Rift Asunder – Edge of Oblivion: Part 1

Rift Asunder is an ongoing saga of Eaj Cire, a High Elf Guardian Rogue. His past lost to him, his future uncertain; he moves through the world of Telara searching for answers. Walk with him now as he fights to reclaim his fragmented life, struggles to understand his destiny; and takes part in an epic conflict to save a world torn apart.

How did it come to this? How did we fall so quickly? Who is to blame? Was it the conflict born of two Mathosian brothers? My own kind turning their backs to the divine? The Dwarves and their pacts signed in hopes of greater wonders of crafting? Perhaps it was the Defiants, having turned away from the Gods, to embrace their machines; technologies even they struggle to understand and control.

In the end, in matters not who is to blame. For we all find ourselves now in the same dire situation. The Rifts have come, and with them endless hordes of the minions of the Dragon Gods. Our past, history, is a slippery thing. At times we see it with the perfect clarity of honesty. Other times, we are doomed to reshape it with the lies we tell ourselves. So truly, it matters not how we have come to this place, this time. All that matters now is that we stand at the brink; the very edge of oblivion.

For as far as the eye can see, Rifts fill the sky; pouring forth their abominations. We have battled long and hard to come to this place, this field we chose to make our final stand. Blood stains the ground, bodies of friends and enemies piled up all around us. We have fought well, for every one of us that has fallen we have dispatched thousands, yet they keep coming; an endless wave of destruction.

Panting heavily, exhausted, I turn to my right, nod slightly to my friend of all these years Vladislas. He nods in turn, saying much, without saying a word. There is nothing more to say now, we have said it all many times before. He turns back to the oncoming wave of enemies, lets lose a cry of battle and rushes headlong into the fray. Turning to my left I look into the eyes of my love, my wife, Erzabeta. She smiles, even now. So beautiful. She leans in, kisses me one last time and says “Come my love, our destiny awaits.”

Together we rush into the battle, my daggers a blur as I dispatch one undead minion after another. Up ahead I can see Vlad rushing into throngs of enemies, his shield and sword cutting a bloody path. My love works frantically beside me, healing us, killing, her spells coming one after another. A terrible thunder shakes the ground and I witness a bolt of lightning fell Vlad as he fights before me. Killing the undead mage before me I shift closer to Vlad, coming up behind the caster that ended my friends life. Rage filling me I slash brutally across my enemies throat, he falls, dying before me. I kneel before Vlad, lifting his head gently. “I’m sorry my friend.”

Lost in sorrow I simply sit there, cradling his head in my lap. Tears come freely.

“Eaj!” “Eaj, watch out!”

I hear my loves voice, it shakes me from my stupor. Standing, turning, she slams against my chest. Holding her close, I can see the pain etched in her face, the anguish in her eyes. A single line of blood runs down from the corner of her mouth. Somehow, she smiles, whispering “I Love you.” The light fades from her beautiful eyes and she slips down onto the ground before me, a spear lodged in her back.

I scream, I rage, I cut, slash, shift. Surely this is madness, but I care not now. All is lost to me. Enemies fall before me in droves, some run away before the terrible dance of my hate. Others press forward, more afraid of their masters than this lone Elf. Bleeding from countless wounds, my rage spent, I move toward my fallen love. As I near her a blinding flash, pain the likes of which I have never felt before brings me to my knees. I am dying now, I know this. As the life ebbs from me I crawl to her. Laying beside her, taking her hand in mine, I whisper “I Love You.” The darkness closes in and I know no more.

Light, painful at first, than comforting, washes over me. An Angel, a Messenger of the Vigil holds me close as we fly downward to a balcony below. The Messenger lightly sets me down, smiles sadly, than departs. Before me are two people, cheering, welcoming me back. They refer to me not by name, but as The Ascended. Beyond them, in a beautiful chamber hovers another Angel; beckoning me forth. For a moment I simply stand there, terrified, lost. I know not who I am, where I come from, nor why I am here. The Angel beckons again patiently and I move forward slowly.

Welcome Ascended, your path awaits.”

Where am I? Who am I?” I plead.

Head tilting slightly the Angel looks upon me, sadness in her eyes.  “Strange, Ascended; can it be true you know not where you are? Who you are, have been?”

“There is nothing, nothing at all but the past few moments.”

“Strange indeed, many others have returned before you, intact. Go forth, speak with the Warden in the chamber below, perhaps the acquisition of your first soul shall help you remember.”

“My first soul? What madness is this?”

“Not madness, divinity, destiny. Go now, find your path, find yourself.”

I move away, frightened, unsure. As I move toward the stairs the Angel pointed me to I notice a man standing on a balcony at the other end of the room. I approach him cautiously, slowly. As I move beside him he looks down upon me, a giant of a man, golden hair flowing, wearing beautiful opulent armor, a sword held in his hand. Looking into my eyes he smiles for but a moment, than looks away again out over the vista below.

“You don’t remember do you?” he inquires. “I remember nothing, do you know me?”

“Indeed, I knew you, or at least I knew of you. You fought with me at Port Scion, the place where I fell. You and your companions fought bravely, I was honored to die at your side.”

“Die? You speak of death, yet you stand before me now, surely you remember another.”

“No my friend, I did indeed die that terrible day, as did you, as did we all.”

“But I live! You Live!”

“Indeed, we are the Ascended now, brought back by the Vigil to set things right.”

“This can’t be! I am not dead! I will hear no more of this madness.” I scream as I run off toward the stairs. Behind me I hear him call out to me “You are dead, we all are, you will see, you will understand.”

I rush down the stairs, wanting only to leave behind this madman. Below I find another Angel, the Warden I was told of. The Warden sees me coming, sees my distress, and beckons me over.

Looking down at me, tears running down it’s face, the Warden whispers “Choose your path Ascended.”

Reaching down the Warden places a hand upon my shoulder, and for a moment I remember; and I scream…