One of the oldest intact features of Ongus – built by the Selentines close to 1000 years ago, is a series of public Latrina’s spread around the city. These are significant enough that, to a great extent, the modern wards of the city each include one such building – the ward boundaries are generally believed by the populace to have been specifically set based on their location. These buildings are of solid construction and many have survived numerous fires or other disasters over the centuries, with their basic structures remaining intact – although in poorer areas, cosmetic features such as painted wooden seats and tiled floors are often missing.

Each latrina has two chambers, the mirror image of each other. One is reserved for male use (the left side as you approach from the front) and the other for female use. Privacy, once inside the chambers, should not be expected.

Those in best repair have cisterns in the roof filled by rainwater, which are used to provide a slow flow of water to a fountain in the centre of each of the two main chambers of the Latrina – but in many cases, this arrangement no longer functions. The Guild of Plumbers and Pipemen is small and concentrates its efforts on maintaining the most basic functions of the latrinas – their link to the sewer – except in a few locations in the wealthiest areas where they have been specifically paid to do otherwise.

In recent years, it has become commonplace for the former storage and maintenance rooms at the back of each latrina to be ‘rented out’ to the poorest of the poor in exchange for them keeping the latrinas reasonably clean, and informing the Guild of any serious blockage.

Each latrina does have a connection to the ancient sewer system, but generally not one that could be easily used for human access.



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