There's not an actual story behind South Beyond - I just drew it from scratch last night. It's very relaxing to grab pen and paper and zone out. The mental influences operating were Mu Pan and Clark Ashton Smith (as always). I tried to downplay the Asian side of it enough to leave it as a Sword & Sorcery feel that's more ahistorical.
Dharmatown had the influence of "Dharma Bums," so I had in mind a city or town that's got a fair amount of dilapidation and crime, but still vibrant in its culture and trade - just an underbelly of seediness and violence.