You open your eyes.
In the distance, you think you see a city.
Within a few moments of walking, it comes into full view.
Fanged spires and twisted towers jut up from the inky horizon. An otherwordly green light ebbs from within.
The world beyond seems little more than an endless abyss, so your path seems clear. You continue making your way towards the city.
Exhausted, disoriented, and with all questions yet unanswered, you near the gates.
The walls tower overhead, denying you any alternate access.
You stand before the gate, which features a bas relief of bizarre creatures and textures. The complexity is dizzying, and every eye within the design seems to size you up like prey.
You also find it to be flanked with guards of some kind.
Or perhaps statues - you realize you haven't seen them move at all.
"Welcome to the City of Nodd, Chosen One," one of them says, finally confirming it is indeed a living creature. The two of them stare you down from behind bulbous, caged domes of metal and green glass.
Without further word, the gate then grinds open, revealing a dimly lit passage.
"This way to Induction, please."
You make your way down the hall, and find it takes you through a few twists and turns. The path is linear, though, and eventually it comes to a conclusion - there's a glass doorway that leads to a room of dark, chitinous metal and eerie greenish lighting.
The door opens with no effort on your part, and you soon find yourself within.
There are a number of creatures here, similarly adorned to those near the gate. Several of these creatures seem to simply be on watch, perhaps to offer aid if needed. Several more seem to be communicating or working in some fashion, standing before various holograms cluttered with ever-changing symbols.
They turn to you, and with much interest.
"Welcome, Outsider. Please step forward for your assessment probing."
The creatures stand in front of an odd cradle-like device - an exam table of sorts - and something they likely expect you to climb into, from the way things are going.
You leave the probing procedure, thoroughly violated. You're then guided down another hall, and seated in a small theater of some kind.
Popcorn is not provided.
After a few moments, images begin to waver, manifesting on the screen before you.
Following the brief and rather ominous presentation, you're led to another room, where you're handed a strange, wristband-like device.
"This is an Ego Bracer. It will help you get your bearings in Nodd.
Everything you need to know is in the User's Manual."
"Once you've got it on, it'll attune to you and generate an Ego File based on your identity and preferences. This will update throughout your time in Nodd, so make sure it looks right before doing much exploration."
You fuss with the bracer a few moments, and find it fits just right. As though alive, it seems to flex and squirm a bit, fitting to your shape.
From there, you're ushered to a final door, which opens before you to reveal the City itself.
"Welcome to the City of Nodd, Chosen One. May the City speak your name."