Information on the World of Magic Bound
Earth-magic permeates the entire planet. It is carried in water but is not limited to it. Oceans have a high concentration of magic. According to the Kin's scientists earth-magic has always been present since the beginnings of the planet, and is most likely found in some form throughout the universe, especially where water has formed. Magic is sometimes termed a fifth element along with earth, air, fire and water.
Wild magic behaves very differently from earth-magic. No one knows if it has been around since the Earth's beginning or if it developed at some later point. Human magic-users are unable to use wild magic, though they have developed ways to contain or disperse it. If wild magic gathers in high enough concentrations it can manifest in a physical form, usually some sort of supernatural creature. It is assumed that most if not all human myths and legends are derived to some degree from these manifestations.
Electricity is essentially nullified by wild magic. Occasionally, and inexplicably, it will amplify it instead. The exact reason why wild magic interacts with electricity is unclear. Theories include wild magic attracting and appropriating electricity, suppressing electricity, blocking electrical transmission, or some combination of all three. Wild magic may also react with other forms of machinery and technology.
Because wild magic is so unpredictable and can be obvious to non-magical people the Kin have carefully suppressed it in all areas of the world except deep wilderness.
The Kin took shape as a group when legends shifted into history. As human societies grew the Kin banded together to hold magic in check, drive off the Weavers, and allow human development to occur unhindered. Only those born with the ability to use magic are accepted into the Kin. Magical talents are passed through the family line, although they may lie dormant for a generation or two. All Kin members are ranked according to the strength of their talent: Red (the weakest), Yellow, Green, Blue, and Black (a rare level of power).
As Western civilizations spread the Kin eventually divided themselves into thirty Regions worldwide. They may occasionally shift depending on normal countries and politics. The United States has three Regions: West, Central, and East. Each Region is ruled by a Gathering made up of a eight-person Minor Gathering and a five-person Major Gathering. The Master of the Major Gathering is the ultimate authority over the Region. All Minor Gathering members must be at least Green-rank, and Major Gathering members must be Blue-ranks.
Everyone who shows any level of magical talent is strongly encouraged to join the Kin. Membership is not forced, however, and some choose not to join. Many of those join the various rogue groups that have sprung up. These groups may have more or less criminal tendencies but none of them are completely lawful. If any magically talented individuals become a threat to the Kin or to the Kin's control of magic they are dealt with harshly.
In 1909 Leland Woodroffe, who was only twenty-seven, completed forcibly uniting the various criminal groups in Western Washington. He called his organization Phoenix, as it had risen from the ashes of the previous groups, and as he himself had risen from destitute beginnings. By the time of his death in 1957 he had solid control of all magic-related criminal activities from the coast to the top of the Cascade mountain passes and from the Canadian border to the Oregon border. He had also cemented the structure which the organization would follow: five divisions for different types of criminal activity, each with one person in charge, who Leland Woodroffe called Barons. Each Baron had differing numbers of Chiefs for their division, from two to six, depending on the demands of their work. These Chiefs were responsible for different geographical areas and reported directly to their Baron. There was also a position titled simply Advisor, which was given to Leland Woodroffe's right-hand man.
Woodroffe was succeeded by his Advisor, Sean Olson, who headed Phoenix from 1956 to 1970. Olson was killed by agents of a criminal group in Eastern Washington. After his death a rivalry sprang up between several men to take control of the organization. The struggle was won by one of Olson's Barons, Richard Pyne, who kept control of Phoenix until 1993. As Pyne aged he became more ambitious, overconfident, and careless. Eventually it seemed that his actions would endanger the organization and its members. One of Pyne's Barons, Jeffrey Walton, gathered the support of the other Barons to assassinate Pyne and take his position. Walton reinstated the position of Advisor, as well as several more of Woodroffe's original rules, and has headed Phoenix since 1993 with great success.
The five divisions of Phoenix were named by Woodroffe after various colors so that they could be spoken of in conversation without revealing information.
- Black division, the largest, handles security and enforcement. They are responsible for protecting Phoenix against outsiders, policing insiders, and providing genuine protection to those who pay for it. Black division currently has six Chiefs.
- Blue division is in charge of Phoenix's straight and magically-enhanced prostitution. Under Walton this has returned to Woodroffe's original stringent specifications. The brothels pre-screen clients, allowing very few who are non-magical, and provide intellectual as well as sexual amusements. Blue division has four Chiefs.
- White division handles theft. The targets may be normal or magical but their operatives use magic to accomplish their assignments. Occasionally White division members may be used to acquire items for blackmail or ransom, though this is unusual. White division has four Chiefs.
- Red division members run cons and swindles against non-magical people and businesses, usually using magic. Red division has two Chiefs.
- Green division is, intentionally, quite small. It is in charge of the magically-enhanced drugs that are sold only to magically talented individuals. Green division has two Chiefs.
Weavers are a humanoid race that evolved from the same ancestors as humans. No one knows exactly when they diverged onto their own evolutionary path, but it was recently enough that the only obvious physical differences are a lack of pigmentation in their hair and eyes and slenderness combined with great strength of bone and muscle. Their facial features are similar to Northern European humans. It is assumed that interbreeding may have occurred between the two races but there are no records of any such unions.
The most important difference between Weavers and humans is that Weavers are able to use wild magic. They are thus more powerful than most human magic-users. Despite this power, as the Kin trapped and contained wild magic the Weavers at first retreated. Humans were much more numerous and Weavers had always followed a policy of concealment and retreat rather than confrontation. Some Weavers did eventually make a stand to protect areas of wild magic. They were overcome, and for a very long time they have existed only in secret, most living in the wild areas that still may contain shreds of wild magic.