Magic is divine, the power of the gods themselves lent to mortals who then use it to further the gods’ goals. That is what magic is, what magic means. But that’s changing.

Here and there, people have been found, even caught, using something very like magic — but it’s not coming from the gods, and they’re doing things that magic has never done. No one really knows how they’re working this quasi-magic, not even the people who are doing it. All anyone knows is that this is very, very bad. Magic that isn’t regulated by the various religious orders of the various gods, magic that doesn’t even owe anything to the gods, threatens order and the very fabric of society, if not the world itself. These unfettered magic users, these “sorcerers,” are a threat, and must be treated as such. “Such” depends on which sect of which god you follow.

Sorcerers are being looked upon with unrelenting suspicion, hunted down like vermin, and everything in between by various legal and religious institutions. Some people support this, and some don’t — most sorcerers don’t. Even within the religious orders themselves, some oppose their elders’ tactics as too harsh or too lenient. Most who find themselves with arcane power are hiding it, hiding themselves, but more than a few are thinking of fighting back, if not doing it already. Some are even trying to organize into their own cohesive unions so that they can be recognized, respected and protected from this religious oppression, and several religions aren’t happy about it. Things look grim, and it’s not getting better any time soon.

Paradigm Shift