“Ostwick in three words: Built. To. Last.”– Common saving amongst Ostwickians.
Ostwick is a Free Marcher city that is canon in the Dragon Age game. Largely non-described in the current canon bar for a few descriptions, it would prove to be an exciting place to set the story.
For canon background, check HERE.
The Fang of the Waking Sea.
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 is a vital trade port, opening up the fertile plainlands to 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.
The Ostwick Circle Tower, Faxhold, is the ruins of a Tevinten light house. It’s pseudo mechanical workings long since have long since been lost to ignorance. However, as a tower for the magically inclined it allows for both protection and containment. Something the Chantry leapt at the chance to use. With it’s foundations firmly away from the city, jutting out of the coastal waters like a great dagger of white, it is only accessible via one thin and failing bridge of stone.
While the Mage Rebellion exploded across of Thedas, the mages of the Ostwick circle remained wholley neutral, which was both a blessing and a curse to Ostwick. The Templar chapter charged with their care while ordered to fulfil the dreaded rite of annulment, have done so with a laziness born of reluctance.
The seat of power of the ruling House Maldwyn, Astrum Hold stands as a powerful reminder of the glory that was Old Tevinter. A great stone keep of pure white, built in the shape of a star; it dominates the skyline, raised on a foundation of stone.
A paved esplanade of space is kept between the keeps own walls and the surrounding buildings, an unused kill zone with no cover bare mosaics of horned Qunari dying against walls and spiralling Owls flying in patterns.
The approach to the Astrum Keep is awe inspiring. A great stone keep of pure white, built in the shape of a star; it dominates the skyline, raised on a foundation of stone. Also, a paved esplanade of space is kept between the keeps own walls and the surrounding buildings, an unused kill zone with no cover bare mosaics of horned Qunari dying against walls and spiralling Owls flying in patterns.
Guarded by the Astrum Guard in their gilded armour, the keep was rumoured to have been devised by a Tevintin magister of old who prophesised a future where Ostwick would face weapons that exploded walls without the need of magic.
The alienage in Ostwick is better than that found in Denerim, cleaner, larger. However, it is still poverty ridden. The Guard patrols here are less obvious, and gangs of watching elves regard them from dark alleys. The glint of dagger steel from their hands.
The Elves here give this part of Ostwick its name: The Warrens, as they have formed a formidable gang called the Alley Rats. Under their protection the alienage hides its more seedier side with colourful sheets of fabric, insense and the laughter of a dozen taverns and brothels.
Angwyn’s Depths is not a well known structure, largely regarded as the place the worst Thedas has to offer is thrown. As old as Ancient Tevinter, the installation is unique in that it is purposefully built under the sea level. Though it’s original use has been long forgotten, the famous Architect Lukas Angwyn used his dwarvish education to repurpose the dangerous cavern into a penitentiary.
The Prison’s infamous Golum guards ensure total obedience is observed, developed by the mad paragon Hirol, they are far more horrifying than the more legendary creations of Caridin of Orzamaer, employing torture as an energy source.
The Neighbouring Lands
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.