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nn5n: scp-3722 The City That Was Half the World
KeterSCP-3722 The City That Was Half the WorldRate: 34
SCP-3722

WARNING: This article, along with all information about SCP-3722, contains an infohazard which prompts an amnestic effect in all who read it. After you have read this article, you will be unable to retain the majority of the information contained within; all researchers on SCP-3722 must take an appropriate dose of mnestics after reading this article.

scpisfahanpic.jpg

The earliest known image of SCP-3722.1

Item #: SCP-3722

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: A method of preventing SCP-3722 has not yet been found. Due to the amnestic effect of SCP-3722, only personnel who have subsequently taken mnestics can recall any information about SCP-3722 or any SCP-3722 events. This effect has thus far protected SCP-3722 from public exposure.

Due to the unstable nature of SCP-3722, it is possible that its amnestic effect could fail in the future. Should this occur, Operation Caesar's Spider is to be launched to artificially prevent public knowledge of SCP-3722. In order to prevent a further degradation of SCP-3722, Foundation agents have been embedded in the planning departments of Isfahan's municipal authorities. They are to prevent any alterations to the city and its landscape which could further destabilise SCP-3722.

Due to the ORIA not possessing any mnestic capabilities, it is believed that the organisation is unaware of SCP-3722. Preventing ORIA from gaining mnestic capabilities is considered to be of vital importance. Informing ORIA of SCP-3722 is part of the protocol for Operation Caesar's Spider, in order to enlist their aid in containing the anomaly and preventing exposure.

Observation of SCP-3722 is to be performed via remote drone, as any humans entering SCP-3722 will become SCP-3722-1 instances.

Description: SCP-3722 refers to an event taking place in the city of Isfahan, Iran, on 13 Muharram each year according to the Hijri calendar. Beginning at sunrise, and finishing at sunset, the entire structure and layout of the city metamorphosises into a near-identical copy of itself from an earlier point in its history. SCP-3722 always emulates the city at a point prior to 23/10/1722 (13 Muharram 1135 in the Hijri calendar)2; ordinarily, this will be at a point between the 1610s and 1670s3. The precise scenarios which occur are believed to be thematically linked to events taking place in contemporary Iran.

The inhabitants of the city also abruptly transform, with their clothes, visual appearance and personalities altering to match the period and location which SCP-3722 is emulating. These individuals are henceforth referred to as SCP-3722-1. SCP-3722-1 instances act in a period-appropriate fashion, taking on jobs and roles necessary for the functioning of the city in the period emulated. Any individuals entering the city during SCP-3722 will also become SCP-3722-1 instances. Any non-human objects entering the city will not transform after the beginning of the event, however, which can often cause confusion among the SCP-3722-1 instances who encounter them4.

At dusk, the city abruptly collapses into rubble. Following this, SCP-3722 ends, and the city returns to its ordinary, non-anomalous state. The SCP-3722-1 instances transform back into ordinary individuals, who possess no recollections of SCP-3722; their memories will compensate by constructing alternate scenarios about the day in question. The same will occur for any outside observers, or any individuals who learn about SCP-3722 through second-hand means. The only known way to counter this memory-loss is through the use of mnestic compounds.

It is unknown how long SCP-3722 has been active, but it is speculated to have begun shortly after 23/10/1722 (13 Muharram 1135 in the Islamic calendar). It was discovered by Foundation personnel on 13/12/1978 (13 Muharram 1399), shortly after the first discovery and implementation of modern mnestics.

Below are a number of particularly notable SCP-3722 events.

Date upon which incident took place Date SCP-3722 emulated Notes on event Suspected contemporary event to which the incident is linked
20/11/1979 (13 Muharram 1401) 1503 CE The city appears as it did shortly after the capture of the city by Shah Isma'il. Some SCP-3722-1 appeared ecstatic, repeating calls for the "upcoming apocalypse" and "return of the Mahdi"; others seemed apprehensive about their role in the new society being created. The 1979 revolution and the political uncertainty it caused.
30/10/1982 (13 Muharram 1403) c. 1550 CE An SCP-3722-1 instance representing Shah Tahmasp appeared before crowds of SCP-3722-1, apparently on a state visit of the mamalik provinces5. Notably, SCP-2067 appeared to hover alongside Tahmasp; he seemed to be pleased with its presence, despite his antipathy towards the device being historically attested. The "Tahmasp" instance appeared with an orb of golden light around his head. Several strands of light extending from the orb into the sky; this is possibly a representation of Tahmasp's self-portrayal as a saintly king with a direct connection to 'Ali. The recent subordination of the ORIA to the central government.
25/08/1988 (13 Muharram 1409) Mythical scene; possibly an approximation of Sassanid Isfahan. Only two SCP-3722-1 instances, a man and a woman in their 30s, were present. The two instances spent the duration of the event wandering through Isfahan, talking and dancing in the streets. Based on the contents of their conversations, the two are believed to be representations of the Sassanid monarch Khosrau II and his consort Shirin as portrayed in the 11th century poem Khosrau and Shirin. Unknown; possibly the end of the Iran-Iraq war.
15/08/1989 (13 Muharram 1410) 1092 CE The SCP-3722-1 instances appeared to be in mourning over the death of the Seljuk grand vizier, Nizam al-Mulk, who was assassinated by agents of the Hashashin en route from Isfahan to Baghadad in 1092. The recent death of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
11/06/1995 (13 Muharram 1416) Mythical scene The city was entirely replaced by a temperate rainforest, with several large clouds hanging over it. Upon those clouds were seated a number of human and animal figures, all of whom were discussing the potential construction of a bathhouse. It is believed that this scene is a depiction of the "Court of Gayumars" myth found in Ferdowsi's Shahnama, the mytho-historical poem that informed the popular understanding of pre-Islamic Iranian history prior to the modern era. The recent and controversial demolition of a Safavid-era bathhouse.
26/03/2002 (13 Muharram 1423) c. 400 CE During the event, mass immigration into the newly-created Jewish section of ancient Isfahan, known as Yahudia, was observed. An SCP-3722-1 instance representing the Jewish consort of the Sassanid monarch Yazdegerd I, Queen Shushandukht, is present and appears to welcome SCP-3722-1 instances representing the Jewish population into the new segment of the city. Of note is the conversation among the SCP-3722-1 instances, which seemed to principally be concerned with the exploits of the Shahnama hero Rostam, rather than any historical figures. Unknown
29/12/2009 (13 Muharram 1431) 1666 CE The SCP-3722-1 instances appeared to be recreating the popular unrest over the famine which took hold of Iran in 1666-1667, and which only prompted a slow reaction from the central government. The popular unrest which took place in Iran in response to the 2009 presidential election results.
16/11/2013 (13 Muharram 1435) Believed to be 1722 CE See Addendum 2 300th anniversary of the fall of Isfahan to the Hotaki dynasty

Addendum 1, 01/10/2011: On 08/09/2011, Foundation historians discovered a single damaged page of a Safavid-era letter in the Ottoman Imperial Archives. The writer and recipient are unknown, but the letter was dated to after the Treaty of Constantinople between the Safavids and the Ottomans in 1590. The letter begins and ends mid-sentence, and has suffered extensive water damage. A translation from the original Farsi is as follows:

as your second Solomon can attest to6. May this peace last a thousand years! For the hostilities between fellow Muslims are to be deplored; the Dar al-Islam7 must remain united.

I speak to you now on a more fascinating and terrible subject; Our Shah’s plans for the reconstruction of Isfahan. He has taken a strange step; he has elected not to alter the old city of Isfahan, with no changes being made to its houses or mosques. Instead, our glorious monarch has conceived of the creation of an entirely new city, built slightly away from the old city. The plans he has presented are almost perfect in their form and function; he would create a single long boulevard, flanked by beautiful houses, gardens and trees. This would lead past the palatial complex, onto which it would open. On the other side of the palace

<The letter here becomes illegible for several lines, due to subsequent water damage>

consulting with various alchemists and physicians in its design. Its perfection goes beyond the mere requirements of the city, but is instead designed to simulate a particular alchemical representation of the human mind. The city would have a life of its own; its call, subliminal and strange, would possess a grand memory of the past and a grand lure to all who see its walls. Prosperity and grandeur seem to be the destiny of

<The letter here becomes illegible for several lines, due to subsequent water damage>

should it ever be damaged. The design must remain intact, I have found, for the Shah’s scheme to work; alteration or destruction would result in an irreparable flaw in the design. I do not believe this would deactivate it entirely, but would instead

Addendum 2, 17/11/2013: On 16/11/2013 (13 Muharram 1435), the 300th anniversary (in Hijri years) of the fall of Isfahan to the Hotaki dynasty, SCP-3722 took on a notably different form. It appeared to emulate Isfahan following its fall in 1722, but with several notable alterations, such as the complete absence of SCP-3722-1. A remote drone was sent into Isfahan in order to ascertain the details of this unusual scenario.

Hours/Minutes/Seconds: Description of drone's position and surrounding area.

<Begin Log>

00/00/00: The drone is activated just outside the city boundaries.

00/01/03: The drone enters the city by the North Gate. All of the buildings appear to be in a state of good repair. The drone is ordered to continue down the Chahbagh Avenue to the palatial complex.

00/19/38: The drone is moving past a typical Safavid nobleman's house, apparently built in the early 17th century. A number of SCP-3722-1 instances resembling soldiers in the service of the Hotaki dynasty suddenly appear. They proceed to loot and set fire to the house. As they do so, minor structural damage can be seen to appear on the surrounding houses8. After the fire has gone out, the SCP-3722-1 instances disappear. The drone is ordered to continue.

00/37/08: The drone is moving past a 17th-century coffeehouse. Two SCP-3722-1 instances, dressed in clothes appropriate to the mid-20th century, suddenly appear. One of the SCP-3722-1 instances appears to be playing the part of the coffeehouse's owner; the other appears to be playing the part of a property developer who wishes to convert the coffeehouse into an apartment block. After much negotiation, the "developer" instance takes a bag full of coins from his pocket, and passes it to the "owner" instance. At this point, both instances disappear, and the coffeehouse collapses. Further structual damage then afflicts the other buildings in the camera's line of sight, causing several to collapse9. The drone is ordered to continue.

01/05/45: At this point, it is noted that sand appears to be pouring into the Chahbagh Avenue from the side streets. Investigation appears to show sand being pushed upwards from undergound through various cracks in the surface of the street. The drone is ordered to continue.

01/17/18: The drone has reached the entrance to the palace. As it enters, a large number of SCP-3722-1 instances, apparently representing looters, can be seen running across the palatial complex with a variety of valuable items; an SCP-3722-1 instance is urging them to "take the treasures of the false Sufis" as a form of divine punishment. All of the SCP-3722-1 instances appear to be wearing clothes suitable to the early 19th century. After 3 minutes of this behaviour, the SCP-3722-1 instances disappear; several of the palatial buildings abruptly collapse.10 The drone is ordered to continue through the palace to the Ali Qapu pavilion, and onto the Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

01/27/03: The drone enters the Naqsh-e Jahan square. A single statue is located in the centre of the square, which has never been present during the city's non-anomalous state. The drone is ordered to approach the statue. A large quantity of sand appears to be erupting from cracks in the surface of the square and the surrounding buildings; this sand is rapidly filling the square, despite its vast size.

01/30/14: The statue appears to be of Shah ‘Abbas I, looking triumphantly up at the sky. Engraved onto the pedestal is a couplet in Farsi: “The spider weaves the curtains in the palace of the Caesars/The owl calls the watch in the towers of Afrasiab"11.

01/30/49: The sand is now increasing in volume at an extremely rapid rate. The drone is instructed to fly directly upwards in order to gain a birds-eye view of the city.

01/31/58: The drone has ascended to a height of 1000m. The streets can be seen to be entirely covered in sand, which continues to increase in volume.

06/57/33: Sunset is just beginning. All of the city's structures are entirely covered by sand; movement beneath the sand indicates that the city's collapse is beginning. The drone is ordered to return to base.

<End Log>

After sunset, SCP-3722 ended, and the populace of Isfahan was restored as per usual.

I can't even make them remember. And I can't make myself forget.

page revision: 5, last edited: 28 Jul 2017 06:24
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