Ortegan Ley-Line Magic
"There are always dangers when dealing with magic, especially when it takes a form similar to a force of nature. When magic flows like a stream, what do you suppose happens if there was a flood or a dam altering it? I assure you, the Ortegans understood many of the benefits but not the risks. Do not pursue their folly as your own."The ancient Ortegans were an empire founded on the concept of arcane magic as a tool which could be used by anyone with proper understanding. They were the first humans to create magical objects which could be used without a great deal of innate magical talent, and created many of the underlying theories still used today. In order to understand magic better, the early Ortegans spent time studying places in Erisdaire which held strong auras of magic. These naturally-occurring spaces drew their attention, and so too did the discovery of "currents" which seemed to flow through a metaphysical layer of the world. These currents were called ley lines, and it was believed they could be tapped into for a boost in power.
Very few of their writings on this front survived the fall of the Ortegan Empire and the subsequent purge of "cursed magic" by the surviving human nations. It should be noted the other peoples of the world were at least slightly aware of similar conclusions. The dwarves called the currents "deep magic", and were known to employ it only sparingly at their greater Clan halls. The elves reference the "breath of wonder", also implying these currents can travel either into the Faeweald or Umbral Realms. What dragons call ley lines is not known, as they tend to be very protective of their knowledge. But it is clear they know about these forces, and might even be able to bend them to serve a dragon's will.
While others had knowledge of the ley lines, Ortegans honed their understanding into a method of tapping into those energies in order to power permanent magical effects. Sometimes these effects could be linked to an individual, allowing them to enjoy unnatural powers so long as they were near the flow of a ley line. Unsurprisingly, Ortegans would build most of their settlements in the path of these mystic currents and employ them for public works such as flowing water or flames which needed no fuel to continue burning. The development of similar magical effects in the modern era has replaced many of the same functions with less-restrictive enchantments, yet at a much lower level of power. Arcanists in recent decades would undoubtedly look on these lost wonders and see an evolution of the craft of magic from then to now. Despite the dangers, and apparent obsolescence, many arcanists who know of Ortegan ley line magic obsessively try to collect more information to modernize the concept. They believe there could be sufficient safeguards in place to prevent any catastrophe such as the one which ended the ancient empire.