Portal Crystal and the Magic Drain
Magic has a definitive cost, Spell Slots. Mages are only allowed a certain number of slots per day before their bodies must rest. The world of Arcadia is like a body, though it is very large. Only a certain amount of magic is available for use at any one time. When that amount exceeds the amount in reserve, a price must be payed to gain that additional magic.
People disappearing from the world has abnormally high levels of magic dormant within their bodies. Those of exceptional skill or ability harbor that magic potential. When Arcadia loses too much magic it will draw upon the magic stored within the people and hold them within the Mana Storm, where they live out their days in a blissful illusion while their bodies are harvested of their magical potential. When someone dies while within the Mana Storm they become a Magic Elemental.
This is a parallel to the fossil fuel crisis of the real world and should be run in similar fashion. While magic is a “renewable” resource the need still exceeds supply so the world as a sentient being is taking steps to counter that and uses the people as a conduit to provide more magic it itself to support the life here.
The dilemma here is what will characters do when they find this out. Will they try to destroy the portal? Find a new magic source? Sacrifice themselves to help? Limit the portals use? There are endless possibility as to what could occur when the PC’s discovers this.
The official unveiling of this condition will occur on November 3rd during the Extra Life Charity game. Please don’t spoil it before then.
I (Bob) would love to hear your ideas on how to make this work so please let me know if you have any ideas on where to go from here or if you just want to talk about it in more detail.