Legend has it that Praeneste was founded by the hero Ulysses, but historians claim it was the Etruscans that established this walled city nestled amongst the hills of eastern Armentalius. Whatever the truth of its origins, it is certain that Etruscans had in fact settled in Praeneste several hundred years before the city was conquered by Rome.
After Rome suffered a minor defeat at the hands of the Gauls in 390 BC, Praeneste switched allegiances and fought against the Republic in the long series of struggles that culminated in the Latin War. Eventually, the Republic's forces emerged victorious and Praeneste was punished by the loss of some of its territory, at which time it was forcibly allied to Rome. Praeneste has become exceptionally prosperous under Republican rule, and a large Roman military garrison has been established there to deal with the ongoing conflict with the Gauls.
Players of Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising™ (G&H) who venture through Armentalius in order to reach Praeneste do so at their own peril: the Tarvalli Gauls of Meton Vale continue to violently resist assimilation into Roman society, while the countryside has been overrun by lawless bandits and a frightening assortment of ferocious and terrifying mythical creatures. Praeneste is as yet secure from the barbaric hordes outside its walls, but the Propraetor in charge of the Armentalius region, a man named Rejulus, certainly has more than enough cause for worry.
Located just inside Praeneste's main gates, the Emporium is a vast marketplace that sells virtually everything an intrepid hero could need: food and drink, armor, weapons, even potions and oblations. The scroll vendor in particular, a talented individual named Sempronius Carbo, is renowned throughout the city for his masterful calligraphy, and his magic scrolls are reputed to be extraordinarily powerful.
As you climb the tall staircases that lead from the Emporium up to the Forum Praenesti, take a moment to enjoy the finely crafted statuary on the two separate mezzanine levels. Also, be sure not to miss the spectacular views afforded by the upper levels of this tiered city.
The civic center of Praeneste, called Forum Praenesti, is alive with the industrious energy and civic pride that makes the Roman Republic so noble and inspiring. The Forum Praenesti is a large plaza that features several well-tended gardens. Propraetor Rejulus, who holds court daily in the rotunda on the Forum Praenesti's western end, has sent out an open call to heroes to come to the Forum and enlist in his campaign to combat the monsters inhabiting Armentalius. Rejulus' advisor and seer, Cambellus, claims that the gods have allowed these depredations as retribution, because Armentalius is harboring a vile but unknown criminal. Rejulus has put himself in charge of determining the truth of this claim and setting things to rights in the region, but needs help to accomplish such a lofty feat. The Forum Praenesti is also where players of G&H will find the local Guild Registrar.
In the northwestern corner of the city is Palaestra, the quarter of Praeneste that has been taken over by the mercenaries and would-be heroes who have flocked to Armentalius to take part in the continuing struggle with the Gauls - not to mention the chance to face some of the most ferocious creatures in the land, such as Minotauri, Centauri, and Gorgones. As such, Palaestra is a great place for heroes of Rome to visit when they need to train up in Feats or learn some new Skills. For instance, the famous Vala Promachia, a former soldier of the Republic known for many impressive achievements on the field of battle, has set up shop in Palaestra, where he is ready and willing to instruct the future heroes of Rome. If you've just returned from being out in the field and are looking forward to blowing off some steam, there is a taberna conveniently located in Palaestra, as well. It is run by a charming Roman woman named Martina.
Praesidium, located in the northeastern corner of the city, is the site of the military garrison built to house the Roman soldiers taking part in the campaign against the Gauls. The barracks are guarded and patrolled around the clock, as if they are under siege, so dire has the situation in Armentalius become.
Perched atop the upper tier of the city, the Pantheon Praenestinus is a temple devoted to the worship of all the mighty Olympian gods, through whose benevolence and guidance the fair Republic is allowed to flourish. Paying proper respects to the gods is vital to any military campaign, and any hero seeking to serve Rome faithfully will most certainly need to retain the gods' favor in order to be victorious. Donicus Lustrus is the resident Coactor Sacrum at the Pantheon Praenestinus; he'll gladly accept your donations, which will increase your standing with your god and help ensure your ultimate triumph over Rome's enemies.
Given its proximity to Roma itself and the many valuable ranching operations found there, the entire Republic has a stake in the well-being of the Armentalius region. From his rotunda high above the grassy hills of Armentalius, Propraetor Rejulus is doing all he can, but there's only so much he can do given that Roman troops are in short supply because of the many conflicts raging throughout the Republic. All heroes should therefore proceed directly to Praeneste and volunteer their services as soon as they possibly can.
|Gods & Heroes: Mike Hines Video Profile
Mike hines, the Art Director for Gods and Heroes gives us this video profile.