Culture in Oakenheart
So you want to be a citizen of Oakenheart huh? Then read this. And don’t fuck up.
The gods of Oakenheart’s pantheon play a role in the everyday life of citizens. Historically, the gods have played a significant role in the well-being, protection, and prosperity of Oakenheart. As such, everyone in Oakenheart is religious to some degree. Someone being atheist, agnotistic, or generally non-religious in Oakenheart is akin to being a supporter of the “Flat Earth” theory in modern-day.
This doesn’t mean that everyone celebrates every god, but no one in Oakenheart questions their existence or their impact on the city. In addition, openly speaking against the Gods will have other citizens looking at you sideways; insisting on your opposition can get you arrested or even executed.
This everlasting presence of the divine is such that all citizens, players included, know the guidance cantrip (purely for roleplay reasons, no actual effect). Any citizen can reach out to the gods and expect an answer of *some kind, *even if it not actual words.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Citizens of Oakenheart never refer to the greater pantheon by their names, instead substituting “he or she” for the names.
Oakenheart is run by an elected council of nobles, merchants, and guild leaders, known as the Council of Illeynos. Elections are held semi-annually; any citizen who owns property can vote. Spouses of property owners can also vote. There is no voting age limit; instead, there is a simple comprehension and Oakenheart history quiz that citizen must complete, receiving a magical license at the end of the session. This license allows them to participate in the vote, held in the Grand Bazaar the day before the midsummer festival.
The practice of “developing young voters” is fairly commonplace, where parents groom their children to vote how the parents wish. Then, the parents award property to the child, and tutor them to pass the voting test. Calls for standardized age limits have been widespread among the middle and lower classes, but have largely gone unanswered.
As a result, the political climate of Oakenheart largely remains the same from year to year, especially for long-lived races such as dwarves and elves. Most decisions are made by those who have lived in power for their entire lives, and as such tend to have difficulty connecting with lower-class citizens.
Most of the rich and wealthy are elves and dwarves, with the occasional family of ambitious humans. The elves and dwarves long lives allow them to rely on old money and influence to keep their station and positions of power.
Humans have the widest range of position within Oakenheart; their ambition tends to swing them up either end of the totem pole.
Most other races occupy the middle to lower class demographics of Oakenheart; but, “monstrous” races solidly make up most of the lower classes. Their faith in Droop is taken advantage of; they believe their place is to help and serve. No greater glory can come to them than loving and serving other races, so they do.
If not for the followers of Drakash, Harold, and the Liberator, most of these monstrous races would be slaves. As such, they are not slaves, but they are regularly hired as servants, bodyguards, laborers, and stablehands. Occasionally, an ambitious hobgoblin, orc, or bugbear will become successful, but typically don’t keep their position more than a year. The tavern “Warmblood’s Respite” is the only shining example of monster races success, and only because of the tavern’s really old money.
The following are phrases used by citizens of Oakenheart. On the left, the phrase. In the middle, a similar modern phrase. On the right, a translation.
|Oakenheart Slang||Modern Equivalent||Literal Meaning|
|You’re breaking my diamonds.||You’re kidding me.||That is unbelievable.|
|There’s bark on your cheek.||There’s brown on your nose.||You are sucking up to them.|
|You’re just breaking diamonds.||You just bullshitting.||You’re a liar.|
|I saw the bones of the gate!||My life flashed before my eyes!||I came close to death!|
|They’re looping bands.||They’re making out||They are kissing.|
|Void take you!||Get cancer.||Kill yourself, in the worst way.|
|I’m getting a Rose.||I’m getting a Guinness.||I would like a <named beer>.|
|I’ll take you under my bough.||I’ll take you under my wing||I’ll take you under my wing|