A Memory of Magic
During the Dark Ages, when fell beasts haunted the wilds and wickedness burned in the hearts of men, the corrupting influence of magic was widespread. Down every weave of the Tapestry, one could find devils beguiling, witches hexing, godlings cursing, or sorcerers summoning up all manner of evils. Until the day when the light of reason dawned and the tenebrous shadows of magic withdrew into the abyssal gulfs that spawned them.
In these latter days, some say that magic has begun to seep back into the threads of the Tapestry. There are no substantiated reports of such unnatural happenings, but the stories continue to spread amongst the lower classes nonetheless.
A heretical few scholars and sensitives, however, know of the existence of the Mazes -- an enigmatic netherrealm outside of warp and weft where, it is believed, all the monsters of the Dark Ages were long ago incarcerated to protect kith, kin, and kind. Among those who ponder such black and terrible secrets, it is sometimes theorized that it was to the Mazes that magic vanished, exiled along with its kind by whatever unknowable force saw fit to consign them to that strange realm.
Vanishingly rare, by comparison, are those who know of the double handful (I theorize) of returnees from the Mazes -- a realm these escapees generally refer to as “the Prison.” These individuals have brought a small measure of true magic back with them, though it is diminished from its once-great sway, as are the memories of these returnees.
Among those who have studied such things deeply, it seems that in our modern world of philosophy, law, and utilimancy, the function of true magic is ultimately limited by the memory of its power. Those who remember the wonders and terrors that it evoked in the Dark Ages are like small candles, each bearing the flame of magic. In the light of their memories, ancient enchantments glow with arcane purpose again.
When these escapees come together, the (figurative) light of magic’s burning grows brighter and their sorceries are stronger. I believe this is why there is a tendency among the escapees, to band together. It is not just out of a desire for mutual protection, but also because all members of their cohort are made more powerful by the proximity of other mnemomancers, as I call these individuals.
As mnemomancers recover their memories of the Dark Ages, their individual flames grow brighter still and their powers return to them in greater force. It remains to be seen whether it is possible for these individuals to attain the levels of magical power they commanded in the old world.
-Sage of Arcane Studies, Laryn Hildebrant, of the Bright College of Northern Sarbenia