The Artifice War was a fifty year long conflict between two powerful artificers. It ended nearly a hundred years before the campaign begins, and the effects of the cataclysmic power unleashed during the war are beginning to be felt. The summers are getting chillier and the winters longer. The sun does not shine as brightly.
The most immediate consequence of the war is that arcane magic is no longer trusted. The practitioners of magic are an arrogant and reckless lot, willing to cause environmental armageddon to fuel their power. As a result, casters are hunted down by dogged inquisitors, roaming the land sacrificing violators to their god in the hopes that when they burn enough of the witches at the stake, their deity will undo the wicked work magic has wrought in the world.