While easiest to accomplish in the darkened alley behind The Strumpet’s Sister—where The Veil is at its weakest—veil-pulling adepts are able to perform the trick anywhere.
The adept begins by searching the air around them for an invisible seam or corner upon which they can tug. Once such an edge is found, the adept pulls until a hole in the Veil is opened. Then, using both hands, they widen the gap until it is big enough to pass through.
The abilty creates a doorway between distinct regions of space-time, allowing the adept and anyone they are in physical contact with to travel to “anywhere their blood has been”—and anywhen, of course.
Though that caveat may seem limiting to some, the most skilled adepts—the ones with the greatest imaginations, that is—can open a door to almost anywhere. After all, they understand that if you travel back far enough, we are all related. And that leaves only the completely undiscovered parts of the world off-limits.
As is the case with anyone “doing the unstuck”—whether by veil pulling, drinking one of Ada Coffin’s potions, or fighting the currents of The River Without End—the side-effects of time travel can be mind-bending at first. Nausea, headaches, and loosening of the bowels and/or bladder are not uncommon. But these effects are typically reserved for first-timers. Once you’ve unstuck yourself for the first time, every time after that is a relative piece of cake.
The initial “doorway” manifests itself as a tear in the air which pulses with bright, deeply saturated orange light. Once the adept has stepped through, the doorway disappears in one final flash.
On the other end, when the doorway opens, onlookers are able to see—albeit briefly—the time and place from whence the adept has come.
What the adept sees, once they step into the portal they’ve created, is best described as a kaleidoscope of memories. The adept must search through the millions of memories—both their own, and their ancestors’—for the place they they wish to go. Then they must grab onto it with both hands and pull themselves out of the Veil and back into the reality of the moment in question.
The ability draws on the power of The Waters of the River Without End. These exist in trace amounts in every body of water in existence, and in slightly higher concentrations in rivers and streams—which are thought by some to spill directly from the River Without End itself, through some mechanism as yet undiscovered.
These particles also exist in the air all around us, and in the bodies of many sapient beings. This means, as mentioned above, that adepts can use the ability just about anywhere—but that it's significantly easier to do so at the beach than it would be in the middle of a desert.