Oskar stands a little below average height for a man, with long, silver-grey hair that reaches just down to his shoulders. He sports a large, straight mustache and a mid-length beard, often wiggling in either a genial smile or a stern look of concentration. He is a touch gaunt, accentuated by his age, but makes up for it with a hardy demeanor and strong frame. His blue-grey eyes could stare down even the most zealous of aggressors, and they certainly have.
Clothing & Style
Oskar dresses primarily in grey overtones, with a fine-made jacket and paisley vest. Underneath, he will typically wear a white dress shirt or union suit, depending on the class of clientele he expects to be entertaining on any given day. On his legs he follows with grey trousers and low shoes. When accented with a pocket watch or cravat, he can make himself appear quite the specimen, should he need to. He chooses not to wear a hat, which is more of a hanger-on of his city upbringing than any defiance of frontier norms. He keeps a pair of reading glasses in his shirt pocket, should he need to review any documents or deal with delicate machinery.
Weapons & Equipment
As a gunsmith, Oskar bears 'weapons & equipment' in spades. His collection encompasses a vast number of both American and European models. Rifles, revolvers, repeaters, shotguns, muskets and more await behind the cages in his store, along with the ammunition to load them with. The centerpiece, however, is an exceedingly rare Girandoni Air Rifle, once used by his grandfather in the Seven Years' War, and most certainly not for sale. For personal protection, he keeps a Gasser M1870 revolver in a holster at his hip, his last purchase before leaving Austria. He lives in a room round the back of his store, and so most of his personal effects are stored in there, but he does own a simple wagon for when occasions call for travel.
Traits & Characteristics
(+) Articulate - Oskar is a negotiator, and knows how to get what he wants. Having traveled across much of Europe, brokering deals and signing contracts, he is fluent in German, French, and English, and more importantly; is capable of flattery in all three.
(+) Shrewd - One does not become as successful as Oskar without learning a thing or two about humankind. Oskar is an observational man, with admirable perceptive abilities.
(-/+) Sporadic Nihilist - As a manufacturer of goods which, in essence; kill people, Oskar has come to develop a healthy level of disdain for life as a whole. However, sporadic flashes of violent determination shine through, in a bizarre bipolar dichotomy.
(-/+) Foreigner - Oskar is not from the US, and his accent is a dead giveaway. To some, this is cause for concern.
(-/+) Dedicated - Oskar is good at what he does, and does not take kindly to any interruptions in his craft.
(-) Aged - Though not quite an old man, Oskar is getting on a bit. Though he was never really tough, he's a little less so than he used to be.
(-) Obsessive - Oskar has a tendency to become very fixated on things, beyond all reason.
If determination was always a virtue, Oskar might be considered it's holy patron. Unfortunately, his determination can often go above and beyond any logical conclusion, even that of his own mental state. Under most circumstances, one might consider Oskar to be a very droll, somewhat exhausting fellow to talk to, but when he's fixated on something, he quickly becomes a man of action. Hypocrite though he may be, those fixations are much of what keeps him going in reasonable spirits.
An excellent gunsmith and a skilled businessman, Oskar is also persuasive, and tends not to take a position unless it is one of which he is sure. In this way, he can be quite an infuriating person to talk to should you wish him ill, as he often will come out either unscathed by any insult, or having entirely turned things around.
(Former) Austrian Army - Administration and Logistics (1848-53)
Arms Broker and Contractor
(Former) Self-Employed in Europe (1853-1870)
Arms Broker, Contractor, and Gunsmith
Self-Employed in Kalispell (1871-Present)
Oskar spent most of his life traveling Europe, and in the process, has picked up both French and English, to add to his native German.
Oskar appreciates fine work, and endeavors to put as much effort as possible into each and every one of his products.
Decades of brokering arms deals has left Oskar a skilled negotiator, and an excellent salesman.
The mires of Western Europe served as an example for the warring Empires, that weapons need be reliable, as well as deadly. Oskar takes that lesson to heart, and is meticulous in the care of his collection.
Aliases / Nicknames
Gunsmithy, Kalispell main road (1871-Present)
Itinerant in America (1871)
Itinerant in Europe (1853-70)
Salzburg, Austria (1845-53)
Place of Birth
Vienna, Austria (1828-45)
Kith & Kin
Karl Winter - Father, Desceased
Maria Dengel - Mother, Housewife in Vienna
Time as a Youth (1828-44, age 0-16):
Oskar was born in Vienna; the seat of Hapsburg power and the focal point of the Austrian Empire. He hailed from a strongly Military family, both his Father and his Grandfather having served the Österreich for much of their lives. Their rank and decor had afforded the family several plots of land in the Empire's capital, and grown their wealth to a considerable size. By the time Oskar was born, the idea of joining the Military was more one of tradition, than necessity.
For his part, Oskar never had great interest in following his Father's footsteps. To him, the army seemed a trap, for fools and desperate men, and so he instead turned his attention inwards, to the comforts afforded by a young gentleman of his status. Much of his youth was what we could consider 'misspent', and while he was not a slow learner, he found it difficult to remain engaged in his numbers and letters when the great capital city lay just outside the schoolhouse. He was charismatic and charming, wooing young ladies and making plenty of friends, sooner whiling away his time at a bar than behind a dusty old desk.
Time as a Contractor (1844-59, age 16-31):
At around sixteen, he begun an apprenticeship with a local businessman in the textile trade, importing silks from the Orient and reselling them on the Austrian markets. His charisma translated well to the dance of trade, and in just a few short years he had been sent out into the world, trained and ready to conduct his own financial ventures. Ironically, the first work he landed as an independent tradesman was for the government itself, in the supply of arms to it's soldiers, used in quelling the Krakow uprising. He secured a supply of Augustin rifles from independent retailers, and sold them on to the army at a high markup, which landed him well and truly in the black. When the uprising was put down, the military offered him a position as a more permanent contractor, and Oskar, who had found quite a knack for the trade, was all too happy to accept.
He moved to Salzburg, where supply from Western Europe could be more readily secured, and spent the next few years orchestrating grand shipments of weapons from all across the globe. Mostly he worked with the army of the Austrian Empire, but occasionally there would be shadier groups in need of firearms and swords for an insurrection or coup, and he would oblige, for the correct price. He justified his actions, as all bad men do with the adage; 'If it wasn't me, it would be somebody else.'
A New Passion (1859-66, age 31-38):
During the Italian wars of independence, Oskar found a new passion within his work. The complex mechanisms of the British and French weapons he dealt in began to fascinate him, and almost as a side project; he started to experiment in smithing. His income benefited as well, for ordering parts of broken weapons and repairing them by hand was far cheaper than reselling new models, and before long he had become just as skilled in the maintenance and production of firearms as he was in the selling of them. Business boomed, and he found himself in constant transit; signing deals and brokering trade with armies from the Iberian peninsula to the Black Sea.
Years passed, and the work began to wear on Oskar. Money became no object for him, he had more than he would ever need, and the wars that ravaged the continent seemed never-ending.
Finally came the Austro-Prussian war, and for the first time, Oskar found himself supplying weapons to a country that was actively fighting his own. He was traveling through Prussia for much of it, but returned home in 1866 to learn that his aged Father had been killed, directing Austrian troops on the field of battle. Try as he might, Oskar could not shake the feeling that he might have supplied the gun that killed him.
Onward, to Kalispell (1866-71, age 38-43):
It was all downhill from there, anyway. With the Empire defeated, and a Dual Monarchy established, there was less room for independent contractors in Salzburg. Cowed, and feeling remorseful, Oskar decided to quit the weapons trade, and resolved to live out the rest of his days somewhere isolated, practicing the (marginally) less taxing work of gunsmithing.
Somewhere Isolated (1871-76, age 43-48):
America would do.
Oskar traveled far out to the frontier, and set up shop in the burgeoning town of Kalispell, where he works as a gunsmith to this very day.
Shootin' Irons: In which Miss Anesthesia Orr came to visit Oskar in the wake of the growing 'Indian problem', seeking to purchase a rather complex French revolver. With great delicacy and care, the old gunsmith instructed her in its loading, firing, and maintenance, but for all the girl's interest in the revolver, she seemed quite upset at the end of it all. Far be it from Oskar to question why.
Miscellaneous reference images;
- Gasser Revolver
- Air Rifle
- Pocket Watch
As an NPC, I sort of intend for Oskar to be an 'as needed' character. Meaning, if your character ever wants a gun, don't be afraid to ask!
"What I'm sayin' is you can have a free drink, I will pay for it. I don't make a habit of doin' that for just any customer but it's not an impo....imposition."
"Well, if you're quite certain... then I'm sure a drink can't hurt." Oskar replied, with a well-meaning grin.
"As for visiting the place, I like to think it's always a good experience if I have anything to do with it. You really should drop in sometime, hon."
"I suppose I shall have to then, shan't I? Seeing as you've credited me with a free drink and all. Very well, It's decided - I'll see you, Caroline, at the stardust within the week. Perhaps I'll have an early fix for your derringer when I do."
(end thread? could continue with a follow-up stardust one if you wanted?)
"Say there, you've been so nice ta me, I'd like to return the favor. Tell ya what, why don't you come inta the saloon sometime and ask fer me if I'm not about but I practically live there so that shouldn't be a problem. Then I will buy you a drink on the house."
It was true that Oskar had lived for some years now in the US, time enough to broaden his catalogue of Americanisms. That didn't mean he always used them correctly, and herein he had to reevaluate his understanding of the phrase; 'On the house' as Caroline used it. If he understood correctly, she had offered to buy him a drink at her own cost, rather than it being paid from his pocket.
"I- on the house?" he repeated, carefully choosing his words to avoid seeming ignorant. "I wouldn't want to impose. Although, I have not visited the Stardust in a little while. It could be a, uh, experience."
"That's a pretty gun."
"I'm pleased you think so. It is quite well-made. A clever design." he agreed, though using strategically different terminology. Caroline would be right to think that 'pretty' was a seldom used term in Oskar's line of work, but not altogether absent.
"I like it. I like it a lot, you got yerself a deal, hon."
Oskar mirrored the girl's infectious smile. "Wúnderbar. I'm sure you won't be disappointed."
"Does that forty cents include ammo?"
"Hmm, I hadn't thought of that." Oskar admitted, suddenly thoughtful. "In honesty, it isn't very often that I rent guns. I'll tell you what; I'll give you a box free of charge-"
He reached beneath the counter and procured a box of .22 rimfire, which he in turn offered to Caroline. "-and should you need to use it, you may pay the usual rate upon return of the gun. That is fifty cents a box, twenty-five bullets a box, two cents a bullet." his voice dropped an octave. "Let's hope it does not come to that, for being attacked once is one time too many, I should say. I digress. If you'll return this time next week, I hope to have your derringer in fine working order, and if not it'll be no less than three days after that."
"Well, you understand I don't exactly plan out when the dangerous stuff comes at me. Not like I put down 'drunken gunman...appointment on Thursday evening' in my note book. So yeah, I could use a spare then. Depending on this here small fee? Take mercy on a gunless helpless little lass, won't you?"
"I understand, of course. The part itself will be around a dollar, and I would be willing to lend you a weapon at the rate of forty cents a week, provided that it is returned afterwards with no substantial damage or wear."
He smiled, in a pastiche of Caroline's own countenance. "...and in my mercy, I believe a have a Sharps four-shot around here somewhere..."
Taking a key from his pocket, he turned to one of the cabinets behind the counter, unlocked it, and swung the hinges wide. After a moment of poring over the weapons array within, he selected the little four-barrel derringer, and lifted it carefully onto the counter for Caroline to see.
"It loads similarly to your Remington, though of course, holding four shots rather than two, with a little toggle here to open the breech, load the rounds into the barrels, close the breech, cock the hammer, and fire. Yours, as I say, for forty cents a week."
"Yer good with your hands for an older gent, ya know?"
"Oh, you have a sharp wit, Miss." Oskar responded, matching her smile. This time, her humor was not lost on him, and to the old gunsmith's surprise, he too found himself amused at the admittedly crude joke.
"Caroline, hon, just Caroline, I ain't one for fancy titles. Oh alright then, so... give it to me straight, doctor, can it be saved or is my gun a goner?"
"Well... Caroline." Oskar articulated, with only the smallest sense of difficulty in using a first name for a customer. "The gun can be fixed, but the camwheel is, like you say - a goner. I will need a replacement piece, which will need to be sent for, and likely carried up in a regular shipment from Missoula. It will realistically be a process of a week or two, I'm afraid."
He glanced down at the disassembled gun, lying quite uselessly on the countertop. "Alternatively, for a small fee, I could offer you a similar weapon in the interim, if your personal defense situation cannot wait that long."
"Special? I don't know, just the rounds they came with when I bought it. Tell ya the truth there, hon, they all look kinda short to me."
"Hmm? Oh, yes. Aha." Oskar absentmindedly responded, uncertain if there was a rude joke being made or not. "Well, if it wasn't the ammunition, I'm afraid I'll have to open this up..."
He set the turnscrew upon the frame of the derringer, and carefully set about removing the grip, then separating the body. The screws in question were tiny little things, matching the tiny little gun in which they sat, and so it was no small effort to set them all in a little pile to the side of the counter. Finally, Oskar removed the top half of the frame, revealing the guts of weapon - it's trigger, lug, camwheel and hammer.
"Aha!" he said, as prospector might upon finding a thick vein. With steady fingers he reached down to pluck out the camwheel, and held it up to the afternoon light. "Here is your culprit, Ms. Mundee. The wheel's notches have worn quite severely. Likely the hammer was not falling with sufficient energy to strike the primer."
(OOC: piece number 5 is causing the trouble!)
"Nope, no powder burn. No smoke, cuz nothin' happened when I pulled the trigger. The hammer moved but no bang ...no nothin. Then the fella whose face I was aiming at got mad and slapped it outta my hand to the floor then belted me a good one too. I thought I was a goner then when he pulled out his own gun, a revolver, don't ask me what kind. Lucky for me, another fella shot him down like the dog he was. He got blood splattered all over my dress too when he fell on top of me."
"That sounds quite frightening." Oskar told her compassionately. "and a lucky thing too, that it turned out alright."
The fact that the hammer moved but the gun didn't fire suggested either an issue with the ammunition or the hammer spring itself, and either way, the barrels would need to be removed to ensure it wouldn't happen again.
"Just a moment, let's see if we can't figure this out." he said, ducking down below the counter to collect a small turnscrew; one suited to the derringer's unique size. With nimble fingers he released the catch, pulled up the barrels and swung the weapon open. A few turns of the lug at the hinge would free up the barrels, and he first raised them to his eye, to check for any issues with residue.
When he saw nothing, he moved on to the striker itself. Giving the hammer a quick pull and a snap of the trigger, he found the striker lowered itself in rather a roughshod manner, as though the notches on the trigger wheel had been worn, or had come disconnected somehow.
"Were you using any special ammunition?" he asked, narrowing down the potential diagnosis. "Anything other than .41 short?"
"Alrighty then, gimme a minute..." and with that, Caroline deposited a little Remington Model 95 Derringer onto the table.
Oskar made a thoughtful 'hmm' as he looked over the firearm. It didn't appear broken from the exterior, but broken or misfired weapons seldom did.
He picked it up, and with his thumb he eased back the hammer, checking the little space between the firing pin and trigger mechanism for anything that might have slipped in and jammed it. There didn't appear to be any foreign objects when he lowered his eye to the gap, but he did notice that the spring was coiled unusually tight, as though it was struggling against something.
He lowered the hammer and put the derringer down, still with an expression of thought on his face. "Well, what was the nature of the misfire? Was there a poor powder burn? That is - did smoke emerge from the barrel at all? Or would it simply not fire and the hammer never fell?"
"Miss Caroline Mundee, I'm fine with just plain Caroline. It's a pretty name, don't ya think?"
"Oh, yes, quite." Oskar affirmed. "From the Latin Carolus, I believe. A name shared with the former King of Sweeden, if my memory serves me correctly!"
"Hot damn! Nobody told me the gunsmith would be such a distinguished lookin' fella such as yerself, hon. Don't tell me, lemme guess, before you arrived here in town you were a governor or maybe one of them congressmen sorts. No, they're crooks and I'm bettin' you gunsmiths are fine upstanding professionals."
"Well, miss Mundee, consider me charmed at your assertion." he continued, indeed feeling a cautious relaxation at Caroline's chumminess. "I have rubbed shoulders with a few governors, dukes, and freiherren, but I'm afraid I have never been one. As you say, a decision probably made for the better." She seemed a very bubbly sort of girl, all happy and carefree, which really begged the question; what was she doing in a gun store?
"So... I didn't just show up to have a friendly chat though those are always nice too. I got me a gun and it don't work fer shit so wonderin' if you might be able to take a look see and maybe fix it?"
Oskar frowned. "Of course... you er... say you got the gun recently? Allow me to take a look." he offered, clearing some of the documents and items from the counter to make space.
Oskar would likely have never heard Caroline's entry into the store, regardless of how loud she had been, for around the back he had his nose buried in some of the most exciting reading he'd ever laid eyes upon. Early in May he'd sent for the schematics of the new Winchester 1876, and finally, after months of waiting, he'd received his model, and the means to produce more. It's showing at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia had been impressive by all accounts. A high-caliber, repeating, centrefire rifle! Truly, they were living in the future, and Oskar had spent much of the morning poring over every last intricate detail of this weapon.
"Anybody here? You got yerself a customer. A payin' customer at that!"
A clear and shrill voice rang from the front of the store, and Oskar froze in his reverie. A customer! Now!?
Slowly and reluctantly, he lowered the scheme sheet carefully to the side, tucking it beneath the half-assembled rifle to which it belonged. He'd just have to finish up later...
"Good afternoon, Miss." Oskar greeted cheerily as he emerged into the front of the store, taking in his 'paying customer.' A rather scantily-clad girl stood behind the counter, wearing attire reminiscent of the cancan dancers in Paris. Not that he was one to judge, or so inclined to care all that much about the female physique in his old age.
"How can I help you this afternoon?"
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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