The World of Helgram
Vox is the capital city of the Gartrand territory. As the center of industry for Gartrand, the city has benefited the most from the incredible works of steel, allowing the citizens of Vox to build taller than any other city. The walls surrounding Vox are high and thick but seldom ever guarded except at the always opened city gates. Once the gates are closed by its steel-clad guardians, it’s believed that there isn’t a single man or creature alive that could penetrate those walls — of course there has never even been an attempt so many often wonder what lead the Gartranders to build walls in the first place. The steel that holds the city strong is well treated and maintained and thus left bare, providing visitors with a feast for the eyes when the flicker of torchlight ricochet’s from building to building. From a distance at night, the great walls of Vox appear to be struggling to contain a lively and dazzling inferno, as though the city itself were the forge that created it.
Gartranders inherently value manual labor but what is very rare in Vox is creativity. When creativity strikes in Vox, a marvel of steel craftsmanship is celebrated. This is evident by the high-reaching buildings, exoskeletal soldiers, and golems — a sight that few outsiders ever forget when steel appears to move without operator.
In general, the inhabitants of Vox are better off than the rest of Gartrand. A steady living is hard to come by and competition for the highly sought after steel working positions and apprenticeships is near cut-throat. A common occurrence for a family would be to get their son into a Voxen steel apprentice as soon as he’s 5 years old. They could do this by training him as soon as he’s able to walk, to build upper body strength, teaching him to read and basic sciences. Should he be chosen for an apprenticeship through Vox’s highly selective program, he will be taken from his and live for the rest of his life in Vox. Families that conceive daughters rather than sons may often bid for an arrangement with an apprentice. The apprentice program is not cheap and is unpaid and many families are unable to afford food and board for their sons. Instead, another family may offer to pay for the son’s living conditions in exchange for an arrangement with their daughter. While it may prove troubling paying for two children for the years of the apprenticeship, the payout is well worth the investment. In this way, two families may rise out of poverty. Many Voxen families are created in this manner.
In fact, this is how Della, High Priestess of The Knights of Earthly Purity, came to power. She navigated the social circles in Vox with ease and began to gain followers. Her ideas were radical and terrifying, but she was trustworthy and charismatic. Soon The Knights were born and she found her self with an army of zealous followers, some well armored by her husband, others influential within the city. As a result of her rise to power, an absolute fear of anything magical or seemingly magical, has spread throughout the territory. Several conflicts have risen throughout recent history as a result.
If there are any oppositions to Della and The Knights, they fear speaking. The absolute morality instilled in The Knights and their followers makes them quick to act as judge, jury, and executioner, enacting all three in a matter of seconds. This leaves Voxen citizens either in lock-step with The Knights or struggling to swallow their contempt in order to keep an appearance whole-hearted approval. Most citizens are so busy with their hard day-to-day work, they have little time or interest in thinking about such matters. Its much easier to just agree and shape their world view around the truths Della tells them.