A New Era
Long before the Days of Vanishing, clerics of Boccob concluded that Oerth’s magic was declining. In fact – if their deity was to believed – the world itself would be void of magic in the foreseeable future. Most attributed this to Tharizdun’s rising influence.
This was not entirely true. Rather than decline, magic has fluctuated over the years. Between 591 and 595 CY, for example, magic was at its most powerful and its most versatile in centuries. None of this had to do with Tharizdun, but rather a universe-changing event orchestrated by Vecna.
The surge in magic ended in 595 CY with the Days of Vanishing. This time the change was solely due to Yothagos, and this time magic did in fact decline.
Only the most powerful of mages know the true extent of the changes, but some are as follows:
Magic in General
As a whole, magic has become less versatile and less powerful. Certain spells require intense amounts of concentration, when before they could be cast with ease. It is not known where magic is drawn from, though theories still persist. Some say it’s taken from something similar to Faerun’s Weave (or, according to planar-travellers, from the very same Weave of Faerun), from The Serpent, or that it’s Boccob’s version of a divine blessing. Most spellcasters simply write it off as an inexplicable wonder, something that just is.
Due to the difficulty of stronger spells, spellcasters have devoted more time to simple magic. Thus, they are able to cast cantrips and orisons with greater ease and efficiency than before.
Arcane spells – though weaker overall – remain much the same. Focuses can now be used in place of components.
Innate arcane spellcasting has changed dramatically, however. While almost all sorcerers of Oerth could trace their bloodline to a dragon prior to the Days of Vanishing, Yothagos’ presence brought with it a new source of arcane spellcasting: Wild Magic.
Those gifted enough to tap into this new source of magic found it to be an amazing source of power. They could essentially warp reality and fate without any repercussions. After The Great Return, however, Wild Magic became true to its name.
It’s now very unpredictable and dangerous.
Divine Magic is still apparently granted through blessings of deities, though the years following the Days of Vanishing have seen a sharp decline in practitioners of divine magic. The Gods have been curiously silent since 595 CY, so only the most faithful remain steadfast in their devotion.
Probably as a result of Yothagos, artifacts have lost much of their power. Magic items have become increasingly rare, with one scholar proclaiming that “ninety percent” of all magic items became inert during the Days of Vanishing.