A General Overview of the Domains of the Chosen
The Domains of the Chosen is a powerful federation that arose after a magical cataclysm known as the Reckoning. The individual states are called Domains and the person who rules each of these is called a Chosen. The Chosen are the most powerful of the Gifted, those who can use magic; they are almost immortal and possess Godlike power. These powerful beings are held in check by an oath that is part of the Covenant, the great bargain that the first of their kind made with the people of the city of Krass, when the Domains were founded.
The role of magic in the Domains is complex. The Reckoning was caused by the Gifted, and the wild magic unleashed during this cataclysm still taints the lands. People do not trust uncontrolled magic. On the other hand there is no doubt that, when properly applied, magic has greatly improved the lives of the citizens of the Domains. People need magic, but do not trust those who use it; this dichotomy is fundamental to understanding the Domains.
The Gift manifests in about 1 in 10,000 people. It is slightly more common in some races and slightly less than others, but not enough to matter to anyone but racial supremacists and scholars. It is not passed on through genetics and can only be detected after a child matures to a certain extent. It is mandatory that all children in the Domains are tested for the gift by the time they are sixteen. Those who are found to be Gifted are taken from their families to be trained in the use of magic. After training they are given a choice: they may become Vassals, in which case they are sundered from the ability to use “harmful” magic or they can keep their magic and become Gladiators. The test and training are administered by the Deliberative, a sort of police force that regulates the use of magic.
Vassals serve the people of their Domain for a set amount of time, or until they can buy off their service. The rules governing Vassals are archaic and often Domain. After earning their freedom this they often become wealthy and powerful in their own right, but they never regain the use of the parts of magic they are sundered from (at least they aren’t supposed to…). Vassals, including free-vassals, are the backbone of the Domains; their magic is essential in everything from disease control, to fashion, to making steam-wagons. Because they are sundered, people have a much easier time trusting them.
Gladiators are much fewer in number than Vassals, but receive way more attention. Gladiators are not prevented from learning “harmful” magic and require constant supervision. They are housed in segregated communities and live under a variety of restrictions such a communications bans. Gladiators are trained to fight and use their magic to enhance their fighting skills. They most often face monsters brought in from outside the Domains to die in the Arena. Gladiators are supernaturally strong, fast, and resilient having used magic to enhance their own bodies. The most important parts to remember about Gladiators is that they are performers as well as fighters and that all new Chosen come from the ranks of Gladiators who have been acclaimed as Champions by the people of the Domains.