Virgil was born in Keppelshire to the local blacksmith and his wife, and spent his childhood learning the trade. His family was moderately religious, worshiping the Imperial Pantheon. However, when Virgil Ironshaper’s father fell ill, no amount of prayer was able to save him. The boy watched as the man he admired most in the world wasted away; his arms, powerful from a lifetime at the forge, withered to twigs while his proud beard fell out in patches. All the while, Virgil and his mother prayed, led by the local priest.
As he buried his father, Virgil raged at the gods: what good were they if they couldn’t even save the best man they had ever made? If they wanted him alive but couldn’t save him, then they were no gods at all. If they wanted him dead, then they weren’t gods worth worshiping. Virgil poured his anger into the forge. Every horseshoe, every nail was a deity too arrogant to answer his prayers. When a traveling missionary from the Vanguard Empire passed through Keppelshire, Virgil leapt on the idea of this fierce, powerful god. Never again would his life be subject to the whims of the squabbling beings the Imperium left behind; he would pledge his life in service to Kaveh, and she would reward him in kind.
Virgil is no longer the boy that buried his father in the blistering heat of a Northern summer. He has grown larger than his father ever was, biceps as thick as the legs of his goddess’s elephant steed. As rumors begin circulating about finding out what’s at the bottom of the Murder Hole, he puts the finishing touches on his armor, carefully painting Kaveh’s holy symbol on its chest. She brings light to the darkness, and as her servant, Virgil is duty-bound to lead the charge, torch in hand.