Long ago the ancient races discovered a source of mystic energy flowing from the ground. They found a way to draw forth this power and condense it into physical form. The force of their will compressed it into shimmering crystals called Aether Stones.
Those who possessed the will to work the magic into stones were called Aethermagi. Working together they used the stones to power weapons, armor, vehicles, and even entire massive cities. Elven Aethermagi grew theirs from giant trees they called Worldtrees, the Dwarves mined theirs in a solid form called Aetherium that ran in rich veins deep in the ground. Humans pulled theirs from all around.
As their cities grew so did the demand for Aether Stones. They created huge stockpiles of the precious stone in vaults and warehouses. Little did they suspect that the Aether Stones had a finite supply.
A young Aethermagi -remembered only as Nex- woke in the small hours of the morning in the cold sweat of terror. During the night a ghostly being called an ephemera had invaded his dreams and showed him five calamities that will befall the three races if they kept drawing the power from the world at this rate. Five calamities would occur, with the fifth spelling doom for their civilization. Nex immediately recorded his visions and began to verify what he had seen. After weeks of research, he came to the chilling conclusion that the first of the great calamities would , in fact, come true. He presented this research and was laughed out of the Aether Guildhall. He spoke in the streets to those that would listen and was pelted with rotten fruit for his troubles. He ran away and hid in an old tower. The next day the First Calamity began.
The First Calamity- Magic depletion.
With a loud moaning sound that was heard around the world for a full day, the last of the world’s magic was sucked into a crystal. Then, the world shuddered with massive quakes, vented a sighing gasp of lava, and was still and ominously silent. This lasted three days, three days and the last magic in the world was held within the Aether Stones.