It was but the size of the eye of a needle, and yet it was there. A gap in the force fields maintained by the mages. The first sign of their weakening. Aryala would never have noticed it, would never have known it was there at all. But ~something~ had begun to squeeze through the opening. Impossible as it seemed, something much larger than the opening was pushing through, squeezing, squirming, wriggling in unspeakable and horrible ways that seemed to offend both the eyes and the mind. Already there were tentacles on this side, several at once, stretching out. Soon it would be all the way through. And what would happen then? They had tried to cut it. To burn it. To poison and to freeze it. Nothing had worked. It came through the gap, as inevitable as the tide but even slower. Some days to go, possibly. Well, they would just have to be ready when it happened. An hour later, messengers hurried along the roads towards the neighbouring cities. They carried letters asking for allies to help investigate this new thread on Tuesday, the 6th day of the new year at 8pm in the evening. Gather at the gap in Trinsic.