Ocean Shore is a cozy little town nuzzled into the southwest portion of Centralia Island in the Rhine Archipelago. Ocean Shore is endowed with a deep and twisted history which offers endless adventuring possibilities.
Ocean Shore was originally known to the Rhine Archipelago as Knave's Cove. In 9984 SF Knave's Cove was home to several bands of pirates who looted the various ships that traveled the Rhine's waters, Both the Natatorium and the Cove Marina date back to this time, most of everything else was nothing more than a slum, much like Prall.
At the time, the favorite hangout of all the pirates was a small shack called the Four Fins. The pirates would come in after a long sea voyage to describe their plundering and pillaging. The Four Fins disappeared late one night though. The residents of Knave's Cove awoke to find a ten-story luxury hotel complete with a empty parking lot, a heated swimming pool, a fancy restaurant, a staff of fifty, and a security system that resisted all conventional attacks on the hotel.
A year of conflict and confusion continued as the pirates attempted to discover what happened to their “beloved” Four Fins. It took the strategies of the ingenious hotel clerk, Nathan Rork, to halt the hostilities of the pirates and get them to understand how profitable tourism is. Nathan was known as Bakshiish among the pirates and later among his fellows at the hotel. The name means something along the lines of ”what are you going to do for me?“ Nathan's business sense helped him move quickly up the ranks in the hotel's corporate ladder.
The pirates of Knave's Cove, from 9985 SF until 9987 SF transformed the dirty little village into a tourist town. The graveyards on the west side of the town were converted into a large Gahlf course. The mysterious hotel was renamed the Five Fins Resort Hotel. The area around the marina was turned into a cluster of small shops. Finally the pirates settled down into homes on the east side of town; they gave up the seas for a legal form of land piracy; tourism.
The town was renamed Ocean Shore and advertisement began. Within days a few artisans from Centralia City went to Ocean Shore on vacation and were quick to spread news of the wonderful little town and it's splendid hotel.
Inside the hotel, Nathan rose to become it's manager, eventually. While the old manager stepped down to open a small pub in Ocean Shore. The rest of the staff remained in the hotel, occupying the second and third floors until they moved into houses outside of the hotel. The hotel grew rapidly in popularity and now reservations are required at least two months in advance to get a room.
The town itself is quite calm. The pirates went into retirement, leaving their children and younger counterparts to run the shops. Most of the retired pirates enjoy games of Gahlf and visits to Midge's Pub and watch their investments in the town grow.
The fateful destruction of the Five Fins Resort Hotel came quickly and suddenly from the fists of a giant metallic reptile. Little is known about the nature of the creature that destroyed the hotel.
Since the attack upon the hotel, the residents of Ocean Shore eye all reptiles with suspicion. Any information leading to finding the giant metallic reptile that destroyed the hotel is sought by it's new owner and manager, Jean Schwartz. Over 200 innocent people were killed by the creature and Jean wants justice brought to the thing.
Ocean Shore is a small town of only a few hundred people. It is a quiet. calm, and dull town in most respects. That is why people travel for hundreds of mets to get here: relaxation. There are no loud bars, no brothels, and no shiftless panhandlers.
The people of Ocean Shore take pride in the work they perform and in the homes they dwell in. This pride is easily seen when you stroll through the town and notice the cleanliness of the well-swept cobblestone streets and the wood and plaster buildings.
Most of the buildings in Ocean Shore are two or three stories tall, but there are some one-level houses on the east side of town. All of the shops except for the metal-smithy have an upper level where the owners of that shop live. Any hired help would live in one of the boarding houses or such on the east side of town.
Residents of the town are a delightful folk who are often talkative and cheery souls. A face without a smile is a rare thing to see in Ocean Shore. They don't rush through the day trying to get as much done as possible, but rather they take their time and make sure that the task at hand is performed with accuracy, precision, and craftsmanship. They don't emulate Centralia City, but rather set a different standard of quality.
People don't lock their doors, and generally walk the streets at night in complete safety. The people who live in Ocean Shore have never had much of a reason to worry about crime. Anyone foolish enough to be a thief or robber in the town would end up being dealt with by one of the councilmen. Although old, they are still an able group for the most part and if they can't get the job done, there's a few hundred other ex-pirates in the town who can deal with most threats.
Everyone in the town drops by Midge's Pub at least once a week. Even the Town Council makes its meetings at the pub. The pub is the nexus of information, event reports, and gossip. Any important notices that need to be seen are posted on a bulletin board hanging up near the entrance of the pub. Everything from council notices to reports of new babies or deaths are up on the board. The board is maintained by a Taurusian who keeps the old records in a back room ledger offered to Biblo, the Priest of Taurus.
While the folk of Ocean Shore are kind and generous they tend to avoid outsiders. Recently they've become very suspicious of lizards. The hotel's destruction by a giant lizard is more than likely the reason for this. Outsiders aren't allowed to compete with business in the town at all. The council forbids outsiders from openings up shops in the area since the competition is bad for business.
Along with businesses, outsiders are not usually given permission to build houses in the area. The council has to be sought out by any outsider and then that outsider must persuade the council into offering permission to build in the area. Anyone who disobeys the decision is ”dealt with” by the council: usually the council does this in person.
Although it's difficult to get a house built in Ocean Shore, there are several boarding houses and some spaces for rent in the town. Once again Midge's Pub is where to find out about getting a place to live. The prices should be inexpensive, since the cost of living is so low in Ocean Shore. Any room at a boarding house will be small. Places for rent can be as large as a two story house, but outsiders will have a difficult time getting a landlord to rent them a house for more than three months.
When thinking about Ocean Shore think of three elements that it is based on: the Carribean, the northern New England states, and for architecture think of traditional Germany. The people all speak Ferric with a second language of Breziak or Paroli, otherwise the place would pass for a Carribean island moved to Maine with traditional German buildings.
Ocean Shore is guided by a council of five elders. The elders are all retired pirates who once operated their pirating rings out of Knave’s Cove. The council is a loose organization that meets at Midge's Pub to discuss whatever business seems to be affecting the town and quickly decide what to do about it.
The council members are advised by their friends and families for the most part. A special and very influential advisor is the manager of the hotel. Since the economy of Ocean Shore is dependent on the Five Fins Resort Hotel, the council listens well to what the manager has to say.
The council isn't an official organization, but rather one that stems from the days of piracy. Each of the councilmen was once the leader of a ruthless group of pirates, and since the general populace of the town is of pirate origins, they still look up to these men of the council for direction. Since the councilmen do not want to deter tourism with rumors of piracy within the town of Ocean Shore, they have agreed to become councilmen and not captains.
If a councilman leaves his position by death, resignation. or otherwise, his second in command will step up in his place. A position to the council is only by appointment by the person who is being replaced. Should there be no person to appoint to the position, then another clan of pirates would step up to that position. No outsider would be allowed to become a council member.
Here's a list of the members of the council as well as some background informution about them. Each band of pirates is named by the flagship of the fleet.
Frag Zagota is the leader of the Out-One-Less. Zagota was perhaps the most ingenious of pirates during his time, using simple methods to quickly loot many ships while minimizing damage to his own vessels.
Frag is now in his late 60's. His face is gentle and kind. His hair has left his head completely, except for the grey beard covering the lower side of his head. His eyes no longer see well, and he has to wear spectacles to read, but his is reluctant to let others know his lack of good eye-sight. He stands five foot ten inches, and has a strong build. He's still as healthy as ever, and is strong enough to arm wrestle all but the strongest men down to the table.
Frag never married, and never had any children. His second in command is a man by the name of Jon Wenly. Jon is a middle-aged man with graying hair, a stern face, and deep brown eyes. Jon stands at the same height as Frag, and his build is only slightly smaller. Jon's not quite the drinker as Frag, but Jon is known to take Frag in an arm-wrestling competition or two.
Frag's style of leadership is that of “what’s in it for me.” He wants to maximize the profit and minimize the effort. He makes no heroic leaps, and see no reason to help those who can't help themselves. He will not agree to something unless there is a profit or benefit in it for him. He is the only council member who does not heed the advice and requests of the hotel managers well. He is upset that he cannot buy into the hotel and sees no reason why the hotel should “run the show.”
Molly is a new-comer to the council. Her father, Ponner Shears, passed away peacefully at the age of 82 in 10005 SF. He was the leader of the Three-Jane. Although not particularly famous as a pirate, he gathered many followers and was known to raid villages with large forces. The Three-Jane clan is by far the largest, but also the oldest. There are many children however.
Molly is a tall, slender and very attractive lady. She's in her early thirties but looks much younger. She keeps her black hair cut short at the shoulder, and almost always wears a headband around her forehead to keep the hair out of her green eyes. Molly is an accomplished dancer, and has learned a good deal of acrobatics. Perhaps her most impressive skill is that of knife throwing, which she does with deadly accuracy. The other men of the council learned quickly not to play games with her when she threw a knife at Frag Zagota's head and cut a slice of his beard off.
Hern Case helps Molly out with all her council tasks and otherwise. He's a young man in his late twenties. Hern is secretly in love with Molly, but won't admit to it. He's a handsome six foot three inch tall man with wavy blonde hair and a clean shaven face. His brown eyes contrast with his light skin nicely and add to his face's beauty. He's not all that special of a person really. He's more well rounded than most people, possessing skill in many activities. He hopes to one day marry Molly, but fears that the age difference may separate them.
Molly's leadership is often described by the other councilmen as being pushy, and pouty. She's a woman. And the discrimination is obvious. The truth of the matter is that she's no more pushy than any of the other members, but since she's a woman she's acting out of character. She isn't looking to make it rich, nor is she looking to be famous and noble, but rather she wants an honest place for people to live. She's wary of everyone around her, though, since they all seem to have ulterior motives, She one day hopes the council will be a real governing body and that Ocean Shore will “go places.” Most ot the other members patronize her. She controls the largest percentage of the population, and without her positive vote, nothing goes through.
The youngest of the original council members is Banter Deban. He's also the last to retire (if he truly has retired). Banter is the child of a noble in Centralia City. He decided to enrertain himself by buying a ship (the Terrible), hiring a crew of rough-necks from Praal, and attacking some ships. He did this when he was sixteen. He quickly became known as Kid Curse because of the language he enjoyed to use. His exploits of piracy lasted for seven years. He was possibly the most destructive of pirates, and he wasn't looking for money, but rather pleasure. It's said he would run into combat humiliating his opponents with all sorts of insults and end up winning because of it.
Banter is a big man. standing at six foot five inches and weighing at least 280 pounds. He's quick, strong, and witty. If he had an ounce of commonsense in his skull he'd probably not have quite so many scars on his body. He has brown shaggy hair, and blue eyes that occasionally turn brown and vice-versa. He's still a skilled swordsman, even if he is in his fourties. He is not a man to challenge verbally either. He's quick to insult, and he's always ready to back up any verbal insult with a physical one; a trick he learned from his friends from Praal.
Banter works together with a older man named Tango Reen. Tango is in his early sixties and is a known mage. Tango has bright red hair, and brown eyes set deeply into his face. He stands 5 foot 4 inches and is a skinny man. Tango wears ratty clothes, and often travels to Praal to check up on “business.” Tango isn't uncomfortable using a sword, and is an excellent Gahlf player.
Banter doesn't like to really lead. He's not the type for responsiblity and often leaves things for Tango to do. When Banter is present for meetings of the council, he's so drugged he can't think straight, or if he's sober he only wants to verbally joke about the business presented to the council. He doesn't seem to get along well with anyone on the council, but he's a vital link for Ocean Shore to the nobles of Centralia City. When he does make decisions, or when Tango makes them for Banter, the decisions are always in favor of what solution brings the most entertainmcnt to Banter. Banter is probably the best insight the council has on what to offer the nobles.
Nibor Helm was a very humane pirate. As leader of the Amiable he attempted to keep death at a minimum while only stealing from luxury vessels. He would take a portion of the loot and help out the lower classes and poor. In essense he is the Robin Hood of the seas. Not exactly though, since he did keep a rather large amount of wealth for himself, but then he was the one doing all the work.
Nibor is now in his late fifties. His black hair is streaked with ample grey and silver hair. His eyes have always been a grey-blue, much closer to grey than really possible though. His eyes reflect his somber attitude. He stands six foot tall, and is of common build. He's a decent man, but his age is showing strongly in his wrinkling face. He's a well known swordsman, and can fire a crossbow with decent accuracy. He can also play a gitar with ease.
Nibor's wife, Mandina. assists him with all that he does. She is a loyal woman and has loved him since childhood. She is a high spirited, raven haired woman in her early fifties and aging with grace. Her hair is still the dark raven color it was as a child, but it's suspected that this is due to dyes and not nature. Mandina stands five foot nine and is of a strong build; she's probably stronger than her spouse. Her eyes are deep blue and her smile is constant. Mandina and Nibor are never seen apart. There isn't a time when someone can remember when they weren't together, even when Nibor was a pirate she was on ship with him.
Nibor is an honest man. Although he wishes to gain some wealth and power of his own, he also recognizes that the two aren't his to hoard and should be shared with the less fortunate. His followers of past are now often found helping the sick and jobless to find a niche in life. Nibor doesn't consider himself any kind of saint. He expects payment for all his work. He will always make decisions in favor of himself and the poor benefiting. If it’s one or the other, he'll pick himself.
Sion Geselt was the leader of the Merchant’s Glory. He wasn't so much a pirate as he was a merchant who wanted exclusive shipping rights and no competition. He did pretty well in eliminating his competion as well as being on friendly terms with the other pirates in the area. He would be happy to capture a competitor's ship and then resell the goods at a higher price. He didn't consider this fair, or unfair; he considered it business.
Sion is a very handsome man in his early seventies. He's a very persuasive talker of Paroli, Breziak, and Ferric, and is said to know a bit of Elvish. He still a has full head of hair. It's now grey and thinning, but still groomed well. His blue eyes contrast to his silver hair in a fashionable way, and his mild build and medium height (five foot ten) all add to his natural charisma.
Sion's grandson, Eriks Geselt. is usually at his side to help him with any task at hand. Eriks is a smart lad like his grandfather. He's now in his late twenties and a healthy and strong lad. While the boy isn't quite as charismatic as his grandfather, the boy has all the potential to be just as deadly with his words. Eriks doesn't mind helping his grandfather out, but the lad doesn't get much time to himself. When Eriks does get out of his grandfather's grasp he can often be found partying with the ladies and trying to seduce them. His speech is deadly, and he has the money to entice most women, but it's doubtful that Eriks will find his future wife this way.
Sion's followers helped to establish most of the shops in Ocean Shore and they now run them. Sion has become the spokesperson for the merchants in Ocean Shore and wields his words as a weapon to help the merchants et what they want. He just so happens to take in a special tax from the merchants in town. Anyone who doesn't pay doesn't get his protection. Such businesses usually find themselves with cut-throat competition that drives them out of business. Midge's Pub is the only establishment that has been able to thwart all of Sion's attempts to extract a portion of the profits, but Midge is a smarter business man than Sion. Sion will always make decisions in favor of business and his merchants. If a decision is going against him he will use all his persuasion skills to turn the tables and get his way. If he can't get his way, he usually can at least find a way for himself to profit from any deal.
The hotel seems to have an internal government. The hotel is powerful enough to ignore the council and all it's dealings, and often is able to dictate policy to the council. The economy of Ocean Shore has become almost completely reliant on tourism. The one attraction that seems to draw the tourists to Ocean Shore is the hotel. If it were to close, the town of Ocean Shore would take a tumble.
Profits within the hotel are shared on a percentage of importance basis (manager making the most, bellhops making the least). The workers are encouraged to do their best, since the better their work, the more money everyone makes. The atmosphere is as non-political as possible. but in times of need, democracy is called out and votes are made by the entire staff. Staff members include all the people who work there.
Until the destruction of the hotel, the decision was that no outsiders would be allowed to become staff members of the hotel. Now that most of the staff died in the attack by the mysterious reptile, the hotel has begun recruiting people to work in the hotel. Most of the positions were filled by family members of the now dead hotel staff, however ten positions needed to be filled. The outsiders are carefully screened by the upper management of the hotel and then only a select few were approved for training. A player character who joins the hotel becomes a permanent actor. No one ever leaves the hotel once they become part of the staff.