All magic is suddenly gone. No mage can sling sorcery anymore. This upsets all empires and civilizations. It is soon discovered though, trough the combined work of mystics, scholars and dreams, that all the magic has been drawn into a single orb in a vast tower located at one of the poles. Whoever gets there first wins the greatest price in history, access to all the magic in the world. But who owns the tower?
A large forest which is the site of a research monastery dedicated to Silence. In the course of developing new spells, the monks frequently deaden all sound in huge areas of the forest, an extremely eerie experience for anyone passing through.