Codex of the Black Sun‘s second chapter, Seeds of Stranger Fruit, shambles through a history and meta-physical explanation of magic as though a scientific paper in which the author had to hit a specific word count. Mercifully, the short chapter is both optional and positioned (via call out texts) as one possible explanation for magic.
The chapter introduces the concept of Shadows; beings summoned from another reality by sorcerers.
At the end of the chapter are two pages of random tables to frame the origins of and current attitudes towards magic.
Using those random tables, I generated the following origins of magic in this sector:
- Who First Used Magic on a Large Scale? A rebel group that gained power via magic
- Why Did They Take Up Magic? An implement of vengeance against a foe
- What Was Their Greatest Achievement? An extended golden age of peace
- When Was Magic Developed? Some time in the early Mandate era
- What Was Their Downfall or Problems? Their magic was toxic over the long term
- What Relics of Old Magic Persist? Particular structures once used by them
I then rolled up the current attitudes towards magic:
- How Open is Magical Training? Any semi-decent pupil can find a teacher
- What's the Public Attitude? Respect and honor towards magic
- What do Governments Think? Magic is a tool of our political opponents
- How Prevalent are Mages? As common as any other very skilled trade
- Who Are the Most Well-Known Mages? Dedicated mage-artists of new media
- Popular Beliefs About Magic and Mages Mages all make pacts with Shadow patrons