Vyre was founded in 1673 AR, more than 1,300 years before Cheliax, by settlers from Taldor-ruled Corentyn who were looking to escape governmental and societal limitations. It quickly established a reputation as a home for exotic and parlous pursuits.34
When Ravounel seceded from Cheliax, the Kings and Queens of Vyre publicly endorsed Domina Jilia Bainilus, Ravounel's new ruler, in exchange for her promising to leave the city's independence and questionable trade policies intact.5 This change in allegiance has made little to no difference in the day-to-day life in the city.1
The city of Vyre is located on an island of the same name on the shallow harbor Keelwrack Harbor. The city sprawls up and between two hills and across two smaller harbor islands, jagged Dunrock and luxurious Keelwrack Island. The Vyre River flows east from the island and cuts through the city on its way to Keelwrack Harbor. The city's sky is often hazy with smoke, and between the salty harbor and many pungent eateries and perfumes of its streets, Vyre has as much a geography of scents as it does physical streets and districts.3
Vyre is divided into several districts:
- Bliss: The most popular district, Bliss consists of the Sanctuary, the Cradle, and Nightcrown neighborhoods, the Opal Market, and many venues for various vices.3
- Keelwrack: Comprised of Dunrock and Keelwrack islands, and containing Dunrock Prison and Vyre Palace.3
- Pauper's Palace: The city's largest district, largely comprised of private residences.3
- The Vise: Comprised of the Old Vyre and Southmarket subdistricts, including inns, hostels, and brothels.3
A largely freewheeling and chaotic city, Vyre is not entirely without laws. Five rules known as "Promises" govern all residents and visitors, compact enough to be carved near statues throughout the city:3
- "I Shall Honor All Coin", meaning all transactions are assumed final and binding and all prices are negotiable. This rule also prohibits theft.
- "I Shall Speak Many Names", meaning all people should accept any name given by a person Vyre, regardless of its veracity, and without ever revealing a person's identity if they conceal it.
- "I May Wound Yet Shall Not Kill", which requires people to let their enemies in Vyre live in order to give them a chance to avenge themselves.
- "I Know None Are Below Me", which discourages all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
- "I Shall Let Closed Doors Remain Closed", meaning all private secrets and acts must remain private, and any broken promises are assumed to be intact unless sufficient evidence is provided.
Each Promise has a corresponding self-styled monarch responsible for its enforcement. These Kings and Queens are Vyre's rulers, though their identities are kept secret. Specialized peacekeepers enforce Vyre's laws and are rewarded well for their work. Those who violate Vyre's laws are sent to Dunrock Prison, many of whom never survive their sentences.3 Vyre also provides guards and supplies to the nearby prison mine of Deepmar.6
Masks of Vyre
The Masks of Vyre serve each of the city's Kings and Queens and police their liege's representative Promise in the city, with the Masks of Blades acting as city guards and the Masks of Keys manning its walls and defenses. These specialized peacekeepers are rewarded well for their work.3
Prior to Ravounel declaring independence, Vyre had a mutual relationship with Cheliax, but was otherwise largely exempt from many of its laws thanks to clever management by Vyre's ruling class. The City of Masks served as a conveniently discreet destination for supporters of House Thrune, but maintained its independence.3 After Ravounel's independence, Vyre continues to operate independently but has publicly supported the new nation.1 It has a seat on the Council of Peers, where Ravounel's various internal factions advise the government in Kintargo, and offers Ravounel occasional and unreliable trade goods, military support, and intelligence. Ravounel puts up with Vyre's capricious nature partially due to its own precarious position in the region and because Vyre's tourism industry is vital to the fledgling nation's economic health.7
Per its nickname as the City of Masks, Vyre's residents and visitors often conceal their identities behind masks, both for anonymity and to ease their committing of immoral acts which make up much of the city's culture.8 The city presents a near-constant churn of debauchery, bloodsport, and gluttony, though largely nocturnal in nature as its patrons recover during the daytime hours.3
Church of Norgorber
Few, if any, people outside of the Church of Norgorber know that the god of secrets was born in Vyre as a mortal and lived there before his ascension. While Vyre is a center of his worship in the Inner Sea region, his portfolio accordingly mandates that it stays extremely well concealed.3 It is also the birthplace and home of the centuries-old Skinsaw Cult devoted to Norgorber in his aspect as Father Skinsaw.910 Vyre's current status as a contested zone between Cheliax and Ravounel offers an ideal environment for Norgorber's followers to gather secrets, foment treachery, and undermine both sides of the conflict.1
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Old Cheliax” in World Guide, 105. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Old Cheliax” in World Guide, 97. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Vyre” in Dance of the Damned, 64–69. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- “Old Cheliax” in World Guide, 98. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Ravounel Gazetteer” in Tomorrow Must Burn, 59–60. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- No Response from Deepmar, 31. Paizo Inc., 2012 .
- “Old Cheliax” in World Guide, 104. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Avenues of Intrigue” in Inner Sea Intrigue, 12. Paizo Inc., 2016 .
- “The Skinsaw Murders” in The Skinsaw Murders, 42. Paizo Inc., 2007 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 56. Paizo Inc., 2011 .