Old Magic is a term used by many Imperian scholars to refer to the most ancient form of magic that is known to be native to the world. Although the magic granted and propagated by the gods and other extraplanar powers undoubtedly existed before the Old Magic, Old Magic itself is, by all accounts, as old as the world itself. It is fundamentally intertwined with the very fabric of the world, and seeps and flows through hidden veins like the world’s lifeblood. It is considered to be and behaves as divine magic does, although no specific god appears to be its source. This has led many cultures throughout the ages to revere the earth and air itself as a nebulous, all-pervasive deity.
Most clerics, wizards, and other magically-inclined individuals are often entirely oblivious to the presence of Old Magic and its workings, such is its subtlety. The encroachment of civilization further drowns out Old Magic’s influence, relegating its adherents to the furthest corners of the wilderness. Nevertheless, almost all creatures of the world are in tune with it on a subconscious level, and can feel when something is ‘wrong’ with the fabric of the world via the pained fluctuations of the Old Magic’s eddies and currents. Many societies on the fringes of civilization maintain oral traditions and legends which tap into it to varying degrees.
Despite being largely invisible to arcane spellcasters, the Old Magic can have considerable influence on the arcane magicks throughout the world. The prevalence and power of sorcerers, magical creatures, and extraplanar phenomena is closely tied to the current state of Old Magic, although the exact nature of the relationship is poorly understood.
In the hidden corners of the world, where Old Magic’s presence can be seen manifesting physically, the very earth and sky themselves seem to come alive. Trees whisper to one another, clouds keep a watchful eye over the teeming critters below, and the stars seem to align to the fates of their viewers. Out here, the world’s breadth and depth stretch out infinitely, extending onward in impossible dimensions beyond the ken or understanding of mere mortal scholars. It is said that ignorant travellers are lost over the horizon, never to be seen again, while wizards are driven mad and the faithful weep tears of abandonment by their gods. Only those creatures who inhabit the World at the Edge truly understand the boundaries of this realm, and they share no secrets.