I am currently preparing a game, set in a world mostly based on Victorian-Era England (but with visits to other places planned). It is not set on earth, but a world mostly similar, for plot freedom reasons. This means the broad strokes of history and scientific discovery still apply, as well as cultural norms, but I can change the geography, politics, and such around freely. (I may or may not decide to rename everything, to prevent 'but in England...' responses, leaning toward yes.)
(XWD, if you manage to find this, stop reading please)
Sometime between 1870 and 1900, however, things changed. One day, without warning, a solar eclipse occurred when there should have been no such event. In areas where the moon was visible, it turned blood red. Lights cascaded across the sky reminiscent of the Aurora-Borealis (aka Northern Lights) and the earth shook. Then, it just stopped. The sun came out, the earth stilled, and life went on. These events were recorded across the globe, and many thought it was a sign of the apocalypse, the end of the world.
The truth, however, was somewhat... stranger. After the Event, strange incidents started to crop up across the world. Strange creatures the likes of had never been seen before began to appear. Miracles and feats that should have been impossible began occurring. It took a while, but slowly the world came to a realization: magic was awakening in the world.
The Forgotten Truth:
Long ago, in the dark ages, magic was real. Wizards battled it out for supremacy, and monsters walked the land. All this changed, however, and magic was sealed away. As the ages progressed, the truth of magic was lost, and the stories and tales containing them were seen as myth and superstition.
The issue I am facing, however, is what to do with religion. As magic returns, the question of the gods becomes something that can be answered, and I have not yet decided how to deal with it. Is the voice of the gods now able to be heard, and those who are faithful empowered to perform miracles? What about the issue of contradictory religions? Will we see another crusades, and tear the world apart?
As far as I can see, there are a few ways of dealing with the issue.
1) Nothing changes. The gods remain silent, and even with the newfound power of magic, the question remains a enigma, a cypher. Divine magic is non-existent, other than a few hoaxes. The question of Divinity remains one of faith, unprovable either way. This would be the simplest answer, and the least likely to contain real-world sacrilege and/or blasphemy.
2) Divine Magic returns with the rest, and the truth of divinity is revealed:
A) One major religion is right. WHOO for them, everyone else has a REALLY bad day. Stinks to be them.
B) Multiple gods and religions are right, and may not see eye to eye. I will use comparative religion to group together religions that are from the same source and could conceivably be the same god, with a few transcription errors over the years. Abrahamic religions might be one god, for example. The Pagan gods are all real, conversely, but of lesser power individually.
C) I cheat, and use the option from B with custom made gods to avoid any real-life comparison. This requires a lot of historical revision, however, as religion has played a major role in history.
Thoughts and discussion is sought, especially by any who may have tried something like this in the past. Questions of real-life religion are discouraged, except as relative to the question. If real-world religions is a forbidden topic, then I apologize.
Once I have playtested the setting a little, I may try to write it up as a submission, but I have other plans for submissions before then. As it is now I am just laying out the bones to state my issue.
Other things, if you are inspired:
I have very vague notions of what the seal is/was and how it was formed, as well as how it was broken. While one is not likely to matter in-game, the other might, and its good to know these things even if they don't actively come up. This is not as much of a issue as religion, though.
What little notion I have goes something like this: at some point in the dark ages, wars between magi and magi torn the land asunder, and dark creatures from nightmarish realms roamed the land. In a desperate move, a brave few gathered together to try save what they could, and a plan formed, where they would seal this world off from the other realms, and stop the flow of magic. (Perhaps related to the reign of King Arthur?) This plan worked, and magic drained away from the world. Creatures of magic left behind, either died or buried themselves deep in enchanted slumber to await the return of magic.
(As such, this world is actually somewhat of a recovered post-apocalyptic world from the perspective of high-fantasy... heh)