Schemes of the Lich King
For hundreds of years, one man has held the Empire together— the Archmage. While an everyday wizard works magic that can astound or destroy a crowd, the Archmage casts spells that make the civilized world safe and prosperous. His magic quiets storms,
enlivens crops, and staves off plague. The Dragon Empire has experienced a steady growth in order, security, and wealth, largely because the Archmage wards off chaos, peril, and calamity.
The Archmage’s plans and projects are beyond the ken of normal people, but even normal people are part of his schemes. The Empire’s farms plant different crops at different times, all coordinated by the Archmage’s schedule. Merchants and travelers consult the Archmage’s almanacs to find the best times to set sail. But the common people have little appreciation for what the Archmage does for them. People even complain about the Archmage’s instructions, as if he were a capricious bureaucrat in the imperial offices.
The Archmage maintains the wards that protect the Empire through a series of magical nodes, placed at strategic points across the land. The nodes tap into ley lines, which occur naturally (although the imperial ley lines are better controlled and more powerful) and channel and direct arcane energy from them to the wards.
The Archmage oversees the Imperial School of Wizardry, though it is run day-to-day by one of his trusted inner circle members. Sometimes this school devotes itself to testing and training those with arcane potential. The imperial wizards are notorious for being tight-lipped about their true intentions, and they lie without compunction to cover their tracks. No one holds it against them; the Archmage knows best.
For some reason known only to the Archmage, he has taken an interest in the life of a seemingly simple shadow elf wizard, Dracovel Kilvesh. They share a spirit guide and when Draovel wishes to enter into a deep trance he can briefly communicate with the Archmage.