In the world of Fantastic America, wizards of the last magical age created familiars. These were human followers who were drawn to serve a specific wizard. Each kind of wizardry has a ritual for this purpose. In general, the wizards and familiar entered into a pact. A magical contract where the wizard empowered a newly created familiar with abilities from their kind of magic. In return, the familiar was linked to the wizard and pledged allegiance to them and their interests.
Each kind of wizardry created a specific kind of familiar. Life wizards created paladins who defend life and impose order. Sorcerers created apprentices who seek knowledge above all else. Aqueous wizards created water warriors who prefer to spend their time beneath the waves. Necromancers created obedient fiends who stalk prey for their cruel masters. Lithic wizards created beast lords who in turn, bonded to one or more land dwelling animals to protect their wizard. Fire wizards created hellions to burn away weakness and sow chaos.
All familiars created this way have a single overriding mission. To protect and serve their wizard. The pact that empowers them continues till the death of the wizard or the familiar. Though in practice, the familiar often died at the same time or just before their wizard. The ritual that empowers them does not remove free will from the familiar, but it does subtly influence their behavior.
In the world of the Magic Unleashed series, wizards have yet to re-discover familiars and their empowering rituals. Readers won’t encounter their fist familiars until book two of the series, Midwestern Magicians. Like familiars of old, those with a calling will seek out a wizard and make a pact. Their power comes at the price of unswerving loyalty, but it is one they are willing to pay.