Touted as "the City of Thunder and Steel," Vessingen is home to the greatest gunwrights in the West. Frequently putting dozens or hundreds of rounds through a given firearm before putting it out for sale, common wisdom holds that anyone missing a shot with a gun from Vessingen can blame the wind, the weather, or the Weaver—but never the gun. Alongside its gunwrights, Vessingen boasts many expert alchemists and talented smiths. Until the Harrowing, the mines in the hills around Vessingen gave up vast quantities of metals and minerals suitable for metallurgy and alchemy alike. Now, though, miners are disappearing in the cthonic depths at an unprecedented rate. Some are hauled screaming into the darkness by strange, misshapen creatures. Others simply vanish, swallowed whole by the stony deeps. Still others return to the surface in body only, empty shells with vacant stares, drooling or frothing at the mouth. Little wonder that the city's stockpiles of raw materials have dwindled to almost nothing. The sole reason the workshops, laboratories, and foundries of Vessingen continue to function at all is that the mines are now the purview of the desperate, the destitute, and the condemned. Queen Sidonia offers criminals lighter sentences in exchange for their indenture as miners (or, in more dire circumstances, stays of execution for so long as the convicted toil below ground).

While the nation is predominantly known for the aforementioned gunwrights, Queen Sidonia has done more than many other rulers to maintain the philosophical and artistic traditions of her people. Scholars still hold occasional debates and lectures in the University (at least in those sections of the school that were not destroyed in the fire that swept through the campus a decade ago), and the city boasts no fewer than three printing presses still in operation. Likewise, the great clocktower, with its gargantuan bells, towering spires, and dancing mechanical figures, is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the city's artisans.

Adventurous citizens of Vessingen tend towards pragmatic, darker colors, most notably black, brown, and grey, though a number of other earth tones are ubiquitous (deep hunter green, caramel, and oxblood all being fairly commonplace). Tradesfolk, artisans, and fighters alike can be recognized by the prodigious number of pouches, straps, slings, and belts they wear to accommodate their various tools and weapons.