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The world became first aware of this strange phenomenon when, six years ago, a group of diviners in Praxus began to have visions of an otherworldly city with buildings far taller than those of any known city-state and which was filled with peculiar flying machines and other unknown mechanisms. The visions did not allow for much detail, as the city seemed to be in a perpetual haze, its colors somehow off, and parts of its streets and buildings (including the people inhabiting them) seemed to phase in and out of existence.

At first, the diviners thought they might have attained a vision of Oreanor, the First City, but the appearance of the city did not comply with any of the known myths about it. Further divinations and study caused them to advance a radical hypothesis: The city, which they named Futura, was actually from the future (possibly even from beyond Durgoth's Wall) and had somehow become "unstuck in time" through some sort of disaster. This gained the attention of the authorities of Praxus, and with additional resources the Futurnauts, a group dedicated to the exploration of Futura, were founded by the Praxan government, for gaining access to the magics and technologies of a future city would surely be worth almost any risk.

Recently, rituals were developed which allowed others to enter Futura. However, the first attempts to do so proved disastrous, as anyone who entered Futura became rapidly either older or younger, killing them if they were not brought back immediately. Only by creating customized and fully warded suits of armor could the explorers withstand the effects of the chaotic time zones and stay for longer periods, and artifacts brought back from Futura to the Material Plane had similar weaknesses.

Nevertheless, the Futurnauts are slowly learning more about this city - enough to whet the appetites of many Praxan government officials, who have advanced an even more radical plan: They proposed to build an enormous magical tether in the Praxus Protectorate which would connect to Futura and anchor it to the Material Plane - allowing its treasures to be plundered far more efficiently. Objections by dissenters that Futura might be nothing more than an aspect of Shaprat or a ploy by some Fair Folk or Devil Lord were overruled, and construction of the tether has begun.

However, despite all attempts to keep the Futurnauts under a layer of secrecy, rumors have begun to spread - and recently, the Futurnauts have encountered another team of explorers in Futura, who fought them to a stalemate. The secret is out, it seems - and the race for this price has begun in earnest.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

Come to think of it, the Victorian Age had some of the earliest time travel stories, so it seemed appropriate to give Urbis something in this vein as well - without making it so easy that it will wreck the setting. Successfully pulling Futura into the Material Plane could cause some significant changes in the setting as higher technology and advanced magics spread through the world, but it is equally possible (and quite in-genre) that the attempts to do so will be nothing more than hubris and end in a major disaster.


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Urbis - A World of Cities © Jürgen Hubert. All material on this site excepting forum posts is owned by him.