Rift: Travels Through Telara Part 16 - The Plane of Death

An original series of lore based fiction that follows the wanderings of Padric, a Guardian scribe, as he and his dimwitted companion attempt to chronicle the people and the places that make Telara unique. This week they turn their gaze upon the frightening Plane of Death.

Travels Through Telara


The Story
SoFar:
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week1">Part
1
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week2">Part
2
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week3">Part
3
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week4">Part
4
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week5">Part
5
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week6">Part
6
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week7">Part
7
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week8">Part
8
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week9">Part
9
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week10">Part
10
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week11">Part
11
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week12">Part
12
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week13">Part
13
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week14">Part
14
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week15">Part
15
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week16">Part
16

By Padraic




Greetings, dear reader. Today we continue our series on the different
planes of existence that encircle Telara. I did plan on brining you
another story from old Barik, the elder who is visiting Potter’s Field
on his way south, but he is currently sleeping off a rather large
amount of wine. A really large amount of wine. I mean, I’ve never seen
anyone drink so much. Not even a barbarian three times Barik’s size. I
have no idea where he stored it.



Anyway, I digress. While Barik sleeps of his overindulgence I’ll talk a
bit about the home of Regulos the Destroyer himself, the Plane of Death.



Death is a natural part of life. We all know this. It is part of the
grand cycle of existence. We are born, we live, we die. The best we can
do is try to live our lives with joy so that when we do cross over we
don’t look back on our years with regret. (I’ve actually spoken to many
people on their death bed, back when I was an apothecary’s assistant,
and the do you know what the top three regrets among those who are
about to die are? They wished they hadn’t worked so much, they wished
they had been truer to themselves, and they wished they’d had more fun.)



The Plane of Death is far from natural, however. An endless, flat
expanse of grey dust and bleached bone. It is a place of torture and
pain. Shadowy tendrils the size of mountains slither across the
horizon, blotting out what stars can be seen through the fecund haze
that hovers everywhere. Spikes of volcanic glass burst randomly from
the ground, impaling any who are close by. Bilious green lightning
flickers through the air, arcing into the ground, causing explosions of
rock and flame.  Yellow-stained clouds move sluggishly,
forming roiling patterns that hint at nightmares and childhood traumas.
Miles-wide pools of black oil boil beneath a thin covering of dust,
black-limbed creatures waiting beneath the surface, ready to claim any
who step within reach.






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Nature is all about balance. Light and dark. Death and birth. But the
Plane of Death desires only annihilation. It devours, eats, melts the
flesh from living bones to sustain its poisonous soil. Those who call
the plane home wander aimlessly, drawn to the first inkling of a rift
through to Telara, ready to pull back who they can.



There are places in Telara where death holds more power than usual.
Graveyards. Plague pits. Ancient swamps that have sucked down many a
passing traveler, battlefields where thousands of warriors fought to
the death. These kinds of places must be watched, because these are the
spots where Death Rifts might appear, like patches of disease eating
into our reality.



When a rift opens up, the first clue will be the air turning fetid. The
stench of decay will grasp hold of the back of your throat, clawing its
way into your very being. Plants will wither and crumble before your
very eyes. (This is usually your cue to run away.) Then the dead will
rise from the earth, yellowing skeletons brandishing rusted, pitted
blades. Anything that lives in the Plane of Death can enter Telara
through a rift, from mummies and vampires, to fell energies that send
corpses shambling forth as zombies. They will sense the life in you,
the vitality, and they will come after you for it.




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These are the most common places where Death Rifts will appear, but
they can spring up anywhere, from the spring meadows of a forest to the
pristine mountain lakes in the north. Those who are touched by the
energy from a death rift rarely come out of it unscathed. Some are
cursed to stalk the moonlight forever after as ravenous beasts. Others
murder their families and then spend the rest of their lives, wandering
the earth with the knowledge of their crime forever in their heart.



In fact, I can do no better than jot down the words of a witness to the
appearance of a Death Rift. The following extract is taken
from  the journal of Maura Reinhard, found dur-ing my
wanderings across one of Telara’s many battlefields.



“We lived at the heart of where the Shade appeared, my husband, my two
sons and I. We tried to flee, but the land was dead in every direction.
The undead beasts of the rifts did not slaughter us, but watched with
hollow eyes, as if they knew. As if they knew.



My sons changed, skin tight over bones, and so pale I could see down to
their dear hearts. Their father recoiled from them, but I could not. By
night, they would tell me how alien everything seemed, how strange it
was that father’s chest rose and fell as he slept, while ours did not.
We decided to open him up and see why. My boys and I did not leave the
shaded lands, but no matter how many people we open up, we can never
remember how to breathe."



I think none of us wish to experience such a thing. Next week, I will
hopefully bring you something more cheerful.




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The Story So
Far:
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week1">Part
1
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week2">Part
2
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week3">Part
3
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week4">Part
4
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week5">Part
5
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week6">Part
6
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week7">Part
7
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week8">Part
8
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week9">Part
9
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week10">Part
10
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week11">Part
11
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week12">Part
12
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week13">Part
13
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week14">Part
14
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week15">Part
15
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/features/travels/week16">Part
16


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