I came across Magnisi about a year ago during my tour of the parallels. It is a fascinating world. In some aspects, it seems almost identical to ours. For example, many of its monarchies have been replaced with some degree of democracy, monopolies are often called evil, and its children uniformly dislike leeks.
Magnisi is an M class parallel, but it was very nearly reduced to an N class between the 12th and 18th centuries. Nearly all its history before this time has been lost, but it is known that mages ruled or strongly influenced 9 out of 10 countries. In 1132, the Just Reaper plague appeared (so called by the Norm brotherhood, which appeared soon after). The Just Reaper had a 99% fatality rate. No mage that caught it survived. Even the healers, who had never before been affected by disease or illness, were wiped out. In fact, their power seemed to accelerate, not hinder, the plague. The non-magical people, however, were completely immune. The mage population was nearly eradicated over the next 20 years. Only isolated tribes and hermits survived.
The Norm brotherhood began hunting the remaining mages around 1150, claiming that the plague had been a judgment from god, and it was now their turn to finish the job. The Norm continued their hunt until the late 1700’s. By that time, most people believed magic to be merely a superstition—in part because the mages’ numbers had fallen so low and because of the great number of charlatans claiming to have magic, but also because the Norms had been destroying all historical references to the true mages. Witch hunts became a means to get rid of rivals, and the brotherhood began to fall apart as its purpose was forgotten.
Now, in the early 21st century, the mage population is finally starting to recover. Many of its number are untrained. In fact, many mages are unaware of their own powers. The few mages who know what happened tend to be unwilling to reveal themselves for fear that history will repeat.