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"Cynosure - City of Dreams"




History of the City

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Many believe Cynosure to be eternal - certainly no sentient has ever claimed to remember a time when Cynosure was not. Eternal or not, no one knows the city's exact origin. Some say it was built eons ago as a feeding ground for demons, others that an ancient race of scientists constructed it as a zoo, still others that it sprang fully formed from the tear of a god. No one knows for certain, and perhaps no one ever will- after countless searches by countless races, no clues to Cynosure's past have ever surfaced.

The history of Cynosure has always been a violent and bloody one, brief stretches of peace punctuated by brutal wars and cataclysms. Commerce has always been its lifeblood; it is, after all, common ground for hundreds of dimensions and races.

Unfortunately, commerce often leads to violence in Cynosure. At best this violence is intercorporate espionage and sabotage; at worst it can lead to a Trade War, an unchecked and invariably devastating free-for-all between the most powerful conglomerates.

The last Trade War was almost fifty years ago and ended only after most of the city was destroyed. Despite the best precautions of the city government and the hollow promises of corporate PR staff, the threat of a new Trade War is never far from the citizens' minds.

Trade Wars, however, are not the only threat to the city. Twenty-five years ago a young fighter named Dancer led a gladiator's rebellion against the city government. He was the greatest gladiator ever, enormously charismatic and popular, and his coup came very close to succeeding. But in the end his revolt, like all others, was put down. Dancer and all of his lieutenants were “killed during apprehension,” bloodsports were made illegal to prevent future uprisings, and the city went on.

The most recent major threat the city faced was perhaps the worst ever- Cynosure came to the brink of annihilation. Twenty years ago an artificial intelligence was created in a corporate lab and programmed to work magic. It was not the first fusing of magic and technology, but it was by far the most powerful. A demon possessed the AI and used its strength to rip open a doorway between its home dimension and Cynosure. Within days the entire city was choked with demons of every shape and size, intent not on conquest or plunder but on blood and torture. The Demon Wars raged for months. The demons were eventually pushed back to their own dimension (dubbed, naturally, “Hell”), but only after the city was razed and almost one billion beings lay dead.

After that, the city did what it does best - rebuilt itself. Demon worship was outlawed, and strict regulations were put in place governing the use of technomagic.

At present, Cynosure is relatively calm. No demons have been seen in the city for almost a decade; the Arena remains closed, though small pockets of illegal bloodsports certainly exist; and the Council of Ministers has kept close watch on the megacorps, guarding against any overt warfare. The city is at peace, though it is a tense peace, requiring constant vigilance.

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If the weapon was a laser, blaster, or flamethrower, you are also on fire
-- GURPS Firearm Critical Miss Table