Gods & Heroes: City Profile: Ostia
Today, we kick off a new series of features from Perpetual Entertainment's Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising. In this series, Perpetual will provide MMORPG.com readers with information on all five of the major cities that players will have a chance to visit in-game. We start with a city called Ostia.
Ostia is a bustling port city situated on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea at the mouth of the Tiber River. Originally established to prevent hostile hordes from using the Tiber to invade Roma, Ostia has become a valuable commercial harbor and thus one of the largest and most important cities in the Republic. Goods from all over the many territories under Roman rule must pass through Ostia Harbor on their way to the markets of Rome, including such vital imports as the grain that feeds the populace and the many goods that fuel the economy. Thus it is most alarming that Ostia Harbor has been all but taken over by the Caedes Gang, a brutal street gang that is brazenly operating right under the local authorities' noses.
Players of Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising™ (G&H) will not only get to help clean up the corruption bred by the Caedes Gang when they visit Ostia, but they will also be able to hire minions, train in new Feats or Skills, and buy all the goods and provisions they might need. As one of the largest cities in the game, Ostia will serve as an important quest hub, as well.
Located in the very heart of the city, the Forum is perhaps the most important part of Ostia, being that it is the city's civic center. A large open plaza that features a beautifully landscaped garden and a central rotunda, the Forum is a good place for heroes of Rome to find work in the service of the Republic and thus do their civic duty as a true and patriotic Roman. In particular, they should seek out Quaestor Honorius Nauticus, one of the few local politicians who hasn't been corrupted by the Caedes Gang. Indeed, he is intent on driving the thugs out of the harbor and the Tyrrhenian Shores region as a whole, and has therefore placed a bounty on the heads of the gang's leaders. It is not the will he is lacking, but the manpower: the Quaestor was forced to dispatch a large contingent of Ostia's military forces to meet the growing Greek threat to the south, and now lacks the troops to move decisively against the Caedes.
Perhaps the only other part of the city that bears as much significance as the Forum is the Pantheon Temple, which lies just to the east. Acolytes at the temple, which is devoted to the worship of all of the Olympian gods, are always on hand to aid dutiful Romans in venerating their patron deities. Paying proper obeisance to the gods is especially vital for those intrepid Roman heroes who frequently find themselves in life-or-death struggles with the enemies of Rome, as they need to preserve their god's favor in order to use the awesome powers their god grants to them.
On the western side of the Forum is the Bathhouse, which, though ostensibly a social gathering spot, is a close second to the Forum in civic importance. Though many middle class citizens of Ostia partake of its amenities, the Bathhouse is also a favored spot of the civic and military leaders of the city, and many major business deals and important political alliances have been made within its steamy confines. As such, it is a good place for heroes of Rome to find quests.
The inn at Romu's Green, a serene park just east of the Pantheon Temple, is another good place to find quests. The inn is always full of travelers who have come to Ostia from lands faraway to seek assistance of one kind or another. Venicius Suspicacus, for instance, is a mystic who believes he has perfected an item called a Scipio Hirudo, which drains the life-force from Rome's enemies. All he needs is someone brave enough to try it out.
Ostia boasts two large open-air markets, one in the north of the city and one in the south. Many of the supplies and provisions required by the intrepid hero of Rome can be found in these markets, from armor and weapons to food and drink. Acolyte Nicander, a pious and upright citizen of Ostia, acts as unofficial greeter of the South Market, admonishing all visitors to the city to visit the Pantheon Temple and do reverence unto the mighty Olympians.
The rest of the areas that comprise the city of Ostia are each devoted to a specific player class. Class-specific Skill and Feat trainers can be found in each of these areas, as well as some upper-level vendors who sell wares of particular use to each character class. These areas are also populated by the colorful citizens of Ostia and are just as lively and full of character as the rest of the city.
The Priest Quarter lies directly east of the South Market, and is the site of a great library that is considered to be one of the most extensive repositories of clerical knowledge outside of Roma itself.
To the west of the North Market is the Scout Quarter, where Gaius Excursus, the chief military scout in Ostia, keeps his headquarters. Lately, many of his scouts have gone missing. A woman by the name of Faustina has grown worried because she hasn't seen her hunter son Macrinus in some time, but is intimidated by Excursus and does not dare approach him.
West of the South Market is the Mystic Quarter, where distinguished practitioners of the arcane arts of sorcery often convene in the domed observatory known as the Mystic Temple.
The Gladiator Quarter is located in the southwest corner of Ostia and is the site of a small gladiatorial arena where a popular Bestiarius named Valgus has won great renown by always inventing new and exciting attractions. There is also a tavern in the Gladiator Quarter that caters to the lower caste of Ostia's citizenry, including ignoble thieves and honest dockworkers alike.
Located in the northwest corner of the city, the Nomad Quarter contains several warehouses and an ornate, golden statue of a winged figure. The primary landmark, as far as Nomads are concerned, is the taberna, which operates as a front for the secret hideout for the clandestine brotherhood that all Nomads belong to.
Directly east of the Nomad Quarter is the Soldier Quarter, which is the site of the main military barracks in Ostia, which are mostly empty now that the Quaestor has deployed most of the city's forces in the field. Not surprisingly, Ostia's main jailhouse is located here, as well. The most notable prisoner in the jail is Antiseus, a Greek soldier who was on his way to join his comrades to the south when his ship ran aground and he alone survived - only to be captured by Roman soldiers. Alas, how cruel the fates can be, especially to one who opposes the glorious expansion of Rome.
Like all of the great cities of the Republic, Ostia is a bastion of Roman culture. Aside from the stunning architecture, well-crafted statuary, and flawless parks and gardens, the city is also home to a large and impressive Theater. But these cultural marvels are only possible thanks to the rule of law that keeps Ostia's citizenry safe and happy, and that is now being threatened by the Caedes Gang members who have overrun not just the Ostia Harbor but much of the surrounding countryside, as well.
Add to these troubles the Wrecker Pirates, who have established a beachhead in southern Tyrrhenian Shores, and the tribe of ferocious Centauri who have overtaken the Occulo Cavern just across the Tiber from Ostia's southern gate, and it is obvious that the Quaestor Honorius Nauticus has more problems than he can handle with the resources he has at his disposal. After soaking up some culture, stocking up on provisions, and learning a new trick or two, any true Roman hero visiting Ostia will want to get right back to halting the advance of lawlessness in this vital territory of the Republic.