Ustalav fell 1505 years ago — the first casualty of the legendary Whispering Tyrant’s dreaded resurrection. For 25 years the country suffered the depredations of the ancient lich’s foul whims, its lands and people despoiled to fuel his undead war machine. Although the tyrant’s defeat in 3827 freed the country back to its historic rule, years of exploitation and tragedy left Ustalav a changed, accursed land.
A dead limb atrophied on the body of modern Ustalav, Virlych surrounds Gallowspire, the dreaded prison of the Whispering Tyrant. A pinnacle of jagged black stone and rent iron, the sealed fortress holds the remains of the immortal lich lord, locked away where they can supposedly do no harm. Yet, the lands surrounding the accursed tower — formerly the counties known as Virholt and Grodlych — are lifeless, haunted lands, seemingly poisoned by Gallowspire’s very presence.
No sane folk live in Virlych, rightly warned away from a land wracked by unnatural storms, choked with blighted plants, and stalked by tales of unquiet dead. Only seasonal patrols from neighboring Lastwall wander the region, keeping a centuries-old watch over the immortal tyrant’s throne. Yet, for all the dread the region inspires, Virlych endlessly fascinates explorers and arcanists eager to uncover secrets of the Whispering Tyrant’s dark age, perpetuating the tales of horror that flow from such dreaded remnants as the bladed cathedral at Renchurch; Ghasterhall, the Palace of Travesties; and the Garden of Lead.
Sources: Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting