One of the most beloved elements of high fantasy is the feeling that you are in another world. Without the history or the limitations of our own world, the rules can (in theory) be anything you want them to be. Yet there’s a tendency to stick with a “medieval Europe” analogue that’s hard for a writer to break out of, simply because it’s rather familiar from the titans of genre who have gone before.
Part of the reason for that is everyone’s favorite twist–magic. The closer you get to the modern era, the more unlikely magic seems–the greater our need for some sort of quasi-scientific explanation. But what else is a technological advance than our ability to decode something that once felt like magic? In the world of Strange Magics, magic, like physics, adheres to certain rules that people have known for centuries and believe to be infallibly true. Just like we believed in the infallible truth of the “humors of the body” once upon a time.