The CogNet is a big place
The digital Old Folks Home of the Cosmic Era
Governments and mega-corporations have found a way to cheat the the system, the Dream Tanks are their most valuable assets.
One of the most common and well recognized SimSense parlors of the Cosmic Era
Things are not what they appear in the Cognitive Network
Moderators of the wildly popular VORPG, Polyworld, had no idea that one of their most famous cites Edotown had been stolen and for quite some time. No wonder there were so many complaints and bug reports coming in.
Wytchwolde-Under-Ash, once a great Thorpe, was razed to the ground by the ruthless, and truth told more than slightly deranged, Porcelain Princess and her henchmen, the Purifiers. When the flames had at last subsided, and a kaleidoscope of swirling, dull-gray ash choked the sky, nine hundred acres of old growth iron spruce, black larch and weeping birch, was burned to utter cinders, along with the entire coven of witches comprising the Sisterhood of the Silver Teat.
Now, centuries later, the forests are somewhat re-grown, and the town of Foolswater stands where Wytchwolde-Under-Ash once did. It is said that even to this day, one can still find ashes in the otherwise potable well-water of this village. Once a year during the Winter Solstice, the “Ash-Wind” comes to Foolswater, a suffocating black cloud that passes quickly but leaves dead birds and animals in its wake, darkening the trees, and staining the sky with black snow. The inhabitants of the village know better than to be caught outside during the day-long Ash-Wind. Everyone is locked snugly inside, singing old hymns that curse and re-curse the burned witches who once called this place home.