Location seed: Morbis Street.

Morbis Street

Description: In many walled medieval cities, there is a street just inside the walls that likewise continuously encircles the rest of the city.  Morbis Street serves that function in a particular High Fantasy medieval-style walled city. Most of the year it’s perfectly normal.  

One night a year, however (the exact date doesn’t matter, as long as it’s the same date every year), anyone who ‘Walks Up Morbis Street’ while carrying a certain arcane symbol vanishes, never to return.  And if somebody does walk the Street on that night and vanishes, then somebody else (carrying the same arcane symbol) will appear, too.  A person for a person.  Most people who arrive do so with at most a traveler’s pack, but at least one person has arrived pushing a handcart.

Questioning those who appear reveals that while the arrivals speak the language and are familiar with the city itself, they remember different things about the city’s history.  The rule of thumb is that things that happened less than one hundred years ago will not be remembered by the new arrivals.  The arrivals also know none of the current inhabitants, from the rulers on down.  Lastly: they have no relatives, friends, or acquaintances in the city.

The rulers of the city aren’t fools; it’s been clear for a long time that ‘Walking Up Morbis Street’ sends somebody to an alternate version of the city, and sends somebody else to this one.  Generally, the new arrivals are allowed the courtesy of not being thrown into jail, on the grounds that even if they’ve done something they haven’t done anything here yet.  More to the point, many of the arrivals know useful things.  Tricks of the various trades, books that were never written in this city, interesting magical trinkets; and of course many come with a certain skill set, and no official record of either having or using it.  
The city government keeps a particular eye out for arrivals fitting that last description.  After all, it’s long been the practice of the city to use Morbis Street as a foolproof (and far less cruel) way of tidying up inconvenient loose ends after a particular piece of political or roguish skulduggery.  Surely all the other cities use their own versions of Morbis Street to do the same thing, too.  It seems only prudent to be helpful when it comes to encouraging an immigrant use his or her talents for the benefit of their new home, yes?

1 Comment

  • Rockphed says:

    This has gotten its hooks in my brain. Now I am going to plan a heist that ends with sending a patsy up Morbis street with (what looks like) the loot.

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