OOC Info [Sunberth] Player's Guide

Read this first if you intend on playing in the city! There's a bunch of information relevant to the city and playing in it.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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[Sunberth] Player's Guide

Postby Twister on August 9th, 2013, 3:00 pm

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Sunberth Player's Guide
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Welcome to the city of Sunberth! If you're at all interested in visiting the city or starting one of your PCs off here, this is the first thread you ought to read. All the information herein is important and generally useful for players hoping to play in this city and it is recommended that you take the time to read this information carefully. This guide is not finished and will continue to be expanded upon as players come to ask questions or Storytellers add/change information in it as need or demand rises for it. Click here for the Sunberth Linkmap


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[Sunberth] Player's Guide

Postby Twister on August 9th, 2013, 3:00 pm

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Basics & Social
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> Introduction to Sunberth

When first entering the city of Sunberth, the first thing you’ll notice is the lack of security. The city is completely open on all ends and lacks any kind of gate or city wall, meaning that anyone can come and go into the streets as they please, with no one stopping or checking them in any way. There is no enforcement and thugs and criminals are free to roam the street alongside the regular populace as a standard occurrence, and it’s difficult to truly tell them apart. The buildings and the population are both rugged and dirty, initially unwelcoming and cynical to outsiders who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.

To many, Sunberth is a city of opportunity. There is no law and no public authority, which means there’s no one to stand in the way of your efforts and ideas... except the Sunberthans themselves. With their inherent mistrust of authority comes also a distrust for outsiders who are not accustomed to their ways of life, making the city a dangerous place to be as newcomers are subject to muggings and assault more often than any regular citizen. But, it’s not entirely untrue that Sunberth acts the host of untold possibility.

In Sunberth, it’s possible to pursue a wide variety of goals. Especially goals that are illegal or regarded as immoral in other cities. Gamblers, thieves, budding spies and brawlers often start their lives in Sunberth's dangerous streets. The city's fierce nature gives her people the wisdom to stay on their toes at all times, else you end up just another body in a long-forgotten alleyway. You come to Sunberth if you want a challenge in your life or just the right kind of “push” to discover your true potential. The city has no complicated philosophy to teach; just die-hard survival and opportunism.

> Playing in Sunberth

The first thing a new player to the city needs to understand is that it’s dangerous. You don’t wander in the streets safely because there’s always someone out there who will find a way to benefit from your ultimate demise, and people living in the city for a longer period of time will quickly learn to protect their belongings and their lives very closely. Bloody murder doesn’t occur in the streets every day and not in the open, but finding bodies or signs of violence is very common and if you’re not careful, your body could be someone else’s to find.

Otherwise, Sunberth is a very free city. It’s an anarchy, after all. There are no real rules and people can get away with a lot before sparking the collective anger of the population. Therefore, it’s ideal for characters that want to pursue questionable goals and lifestyles or just build up experiences in certain martial professions or make easy money when you’ve got the necessary skill for it. It’s also a city where influence between warring factions sways very quickly and you build enough reputation to influence the city as a whole through your actions, no matter your social status. Of course, this comes with both perks and downsides, but the opportunity is nevertheless present.

… Opportunity for disaster as well as success, to be perfectly clear. If you’re looking for danger to your health, safety and freedom, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Survive in a place like Sunberth and you can reap some worthwhile rewards! Do note that magic-wielding PCs need to exercise extra caution in the city. More on that further down.

> Demographics

Sunberth’s population numbers up to at least 13,000, give or take. It’s difficult to know exactly how many move about the city streets since the population fluctuates with the seasons; visitors come and go--they rarely stay for too long unless they plan to settle. The vast majority of the population, over 95%, is Human (including subraces and mix-ups). The last piece of the population is a colourful mix, though Kelvics seem to outnumber most others due to their popularity in the slave market.

Note: Sunberth has no racial restrictions when it comes to what sorts of PCs you want to play in the city. It's one of the few cities that readily welcome every single one, but at the same time... Any non-human will be exploited or mistrusted appropriately.


> Sunberthan Mentality

Those born, raised or long-time residents of Sunberth tend to develop a paranoid personality trait. You put the safety of yourself and your family first and you quickly learn to distrust rather than the other way around. People tell their children from an early age to keep to themselves and be careful what they say around others, breeding a secretive and suspicious population where people constantly keep an eye out for their next-door neighbours. In a city like Sunberth--if you’re not a predator, you’re prey. Everyone is taught that lesson from childhood.

Because of their suspicious nature, Sunberthians are cold towards outsiders and scoff at their naivete in secret. Outsiders are the first to fall prey to muggers or con artists in the streets as they are easy to outwit, and Sunberthans treat them accordingly. While they can be quite the jovial lot when it suits them, they prefer to keep their distance lest they be speaking to a dead man. Most would spare themselves that burden and the pain of association with the crime itself, even if the crime means nothing in their lawless society.

Due to their lack of law, Sunberthians learn to rely on the natural order of things and develop an inherent distrust for authority figures outside the city. Should a pure-bred Sunberthian traven to a city like Syliras, chances are they wouldn’t stay out of the slammer for very long due to their naturally rebellious nature. Of course, not all citizens of Sunberth are openly rebellious--most are just content with living their lives without interruption from outside forces and develop an indifference towards law enforcement.

Something that is quite unique to the population of Sunberth is their tendency to band together against threats to their freedom. Due to their history of oppression under the Alahean empire and powerful magic users after them, Sunberthians value their freedom from law and enslavement very dearly. Dearly enough to rise collectively against ideas or people who would threaten to take that away from them. It doesn’t matter who you are--threaten the freedom of the city and Her people will stand against you in unison.

> Views on Magic & Mage PCs

Because of their past under the Alahean empire when the city was still used for the rich materials underneath, the citizens of Sunberth have developed and desperately held on to a (perhaps exaggerated) distrust of magic and everyone who uses it. Magic users in Sunberth exercise great caution when practicing their magic, if they practice it at all in the city bounds, for fear of public persecution (which has occurred before). That is not to say that magic is entirely banned in the city since there are still publicly acknowledged users, but if you play a mage in the city you should always be prepared for social backlash if your practice is discovered in any way, shape or form. When it comes to magic, Sunberthans act first and ask later.

Due to the collective distrust against all things magical, finding anyone willing to teach you magic in the city is exceedingly difficult. There is no magical literature in the city and any magic users practicing their arts within the city are most like to do it in secret. Finding a teacher is at your own risk since not all may wish to be discovered, and there’s no guarantee whatsoever that you’ll ever find one for your desired magic type. Because of this, always check with the local Storyteller if your specific type of magic is available in the city if you’re looking for a trainer, be it for your character’s history (and Flashback threads) or for present-time training.

There will be no list made of specific types of magic as this will largely be handled at a case-by-case basis.

> City Gangs

With the lack of a formal authority, people fall back on their natural tendencies to band together under the strongest or most charismatic individual in their social group who calls the shots for the runts. They form gangs who move together as an organized unit throughout the city, and some of these gangs are bigger and more influential than others. There are some gangs who are little more than thugs banding together because they found a common interest in gold and wenches, and there are others who manage to garner the interest of a larger group of people and even go as far as establishing a chain of command and a society of their own.

Prime examples of such gangs are the Daggerhands (to be updated), the Sun’s Birth (to be updated) and the Night Eyes, all rather big gangs who’ve had much influence in the city of late. These gangs gather interest with the promise of wealth, through intimidation, or just jovial recruiting techniques. Their methods are many and varied, but unquestionably effective. Many of the gangs that form in the city struggle to keep their turf and area of influence, making deals with local businesses to establish themselves and fill up the gang’s collective coffers. Once a gang grows too big, as a general rule, it starts to fall apart and lose much of that gained influence. This happened recently to two of the big three (Daggerhands and Sun’s Birth), but the gangs nonetheless continue to make their presence known in hopes of regaining some of their lost turf and influence.

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[Sunberth] Player's Guide

Postby Twister on August 9th, 2013, 3:01 pm

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Layout & Mechanics
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> What the City looks like

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Sunberth is a former mining city, sitting on top of the old ruins of said mines with mining equipment still present in many corners of it and some of the tunnels still intact and, in fact, inhabited by citizens and critters (and the occasional ghast) alike. Because of the tunnels below, there is no real presence of cellars in any of the buildings and they stand unsteadily at best, very few actually anchored to the ground and many seeming like they could be moved with enough force behind it.

The city presents a wide variety of different styles in architecture since buildings have been built, torn down and rebuilt countless times over the years and there’s some doubt as to whether any of the original buildings still stand save the Temple of the Unknown and the Leywellin Manor out on Lodestar Isle. Most if not all of the buildings in the city are dirty and shabby in their construction, cheap in design and make which means they’d, in an ideal world, be easier to replace if they should break down for whatever reason.

Furthermore, Sunberth is mostly flat. There aren’t very many buildings that are more than two stories tall, the occasional building at three stories towering high above the rest. The rooftops of these buildings are about as unstable as the rest and traversing the city by rooftop is risky and close to impossible unless you’re careful. Quality construction has never been much of a priority in Sunberth since the harsh seasons and the unstable environment see them torn down eventually no matter what.

Because of the city’s lack of a static environment in that regard, the streets follow no real set pattern except for that they all seem to lead to the river at some point or another, the river becoming the main guiding point and landmark. Once you get to the river, it’s usually easy to tell which way to proceed from there. Elsewhere in the city, it’s full of narrow passageways between buildings and streets that end in dead-ends. There’s a rare few wide roads that are always crowded, but the rest are really narrow passages.

On the outskirts of town, there’s plenty of old ruins of old buildings from various different periods in Sunberth’s life, especially around the mine shacks and entrances. These places are commonly said to be dangerous as both hauntings and prowling beasts inhabit them in place of the humans who were long since driven away from there, or simply stopped coming for whatever reason.

> Quality of Life

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Life in Sunberth is generally harsh on the population. The buildings are of poor quality and it’s often ravaged badly with cold winters and stormy weather through the hot seasons due to its proximity to the sea. There’s a definite lack of quality healthcare, and even the healthcare that’s present is not available to everyone. Disease is a very real problem and threat to the population every year and the death-toll from disease and starvation is actually pretty high, even compared to the number of violent deaths.

Even the rich in the city live in buildings of poor to average quality, any excessive riches on display not remaining for long. You’re generally considered wealthy if you can afford to make a decent living without incident, keeping yourself fed and healthy, and anything else is excessive and not like to stay with you for long. People don’t really have a concept of great wealth in the city of Sunberth like they would in other places. Coupled with the dangerous social environment, all factors combined makes the quality of life in Sunberth poor on average.

That is not to say that everyone in Sunberth lives a poor life, however. As long as they can afford to keep themselves fed, there’s plenty of entertainment available to even the poorest of citizens and there are always ways for people to make a bit of extra money on the side, even if they don’t have a solid wage or employment anywhere. Someone always needs a favour, and there are always people willing to give a bit of happiness in your life in exchange for some coin.

Note: While it depends on where you live, those starting in Sunberth are allowed to pay Poor Seasonal Expenses on average since available Housing in the city is of rather poor quality and availability of food and the like is scarce. Squalor would require Storyteller permission. PCs with established employment (have had a job for more than one season) are expected to pay Common living expenses.


> Economy and Business

ImageWhile Sunberth is in a state of anarchy, there’s still an economy. Things have the worth that people say they have, and money is still money. While the city’s main currency is the Miza, some merchants are more flexible and accept foreign currency according to the standard conversion rates. Everything in the city has a value in gold and each and every citizen is ready to take advantage of that to make their own lives a wee bit easier.

There are many business owners in Sunberth. Everything between your honest merchants and slave traders, the people in the city deal with and endorse a wide variety of different trades with little shame or remorse whatsoever. Many who are rich in the city have their own business underneath them to pull in more money and, at the same time, see that money back in circulation as long as their lives have been made easier by their wealth. Merchants are some of the most protected people in the city, simply because they can afford to keep themselves protected from the masses. … And there are always all too many people in the crowds who’d be happy to lend their muscle for some kind of payment.

Relevant links:
-> Link to Job Applications
-> Link to The Establishment (to be revised)

Note: Are you interested in starting your own business in the city? If you lack the starting funds, you should take a look at this (subject to change) for the possibility to receive financial support.


> Rules for NPC Usage

There are plenty of NPCs in Sunberth. Most of them are free to use, and there’s a few that need moderation or at least Storyteller permission. As a general rule of thumb, merchant and tavern NPCs are free to moderate as you like unless specifically stated otherwise in the location’s page. If you want to make up temporary NPCs to use in your threads, that’s completely fine but if you suspect that the interaction will lead to you gaining any sort of wealth or items (or knowledge you wouldn’t normally find in the city, such as trainers in any kind of magic), you should always contact the local Storyteller first to discuss the usage of such an NPC. Otherwise, NPCs follow the same rules as for the rest of Mizahar.

Relevant links:
-> Link to Library (in development)
-> Link to Requests/Submissions (in development)

> Housing

Housing in Sunberth is required. It's simply too dangerous to come to the city without a place to stay, but not all housing has to be permanent. There are a few places in the city where one might settle down to live; the Sunset Quarters that hosts the standard houses/apartments included in the Starting Package as well as temporary housing in a variety of different kinds of rooms for reasonable, daily fees; the Tent City for those who cannot afford a house or simply are travelling through and have their own camping equipment. There's also the Drunken Fish down by the docks that offers standard lodgings.

Note: If you intend to live without housing in the city or have another idea for what fits to your character but isn't included above, please PM the local Storyteller to ask permission.

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[Sunberth] Player's Guide

Postby Monarch on March 10th, 2015, 3:38 am

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Terms & Phrases
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> Popular City Phrases

While most of Sunberth is fluent in Common, there are some particular idiosyncrasies in the speech of its citizens that are difficult for foreigners to understand. The street language of Sunberth is not something learned so much as embraced, for it takes a willing mind to delve through all the innuendos, vulgar suggestions, and esoteric references to discover the truth of what someone is saying. Endeavouring to learn the most popular phrases is a good way to demonstrate how one has acclimated to the city - going local is one of the best ways to escape the notice of the Mob.

- "No worries, this job will be as smooth as a Knight's chest." : Something will be easy, with no difficulties. Also an insult to the Knights, mocking them for their lack of body hair (and buxom women!).

- "The boss has gone... excavating for the night." : A euphemism for someone spending time with multiple whores, in succession or all at once.

- "Did you hear about Rorge? That poor bastard went down the mine shaft." : A euphemism for someone catching something from time with a whore.

- "She's bound for a date with old Kova any day now." : Someone will soon be dragged off to the Gallows. The Gallows is affectionately known as "Old Queen Kova" by the Sunberthers.

- "Them boys are Daggercocks, mark me." : A salacious rumour suggests that Daggerhands are castrated upon being inducted into the organization. While untrue, this rumour still gives the Daggerhands trouble when they visit a whorehouse.

- "That dumb Konti is gold on legs." : Suggesting that someone is gold on legs means they cannot defend themselves, that they are begging to be stolen from.

- "You'll find him taking a dip in Shyke Creek." : Shyke Creek refers to the Mudway, itself a perversion of the original, forgotten name of Sunberth's river. Taking a dip in the river means that their corpse will soon wash up in either Baroque Bay or carried out of the city.

- "My brother ended up taking a dust nap." : Their corpse is entombed in the Dust Bed.

- "You're one hop away from reaching Sahova, my friend." : Suggesting to someone that they are already dead.

- "One day, an old man walked into the mine, followed by a whore on an ass." : The set-up to the most infamous dirty joke in Sunberth history. There are so many variations on the punchline available that it is impossible to tell what the 'real' punchline is.
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[Sunberth] Player's Guide

Postby Royal on January 22nd, 2016, 1:19 pm

Fauna & Flora
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> Fauna


Whilst Sunberth is the home to some of the worse thieves, murderers and rapists across Mizahar, the city also cultivates some equally terrible creatures. This is far from a comprehensive list of animals found in the city and players can assume that RL creatures, such as crows, mice and spiders, also exist within Sunberth.

Players are invited and welcomed to develop their own ideas for Sunberth's fauna and flora. If you wish to, post in the Flora/Fauna development thread with any ideas you think of!

Sunberth Rat
'Yer never further than 2 foot away from a Brat in the 'Berth'

ImageThe Sunberth Rat (nicknamed 'The Brat') is something of a mascot for the people of Sunberth. The rodent is thought to have originally inhabited the mines nearby the city centre, but has since flourished in Sunberth proper. The average size of a Brat is slightly larger than that of a domestic feline, though they are known to grow even larger. Incredibly intelligent, these tail-less rodents can be found almost anywhere in the city, though they are nocturnal by nature and seemingly disappear during Syna's reign. They have a nasty bite, and have historically been blamed for many a plague that has thwarted Sunberth in the past. This, however, does not stop certain individuals from keeping Brats as pets, and indeed a certain gang uses these animals to ferry drugs across the city.


Skull Crow
'If yer see a 'angman's crow by yer window... well boy, you better hide under yer mama's skirt 'cos yer a dead man walkin''

ImageFrequently found at The Gallows, the Skull Crow (also known as a Hangman's Crow) is a large, velvety black bird. They generally look no different to usual crows - they are smaller, but only very slightly so - save for one difference: Skull Crows typically wear the skulls of other deceased birds on their head. Nobody really understands why they do this, or indeed where all the bird skulls come from, but the Skull Crow is regarded as terrible luck. It is said that they are pets of Dira herself, and so if you find one hanging around you for any length of time, you might want to start saying your goodbyes.


Parchment Moth
'Stupid little things, really. Reminds me of m'self and m'missus, though. I'm always getting' too close and fallin' into the flames''

ImageThe Parchment Moth is named as such for it's paper-like appearance and the unique black patterns on it's wings that resemble cursive handwriting. Indeed, should you find a Parchment Moth, you are likely to think it nothing more than a scrap of folded paper. Though they seem innocent and even pretty, the Parchment Moth has a dark side. They, like many of their species, are intrinsically attracted to flame. For this reason, Parchment Moths are frequently seen at the Slag Heap Fire. Unlike other moths, however, should a Parchment Moth get to close to a flame, it will not burn to death, but instead simply catch fire - again, much like paper. Parchment Moths seem to be quite content to flutter around whilst alight, quite unaware of their own flammable properties and the danger they could cause. Old tongues will tell how the crazed old wizard, Obal Causten, would use Parchment Moths to spread his unnatural Reminacy fire across Sunberth, burning down his enslaved people. For this reason, Parchment Moths are regarded cautiously by the people of Sunberth.

Snoring Toad
'Caught my boy with a toad in 'is room last night. Lickin' it, he was. Explained why he was so weepy and ate all those burnt cakes.''

ImageAt about the size of a man's palm, the Snoring Toad is a small but fabulously coloured amphibian. They come in all variety of solid colours, but are most typically purple, blue or yellow. Like most toads, the Snoring Toad hibernates in Winter, and usually does so in some sort of building or structure where it can be shielded from the cold. Their name comes from the recognisable sound they make during hibernation -- they snore. Loudly. Before now, husbands have accused wives (and sometimes vice versa) of having a male lover hidden away somewhere in the family home because of the snoring sounds coming from under the floorboards. It is rumoured that licking a Snoring Toad can result in drug-induced hallucinations and euphoria, though few people beside the youthful and stupid enough to try.



> Flora

From the pleasing Rainbow Rose to the glowing Dust Flower, Sunberth is home to a surprising variety of flora. Some of these are pretty to look at it, some of them are deadly to smell, but to some degree they each reflect an aspect of Sunberth.

As ever, suggestions and new developments are welcome!

Stone/Rainbow Rose
'That Bertha's like a Stone Rose: plain as Hai. But 'er sister? Now 'er sister is a Rainbow if I've ever saw one. Which I 'aven't. '

ImageStone Roses (top picture) are by far one of the most common flowers to be seen around Sunberth. They are a climbing plant, meaning that they grow vertically up vines, canes and (most commonly) stone walls. Their roots are incredibly strong, somewhat like ivy, and thus can cause great amounts of damage to the structure of a building. The fragrance of a Stone Rose is as disappointing as the plain grey colour of its petals; it smells of nothing but mild damp.

However, there is a reason that this bad-smelling, building-wrecking plant is tolerated in Sunberth. Everyone so often, and indeed incredibly rarely, a Stone Rose plant will flower a single rose so utterly unlike the usual Stone Rose that it is something of a miracle that they come from the same plant. The Rainbow Rose (bottom picture) has multicoloured petals and a smell so sweet that it breaks through the usual stench of Sunberth. Rainbow Roses are desired by almost everyone, and even the hardiest of thugs can be found gawping at the beauty of this flower. There is perhaps one or two Rainbow Roses grown every two years in Sunberth, and any attempt to grow an entire plant of these flowers has been unsuccessful, resulting in just yet another boring Stone Rose plant. Rainbow Roses are highly sought after by lovesick individuals, herbalists and perfumers alike.
L1 Herbalism to identify, L3 Herbalism/Perfumery to extract pollen

Dust Flower
'M'husband got me a bunch'a flowers yesterday. Then I realised they were bloody Dust Flowers. Kicked the Bastard out right there and then, I did.'

ImageFound only in the Dust Bed, the Dust Flower (also named the 'Grave Flower') is one of the many oddities that exist within Sunberth. By day, the flower looks no different to a standard wild flower: pale petals, a dark brown stigma, green leaves. At night, however, the appearance of the Dust Flower changes dramatically. The petals take on an eerie green luminescence, the leaves and stem becoming sickly black. It is also during the nighttime that the flower releases its pollen, which also glows in the dark and, if inhaled in any quantity, becomes thick and choking. Though the pollen has the potential to be deadly, the sap of the Dust Flower can be used to dye clothes to give a similar (though less impressive) glow-in-the-dark effect.
L1 Herbalism required to identify, L3 Herbalism required to extract sap



Drowned Sailor's Casket
'My brother's down there, wrapped up in Dead Man's Grip. Serves 'I'm right, cocky little bugger.''

ImageDrowned Sailor's Casket (Also known as Dead Man's Grip or Corpse Weed) is a thick seaweed that grows around the docks of Sunberth and can be found further out though is seldom seen due to the depth. Sunberth, while a port city, neither has the reputation or skill of Zeltivan sailors and so many a would-be pirate or sailor that join up with a ship seldom make the voyage home. Many corpses of sailors can be found tangled up in the weeds and some say that they are Laviku's punishment on shoddy sailors that would try and tame his seas. The weeds take on two appearances; firstly a dark green weed with only a blackened base as it distinguishing feature, the weeds can be boiled and then wrapped around cuts and burns to reduce infection and numb the pain. Once the weed wraps around a corpse, the weed darkens further as the corpse rots away until the entire weed is pitch black. In this instance the weed is remarkably tough, requiring sharp knives and strong hands to pry it away from a body and the holdfast of the weed can be prepared to produce a poison that causes physical and mental fatigue and produces a sensation of coldness in the inflicted.
L2 Herbalism required to identify, L3 Herbalism required to harvest, L2 Poison to develop into poison, L2 medicine to use as medicine properties. Credit to Erik Murphy for this idea!


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