The History of Rift’s End – by enderandrew – narrated by Sharm
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. We have had yet another narrator join our team, and I am delighted to introduce Sharm, who is bringing us a wonderful story by enderandrew, entitled
The History of Rift’s End
The History of Rift’s End
By Joorus the Scribe
History is an odd subject when so much is erased and so frequently. We live in a world where ruins sit atop older ruins. Bob the Wizard writes about this topic in his tome, “The Knowledge Cataclysm”.
Rift’s End is a small holdfast, easily overlooked and barely mentioned in most texts. It was most difficult to find academic texts on the history of the city. But I met a bard named Zoe Marie who shared with me an oral history. I cannot speak of the veracity of the tale, but I shall preserve it in written form for posterity nonetheless.
Rift’s End predates The Fall, though it had an earlier name lost to time and it was a larger city then. The nearby Lunar Rift made it a convenient destination for travel and trade. There was something else about the city, intangible and elusive. People felt drawn there by mysterious forces. Once there, people often described a sensation of being home, even if their actual home were quite far away. What was particularly peculiar about this phenomenon is that people of all walks of life described the same experience. If the town did in fact draw people in, it certainly attracted a wide range.
They say, however, that Avatars felt the draw strongest of all. And while many ancient texts speak of venerating Avatars, Zoe’s story claims Avatars were as controversial then as Outlanders are today. One particular Avatar, Gwenevere, was repeatedly drawn to Rift’s End, though she never lost sight of her original home on another world. She was desperate to find a way home. Maybe she truly loved the land of her birth. Perhaps she knew what was soon to happen in this one. The portal near Rift’s End was how she initially entered this world and she felt it was key to returning.
She heard tales of a powerful wizard named Ryari, a foremost expert on rifts and how they worked. She brought her spoils from adventuring and laid them before him. As a powerful wizard, he did not want for gold. His time and services were in high demand. Gwenevere begged for his help. Her passion caught his attention. He explained that the rifts were powered by the moons above. Most of the time they allowed travel between fixed points to other rifts. But travel to other worlds had to be fueled by something more.
Either the destination pulled you in with energy and forces of its own, or the strongest desires of your heart sent you where you wanted to go. He said for Gwenevere to return home, she would need to tell him everything of that world. She would have to channel her love of home with specific visions. Little did she know the effect her stories would have on Ryari. She spoke of a world without monsters, without magic but advanced technology. Ryari wondered how easy it might be for a powerful wizard to rule a world where no one else had magic, or at the very least the additional power he would have here if he could bring back advanced technology.
They prepared for months. She wrote all of her memories of home and began distilling them into the most powerful energies. She would recite these stories while focusing energy into 8 stones. Once they were charged and fully attuned to her thoughts and memories of the world she left behind, they traveled to the lunar rift just outside Rift’s End.
Inside the 8 larger stone formations of the lunar rift, Ryari arranged the 8 small stones in a circle around Gwenevere. She recited her stories and opened her heart to the possibility of seeing home once more. He channeled all of his magical energy into her, enabling her to feed even more into the stones.
The magic worked, and Gwenevere could see a portal opening. She could see her home through the portal. She felt herself being drawn back.
Ryari shouted an incantation Gwenevere did not understand. Reagents disappeared from his hand in a puff of icy-colored smoke and shot like a bolt into Gwenevere’s body. She was frozen in place and unable to enter the portal. She could see the avarice and malice in Ryari’s eyes as he made his way to the opening.
It wasn’t just the spell; she felt paralyzed in fear. The thought of a deceitful wizard descending on her world terrified her. Did her selfish desire to return home blind her to what she enabled? Unable to move, she would be helpless to stop him. But she remembered what he told her of focused energy and desire.
She wiped the thought of home from her mind. She burned with rage and thought of the hottest fire she had seen in this world, the molten lava near Blackblade Pass. The icy spell holding her in place began to melt. She could not walk, nor run. She dove forward, falling short of Ryari, but within the reach of the small stones at her feet. When her white-hot rage made contact, a giant portal larger than any rift she had ever seen before appeared.
Lava from the Blackblade Pass poured into the circle, enveloping them both. The blast tore the circle apart, destroying the rift for all time.
Now, some prefer a happier version where Gwenevere made it home before the lava overtook her. But mystics and sages who’ve passed through claim they can feel her spirit trapped on this side. She gave up her life to save her home, the site of her sacrifice becoming Rift’s End.