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=====Era: Pre-Changes=====

>>@@===[[CategoryEras Eras of TTU]]===@@

@@""<<"" [[EraPreHistory Previous Era]] * [[EraDragonInTheStreets Next Era]] "">>""@@
~{{color bg="#A0B0C0" text=" pre "}}   [[EraPreHistory Pre-History]]
~{{color bg="#A0B0C0" text=" pre "}}   ''""Pre-Changes""''
~{{color bg="#FC345C" text="   1  "}}   EraDragonInTheStreets (12/96)
~{{color bg="#FA8072" text="   2  "}}   EraTheShockSettlesIn (12/96)
~{{color bg="#EFCAA9" text="   3  "}}   EraNationOnTheBrink (1/97)
~{{color bg="#EEE87A" text="   4  "}}   EraSchismAndStalemate (1/97)
~{{color bg="#00FF00" text="   5  "}}   EraFromCausesToCrusades (2-8/97)
~{{color bg="#00FFFF" text="   6  "}}   EraWinterOfDiscontent (8-12/97)
~{{color bg="#87CEEB" text="   7  "}}   EraANewWorldOrder (1998+)
~{{color bg="#9A8AFD" text="   8  "}}   EraOverTheHorizon (2007+)
>> //Before Wednesday, December 18, 1996//

**Starts at:** N/A
**Ends at:** EventTheFirstSighting

==Era Summary==

Until the final days of 1996, the recorded human history of The Tomorrowlands Universe was almost indistinguishable from our own.

**Human** history, because -- after the 2010 discovery of the remains of a [[EraPreHistory primitive dinosaur civilization]] -- there's evidence suggesting something amazing occurred in the distant past.

And **almost** indistinguishable, because there are hints that strange things were going on behind the scenes even before EventTheFirstSighting brought TheChanges to the attention of the planet.

Those hints include all the paranormal events our own world sees, which took on new significance in light of The Changes. (Often cited is the "statistically significant increase in paranormal sightings" one study found in looking through early December 1996 newspapers, though statisticians widely argue over that study's counting methodology and sample size, and follow-up studies haven't clarified the situation any.) Also widely discussed are any of a number of theris who claim to have transformed before EventTheFirstSighting -- the so-called "Zeds" or [[TherianthropeWaves Zeroth Wave]] theris -- although their stories are conveniently free of objective verification and most dismiss them as publicity seekers. Reports of genuine pre-Changes magic, or odd encounters with supernatural forces, are likewise tenuous.

How far back into human history that strangeness extends depends on who you talk to. Some TTU residents, with the wisdom of hindsight, claim that Nostradamus predicted it all, or that all of human history was leading to The Changes, or produce complex numerological calculations supposedly resolving to whatever moment they claim things //really// began. One amateur physicist claimed that magic's appearance was a time echo caused by the explosion of the first nuclear bomb, complete with sine-wave diagrams peaking at presidential assassination attempts. The less conspiracy-minded shrug and acknowledge The First Sighting as the start of everything that followed -- although EventTheMissingMoment gives many pause.

And no matter how many college students stay up until sunrise arguing the question, what might have actually //caused// this shift (or return) is a matter of [[TheChanges pure speculation]]. All that can be said for certain is that life went on doing its usual thing until a dragon was caught on camera one cold winter afternoon.

==Major Events==
{{category header="" only="Event"}}

==Writing Tips==

Writing stories wholly set in this era is a difficult proposition; there isn't really anything unique about TTU until EventTheFirstSighting kicks off the transformations and magic. It might be useful for flashbacks, exposition, or history.

It might be interesting to inject an unverifiable and mysterious note of the occult into historical fiction as sort of a TTU "prequel," but canon issues are a potential obstacle.

All TTU characters are entitled to their own explanations for when and how things started, but //direct experience with TTU-type forces in the pre-Changes era is both rare and tenuous.// If anything odd happened to a character before EventTheFirstSighting, it should be either explicable by coincidence; unverifiable and not particularly believable; or else within the boundaries of what magic can currently do in the "real world."

===Stories Set In This Era===
{{category header="" only="Story,Culturalia" col="4"}}

===Other Associated Pages===
{{category header="" exclude="Category,Era,Story,Culturalia,Event,Template" col="4"}}

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