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Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future
The Great Rift is one of many astrographic terrain features which have provided long-term security for the Third Imperium. By its very nature, the Great Rift has made outside incursions difficult, which has made the interior of the Imperium a secure population centre.
Citizens in regions Spinward of the Great Rift often refer to their area of space as being "behind the claw".
Citizens in the Imperial Core sometimes refer to the rift as the Great Reft. This is seen as a somewhat outmoded and quaint term.
Refs: MT-ENCYC, 1120; MgT2 TroReach