Vasselheim was the capital of human civilization on the continent of Issylra. It was predominantly a religious city with several districts, each dedicated to a patron deity. Vasselheim was sometimes called the Dawn City, the Cradle of Faith, or the Cradle of Creation, as it is considered the origin of civilization and various religions.
Following it’s destruction, the area around Vasselheim has become incredibly dangerous, teeming with wild and monstrous animals, befouled by the magics spilling from the ruins, as well as myriad artifacts that were once housed in the various temples. The area between the ruins and New Vasselheim are heavily patrolled and monitored, in order to protect the residents.
Vasselheim is the oldest known bastion of civilization in the world. Most human (and perhaps pre-elf and pre-dwarf) civilization stemmed from this city, which is believed to be tens of thousands of years old. The oldest temples to the main deities of good and neutrality have been uncovered within the city, and as such it is considered the holiest place in the modern world. It has therefore been through many wars and conflicts. Those that live within it do so because they feel that they can fight against this, and they call it a privilege to exist in this harsh landscape as devotion to their respective deities. Because it is such a holy place, the arcane is considered profane in public and very carefully controlled otherwise.
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
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.
The One Day War
In the years following the defeat of Vecna, more and more citizens of Vasselhiem became unsatisfied with how their government and the various religious groups handled the situation. Over time, the group of dissenters grew, arguing that instead of multiple heads of religion governing, they should have either a parliament or a monarch (opinions were greatly divided as to which). This came to a head in Thunsheer, 840, when the Platinum Sanctuary was raided by a group of dissenters on the 31st, and an all-out war broke out in Vasselhiem.
The war was short-lived, as the protections in the Platinum Sanctuary were invoked. However. No one had realized how the volume of artifacts from the Age of Arcanum would impact those protections, and by the end the war was known as “The One Day War” and Vasselheim was destroyed. A smouldering heap of a once proud city that, even after five years, is still on fire.
Following the destruction, a new group has risen to power and created New Vasselheim.
(Click to enlarge)