AI | Arcane Magic
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Arcane Magic

TL;DR: Arcane magic is one of two things in London–a careful and deliberate science for the intellectual elite who have become nearly alien in their own land, or a dangerous heretical tool which threatens the very peace of the nation if left unchecked. Presently it is the very heart of futurism in Great Britain, as the discovery of aether crystals has allowed for, in combination with arcane magic, incredible technologies that have accelerated the development of human kingdoms on a level of power comparable to the seclusionist elvish empires that gifted them with magic in the first place.

The British Empire looks upon Arcane magic with a great deal of suspicion. Considered a gift of the Elvish that came across with the Saxons during the reign of Charles the Great, it used to be commodified in rare talented folk, but viewed without much superstition.


That lasted until the war of succession in the wake of the Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, and Pict invasions in which a human wizard named Theodred Balmorr, known as the Dread Balmorr, took to the darker arts and began using undead creatures to save his home kingdom in what is known as modern day Sussex. So successful was he at twisting the arcane to fuel dead creatures that he not only managed to save the besieged fortress at Londinum, but he turned the tide completely–any soldier that fell turned instantly to Balmorr’s side. He soon nearly swept the lands in undeath until a fleet under the commission of King Haldrach the Black took to the southern shores of Great Britain and began eliminating all living and dead with extreme prejudice.


Meanwhile at Hadrian’s Wall, the final living defenders from the Gaelic Tribes, the Scots, and the Dwarven holdfasts of the Ross and Ben Highlands, and the last human Britons had taken to divine inspiration to battle back against the onslaught of the coming dead. It was said that the House of Plantagenet lead the way, their divine gifts channeled from the patron saints of the British isles kept beacons of holy light to fight back against the tide of animated undead coming their way, long enough for Haldrach’s forces to march north at a critical turning point. Hadlrach himself was ready to give the order to destroy the forces arrayed at Ben Hope mountain, but instead seeing the steadfast humans long since ready to die and committed to fighting to the last, backed down and signed an accord at the place that would become modern day London–House Plantagenet and Haldrach formed an alliance to help rehabilitate the land, creating the foundations of England today.


Due to this experience, the Church of England has expressly forbade necromancy, and it was Haldrach himself, alive to this day, who saw to it that arcane knowledge retained by the various human tribes was destroyed. It was believed by the elvish that humanity was overzealous in their mortal infirmity, and also bent to streaks of imagination that made them volatile practitioners of the arcane arts. Unlike the elvish, whose long lives predicated a lifetime of slowly garnered power and wisdom in magic, humans were more likely to seize, hoard, and twist instead. The shadow of Dread Balmorr to this day still looms over the academies dedicated to the arcane, and magic is strictly regulated in London today.


All arcane ‘magic’ now falls under aetherology, the study of aetherial energy that weaves through existence and can be twisted to form effects that defy the laws of physics. This quantifiable medium has made it thus that arcane magic is now a science, with tools built from aether crystals to support what has now become a rather weak grasp of the magical arts, while the mages in the Tower of London keep a watchful eye out for those who would wield necromancy again.


While most of the prevailing attitude towards arcane arts in human hands falls towards suspicion and fear, most practitioners maintain an air of elite and intellectualism, creating a contentious vibe happily maintained by both sides.


Still, there are some humans from other parts of the world where arcane gifts were not quite so shunned and in fact met with great success. Some of these areas have spawned what are known as “magocracies”, where citizenry even without the aid of higher education are known to learn a cantrip or two at a young age to supplement their skills. These areas are more tolerant–but face harsh restrictions, and sometimes even pain of death, in London.