GreenWolf's Additional Overflow Sandbox

UIU Location Dossier — "Three Portlands"

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Three Portlands


Pocket Universe/City-State

Settled ~1890s
Incorporated 1915; 1922
US Discovery 1929
Government Mayor-Council
Body Three Portlands City Council
Mayor The Mayor
Area 27 sq mi
(~70 km2)
Residents ~80,000
Daily Transients ~1000 (avg)
~12,000 (peak)
Demonym Portlandser
Languages English
Modern Celtic
Currencies US dollar
Pound sterling

The City of Three Portlands, commonly called Three Portlands, Three Ports (3Ports), or simply Portlands, is an independent city-state and paranormal enclave located within a self-contained pocket universe, accessible via Ways located in and around Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; and the Isle of Portland in the United Kingdom. With an estimated permanent population of approximately 80,000 persons, Three Portlands is the largest paranormal enclave in North America, and is one of the most populated locations to be entirely concealed behind the Veil.

Three Portlands' sovereignty has historically been challenged by the United States, arising from the need to monitor and limit access to the city in order to maintain consensus normalcy. Since 1940, Three Portlands has been in free association with the United States, which recognizes and guarantees the city's autonomy while reserving the right to enforce laws and regulations necessary to protect normalcy within the adjacent regions of America.

Bureau Files

[Main list/hub of tales and stuff]


The origins of Three Portlands are unknown, and the subject of much speculation, but it is generally assumed that the city did not exist prior to the incorporation of Portland, Oregon in 1851. The earliest reliable record of Three Portlands is an internal memorandum of the British Occult Service dating from 1901, documenting the activities of various minor occult cabals in the south of England and the adjacent multiverse; this memo suggests that British authorities and occultists already possessed some awareness of the pocket universe, and indicates that Three Portlands had been lightly populated for at least a decade at that point. Parahistorian L. Rowe has theorized that Three Portlands may have been formed by or from the global thaumic backlash in the wake of the 6th Occult War, which would place the city's origin in the 1880s.

British activities in the city were limited until 1904, when the BOS entered into negotiations with an entity they identified as the city's genius loci, seeking permission to relocate Sidhe refugees from the ongoing collapse of Avalon to Three Portlands. The arrival of Sidhe from Avalon and British refugee camps in the Hebrides resulted in a massive expansion of the city's population, and contributed to the emergence of Three Portlands' independent identity and unique culture.

Aside from the Sidhe relocation efforts, British authorities remained largely disinterested in Three Portlands, preferring to focus their attentions on occult activities on Earth. With the start of the First World War, the BOS became committed to preventing an outbreak of occult warfare and most British operatives in the city were recalled, leaving Three Portlands to manage its own affairs. In 1915, a city council was elected and a municipal government organized, although this went unrecognized by British officials, who continued their policy of treating the city as the demesne of the native genius loci; this lasted until 1922, when the city charter was amended to include the genius loci in the government as the Mayor.

The near total absence of any paranormal authorities was quickly capitalized upon by various criminal organizations, who used the city's extensive Way network to evade US customs authorities and — following the passage of the Volstead Act — Prohibition agents. Even after the end of the World War, the BOS did little to curb the growth of paracrime, despite the increasing British presence within the city. However, recognizing the strategic importance of the city's Way network, British authorities began working to actively conceal its existence from other normalcy preservation agencies, including those of the US government.

Despite the efforts of their British counterparts, US law enforcement discovered Three Portlands in 1929, after Bureau of Prohibition agents managed to track the operations of the bootlegging group known as the Chicago Spirit to the city. In accordance with US policy at the time, the existence of the city was concealed, and all related cases were transferred to the Bureau of Investigation. BOI Director J. Edgar Hoover immediately began waging a clandestine war against the Chicago Spirit within Three Portlands. While early raids and sting operations were highly successful, the BOI soon met opposition from the citizens and city government, who resented the unprecedented intrusion upon their autonomy, ultimately culminating in a firefight between BOI agents and members of the city council.

In response, Director Hoover had all known entrances to Three Portlands within the United States placed under siege, imprisoning anyone who attempted to enter or exit the city. This standoff lasted for almost two months, only ending with the intervention of President Herbert Hoover and the formulation of the Hoover Mandate. Under the Hoover Mandate, the United States would guarantee the autonomy of Three Portlands; in return, federal agents would be allowed to operate within the city to a limited degree. Fearing furthering escalation, the city council eventually accepted President Hoover's terms, despite protests from many of the city's inhabitants.

The British response to the Hoover Mandate was extremely negative, as the US's guarantee of autonomy was perceived as a threat to their operations in the city, particularly their use of the Way network. Although direct confrontations between British and American agents were rare, tensions remained high throughout the next decade, as both sides made competing claims of jurisdiction and sought to exercise authority within Three Portlands. The outbreak of the 7th Occult War in 1938 encouraged the British Occult Service to seek a rapprochement with the Unusual Incidents Unit, eventually leading to the Howard-Grant Agreement in 1940, under which the United Kingdom abandoned its claims on Three Portlands in exchange for a number of wartime concessions.

During the 7th Occult War, Three Portlands played a significant role as a clandestine supply route and shelter for the Allied Occult Initiative, with the AOI making extensive use of the city's Way network to move personnel and materiel between Britain and North America. As a result, in 1943, Three Portlands came under attack by a force of Obskuracorps commandos and Thule battlemages, who apportated onto the Isle of Portland and opened a Way into the city, with the intention of seizing the ICSUT campus and looting the AOI storehouse there. Despite the unexpectedness of the attack, a combined force of UIU agents and BOS operatives, alongside ICSUT faculty and students, municipal police golems, and local citizens, succeeded in repelling the assault.

The city grew rapidly in the post-war era, driven by a global tightening of the Veil, which led to the mass expulsion of parahumans, occultists, and anartists from urban areas in Europe and North America, many of whom sought refuge in paranormal enclaves such as Three Portlands and Backdoor Soho. The city's status as a major paranormal freeport was further cemented in 1956, when Prometheus Laboratories chose to massively expand its operations in Three Portlands, motivated by its unique taxation laws and its exemption from most Veil regulations. Over the next few decades, Three Portlands evolved to become a hub of both anartistic endeavors and parascientific research, reflecting many of the same cultural pressures that were shaping the adjacent Portland, Oregon.

As part of the Howard-Grant Agreement, the UIU and the BOS had both agreed to continue the policy of concealing Three Portlands from most other normalcy preservation agencies, with exceptions made during the 7th Occult War to facilitate AOI operations. While these efforts were never totally effective, especially given widespread awareness of the city among the paranormal communities in adjacent regions, they were deemed necessary to preserve the city's status as a paranormal freeport. Following the reorganization of the AOI into the Global Occult Coalition, the primary focus of these efforts then became concealing the city from the Foundation, which was — and still is — viewed as the single largest threat to Three Portlands' autonomy.

Although the Foundation's eventual discovery of the city was largely viewed as inevitable, UIU agents, relying heavily on memetic misinformation campaigns, succeeded in delaying this event until 1970. This marked the start of a major shift in relations between the UIU and Three Portlands residents, ushering in an improvement of public opinion that swelled even further following the death of Director Hoover in 1972. Local recruiting into the UIU increased dramatically, and by the end of the decade, almost a quarter of the Unit's irregular agents were from Three Portlands.

[1980s: rise of Maxwellism; competition with Eurtec]

~ 1 paragraph

[1990s-2000s: Collapse of paratech sector; rise of the lighthouse mafia; emergence of Anderson]

~ 1 to 2 paragraphs

[2010s-2020s: Rise and fall of Anderson Robotics; Foundation interventions/Delta-3]

~ 2 paragraphs

Geography and Climate

[Size of the city ~27 square miles; Roughly circular, expanding outwards]

~ 1 to 2 paragraphs

[Shadows, anchors, and major fixed landmarks — City Hall, Prometheus Plaza, Memorial Park/ICSUT, Deer College]

~2 to 4 paragraphs

[Weather: Rain]

~ 1 paragraph

Government and Law

[The Mayor's Office]

~ 1 paragraph

[City Council]

~ 1 paragraph

[Municipal police and courts]

~ 1 paragraph

[UIU and US Federal courts]

~ 1 to 2 paragraphs


[Streets — no cars, yes autorickshaws; robust trolley system]

~ 2 to 3 paragraphs

[Communications — maxwellist hub; PL/Asterism Communications]

~ 1 to 3 paragraphs

Demographics and Culture

[English/American; Sidhe; Wizards; Anartists]

~ 2 to 4 paragraphs

[English and Celtic languages]

~ 1 to 2 paragraphs


[USD/GBP money; also — favors, barter, geas work contract, etc…]

~ 1 to 2 paragraphs

[Golems, Golemancy United; PL/Anderson, Paratech; ICSUT/GOC; Art]

~3 to 5 paragraphs

[City revenues and expenses]

~ 1 to 2 paragraphs

~~ Total 23 to 38 paragraphs remaining