History of Oshane

Construction of Oshane began in 1433 TH, after Wishon and Bethabal had been opened for settlement, and partway through the building of Tirtaga. Early in the excavations, plans had to be altered when unstable rock was found at the south end of the cavern. The stone there is riddled with cracks, some big enough for a Name-giver to climb up through. Work halted in that region, leaving huge piles of rubble and a wall badly scarred with toolmarks, far from the polished standard of dwarf construction.

The architects shifted the focus of the cavern northward, but a good deal of rock had already been removed from the cavern floor. As a result, instead of being a proper bowl, the cavern has an elongated focus, with the baronial estate at the northern, deeper end, and a noticeable trench southward, putting the innermost parts of the southern dectants nearly as deep as the government buildings that are supposed to be at the center. This off-kilter shape contributes visually to the city’s peculiarity, and is often blamed for giving symbolic weight to the southern dectants, the source of much of the city’s trouble.

Oshane opened for settlement in 1447 TH. Khazimir Parvidian, the chief architect for the city, became ill two months before Oshane was opened, and died the day before the first settlers arrived. His tomb is behind the Baron’s residence. It’s said that his spirit still walks the streets, measuring and calculating and worrying about the schedule.
Oshane’s first Baron, a dwarf Named Rydel Lihavrian, was dismissed by the crown after the race riots of 1472–1473 TH. Rydel had stacked the government with dwarfs, and shown little tolerance for the needs of non-dwarfs. Each time the crown put pressure on him, Rydel made a few token concessions, just enough to get the crown representatives to leave Oshane, and then went back to business as usual. After a series of increasingly violent incidents, full-fledged rioting broke out in late 1472 TH, and continued sporadically through the early days of 1473 TH, when assistance from the Arm of Throal arrived to quell the disturbances. Thirty-two people died in the riots. Dozens more were injured, some severely. Massive property destruction was widespread, and the haze of smoke took months to clear, giving a warning of what was to come.

The second baron, Verunts Olowey, a human chosen partially for his race’s reputation for getting along with pretty much everybody, took charge in late 1473 TH. He reorganized the Chancellery and the Watch, bringing more non-dwarfs into city office. This move offended the old guard mightily, and gave rise to numerous organizations such as Dwarfs For Oshane, but settled down the city as a whole. While there were still incidents of racial unrest during Verunts’ rule, they stayed manageable. Verunts died in 1498 TH, and his son, Stann, was confirmed to the office.


Oshane, like all the Inner Cities, is laid out in a circular pattern. In the center is the Circle, where people can meet, celebrate holidays, and listen to speakers. In the center of the Circle are the baronial estate and the chancellery. A bazaar extends around the Circle, and a park surrounds the bazaar. Due to the eccentric shape, many of the city’s residents refer to the city center as the Oblong. The rest of the city is divided into ten dectants, divided by wide lanes that radiate out from the city center to the edge of the cavern. Another lane runs around the outer perimeter of the city, leading to tunnels that connect Oshane with the rest of Throal. A dectant houses approximately 2,500 residents. The dectants are numbered 1 through 10 going sunwise from the north. Thus, the dectant just east of the northern tip of the city is the First Dectant, with the Second Dectant to its east and the Tenth Dectant to its west. Each dectant also has an unofficial Name, used more often than the official number.

The richest city residents have large estates close to the Circle. The most prosperous businesses ring these estates. The main part of a typical dectant is the wedshel, a Throalic term for a middle-class neighborhood. The outermost portion of a dectant is its dahnat, a Throalic term referring to the least desirable area where the poor live.

Neighborhoods are most likely to be racially segregated in the outermost reaches of a dectant. The barons of the Inner Cities try to discourage this pattern of segregation because it often leads to trouble. Race riots have erupted repeatedly in Bethabal, Oshane, and Tirtaga over the past forty years, and less serious incidents have occurred in Yistane and Wishon. Despite the objections and efforts of chancellery officials and magistrates, however, people of the same culture strongly prefer to live together, and so racial neighborhoods continue to thrive.


A baron and his extended family rule each city, serving for life. Upon the death of the baron, or an incident severe enough to warrant removal, the king may allow an heir to continue in office or may choose a new ruler. When making this decision, the king takes into account the current ruling family’s popularity among the people that they govern. Therefore, city rulers have an incentive to govern well. Rulership of the cities is a matter of custom. It is not enshrined in the Council Compact, which was drafted long before anyone in Throal even thought of building the Inner Cities. The King of Throal can therefore change governing practices at will.

The Current Baron of Oshane

Oshane’s current baron is Stann Olowey, known unflatteringly as “Stann the Quaverer”. A middle-aged human, Olowey has a speech impediment that gives his vowels a peculiar, shaky quality. He became Baron of Oshane as heir to his father, a popular and dynamic leader. Stann, by contrast, is a timid man ruled by self-doubt. He is afraid of his own officials, who easily manipulate him into following their agendas. Over the past twelve years, Verunts’ reforms have mostly fallen by the wayside. Dwarfs have replaced many of the other races in office, leading to a government that looks frighteningly like that of Rydel shortly before the Race Riots. Oshane’s chancellor, Marruth, is a matronly dwarf who bullies Baron Stann shamelessly while enriching her relatives with wasteful government contracts. Marruth is arrogant and venal, but not so much so that she fails to cover her tracks. Though Oshane’s public spaces are in poor repair and its guards badly paid and poorly motivated, no one outside the baronial estate has yet guessed that Marruth’s family is robbing the city treasury blind. The city’s lack of strong law enforcement has allowed the buundavim, organized criminals with their origin Olowey’s family provides him little support. His wife, Noreta, is a pretentious social butterfly with no concept of political power. His eldest son, Demian, spends his days with the city’s minstrels, drinking and writing bad poetry.

Olowey’s younger son, Vasyl, takes after his grandfather, with an astute grasp of political realities. Unfortunately, he’s not in the direct line of power. Aware of Marruth’s corruption, Vasyl is frustrated at his inability to do anything without ruining his own family in the process. Lacking strong local leadership, the orks of Oshane look to the examples of Dajag Treaty-Keeper, Baroness of Bethabal, and Mardek Silkback, Baron of Valvria. Dajag, an ork with a tribal background, was installed by King Varulus III after the race riots, and has settled her city considerably.

The orks of Bethabal generally address their problems through chav’ao’ros, the Throalic process of democratic assembly, rather than street demonstrations. The old-guard dwarfs, however, are worried that Bethabal will become another Cara Fahd, and are anxious to prevent the orks from gaining the upper hand. They see Bethabal as a worstcase scenario about to happen.

Mardek, on the other hand, is a smooth politician, wellingrained in the Throalic power structure. His father was the first ork to achieve kingdom office in Throal. Mardek has risen quickly through his ability to cement alliances with all sides of any question. While having the open approval of the Crown, Mardek is also an ally of Selenda and House Chaozun of the old guard. Dajag is seen as more “orkish” than Mardek, but few orks actively dislike Mardek; he’s far too good a politician for that. Like Dajag, Mardek has encouraged the orks to assemble in chav’ao’ros, and submit their grievances to his office and to the kingdom government. Thus far, the Throalic process is holding together, and keeping Valvria from experiencing the kind of racial unrest that has torn Bethabal, Tirtaga, and Oshane in the recent past.

miejsca/oshane.txt · ostatnio zmienione: 2018/05/03 16:35 przez gerion
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