"Rifts are areas of elemental instability. They are markers for the point where the Plane of choice intersects and intrudes upon the world of Telara. Once these Rifts are opened-either by acquiring enough power from Telara to open on their own, or forced open by adventuring Ascended-waves of increasingly powerful Planar foes spill forth into Telara. They are usually guided by a commander of some sort. They set up base around the Rift and occasionally send out scouts, or "invasions" into the land of Telara to set up bases (idols) and to attack important neighboring camps of Telarans. These Rifts will stay open for many days, sometimes weeks! The longer they are opened into this dimension the more chaotic and unstable they become. It will take a powerful Ascended alone, or several well coordinated Ascended to take down the foes protecting the Rift and to help close the anomaly, thus ending the threat from the Planes."
Ascended may find that when they close these Rifts that intrude upon our world, they gain strength, clarity of mind, and other powerful and useful benefits from the excess Planar energy. Their altered souls and unique gifts granted by either the gods or the machines of the Defiant allow them to access and use the excess Planar energy from the closed Rifts, gaining special rewards. They may even find excess Sourcestone, bled off from the closing of the Rift, which is considered incredibly valuable and sacred to all Telarans and can be used or traded for something of equal to or more value.