Tales of a Dark City
A Rabbit Hole is a place where the laws of reality have become utterly and totally warped from what they should be.
If you are lucky, the Rabbit Hole is just an interdimensional gateway that’s deposited you on an alternate Earth or into one of The Concept Realms. While you personally might be in danger, the rest of the world around you continues to function as normal.
If you are unlucky, the Rabbit Hole represents an actual overlay: a place where two alternate realities are physically touching. This is usually a prelude to a massive natural disaster of some kind, because the interaction of the two planes is inherently unstable. A Rabbit Hole of this type can permanently alter the area, allow creatures from one plane to cross over into another, and so on.
If you are really unlucky, you’ve just stumbled into someone’s Fisher Kingdom or a Genius Loci. This usually indicates the presence of an Abnormal powerful enough to turn several acres of land into his own private god-realm. Everything within the Rabbit Hole is altered to suit the whims of whoever the effect is centered on, and if left alone long enough the changes can become permanent.
Technically, the Rabbit Hole is the event horizon, the boundary of the effect. The space beyond it where the alterations actually occur is known as a Wonderland.
Notable Rabbit Holes:
- October 31, 2003: The Brave New World is created from a confluence of events that significantly alter how it interacts and reacts with the multiverse.
The area for 2 miles around Shadow Weave Ground Zero, a patch of desert 40 miles from the Iran-Iraq border, is the Rabbit Hole. The glass crater of Ground Zero itself is the Wonderland, and has been opened twice in the past 27 years with world-changing consequences.
- June 18-21, 2012: Epsilon Inc., a research firm located in Drake City, announces a planned test of a “quantum space shunt”intended to revolutionize shipping and transport through the development of practical teleportation, after extensive small-scale testing. The test commences to much media fanfare. The switch is thrown, and then the live feeds go dead. An investigation reveals the entire Epsilon complex empty. None of the people present at the site are ever heard from again, though rumors of strange disappearances, ghostly voices, and other paranormal phenomena rage for decades afterward.
The Rabbit Hole here is the Epsilon complex, with the Wonderland being centered around the Quantum Space Shunt the Epsilon people were developing, and the main lab it was in
- July 4, 2012: Ten-year-old Alice Pleasance Liddell of London becomes the world’s youngest known nova when she erupts during a traumatic fire that kills the rest of her family. Alice’s abilities warp the world around her into a strange sort of fantasy realm apparently based off of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Scientists are baffled at her ability to so totally deform the laws of physics and reality in her immediate area. The terms “Liddell Syndrome” and the more colloquial “Rabbit Hole” come to be attached to this event and events with similar eruptions of powers that transform surroundings to greater or lesser degrees.
In this case, the Rabbit Hole was centered within 1 mile of Alice Liddel’s location, and was a Fisher Kingdom centered on Alice herself. The Rabbit Hole ceased to exist when Alice died.
- October 31 – November 2, 2013: On the tenth anniversary of the Weave incident, 13 identical nuclear explosions (12 simultaneous strikes followed by a 13th roughly a minute later) are recorded in the blackened Iraqi desert where the Weave first manifested. Team Tomorrow, now under direct UN command, investigates, but contact with the team is lost almost immediately and most fear the worst, which is confirmed when The Paragon, Team Tomorrow’s leader and widely considered the world’s most powerful nova, is discovered in a coma in Baghdad. Two days later, Ayatollah Mohammad al-Fadiq of The Persian Republic declares that god has sent him angels from the Heavens for his unwavering devotion to the cause of Islam. He reveals to a stunned world 12 novas more powerful than any ever seen before, beings seemingly made of pure nuclear energy that refer to themselves as Avatars of the Martyrs. These are powerful by even abnormal standards, and are able lay waste to large tracts of land. Afghanistan and many of the remaining Gulf States surrender unconditionally and are incorporated into the Persian Republic, leaving only Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey unaffiliated with the so-called “Nation of Islam.”
Each of the 12 Avatars was personally powerful enough to create a Rabbit Hole around them, making each of them Fisher Kings.
- March-June 2017: The dimensional shunts are deployed in Europe and the Middle East. One by one, the Avatars are lured into the shunts and drained of power, neutralizing them.
Each Dimensional Shunt is technically a Rabbit Hole, though an artificial one.
- July 12, 2017: The Shambala Veil, a misty wall of magical energy, seals off Tibet from the rest of the world. A shaky ceasefire between India and China develops as the phenomenon is explored.
The Shambala Veil is the world’s largest known Rabbit Hole, covering the entirety of the Himalayan mountain range and the Kashmir region. Because it is incredibly difficult to pass beyond the veil, there has been little research into it. The current theory is that Mount Everest spontaneously awakened into a Genius Loci, but no one knows why
- March, 2021: A village in Sri Lanka is destroyed by an earthquake, but a Nova with power over stone and earth emerges from the rubble. Calling herself Gaia, she restores the village, then quickly becomes controversial when she declares herself a Goddess and demands the villagers pay tribute to her, prompting an armed response from Sri Lanka’s military. The Vanguard is called in. Though Gaia is driven out of the area, she eludes capture by Vanguard.
- February-March, 2024: Adrian Solace, The Sandman, escapes federal custody after making a pact with an entity he calls “The Nightmare Prince.” The Sandman wages a campaign of terror in Drake City, using his mental powers to put people into comas and then animate their dreams, creating a horde of nightmare beasts for no greater reason than to spread fear and misery throughout the city. The Watchmen confront and kill Solace and free as many of the “sleepers” as they can, though one of their members, the fireslinger Inferno, causes considerable collateral damage during one of the battles. This results in the deaths of twenty comatose sleepers and his expulsion from the group.
- June 19th-30th, 2028: A massive wave of demon-like creatures appear in Drake City, attacking public facilities. The Watchmen step in to battle the demons, culminating in a pitched battle in Drake Park with an immense dragon-like creature. The nova Holocaust reappears, now calling himself Supernova, and aids the Watchmen in defeating the dragon. The immediate area is left in ruins. Hundreds of lives are lost, and millions of dollars worth of damages are inflicted on the city before the crisis is ended.
What is not generally known about