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"Cynosure - City of Dreams"




Dimensions, and the Nature of the City

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Cynosure: 1: a center of attraction or attention 2: the pan-dimensional city at the center of the multiverse

Nature of the City

"Some called it Nirvana. Some called it Hell. The city's real name is Cynosure. Sweet, cynical Cynosure, built where the multiverse meets. Cross the street and sometimes you've crossed a dimension! The laws of physics change from block to block. Magic works here, science over there."
- GrimJack, mercenary

Cynosure is a gigantic city, a patchwork of constantly shifting dimensions "floating like a bubble in the pan-dimensional vortex". It occupies the space at the very center of all dimensions, of all realities...sooner or later, all dimensions touch Cynosure (though they might not stay long).

The city itself is ringed by the Outlands, a harsh and blighted desert; the Outlands, in turn, are bounded by the vortex walls, impenetrable transparent barriers that protect everything inside from the ravages of the vortex. Nothing, neither magical nor technological, has ever been able to so much as scratch these walls.

The dimensions in phase with Cynosure at any given time represent a dizzying array of different races and environments; nearly anything is possible, somewhere, within the city limits. Though a few smaller dimensions exist totally within the city, most areas are only tiny pieces, allowing access to their home dimension from the city proper.

Distances in space appear to be irrelevant to the workings of Cynosure. Earth and a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri could both be in phase simultaneously, representing the same dimension but vastly different points in space.

There are a few kinds of different dimensions present in Cynosure:

The central area of Cynosure is clustered around the so-called "permanent" dimensions, the dozen or so dimensions which have remained in phase with the city for centuries. Though nothing in Cynosure is truly permanent, these areas show no signs of phasing out any time soon. Permanent dimensions house many of the city government buildings, and are also highly sought after as locales for commercial ventures.

Regular dimensions are numerous in the city, and comprise the largest overall percentage. These areas phase in and out with Cynosure on some kind of regular timetable, though the frequency varies widely. Some stay for decades before leaving for a few months; others phase in for only a couple of hours every twenty years.

These are chaotic dimensions that apparently phase in and out with Cynosure randomly. They are dangerous places to be, regardless of their actual environment, since they may abruptly phase out at any time, stranding visitors away from the city for long periods of time.

Doorway dimensions may be permanent, regular, or irregular with respect to their phasing frequency, but they all share a common size. In one sense, all dimensions in phase with Cynosure are "doorway dimensions," in that they allow access from the city to a distant dimension. But most dimensions which phase into synch with Cynosure are at least a few blocks wide- actual doorway dimensions are much smaller than that, usually just physical portals to other dimensions. The door which led to your closet yesterday could lead to a dimension where you don't exist today, so many residents of Cynosure have grown understandably cautious when using doorways.

Snowball dimensions are "ambient rolling spheres that look like big snowballs outside, but are quasi-dimensions inside". Though fairly rare, these troublesome anomalies do occasionally manifest, plucking beings right off the street and transporting them to other realities.

Though the technology does exist to create artificial dimensions, the enormous expense is usually prohibitive. The only artificial dimension currently in phase with Cynosure is the huge floating sphere of the city's University.

Residents of Cynosure tend to be very difficult to surprise, for obvious reason; they often feel they've “seen it all.” Newcomers to the city are usually overwhelmed by the sheer size and variety of it all. The government, theoretically, posts warning and information signs (for example, “Warning, Non-Techno Zone 1500 Meters Ahead”) at all major dimensional shifting points, but Cynosure is too vast, and the bureaucracy too bloated, to rely on such efforts.

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