From the introduction:
Magic was all but gone from the world. For thousands of years, men and women lived happy, simple lives through cooperation and ingenuity. Societies flourished. Economies grew. The Kingdom of Aldur was born. But in a deep, dark cave under the Hog’s Tooth Mountains, an explorer found a tome which contained the basic elements of magical manipulation. The Spell Codex, as it became known, was divided by a committee of wise men and women after much arguing over who bears responsibility of such a tool. Over time, pages became lost, others destroyed, and some squandered away in private collections. At best, we operate from copies of copies of copies.
Since the discovery of the Spell Codex, a strange thing has happened to the kingdom. Men and animals have become tainted with magic. New creatures have brought fear to our villages. Monsters have ravaged cities. We must fight this threat using any means necessary.