In early 2013, strange blue lines and sigils began appearing in the earth and sky at random. In some cases, wild rifts of chaotic energy opened, and strange creatures emerged from within. Soon, more and more reports of magical phenomenon, wizardly activity, and fantastical creatures began surfacing. No one has yet been able to explain this sudden surge in magical energy and activity, but it has since become clear that there has always been some degree of latent magical energy present on earth. Wizards have walked among us and fill our history books, but as humanity entered the age of science they gradually concealed their powers in order to live normal lives (although many still used their abilities in secret to gain power or wealth).

With the sudden appearance of the Rifts, one thing is now clear: the age of hidden magic has ended.

As the incredible possibilities and dangers of magic became increasingly apparent, and world governments struggled to deal with rogue wizards and fell beasts, those without the gift grew fearful. To protect themselves, the world community convened together and agreed to designate Antarctica as a new sovereign country — Aetheria — to be populated and governed by magicians and their kind, whose powers would enable them to live there comfortably. The use of magic outside of Aetheria was outlawed for anyone not specifically granted a magic license, and violators caught in the act were apprehended or even killed.

In return, Aetheria maintains a mobile response force of magicians trained to deal with supernatural threats. These mages call themselves the White Lotus, and they still maintain their vigil in defense of earth.

Aetheria is ruled by a council of twelve elder mages, many of them centuries old, who have emerged from their hidden retreats and arcane libraries to provide guidance and leadership to their young brethren. They established Whitehaven Academy, where young practitioners of all ages gather to learn the laws of magic and focus their abilities.

It is an unstable but exciting new chapter in mankind’s history, and soon three young wizards will change the course of that history again.


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