Omberstad is a town on the eastern shores of Tokaru cradling the falling waters of the Lata Cascades and the deep, protected port below. It is carved in layers up the sides of the black volcanic rock cliff face. The small bay, known as the Blackpool, is dominated by the huge walls and towers of the fort that erupt from the mount that looms above the main town just north of the river mouth. The castle mount and the outcrops that it sits upon protect the town from the worst of the constant ocean gale that screams in from the east, but Omberstad is still beset by frequent storms of snow and sleet, which melts quickly on the sunbathed side of the river, but keeps the poorer side coated in a constant icy crust. On the eastern side of the river, where the sun hits the cliff sides, the large dwellings of the wealthy are adorned with gleaming stained glass windows, and topped with metallic domes to catch and reflect the light of the sun that shines through the western passes of the mountains. On the other side of the river, in eternal shadow of the cliffside above, the poorer parts of town stagger up the hillside, a combination of shallow caves and crude tunnels, rickety wooden platforms and shanties accessed by ladders and ropes that criss-cross the hills like chaotic webwork. The steep sides of the cliffs surround the port itself. Boats from the Protectorates, Deepmot and the Sea of Black Ice tie off at large floating pontoons that rise and fall with the huge tides up and down the cliffs, atop which bustling warehouses and cranes a load and unload their goods. The town is ruled with an iron fist by the Lord Protector Ackron Der Kustos. The distance from the courts of New Lafaelle and Helton have meant his rule and interpretation of The Choosing operates without the checks and balances that the mainland Protectorates enjoy. Akron's rule is harsh, and dissent quickly quashed. However, it does not prevent a small but thriving black market. The many hidden inlets and caves that line the cliffs connect to parts of the city through unmapped tunnels, which are used for smuggling and clandestine operations. They hide the passing of illicit goods and of people, including agents of Camp Thrifty, Motu sympathisers and other agitators who seek to redress the worst of Lord Akron's rule.
- 80% Midkin (including a small but growing diaspora of refugees from Ostfen)
- 5% Arkin
- 5% Motu
- 10% Others (Deepkin, Stoneforged from the Assembly, and Icerunners from Torik)
The town of Omberstad is nominally under the jurisdiction of the Ministry, with Lord Protector Ackron Der Kustos its chosen representative. The reality this far from the Protectorates is that the Akron has established autocratic power and over the years since its founding, he has ruled strictly and at time harshly. He commands fierce loyalty from his guard - the warrior assassins colloquially know as the Knives of Kustos. In recent years, the Lord has become more secluded, and his chief advisor, has become the channel by which his orders are made public. Gorias has worked with Akron for decades, and gained his trues to the extent that he see himself as the rightful inheritor of the title of Lord Protector of Uferbrech
The small port is well defended by the natural cliffs it is constructed into, but additional defences are provided by the two large towers on each headland. The local contingent of The Shield, under direct command of Lord Akron, keeps a number of forces. These include:
- Guards who defend the castle walls and port towers and occasionally patrol the streets
- The Knives of Kustos Elite warrior-assassins who act as Lord Protectors personal guard, whenever they are not on clandestine missions across Uferbrech
- A small navy of fast Icerunner-style warships, at least one of which is on patrol Shadowside of the island at any time, on the lookout for potential marauders from Torik and the Sea of Black Ice, or smugglers trying to make it through or from Camp Thrifty.
- A small contingent of rangers and druids who roam the island and protect passage and scout for potential threats from the Motu based at Talon's Reach
Industry & Trade
Omberstad is the only deep water port on the island, and there is much trade with the mainland Protectorates of hardwoods and fungal leather harvested from the forest of the island, as well as the ores and gemstones mined in the mountains. Additionally, there are regular visits from tribes from Torik and the Sea of Black Ice who come to replenish supplies with food grown on the island. They will bring deep-water seafood, blubber oil and furs.
The town has an extensive network of pipes laid beneath the streets which is connected to the Lux Steam House just west of the city, and eventually much farther up the valley to the springs at Windwheel Pass. The pipes distribute extremely hot water through the town, brought up from the deep volcanic vents beneath the island, and used to warm the town. This network was the brain-child of the wizard Annika Lux who adapted machinery left behind by the Motu. She designed and created the adaptations, managed the teams who laid down the pipes which was completed about 20 years ago. She now lives with her apprentice at the Steam House.
The Tokaru goblin clan, led by Leoti Windrider had a small village called Shakumir, where Omberstad now stands. The clan tended the terraced farms above the bay, and coducted deep-sea fishing. When the forces of the Protectorates seized the village and drove off or captured the inhabitants. Lord Akron then set about the building of the fort and infrastructure, with the use of slave labour from the captured Motu. The primary building of the castle itself took over a decade, and during that time and since the rest of the town has grown around it. Most recently, an influx of people from the mainland have arrived to seek their fortunes in the newly opened Mines of Koigua. This has included many dispossessed refugees following the Earthquake that destroyed Ostfen. This influx has seen the growth of a tented shanty town on the south side of the town and much construction of new cliffside dwellings to try and house them.
The Lux Steam House is a destination for many who live in the colder reaches Shadowside of Uferbrech, as well as a popular meeting place amongst the more well-to-do of the town itself.
The majority of the town's residences and abodes are carved directly into the stone-walls of the cliff faces themselves. Those on the north-eastern side of the river, who face west also have have huge latticed panes of windows, many of complex designs and motifs of stained glass to catch the sunlight. These are the homes of the wealthy, and the larger buildings owned by the Ministry and the Academy. On the south side there a re a number of free-standing warehouses and shanty towns built of wood and tented roofs made from fungal leathers. The warehouses are built out from the cliff edges and over the waters of the port below to take advantage of the huge tides, where floating pontoons raise the boats for easier loading and offloading with winches and cranes. The largest of the freestanding buildings is the cathedral devoted to worship of The Trinity that sits prominently on the northern edge of the port, just beneath the looming walls of the castle itself. This is a large circular structure made of stone at its base, rising with huge beams of polished wood framing huge stained glass windows that catch the low rays of sunlight from the west. The cathedral is capped with a dome of gleaming silver metal that reflects the sunlight across the town. Atop the cliffs of the North eastern part of town is with its thick stone walls and 5 towers that just out from the cliff-face at varying levels.
Above the town along the northern banks of the cascading waterfall that the town cradles, the Motu had developed vast terraces to farm their crops on. The founders of Omberstad adapted these, and members of the Order of Salvitas tend crops of frutis, vegetables and grains to feed the town.