Introduction: The *new* continuity! Edit
Hey everybody, it's your friendly neighborhood wikimaster, the hateful and acidic Chakos. Really though, we're gonna be nicer here than on the forums, mostly because we'd like to encourage participation by everybody, and eventually, hopefully, quality participation from everybody. (notice that I'm using the 'royal' we).
So, what's all this "new continuity" talk mean? If you need to catch up, there are some forum threads to be read. (It all started with Ivan's post here when he said what we've all been thinking for awhile. There are also relevant posts here and here. Basically, everybody voted and it's time to throw away all of our old, convoluted storylines, characters, plots, teams, etc and start over! What I'd like this page to be is a discussion of what exactly we consider Khazan to be.
Sooooooo, what I'm gonna do is cobble together the various visions of Khazan that have been shared recently, so we all have a jumping off point. Bear in mind, as usual, that no one is required in any way, shape, or form to adhere to any of this. Its just a way for those who are interested in having their characters, teams, stories, and ideas interact with each other to find common ground.
- Alright kiddies, edit the crap out of this, would ya?
What *is* Khazan?! Edit
The point that becomes Khazan is the center of the Big Bang. When the explosion happens and creates the universe, reality is "cracked," in the sense that things do not generally explode and still remain intact. Before that there were no alternate realities; there was nothing, and you can't have multiple shades of nothing. While some universes may be alongside each other, Khazan is the only place touching all of them, like the center of a spider web or the crack in a piece of glass. Though they have the same origin, only some universes are parallel, while others are on the other side of the spectrum and completely different. In some of them time even passes differently, so that Universe A might have a civilization that's older than Universe B's entire lifespan.
Khazan is Khazan. People and things tend to end up there. No one really bothers asking why, except superficially. Like, "Why was I born on this earth?" Its true nature and purpose is left to whoever would take the reins and do a good fic that people can accept as canon. At best, it may be vaguely referred to as the Nexus and whatnot, but I'm for most peeps just accept that it's there, it's always been there, and they've always been there on it. Khazan occupies all the space between 0,0,0 and ~0,~0,~0 on the Omniversal coordinate plane. This is a deceptively vast but finite space. It exists in a unique dimension that is completely asymmetrical with regard to entropy. Various groupings and categorizations of different Universes, Dimensions, Planes, Realities, Causalities, Realms, Metaverses, etc all simultaneously encorporate or ignore Khazan as a physical entity, but its true existence is apparent in every place and time (just as it is possible to construct a variety of mathematical systems ignoring or willfully disincluding zero, but the notion of "no quantity" will still persist.) Due to its rather unique proximity to The Nexus, (known as "True Zero," "The Core," and "Point of Origin," among other things,) Khazan contains a unique relationship with both The Void and Creation, and acts as a sort of causal buffer between these (and any other antithetical forces.)
You can get there via magic gates, via spaceships if you fly far enough in the right direction (second star to the right, straight on 'till morning), you can get there via taking the right sequence of wrong turns on your way to the local Wallgreens. On any given day probably half a dozen Buddhists accidentally meditate themselves straight into Khazan's Central Park. There's some kind of pin that keeps the Omniverse together, and that's stuck straight through Khazan City; the further you get away from Khazan the more chances you have of wandering off into an adjacent reality, one of those different threads of the web. Outlying fields, towns, cities, etc, are dependable but the further you get from them the less likely you are to be on the planet upon which Khazan appears to reside. Walk far enough, and maybe you end up in Jupiter, and we wouldn't want that would we? Except for the gas-breathing chromatovores among us.
What does Khazan look like?! Edit
- There's a lot of debate here. Its some kind of Planet as well as some kind of city. A BIG city. Here are some takes on the idea:
Khazan is a planet, smaller than Earth and largely inhospitable. The vast majority of its landmass is collected into a large supercontinent, like Pangea. The middle portion of this continent is a vast desert, which is surrounded on all sides by variously nasty terrains - from the Frozen Wastes to the north to the treacherous Lava Cliffs of the south. The planet has 2 moons, though the smaller of the two only recently appeared. Khazan is unique in that it is surrounded on all sides by rifts in reality. Although space travel away from Khazan has been attempted, the further away one goes from the planet, the more likely they are to be ripped apart by the ever-changing rifts, making any noteworthy exploration (or escape) impossible. Although the sun inexplicably remains constant, the constellations are never the same from night to night - instead reflecting whatever space happens to be beyond the various rifts at that time.
The rifts not only surround Khazan, but permeate the planet. The vast majority of the planet is subject to random and chaotic shifts in reality which, when combined with the harsh natural environments, makes it essentially unlivable... all except for one area of relative rift stablity and reasonably hospitable climate, onto which a city was built. The city - who's origin has long since been lost to all - grew into a sprawling urban landscape with many distinct sectors. Largely Earth-centric in its design, the sheer variety of unique persons to pass though the rifts into Khazan has given the city an ever-changing and sometimes bizarre composition.
Khazan is a planet (although not exactly in a strictest sense) consisting of an undefined number of reality 'slices' juxtaposed together - laid out side by side, on top of one another, and in other ways that defy explanation. Said reality slices run the whole spectrum, covering a wide range of worlds, ranging from medieval kingdoms, to futuristic acropolises, primitive jungles, open oceans, vast subterranean cave systems, crystal forests populated by silicon lifeforms, etc. you get the idea... Khazan City itself consists of several juxtaposed urban reality slices, whose denizens have since banded together to form a common administrative system, and acts of the de facto capital of the Nexus.
Reality slices can commonly be accessed physically, i.e. crossing land on foot or vehicle, flying, diving into a body of water, etc. - but some will need more unusual methods to exist, as certain reality slices are not positioned in three-dimensional space, but instead overlap one another. (Think along the lines of the Shadow or Ethereal planes in D&D). But one thing remains for sure is that the slices of reality are definitely separated in some way or another. (How else would one find himself breathing oxygen one moment, and then choking on methane the next because he took a wrong turn and ended up in a reality slice with a methane atmosphere? And each reality slice - called 'sectors' by Khazanian adminstration indeed is a world on its own, with its own atmosphere, day/night, climate and even differing laws of physics)
But beyond the juxtaposed reality puzzle sphere is the 'true' Nexus. A spherical planet, slightly smaller than earth, its entire surface covered by an ecumenopolis of obviously alien design, dubbed 'Khazan Prime' by the sector-dwelling Khazanians who discovered it. When it was first discovered, the city was mysteriously deserted, its streets empty. No one knows who were these original Khazanians (dubbed, 'The Originators') who built the city, or how or why they disappeared. Khazan Prime has since then been refurbished and touched up for inhabitation; while new buildings have been constructed, much of the original structures still remain, in perfect condition and populated with new denizens.
I say, Khazan City's a city, and it's basically New York, or Tokyo, or Los Angeles (probably Tokyo since theoretically, there's countryside near-ish it). No uber big, stretching across the horizon. New York's been big enough for the Hulk to rampage, Tokyo has Godzilla has with a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, pulls the spitting high tension wires down in Tokyo, and Los Angeles has caged many a freakos (actors, Michael Bay, immigrants). Heck, why one city? Khazan City can be the "capital city", not that there's a government about. But otherwise, you can set your char in any number of cities, like Metropolis or Gotham. Chars can still interact (crossover, cameo etc), or not.
The City known as Khazan (among other things,) is huge, but only on a relative scale, with roughly 12 million inhabitants in the city propper and another estimated 140 million in the surrounding "immediate access" areas (within 90 minutes travel time.) Khazan contains features reminiscent of many world cities, demonstrating Los Angeles' endless, suburban cookie-cutter corporate culture, Tokyo's three-dimensional build, population density, public transportation and digital proliferation, Cairo's wide variety of ancient, historic, dated, and modern architecture, New York's stature and its citizen's sense of self-identity, Hong Kong's global marketplace (legal and otherwise,) etc etc etc. There are architectural and cultural reflections of many other historical and alien civilizations as well. Khazan is a city with vast suburbs spreading hundreds of miles in either direction along the coast.
And what about the Arena, and what's with all the fighting? Edit
Located in the heart of Khazan is the Khazan Arena; much like most of the structures there, it is an original structure left behind by the Originators. Given the unique status of Khazan, it would be no surprise that many factions have once fought for monopoly over the Nexus. The usage of the Arena as a tournament ground was conceived by more level-headed factions as a means of settling conflicts in a 'winner takes all' fashion, hence minimizing collateral damage. Although some of the more business-minded factions have also found it a rather lucrative trade, organizing fights for entertainment and profit.
Living with the constant threat and uncertainty posed by the random influx of foreign entities through the rifts, Khazanian society has had a very unique development. With little in common with one another, the only unifying goal of its citizenry is their mutual self-defence from threats pouring in from infinate realities. As such, Khazanians are unusually pre-occupied with combat and unusually suspicious of newcomers. The Arena evolved as a way to both placate a nervous citizenry hungry for exhibitions of might and also to judge a newcomers value to their hodge-podge society. Newcomers through the rift are assessed, and those with skills and abilities which could be either a benefit or threat to Khazan are sent to the Arena. There, they combat other newcomers in front of a bloodthirsty audience so that their abilities can be judged and their intentions defined. Those who attain glory in the Arena, gain status in Khazanian society. They are either held up as brave defenders or villified as dangerous scoundrels.
The Arena itself consists of a large central combat arena constructed over a powerful yet stable rift. This rift randomly shifts the arena's fighting area to resemble some oft-distant part of the planet. Spectators are positioned in seating beyond the radius of the rift, and the entire battle is televised and broadcast throughout the city like a major sporting event on Earth.
The Arena is the Arena. It's in Khazan. Like the Colosseum. People go there to watch the fights. which consists of many types of entrants from all walks of life for a variety of reasons, by choice or forced. Not every character made has been an Arena fighter, but it's an option.
Just as the majority of fights typically include two characters with no relation to each other who have no reason to be in an arena and less reason to be interacting, most fights actually take place outside the city, though it would surely have an arena in there somewhere for those who like that sort of thing. Battles take place in the area surrounding Khazan, and if anyone has a highly impressive scientific term they learned in physics that could name it, go for it. Or call it the Wasteland, or the Spacial Disconnect, I don't know. The center spot where dimensions directly touch in a point is safely within the city, while outside, they only partially connect, blurring together into a chaotic realm. Travelers moving through Khazan would appear and leave here, not inside the city. Because of the indistinct, unpredictable nature of the area, any given portion of "land" can fade into anywhere on any world, hence characters fighting in settings neither are prepared for, or the matching of two completely unrelated characters. Fighting happens here because it's typically not permitted within the protected confines of the city, and there would seldom be a reason for either side to further risk their neck trying to do it there.