The Story of Shangrila
The story of Shangrila begins with the tale of Dr. Laurent Sorbonne, a little-known scholar and wizard who lived in France. He had a devoted group of followers, and established the Societé de Shangrila in 1844, whose purpose was to explore his belief that mankind's dreams could actually create another world. Sorbonne was originally a man of the professional class, and was well educated. He regarded man's greatest achievement to be his intellect, and his adherence to the higher virtues, in a triumph over based and more instinctual motivations such as lust, greed, and gluttony.
Sorbonne's followers conducted rituals and what he termed "dreaming exercises" in order to test his theories, and finally in 1852, they succeeded. Sorbonne opened a portal of his own design to another world, a world that had never been seen by mankind. He entered this world, and found it to be a paradise. When he passed through the portal, he emerged in long robes and had a rich and full grey beard. So startled was he by this sudden change in his appearance, that he immediately rushed back through the portal. When he arrived, he found himself as he was before entering, and in order to further investigate the phenomenon, he began to bring his followers through the portal, and into the world of Shangrila.
It was then discovered that the form one took upon passing through the portal was entirely variable, and seemed rooted in the dreams and fantasies of the entrant. Sorbonne named this world Shangrila, in honor of the society that had founded it, and began to make plans for the population and promotion of a land in which all of mankind's lesser vices would be expunged. Sorbonne reasoned that in a place in which food was plenty, and survival was assured, none would have cause to succumb to their baser instincts. He intentionally made no laws, allowing those who came to Shangrila to operate in a cooperative anarchist society which he believed would naturally evolve into a beneficial and brighter state.
As time went on, Sorbonne made two other discoveries as well. First, those who lived within Shangrila did not age, and second, despite his best efforts to introduce an atmosphere of contemplation and cooperation, many were succumbing to their baser instincts, primarily lust. Even the more level-headed among his followers seemed to be less interested in contemplating the mysteries of their universe than in eyeing the naked limbs of others and engaging in fornication.
Disgusted with what his world had become, Sorbonne left his followers behind as he opened the portal to another place and time altogether, and vanished forever. The opening of the portal, once glowing with power, was left cold and still.
The residents of Shangrila had never realized how much they relied on the portal for goods and supplies. With the absence of these things, Shangrila submerged into a strange retrograde existence and entered what is now known as The Sealed Times, when their world was sealed off from the rest of the universe, leaving them prisoners in paradise without any luxuries.
While the majority of the residents were content to wallow in their helplessness, there were a few who worked for generations, before one was finally able to decipher the markings on the portal and force it to listen to her call. The portal was opened, to many different places, and suddenly a new age had begun. Trade opened up, and the slave trade came with it. Visitors, tourists, and those curious about the land that they had only heard about in legends came as well.
It has been many years since that time, and new faces arrive through the portal every day, seeking to discover old secrets and live in a world of dreams and eternal youth. Others come searching for the ultimate sexual experience. Shangrila welcomes them all, and judges no one.
Sorbonne has never returned, and in his absence the people of Shangrila have made their own way, electing their own to lead them, worshipping the portal that is the center of their life, bringing them new things and experiences, yet keeping the real world on the other side of Dream. These are the people that have made a career out of pleasure.
Step through the Portal and explore the Land of Dreams.