For centuries, every race which can wield magic has done so through the Gods' will. Magic enhances the lives of the people, and in turn the people worship the Gods who allow them its use. But of course, not everyone can be satisfied with such a way of life.
When a scholar within the Lyncian Alliance discovers a way to harness raw magic- aether- without the Gods' permission, their culture grows leaps and bounds. Their rebellion against the natural order has consequences, of course, but surely no more than their new aether mages can handle. Those outside the Alliance are less convinced.