To understand what Cidri is, one must know something of its builders. The Mnoren were human - and a little bit more.

They had the ability to move unaided between the many alternate worlds that co-exist with Earth in other time-streams. One ability - but it was enough.

The first Mnoren, Jen, used his talent only six times, and then stopped forever in fright and confusion. But those six trips made him a wealthy man. 

His power bred true. His children read his journals, and wondered, and experimented. They became the secret rulers of their home planet. Their children did not bother with secrets... they merely ruled. 

The Mnoren multiplied and prospered. Three hundred years after Jen Mnoren's first jump, is descendants had found, mapped, and conquered three hundred seventy-one alternate Earths. 

Three had space travel; eleven had magic. All of them honoured the Mnoren rulers.
The key to the Mnoren dominance, of course, was knowledge. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge of one world is power unimaginable in another. 

Jen Mnoren's six trips yielded two simple devices and one book, and made him rich. 

His children imported inventions, techniques, and gold... And the Mnoren power grew. 

A Mnoren was effectively invulnerable, wherever he travelled. A dozen different protective devices, physical and magical... intelligent bodyguards from strange worlds... and, most formidable of all, a very long lifetime of experience. 

Anything that could extend his life was of interest to a Mnoren; the medical techniques of 371 worlds made old age merely a measure of experience.
And in their power, they built Cidri. How? We don't know. Where? Good question. It orbits the sun where Earth would be - if there was an Earth in that universe. 

No one today knows for sure even WHAT Cidri is.

Certainly no ordinary planet. Cidri is BIG. No complete map of its surface is known. The standard work, compiled two hundred years ago by the Imperial College of Cartographers at Predimuskity, shows 48 continents (defined as land masses of over 5,000,000 square km.); five of these are in excess of 60,000,000 square km. 

An ancient map showing the continents of Tekralh (containing Elyntia), Sevled and The Starlight Empire;
a fraction of the surface of Cidri. Also of interest is the mysterious "Underdark Realm".

Almost half the known surface of Cidri is covered with water; most of its seas are dotted with islands. Yet even the great Book of Maps lists nine hundred and eleven locations which cannot be found within the known area -including the mountain city of Paska-Dal, which (by Gate) has carried on commerce with gem merchants everywhere for at least four hundred years. 

Yet build it the Mnoren did - a whole enormous world. And, having built it, they peopled it. Farmers, technicians, servants, guards, slaves, stowaways... plants for gardens, jungles and fields... animals for companions, food, hunting, or to balance the thousands of ecologies interweaving across the planet... creatures great and small from every one of the worlds they knew. 

For hundreds of years they enjoyed their world. Few travelled elsewhere - what need, when Cidri held all?

The other worlds of probability were once again left to their own peoples. A few thousand of the rulers (for their numbers had never been great) lived in glittering mansions scattered through Cidri.

The broad continents, with their diverse people and cultures, were their playgrounds.

And gradually the Mnoren changed. From rulers they became watchers, gamers, dilettantes. The Mnoren Emperor handed his sceptre to one of his human barons, mounted his flying steed - and was never seen again. The word of any Mnoren remained law - but they rarely spoke. It was as though, having wielded absolute power for so long, they had decided to sit back and enjoy life for a while. 

And gradually, they were seen less and less, believed to have retreated to their 'mythical' home in The Land Beyond The Mountains (wherever that may be). Three hundred years after the Abdication, no Mnoren was governing anything more than a household anywhere on Cidri. Two hundred years later, the Empire was a shrunken, quarrelling muddle, and the Mnoren were gone.

Where did they go? Ahhhh... another good question! There are many theories. Perhaps they simply died out, their eldritch strain weakened by time and the weight of empire. Perhaps the assassin's game that their wilder types enjoyed (what prey was really worthy of a Mnoren but his deadly relatives?) drove them into hiding on other worlds. Perhaps they built a grander playground somewhere else. Perhaps they're stil here, wise and immortal, watching but not taking part. That's what the villagers believe. They threaten bad children with demons, orcs, and Mnoren.

Maybe they're gone, and maybe they're still watching. It doesn't seem to matter; Cidri is ours now. And what a place! Infinite adventure. Infinite variety.

Where once there was one Empire, now there are hundreds. Different races, different cultures, different everything... decadent city folk, proud barbarians, merry farmers, battered mercenaries. Most lands are peaceful, most of the time - but there's always a war somewhere, and a border raid somewhere else, as an ambitious princeling seeks to expand his holdings, or a robber band sets its sights on a rich prize. 

A world of constant adventure - adventure to be found nowhere else. The Mnoren imported many things - and some of their gates still lead to other worlds. Most of their strange devices are lost or broken, not to be rebuilt - for few of the people of Cidri have any great love of, or interest in, technology. But the exceptions form the Mechanician's Guild, always alert for new inventions or old gadgets. Sorcerers go about their daily business like the honest tradesmen they are.

Truly a world of fantasy. Indeed, many creatures from Earth's fantasy have their counterparts on Cidri. It seems likely that Terran legends of elves, dwarves, centaurs, and other fantastic creatures are dim memories - of a time when these beings roamed the Earth, or of people who somehow went to Cidri and returned, none can say.

But the gates remain, and certain it is that if one knew where to go, he could step through a shimmering portal today and be in Cidri...

PRESENT DATE: 2014 S.A. ("Since The Abdication")
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