“You’ll be back soon, right?” his son had said.

“Before you know it, buddy,” he said, tousling his son’s hair.


He paused a moment and nodded. “I promise.”


A wind swirled about him, threatening to hurl him from the precipice to which he now clung. He gripped Bios, his muscles straining and knuckles white. He projected a message. Nothing. He tried again. No response. His eyes were slits, trying to squint through the alien storm that ravaged the area.

This storm. It’s coming from the rift. He couldn’t see the rift, unfortunately, but he could sense that this one was far larger than any one he had ever dealt with before. The storm…when a rift is large enough, is this what can pass through?

He suspected that the storm was suppressing magical energy, preventing him from communicating with the others through Bios. He was already trying to fight off the fatigue that comes with being in proximity to a rift, but now true fear washed over him. If he could not communicate, he would not be able to time the closure of the rift. The operation would fail.

He shook his head. No. We need amplification. There is a way. He crouched low and opened his grimoire, shielding its pages from the unrelenting gale. He signed a spell and it sparked into the air. The golden sparks seemed to cast the air itself alight, until a shape began to form. It formed a network of cracks – a rift. It was massive, far larger than even ones he had read about in tales. The spell couldn’t even encapsulate the full extent of it, and faded off as it traveled around the base of the mountain.

But at least he knew where it was. He picked out the thickest point in the breach, wrapped his cloak tight around him, and hurled himself into the unknown.

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