Into the Rift

Once more into the Rift . . .
Led by the elf prince, Adros, a group of heroes returns to the Dead Worlds in a last ditch effort to find the living. But instead of survivors, they encounter beings more ancient and evil than even the foulest of Dead Gods.
Meanwhile, the Goddess Alana begins her own quest -- a journey back to the world of her greatest failure, the elven home-world, the land where she left her true love die. There, she must face her greatest fears -- and an enemy more powerful than anything she has ever known.

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She was falling . . . into the darkness . . . so deep, so all consuming.  It was tearing her apart; flaying her – one layer at a time.

First, it took her flesh . . . her outer shell, the body upon which all those who knew her associated with her name . . . Kendal.  But now even her loved ones would find her unrecognizable; a monster of sinew and bone, cloaked in a ghostly aura of darkness, a constant stream of black blood dripping from her lithe, emaciated frame.  Next, it claimed her memories.  Her past became a dream . . . a dream from which she was beginning to awaken.  She regarded it with a cold uncaring heart, as if it was the life of another – a weak, sentimental, wretch of a being.  She found it impossible, unthinkable, that she could have been that frail, stick of a girl hiding from shadows.  Even when she saw herself at the height of her power, devastating legions of the dead, she viewed herself with cruel disdain.  She saw a fool . . . a pathetic creature that deluded itself into thinking that it had power, that it had a chance. 

She saw a mortal . . . a mortal futility trying to stop the inevitable.

The final layer it claimed was her soul . . . she clung to it; no longer even sure why, or what it meant, she fought as fiercely as ever to keep it as her own.

But no matter her struggles, as she continued to cascade further, her soul stripped off in tatters.  It was all but gone . . . in its place an emptiness . . . a void.

Just when she thought the darkness couldn’t possibly go on, it did . . . without end.

For herein lies the truth . . . the dark core of reality . . . the origin of it all . . .

And Kendal was lost to it . . .

Then . . . there was the light . . .

So small, so distant . . . yet so fiercely burning in the dark.  Her soul basked beneath its warmth; for a moment it reminded her of what was, and what was lost . . . a lover, a family . . . a life.  The light was bright and beautiful to behold, but oh so unattainable . . . oh so far away.  Just as she would never find the end of the darkness, she knew she would never reach the light . . . and that it was no longer meant for her. 

Even so, that didn’t stop her from craving it . . . the longing to fill her empty soul with its glow. 

Her hunger twisted the light, turning it crimson and cold . . . the warm, light of life became a lustful sensation . . . something to be ravaged and wrung for every savory drop she could squeeze out of it . . .

And no matter how much she consumed . . . it would never be enough . . . nor could it ever be ignored . . . 

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