MMORPG: Massively Morphed Ontological Reality & Parallel Grid
Merca City is located on a group of six major oceanic islands of the Greater Elatha archipelago, which exists in a parallel reality – or on another ontological level depending on whom you ask, the scientists or the religious leaders. There are ways to cross between realities, although much of the knowledge, formulas, initiation rituals, and secret pathways once guarded by the ancient Order of the Sacred Carapace have long been lost either in the series of earthquakes leading to the volcanic eruptions, floods, and geological disasters known as "Elatha’s Great Belch" or in the upheaval and War of the Worlds (WoW) that followed. The esoteric texts in which they were recorded, a collection of papyri known as The Book of the Seven Knots, were divided between the many sects that branched out from the rotting corpse of the Order of the Sacred Carapace and eventually, hidden away or lost and forgotten in the fog of the ages. Most of what is known about these sacred texts comes down from passages mentioned by other ancient authors whose accounts, as is often the case in such situations, do not always agree with each other.
In our reality here on Earth, Merca City is known as an MMORPG (Massively Morphed Ontological Realm & Parallel Grid) with each of its six islands representing a district of the megalopolis competing for resources and a portion of the trade tax from its global market. The competition takes many forms; military, political, and economic warfare, as well as other social and institutional agreements such as, pacts, alliances and trade deals, and it extends below the city, through the endless mazes of Labyrinthine Unreal.
The districts are further divided into precincts and each precinct is home to one or more associations or guilds commonly known as the Credi. The districts, which in earlier times were considered as city-states in their own right, were all joined under one rule during the civilizing quests of the Illumination Period, which marked the end of a long, dark age of unbridled piracy and lawlessness and ushered in the golden age of mercantilism and trade for which Merca City is known. Ritus, the middle island, was chosen as its financial capital.
However, piracy is currently on the rise again as conflict for control over the markets has escalated into violent clashes between the two military powers, Pangaea and Bravio, turning Ritus into a battleground, leaving the seas at the mercy of Bacchanalia’s pirates.