History of the City

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The City itself dates back untold ages, and no one is quite certain just how long it has existed.  The current inhabitants of the City have lived here for only a few thousand years, and generated a robust history and society of their own.  That said, much of the City's history has gone unrecorded, leaving only myth and legend, as well as the ancient artifacts regularly unearthed by reconfigurations.

By remarkable cosmic coincidence, the calendar used by the City is almost identical to that of present-day Earth.  Years are listed as either Before Current Era (BCE) or Current Era (CE).  We are currently in the year 2015 CE.

???? BCE: Origins of the City

The origins of the City are a hotly debated topic in historical circles.  Radiological dating methods fail when applied to the City's superstructure, turning up nonsense results ranging from ten million to a hundred billion years.  Magical and mystical methods fare little better, revealing only that the origins of the City seem to be outside the temporal range of most spells and abilities.  Even time travel into the City's past is difficult, the chances of a time traveller being shunted off into a different world increasing dramatically with every year he travels.

Theories about the origin of the City are as numerous as theories about its purpose.  One popular theory is that it was created by the god-like Eternals, a massive machine whose function we can't even begin to guess, much less understand.  Other theories suggest that the City came into existence spontaneously, or that the City is the last surviving remnant of whatever existed before the Multiverse.  One particularly intriguing theory argues that the City is moving backwards through time while we move forward, and in fact will not be created until long into the future.

10,000 BCE: The Sovran

Archaeological evidence unearthed by reconfigurations suggests that the City was previously occupied by a race entirely unknown to modern civilizations.  Known today as the Sovran, we know about them only through the few artifacts they left behind.

The Sovran were centaur-like reptiles, with a humanoid torso and a lower body resembling a large lizard.  Adult males stood about nine feet tall, with females averaging seven feet.  The Sovran were extremely advanced, with tremendous grasp of both technology and magic, but their society was seemingly brutal and tyrannical, ruled by a priest class who performed sacrifices of their own people to placate cruel gods.

The Sovran ruled the City for a thousand years, building a vast empire across multiple worlds, and then abruptly, without warning, the entire society disappeared seemingly over night.  Some of their artifacts survived, and Sovran buildings and temples occasionally resurface with City reconfigurations, but the entire Sovran people seem to have simply vanished, not even leaving behind bodies.  There are no longer any Sovran to be found, dead or alive, either on the City or any of the other worlds they are known to have visited.

300 BCE - 1 CE: The Harrowing and the Pioneers

Around the year 300 BCE the Eternals, god-like beings of unfathomable power, began a campaign of extermination across multiple worlds.  An unknown number of worlds were completely cleansed of people, plants, animals, and even microbes, leaving nothing but sterile stone and crumbling ruins.  This horrific act of genocide lasted more than a hundred years, and is known as the Harrowing of Worlds.

The purpose of the Harrowing remains a mystery.  If there is any pattern or logic to which worlds were cleansed and which were spared, mortal minds have not been able to conceive of it.  It is simply an unexplained act of incomparable evil by the Eternals.

There were survivors of the Harrowing, though they were precious few compared to the number of victims.  Powerful magics and advanced technology allowed some to flee their worlds, occasionally in large numbers.  The survivors escaped the Harrowing, but they were left homeless and bereft, deprived of the worlds they had known and cast into a strange and often dangerous Multiverse.

Refugees from the Harrowing tended to band together when they encountered each other, seeking safety in numbers as they searched for new worlds to call home.  The groups and cultures that made up these alliances were often in conflict with each other, struggling with different sets of cultural norms and expectations, but forced into a strained unity by their shared purpose.

The Pioneers were a particularly large alliance of refugee groups, gathered from dozens of worlds and joined under the leadership of powerful world-walking mystics.  At the height of their wanderings through the Multiverse, they numbered well over a hundred thousand individuals, representing a variety of worlds and species as diverse as can be found in the City today.  Their remarkable resilience in the face of adversity, and their eventual success, have seen the Pioneers remembered and celebrated as heroes, and the founders of the current inhabitants of the City.

1 CE: Discovery of the City

The City was ultimately discovered by accident, when a mis-cast spell diverted the wandering Pioneers from their intended path through the Phantagraphia.  The Pioneers had visited hundreds of worlds in their many years of wandering, but never found one that sufficiently met the needs of a significant number of their members.  Though smaller groups occasionally broke off and settled visited worlds, the task of finding a home suitable for the full population was daunting.

The City offered a unique opportunity.  Although originally skeptical of its urban design and alien nature, the Pioneers very soon discovered that the City was absolutely infested with portals, most of which did not require draining magic or delicate technology to use, as their own methods did.  From the City, the Pioneers could easily access resources to suit all of their members, however alien and diverse.  The Pioneer leaders decided that they had found the home they had so long been searching for, and declared the group's wandering to be over.  The majority of Pioneers agreed to stay and settle the City, rather than continue wandering.  The year of discovery was declared the beginning of a new era, the Era of the City.

1 - 145 CE: The Leader's Alliance

Settled into a new home, and no longer with a common cause to unite them, the many cultures that made up the Pioneers gradually grew apart.  Conflicts and disagreements about the correct way of life became more difficult to ignore, and prejudices easier to harbour when people no longer relied upon one another so much for basic survival.  The various peoples of the Pioneers began to separate and segregate themselves, each claiming different blocks and sections of the City as their own, discouraging or in some cases outright banning the citizens of other cultures.  Within a few short generations the tight alliance of the Pioneers had been reduced to a collection of independent nations, loosely held together by a Leader's Alliance.

The Leader's Alliance, descended from the Pioneer leaders who had discovered and settled the City, acted as representatives of their various nations.  Meeting regularly at the City's central Tower, the Leader's Alliance held open an avenue for diplomacy between the City nations, and helped to resolve many conflicts before they could escalate into serious violence.  But the Alliance had little power to enforce its resolutions, and as the years passed they grew less and less relevant and influential.  Memories of the Harrowing and the Pioneers wandering were fading, replaced with a history of disputes and injustices between City nations.

The Leader's Alliance last convened in the summer of 185, three weeks before the Seven Streets War.

145 - 147 CE: The Seven Streets War

The first major conflict of the City of Nations, the Seven Streets War marks the beginning of a period of increased balkanization of the City.  Starting with a few local land disputes that escalated to violence, the conflict quickly spilled over and spread, eventually drawing most of the City's nations into a drawn-out battle over land and resources.

The focus of the war was a small area of the City encompassing seven major criss-crossing roads.  The area had been one of the earliest explored by the Pioneers, and so contained a great deal of known portals, leading to worlds that provided vital resources.  By tradition, all the nations of the City had access to these portals.  Conflict erupted when the Carrid nation, which controlled most of the land of the Seven Streets, voiced concerns that other nations were taking advantage of their hospitality and using too many of the portal resources, and placed strict regulations on those who wished to pass through their territory.

The Carrid were immediately challenged by the Belundar, who refused to acknowledge their authority over the Seven Streets.  The first blood was shed when a Belundar group charged a regiment of Carrid bowmen tasked with defending the Seven Streets, though to this day it is debated which side actually took the first violent action.

By the end of the year, a dozen other nations had been drawn into the conflict.  Sporadic fighting continued for more than a year, but no one nation was able to achieve a significant advantage over the others.  Remarkably few lives were lost throughout the war, and battles mostly took the form of raids and small skirmishes.  Little land changed hands and nothing significant was actually achieved.

As for the Seven Streets region itself, a large realignment in 187 CE shifted both the land and the disputed portals to random points around the City, effectively ending the immediate conflict without a definitive victor.  The actual purpose for the war had long since become irrelevant to most of the actors, however.  National pride and resentments based in the Seven Streets conflict would linger for centuries to come, driving the wars and battles that defined the rest of this early era.

147 - 638: The City of Nations

The City of Nations period is marked by expansion and warfare, as various nation-states of the City spread out to claim lands and discover new portals and resources.  Conflicts between nations were common and violent, usually motivated by long-standing resentments and feuds, sometimes dating back even before the Harrowing.

Towards the end of the era, many nations were entwined in long-term alliances for defence and mutual assistance.  Some nations had greatly enriched themselves over the years, conquering and absorbing their neighbours and growing in power.  Ultimately, the most successful of the City's nations was Phaedra.

639 - 886: The Phaedric Empire

During the eighth century, Phaedra was ruled by the human King Lontinar.  A military genius and visionary, Lontinar secured Phaedra's dominance through a system of conquest and assimilation.  He would conquer smaller nations, carefully isolated from allies by clever diplomacy and espionage, and then immediately use Phaedra's significant wealth and resources to rebuild the defeated people.  Permitted to keep their culture, and in most cases even their direct leaders, conquered nations were only required to provide their ultimate loyalty to Phaedra, and send their people to fight in Phaedra's armies.

Lontinar learned the advantages and tactics of each nation's soldiers, forming them into elite and efficient units that together could meet any challenge on the battlefield.  His improved and ever-growing armies could then go on to conquer ever larger, more powerful nations, bringing them all into the fold of a single kingdom.

In 639, at the age of eighty-seven, Lontinar claimed for himself the title Emperor of the City, and relocated his capital to the Tower at the center of the City, where the Pioneer Leader's Alliance had held their meetings five hundred years earlier.

Under the Phaedric Empire, conflict between the nations became less pronounced.  When two members of the Empire had a dispute they could not resolve, the question would be judged by the Empire, and the judgement enforced by the combined force of the other nations.  The Empire reached out to populated worlds through the portals, and for the first time the City opened full trade and diplomatic relations with other worlds.

The relative peace led to an era of research and exploration.  The Imperial Cartographer's Order - a precursor to the modern Cartographer's Society - was formed to further explore the City and the worlds of Phantagraphia.

The Phaedric Empire prospered for 200 years, until a sprawling and increasingly corrupt bureaucracy, along with a lack of leadership from later emperors, doomed it to a slow decline.  By 886, nations had begun to declare their independence from the Empire, and the Empire was unwilling or unable to prevent them.

887 - 1268: The Age of Mysteries

Historians generally mark the cataclysmic Cityquake of 887 as the final gasp of the Imperial Age, and the start of the Mystery Age.  A devastating series of dramatic reconfigurations throughout the City destroyed much of the infrastructure the residents had built and removed many buildings the residents had learned to depend on over the ages.  The 887 Cityquake was greater than any reconfiguration previously recorded, causing a great number of casualties.  The Empire was entirely unable to respond effectively to the disaster, costing it any remaining influence and power it still had.

At the time, the disaster was called the Second Harrowing, and many people truly believed their new world was coming to an end.  Religions and cults sprung up across the City, to offer the comfort and community the Empire had failed to provide in these dark time.  As time passed without any more major Cityquakes, it became obvious the world was not ending, but the Phaedric Empire was not able to re-establish its power base and passed into history.

With the decline of the Empire, the trade routes and cultural contact with other worlds also fell into steep decline, and the City began to once again break into separate communities, growing more insular and isolated.  Open conflict and war between groups became more common again, though never matching the violence of the City of Nations era.

A great deal of technological knowledge was lost with the fall of the Empire, but religion and mysticism only grew in influence, creating a great age of magic.  Mages and shamans made up the leadership class of most communities in this era, and many legends and heroic tales date to this period.  The true stories behind the beloved folk tales of Gregor and the Dragon, Aethelbraen the Invincible Mouse, and Iron Bill the Robot Barbarian all happened during the Age of Mysteries.

The Cartographer's Order survived the fall of the Empire, reforming itself as a knightly order dedicated as much to the preservation of knowledge as its acquisition.  One of the very few City-wide institutions during this period, almost every community had its own Cartographer, and by custom Cartographers were granted freedom of movement through any town or settlement, and a right to the protection of any community they might call on for aid.

Towards the end of the Age of Mysteries, trade and travel between the communities of the City had started to increase, rapidly approaching similar levels to what had been seen during the Phaedric Empire.  City groups were starting to see trade as a good alternative to war, and cultural exchanges were gradually building a sense of larger community across the City.

1269 - 1451: Sulkhar the Unspeakable

Little is known about Sulkhar the Unspeakable.  He first appears in stories and legends dating back as far as 1000 CE, but he may have been added by later authors rather than being part of the original story.  His origins are shrouded in mystery, told only in contradictory legends that don't seem to be based in any real fact.  Even Sulkhar's species is uncertain.

What is known is that Sulkhar was a warlock of incredible power and cruelty.  Historically he appears in the early 13th century, quickly rising through the ranks of power to become one of the period's foremost mages.  Brilliant and power hungry, he began conquering and enslaving communities across the City, and by 1269 declared a New Empire, beginning a reign of tyranny and terror that would last until his death 182 years later.

Sulkhar built an empire based on slavery and oppression.  Evil magic-users and supernatural creatures were his governors and generals.  Those mages who were powerful or ambitious enough to pose a threat to him were executed and assassinated.  Sulkhar suppressed cultural expression and cut off any diplomatic or trade ties to other cultures, isolating and alienating his people from other worlds.  Cartographers were hunted down like animals, until the last survivors of the Order fled underground.  History condemns him for everything from human sacrifice to genocide, and his title of "Unspeakable" refers to crimes that remain unrecorded and unsaid, so terrible that they are better left forgotten.

Sulkhar's empire also happened to be an era of scientific and magical advancement.  Sulkhar was a true genius, obsessed with understanding Phantagraphia and the City.  Sulkhar is personally responsible for the very earliest research into the Sovran, and his work has contributed a great deal to our understanding of the Multiverse.

In 1451, a slave rebellion led by the hero Taran Ilio stormed Sulkhar's ancient Sovran citadel.  Distracted by an important experiment, Sulkhar was taken by surprise, and Taran was able to slay the tyrant, only to lose her own life as Sulkhar's citadel was buried by an epic reconfiguration.  Taran Ilio is honoured to this day as the greatest hero of the City's history, and statues dedicated to her can be found throughout the City.

1452 - 1579: The Faction Revolution

Sulkhar's reign left deep scars on the City.  He had actively worked to destroy any sense of individual culture among his subjects, leaving many people without a clear sense of identity and community.  The nations and communities that had existed before Sulkhar were lost, old allegiances long forgotten.

If Taran Ilio had survived, some historians think the liberated people of the City would have rallied behind her, placing her in a position of leadership and building a new unified nation.  But Taran and most of her companions had sacrificed their lives to stop Sulkhar, leaving no obvious choices for supreme leader.

As society started to recover from Sulkhar's tyranny, the people of the City began organizing into groups again.  This time the groups were not based on species or culture or bloodline, as Sulkhar's disruptions made it difficult to know just which culture one ought to be following.  Instead these groups formed around philosophies and ideologies, creating the City's first factions.

These early factions were more general and less defined than modern factions.  Instead of being based on specific goals or tasks, they were usually based on shared philosophies and outlooks on life.  The Warriors, the Martial Hand, and the Jannisar, for example, were all factions based on the belief that one could only prove one's worth through battle, and that training one's body and mind to be the perfect soldier was the ultimate achievement of life.  The Mystere and Etherheart were closer to religions, promoting meditation and mysticism as the path to spiritual enlightenment.  Factions were dedicated to hedonism, education, fine art, environmentalism, and a dozen other ideologies.

As time passed and the City resumed contact and relationships with otherworldly communities, trade and diplomacy became more important, and more and more factions were formed around economic ideas.  By 1500, almost every profession had a faction of its own, to look out for its interests and control its trade.  Faction leaders were quick to enrich themselves, often at great cost to their lower-ranking members, and monopolies became omnipresent.  Trade was rampant and there was more wealth coming in to the City than ever, but society was more harshly stratified than it had ever been.  Usually a faction's entire leadership would be controlled by a single family, who formed the membership of a new nobility while peasants starved in the streets.

This period also saw the creation of the Cartographers, a faction based on the traditions and ideals of the fallen Cartographer's Order.  Survivors of the Order had preserved their traditions in secret during the reign of Sulkhar, waiting for a time when they would be able to operate openly again, exploring the far corners of the Multiverse in freedom.

1580 - 1610: The Faction Wars

Inevitably the factions came into conflict with one another.  While the ideological factions had often struggled and skirmished, things did not turn truly ugly until the dominance of the economic factions.  With thousands of followers dependant on them for their very survival, the economic factions were able to conduct serious battles with one another, costing many lives.

Things did not truly come to a head until 1580, when a series of alliances and conflicts led to a series of wars lasting thirty years, collectively known as the Faction Wars.

The primary belligerents throughout most of the Faction Wars were three powerful merchant families; House Englebert, House Tahoma, and House Bulurrv.  Each family had many allied factions and backers, and each wanted land, resources, or trade controlled by their rivals.

The Faction Wars ended in 1610, with House Englebert defeated, and House Bulurrv united under the victorious House Tahoma.

1611: Birth of the Monarchy

With the defeat of House Englebert, the Tahoma family was left with at least nominal control over nearly every faction in the City.  The Matriarchs and Patriarchs of the remaining factions were now faced with the possibility of another tyrant like Sulkhar.  A large group of faction leaders, both allies and enemies of the Tahoma family, joined together to present the Tahoma Patriarch with a list of demands, codified in a document titled A Guarantee of Faction Rights and Protection of Liberties.  Essentially a rudimentary constitution, the Guarantee granted certain rights to property and promised a liberty of religion and justice to faction leaders.

Rolander Tahoma, Patriarch of the Tahoma family, had little choice but to agree to the terms of the Guarantee.  The Tahoma family could not hope to stand without the continued support of other faction leaders, and it was quite clear that families that had previously supported the Tahomas would not continue to do so without the Guarantee.

Rolander signed the Guarantee in August of 1611.  In return, he was crowned the first King of the City, and his descendants rule as the Royal Family to this day.

1612 - 1748: Kingdom of the City

From the establishment of the monarchy to 1748, the City is largely characterized by rebuilding following the Faction Wars and establishing the authority of the new Royal Family.  During this period the Tower became the official residence of the Royal Family, unruly factions were brought in line under the monarchy, and the Cartographers faction was granted a royal charter, creating the Royal Society of Cartographers (explorers, adventurers, and vagabonds would not be added until 1875).

1748 - 1812: Age of Air Piracy

The continued oppression and poverty of the lower classes led some citizens to turn to crime and piracy to support themselves.  Sleek flying ships, powered by magic and armed with gunpowder weapons, soared out from their hiding places beneath the City's disk to rob and harass the City's elite.  This romantic era is fondly remembered in the City's fiction, making heroes of the rogues who fought against a corrupt and fat nobility.

During this period factions grew marginally weaker, even as trade and the economy continued to grow.  Advancing technology and improving relationships with other worlds were gradually shifting the means of production to a new middle class, empowering the people and loosening the economic stranglehold of the factions.  At the same time, improved education and the printed word led to an explosion in literacy, while exposure to worlds with more progressive forms of government were influencing the population.

The Age of Air Piracy also sees the formation of Jack's Wardens, later known simply as the Wardens, a mercenary company hired to protect faction assets from air pirates and often used to brutalize and intimidate faction employees.

1813: The People's Revolution

In 1813, tensions between the nobility and the middle class came to a head in a violent but short-lived revolution.  A group of independent merchants and traders desperate to break the faction monopolies allied themselves with a group of scholars who had been arguing in favour of human rights for all residents of the City.  The small Revolutionary Army, numbering no more than a thousand men and women, marched on the Tower, intending only to demonstrate their commitment to their ideals and present the Royal Family with their demands.  Although armed and ready, the atmosphere in the Revolutionary Army was reportedly light and unworried, idealistically thinking that their own well-reasoned arguments and sincerity would win them the day, and no actual fighting would be necessary.

When the Revolutionary Army reached the Tower, several groups of mercenaries (including the already-infamous Wardens) had already been gathered on the Tower concourse, ready to deny them entry.  Undeterred, the Revolutionaries pressed on.  As the Revolutionary Army was crossing the bridge to the Tower, a shot was fired, though historians are not entirely sure by who, or even why.  Regardless, all hell broke loose.

At the end of the day, thirty-one mercenaries were dead, along with six hundred and forty-two revolutionaries, many drowned in the Tower moat when they were driven from the bridges.  The 1813 Tower Massacre is remembered as one of the darkest days in the City's history.

Although the Revolution was a brutal failure, it ultimately did lead to change.  It proved impossible to keep the details from the public, and public opinion quickly started to turn against the monarchy.  Even more hated were the mercenary companies who had done the actual killing.  Across the City, workers began to show greater resistance to their masters, daring a repeat of the horrible massacre and threatening a true, full-scale revolution.

1815: The Crown

With unrest throughout the City threatening to boil over, and with off-world allies distressed and disgusted by the Tower Massacre, the Royal Family had to do something or risk full out revolution.  Queen Nyarai Tahoma began a series of reforms in 1815, improving the rights of City residents, placing restrictions on how factions may treat their non-noble members, and establishing a new governing faction to be made up of civilian members to act on behalf of civilians.  This new faction would be called the Crown, in recognition that the Tahoma monarchy only has power so long as the people of the City (as opposed to just the leading families) choose to grant it.  The reforms also established an official bodyguard loyal only to the Royal Family, so that they would not again depend on unreliable and biased mercenary companies for personal protection.

1816 - 1869: Nyaraian Era

Queen Nyarai's reign marked a period of wealth distribution and intense exploration.  The Queen strongly supported the efforts of the Cartographer's Society, granting heavy funding for expanded exploration of alternate worlds.  Nyarai oversaw the establishment successful off-world colonies such as Everfield, and continued to expand peaceful relations with other populated worlds.

Nyarai also worked throughout her reign to reduce the power and influence of the major economic factions.  Under Nyarai, the great monopolies that had defined the previous era were gradually dismantled through judicious application of Crown policies and regulation of industry.  The large trade guilds that had long dominated the economy and exploited workers across the City were broken up into smaller, more specialized factions that had to offer more to their members in order to survive.

Nyarai's reforms and policies should not be mistaken as entirely altruistic.  Every diminishment of faction power was an increase in the Royal Family's power, and her support of science and exploration expanded the reach and influence of her rule.  That said, she is generally remembered as a beloved monarch, responsible for much of the culture of the modern City.

1870 - 1922: Steam and Science

Following the death of Queen Nyarai, the City entered a period of rapid scientific development.  Advanced steam-powered machinery imported from newly discovered worlds eased the labour of many City workers, and automobiles started a revolution in transport and travel.  Suddenly ordinary residents of the City were not stuck in one small area for the whole of their lives, as a trip from the Edge to the Tower and back could be completed in a day rather than a week.

Homes in the City had always had a source of power, but it had only been of much practical use to mages.  The introduction of electric lights and motors meant that any ordinary resident now had a reason to use the City's power.

It was an age of scientists and inventors, with new marvellous products being introduced every week and the City's understanding of science advancing in leaps and bounds.  The Crown established a Royal Society of Phantagraphic Engineers to apply the scientific method to study of Phantagraphia, creating the legacy that would be followed by factions like the PRD.

1923 - 1929: The Science Wars

1923 saw the beginnings of a series of conflicts that would pre-occupy the rest of the decade.  It began with a competition between P.R. Duckley, inventor of the radioelemagraph, and Rodin Qward, who created the first clean-burning atomic water engine.  The fierce competition between the two brilliant inventors and business leaders came to an unexpectedly violent climax when they each sent giant robots to do battle in the Swift canton, apparently with the idea that whichever robot won would prove who was the better inventor.

The initial Robot Battle ended with massive property damage but fortunately no lives lost, and without a clear victor.  Duckley and Qward willingly gave financial support to clean up the mess they had made, but clearly had not settled their rivalry.  The Science Wars, as they came to be known, continued on a yearly basis, with more and more absurdly dangerous machines facing off over the City and causing massive damage.  By 1929, Duckley and Qward had each financially ruined themselves with the expense of creating their war machines and cleaning up after themselves.  Duckley's uncompleted Iron Mallard - a luxury airplane the size of a hotel - can still be seen in the Swift canton, where it is often used for late-night dance parties.

1930 -1955: Organized Crime and Mystery Men

The 1930s saw a dramatic increase in organized crime throughout the City.  The monopolistic trade factions had hired mercenary companies to oppress workers and protect assets, but almost as a side effect also acted as a sort of police force for the City.  With the massive trade factions mostly dissolved, these unofficial police services disappeared, and a void was left to be filled by the criminally inclined.  Extortion, bribery, and corruption became facts of life, as criminal families began to move into the role of the City's fallen nobility.

In response to this increasing criminality, more and more vigilantes started to appear in the City.  Costumed avengers and protectors of the innocent, often empowered by strange technology or transcendental meditation techniques, these would-be heroes were known as Mystery Men.  Some were quite public about their identities, and popular heroes of the people, such as the immortal and photogenic Alan "Doc" Fist.  Others were shadowy, violent vigilantes, perhaps as great a threat as the villains they fought against, such as the mysterious Widowmaker.

1956 - Present: Modern Era

While things have by no means remained static, life in the City has been relatively stable for the last seventy years.  The Tahoma family continues to rule with the assistance of the Crown faction, held together by a system of alliances and wise politics with other powerful factions.  The people of the City are for the most part free of tyranny and exploitation, and factions such as the Cartographer's Society, the PRD, and the Order of the Golden Bough continue to expand our understanding of Phantagraphia and the Multiverse.  New worlds are discovered every day, and new people arrive in the City constantly.  A brief timeline of only a few notable events over the last century:

1957: Andreas Panzer becomes leader of the Wardens, a largely defunct mercenary band implicated in the Tower Massacre of 1813.  Panzer's diligent work at reforming and modernizing the Wardens will eventually make them one of the City's most important and respected factions.

1962:  The spell-casting supercomputer Gargantuvac ascends to a higher plane of existence, leaving the Alchemor Corporation with no way to calculate its payroll.

1968:  The portal to Detrios is discovered.  Thirty-three people, including the initial exploration team, are converted to automatons before the portal can be sealed.

1977:  An alliance of factions including the Wardens raid the headquarters of the Ruined Fang, a death-cult dedicated to the Eternals.  The Fang's collection of rare and evil books are sent to the Grand Librarium for secure storage, but never arrive.

1986: Death of Ramone Tahoma at a tragically young age.  The "Punk King" had introduced a new era of music to the City, and tried to implement the contradictory policy of "Smash the State" to City politics.  As the young Ramone has no children, the monarchy passes to his sister, Leandra.

1991: A tremendous Cityquake reconfigures a thirteen block area in the Sun Canton.  Many homes, shops, and offices are destroyed, but thanks to the predictions of the recently formed Forecasters faction, no lives are lost.

2007: A fifty-foot elemental beast known as a Primordial emerges from a portal in the Stone Canton, causing serious damage and wide-spread panic before it is repelled.  Research suggests it was looking for a good location for a nest.

2013: Master magician Nestor Hyraxian makes the Tower disappear in front of an audience of three hundred.  The Tower reappears at the end of the show, but Nestor vanishes and has not been seen since.

2015:  A sudden increase in portal activity sees the arrival of a great number of new visitors to the City, some of whom become permanent residents.