From: Concordia Bly, Junior Special Agent, Tal Sharnis Bureau To: Chiku Kinuthia, Department of Occult Research, Leonis Base Subject: Hello from Tal Sharnis Hey Girl, Here I am in my new posting in the city-state of Tal Sharnis. Do you know about Tal Sharnis? I’ve read a ton of stuff about it because if you’re studying interdimensional rifts and interdimensional metaphysics and all that stuff I love to geek out on, you have to study Tal Sharnis. If you’re in my field it’s basically the most interesting place in the multiverse. I don’t know how much you hear about it in your field, though. It doesn’t seem like it would be quite as relevant to you, but it’s still pretty interesting no matter what your field is. And the city’s existence isn’t classified info or anything (I checked), so I can tell you all about it (lucky you). First of all, Tal Sharnis is located on the Plateau of Leng. I don’t know how much you know about the Plateau of Leng, but it’s this unique reality that just consists of an enormous chaotic wasteland, and parts of it intersect other realities, or exist simultaneously on other realities, or drift in and out of overlapping with other realities. Places like that are sometimes called “soft places,” or in my field they’re called Theta-5 realities. The Plateau of Leng is by far the biggest, most famous, most wide-reaching, and most chaotic Theta-5 we know of. One of the weirdest things about it is that apparently if you travel north or south our east from anywhere on the Plateau, it goes on and on until it eventually bleeds into other realities, but if you travel west, you come to a supposedly endless cliff that everyone just calls the Edge. And past the Edge there’s just this primal chaotic sea of colored fog and mysterious lights, which as far as anyone knows is infinite. So why is there a big modern-looking city full of people in the middle of this freaky Plateau? Well, that’s a really weird story. Tal Sharnis used to be the name of a big city on the eastern coast of Amarantis, in the reality called Amarantis Prime (I know you know about Amarantis, because that’s where the Witch-Queen of Gomothrax came from originally, and the original Seven Orbs, and that stuff is definitely in YOUR field of geekdom). Meanwhile, in a completely different reality, there was a version of Earth called Earth X-17. Just like the versions of Earth that you and I came from, Earth X-17 had a big city called San Francisco on the west coast of North America. Obviously, all the different versions of San Francisco in different realities are cognate with each other, which makes it relatively easy to construct interdimensional portals between one version of San Francisco and another. Weirdly, it turns out that the old city of Tal Sharnis on Amarantis was ALSO cognate with San Francisco, like it was Amarantis’ alternate non-Earthly version of San Francisco. Well, some group of interdimensional crimelords (I don’t know the details, apparently that’s the part of the story that’s super-classified) tried to set up a permanent portal or something between the city of Tal Sharnis on Amarantis and the city of San Francisco on Earth X-17. As you can imagine, something went very wrong. To make a long story short (because I have to finish up and send this soon), instead of setting up a portal between the two cities, they created a Class 12 Event that ripped both of the cities out of their native realities, merged the two cities together into one hybrid city, and simultaneously transported this merged hybrid city into the middle of the Plateau of Leng. Pretty wild, right? It was one of the weirdest interdimensional disasters ever. Anyway, this Class 12 Event, which the locals here call the Great Merger, happened 114 years ago in subjective local time. So the local population has had 114 years and a few generations to adapt to their new warped reality and to being stuck in a city that’s basically a permanent interdimensional urban disaster area in the middle of the Plateau of Leng. I’ve got to run now, I’m in my new quarters at the local Patrol HQ and I’ve got to get to my first meeting with the Regional Director here. Next time I write I’ll tell you about what it's like in this weird hybrid city. Hugs, Cordy
And now, thanks to Cordy, you know some of the essential facts about the city-state of Tal Sharnis, and about the Plateau of Leng where Tal Sharnis is located.
The parts of Insurgent Otherworld that don’t take place in Tal Sharnis take place outside the city on the Plateau of Leng. Our next serialized Weird Luck novel, Gods of the Endless Plateau (beginning sometime in 2019) will take place mostly on the Plateau of Leng.
Cordy’s BFF and pen pal Chiku is a researcher in the Reality Patrol’s Department of Occult Artifacts on Leonis Base. Leonis Base is one of the largest Reality Patrol bases; Cordy was stationed there, too, until her transfer to Tal Sharnis. Leonis Base is also where Smiley was stationed at the beginning of “Bianca and the Wu-Hernandez,” before he got shipped of to Denebola Base — though that story takes place before Cordy and Chiku were born.
See you next Wednesday,