The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities

Vogue

"Vogue is, without a doubt, the cultural center of all the lands. Normidia might have good hunting and fine cheeses, the Drakkellian Alliance might have the best markets and bazaars and Vorrik might be the place to hire a skilled swordsman... but if you want anything artistic - literature, fine oil paintings, musical compositions, sculptures or simply anything that stirs the soul... you must go to Vogue."
-Pon Molthir of Ithell, Independent Businessman, Scholar and Collector of Rare Antiquities

"There is no greater bond than art and artist."
-Common Vogue saying

The Free City of Vogue

Ruler See below.
Population 102,900
Demographics Human 50%, Grum 30%, Dwarven 10%, Elven 10%
Adjectival/Demonym Vogian/Vogs
Languages Northern 60%, Corven 20%, Grumman 20%
Nationality None. Independent city.
National Colors Yellow and green
Year Founded 2223
Currency Mixed
Natural Resources Wine, grapes, fish, literature, oil paintings, marble, sculptures, gold deposits, cattle
Wealth Very Wealthy
Government Type Plutocracy
Government Stability Very Stable
Allies Corvenia, Khenshire, Vorrik
Enemies None
Walled Yes
Crime Level Low
Technology Middle Ages
Primary Religion Glavyris
Other Religion Imarus, Barrinor, Vorkayne, Sarreth, Daramis, Drenmoragin
Climate Temperate
Terrain Forested hills

Description

Vogue is a city of high culture. The culture of this city focuses on its art and its people. Artisans, master craftsman and scholars command great respect. Plays, poetry reading, art exhibits and musical performances are quite common. Vogue is renowned world wide as a city of breathtaking architecture, opulent wealth and visual wonders around every corner. The grand Ethereal river flows through the city and Vogue has managed to squeeze 15 bridges across the river in its short trek through the city. Vogue is often called the "City of Silk and Satin". As if one river were not enough, the people of Vogue have dug dozens of canals throughout their fair city that link to the river. It is possible to get around the city almost entirely by canal boat. Another 47 bridges span the canals at various points. These have earned Vogue its second nickname... "City of Bridges".

History

This ancient city was founded after the Great War as a symbol of rebirth by a small group of Irenni nobles. Vogue began as a small town and has grown slowly but steadily over many centuries. The original Irenni nobles that founded the town worked hard to promote the arts and draw talented people to their tiny pocket of culture in a ravished world. Their sons and daughters took over the cause when their fathers passed away. Some of the original bloodlines still exist in Vogue to this day.

Government

From the ranks of the social elite, a council of representatives is elected. This positions are almost honorary in that they are often handed out for social favors. Each representative serves for a one year term. At the end of the term, a large social convention is held in which favor is curried and dark plots invented. Much social intrigue surrounds the council. It is considered quite fashionable to hold a position on the council. All members must be of a certain social standing and council members are elected by the rich. The poorer classes have no say whatsoever in the government.

Vogue taxes and controls the farm lands immediately around it including the following villages: Baeza, Gotlib, Jasvani, Nomakesh, Tysall.

Legal System

The legal system of Vogue is exceptionally lenient. A city full of artists and scholars tends to be a bit squeamish. Fines are common as is public service. Only the most severe crimes would warrant imprisonment or banishment. There is no corporal or capital punishment here.

Military

The city has a security force of approximately 500 members called pacifiers. This force is well paid, but is armed with only leather armor and staffs. These pacifiers perform routine security checks, patrol the streets, guard the homes of the nobles and (if ever there was a need) defend the city walls. Overall, Vogue has very limited military strength. It is fortunate for Vogue that it is surrounded by allies.

Economy

The economy is stable and thriving. The city’s economy is based on money and property which has been in the community for a long time. Oil paintings, fine porcelain, sculptures, finely crafted silver, floral perfumes, wine and other fine crafts are exported. The city's poorer classes and the surrounding farmlands are taxed heavily by the nobility. 

Art supplies are readily available in Vogue. This includes various oils used in painting such as hemp seed oil, flax seed oil and nut oil. Minerals and metals of all kinds (lead, tin, copper, malachite, azurite) are melted down or crushed and used as dyes and pigments Fraulmek is used as a finishing varnish on oil paintings. 

A fair portion of Vogue's economy is based on wine production. A number of large vineyard estates produce a variety of excellent wines which are exported as far as Mercia and Normidia.

Like any other major city, Vogue has a dark underworld through which stolen goods are moved. Vogue's black market deals in much  stolen art and art forgeries.

Culture

Vogue believes that it is above the rest of the world. Most natives to Vogue see the city as enlightened and that only through art can real culture be attained. Vogue sees the rest of the world as uncultured brutes constantly warring. They believe that they are separate and uninvolved as if no one would dare to attack Vogue without their permission.

The average wealth of Vogue citizens is higher than in most other nations. Vogue also has a disproportionately large number of nobles and freemen for a city its size.

Cosmetics are very popular in Vogue and are used extensively by both the lords and ladies. A variety of perfumed oils are used to scent the skin and hair. The eyes are decorated with almond oil mixed with finely ground powders and scented with flower petals. Rose colored oils are applied to the lips and cheeks. Some of the wealthier ladies have been known to bath in perfumed oils and even wine.

One of the latest trends in Vogue is "luminous makeup". There are several places now selling enchanted powders and lotions that cause the skin to glow, the hair to sparkle and such. The elite are now decorating themselves with vivid color that literally glows.

As a city of culture, Vogue holds frequent festivals and parades. The largest of which is the Midsummer Wine Festival. As its name suggests, the local vineyards are at the heart of this celebration and unveil their annual vintages with much ceremony. Dozens of wine tasting contests are held and prizes awarded.

Artists are usually employed by wealthy sponsors and nobles who seek to gain social status through superior collections of art. Some times artists will work in small workshops to share resources and techniques.

Vogue puzzle dishes are a tradition in Vogue that goes back for more than a thousand years.

In Vogue, the nobles fritter away their lives in frivolous pursuits – dance, clothing, poetry , music. They spend extravagant amounts of money on the latest fashion. They hire composers and bards to create for them original music for banquets and balls. They learn new dances and hire master dance instructors. All so that they can outdo each other at various parties and climb the social ladder.

City Infrastructure

The Canals

An elaborate network of canals connect all points of the city to the Ethereal River. These canals are deep man-made waterways flanked on either side by decorative stone walkways carved by master stone masons. The walkways have stone benches, marble statues, oil lanterns and low stone walls. The canals are the pride of the city and a defining element of Vogue culture. Hundreds of long boats navigate the canals and provide a rapid and efficient means of getting about the city.

Government and Public Establishments

The Council Hall

The Council Hall is housed in a beautiful castle of flying buttresses, spires, tall towers and sloped roofs. Although small, it contains many opulent chambers and breathtaking architecture. It is composed of a mix of grey and white stone bricks, gold plated railings and wooden shingles. This magnificent building serves as both government building and playground of the wealthy. The building and grounds are run by Lord Astricht, a retired art dealer.

The Grand Theatre of Vogue

The Grand Theatre is a huge half dome facing a tiered hillside of stone benches. It sits on the south bank where the three rivers join. During the summer months,many performances are given by troupes of players, some of which employ wizards who utilize magic to create "special effects" during plays. Run by a half-elf named Pacanda.

Vogue City Library

The Vogue City Library specializes in written forms of art - stories, poems, etc. It is patronized by the dozens of scholars, artisans and sages that dwell in the city. Run by a retired sage, Nispen.

Vogue Museum of Art

The Vogue Museum of Art holds the best collections of valuable art that can be found outside of Aridorn. (And most Vogue citizens insist that their museum is far superior to anything the empire has to offer). The curators of this museum are an elderly human male named Novara and his wife.

The Art Academy of Vogue

A small college that teaches sculpture, painting, music, poetry, literature, oration, debate, theatre and drama.

The City Guard of Vogue

The Vogue City Guard is a force of 1,500 men who are well trained and wear finely fashioned ringmail. Their helmets are crowned with decorative and brightly colored feathered. Each soldier carries a six foot slender shaft of steel crowned with a one foot blade. They keep the peace and serve the nobles as errand boys. These soldiers are often seen in formal dress at diplomatic functions, city celebrations, etc.

Temples and Shrines

Major temples: Glavyris

Minor churches and shrines: Imarus, Barrinor, Vorkayne, Sarreth, Drenmoragin

Unique City Features

The Spire

At the center of Vogue is a remarkable structure - a 50 meter tall narrow obelisk adorned with intricate engravings and precious gems.  This monument, which celebrates the artists of Vogue, is Vogue's largest and most beautiful.

Important People of Vogue

Bren Astricht, Art Dealer and Crime Lord

Operating openly as a respected art dealer and one of the social elite, Bren Astricht is actually a retired art thief who now controls a successful crime syndicate in the city of Vogue specializing in fine art and exotic items. Thanks to Astricht's personal network of rogues and spies throughout the city, very little happens without his knowledge (or influence). Astricht knows all the little secrets of the "old money" families. According to rumor, he is also a former partner of the notorious art thief Tobin Pelanth. Though the two make a point never to be seen together, Astricht invariably becomes "busy" whenever Pelanth is in town.

Lord Tethrin Bedar, Leader of the Artisan’s League

Lord Bedar is one of the most easily recognized figures in the city of Vogue. A retired sculptor, he now swerves as the Leader of the Artisan's League, and as such has contact with most of the artists and thespians in the city. He is frequently the guest of honor at social functions, gallery openings, play debuts and parties. Often Astricht will orchestrate a grand banquet which outwardly benefits the artist's of the community but ultimately results in the acquisition of a new piece of art to his personal collection. 

Yasmir Tureth - Famous thespian and singer

Yasmir Tureth, a tremendously large woman known for her outrageous fashion sense, passion for cosmetics and flamboyant eccentricity. A former stage actress, the Lady Tureth now runs a theatre called the House of Song. This establishment rents out rooms at reasonable rates to struggling artists and is a general gathering place for auditions, rehearsals and acting classes.

Lavenia Bithala, Composer

Probably the most famous composer in all the eastern lands and one of the great treasures of the city of Vogue. His talent with music is said to be unmatched and he has composed some of the most famous pieces of music in Vogue. He has penned over 45 operas and some 300 ballads. Lavenia is often called upon to compose music for parties, birthday celebrations and the like for wealthy clients.

Shops and Guilds

Name and Proprietor Description
Satin Stone Alehouse
Melein
Brewery/Tavern - The Satin Stone Alehouse is the finest (and most expensive) brewery and tavern. The rare satin stone is used extensively in the construction of the building and adds to its beauty. This establishment offers only the finest liquors in addition to Satin Ale which is brewed on the premises.
Furled Scroll
Ultrecht
Mages Guild - The Furled Scroll is the common name of Vogue's small wizard's guild. The highest ranking member and guild master is an old woman named Ultrecht who is the widow of the former Guild Master, a grand wizard. Ultrecht is greatly respected by the mages of Vogue. Although powerful, she is gentle, kind and wise (and tends to mother the members of the guild, especially the younger ones).
Gumric's Roar
Tilburg
Tavern/Inn - The Gumric's Roar is the best inn and tavern for those of limited financial means. Gumric Steak is on the menu and Tilburg actually will bring out a steaming plate of dark brown meat whenever someone orders it. No one is sure whether or not it is Gumric, but it is not beef or chicken or pork... or any other meat that anyone can identify. It has a unique flavor, unlike anything else, and Tilburg never seems to run out. When asked what it is, Tilburg insists it is Gumric. He will then regale the customer with a tale of long ago... when he slew a great turtle in a distant land. How he managed to get the carcass to Vogue, where he could be keeping it and how he keeps it fresh are other matters. When questioned on this subject, his answers become a bit vague. But he happily waves away such questions with a tankard of ale and a wink. Every few months, Tilburg will hold a special feast in which he will serve gumric eggs. Most of his regular customers are afraid to ask about the eggs...
Sand Castle
Sierat
Trading Post - The Sand Castle is the name of a small trading post that sits on the lake shore. Sierat is a young myrian woman who was brought to Vogue as a young girl and a slave. Her master was a human man named Gargen. As she grew, she forgot the myrian ways and overcame her fear of the eastern world. When she reached age 18, Gargen decided to give her her freedom, but because he had never mistreated her, she decided to stay and work for him. Years later, Gargen became ill and, lying on his death bed, signed the papers for her to inherit the shop. That was seven years ago and in that time the Sand Castle has done quite well under Sierat's eye.
Journey's End Inn
Vorst
Inn - Vorst is a fat and balding man, clean shaven, with very little jewelry or color about him. He dresses in very regal and expensively tailored grey robes and has an air of pomposity about him. Vorst never seems to be a good mood. Vorst runs a very elegant inn which caters to the wealthy. He commands a staff of 40 with whom he is very strict. However, wages and compensation are quite good. A private room here costs 7 gold pieces per night and a suite costs 20. The inn itself has 50 guest rooms, 10 suites and is three stories high. It is built around an enclosed rectangular courtyard which holds a garden and small pond. All manner of services are made available to the guests including bathes, laundry service, messengers, city guides, personal security and a safe deposit service of which Vorst is extremely proud. This latter service involves a "thief proof" chamber built into his personal quarters that are lined with a Girrall, a magic blocking stone. Any guest who wishes to keep safe a personal item is invited to store the item in Vorst's special chamber.
Boar's Nest
Haarlin
Inn/Tavern - The Boar’s Nest is an inn that caters to those citizens and visitors of Vogue that are not weighed down by their purses. Haarlin maintains a small, but clean inn with very reasonable rates. He thinks of his customers as one big happy family. On occasion, guests will be asked to double or triple up room capacity. They are, of course, compensated with even cheaper room rates. The food is not the best, but it is hot and plentiful.
Trail Head Inn
Inmeras
Inn - Inmeras runs a small inn which caters to non-humans in Vogue which is primarily a human city. Elves, dwarves, grum and other non-human races are all welcome here. Although Vogue is a very racially tolerant city, Inmeras goes to extra lengths to make his non-human brethren feel at home. Inmeras himself is a half-elf and works hard at promoting racial equality and cooperation. He is not a wealthy man, but an accomplished painter and has sold some of his work to the social elite of the city for handsome sums. In this way, he has captured some respect among the community.

Brandied River
Threeblades

Brewery/Pub/Thieves Guild - A tiny pub run by Threeblades, a grum from Khenshire. He serves a specialty drink called Vogue Brandy, a recipe he devised himself. This pub is a frequented by members of the local thieves guild. Although Threeblades is not a member or a thief, he has many friends who are and he allows them to use his pub as an informal safe house. He has a secret chamber beneath his cellar where he has hidden fugitives on occasion.
Minstrel's Song
Cainen and Tara Beross
Theatre/Tavern - Run by two families - a family of elves and a family of humans joined by an interracial marriage. The proprietor of this establishment is Cainen, a male elven bard, and his wife, Tara, a human woman. They have three half-elven children. In addition, the extended family includes Cainen's brother, Tara's sister, Clare, Clare's husband and their son. This establishment is primarily a theatre where bards and small bands are welcome to play every evening. It is a tavern also and serves food and drink. Three small rooms are available for rent, but these are often taken up by visiting musicians.
Valiant Forge
Einon Tewl
Smithy - One of the few blacksmiths in town is Einon Tewl. He is a dwarf from Urmordia who left the underground realm with his wife some 20 years ago for reasons he will not discuss. Now Einon runs this small blacksmith shop with his wife and three sons. His wife is quite skilled at making garments and leather items. His sons help out with the forge. As if to fit in, many of Einon's pieces are quite decorative, almost works of art, and fetch good prices.
The Aristocrat
Iros Sturl
Social Club - This large ornate building is a primarily a social club for the social elite although it does also serve food and does rent rooms. It is a guild hall for the nobility of the city and them alone. Only those who hold rank and title within the city may enter. Even then, there's a hefty membership fee and prices for everything on the inside - banquet meals, fine wine, private suites - are very expensive. Many business dealings go on here behind closed doors. This place also offers expensive prostitutes for the nobles. The Aristocrat is run by a wealthy ex-art dealer, a tall human man named Iros Sturl.
The House of Glass
Itallo Serun
Crystal Shop - The House of Glass sells a variety of crystal art pieces, glasswork, windows, stained glass, jeweled goblets and gems. It's particular specialty is artistic pieces made of finely crafted glass. The building itself is notable for its unique spiraling geometric architecture and enormous windows. Itallo Serun is an energetic round little man with a bald head and a thick mustache.
The Ilsom Grand
Aldari Seth
Festival Hall - The Ilsom Grand is the largest and best known public halls in the city of Vogue. This enormous building is oval shaped and fully 22 meters tall (72 feet). The entire is one giant room with multiple balconies. A large wooden stage is built at one end. This establishment is used by city officials for balls, conventions and other large social venues. On rare occasions, it is rented out by a private citizen or organization.
House of the Muse
Sarechi
Playhouse/Theatre - Several troupes of actors put on plays at this open air amphitheatre. In the summer, performances are put on under the stars. In the winter, the chill is kept away by roaring bon fires and ale. Sarechi is the city paid caretaker of the amphitheatre.
Cheandra's
Lady Cheandra
Celebratory Services - This shop has a unique combination of services. It helps the wealthy and well to do in their social preparations. Rental clothing, catering, escorts and event planning - anything to help make a social gathering a success. They handle everything from small intimate family gatherings to city wide celebrations. 
Ethrimel's Fine Gowns
Ethrimel
Ladies' Clothing Shop - A general purpose ladies' clothing store.
Ralobek's Scholarly Services
Ralobek
Scribe - Ralobek is an educated man who offers a variety of academic services including: map making, transcribing, letter writing, genealogical and historical research and tutoruing pupils in mathematics and language. 
The Aloquinn
Savlun
Cosmetics Shop - This quaint little two story shop sells soaps, dyes, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics and herbs. It is cluttered to the rafters with beads, silk  curtains and curios. The Aloquinn is one of many cosmetics shops in the city that are now selling "luminous makeup" - powders and cosmetics that are enchanted in various ways. In addition to skin glowing powder and hair sparkles, they have potions that will intensify or alter eye color completely and combs that will quickly dye hair temporarily. Some of the local rogues in the city have found these magical tricks useful for disguises.
The Silken Swan
The Lady of the House, Katryn Ishlar
Social Club - The Silken Swan is an exclusive club that caters to the ultra-wealthy. Members can enjoy a massage, a public bath, a makeover at the beauty parlor or indulge in more primal urges with any number of house companions. Every manner of pleasure can be had here for a price. Orgies are not uncommon.
The House of Song
Yasmir Tureth
PlayHouse/Theatre - This small playhouse is run by a funny little man named Yasmir. He's short (he has some grum blood in him), plump and always happy. He has a tendency to sing to himself. He is passionate about song and dance. Although he's poor, he manages to scrounge enough copper together to pay local troupes to perform. He encourages local talent. This is an excellent place for a young bard starting out.
The Fragrant Blossom
Kurgoff
Perfumery - The Fragrant Blossom is the largest and most famous perfumery  It employs some 60 workers that manufacture a variety of perfumes, cosmetics, powdered wigs, balms and ointments. Perfumes are their primary business however. The Fragrant Blossom purchases exotic materials from ships bringing in herbs, flowers and such from distant lands. Due to the high price of some of their wares, this establishment has reinforced iron doors, excellent locsk and its own security force of twenty guards. The proprietor of this establishmen, a half human-half dwarf named Kurgoff, with a very undwarf like love of the finer things in life.

This website was last updated October 1, 2017 . Copyright 1990-2017 David M. Roomes.

Contact Webmaster