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Vasselheim is the capital of human civilization on the continent of Issylra. It is predominantly a religious city with several districts, each dedicated to a patron deity. Vasselheim is sometimes called the Dawn City or the Cradle of Faith, as it is considered the origin of civilization and various religions.

SocietyEdit

The people of Vasselheim are generally rugged and stern. Many wear patchwork furs and have unkempt hair. The pious lifestyles and brutal environment of the Northwest make for hard living. Vasselheim has many guards, collectively called "the Bastion", that consist of volunteers from the various religions. The Bastions primarily operate within their respective districts but also serve as the militia if the city were to be attacked.

Arcane Magic is largely frowned upon in Vasselheim. Mages aren't trusted, due to the fallout after the Age of Arcanum, so any public display of semi-powerful magic that isn't divine in nature will draw attention and require an explanation by the keepers of order. Small fines and minor jail time may ensue.[1]

The city's government is a theocracy. Each district of the city (and more importantly, the gods they represent) have equal status. As one Bastion put it, "Vasselheim is a divided and united city, as one." Each district is self-governed by the highest lord of its priesthood: the "Dawn Marshal". In matters concerning the city as a whole, the Dawn Marshals meet in council to debate and decide on the matter (i.e. when the representatives of the various priesthoods met in the Platinum Sanctuary when Vecna threatened Vasselheim).

DemographicsEdit

Notable PeopleEdit

Dawn Marshals of Vasselheim[2]

Name Type Description
Vord the Silver-Touched NPC Highbearer of the Scalebearers (Bahamut)
Groon NPC Earthbreaker of the Dawn Fist (Kord)
Curtis Uleas NPC Holy Curator of the Paramours (Erathis)
Pike Trickfoot NPC Chosen of Sarenrae (Sarenrae)
The Maidens of the Raven Queen NPC Two nameless twins, that speak on behalf of the goddess. Thus, they are considered to jointly be the de facto Dawn Marshal.

FactionsEdit

City Description Edit

Vasselheim takes some influence from real-world Norse culture.[3] Located in the region of Othanzia, the city itself is built around a massive mountain called the Heaven's Stair[4] approximately 20–30 miles inland from the Ozmit Sea. Vasselheim has many walls, varying in age and composition, armed with dragon-headed ballistae. The streets are unpaved and made mostly of packed mud. The only conventional way to enter the city is by foot, as the journey to Vasselheim is considered a religious pilgrimage. In the case of an emergency, a haphazard airship platform has been constructed on top of a mill.

Vasselheim has a large mining operation for cobalt in the mountain. Many of the stores tend to sell supplies for miners and workers that operate in the mountain.

Brandon Chang Dragonhead Ballista

Fan art of Vasselheim's Dragonhead Ballistas, by Brandon Chang.[art 2]

Silver Talon's Reach Edit

Main article: Silver Talon's Reach.

The Silver Talon's Reach is a district dedicated to the worship of Bahamut.[5] The priesthood for this district are the Scalebearers.

The Braving Grounds Edit

Main article: Braving Grounds District.

The Braving Grounds District is dedicated to the worship of Kord. Its priesthood is the warriors of the Dawn Fist. The Glasswalk Road leads into the Braving Grounds. It runs north from the city into the Vesper Timberlands.

  • The Crucible: An arena fighting pit where Grog challenged the previously reigning champion, known as Kern "the Hammer".
  • Statue of Kord: Atop the Trial Forge, a gargantuan statue of Kord loomed over the entire district. The statue depicted a musclebound titan of a figure standing heroically with a giant beard, bracers on his arms, and one knee raised.[8]
  • The Trial Forge: The local sacred temple to the patron god, Kord. It also served as a meditation and physical training center.[9]
  • The Temple of Renewal: A recently discovered ancient temple of Sarenrae within the Braving Grounds. It had been buried under the fallen tower of Syrac. Pike led this temple's restoration efforts after arriving at Vasselheim and before returning to Emon. Though Sarenrae's following and priesthood in the city are much smaller than those of other districts, Pike is still afforded the same respect as any other Dawn Marshal.

The Quadroads Edit

Main article: The Quadroads.

The Quadroads District is dedicated to the veneration of Erathis. Its priesthood is known as the Holy Paramours.

  • The Crown of Erathis: The temple to Erathis in the Quadroads, overseen by a priesthood known as the "Holy Paramours"
  • The Slayer's Take: A local hunting guild which Vox Machina were coerced into joining.
  • Forscythia's Shop: The home of the hag Forscythia.

The Abundant Terrace Edit

Main article: The Abundant Terrace.

The Abundant Terrace is dedicated to the worship of Melora, goddess of the wilderness and the sea. The priesthood for this district are the Gladekeepers.

  • The Birthheart: the main temple to Melora, which is an ascending series of tiered and irrigated gardens

The Dusk Meadow Edit

Main article: Duskmeadow District.

Duskmeadow District is dedicated to the worship of the goddess of death, the Raven Queen. Its priesthood is the leaderless order of dark-veiled maidens of the Raven Queen known as the Trust of Winter.[10]

  • Raven's Crest:  The Gothic cathedral dedicated to the worship of the Raven Queen.
  • The Amaranthine Oubliette: The prison of Vasselheim.
  • The Catacombs:  An underground structure in which the dead of Vasselheim are interred.
  • The Velvet Cabaret:  A place of leisure for wealthy guests.

Notable Locations Edit

  • Cobalt Soul icon (s)
    The Cobalt Vault: This archive of the Cobalt Soul is one of Exandria's leading libraries, ranking with that in Rexxentrum on the continent of Wildemount. The High Curator of Vasselheim shares dual and equal leadership over the entire structure of the Cobalt Soul with the High Curator of Rexxentrum (Yudala Fon.)

History Edit

The city of Vasselheim is the only city to have survived every catastrophe that has destroyed Exandria: from the elemental chaos of its Founding to the wars between gods during the Calamity. As the oldest civilization and center of religion in the world, Vasselheim is functionally the spiritual center of the world.

The Battle of Vasselheim Edit

When Vecna ascended to godhood, he made Vasselheim his primary target. His "miracle" to prove his divinity and recruit more worshipers would be to destroy the spiritual center of the Prime Deities and literally place his own city (Thar Amphala) on top of the rubble. The council of Vasselheim sent word across Exandria, requesting aid. J'mon Sa Ord eagerly offered aid from Ank'Harel (bringing all the Hands of Ord to Vasselheim), and Tal'Dorei pledged their support as well. However, King Bertrand Dwendal refused to mobilize against Vecna until the threat was confirmed to have reached Wildemount and the borders of the Dwendalian Empire.

Vecna had reanimated a deceased Earth Titan and placed Thar Amphala atop it. While Vox Machina stealthily made their way up through the Crypts of Thomara (inside the titan), the allied forces fought against Vecna's forces. An arcane barrier guarded Thar Amphala from exterior assault, so Vox Machina's mission to banish Vecna with the Tome of Isolation became imperative.

As Vox Machina battled the Whispered One atop the ruined Tower of Entropis, the Earth Titan had reached the outskirts of Vasselheim and had begun smashing the Braving Grounds district. When Vecna was banished beyond the Divine Gate, the Earth Titan ceased to be reanimated. It fell to its knees and remained motionless where it had been standing: at the base of the Heaven's Stair.

With the defeat of Vecna, the city rejoiced and Vox Machina were hailed as the saviors of Vasselheim...if not all of Exandria.

References Edit

  1. Matt Mercer explained in a Reddit post.
  2. See "The Ominous March" (1x109) from 1:23:42 through 1:24:30.
  3. The city's influence was revealed by Matthew Mercer on Twitter.
  4. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 2:00:42.  The Heaven's Stair was mentioned again at 2:02:05.
  5. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 2:02:46.
  6. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 2:00:43.
  7. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 2:02:05.
  8. See "The Rematch" (1x23) at 2:19:36.
  9. See "The Rematch" (1x23) from 2:19:24 through 2:24:02.
  10. See "The Search for Grog" (Sx42) at 0:32:41.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the city of Vasselheim, by Brandon Chang (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Vasselheim's Dragonhead Ballistas, by Brandon Chang (source).  Used with permission.


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