There are six powerful kinds of magic in the magic unleashed series. Each one taps into godlike powers. They grant abilities that transform ordinary humans into walking (or flying) weapons of mass destruction. Practitioners of these Schools or Spheres of magic can work together, but their spellwork is all but impossible to blend.
Arcanists work with the less powerful ambient magic that ebbs and flows during the bleak times of no magic. Magic users have gone by many names throughout human history, witches, warlocks, magi, and a host of other less-savory titles. These people are bound to the very magic of creation. More women than men are born with arcane affinity.
Through the bleak times, arcanists formed tight knit groups to pass down their heritage from the last magical age. Not all of these traditions survived, or passed down their knowledge intact. Their imperfect understanding of magic has led to many terrible deeds.
Creation is the only means to connect to arcane magic. During the bleak times, destruction is the only means to grasp the smallest sliver of magical power. Human sacrifice tainted some of these traditions. During times of no magic, this is the only reliable means of invoking magic. Which may account for some ritualized murders dating back thousands of years, often couched in religious or blasphemous ideology.
During the bleak times of no magic, many would be arcanists feel the stirring of their power. Without magic, they are unable to realize their full potential. Like all magic users, unfulfilled urges connected to magical power can lead to debilitating mental conditions.
When magic flows into the world, arcanists experience the stirring as a powerful spiritual awakening. By embracing the stirring in their soul, an arcanist can learn to manipulate the practical magic around us all. They are not magical powerhouses like wizards, but they are still potent magic users.
This common or practical magic is less potent than the magic of the Spheres. It is still a potent tool, and the only way to bring other kinds of magic together. They can bind together other kinds of magic in artifacts of great power. Arcane master craftsmen created the most powerful relics of the last magical age.
With the return of magic, many arcanists feel the stirring. Some will still follow the old ways of the bleak times. Others, unconnected to the traditions of those groups will chart a new path. Conflict is inevitable.