Rift

In the secret room I sit, facing the anomaly, a rip in reality. It billows and aches with light the colour of blood. The sweet yearning of it's voice can be heard in the mind. I meditate to prepare for the bell chime of my soul. When it rings, I will stand and enter. The rift speaks to me, merging it's history with my own, joining the points of my earnest studies.


Three millennia prior it comes into being, by the hands of a desperate man. He is known as Eckhardt the Coward because he refuses to follow the emperor's command and take his own life. Hunted across the Great Glacier for three days without rest, he uses ancient magic of the void to tear a hole in existence. But in fatigue and anguish he casts the wrong spell. The anomaly is born. Eckhardt enters and is not seen again in that age. Records in the Great Library tell of a lord who appears 'from the dust' and rules with old magic for a century. The account is from the land of Blovgeld, thousands of miles and hundreds of years away from the point of Eckhardt's vanishing. This ruler bears the same name and is fair-skinned in a dark-skinned land. Mention is made of 'a great fracture in time'. A loose end.


For many centuries the anomaly remains undisturbed above the glacier, which melts over time as the age of ice recedes. The glacier gone, the rift hangs far above the earth to spill thick light like wine. Natives come to worship beneath and sacrifice livestock in it's honour. Centuries pass. A temple is built below and a city springs forth. In time the temple is modified, grows higher, closer to the sacred opening until the temple roof touches it, then walls envelop it, a room is built around, a place of homage. As the surrounding city becomes a metropolis, the temple continues to grow, labyrinthine corridors spiralling like arteries around a dark heart, the anomaly in it's secret chamber. Gradually forgotten, it becomes a legend only the most ardent disciples discuss amongst their kind. The solemn room passes out of living memory to remain only in mystic symbols and ancient clues gathering dust in the Great Library. I find those clues and decipher them.


Many loose ends remain. Teleportation is certainly one effect, but sometimes disintegration. It's possible that the traveller is discovered in a nearby wardrobe, smiling and relieved, but also might be found crucified atop a spire three hundred miles distant, to the horror of the townsfolk. One record tells of a cynic who enters the void to disprove the existence of God. He is found alive and well in a nearby cellar, humbled but unrepentant. It's the beginning of nightmares that gradually move into his waking life. He hangs himself to make them stop. Another account mentions a witch forcibly pushed within the breach. She returns three summers later as a rich lady to wreak vengeance upon those who wronged her. They are tortured for many days.


Most accounts end in bloodshed one way or another, how will it be different with me? Perhaps the result is affected by the intention? I hold fast to an intriguing tale of a nameless wanderer from the wastes who enters seven hundred years hence, a wise man bearing peace, learned in the art of breath control. No gory end is reported. The wanderer resembles a prophet called 'The Master' who brought peace to the warring nations of Siinem.


But I am no master of men. Knowledge is my purpose and passion, to learn and share. To these ends might blood be shed against my intentions? I must empty my mind before I step forth. Peace falls upon me, the soul chime rings. I stand, and enter.

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