Third Law Hub - Places

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Places

The world is full of places that are, in some way, inherently anomalous. Most of these are minor anomalies — haunted houses, vanishing buildings, improbability zones, cornfields, and most kinds of liminal spaces — and are thus not notable, but there are some locations that are so anomalous that they must be concealed behind the Veil. Many of these places end up as paranormal enclaves — sanctuary zones where the paranormal community can live openly, segregated from the mundane world. Others are prisons, jails constructed to house vengeful gods, eldritch nightmares, and human monsters. Often, the difference between the two is not always clear.

Whether they are prisons or sanctuaries, these are the places that form the cornerstones of the world behind the Veil, playing host to its greatest actors and the dramas that unfold between them.


Backdoor SoHo

A pocket universe and anartist haven branching off from the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. The city within is under the protection of a mysterious Doorman, named Charlie, who controls entry and exit from the pocket universe; however, as with most paranormal enclaves within the United States, law enforcement is performed by the UIU under the terms of the Hoover Mandate — and despite protests from the city's more anarchic anartists, Charlie maintains the UIU's open invitation into the city. Aside from the Doorman and the UIU field office, there is almost no other local government in Backdoor SoHo — something which the city's small number of exceedingly eccentric citizens are perfectly fine with.


Eurtec

A pocket universe and independent city-state accessible from almost every major city in Europe, built by the Servants of the Silicon Nornir at the behest of the GOC to facilitate the research, development, and consumption of paratechnology, all within a contained environment that can be closely monitored by normalcy preservation organizations. Its business-friendly legislature and laissez-faire approach to paratech have attracted many organizations to the city, despite the constant presence of GOC surveillance. Representing itself as the quintessential megalopolis of the future, Eurtec actively solicits paratech producers, consumers, and entrepreneurs to take advantage of what is essentially the largest celebration of paratech off Earth.


New Amsterdam

Named after and accessible from the former Dutch colony in south Manhattan, New Amsterdam is an artificial pocket universe and paranormal enclave established during the Paranormal Renaissance. Created under contract for a group of wealthy New York industrialists and socialites, New Amsterdam was originally founded as a tax haven. While it has since been brought under American jurisdiction by the Hoover Mandate, New Amsterdam continues to function as an exclusive community for extremely wealthy individuals behind the Veil.

Some of the oldest and most powerful families of the Veiled world hail from or reside in New Amsterdam, where they are perfectly positioned to manipulate mundane and paranormal affairs while still being free to openly indulge in anomalous interests and activities. The main New York offices of Marshall, Carter and Dark are located in New Amsterdam, and it is suspected that at least one Foundation Overseer maintains a residence in the enclave.


Paramax

United States Penitentiary, Paranormal ADX, colloquially called Paramax, is a federal supermax prison designed for containing anahuman felons and mundane paracriminals who cannot be amnesticized. Built in 1947 with assistance from the Foundation, Paramax is located in its own artificial pocket universe. Originally created with a permanent Way connecting it to Alcatraz Island, the Way was collapsed when the federal prison there was closed in 1963, leaving the pocket universe to float freely through the Outside alongside the mainline universe.

Paramax is considered to be one of the most secure facilities in the multiverse — no prisoner has ever escaped, nor has anyone ever infiltrated the prison from the outside. As one of the few facilities of its type, a number of nations have entered into agreements with the US Government that allow them to house their anahuman prisoners within Paramax — the alternative is turning them over to the Foundation or GOC for detainment, or constructing an equivalent facility.


Three Portlands

Three Portlands is a city-state located within its own pocket universe, which can be accessed via Ways in Portland, Oregon; Portland, Maine; and the Isle of Portland in the UK. It is the largest paranormal enclave in or adjacent to North America. Although Three Portlands is an independent city, with its own city council and mayor, the city government has (mostly) voluntarily surrendered some of its autonomy by granting the US Government jurisdiction within the city, under the terms of the Hoover Mandate. Per this agreement, the UIU is tasked with enforcing US federal law (both paranormal and mundane) in Three Portlands; the UIU's Three Portlands field office is second only to the Miami field office in size and caseload.

The population of the city is incredibly diverse, comprising humans, parahumans, and sapient non-humans of all kinds. There is a rich anart scene (although not as rich as Backdoor SoHo) and a strong paratech industry (although not as strong as Eurtec) within the city, both driven by the sheer size of the paranormal community there. Three Portlands is one of only a few paranormal enclaves to host multiple occult colleges, with both an ICSUT satellite campus and the local Deer College located in the city.


Undervegas

Undervegas is a region of compact extraplanar space, centered on Las Vegas, Nevada, where an entangled branch universe intersects and overlaps with baseline reality. This pocket universe is home to a large number of spectral and demonic entities, and is one of a number of locations that have been traditionally described as Hell. The conceptual affinity between Las Vegas and Hell, combined with the large amounts of Flat Aspect Radiation generated by the usual activities of the city, allow the overlap to persist.

The legal status of Undervegas is unclear, as the US government is prohibited from maintaining diplomatic relations with Hell. In the absence of UIU jurisdiction under the Hoover Mandate, the Foundation has assumed responsibility for managing Undervegas and its demonic leaders.


The Wanderer's Library

A massive multiversal nexus taking the form of a vast library, containing works of fiction and non-fiction collected from across time and space throughout the multiverse. While it is the single largest repository of knowledge within the multiverse, the Wanderer's Library is far from comprehensive, despite the ceaseless efforts of the mysterious and eldritch Librarians and the many freelance archivists they employ.

The Wanderer's Library is maintained as a neutral and apolitical center of learning, with anyone free to come and go as they please so long as they abide by the Library's rules. There is a strict prohibition on violence within the Library, and any violation of this rule will result in swift punitive action by the Librarians. While all are free to browse and read through the Library's extensive collection, removing books from the Library requires a Library Card, which can be extremely difficult to acquire — usually requiring the performance of a favor to the Librarians.

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