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The Light Mage Wars

Since the beginning of time, the forces of light and darkness have vied for dominion over the universe.  The demons who embody the dark forces strive to escape the Void where the light has confined them so they can devour worlds and souls.  They prey on human weakness, on strife, discord, and fear.  Their allies, the ghouls, are earthly dark magic users.

While the veil between worlds is always thinner at some places than others, widespread upheavals in this world, such as war, famine and pestilence, thin the veil wherever they occur. The destruction of Atlantis, the fall of Rome, and the Black Death all occurred because demons breached the veil.

Against the dark and its ghouls and demons stand the lightmages, men and women gifted with sorcery who draw on natural power to defend the world against this supernatural evil.  Time and again, these forces have clashed.  Each time, the mages have prevailed but at a high cost.  Their numbers have diminished over the centuries, in part because of losses in battle, in part because of their own weaknesses, and in part because of ordinary or Mundane, humans’ reactions to these conflicts.  The Burning Times, the witch hunts that swept Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, occurred because Mundanes had seen and feared the power of magic.

Understanding that fear even as they resent it, the mages keep their existence secret from their Mundane neighbors. Generation after generation, they battle ghouls and their attempts to open a portal through the veil that would allow Void demons to reach other.

They have bases in every district, or shire, of the countries they inhabit. These bases are called Collegiums but masquerade as psychic institutes or other Mundane businesses. They offer educational and combat training facilities, law enforcement, government, and medical services. (Pictured below is the Southeastern U.S. Collegium, which is known to its neighbors as the Georgia institute for Paranormal Research.)

Corrupted by dark magic, ghouls cannot breed among themselves or eat anything not freshly killed meat, and their magic is not as powerful as it once was.  The fastest way for them to recharge their power is to siphon it from captured mages, whom they disable by injecting venom via their talons. In large enough doses, the venom is lethal.

Once captured, a mage will become breeding stock, a source of power replenishment, and, eventually, dinner.  The venom not only disables Mundanes but generates sexual craving in them, facilitating ghoul breeding.

.Any mage who repeatedly uses magic for selfish ends becomes consumed by it or “falls,” turning into a ghoul. A sufficiently high concentration of ghoul venom in a mage’s bloodstream can also turn that mage into a ghoul. Prompt medical attention for wounded mages is thus essential.

During the battle that led to the Burning Times, the mages discovered that the best way to stop the darkness was to touch it, to take some of its taint into themselves and turn that back against the demons.  Those who did engineered victory for their kind but became outcasts and withdrew into the mountains of Nepal.  Unfortunately, much of their lore, including the importance of vigilance against the demons, has been lost because of the Burning Time and the wars of the intervening centuries.

Some of these outcasts left their secluded home and, over the centuries, concealing the taint within, mingled with Europe’s mages.  In their descendants, the taint is no longer discernible except by a special ritual only a few mages know.  Others embraced the darkness within them and became ghouls.

The loss of so much knowledge, centuries before, has diminished the demon threat’s importance to modern mages.  They see the ghoul threat to them and the Mundanes as their primary problem and have all but forgotten this ancient legend.  However, the darkness is stirring again, and it has friends.  To destroy the mages, the ghouls have allied with the demons.

The power of darkness is on the rise.  Can the mages stop it before it destroys the world?

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