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The Yonderlands are swathes of land across the world tainted by swirling, dense, pure magic. This magic was rapidly spread across the world during the botched 'Rite of the Pale Sun', otherwise known as the 'Rite of the Bastard Sun.' When the original sun was replaced with the Pale Sun, unfathomable amounts of pure magic were splashed across the world like paint across a canvas. These areas where the magic impacted and everything inhabiting them - both living and nonliving - were warped and twisted beyond recognition near-instantaneously.

The magic in the Yonderlands lingers to this day, as do the anomalous effects caused by it. This makes the Yonderlands uninhabitable and highly inhospitable to normal life. Anything that spends too long within will be changed irreversibly. Living beings that remain in the Yonderlands for extended periods will not only gradually experience physical changes, but alterations in who they are as well. Their personalities, morals, convictions, and emotions may undergo minor to drastic shifts in nature. There are those who even seek out these changes and journey to the Yonderlands with intent to live within them for months or even years on end in order to achieve some desired transformation. Mages often undertake the journey as there is evidence to support the theory that being imbued with the magic of the Yonderlands may greatly boost one's affinity for magic. Most who attempt to brave the Yonderlands are killed by the wildlife or go mad due to arcane delirium eventually, but there are ways to stave off the delusions and hallucinations (though they are often quite rigorous). Those that return from the Yonderlands forever altered are known as Yonderfolk.

Objects left in the Yonderlands for extended periods will also undergo changes as they absorb surrounding magic like a sponge, usually gaining some form of anomalous effect. These are generally referred to as 'touched' objects. The effects gained are highly unpredictable in nature unless some form of ritual is performed to increase the likelihood of a desired effect. Due to this, the effects gained by touched objects vary highly in practicality. There are salesmen (such as Chubidor Feech and Yudukupuru) who make a living obtaining ordinary objects and leaving them in the Yonderlands to imbue them with magic in order to sell them as touched objects. There are even rare, historical touched objects that were present at the time of the Rite of the Pale Sun, thus taking the full force of the magical "splash". Most things that were in the locations that are now the Yonderlands at the time of the Rite were destroyed, but the rare objects that survived are often remarkably powerful and highly sought after, as they are imbued with copious amounts of magic. Most of them have been found and have been destroyed or lost or are in someone's possession, but there may still be undiscovered items that lie deep in the Yonderlands ruins.

Occasionally, a Yonderlands scavenger may stumble across a strange object that wasn't there before. The objects are often strange, surreal, crude approximations of whatever object that they appear to be, often looking "not quite right." It is theorized that the flow of magic takes the shapes, templates, or cultural concepts of specific items and the dense, swirling clouds of magic within the Yonderlands may somehow, due to some stimulus, coalesce and form some random object seemingly out of thin air, or perhaps surrounding matter. Objects formed can be a wide range of things from tools, weapons, and various objects to jewelry, clothing, accessories and other types of objects often intentionally turned into touched objects by the Outsiders. These objects, known as Yonderboons, are often quite powerful--if dangerous--and as such are highly sought after and fetch a hefty price on the markets.

The Yonderlands, however, are not devoid of life. They are populated by a strange, fantastical, and cutthroat ecosystem full of carnivorous plants and man-eating megafauna. One of the most notable features of the Yonderlands are the animals known as Yonderbeasts. This is a classification of multiple species of large, generally aggressive creatures that command a primal, bestial form of magic. As these animals vie for dominion over the Yonderlands, individuals will often stray from the territory and end up wreaking havoc on nearby societies until someone powerful - such as a strong mage or an ogyr - takes them out.

Numerous other magical animals, plants, fungi, take part in the volatile machine that is the Yonderlands ecosystem, as predator and prey, producer and consumer. Nearby civilizations in the Outside will often venture into the Yonderlands on hunting and gathering trips, generally to hunt and gather certain flora and fauna for food or other resources, both mundane and magical. Certain lifeforms produced by the Yonderlands are integral to Outsider societies, such as Yonderweed and Yonderwort- the latter being a primary ingredient in casting pellets.

Yonderlands scavengers are those who make a living delving into the Yonderlands day after day to harvest the many resources of the Yonderlands. They may take up a living placing objects in specific areas of the Yonderlands and guarding them for periods of time in order to convert them to touched objects. Or they may hunt yonderbeasts or other wildlife within the Yonderlands, or harvest the many plants and fungi that grow within. Some of the more morally bankrupt groups of individuals spend their time and energy acting as pirates, stealing from other scavengers in order to sell the spoils as their own.

Any smart group of scavengers has a skilled mage in their midst. Due to the abundance of magic in the Yonderlands, spells are far more potent, but also more volatile. This means that a highly adept mage is required, as a novice more than likely will wind up dead sooner rather than later. There are even mages that specialize solely into being Yonderlands casters-for-hire. These mages have studied and trained, dedicating themselves in order to unlock the secrets of the Yonderlands and use the abundance of magic to its fullest potential to cast spells of remarkable potency.

There are also those who take a more passionate approach to the Yonderlands. Hobbyists and researchers alike dedicate their lives to studying the bizarre ecology and anomalous nature of the Yonderlands. Some may write lengthy biological reports on endemic flora and fauna, while others may study the nature of the magic itself and its interaction with the world. There are multiple different organizations that are dedicated to Yonderlands studies, and they often don't agree on everything. Debates have turned heated and bitter rivalries have formed between certain societies, such as between the Yonderlands Ecological Society and the Yonderbiological Survey. (The former believes that the Yonderbeasts are evolved forms of pre-existing animals, while the latter believes they were manifested by the magic during the fallout after the Rite of the Pale Sun.)

Yonderlands enthusiasts and researchers report that on days when the clouds part and the Pale Sun shines down on the world, the Yonderlands ever-so-gradually spread outward, resulting in as much as a forearm's length of growth each year. This seems small but has added up over the centuries, and there are concerns that the world may be completely engulfed in the distant future. Efforts to increase the reliability of the cloud coverage over the world and reduce the frequency of sunshine events are underway, but progress is slow-going.

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