This is a list and brief explanation of the various “big picture” mysteries in the world. These are world-spanning conspiracies and issues that are unanswered, but would have global ramifications if solved.
- Where does magic come from? This is a question that has not been satisfactorily answered since it first cropped up. There have been a number of papers, essays, and debates as to the answer to this question, but ultimately, there has not been a single, decisive answer. One common theory contends that a deity must have done it, but there is no definitive proof of this as there is not a record of a “god of magic” in any history recorded anywhere. It also seems unlikely given that such an entity would be supremely powerful. Another supposition is that magic is connected to the soul. While this is not, by itself, terribly outlandish, a prevailing theory posits that souls of the dead (and, possibly, the living to an extent) provide a source of energy from which magic is drawn. Souls form a sort of magical wellspring, from which all casting then draws. A more radical theory on the answer to this question is that magic was once only the province of the gods and of fiends, but that long, long ago, a demon of the Abyss brought magic to the world, teaching it to mortals, who then interpreted it in differing ways, bringing about the various different magical traditions.
- Do the gods exist? This ties a bit into the previous mystery and it has proven to be just as contentious a debate. Clerics are adamant that, yes, of course they do. Where would their powers come from if such were not the case? Paladins devoted to deities make the same claim. This question becomes muddied quickly by the following facts: druids and rangers are both generally accepted as being “divine” spellcasters, but they do not often give veneration to a particular deity in the same way clerics and a number of paladins do. Their magic is different, to be sure, but it is similar enough for there to be some disagreement on what it means. Complicating this issue is paladins themselves. While a number of them do worship a deity and live by that deity’s tenants, there are also paladins who give themselves instead to an ideal, or even a nation. Their powers are not appreciably different from their more divinely-minded brethren. What does that mean?
- Is lycanthropy treatable without magic? This question is of particular importance to the Wolf Knights of Luna, as they endeavor to suffer through their affliction, knowing that it will eventually claim their sanity. Those that are made into werewolves have a simple solution: magic. While the spell to break the curse isn’t necessarily commonplace, it also is not so out of reach as the spell that would alleviate the naturally-born werewolves: a wish spell. This question of finding a way to cope with lycanthropy without going mad has been one that nearly every Wolf Knight has wrestled with at one point or another. To date, none have successfully found a way around it. It is notable that the other most common group of lycanthropes, wererats, do not seem to suffer from this eventual descent into madness. Other lycanthropes are rare enough or secluded enough that there is no real body of evidence to say whether or not they suffer from a similar struggle.
- Why are large portions of history missing? In some regions and in some religious circles, there are rather large portions of lore that are either incomplete or missing entirely. They could, if known, fill in critical gaps in the understanding of the formation of the world or the understanding of religious tenants. The world is one that has experienced several destructive wars and conflicts over its history, so it is easy to assume that written records have simply been destroyed, either in order to prevent the uprising of an enemy or to keep vital information out of the wrong hands. But could it be something more nefarious? If so, to what end?