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Ostia

Honorifics

The City on the Sea

Allies

Ancelstierre, Valentia

Location

West in the Sea of Levant

Date of Founding

Aprilis 12, 12 P.A.

Population (NPC)

0

Population (Human)

13

Leader

Lord Timbrelaine64 and Lord Alexander_Diddle

City Quarters

The Gardens, the Canals, Kellenheim

Ostia is one of the larger city-states in Eleutheria, the product of a revivalism movement from citizens of Old Ostia that came to the new world with Valentia and Ancelstierre, while Old Ostia fell into ruin and decay. Partly a product of the descendents of the old leaders Timbrelaine I and Iax of Ostia, and partly born from the support of Ancelstierre, Ostia has expanded from a minority in Ancelstierre and a token embassy, to a young city-state spread over several islands and coasts. While the majority of the population still lives in Kellenheim, a small province generously ceded by Ancelstierre for the beginnings of the new state, the planned city proper is being constructed on the island Österreich, in the Sea of Levant.


HistoryEdit

The Ostia of old was the second city founded in the Dominion of Aurelia, on 12th Aprilis, 12 P.A. Originally claimed and settled as a small dedicated port by a group of Aventian merchants, the steady population growth and expansion of both the city and harbor eventually caused Aventinus (now known as Valentia), led by King Flavius I, to release the merchants' state charter. This paved the way for the founding of Ostia as a fully independent city- an action that led not long thereafter to the formation of the Dominion of Aurelia, led by Aventinus and promptly joined by Ostia, solidifying Aventinus' position as the center of power in Eleutheria.

Ostia was reorganized and incorporated by the renowned architect and explorer Timbrelaine I late in 12 P.A., and was led by him until his self-imposed exile in 32 P.A., after which he was never seen again. After exhausting his personal fortune on the reformation of the city, Timbrelaine began an extensive construction program by expanding and dredging both the harbor and the inner lake, and clearing and leveling much of the ground around the city in preparation for expansion. While the primary construction of the city was never completed, Ostia's elaborate public park, enormous harbor, and wide selection of shops and bars were famous in its own day. However, the ruins of Timbrelaine's colossal building projects, including the so-called 'Great Lighthouse' and the great bridge over the river Alaria, overshadowed the city's successes.

Iax of Ostia joined early in 14 P.A. as the Lord Director of the Ostian Trading Company, a position that placed him on par with Timbrelaine I, forming the dual executive branch that would lead Ostia to the height of its power. Iax greatly furthered the goals of the OTC and expanded the Ostian presence in Aventinus and Aberglen, built several outposts, shops and embassies, and reconstructed the Ostian Trading Company Headquarters. The Ostian government was known for its unusual (and vastly superior) system of government in which two equal heads of state, the town mayor and the head of the Ostian Trading Company, shared power and ruled through mutual consent.

Ostia's end began when a sudden freeze early in the winter of 31 P.A. caused so much ice to form at the mouth of the Alaria that it became impossible to use the harbor for the first time since its construction. The ice defied expectations and failed to thaw the following spring, then summer, strangling and paralyzing the city. In late 32, Timbelaine I left on a self-imposed exile with only a month's warning and no explanation. Iax would eventually move away as the city's population further declined, and it became apparent that the it could no longer survive. Ostia's swift fall into ruin is often cited as one of the prime examples that led the Council of Lords to declare that migration was necessary for survival, and begin the movement towards the new world. Not a single Ostian resident remained behind on the old continent of Valentia. Modern scholars agree that the ecological ruin of the old world was presumably brought about by a shift in the direction of several major oceanic currents, and the failure of society to grovel before Ostian cultural achievement and political dominance, surely provoking the wrath of some unknown but well-meaning god.

Ostian minorities under the informal leadership of Lord Alexander Diddle, a descendent of Iax of Ostia, eventually formed a small provincial town called Kellenheim on the coast of the Sea of Levant. When Lord Timbrelaine III arrived seemingly from nowhere several years later, Ancelstierre became a sort of sponsor for the Ostian Revivalism movement by allowing him to build an embassy in the city center, lending him and his mission political legitimacy.

Within a relatively short time, recommended an island by Princeps Flavius of the Republic of Valentia, who also helped him to transport the materials from several key Ostian buildings that had been stored after the journey to the new world, Timbrelaine began construction of the new city. Since then, Ostia has expanded greatly, and though construction has been slow, it has been steady. Relationships with other city states have been noted for their lack of groveling, but many are hopeful that the foreign barbarians will see the error of their ways before it is too late.

TerritoryEdit

In addition to several minor islands in the area, Ostia also has claim to Kellenheim, a small coastal village nearly touching Ancelstierre's Southeastern border, retained largely due to its historical importance to the Ostian people.


GovernmentEdit

The current Ostian government is modeled after the example of Old Ostia's dual executive branch, with some important changes. The current leaders are Lord Timbrelaine, the city's general leader, and Lord Alexander Diddle, the leader of Kellenheim in particular. Though titularly a Commonwealth, Ostia holds no elections and all power is concentrated in the executive branch. It is commonly considered an oligarchy.


Domestic policyEdit

Building CodeEdit

The Ostian building code is far from uniform, the requirements of the buildings changing depending on what quarter of the city they're in, and their location within it. Construction in Kellenheim is regulated by Lord Alexander Diddle, while the rest of Ostia's territory is under the direct control of Lord Timbrelaine. The most common and strictist restriction is that of the external construction material, though height, width, amount of empty space left on the plot may all be restricted as well, depending on the location; in general, the building will be expected to conform more or less to the style of the city quarter it resides in. However, both leaders have been known to be quite reasonable in the past: there is a place for most buildings in Ostia, though perhaps that place is hidden inside of a larger, more attractive building.

It is worth noting that, while Kellenheim enjoys a unified aesthetic, Lord Diddle openly accepts outside influences in architecture and welcomes new ideas. (It is recommended that you prepare yourself for his legendary fits of rage before making any kind of request, and at least send notice to your distant relatives, so that they are prepared to be hunted down like dogs in the event that your idea displeases him.)

Citizen's RightsEdit

Basic human rights is an excellent joke important concept which Ostians attribute largely to their forebearers in Old Ostia, and the edicts of Timbrelaine I the Terrible Benevolent. Ostian citizenship is often associated with being brutally oppressed extremely satisfied with one's station in life, and knowing better than to question the wisdom of Timbrelaine III the Very, Very Benevolent. Several monuments to honor the very short lives of those who have fought for equality under the law, such as the 'Gallows', are now deemed unnecessay due to the gore vivid impression these few have left on the public.

Foreign PolicyEdit

Foreign RelationsEdit

The core of Ostian foreign policy dates back to the Iunius 1st, 14 P.A. Ostian Declaration of Sovereignty, stating Ostia's withdrawal from 'continental' political matters, except those which directly threatened the health of her allies, in favor of the vigorous defense of her own rights in her claimed territories and territorial waters. This does not preclude close economic ties or cooperative action with Ostian allies; it simply means that Ostia does not involve herself in such things as territorial disputes. This document is one of the only original pieces of the old Ostian governance to be taken to the new world, and is much loved by the citizenry. This strikes to the heart of historical and modern Ostia: a neutral and often isolationist state, capable of shocking aggression in the defense of her territory and territorial waters. Any faction wishing to gain a foothold on land bordering Ostia would be well-advised not to do so unannounced.

There are certain exceptions to what is often disparagingly referred to as 'Ostian paranoia' by the blind, optimistic masses that fill the ranks of other nations. Valentia and Ancelstierre have in the past tolerantly and generously accepted Ostian refugees, and have earned a certain grudging respect in the circles of Ostian leadership, though relationships with both have been strained by recent events.

International TradeEdit

Though much of Ostia's international trade is traditionally the purview of the OTC, independent traders have been responsible for as much as half of the city's annual trade in recent times. Ostia maintains a large, open, and international market known as the Grand Exchange, and liberal trade restrictions have encouraged an increasing amount of trade to flow through the city; nevertheless, Ostia's massive investment in trading infrastructure is often considered a failure due to its poor returns.

Immigration PolicyEdit

Ostia is extremely wary of foreigners, and unlike most factions actively discourages those wishing to join the city. Often referred to as "Ostian paranoia" or "Ostian elitism", it has done little to slow Ostia's inevitable rise to prominence and glory. It has been speculated that, were Ostia to open her doors, all other factions would lose the majority of their citzens and collapse like sad balloons.

ReligionEdit

Main Article: Religion in Ostia

While publically a state of great religious tolerance, most religions (outside of Stition) are viewed with amusement or contempt. Aside from Kellenheim, whose citizens have largely kept their faith in Via Crucis from their time as part of Valentia and Ancelstierre, Ostia's home faith has simply faded to part of Ostian culture, rather than a true religion. The most important activity of Ostian Folk Religion is the survey of ruins and documents to shed more light on their semi-mythical past. The large ruin under the Floating Gardens aside, Lord Diddle in particular has been noted for his success in navigating many of the officially designated ruins in Eleutheria, and the evidence collected thereby has lead to great discoveries in the study of Ostian history.

AchievementsEdit

__P.A.- An expedition by Lord Timberlaine recovers a small amount of mycelium from a distant isle using specially-crafted tools.

__P.A.- Lord Timbrelaine takes part in the hunt for Imnotpuree, having the good fortune to strike the final blow against the menace. Ancelstierre and Ostia agree to host games commemorating the event: like most of TImbrelaine's dreams, it fades away silently.

__P.A. -Ostia invents the four-gated nether portal. Other cities ignore this brilliant step in the march of progress.

__P.A. -Kellenheim is the first town to build an open-air market. Even though Timbrelaine sells blaze rods there for 5d, an unbelievable bargain, no one buys. Like most of Timbrelaine's plans, his blaze rod stall shrivels like a dying weed.

58 P.A.- -The international banking conspiracy rapidly crushes the last bits of human integrity in the world, then succesfully covers up Ostia's complete domination of 'humanity'.

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