Soundtrack for the piece – “Runiversal Divergence”, by @0xGrayling (Twitter)
During the first age of wizards, there lived a scholar who longed to know the secrets of space and time. He traveled the world over, visiting restricted libraries and seeking out sages and philosophers who might guide him to the answers he sought.
The years passed, and his wife and children grew older away from his presence, until his youngest forgot his face. But gradually, he felt he was getting closer to his goal. Once he had mastered the 3rd and 4th dimensions, he could re-do these years and nothing would be lost.
One day, as he returned from a long journey to the Obelisk, he saw smoke in the distance, in the direction of his family’s home. He rushed back to confirm that the worst had happened, his family and home gone to flame and ashes, cause unknown.
In his sorrow, he determined to go to the place that had been deemed too risky while his family lived. The myths dispute the identity of this location – some say he pierced the Infinity Veil, while others claim he entered the Astral Plane. Still others claim that the Event Horizon or even the Quantum Shadow was the destination he sought. But regardless, he entered a place where the rules and walls of the Runiverse ran thin. And in that place, he transformed.
His body was lost, but his spirit gained long-sought powers over time and space. However, his soul was not ready to control both simultaneously, and rather than suffer outright destruction, it split. Two forms emerged back into the Runiverse; Sorcerer Ali, possessing mastery over dreams, past, present and future (albeit only those occurring in his physical location); and Druid Faiz of Arcadia, able to travel far and wide in an instant (however, only in the present). Each possessed a fraction of a soul, and a semi-corporeal existence in our plane of the Runiverse.
Ali eventually settled in the Obelisk, where his abilities could be harnessed effectively, while Faiz roamed far and wide, much as his whole self had done, although much more efficiently. Both sought to continue their investigations, hoping to regain what had been lost. But as the eons progressed, the two tethered beings began to accumulate their own experiences, and their views and aims diverged…