Why is the old wizard's tower abandoned? What happened in the shuttered up sorceror's school?
Magical Mishaps on a Massive scale, probably. Magic is messy. It's delicate like a science but exactly as wishywashy as art. Here are eighteen stupid magical disasters to roll for on a d36
A spell was miscast and became a sentient memetic plague. All casters within 2d6 miles of ground zero now ONLY know that one spell AND hunger ravenously for the taste of untainted magic
A bunch of magicians tried to summon something but the big idiots went and left the door open. Now the toxic atmosphere of the third tier of Helgaaz is leaking in and doing NOTHING GOOD for the local flora and fauna
Some dummy with a wand tried to make themselves a free lunch but there is no such thing as a free lunch and this is a CARDINAL LAW OF MAGIC. Now this hapless caster has a surplus of cursed food going rancid and attracting thaumovores from the Nth dimension
A very talented young mage made up their own spell but forgot to code the end-clause in. This stupid rainbow-sprinkle effect has dyed everything for 1d6 miles around it in a variety of garish hues and also its draining living things of their energy to sustain the effect
Some big shot moneybags genius paid a necromancer to summon them a cheaper workforce. An excellent plan until the restless souls of the dead bodies used animated a bunch of objects in said moneybags' home. Yeah that's right it's like "Beauty and the Beast" but its also got zombies
A rank amatuer started selling knock-off spell components. All the spells have been just a liiittle bit shitty as a result. One of the spells stopped working, and it was unfortunately the very-high-maintenance binding spell that kept Effregrigion the Defiler of the Damned quiet
It was probably some horny magic student who poked around in the forbidden sex magic tome and thought a magical kingdom-wide orgie was a good idea. It wasn't. The whole kingdom died after starving to death in some VERY compromising positions.
Who decided to decode Glorifon's Third Runic Set without the appropriate Circles raised? Now there are forty three abstract entities unwriting reality to restructure it one a different plane of existence. All thats left of the victims is the nagging sense that "I might have had a friend called... no, no probably not."
That one bumbling archmage only went and tried to ascend to godhood. They stacked a bunch of sacrifices and only THEN realised they hadn't adequately prepared the Vessel. Pft. Anyway now the collected energies of a mass sacrifice are swirling around underground and causing hella quakes
Some muppet went and adjusted a very basic fireball spell because they thought they could JUST MAKE IT ICE THEMED JUST LIKE THAT. No way. Now there is a perpetually thermonegative satellite hovering overhead and superchilling everything it passes over.
Alright, I get it, you wanted to regrow a lost limb. But there are certain ways to AVOID channelling too much mystical energy into it and swamping the whole area with grasping, wriggling limb worms
Some bright spark used chronomancy to sneak a few extra hours of revision in. Now the whole plane is trapped in a closed paradox loop. But on the plus side everyone is VERY prepared for finals now.
There is a very fine line between existing and not existing. Everything is mostly nothing with a few strands of delusion keeping it in line. So when some careless charlatan starts "gazing into the void" without certain precautions then the void starts gazing back and giving Existence ideas. Now the building blocks of reality have gone wonky here, and lots of things have become insubstantial and floaty
Can apprentices please stop leaving the witchlights on overnight, they WILL animate and start sucking arcane energy out of your dreams. Eventually everyone ends up a sleepless husk and the witchlight spirits will rise to rule the materia. NO ONE WANTS THAT, least of all the otherwise carefree witchlight folk.
An amatuer herbologist who is also a master magus of the third path has gone and made his topiaries sentient in an effort to stop next door's dog urinating on them. Then they saw the gardener approach with the shears and NOW we're in a bit of a war-for-the-gardens scenario
An eccentric genius worked out how to let all states of matter communicate with each other from their respective wavelengths of existence in which they are sentient beings. Now the kingdom and everything in it is starving because no one can eat anything without it cleverly debating its way off their plate.
Another pyromancer went properly mental and managed to ignite the atmosphere. The flames have since died down but all thats left is ash.
A cocky lil turd of a wizard tried to turn the king's heir into a frog to "teach him a lesson" but that magical prince-frog-hybrid laid frogspawn (because life uhhh finds a way) and now an army of human-headed carnivorous tadpoles is in the water supply. Also the king killed the wizard so noone knows how to solve it. NEXT TIME MAYBE SOLVE DISAGREEMENTS WITH WORDS