We learn in Enemy of an Enemy that Mantis is from an unnamed planet in this realm, as are the magi that attack in Vydoria on Arken IV, also in Enemy of an Enemy. Since this realm has had magic all along, its technology was stunted and is holding at the pre-gunpowder level.
“Well, that is a very long story, but you need to hear it so I will do my best to be brief.” He paused and took a long deep swallow from the jug of juice that was on the table. “It starts in a time so far back that no one really can guess how long ago it was. At that time the known universe was limited to just one planet, and all men could do was guess at what the lights in the sky were. There were two powerful kingdoms on that planet, one in the east and one in the west. These two kingdoms hated each other, and were in a constant state of war. They were well matched, and locked in a stalemate for decades when the Kingdom of the East found the Tome of Power. The Tome of Power was a book that contained information on how to tap a power that no one knew even existed before. It was a kind of energy that flowed through and around everything. Using the information in the book it was discovered that some people were gifted with the ability to tap and channel this power. This gave the Kingdom of the East a powerful weapon to use against their hated enemy. Seven men were trained up in what became known as the art of Sorcery. Those seven men wielded great power of the likes that had never been seen before, and they could conjure up foul beasts from the underworld to do battle for them. They could even animate the dead to continue to fight. It was not long before the Kingdom of the West was completely overthrown. The sorcerers then turned on their own king and seized the throne for themselves. That ushered in an era of darkness where the entire known world was forced into slavery. No one could resist their power. “Then one day a young man appeared on the scene. History does not record much about him, but we know that he had great power of his own. His power surpassed even the combined power of the seven sorcerers, effortlessly turning back their beasts and spells. The sorcerers never came out to fight him, preferring to send their slaves to do it, but none of them could hurt him. He rose up twelve apprentices whom he taught his art to. Once he felt they were sufficiently trained, he left. History does not record where he went, but we do know that the twelve moved to attack the sorcerers directly with great speed. Five of them were killed in the battles that followed, but they soon forced the sorcerers into exile. It was then they took to calling themselves wizards. “With the sorcerers gone, the seven remaining wizards freed the lands from the dark curses of the sorcerers and issued in an era of peace. The wizards began to train others in their arts so that there would always be someone around to defend the lands against the sorcerers should they return. The long and unbroken peace lulled the wizards into a false sense of safety, and they became lax in their vigil. Secretly the sorcerers returned, and following the example of the wizards began training others in their arts. Then one day they struck, instead of just seven sorcerers there were hundreds, and they brought all kinds of foul creatures with them. The wizards rallied to defend the land but were forced to retreat from the northern continent. “That brings us to where we sit today. The Second Great War between the wizards and the sorcerers is stuck in a perpetual stalemate. Both sides are scrambling to find some advantage over the other, and it seems we are doomed to relive the history all over.”