From the introduction:
Before, Before, there were wizards and warriors. They went on adventures and killed orcs and dragons, found treasure, saved maidens. All of that. But then a revolution occurred. Not a dramatic or romantic revolt. Not a revolution led by usurpers or valiant rebels. Rather, a revolution driven by a change in the practice of magic. Wizards discovered how to make order from the chaos of magic. Magic is no longer an art; it is a technique. Magi-Technology is systematized, homogenized, and commoditized. Through the new rationalized techniques, wizards learned how to lord magic over men by making magic simple and commonplace. This change in practice brought about un-told wealth to the magnates of the magic industry. It revolutionized the ways of war and the ways of production. It even brought immortality to those who could afford it. And it introduced methods of unprecedented social control.
The proponents of this new practice of magic are called the “Rationalizers”. The current epoch is called “The Age of the Rationalization.”
Gradually, the dragons disappeared. The orcs and goblins were driven into the most inhospitable lands or brutally subjugated for the good of the civilized nations. Peace had come to the land. Peace… and new, stronger forms of tyranny and terror. The human wizards of old grew strong with their Knowledge of great magic. Those powerful wizards spent their lives studying arcane arts. That was what wizards were supposed to do. Except…eventually… the sons and daughters of the great wizards asked why? Why pursue the ultimate secrets of magic, when immense power and wealth can be gained simply by creating efficient and consistent applications of magic? A wizard can cast a powerful fireball spell after studying many years. But if same wizard can create many magic wands each day, each wielded by a peasant – a wizard could easily create an army that would rip through the lines of metal-clad soldiers.