Hello everybody, and welcome to Oscura! This thread is mostly OOC (although your character could ICly notice that there are mostly humans in Oscura, as an example), except for Blooded which would know most of the stuff on here. The main purpose of this is to give everyone a better OOC understanding of Oscura, in case they want to make an Oscuran character.
The list at the bottom are merely ideas for your PC, you can make up your own so long as they make sense for the overall theme of Oscura. As such, I will be taking applications for new Oscuran PCs, which should be PMed to me on these forums. For these applications, I want them in the following format:
From there, I will accept or deny (hopefully accept!) applications, and award appropriate XP, items, whatever, depending on how good your application is and if it makes sense. – DM Moob
Information for creating an Oscuran PC
Races: 78% Human (Narfell, Damara, Thesk, Thay, Kara-Tur, Mulhorand), 20% Dwarf, 2% other
Alignments: Mostly LE, NE, TN & LN, few LG, NG, CG, CN, CE
Classes: Mostly Fighters, Wizards, Clerics, Rogues, some Sorcerers and Bards, few Monks, almost no Rangers, Druids, Paladins or Barbarians
Favoured weapons: Dagger, Longsword, Battleaxe, Bastard Sword, Flail. (Few use bows or other ranged weapons, there is little hunting to do and little space in the caverns to use them)
Oscurans are a very unique people. Among every blooded (citizens of Oscura are called blooded, due to the blood oath they have taken and the bloody rag that shows them to be a citizen) there is a strong sense of brotherhood. Oscura is seen as a haven for its citizens, a place to go for people of questionable morals, questionable faiths, or to escape prejudice, crimes, etc. As such, Oscura accepts anyone so long as they make a blood oath to swear to protect Oscura and all of its citizens. The most terrible act an Oscuran can do is endangering this haven. As a result, Oscurans who protect the city above and beyond the call of duty are generously rewarded. It’s generally accepted that in Oscura, so long as it harms no blooded and causes no trouble in the city or with surfacers, one can do whatever he pleases, it is his business after all. This attracts many people who aren’t escaping any kind of prosecution, but just wish to be left alone regardless of what they are doing. Many mages are known to be attracted to Oscura for research into the Well of Souls, a mysterious Well located in the centre of the city. As a people, the Oscurans are very resilient and tough, not only have they all faced all kinds of hardships personally, but Oscura is the gateway to the Underdark, and its citizens are faced with constant attacks from there.
A lot of humans living in Oscura are not even Narfellian natives, instead they are immigrants from places such as Thay, Thesk, Kara-Tur and other unsavoury places in the East.
Most races are looked upon with suspicion by the human majority of Oscura, often believed to be troublemaking surfacers, or just old prejudices. Dwarves don’t see this though, and are common, accepted citizens and visitors of the underground city. Dwarves are often lured to Oscura not because of escape, but simply because it is an underground city, ripe with ale and veins of all kinds of ore.
Slavery is an everyday fact of Oscuran life, and while there are ways of slaves to earn their freedom, most of them stay in servitude for lifetimes. Oscurans are very protective of this fact about their lives, without their slaves the city would refuse to function.
All religions are tolerated in Oscura, so long as they do not break the laws or the oath. Oscurans are very proud of this fact about their city. This is a true freedom of faith, Oscura never judges or expels those just because of their faith, however, some faiths are looked upon as suspicious by some Oscurans.
However, beneath Oscura’s veil of brotherhood is a kind of blood sport between its citizens. Due to faith, or greed, or personal reasons, there is always some kind of political or violent infighting amongst the powerful and wealthy blooded of Oscura. However, this “game” is hidden from the everyday person, especially outsiders, and the perpetrators do their best to keep it hidden. The Game of the Blooded is a hugely profitable one if played properly, but can result in terrible costs if not played right.
Oscuran fashion consists of long sleeves, and is often very fancy, covered in jewellery, embroidery, etc. Blacks, greys and dark shades of blues, reds and greens are the most popular. Spikes are often popular amongst the warriors of Oscura, whilst long robes are popular with wizards.
Oscura is almost entirely built out of stone and out of the cavern walls that it inhabits, giving the city an almost alient look. The city itself is comprised of five parts. The first is the city itself, which is home to part of the soul well, most middle-class homes, the Temple, the library, most of the inns and taverns and many shops.
The second is the Docks, which is filled with foreign market stalls, sailors and an outdoors bar. Oscura’s docks are only accessible by sailing into a large cavern from the Icelace, however the ceiling is quite low, and Oscuran ships are easily recognisable due to their short masts.
The third is the Undercity, which is only accessible by blooded, in which the Meeting Hall, crafting hall and other important Oscuran structures lay. It is also the entrance to the Oscuran crypts, which are ancient and deep, and home to all kinds of terrible undead.
The fourth is the West Gate district, which contains the headquarters of the guard, the prison, some rich homes, a market and is known as a place for poor, freed slaves to gather.
The fifth is the giant tower known as the Keep of the Fallen. It is for the most part filled with undead, and is a mystery to even the most knowledgeable of Oscurans.
Oscura is the gateway to the Underdark. Being in such a precarious position, Oscura is built as an almost impenetrable fortress, with only three access points into the city. Those are the Southern Gate via the Raven Rift, the West gate and the docks, the former both being complete chokepoints, and the docks simply being difficult to get to.
From the West Gate, the path leads down into the Underdark, with Kuo-Tua and Ettins inhabiting the shallow caves, and much more terrible beasts laying in wait further down.
Following the Raven Rift, it is a short walk through a shallow cavern to reach the surface, which comes out just near the Nars Pass.
The Oscuran mines lay beneath the city and are accessible from both the regular city and the Undercity, which are full of all kinds of valuable ores, as well as dangerous creatures and Duergar out for some mining themselves.
Factions of Oscura
(While there are factions in Oscura, one cannot simply claim to be in any of these factions, they do take on new members though, if deemed worthy.)
The Brotherhood of the Black Lotus – The Black Lotus, led by Lord William Gallows and clad in blacks and purples, are the overseers of trade in Oscura. They control the docks, and keep an eye on most economic manners, and are important businessmen themselves.
Red Falcon House – The Red Falcons, led by Alexander Red Falcon and clad in reds and blacks, are the judicators of Oscura. They oversee all transgressions of law and govern the trials of criminals.
Skull Crushers – The Skull Crushers, led by Kilir Skull Crusher and clad in dull metallic colours, are the militia, miners and builders of Oscura. They deal with petty brawls most of the time in their militia duty, giving the dwarves of the Skull Crushers lots of time to mine, maintain the city, build new buildings and drink lots of ale.
Sisters of the Bones – Little is known about the Sisters, even by blooded, but it is generally thought that they are a useful asset to the city.
Oscura Guard – The Guard, led by Captain Bokelgein, are the stern, experienced protectors of Oscura, clad in grey.
Oscura Peacekeepers – The Peacekeepers, led by Captain Senria, function as a small unit of people whom protect Oscura and keep the peace there, wherever they go. They differ from the guard in that their movements are often small and individual. Recently, the Peacekeepers have been rather undermanned, and rumours spread quickly of Captain Senria seeking new recruits.
Professions for Oscuran PCs
Blacksmith/Miner – With but a few gold coins in your pocket, you glance towards the forays of miners going into the nearby Oscuran mines. Those last few coins go to your first pickaxe. As you ferry your ore between the mines and the crafting hall, learn to make more complicated and strong armour and weapons, you quickly find your gold pouch full at all times, and a life of comfort and power awaits!
Bounty Hunter – Bounties are a good way for a city to capture criminals and to squash threats against them. They are also a good way to fill your own pockets, until you are more notorious than the bounties themselves, and richer than the people who issue them.
Guardian of Oscura – The blood oath is the most important thing to every Oscuran, and the upholding of it is the most honourable thing one can do. Purge traitors, destroy threats, and watch for hidden plots as you strive to protect your home, your haven.
Freed Slave – For whatever reasons, you have finally found your freedom in Oscura after years of servitude. Do you seek to take revenge for the crimes against you, or use your knowledge to become a slave baron yourself?
Servant of Mask/Shar/Bane/Gargauth/Velsharoon – Your God promises so much, and asks for so little. Seek advice from your religious brethren, gain prestige from your Priests, become your patrons right hand on Faerun.
Assassin – Oscura is rife with infighting, its enemies lay everywhere, and each one of its people have enemies of their own. Take advantage of this, become the shadows, strike quickly, and serve only yourself.
Foreign Mercenary – Whether you hail from Kara-Tur, Thesk or Damara, word came to your ears of the endless opportunity for one of your talents in the violence that is Oscura, whether it be for guarding the walls or raiding the Underark. And you responded.
Rogue Scholar – Oscura is a home of dark secrets and hidden power. Seek these secrets out, command these powers, and become the mighty wizard you were always destined to be.
Player of “The Game” – For too long have you watched your fellow citizens bicker and fight for their own gain. It is your turn to see some of the profits for yourself, no matter the cost or how ruthless you must be.
Black Market Merchant – Make contacts, secure goods, destroy competitors. The Black Market can be a tricky place to exist in, but the profits can be huge for the budding mercantile man.
Privateer – Whether you are swabbing decks for a living or captaining your own ship on the cold waters of the Icelace, it’ll surely be an adventure. Even if you find yourself at the bottom of the Lake by the end of it, Arr!
Disciple of the Well – The Well of Souls can be an entrancing thing, and has lured many into its mystery, you being one of them. After being with the Well for so long, the Well now goes with you, its insane words and visions following you everywhere. Is this some kind of gift, or something that should be shunned and ignored?
Fallen – In your old life, you served a god of some kind. That god failed you, you failed them, and now your new life begins in Oscura as your soul searches for its true patron.
Treasure Hunter – All kinds of valuable treasures wind up in the markets of Oscura, in the corners of its libraries and in the mysterious Underdark caverns surrounding it. And every single last one of them will be found… by you.
Doomspreader – Most people do not know of the horrors that exist in places like the Underdark, the hordes of ravenous creatures just waiting to destroy every aspect of life that. With song, quill, or brush, spread the word of these horrors.
Escaped Underdark Slave – You have finally escaped the captors you have endured your entire life and stumbled across the city of Oscura, whom gives you haven from your terrible plight. Whether you were a pit fighter, or a meagre water carrier, train and exact revenge on those who once enslaved you.