(heh, I typed 90% of this entry almost 2 weeks ago... finally opened my laptop. Time to finish and post.)
If I remember correctly (please correct any errors!)
, a few of tiny handful of canon facts about Ostwick and the Trevelyans include:
1. Someone named Trevelyan (or named something similar to Trevelyan) migrated from Tevinter to Ostwick quite a few generations ago. This person is in Dorian's family tree and he assumes they might have founded the Trevelyan line in Ostwick.
2. At the time of the Inquisition, Trevelyan has cousins(? it was cousins, correct?) who live in Nevarra and they are close enough to the center of power that they can influence political alliances.
3. Ostwick's circle was very sedate and easy-going, a mage Trevelyan was able to come and go. That circle attempted to remain neutral after other circles started to rebel. Eventually the templars at the Ostwick circle left their post and that was the end of that, which sounds like no blood shed and a completely peaceful situation, except....
4. The Senior Enchanter Lydia of Ostwick circle, who was a close friend of Vivienne, was murdered by one of her students in the circle.
5. The head of state in Ostwick is called a Teryn.
6. When the Qunari launched an attack on the Free Marches in 7:56 Storm, their first landing point was Ostwick and from there they launched assaults on Starkhaven and Kirkwall. (Kirkwall fell and remained under Qunari rule until liberated by the Orlesians in 7:60).
7. According to Josephine, Trevelyan's nobility doesn't carry as much weight as nobility from elsewhere and Orlesians view Oswtick as "quaint" (a politely chosen word that could mean just about anything in the context). If Trevelyan address that comment with a sharp tongued response, Josephine very sternly and very directly reminds Trevelyan that such talk is NOT appropriate (I think Josephine warns that the response is low class speech but I cannot remember and need to find a video of it).
8. Almost nothing is said about Ostwick in the World of Thedas. I'm starting to think that all of the Inquisitors were purposefully given blank canvas backgrounds so people could fill it in how every they wish?
Early phase headcanon ideas:
A. Ostwick's liberal attitude toward mages and magic stems from the city retaining its ties with Tevinter long after the old Tevinter empire was forced to withdraw from the Marches. Members of Tevinter's Altus (ruling class) have a long history in Ostwick.
B. In 7:56 Storm, the Qunari selected Ostwick as their landing point not only because they felt the city could be taken but because they viewed it as a satellite state controlled by the Tevinter Empire. At that time, Ostwick instead saw itself as a free "neutral" state that had ties with Tevinter and with Orlais, despite having an upper class and merchant class that was heavily populated by Tevinters.
C. After the Qunari invasion was repelled from the Free Marches, Ostwick's leadership decided to remain neutral but feel persuaded, shall we say, to align more closely with Orlais. Glosses of Andrastian belief & culture were painted over Ostwick's pre-Andrastian ways (a mix of Tevine and old Nevarran). The ruling families of Ostwick made a point of becoming Very Financially Supportive of the Chantry. Yet it is all skin-deep. Scratch an Ostwicker and they bleed Tevine.
D. As the Free Marches move into recent eras (the 8th and 9th ages),Tevinter's Altus nobility along with a wealthy ex-pat merchant class continue to have a strong impact on Ostwick society. Ostick's rulership and legal system is directly traceable to Tevinter Altus families. Meanwhile, free from the caste restrictions in Tevinter, a group of non-mage families of Tevinter origin become financially successful (read: seriously
wealthy) as the owners and, eventually, the financiers of a variety of mercantile businesses. Scholars and philosophers from Nevarra are employed by the ruling class as Ostwick's response to the Chantry's pressure to lessen Tevinter's influence over the education and scholarship in the city.
E. During the decades leading up the formation of the Inquisition, the Orlesian upperclass and Orlesian Chantry view Ostwick with suspicion because Ostwick is remote, independent, and has a distinctly foreign (Tevinter + Nevarran) feel. Orlesians refer to Ostwick as backwards or stuck in time. Orlesian street urchins and high class players of the Orlesian game are quick to insinuate that Ostwickers resort to blood magic and necromancy.
And.... there is more but I need to leave for the day...
Crossposted at http://sarasa-cat.dreamwidth.org/425966.html.