The island of Infinitas is a volcanic, Oahu-like island. It is isolated, wrapped in a seemingly confounding everpresent magical fog that impedes exploration of what lies beyond it's small pocket of existence. Adrift through the multiverse, this small island is host to a great many paranormal and unexplainable phenomena.
It's also host to around 65,000 sentient individuals, belonging to approximately 7000 seperate (both disparate and non) species, and growing every day - not merely because of births, but also because random people are snatched from various other places in the multiverse and dropped, seemingly at random, upon the island. Needless to say, this results in a rather interesting combination of various cultures, species, languages and individuals into one patchwork. It is also home to lots of exotic plants and animals.
Civilization on the island has existed for 80 years, and a very interesting 80 years they have been. This page will attempt to summarize what a newcomer needs to know about the setting of Infinitas, where special ops teams riding on the backs of dragons and tiny pixies holding conversations with Starfleet personnel are an everyday sight. (Note: For 2014, the year is '88')
Infinitas is host to two strange phenomena that are visible to anyone first entering. The first would be the Migrants. These are microwormholes (small areas where space and time is "folded over" onto itself) that appear seemingly at random, pulling material in from other dimensions, many of which resemble fictional universes present on Earth, and many which do not. Such phenomena are common and happen almost daily, with various people from all walks of life on all types of worlds randomly dumped into being on the island's shores. A majority of the population on the island was originally brought there by a migrant, with only a fraction being "Infborn". Migrants seem to bridge across not just space and dimensions, but also time - although paradoxes haven't happened yet, it's very common to have people from the past and future of the same world brought to Infinitas. It is speculated by some that migrants might be able to allow a person to meet themselves at another point in time, but whether or not such an informational "bootstrap paradox" of this sort can happen is very heavily debated in academic circles. The phenomenon is so common, most major communities and all of the cities have welcome centers to tell new arrivals what happened. See also: Cosmology.
The other one is the Fog. About ten kilometers out from the island's coastal shelf (although this can vary by more than five kilometers), an everpresent, magical fog drapes over the water, presenting a near-insurmountable barrier to exploration. Only recently have expeditions managed to penetrate the fog, allowing travel to the mysterious mainland, where forces older than the island's society still exist.
As mentioned above, Infinitas is a volcanic island. It is approximately 230 kilometers by 352 kilometers and encompasses a good variety of terrain within itself, from volcanic hills to flat plains and forests. The island is surrounded by a fresh-water lake which is home to a great variety of aquatic life, and fishing is a common supplemental source of nutrition.
Soil fertility is high and nutrients are plentiful, allowing wild grasses, ferns and trees to grow on almost every inch of it's outer shore (aided quite a bit by the large levels of biodiversity caused by migrants bringing in varied plant and animal matter). In fact, the only thing stopping it from becoming a "temperate jungle" is the weather patterns and the clearings that civilization has created.
The island itself is somewhat mineral poor on the surface - precious metals are rare above and even below the water table, and iron is about the only thing that can be considered even close to plentiful. There are more plentiful mineral resources upon the lakebed and deep under the surface close to the dormant volcano Infinitas sits atop of, but sadly none of these are at all economical to extract with the low tech level equipment Infinitas has.
The weather is coolly temperate, roughly equivalent to the 50th parallel on Earth. Temperatures range from a average low of -7 degrees C (record low -17 C) to an average high of 4 degrees C (record high 7 C) in the 1st Month, whereas in summer (7th month) average highs are 22 C (record 27), with average lows of 11 degrees C (record 6). Both rain and snow are somewhat common, and light drizzles in summer are usually expected and even welcomed.
Approximately 10 km out from the island itself, an everpresent quasimagical fog presents a curtain to exploration. Several expeditions have been sent in the fog, and many have returned, having unknowingly gotten turned around 180 degrees as they wandered about without any point of reference attempting to keep a stable course. Others failed entirely to, and are presumed lost. One successful venture was a suborbital rocket launch that managed to see past the fog and several features beyond. While what the fog does is heavily debated and mostly unknown, it presents a barrier to further knowledge of the world around the island - and makes travel to the mainland only possible through specific means.
Main article: History
The first settlers arrived on Infinitas approximately 85 years ago, specific date unknown. Year 0, as it is called, is known as the First Founding of civilization on the island. Judging from recovered writings, it was (officially, if not in practice) the early fall, when the first initial harvests were collected and shared - thus, autumn festivals in both Marsilion and Arcford (both of which claim to be the point of initial settlement) celebrating the event and the first harvest are common, and generally involve much sharing of intercultural affairs such as dances, songs, and drinks from many worlds scattered about the multiverse.
After the initial founding of a settlement (again, either what is now Arcford or Marsilion) along the coast, the population began growing at an accelerated rate. Food supply was surprisingly plentiful given the wide variety of biodiversity that the migrants brought in, and despite new sentients being brought to the colony constantly, it survived and flourished. It wasn't long before other settlements sprung up - either settled by those from the original settlement, or other communities that settled where they ended up, such as Coldharbor and Porton. Mentions are made to small nomadic communities in the badlands.
The difficulties were not so major in food supply, but sadly with technology they were. Most settlers had come inadvertently and unprepared, due to the obvious nature of migrants, so as such almost everything had to be remade from scratch. Fortunately many of the early settlers were educated individuals such as engineers and were able to solve the basic problems of metallurgy, food storage, advanced shelter, and basic infrastructure. Though knowledge was codified wherever it could be, the hectic days of these struggles sadly is an incomplete picture, as many records have been lost - rumored to have been scattered or preserved in underground vaults, although the truth may never have been known.
What is known is that by Year 37, most settlements were relatively well established. Basic healthcare was available from local pharmaceutical supplies and on-the-job trained professionals, most buildings were solidly made out of wood, basic dirt roads had been made, more advanced farm tools were coming to fruition and forges had been established that were capable of producing good quality steel, so long as the wood could be provided to fire them. Black powder weapons were available but still being refined. (Roughly TL4.)
With the necessities of a civilization established, over time, several power structures emerged on the island - numerous small coalitions of villages, city states and even some extant settlements that no longer exist banded together to form the Four Powers. Ranging from the democratic to the totalitarian, these four loose allegiances of cities and peoples coexisted for a while, but the inherent problems with surviving and recreating a civilized society, combined intense disagreements over how the island's limited resources, of man, industry and material, should be used, the island was plunged into the First Infinitas War.
While the war impeded technological progress, the inherent difficulties in mustering a war effort with so little infrastructure having been made made the war a grinding one of attrition, and several of the smaller powers and communities ended up being razed. Such 'lost' settlements were quickly plundered, but occasionally a burnt out house in the woods or remnants can be found at isolated points along the isle. In the end, the Four Powers called a truce, and went to lick their wounds.
A few isolated incidents of warfare marked the progression of society, up until about Year 48, when a political coup and a short conflict destroyed one of the four powers. The three remaining were hollowed out by the takeover, and became what is known today as the three Great Houses, the main political power on Infinitas. While allied initially, the trust that had placed them into power - aided by geological distance between their primary settlements - quickly eroded, and while the three maintained an uneasy peace with each other, all three began a gentle and slow buildup of their technological prowess, hoarding resources, money and forces for the conflict all three knew was probably inevitable.
The hostilities erupted after the Sola Incident, and the island was plunged into the Second Infinitas War. One of the three houses, the Trade Union was gutted in the conflict, which is ongoing to this day, and replaced by the Democratic Government of Marsilion. The war has since settled into a stalemate, each side too exhausted - or unwilling - to advance much. Talks for a ceasefire have been slowly progressing.
Since the conclusion of the war, the government of marsilion has been working extensively on infrastructure improvements. A power grid has been set up, as well as water and phone utilities.
A couple years after the war, an alien space ship crashed into marsilion. Upon reactivation, it was able to fly safely through the fog and return. By harvesting parts from this ship, the people of the southern alliance have managed to build the Airship Adrastea, and begun expeditions to the mainland...
And so the story continues...
Infinitas is very much an island where the strain of rapid technological advance shows itself. Remaking civilization in 80 years was not easy. This means that quality of life is somewhat patchwork. Combine this with the fact that migrants bring in not just people but also random bits of material from offworld, some of which is high-tech, and you have a very schizo-tech society.
Most of society's effort is put into surviving. Food production takes up a large part of the economy in almost all places, with over half the population being involved in farming or fishing, and up to 75% involved at least seasonally. Since Infinitas is mineral poor, metals are precious and the economy's unit of exchange is usually precious metals. Metal items are more expensive than one might think, even if they're made out of steel, and technology to extract mineral deposits underneath the water table is always extremely valuable. As much as possible, things are made out of wood.
While many fantastic, high tech or magical things do exist on Infinitas, and almost anything can be had with luck and enough money, most people make by with medieval or industrial revolution-era technology. Houses are made of timber-framed wood, horses are the main form of transportation, electricity is not extremely readily available outside the main cities and almost all goods are hand crafted. Your average person lives in TL5 industrial revolution tech levels - using seed drills in farming, using late black powder firearms in hunting, heating houses by way of fireplace and sending messages via courier or radiotelegraph. In the large southern cities, the average tech levels are starting to resemble early 20th century "roaring 20s" tech, with phones, electricity, some appliances, and climate controlled houses. More advanced things can often be found sprinkled into this - many families own a radio, the occasional TV (possibly even with VHS tapes and a VCR), a microwave, and a refridgerator. For the most part though, advanced high-tech things such as computers tend to find their way exclusively into the homes of the wealthy. Further details on infrastructure vary by city - you can find more information below.
More recently, a unified electrical power utility has been established for servicing marsillion and it's metro area. The power is 6 phase 120 Volt (rms) 60 Hz electrical power. Most new houses are being built to incorporate elctrical power, and existing houses have a set of standards on current limiting and fire hazard devices they must reach before being retrofitted. A water utility has also being implemented, using 3 water towers for pressure. Wastewater is handled either centrally or at the household level, as long as the water being thrown out is purified before hand and meets sanitation requirements. The central wastewater treatment facility uses purify water spells to handle its load.
Additionally, a phone utility is being set up. Landlines can be built, or users with cell phones can have their phones retrofitted to communicate to a wireless tower being set up which is able to dial into the system. Using this system, people with computers can purchase a modem which can dial into other computers connected to the phone network. A simple DNS server has been set up at the library, which can connect the users to its database, or other services like one of the banks or the tech cafe. There are a few old fiber optic lines running to Arcford and Porton, which allows communication to services there, such as the university.
Located on the southernmost part of the isle. Primarily involved in fishing and farming, providing 29% of the island's foodstuff output. Marsilion is where most play takes place, and generally central to the story of Infinitas. Population 9000-10000. Political control: Democratic Government of Marsilion.
Marsilion is the primary play area of Infinitas and more or less central to the ongoing story.
Located on the southwestern portion of the isle, northwest from Marsilion. A technologically advanced town that has suffered greatly in the various conflicts. Large amounts of lumber production. Home to the Arcford University. Population 18000. Political control: Local government, part of southern alliance
Located south of the isle, west of Marsilion. Marsilion's 'sister city', smaller than it. Heavy into the fishing and boatbuilding industries. Population 5500. Political control: Local government, part of southern alliance.
Located in the northwest of the isle.
Located in the north of the isle.
Located in the northeast of the isle.
Marsilion metro area. Farming community.
A village located at the bottom of the lake, about a kilometer and a half out from Marsilion, 130 feet below the surface. Populated by a large number of aquatic races, grouped together for shelter. While not an official community in Marsilion's metro area, it's known of at least partially, as many aquatic citizens come up temporarily on land to Marsilion and Porton.
A village outside the city of Marsilion, a notable tourist trap, hosting a couple bars, and even a Zoo.
Geographical Areas of NoteEdit