A land being plunged into chaotic energies, wild superstition, massive prejudices and distrust. More of a campaign setting than anything else.
This is more of a concept applied to a particular setting than the setting itself, bear this in mind.
Every now and then someone truly extraordinary is born, even to a race of kobold like creatures.
It is possible to buy magical abilities. The process is very dangerous though, involving chemicals, rituals and surgery possibly leaving the aspiring mage insane, retarded or scarred for life.