m-space began as a simple notation in the formulas of the magician-scientists. It had been discovered long ago that for every action there was an equal and opposite reaction, and that the total energy in a system stayed the same. The only problem with these theories was the presence of magic, which seemed to give a giant middle finger to concepts like conservation of mass and conservation of energy. The small m in the equations that defined the physical rules of the universe was simply to indicate that sometimes, magic happens, and it makes no sense in the context of the universe. The vast majority of the time when solving an equation, m=1. When m is higher or lower, the results are wildly different.
In the 9th century, the great polymath Drellus put forth the theory that, rather than being a straight violation of physical laws, magic was simply the result of energy coming from someplace else. Among the academia, this was quickly dubbed m-energy, and further development of this concept arrived at m-space, an alternate universe parallel to our own from which the energy and mass used in magic arrived. Though m-space in concept began in the 9th century, it was not conclusively proven to exist until nearly two hundred years later, when the first m-space tap was created.
It remains a mystery to this day how much of magic is actually accomplished. m-space allows for limitless energy, which in turn allows for limitless mass, but the exact nature of how a human can translate this into a bolt of lightning, a hex, or a healing spell is still unknown. The taps themselves are good for little more than destruction, a fact which has been acknowledged around the world since the accident in Krypor and the subsequent destruction of Pennbridge and Castershire. That mages are able to effortlessly reach into m-space, use the energy for very specific things without any knowledge of the intermediaries or intricacies, is another of the things that confound the magician-scientists.
All m-space taps are heavily regulated. Though the taps can create far more energy than a mage, and with no need for downtime, the risk of spontaneous breach or accelerated expansion has been deemed too great. There are currently eight active taps, each at a heavily isolated facility, used to transmit power to the civilized parts of the world.
Two years ago, the Daunting Pride endeavored to be the first manned expedition into m-space after breakthroughs made with reverse taps. The idea behind the craft was that it would use the limitless energy of m-space in order to fuel its own shielding and protect it from high-energy bombardment, as well as to propel it home through a tap. From a technical perspective, the Daunting Pride worked flawlessly, and it returned to its home base in the Tartarus Highlands exactly three days after it had been launched, no worse for the wear. Inside however, the crew was missing, along with the vast majority of their supplies. Pinned to the captain’s chair with an ornate knife of unknown origin was a note that simply said, “Do not follow us.”