Ostwick is a Free Marcher city that is canon in the Dragon Age game. Largely non-described bar for a few descriptions, it was decided that this would make the perfect location to base the Kestrels. This page will be updated as information becomes apparent. (And generally decided upon!)
For stable canon background, check here: http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Ostwick#Cities
Ostwick, the Fang of the Waking Sea. Edit
Guarding the Northern coasts on the Waking Sea sits the double walled Free Marcher city-state of Ostwick. Proud, unyielding and tempered, the city provides a calm in the growing storm as the Inquisition fights the menace of The Elder One.
Within her famous untaken double walls, the city boasts some of the most intact Tevinten architecture in Thedas.
"Ostwick in three words: Built To Last." - Common saving amongst Ostwickians.Ostwick is a vital trade port, opening up the fertile plains in Thedas via sea, providing food where it is most needed.
Within those walls however, are a few key locations, the following is just a few.
Faxhold - The Dead Light. Edit
The Ostwick Circle Tower, Faxhold, is the ruins of a Tevinter light house. It's mechanical workings have long since been lost. However, as a tower for mages it provides for both protection and containment. Something the Chantry leapt at the chance to use. With its foundations firmly away from the city, jutting out of the coastal waters like a great dagger of white, it is only accessible via a thin bridge of stone.
When the mage rebellion exploded across Thedas, the mages of the Ostwick Circle remained neutral.
Astrum Hold. Edit
The Warrens. Edit
Angwyns Depths. Edit
Surrounding Area Edit
The area surrounding Ostwick is mostly made up of an esplanade which quickly rolls out into fields upon fields of corn and other such crops. As the land is extremely fertile, every inch is used. Because of this Farmsteads dot the landscape both North, East and West.
Northwards heads the old trade road to Markham. This old Tevinten Road goes through the "Cleft," the pass between the smaller mountains that make up the Eastern tip of the Vimmark Mountain Range. This also goes through the Vexalin Forests.
Regarded as a little sister city, Markham is a true farming town, dedicated to the many hundreds of farms in the surrounding plain lands. While not as irrigated or as fertile as those around Ostwick, the miles upon miles of flat land generates food which is shipped via Ostwick to most of Thedas.
A great coastal road runs through Ostwick linking it with Kirkwall to the West and Hercinia to the East. While coastal eroding has damaged the stone roads, they are still preferable over the dangerous mountain path over the Vimmark range. Attacks by roving bands of bandits, elves and even Dark Spawn are a popular occurrence.
Situated but a couple of miles from the waters of the Waking Sea, Ostwick has a strong naval presence. Sitting like a tooth into the Northern passage from the great ocean, many trade vessels and escorts brave the routes South to Fereldan. Sadly, the Isle of Brandels Reach, though desolate continues to have all manner of raiders and pirates based there. Avoided were possible, only the lawless and hardy city of Alamar on the Isle just South of it offers much shelter.
Ruling Body Edit
Like many of the Free city states of the Free Marches, the ruling body is made up of upper class nobility. However, this is not entirely true of Ostwick, owing to her prime trading position the nobility of old rubs shoulders with merchants of the new money.
Over all, residing in Astrum Keep, rules Teyrn Maldwyne. Possessing no royal decree, the Teyrn is in place thanks to a combination of both brutality and cunning when dealing with the other houses. Though Teyrn Maldwyne was once a fierce leader, sickness of the memory is slowly rendering him unable to rule. However in his shadow is the commanding mind of his wife the Lady Maldwyne and her nefarious daughter.
The Nobility Edit
Falling directly under the ruling House of Maldwyne are the Banns. Five great houses formed allegedly at the foundation of Ostwick's independence.
House Trevelyan - "Modest in Temper, Bold in deed." Edit
The most famous of houses in Ostwick, House Trevelyan has had a history of ups and downs resulting in family connections across half of Thedas. Claiming blood in everywhere from Tevinter to Orlais, it has been said that you couldn't throw a nug in a tavern without hitting someone with a bit of Trevelyan in them.
In Ostwick, the Trevelyan's possess much in the way of political power, possessing much of the older farmlands. Their symbol is the work horse, though is often argued as being the war horse of the older days.
Despite their moto, the Trevelyan temper is known as being quite the opposite, causing many pointless skirmishes over the most ridiculous of slights. Thankfully, the matriarch of the House, Lady Esme Trevelyan, keeps the most hot headed of the House under control.
House Vaughn - "Unyielding in Defence, Inexorable in Attack." Edit
Bearing the family crest of the Stag charging, the Vaughn house have a well known history as military commanders and soldiers. Many of their number have positions in the Hussars and the City Guard. Gossip insists that the commander of the Bloody Stags company in Ostwick, Caligo, is a distant relative.
House Reese - "Hearth & Home." Edit
Heralding from the older days of strong ties with Orlais through the Emperor Florian, the House of Reese maintain close ties with the Empress Celene, a fact that makes them un-favored by the more independent minded Ostwickians. Their family crest contains a guarding Lion, furthering the families questionable loyalty.
If everything heard was believed, someone in the House of Reese has even conspired to allow a Orlesian invasion to occur.
House Bowen - "In the Maker we Trust." Edit
House Bowen is known only for its connecting ties to the Chantry. Specifically it's Templar Orders. The number of family and friends within the Chapter in Ostwick is largely blamed with the Chapters strong loyalty to the city. Even the Order's recently deceased Knight Commander was the brother of Patriarch Bann Edmund Bowen.
House Morgan - "Calm of the Sea, Wrath of the Storm." Edit
Bearing a crest of the dreaded Cetus Wyrm exploding from the waves, the House of Morgan is regarded as nothing less than prettied pirates and smugglers. If the stories are true, then this is not too far wrong. The newest founded house of the great five, House Morgan was allegedly formed as a reward for vital service during the siege of Ostwick by the Qunari. What their role in this was exactly can only be suspected and is often done over a drink of ale.
The Grain "Lords" Edit
Despite lacking any noble history or official ruling power, the merchants grown wealthy in Ostwick wield power regardless. Known derisively as the "Grain Lords", these business men and women have a vested interest in the future of the city and often involve themselves in city politics.
Gavan Lovelace Edit
Elaen Angwyn Edit
Albrect Flint Edit
Military and Security Edit
City Watch Edit
After the last Guard Captain Greer committed suicide, the role changed hands over many weeks until settling with Lloyd Maddox: An enigmatic man whose appointment was decided by Lady Maldwyne herself.
The City Guard is made up of retired soldiers, tired mercenaries and farmers with a taste for justice and brawling. While it lacks the equipment and military training of the Hussars, it makes up for it by using street cunning, contacts and sheer luck to get the job done.
The Hussars Edit
The military arm of Ostwick's defence, the Hussars specialize as shock cavalry, charging with lances under owl feathered devices mounted on their saddles. A strange marrying of Orlesian Chevalier training and Fereldan warrior culture, a Hussar's charge is said to be unstoppable. Even dismounted, each Hussar is worth their weight in armoured half plate.
Providing the bulk of scouts and infantry to Ostwick, the Bloody Stags company of Captain Caligo has long been on a fixed retainer from the city treasury. Rumoured to also act as unofficial agents to Lady Maldwyne, the Stags are mercenaries who kill for money. Lacking the quarms of honour like the Hussars, and possessing a murder streak lacking in the Guard, the Stags provide a perfect solution to a souring political climate. One can only hope the Lady can keep them loyal and that noone else pays better...
The Templar Chapter of Ostwick Edit
The relationship between the Templar chapter of Ostwick and its Mage Circle have of late become strained. Still refusing to enact the Rite of Annulment as issued by the White Spire at the for front of the Mage Rebellion, the Chapters loyalty to the city first has made the situation complicated. The deaths of both First Enchanter and Knight Commander at the explosion of the Temple of Sacred Ashes resulted in a total loss of leadership. While they search for a Knight Commander, interference from outside Chapters has been met with almost hostility.
The Chapter has escaped the losses inflicted during the fifth blight and the turmoil that engulfed Kirkwall. However, with the majority of it's more experienced heads now lost, the new direction of the Chapter is unknown.
The Ostwick Circle Edit
Although they have lost many of their best in the destruction of the Temple of Sacred Ashes, including their First Enchanter, the Ostwick Circle still boasts a substantial number of capable mages.
Financial Situation Edit
Edit: Details regarding Ostwicks financial systems and situations, opportunities and threats.
Known Factions Edit
The "Doomstone" Carta Edit
Led by the brutal "King" Doomstone, the Carta in Ostwick are well established within the Lyrium black market. Although they are not aggressive, the recent rise of organised Elvish crime has made them exceptionally defensive.
The Dwarven Merchants Guild Edit
Connected heavily with the Carta,
The Elves of Ostwick are far more removed from their Dalish roots then their cousins in Denerim or Val Royeux. Pragmatic, determined and ambitious, within the last 25 years the family of orphans and wayward souls known to outsiders as the Alley Rats emerged. Cunning and vicious, they focus their affairs on the production of intoxicants, people smuggling and prostitution using Ostwick's ports. Their expansion has slowly brought them into conflict with the Carta, who fight them for every meter of port territory and bought official.
The Kestrels Edit
A rising influence in the Ostwick circles, the Kestrels represent the Inquisition's presence in the city. The survivors of a treacherous attack by the Venatori, the meaning behind the moniker "Kestrels" have evolved from meaning new bloods to the underestimated. Rumors suggest they have a sponsor within the house of Trevelyan.,
The Venatori Edit
Fundamentalists from Tevinter, the Venatori seek to return the Tevinter Empire back to her former glory and take back the lost territories of Thedas. This goal has tied them to the creature Corypheus, who uses the zealot cult to further his own goals by posing as a new god.
Waking Sea Pirates Edit
Although more known in Ferelden for their smuggling and raiding antics, Ostwick's free port status allows for the scum of the Waking Sea to have entry, so long as they behave.
Ostwick, A Timeline. Edit
Below is a list of events by Era both canonical to the Dragon Age universe and non-canonical. All focus' on the relevance to the city itself and is thus not exhaustive. As with the rest of this article, it will be expanded as the game develops.
Humble Beginnings. Edit
What was once essentially a fishing village of the Planasene people, quickly became a powerhouse of the local region under Tevinten Rule. Conquered with ease by the Magisters of old Tevinter at some unknown time and date, strong infrastructure and defences were brought in.
It is largely unknown why the great and famous double walls of Ostwick were originally constructed, but they stand even to this day as testament to Tevinten design. It is of course arguable that the Dwarves of old assisted in the construction of these walls, and indeed the keep. Both have since survived several ages since their completion.
Rise of a Goddess. Edit
Ostwick was taken by subterfuge sometime between -180 Ancient and -171, by the slave armies of Andraste and Maferath. While the last of the Free Marcher cities to be taken was Nevarra, it is still a point of pride that Ostwick only fell due to duplicity amongst the slaves killing the gate guards and opening the doors from inside.
After Maferath's betrayel of Andraste, the Alamarri were allowed to keep Ostwick. Killing their treacherous father, the sons of Maferath quickly lost control of cities like Ostwick, who rebeled for independence. This was not to last however, as the cities themselves fell foul of infighting and the cities looked to their own defences.
An Offence not Forgotten. Edit
1:95 Divine, the second Blight. Though their walls held, the people of Ostwick were besieged by Dark Spawn forces. Starvation and plague killed off much of the original population. Harvests after the Blight would take years to regain their original yield. The Archdemon Zazikel was killed later that year by Grey Warden Corin in Starkhaven.
2:21 Glory. King Fyruss of Starkhaven attempts to force Ostwick to capitulate, but breaks the siege after a few brutal months. Despite Tevinten allies and their magic, the walls of Ostwick hold. Fyruss is later betrayed by Tevinter and Starkhaven taken by the Imperium.
2:80 Glory. The eventual Exalted March to take back Starkhaven gains a lot of eager and vengeful support from Ostwick with lots of young men and women who had grown up with stories of Fyruss' siege fresh in their minds.
Bloodied, but Unbeaten. Edit
5:12 Exalted sees the Archdemon Andoral awoken from his slumber. The resulting Fourth Blight starts further North but swarms South through the Free Marches. Though Antiva and Rivain are devastated, Ostwick stands, though it's first wall is breached.
In 5:37 Exalted, Tylus, the first Van Markham king of Nevarra, was crowned after having claimed to be a descendant of Drakon's son, killed in Cumberland. Being a hero of the recent Fourth Blight, Tylus was able to stir nationalistic feelings in the western Free Marches against the growing power of Orlais. He proved his military might by winning several major battles against the Orlesians, with a decisive battle taking place in 5:40,establishing Nevarra as a new, growing power.
Trouble on the Shores. Edit
7:56 Storm. An invasion by the Qunari land on the shores just West of Ostwick. After a small test against her walls, the Qunari move on to attack Starkhaven and Kirkwall instead, taking Kirkwall. Despite being asked for aid, Ostwick sends nothing. This arguably results in the eventual rescue coming from Ser Michel Lafaille, who liberated Kirkwall and annexed it into the Orlesian Empire.
8:05 Storm. Ostwick provides assistance to rebels in Kirkwall by using the Chantry as a method of smuggling in weapons. The city revolts soon after tearing down the Orlesian rule.
The Path to Anarchy. Edit
In 9:37 Dragon, the Mage rebellion begins in Kirkwall. Ostwick's own rebellion is a silent one, seeing several mages simply leaving. The Templars have a similar situaiton, those more radical elements being pushed out. Though there is general stoic calm, some infighting causes the City Guard to close ranks on both factions.
9:40 Dragon. The Divine Justinia the third calls for a Conclave at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. The Ostwick circle is asked to take a strong lead in the proceedings due to her apparent neutrality.