The Lit have remained hidden from the Unlit for centuries in a variety of locations across the globe. Locations have generally been chosen in places that are easy to conceal. Over time, these locations have grown in size, and many are thriving metropolises. There are eight major underwater city states, including Atlantis, five major underground city states, including Tierra Duro, 1 large city state on the moon, 5 large city states on other planets, and many smaller mage cities.
Cent is an enormous mage city at the center of the Earth (thus its name). It was created approximately 500 years ago when a powerful channeler, Millicent Goodwyn, the last Finder, made "The Journey" as it is known by the Lit. She famously created an energy sphere (similar to the energy sphere originally created to protect Atlantis) that she guided from an entrance near volcanic activity in the Pacific ocean to the center of the Earth over a 40 day period. The energy sphere she maintained throughout The Journey protected her from the immense heat and pressure within the earth's core. The sphere she used on The Journey was small - only large enough to carry herself, a small amount food and water, and a small portal mirror from which she replenished her nourishment and oxygen. Nearly everyone that witnessed her begin The Journey, at the time felt she would not survive.
When she unexpectedly reached the dense iron core at the center of the Earth after 5 days, she nearly turned back feeling that her goals of creating Cent were hopeless. Nearly giving into despair, and unsure how much longer she could maintain her energy sphere's strength, she explored complex weaves of magic that had never been envisioned, let alone used before. She 'found' a way to slowly move through the dense material using a series of collapsing, vibrating spheres closely surrounding her own energy sphere. The releases in pressure were enough to slowly move towards the exact center of the Earth for another 35 days. Once there, she was unable to expand her energy sphere as she had originally intended, as the pressure was too great. A second wizard (the unisex term 'mage' was not broadly used until the politically correct movement of the 1940's), Roderick Gillinghaus, therefore traveled through her portal, barely large enough for a person to fit through, and together they were able to expand the sphere slightly. This created enough room for a third person, and then a fourth, and a fifth until a company of 121 witches and wizards in total expanded the sphere to a radius of nearly 10 miles. They were the most powerful channelers of their time. Many of them were surprised to find that they floated freely within the sphere as it was expanded, an effect none of them, including Master Goodwyn, had ever experienced. Master Goodwyn, however, had expected this phenomenon, and had prepared for it. She instructed the company of 121 channelers to make the sphere of Cent spin. It spun faster and faster until it reached an angular velocity that created a centrifugal force at Cent's equator equivalent to Earth's gravity on the planet surface. Larger and larger portal mirrors were brought into Cent to transform its surface, using thousands of tons of dirt that were brought in, into tiers that over hundreds of years were continuously developed by the Lit. Other tiers within Cent were created, which approximate Mars' and the moon's gravities, for example. A light source, the Cent Sun, capable of providing enough energy for robust plant growth, was created at the center of the Cent sphere, illuminating its entirety. Air portals were brought in, which permanently cycle air from the Earth's surface, though the ecosystem generally creates its own oxygen now. The Earth's core's pressure and temperature create the energy that powers all of Cent and the Cent Sun. At Cent's poles are enormous boulder fields that beautifully float in the distance from the city dwellings. Cent is now a sprawling metropolis, with surrounding forested areas, and is the largest, most populous, and most traveled of the Lit city states. It has a population of over 2 million Lit. In addition to the intelligent races, it is also the home to a wide variety of magical creatures that can live freely without fear of being hunted by the Unlit. Cent has about a 10 mile radius, 20 mile diameter. The surface area of the interior sphere is therefore about 1250 square miles, however, the bulk of the developed land in Cent is along the central equator where gravity is most like earth’s.
Because distance can affect the effectiveness of mirror portals (at the time of Cent's creation, there were no mirror portals strong enough to allow a witch or wizard to cross the entire globe at once), Cent, for the first time allowed channelers to easily travel anywhere in the world in minutes. One of the first structures created in Cent was the Portal Assemblage, now called Cent Portal Junction. It is an enormous tower with thousands of mirror portals connecting every corner of the globe. Because one has to accelerate to match the speed of Cent's rotations, the portals into Cent create a strange acceleration feeling for the many travelers that use CPJ. One can spend hours at CPJ, just sitting on a bench, and creature watching all of the various travelers. Elediscs allow travelers to easily navigate the hundreds of stories in CPJ and general travel throughout Cent. When leaving CPJ, particularly for the first time, many travelers experience what the citizens of Cent call 'shell shock' as one can see almost the entire city at once, much of which by looking straight up. Given the wide variety of races and travelers, Cent is the home city for the society of Animas, as Perceiving fundamentally includes understanding the many races and differences in the world. Cent is also home to the Doceox Federation of Magic, Goodwyn Hall (a location that maintains powerful magical artifacts), and Mage Hall (a government headquarters) among other notable locations.
Atlantis is the largest and most ancient of the underwater city states. It is surrounded by a similar energy sphere to Cent's, and many of the most ancient races, including the Rauks, rule the city state. It is on the ocean floor in the Pacific Ocean, and is a wondrous in its splendor and ancient architectures. A second, much larger energy sphere surrounds the core air-filled energy sphere, bringing light and less pressure, allowing many different water species to exist at depths they normally would not be able to live. There are many areas where one can look out of Atlantis into the sprawling sea life surround the city, many of which are simply breathtaking. There are many exits leaving the city into the lush surrounding water world.
Tierra Dura is one of the most important of the underground mage city states. It is not the largest, but it is one of the most magically and technologically advanced cities, and is known world-wide as an innovation hub. It is a large city under the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Entrances are hidden by magic, but once inside Tierra Dura, a magical field allows a view of the sky as if the top of the mountains were not there. When eating at Tierra Dura, you might be asked if you'd like red or green, which the natives know means the color of the chile to accompany your dish. Tierra Dura is a popular area to visit in October, when the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is held, as mages from all over the world also secretly visit at that time, for a massive celebration in honor of Cent's original creation.
The Moon and Planets
There are many small, but growing, Lit cities on the moon and other planets. All of the Lit space cities are enclosed by energy spheres like those of Cent and Atlantis. The largest city on the moon, home of the Mentis society, is itself called Mentis. There are two larger cities on Mars, one larger city on Venus, a city in the atmosphere of Mercury, and cities on several of Jupiter's moons. Mages built flying ships in the early 1800's, which were able to travel through space. Initial colonies were established, and quickly grew and expanded over time. All of the Lit cities in space have mirror portals, making travel easier, but not all mages have enough ability in Teleportation to travel to the various mage space cities, given their distance.
Nys is a city created and existing largely in the spiritual realm, specifically within the reflective realm, so named given the power of the realm to enhance mirror portals. Nys was instrumental in creating and extending portal traveling and Quintope communications. Many of the communications from Quintopes and traveling with mirror portals flow through Nys. Nys is the only location where Quint dust can be created. Any of the physicality of Nys was artificially created using the Physical Universe branches of magic (Body, Physical, and Seeing), and the physical laws of Nys are therefore fluid. Parts of Nys feel disconcerting, as one's body can feel distinctly separate from one's soul and mind. Many spiritually based creatures, like spirits and ghosts, are drawn to Nys, and when people dream, their spirit can briefly visit Nys. Many of Nys' Lit citizens are non-human creatures that feel comfortable there. Though it is unknown exactly where its name comes from, many believe it derives from a common nickname for Nys, the "Land of Illusionists", the tail portion of which sounds like Nys.
It is an eccentric and artistic realm, and many of the portals into Nys are strange artistic creations. Given the fluidity of Nys' physical nature, as well as the artistic nature of many of its citizens, there are many unique experiences in Nys, and it is a center of art and entertainment in the Lit world. Nys even has a theme park type of experience called Picknys (whose name originated from an advertising campaign in the 80's with the catch phrase 'Pick Nys'). After paying for admission to Picknys, visitors walk around lands with hundreds of Nyspheres, self contained adventures. When one touches a Nysphere, it encompasses them, and they are transported into a completely separate world with its own rules that people live in. Many Nyspheres are adventures, many are stories that one can simply watch, and many are just unique experiences. There are classic Nyspheres, where one can experience classic fairy tales. A popular Nysphere consists of crafting practice, called LitCraft Legends, which has its own representations of crafting items as well as its own currency called Mobiem. Other Nyspheres are used by mages for training for Heptones, or in waging Heptone battles with magical pets (who are not harmed). Others allow people to experience their dreams, live through a horror adventure, or work through engaging puzzles.