In ancient times, humans, Faeries, and all other thinking beings lived on the continent of Tanzia together. Humans possessed majikal abilities which were passed down to their offpsring, friends, or relatives before death. This was done by the ritual of laying on hands. A mere thought and this majik — now referred to as “decisive majik” — could be worked. Mankind needed little technology for civilization, as a person’s majikal talents determined their trade, the basis for a complex economy.
Then, Maraa the Terrible, a human sorcerer, discovered a way to murder others and lay on his hands, stealing their majik for himself. With each murder he became more powerful, consolidating spells, until he became unstoppable.
In time, Maraa enslaved all free people into an empire. With his stolen powers came stolen life, for he gained the youth and vitality of those he killed, storing up years of life for himself.
Maraa erected a capital called Imortum, and there he created the “incarnate spells,” monsters that served him and watched his slaves. These living works of majik are called Servants of Maraa: minotaurs, scarecrows, dark hounds, spook hives, gargoyles, and worse.
As his empire grew, Maraa grasped another secret of sorcery: the hundrab deabscufa bog. Meaning “one hundred shadow hands” in the old tongue, it refers to a self-replicating spell. Once such a spell is cast, it performs its task, then multiplies. Maraa used the hundrab deabscufa bog art to weave spells that would keep creating his minions over and over.
But according to legend, Altaicans and Gremlins eventually worked together to defeat Maraa, sealing him in the Fissure — a cavern of stone deep in the earth — where he would be imprisoned until his years of stolen life ran out.
After the collapse of Maraa’s empire, the majik of humans was banned by the Altaica. The Reign of Maraa had been too terrible. Those whose majik had not been stolen by him died without passing their talents on, so that the last majikal powers of humans would be lost forever. Decisive majik, spells done by force of will, were lost.
Even with Maraa imprisoned, his monsters continued to spawn in Imortum. The once-captive races had their freedom, as long as they could make their territories and strongholds safe from the monsters. Most elected to stay and fight to take Tanzia back from the Servants.