Though most of us cannot perceive it, Potentia exists all around us, an energy based in the five elements of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Life. Potentia is the source of all magic.
Dragons store and use Potentia as naturally as breathing, and it gives them power beyond all reckoning.
In order for Potentia to enter a mortal's body, that person must have a skincarving, a complicated tattoo created by a master skincarver. These carvings are called porta. Once a person has a porta, the world of magic opens up.
Unless you are a Magister, or have been given permission by a Magister, having a porta is punishable by death. Only those favored by the dragons are permitted to do magic.
The Magisters are the dragons' servants. Recruited from the highest ranking mortals, they are trained in the city of Sadraki, and are charged with ruling and protecting the mortal races.
Chief among the Magisters is Magister Lundi. The only rank seven in the world, Magister Lundi is considered to be the perfect person, the pinnacle of all that mortals can aspire to be.
For many years, Magister Lundi had his own personal army.
Called the Mountainfoot Third, its soldiers were the best of the best, hand-picked by the Magister from armies all over the world.
Their symbol was a feather, and their motto was:
"Five thousand strong,
five thousand loyal"
The Third are gone now, but their memory lives on.