Magic of M'dhavian
by Nuvynen the scholar
Before the Schism, magic was undisciplined. Any who were able to sense the ebb and flow of magic were able to cast the same set of spells. The spells used were discovered through trial and error, and magic was a dangerous art in which a failed spell could destroy the mage, if the mage was lucky. If not, entire regions of the world would be scarred by the magic, else the mage was altered in unpredictable ways, most unpleasant.
Over time, the mages who were successful in crafting spells grew in power, and their own forms changed, touched as they were by such raw power. Some wished to use their new knowledge to preserve life, while others saw the power and knowledge as a means to have more power over others. The groups clashed, and in that clash the forces of magic which the mages used overloaded or somehow overwhelmed them and the world. This event was called the Schism by the oldest writings by scholars. Very little survived the Schism and the wars and destruction that followed, but it was certainly evident that the Schism changed everything about our world in very fundamental ways.
People were altered, lands destroyed, new mountain ranges, islands, and seas rose out of the world that was. Natural disasters ripped through the lands, destroying cities and forests alike. Not just the land, but the people too were altered. It is noted that most of the races seen today resulted from the Schism, whether as a result of the mage wars preceding or because of the Schism itself. Magic also changed, old mages suddenly were unable to sense magic, and people who never were sensitive to magical energies suddenly found themselves able to see magic.
There is no true record of what happened before the Schism, all that has been written has been by conjecture of modern scholars. There are disagreements as to how long ago the Schism happened, whether it was mere centuries ago, or millenia. All that had gone before was destroyed, and it is only now, through the discovery of arcane artifacts and long unfound ruins, that the current scholars are able to form theories on what truly happened.
The world as we know it now is comprised of different forms of magic and magical energy. There are schools of magic that train those with the talent to sense one of these forms in the proper use of the magic. Thus it is that there are disciplines, or classes, of mages. One of the main differences between the disciplines is one of ability, another is of attitude. There are rumors of a new group that seeks to study magical energy at its source and find ways of controlling it in a new way, but nothing so far has come of these alchemical studies.
What is certain is that we have not yet found all the ways to control magic, as wild mages exist. It is from the study of magic and the way these wild mages use magic that new disciplines are found. Not all of the mages in the world wish to cooperate with our scholars, however, so there still remains a chance that this scholastic body will not be able to classify and publish tomes on all forms that magic now takes, and the depths of the studies that each form of magic requires.