It's been almost a hundred years since it happened, but all of Tameltyne still aches with the wound. A god was slain by another god. Powerful beings thought to be immortal suddenly having to cope with thier own mortality shook the very reality with thier actions, and it all began with a single man hungry for power.
Cothus Ruudale was a mage of signifigant power. He acended to demi-godhood when he tricked the gnome into "investing" thier magics into a network of vessles, then stealing all the magic of that race for himself. The once human, now god, assumed the title of god of magic, and his power grew with his followers. Arcane magic workers come in all stripes, those with sorcerers blood, trabadours experssing magic through art and performance, and scholorly wizards; and although it was mainly wizards who followed Cothus' beliefs, many arcane magicians paid the god of magic homage. His rule was still fueled by a drive for more power and knowledge, and to that end, Cothus confronted the goddess of wisdom, Jamstiel, and demanded nothing less than the secrets to reality. Jamstiel refused, and Cothus assulted her with a poison refined by the magics of a demigod, slaying her.
King of the gods, at least among humans, Aedelor sought revenge on Cothus for slaying his wife. Even in his rage, Aedelor saw that the death of another god, even one who fabricated his own godhood, would further tear the world apart, so rather than slay him in kind, he banished Cothus from the world, then turned his gaze to magicians of the world that supplied Cothus with the power used to kill his wife. Aedelor led, in spirit and form, a war on magic. The human god of war, Mord, led these battles as well, seeking a release for his own pain in the conficts against mages. The war lasted over fifty years before Aedelor saw that any mage that had actually been able to help Cothus was almost surely dead, and Mord's drive for battle was more an expression of his pain than an actual war that needed to be fought still. Aedelor and Mord returned to the heavens, and while Mord does not stop his followers from hunting mages, the war is over.
While the wizards had access to less power, they were far from powerless, and as many fought as fled with the aid of magic, to hide from wrath of gods bent on erasing every blight of the power that was used to slay a god. Secret societies found thier roots in these times. While there were allegations of some societies before, now such an organisation might be the only key to survival. Groups formed like the Harpers, bards who still remember how to cast magic without song, and the Rovers, wanderers that roam the land observing those in power for signs of evil, to keep a tragedy from happening again.
The human pantheon was the hardest hit by these crimes, one god dead and another banished, but all the gods felt the loss of one of thier own. Magic from other races suffered during the war as well. The gnomes had already lost all thier magic from Cothus' tretchery, and many are still bitter Aedelor didn't restore thier power to them before his banishment. The elves of Tameltyne came from across the sea, exiles from thier own land because they did not have the ability to use magic. Dwarves had not had magic from time out of memory, although a dwarf would tell you the craftmenship of thier work is true dwarf magic. While the halflings had magic of thier own, during the time of the war, their god of spite and hunger known as Skyfire got a taste of magic and proceeded to draw it out of the halflings that possessed arcane ability, leaving the race devoid of magicians.
While no Orcs wander the lands of Tameltyne, its northern snowy lands are home to Wantlermenn. Similar to humans in apperance, they are a larger breed, of powerful build and limited negotiating ability. They have strong bloodlines and blood ties, and while shocks of red, black, and blond hair can be seen throughout their clans, there are no brown haired Wantlermenn, as that clan was wiped out in ages old feuds for using thier magic to doubledeal against the other clans and failing. Aside from thier build, a Wantlerman is easiest to tell apart from a human by thier affection for leather and hide appearal, and adorning seemingly everything with horns. Even thier desert pastry rolls have small sugar crystal antlers on them.