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Cynosure is a fictional pan-dimensional city that exists within the First Comics multiverse. It is described as floating in a "bubble" in the "pan-dimensional vortex." Because of its unique situation, Cynosure is an important center of multi-versal commerce and much of the city's government is geared toward maintaining favorable trading conditions.
Different zones of the city operate under different physical laws because of the proximity of other dimensions. Guns and other technology work in some parts of the city and not others. Similarly, magic is operable some places and not others. Swords generally work everywhere. Different dimensions variously move in and out of phase with Cynosure, regularly in some instances and randomly in others. Occasionally dimensions will seemingly exist entirely within the confines of Cynosure, as for example the so-called "snowball dimensions" which roam throughout the city, or at "Infinity Lanes," a bowling alley in which each lane is a separate dimension.
Perhaps the most noted resident of Cynosure is John Gaunt, also known as Grimjack. His fate is uniquely tied to that of the city, as he is doomed to be reincarnated for as long as the city exists. This doom came about when Gaunt voluntarily walked out of Heaven to save the life of a friend who, if he were to die, would have been condemned forever to Hell. It is through Grimjack's experiences during two of his incarnations (Gaunt and James Twilley) that much of what is known about Cynosure was revealed.
According to the enigmatic being known as Dys, Cynosure was built as the result of a struggle between two primordial cosmic beings. As they fought and slew each other, their energies co-mingled, creating Dys, who in turn created the multiverse from his thoughts and imaginings. At the center of the multiverse, Dys created beings of "chaos in service to order" which came to be called "demons." Under Dys's instructions, the demons built the city of Cynosure and Dys diffused his essence into it. Dys designed the city so that, as the various dimensions came into phase with it, the city would leech some of that dimension's energy back into Dys. When all the energy was collected, Dys would split back into the two primordial beings and creation would begin anew. According to "FutureJack," a man claiming to be Grimjack reincarnated, the demons subverted the city's design so that the "Dark God" would re-form first and destroy the "Bright God," altering all of reality. A demon and Dys itself confirmed much of FutureJack's story but it is still unknown whether it's true.
While much of Cynosure's history remains unrecorded, a number of notable events are known. These include the Demon Wars, The Dancer's Rebellions and the Trade Wars.
About 25 years city time before the premiere of the Grimjack comic book series, Hell moved into phase with Cynosure. Demons poured over the borders of Hell into the city, quickly overrunning it. The only safe places were those areas of the city with low concentrations of "mana" (magical energy) into which the demons could not venture. These came to be known as the Havens. Also safe were the "hidden dimensions," whose access points were concealed. Because of the Havens, the war quickly became stalemated. Finally, the city was able, through the use of floating forts equipped with "reality generators," to force Hell out of phase with Cynosure and seal the access points permanently.
Dancer's First Rebellion
The Dancer was the greatest fighter ever to come out of the Arena, Cynosure's gladatorial games. Following the Demon Wars, he forged the denizens of the Pit, a slum area of the city, into an army and led them against the ruling class of Cynosure. He failed and was thought dead, only to return years later and act to instigate the Trade Wars.
Several years after his failed rebellion, Dancer re-emerged as part of a conspiracy with the leader of a powerful interdimensional conglomerate to take over the city government. His machinations led to the assassinations of half of the ruling council and open warfare between the conglomerates and, with his threat to lower the dimensional barriers maintaining the integrity of Cynosure, he almost forced Cynosure to surrender. Gaunt's intervention stopped the dimensional breach and Dancer was again thwarted.
Dancer's Second Rebellion
Shortly thereafter, Dancer managed to ally himself with the denizens of Hell, whom he had allowed back into Cynosure through "demon gates" created from the slaughtered remains of several of his trusted lieutenants. Before the demons could fully encroach upon the city, Gaunt and his allies found and destroyed the demon gates, but several high-ranking government officials had already been possessed by demons. While some of those demons were later destroyed, with Grimjack's reincarnation as James Twilley two centuries into the future, the end result of these possessions is unknown.
During Grimjack's incarnation as Gaunt, the city was ruled by a Council of Ministers led by Lord William Honesworth. Following the events of the Trade Wars, the Council was replaced by a coalition government consisting of representatives of the various powerful conglomerates. Besides the ruling coalition, several factions and forces played prominent roles in city affairs. By Twilley's time, corporate hold on power had solidified to the point of the individual having few to no rights unless incorporated. Individuals and families would routinely incorporate.
The Trans-Dimensional Police were the law-enforcement division of city government. One known branch of the TDP was the "Shadow Cops," who operated clandestinely, but they were destroyed in the events leading up to the Trade Wars. By the time of Grimjack's incarnation as Twilley, law enforcement had been privatized. Twilley earned part of his living as a "private cop."
Following the Demon Wars, an elite force called Cadre was created. Its simple mandate was to protect the city. As such agencies often do, Cadre grew out of its initial mandate and its members (particularly its leader, Mayfair) became fanatically devoted to acting in accordance with their personal perception of the best interest of the city. Mayfair was one of those demon-possessed during Dancer's second rebellion but was destroyed shortly thereafter.
The Lord Protector
The Lord Protector of Cynosure is an artificial being constructed from cells and energies representing all of the various dimensions. As a result, The Lord Protector is charged with vast reality warping powers to be used in the preservation of the city. During Gaunt's time, the Lord Protector was Phaeton. He was killed and possessed during Dancer's second rebellion and Gaunt and his allies created a new Lord Protector from a cloned being infused with the essence of a sorceress called Sphinx. It is unknown if there continues to be a Lord Protector in Twilley's time. Lord Cumulus also spent much time on Cynosure and was idolized by the citizens. After his untimely death, many others including Phaeton tried to replace him.
Because of Cynosure's pandimensional nature, any manner of diversion is available there, from activities as mundane as bowling to the most exotic and perverse sexual entertainment imaginable. In John Gaunt's youth, the most popular spectator sport was the gladatorial combat of the Arena. After the Arena was outlawed, a sport called Hardball filled some of the void left by its absence.
Another popular activity is the use of tourbots. Small highly mobile robots into which one's consciousness may be projected, tourbots are a safe and economical way to see parts of Cynosure which would otherwise be too dangerous to frequent. Tourbots are not universally loved and in some establishments (including Munden's Bar) they are destroyed on sight. By James Twilley's time, the tourbot industry and cloning technology had merged into the zuvembie industry.
- Tanelorn, a pan-dimensional city featured in the work of Michael Moorcock
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- Sigil, The City of Doors, touching all planes of reality at once, featured in the Planescape setting in Dungeons & Dragons
- M'Kraan Crystal, a Nexus of Realities in the Marvel Universe
- The Bleed, the realm through which one can travel between dimensions in the DC Universe