Hello there! And here we are, trudging through these last few days before Christmas. The kids are counting how many sleeps left till the big day. (As are the parents, but for vastly different reasons). The prospect of a new working year with the children back at school and the return of normality beckons temptingly, like the leftovers from Christmas lunch in the fridge. (And like tucking into those leftovers, actually returning to work will leave you with a sick feeling and a vague feeling of "what was I thinking? I didn't want this!"
But enough complaining. Seeing the glint of excitement in my kids’ eyes is enough to thaw even my jaded, shriveled heart. The Christmas spirit beckons, so I ignore their requests to sing Christmas carols and spend “family time” together and log into Rift to see what Yuletide cheer I can find on the other side of my computer monitor. After all, that’s what Xmas is all about, right?
The daily Fae Yule quests are still going strong. Today, it seems that naughty Crucia is controlling the minds of rift creatures, using them to steal away the holiday cheer from all Telarans. Boo! Hiss! The more positive emotions the rift creatures steal the stronger Crucia gets. So today’s quest is to gather the holiday cheer back from the rift creatures.
So while Caedryn is off slaughtering and dismembering in the name of peace and goodwill to all men, let’s talk about a new addition to the Rift world.
What are Slivers, I hear you ask? Well, Slivers are… alternate realities, I suppose you would say. Branching timelines--
Actually, let us pause for a moment, and get a bit quantum, shall we? You’ve all heard of the grandfather paradox, yes? Just in case you've forgotten, the grandfather paradox is a time travel theory first put forward in 1943 by René Barjavel, a science fiction writer. The theory itself goes something like this: what if a man, (we'll call him Bob), went back in time and killed his own grandfather before he (the grandfather) met his future wife, (Bob's grandmother.) This would mean that Bob's own mother would never be born, which in turn means Bob will never be born. Simple? Ah, but not really. Because if this happened, then it means Bob himself didn't exist, so he couldn't have gone back to kill his grandfather, so his grandfather would still be alive, would still meet his grandmother, who would give birth to Bob’s mother, who will give birth to Bob himself, allowing Bob to travel back in time and kill his grandfather...
As you can see, each strand cancels itself out. Or, as Dr. Who says, it’s gone a bit timey-wimey.
But a theory to explain this is the branching reality theory. That when Bob goes back in time and kills his grandfather, an alternate universe is created, and in that universe, Bob doesn’t exist. But in his own he does. These branching universes are everywhere; every decision made creates a new one. So for every reality in which the Allies won the war, so there are thousands more where the Germans were triumphant, or where aliens invaded, forcing the Germans and the Allies to team up to fight them off, or…
You get the picture.
Anyway, that’s what Slivers are. Alternate pasts where events in the war of Telara turned out differently. The Ascended now have the capabilities to actually enter these alternate pasts and study what happened there, to make sure the same doesn’t happen in our Telara. As of now there are three stable Slivers that can be accessed, but to do so you have to be a lot higher level than me. Plus, you need a minimum of ten players to do so. Guess the Ascended want to make sure you don’t mess up, which kind of makes sense because there is a danger that these realities can spill through into ours. And we wouldn’t want that, would we? Not at Christmas.
As I said, I can’t go, but I’m sure lots of you guys can. (As long as you have access to Omen Sight, on the Guardian side, and Quantum Sight, on the Defiant side.) And if you do feel like a little bit of time travel, here here are the three Slivers you can investigate.
The first opens into the ancient Eth Empire, where Eth priests are getting ready to summon Titan slaves. But something went wrong and a gate through to the Plane of Fire was opened instead. The sorcerer-priests were warped into hideous creatures, and the High Priest Arakhurn was turned into a raging phoenix. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop Arakhurn before he spills through into our time.
In the second Sliver, agents of the Golden Maw have captured a powerful artifact they will use to revive Laethys. Your mission is to travel through time and discover where this relic is hidden, then report back so the Ascended can find it in our own Telara, thus keeping it out of the clutches of our own Golden Maw.
And finally, the big one. In the third Sliver Telara has already fallen to mad dragon god Akylios. Akylios’s sorceress-lieutenant, a woman called Hydriss, has discovered the secrets of the Slivers and is gearing up to lead an army through them and invade our time.
Hmm. That’s sounds serious.
Sorry, guys. Christmas leave is canceled. It’s time to kick butt and chew some sugar-free bubble gum.
And I’ll just bet you’re all out of sugar-free bubble gum.
Merry Christmas folks.