The pale red sand of the desert stretches before you for miles. Your eyes begin to almost lose focus as they attempt to find the horizon, the flat land almost melding in with the sky, only differentiated by the sharp contrast between the blue sky and the clay-colored earth. Your travel seems to make the land move faster, almost zooming over the landscape, no path but no need for one as only the heartiest stalks and ferns can pop out of the cracking soil. Soaring like an eagle, you almost miss it before it appears beneath you: The Rift. A gash on the otherwise uninterrupted plain around you, suddenly below and pitch black. The sound of clanging metal begins to echo from the gap, huts and machines begin to break up the uniform landscape across the ridge of the Rift. Machinations without limit, the grotesque convolutions of metal and stone lurch toward the maw fueled with a hybrid gasoline of arcane energy and hubris. Two miles long and an eternity deep, not even tales, stories, or songs can reach the depths of the Rift, let alone a person. Inevitable, however, is the day in which someone, fresh from the campaign or thought to be long ago devoured by the Rift, will emerge to speak of the horrors that must certainly lie within. Until that day the mysteries of what lies at the bottom of the deepest crack on Cthone will remain just that: a mystery.
The Rift has been growing. Year by year, month by month, the land pulls further and further apart from itself, it delves deeper into Cthone's crust. With the help of miners, the Rift has been sinking by somewhere between one to five miles every thousand years or so, putting it somewhere in the depth of 40 miles deep. Now just over an average of two miles wide, the Rift expands outward at a rate of about a foot each year. Because of the clear hazard, uncertain nature, and general fear, engineers and magic users of all types flock to the Rift in order to attempt to keep it from expanding any further. They install bridges with thick, keystone triangular bases so any attempt made by the land to pull itself apart will be resisted. They use borrowed soil to attempt to add land back to the chasm walls. They bring in the most powerful known druids try to physically expand the bedrock shelf in order to bridge the gap and close off the dark maw beneath. Nothing has worked.
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