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The Eternal Cityby John Calvin
The Eternal City
It is a place where all times exist.
It is where past and present meet.
· Normal gravity
· Objective time. Time seems to move normally for those who dwell in one of several defined "eras" of the city, however it is possible (and even quite easy) to move through time and reach different eras.
· Finite size - The size of a large metropolitan city.
· Divinely morphic.
· No elemental or energy traits.
· Strongly neutral aligned.
· Restricted magic. Strangely enough all magic that deals with manipulating time does not work. All other magic works normally.
The Eternal City is a plane comprised of a single population center. Some times that population center is little more than a sparsely populated village (or even less than that), while at other times it is a bustling city, full of tall buildings and packed streets.
All time periods in the city are accessible from within the plane. Indeed most of the inhabitants of the plane are quite familiar with this anomaly and are able to move across the barriers, free to conduct business and trade across time.
The time periods in the Eternal City were cultivated by Khoronus to mimic those periods that occurred on Mystara during the fall of the Thonian Empire and the subsequent rise of the Kingdom of Blackmoor. Although the cultures and their interactions are similar to what occurred on the world of Mystara, the Eternal City is its own distinct entity. Historical figures from the real Thonia and Blackmoor will not be found here (except as petitioners), although figures with similar backgrounds and mindsets may exist.
There is a portal in the city that connects to one of the branches of Lhondaras in Djaea's realm. A few well guarded portals to the Astral also exist in what could be termed the "middle ages" of the Eternal City. Those ages that predate the medieval era, as well as those that surpass it contain no portals to any other planes. The only way to reach them is by travelling from within the Eternal City itself.
The immortal Khoronus is the undisputed master of this plane, or at least over a majority of the time. Most mortals on this plane worship of serve Khoronus in some fashion. It is also not uncommon to see servants of Djaea in portions of the city, though they tend to prefer the earlier time periods over the later ones.
There are some few eras where Khoronus will not or cannot travel, and those eras may contain other life forms both mortal and immortal.
The Thonians living in the city range from primitive agrarians to more sophisticated imperialists.
These Thonians distinguish themselves from their brethren solely in their political mindset. They are anti-imperialists, and highly individualistic people.
Strangely enough most Emerondians in this plane are not to be found outside of the time referred to as The Swamp. At least they are not easily found. In fact the Cult of the Frog has agents located throughout many times in the Eternal City. These agents work diligently to insure that the City will crumble in preparation for the coming of the age of The Swamp.
Any who worship Khoronus, or who revere the tenants of the Sphere of Time, may find themselves as petitioners here. Those that are neither Thonian nor Blackmoorian tend to congregate in the more cosmopolitan time periods.
Movement and Combat:
Movement and combat are resolved normally on this plane.
Although The Eternal City is composed of a single city, the time periods that can be found throughout the plane are very diverse. Some few are described briefly below, although others can certainly be found.
The Eternal City is little more than a conglomeration of mud and thatch roofed huts. Farmers try to eke out a meagre existence on what little they can coax from the soil.
The Thonians who live here are a little more sophisticated than those who dwell in the Villages before now. They have turned what was once a primitive village into a fortified outpost. A majority of the populace lives inside of the wooden palisades, although others take their chances outside of the walls.
This is probably the first time period at which the Eternal City can be properly called such. It is a bustling medieval metropolis. The Thonians living here consider themselves to be Blackmoorians.
Blackmoor at its height, when technological and magical learning was at its peak, is represented here.
One of the more difficult eras to locate and travel to, here the Emerondians and their Cult of the Frog hold sway. The Eternal City is a crumbling morass steadily sinking into the swamplands that have oozed up around it. This may be an alternate timeline in the Eternal City's history, or it may actually be a time after the city's Blackmoorian population has declined.
The Time When None Tread:
The city itself no longer exists here, if it did at all. This time/place is utterly devoid of Blackmoorian life, but other things lurk here. Khoronus himself will not say what they are, although he almost certainly knows. It is rumoured that the immortal lord of this plane travelled here once (or that he will at some point), though he is very secretive about how he got there and what he saw.
Some speculate that this is a time when the Blackmoorian Hierarchy Lords have eradicated the immortals and dominated the universe. Others conjecture that this period is a second frozen from the Great Rain of Fire. Both are certainly viable possibilities.
The Eternal City is a plane with many sights to behold, and many wonders to discover. Knowledge of the ancient Mystarans lies within its boundaries.
Secrets of mighty Blackmoor await those who are bold enough to seek them.
Following are a few specific campaign ideas that might lead an adventuring party into the Eternal City.
The elves of Canolbarth (or Aengmor) have discovered another ancient device that they believe to be of Blackmoorian origin. Having long memories they do not wish to temp fate by tampering with the device, for they might cause a catastrophe similar to the one that was unleashed in 1750 BC. Thus the PCs must journey to the Eternal City in the hopes of discovering clues about the artifacts operation. Only then can it be safely disposed of.
Agents of the Frog have escaped from the Eternal City and found their way back to Mystara. These cultists invade many nations of the Known World (and beyond) and attempt to bring about a resurgence of the Frog. Not only must these villains be stopped on Mystara, the PCs must track down the source of this planar insurgence in order to prevent future outbreaks of the mean greenies.
Immortal level campaigns can be run through the Eternal City from the perspective of those who support Khoronus as well as from those who oppose him.
Some campaign ideas follow:
Rafiel and his agents have finally infiltrated the Eternal City, and they are planning to create a Chamber Cult right in the midst of Khoronus' own power base. If they succeed it will be a major coup against the Hierarch of Time, for Rafiel's Chamber will allow him to siphon energy directly from Khoronus' home plane to his own. The immortals can either be agents of Rafiel who are trying to subvert Blackmoorians to their cause, or they can be servants of Khoronus trying to stop the diabolical plot.
Servants of Khoronus are tasked with the duty of piercing the veil of the Time When None Tread. What they find will surely impact immortal society, changing it forever. Awaiting them on the other side is a threat to all immortals. Long ago, when Blackmoor destroyed itself, the immortals tried to purge its surviving colonies from the Material Plane. For the most part they succeeded, although a few of the Blackmoorians survived the attempt. In the battles that ensued some of the Blackmoorians achieved immortality themselves through devices much like the Nucleus of the Spheres. They have harboured a deep seated hatred for those that drove them away long ago. Now they sit in their own portion of the Eternal City, patiently waiting for the day that they can confront and destroy the established order of immortals.
Those who oppose Khoronus have finally had enough of his accursed Blackmoorians. A group of immortals has decided to destroy the Eternal City in order to prevent the Blackmoorian plague from escaping the plane and infesting the rest of the Multiverse.