Descents Into Darkess
Some Basic Ideas
• Magic is rare and few, if any, humans have any experience with it. Those who do experience it are even less likely to gain even the simplest of masteries of it. Although powerful magicians are said to have lived in the past, they have long since been lost to the Mists and their knowledge is lost to today’s peoples. To master the powers of magic one must find fragments of the forgotten lore of those who knew it long ago, or find some creature willing to lend or teach its knowledge to them. Such knowledge is not cheap, and has been known to drive men mad, or twist them into unrecognizable caricatures of their former selves.
• Magic energy is drawn from creatures or surroundings in a number of ways. Ley lines, intersections of magic power and Faerie weaves, provide strong, pure sources of such power, but they are hard to find and zealously guarded by those who use them. Arcane energy can be distilled from many other places touched by the Mists of the site of strong memories/emotions, but it is often tainted by the very things that created it.
• The history of the world is fractured and largely unknown. Underlying the surface of the everyday world is the world of the Fae, a place where powerful emotions and great events shape and hold thrall of the world. When such things take place in the normal world, they are remembered by the Fae, and as the rest of the world forgets, the Mists encroach and move the sites of such events over to the Fae. Long after everyone has forgotten the horrors of the ancient manor, the Fae still remember, and claim the manor as their own. The ancient battlefields where kingdoms were won and lost are remade in the Fae, the fallen soldiers kept in body, spirit, or some combination of both. Just as the real world is remembered and incorporated in the Fae, sometimes echoes of the Fae resound into the normal world, giving way to superstitions, old wives tales, and supernatural events when the two worlds draw exceptionally near.
• Echoes and distortions of the real world give form to everything in the Fae. It is often a disjointed world, filled with distorted versions of great events, false rememberings of old places, and twisted versions of lost people. The world doesn’t flow continuously; memories and places of great emotion transition abruptly between one another, and it takes both a good sense of direction and a good sense of empathy to find your way.