have relocated to Absalom Station since the Pact Worlds was formed, they continue to maintain their original headquarters of Peacewatch, where many aspiring officers train. Verces' nations retain sovereignty and distinct cultures, but their laws and economies are deeply intertwined, their borders are open, and wars have been unknown for millennia:34
Not all of Verces' residents recognise the Ring of Nations' authority. Called the Outlaw Kingdoms, these criminals, cultists, exiles, survivalists and indigenous peoples live in the fringes of the terminator or move to Fullbright or Darkside, surviving through magic and technology. Some actively recruit exiles from the Ring, while others shoot any outsiders on sight. They see the Ring's residents as decadent, and are in turn usually considered to be backward and inbred, but this does not stop ordinary Vercites from consuming media about them or hiring them for illicit activities, like raiding and kidnapping rival corporations' employees.5
The Stewards, an organization of warrior-diplomats who now serve as the enforcement wing of the Pact Worlds, were founded on Verces.1
The verthani are the dominant native species of Verces. Due to its long history of multiculturalism and space travel as well as its hospitable conditions, Verces is also home to many immigrants of all species. The vast majority of the population lives in the Ring of Nations, leaving Fullbright and Darkside to outcasts and monsters. Institutions run continuously, with employees arranging their own sleeping and waking hours.3
Humans are common across Verces, both permanent residents and transient visitors, from the bustling metropolises to the barely-inhabitable frontiers. Kasathas appreciate the verthani's stability, traditions and governmental structures, and see similarities between the hotter regions of Verces and their own homeworld of Kasath. Some even valorise the verthani's ancient caste system, to the natives' chagrin or amusement. Many ryphorians live on the edges of the Ring, adapted to harsh climates and seeing the similarity to their native Triaxus' century-long seasons. Ysoki come to Verces for augmentations or the opportunities in the slums beneath its metropolises.3
Fullbright has been home to a shirren colony since they first arrived in the Pact Worlds after fleeing the Swarm. They have since integrated into Vercite society, although their settlements retain a shirren majority. The mysterious spire of Qidel in Fullbright is home to the strix, who mostly keep to themselves and admit few visitors. Darkside's native bloodbrothers, though not part of Vercite society, feature prominently as bogeymen in media.3
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Matt Miller. (December 9, 2016). Top of the Table: The Starfinder Interview, Page 4, Game Informer.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 James L. Sutter et al. (2018). Pact Worlds, p. 59. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-022-4
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 James L. Sutter et al. (2018). Pact Worlds, p. 60. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-022-4
- ↑ Jason Keeley. (November 14, 2018). From Dusk Till Dusk, Paizo blog.
- ↑ James L. Sutter et al. (2018). Pact Worlds, p. 61. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-022-4