The Brief History of Magic
For thousands of years, Magic was commonplace. Hearing voices, seeing spirits, and invoking spells were everyday things. The constant and vibrant use of Magic kept the Shadow World close to our own world. The boundary was so thin, they say, that anyone could see through the veil in the dead of the night.
For some, Magic was both profession and passion. Competing philosophies emerged; schools of thought were formed. The collaboration and competition between different Academies pushed the boundaries of the Art and revealed even greater possibilities for true power.
The Cataclysm that Destroyed Magic
In the early 15th century the common use of Magic came to an end. To this day it is unclear what experiment or ritual went awry and caused the cataclysm. What records that survive tell that the space between the two planes started burning, and at the end, only a handful of Mages lived.
Rebirth of Magic Through Technology
During the last 600 years, the fire between the planes has diminished, allowing visionaries, artists and madmen to extend their minds to the Shadow World. A few mages have only very recently discovered locations where the fire no longer burns at all. These clear spots have revealed something alarming – the second plane is still not accessible. A seal behind the fire blocks access to the Shadow World. Cracks in the seal have appeared in populated areas. These gateways are now tapped for Magic.
Bigger holes in the seal also exist. These breaches are large enough that magical creatures long forgotten are able to enter our world. There are believed to be four breaches in the Seal – one near the British Isles, one in Northern Europe, and two in Eastern Europe. Through these breaches pour the spirits of Dannan, Tiermes, Inrik, and Drioma into our world.
Choose Your Academy
Few people can access the Shadow World and fewer still know the history of Magic. Two of the old academies of Magic have resurged, the ancient Animators and technology-wielding Architects. Many historical figures belonged to these academies, although such associations are often guarded secrets.
Just as in the days before the Cataclysm, these academies are locked in a struggle to rebuild their ranks, discover new and lost Magic, and determine who has access to Magic and when it should be used.