|LN(E) small city|
|Corruption +3; Crime -1; Economy +4; Law +7; Lore +3; Society -3|
|Qualities asylum, cruel watch, defensible, resettled ruins|
|Population 10,000 (55% human, 15% half-elf, 5% dwarf, 5% tiefling, 5% zenythri, 15% other)|
|Base Value 4,000 gp; Purchase Limit 25,000 gp; Spellcasting 6th|
Once the gate-town to Acheron, the city of Vorkehan today stands as the chief military base for the Mercykillers outside the city of Sigil. Dating back as a faction holding to the days of the Sodkillers, this fortress city stands within the corner of one of the more moderately-sized cubes of Avalas (also commonly known as "Vorkehan" when it needs naming at all), carved like all Acheronian settlements into its surface as though it were a single gargantuan objet d'art, its "walls" topped with adamantine spikes whose tips burn with witchfire, serving as landmarks and warnings for cubes miles distant. Unlike many such cities, though, its works span all three faces of its corner, with excessively strong winds blowing at the corners where gravity is weakest. Built out of naught but the metal and stone of Acheron, Vorkehan is no city for the weak; even its public fountains eschew water in favor of purifying acid, filling the air of the city with a cloud that chokes the unwary, and granting it the nickname "City of Fumes". The fumes so suffuse the air that every day visitors are present here, they must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be sickened for the duration of that day. On a single successful save, they have grown accustomed to the city and need not save any further for the duration of their stay, but should they leave for more than a day and return, they must again adjust to the city's air.
In the best of times, Vorkehan is fairly unaccepting of outsiders; while a good source for military-grade weapons, armor, and supplies, its people tend be quite suspicious of those not of the faction or an allied body, especially if in high quantities. While they tend to understand a certain amount of traffic, especially given their connection to Rigus, it isn't especially preferred. Recent events have forced a change, however: on the 17th of Pivot in the 127th year of Hashkar, nearly a third of the city collapsed in a massive sinkhole as a result of achaierai sabotage involving the introduction of large numbers of rust dragons and rust monsters to the inner regions of the cube, leading to the deaths of approximately 1100 citizens. Enough damage was dealt that some worried for the further collapse of the entire cube, but the attack was caught in time enough to prevent that fate. Of the surviving city, nearly a quarter is uninhabitable due to the toxic clouds produced by ruptured acid plumbing, and the rest is rapidly being rebuilt, with massive amounts of work both manual and magical being applied to shore up the newly-eaten tunnels now running through the cube's form. As such, the city has temporarily opened its gates to all willing to lend support of any manner in repair and reconstruction.
Ages past, Vorkehan was a simple city of metal on the Outlands, militaristic as befitting such a place, but open to all as the site of some of the planes' best combat trainers, as well as the best resource for materiel captured or recovered from the plane of warfare. Near 750 years ago, this changed with the coming of the Sodkillers. Looking for somewhere beyond Sigil to expand their holdings, they found Vorkehan the perfect opportunity. While they had little chance at taking the city in open combat, they instead ingratiated themselves into the politics of the city, and over the course of decades eventually took full power there, slowly cutting off access to any but the Sodkillers. Given how well the faction exemplified the nature of Acheron, it was hardly a surprise when the city transitioned, manifesting within the corner of a cube, the city of Rigus emerging on the Outlands in its wake.
Expansion of the city by the Sodkillers was almost instantaneous, flowing out from its single segment of the face to encompass the entirety of the cube's corner. There it stood as the main Outsider headquarters for the faction until the Great Upheaval. As with all other faction holdings, the city was brought under Mercykiller control after the merger, but given its origins and its distance from Sigil it still held far more towards Sodkiller ways than most; some older buildings even still bear the colors of the Sodkillers engraved above their entryways, having never been changed since those days. While there have been more than a few attempts since then to bring Mercy to Vorkehan, it never lasts long.
Vorkehan has had even more attention since Nilesia took the position of Factol. Greater and greater numbers of faction members have been transferred there since her appointment, and quite a few of them happen to have been those that have publicly criticized their new factol in the recent past. Further, thanks to the new reforms Nilesia has pushed, quite a few prisoners have been sent to, among other extraplanar outposts, the Wells of Vorkehan, where they're kept between sessions of hard labor in the Mines of Marsellin. Due to the recent damage, this inflow has been halted, with existing prisoners reassigned to repairing the damage left by the achaierai saboteurs. Mercykiller forces are active now in finding and driving the flock from the cube, as well as searching the remainder of the cube to ensure that no eggs were left behind ready to inflict further damage.
Vorkehan is led by a single Warden appointed directly by the Mercykiller factol upon the promotion, reassignment, retirement, or death of the previous. Underneath the Warden are a number of officers to ensure the proper functioning of the fortress city. Most prominently amongst these are the Chief Scribe, charged with recording and distributing all orders of assignment or delivery from the Warden; the Headsman, in charge of all executions as well as the Vorkehan spy network; and the Garrison Commander, charged with leading the assigned troops in maneuvers for both regular drills and operations against invading forces.
Leading the cities justice system is a specially-assigned council of ten, all Justicars, that preside over all bodies arrested within the faction anywhere throughout the multiverse, as well as any bodies arrested within the city proper, faction or not. These ten, known as the Justicants, are the final say for justice within Vorkehan, and those they find guilty are sentenced to hard labor in the Mines of Marsellin (or, as of late, the city proper), alternating with time in the Wells of Vorkehan; twenty-foot deep cells dug into the very surface of the cube.
- Hall of Dark Gables; garrison building.
- Eye of Rigelus; braided iron observation "tower" stretching from the cube's corner.
- Great Wyrmhouse; alehouse.
- Lestrina "Double-Time" Lurrie (Pl/♀ human/bard 3/N)
- Garrison Commander Sean "Stubby" Lurrie (Pl/♂ human/fighter 8/Mercykillers/LN)
- Master Torturer Melina the Fair (Pl/♀ elf/inquisitor 7/Mercykillers/LE)
- Constable Norgo (Pl/♂ half-elf/fighter 8/Mercykillers/LE)
- Chief Scribe Ollecin (Pl/♂ human/wizard 3/Mercykillers/LN)
- Warden Tall Tally (Pl/♂ osyluth/HD 10/Mercykillers/LE)
- Factol's Manifesto, pg.111
- Great Modron March, pg.114
- Planes of Law - Acheron, pgs.11-12,19-20,27,30-31
- Planes of Law - Hierarchies of Acheron