1879: The world is our own, but history took a different course.The British Empire is the greatest of the world's nations, ruled by the Iron Queen, Victoria. The injury and infirmity of her beloved husband Prince Albert has made Queen Victoria even stronger, determined to push the Empire to new heights of technology -- especially in medicine -- and crush anyone who threatens her lands and people.
The Silver Exhibition, London, 1876. Twenty-five years after the Crystal Palace Exhibition, another is held to showcase the technological wonders of Britain. An ambitious inventor shows off his device to view great distances, but something goes wrong and the machine explodes and vanishes. In its place is left a circular field of … something.
One year to the day of the incident, the field opens. The portal reveals a vast new world of great resources, wonders, and terrors. By 1879 the Empire has a foothold in this new world. A massive fortification named Fort Alice is established at the end of the passage, which has been dubbed the Rabbit Hole.
The British are not alone in their desire to conquer this new world. Every great nation of Earth clamors for a chance to pass through the Rabbit Hole and stake their claim, while private industries and wealthy patrons petition the Queen to allow sanctioned exploration teams to chart the new world.
But the new world is not empty of intelligent life. Humans, descendants of the lost kingdom of Babylon, inhabit one of several continents. They have spent millennia mastering the technology they discovered when they arrived, technology that extends their lives, powers weapons, and can even bring the dead back to serve them. Organized into three castes, and inhabiting different city-states, these people -- the Samsut -- settle their differences through elaborate wargames. These games settle matters of state, while keeping them from destroying themselves with the power of the technology they wield.
On yet another continent, close to Fort Alice, the British armies have stumbled upon another intelligent life form, tribes of bipedal lizard men. An army detachment saved a village of these lizard people from an attack by others of their kind. Now, hundreds have come to swear fealty to the Crown. However, thousands more will resist any attempts to conquer them.
From the smoky skies and grimy streets of London, to the unsullied wilderness of the new world, adventure awaits!