Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

the impossible & infinite encyclopedia of the world created by Schuiten & Peeters

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Obscure Cities

Obscure Cities is how the towns of the Continent call themselves, although they are sometimes also refered to as Cities of the Fantastic. It is difficult to translate all the nuances of the original French term; Cités Obscures does mean “not well known” cities, but also has overtones of “lost in shadows”, “mysterious”, “far away”. Numerous details do seem to indicate that the Cities owe their existence to the fact that people believe in them, and at the same time there are forces that actively reinforce that belief. They can be reached from our world through numerous Passages. To this day, we know of the following:

Taxandria and The Tower both deserve to be called Cities, but they are no longer directly part of the Obscure World. Chula Vista is often described as a fossilised city, but is apparently a natural phenomena. The inhabitants of our world can obtain an Obscure citizenship - which includes an identity card and driver's licence - since 1997 AD, but access is seriously limited.

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