The Machinations of Balgrum
Rifts are the breaches in the veil that separates the various planes. They have dotted the lands of Balgrum for as long as has been known, however the number of rifts seems to have decreased over the centuries. Current estimates have the number of rifts down to 46 from an estimated 200 if certain records are to be believed. So far the rifts only lead to the elemental planes and the positive and negative energy planes, or some combination of them. While the characteristics of each rift varies, they all share the trait of manipulating the terrain around them to reflect the plane they lead to. A rift to the elemental plane of earth will form some earthen formation, usually mountains, with similar changes for the different rifts. The most drastic changes, usually occur where a rift opens to a place that is in direct opposition to its nature. The prime example of this, was the destruction of the Arkrin mountains when a rift to the elemental plane of air opened, creating what is now known as the Rovizio Jungles. Similarly, if a rift that leads to separate planes that are conflicting planes, the surrounding terrain becomes twisted and unstable.
A interesting side-effect of the rifts is the effect on magic. While near a rift, spells with the corresponding descriptor are enhanced, while spells with an opposing descriptor are diminished. These alterations in magic seem to carry over to the jesatom as well, with any member of an opposing element experiencing a wide array of symptoms from headaches to complete blackout.