An Introduction to Mahid
Magic is rare on the surface of Mahid, but where it is found it tends to be rather powerful. When combined with the fact that most practitioners gain their capabilities through service to the usually unfriendly gods of Mahid, it is to be expected that magic is generally feared, or even hated, in most communities.
Larger settlements have usually come to terms with the magical members of their populace in some way, though even in the greatest cities it is very rare to find more than a few dozen. In remote holdings, however, those who publicly display magical competency will be lucky to receive nothing worse than eviction or exile.
While the easiest and most common access to supernatural ability is through service for or pact with a deity, those who do not choose this route are quick to assert that it is not “true” magic, which seems to be powered purely by the practitioner’s own body in some way, as those who perform magic darken and grow cold when doing so (some legendary magicians also spread these qualities to their surroundings when performing great feats of sorcery). A frequent practitioner develops a hearty appetite and sometimes a desire to regularly sit in the sun, neither of which helps ease the suspicions of common men.
Incredibly complex and highly ritualized languages, chants, bodily movements, and even precise thoughts are used to trigger the abilities of “true” magicians. These have been researched and developed as far back as any history tells, through a long and occasionally disastrous process of trial and error. Just knowing these rituals, however, is not enough. Only a tiny fraction of the populace possesses whatever unknown quality is required for the rituals to produce the desired results, and another tiny fraction produces entirely undesired (and usually fatal) results instead. Understandably, magicians attempting to find those born with the power to use magic rituals through encouraging people to try them find some resistance from those not willing to risk a quick and gruesome end.
As the potential for “true” magic seems to be an inherent and unchanging quality of a person, it is often thought to be hereditary, but it so so rare and erratic (not to mention how difficult and uncommon rigorous recordkeeping is on Mahid) that none can truly be sure it is so.
Much of the “magical” equipment in 4e DnD is not actually magical in this setting, merely extremely well made. Mundane equipment, after all, is generally bone, wood, and stone, so most of the +1 and +2 items are simply good strong steel instead. As a rule of thumb, if its enhancement bonus is under +3 and it doesn’t do anything that can’t be explained without resorting to magic, then it isn’t magical in nature.