Three generations ago, there was a revelation that myths live among us and magic is a part of our world like air. It's also been three generations of ignorance and utter disinterest. Why is that?
Well, magic can only be seen and understood by those who seek it or by those who were traumatized by it.
The average shmoe doesn't much care for the dragon in West Elm as long as it bloody well stays out of his way. See, now regular folk look at a Giant and don't "see" a giant. They see a rather large man in need of a bath. Their minds simply can't comprehend the real state of this being and for magic. Everyone knows magic is real however they don't understand it because of the block.
What is the block? The block is that part of the brain that holds itself back so it doesn't damage the fragile mind of the human.
The sheer thought and idea of these beings and of the magic that can be wielded are enough to traumatize any who glimpse without the right environment. Once you truly see what your own mind has been blocking you can never go back to your blissful ignorance.
These people are the broken ones. Those who have "awakened" can truly see all of the beauty and horror of the world for what it truly is. Having these nodes opened to your mind shocks the system and causes a mental strain that leaves those who have awakened in a state of mental strife.
One could be living in the horror of that moment when an otherworldly beast shattered their mind and gave them PTSD. An older man is caught in the beauty of a Fae and kills his wife because she can never match the raw beauty that he saw that day. A young girl toils with her inner demons of depression after witnessing the ghost of a long-dead friend. These people are broken but they can find a way to keep on living.
Just because their lives ended at that moment doesn't mean they can't continue living - albeit without the innocence they may have once had.
Society thinks differently. They view these broken people as a nuisance to society better swept under the rug and forgotten about.
What employer would want to hire a recorded broken man who has sheer mental problems? Why not hire someone who is normal? Wouldn't you feel unsafe being in the same room as a broken woman? Who knows what horrible things go on in her mind?
The Greenville case shows the danger that these people can bring to society. Mr. Greenville was an ordinary salary man at the local bank up until the day he started screaming and ranting about the spirits that plague the building. Survivors of the mass slaughter recounted the walls being painted in red while a man raving and ranting holds a gun. Police subdued the man in question after he was found talking to the ghosts of those he had just killed.
Society used him as an example of the dangers of the broken ones calling for laws and regulations to keep these nuisances in check. Mandatory psychiatric visits and check-ups were installed to track the mental state of patients. If they were deemed too dangerous to society they'd be locked away in the mental hospital to keep everyone else safe. Those who were allowed to be in society were constantly watched for any slip-up. They were forced to live on their own best behavior to stay out of the white walls and sedation.
You might be asking yourself why wouldn't you just hide that you'd been broken and try to pass off as normal. Well, you can spot a beggar out from a crowd who doesn't quite fit in pretty easily.
There are also the eyes. The true color of these eyes shine, those who have awakened have ones that look like any other. A young lady stares in astonishment as to the brightening of her once dark brown irises. Now she stares in the mirror at irises that shine a rich brown that almost seem to glow. Any person with bright eyes that seem to glow is either an educated practitioner of magic or a broken awakener.
A young boy's mind breaks as he watches his oldest brother protect him from an entity of roiling arms. He watches the light go from his eyes before his system is shocked into the harsh reality of magic. When he wakes from a nightmare of roiling arms and words whispered with one last breath. He awakes to colors and spirits that plague his vision and his once innocent life. His family is there but not by his side. They bicker and argue about the loss of the potential that was his brother. They spit words of contempt and hate for one who dares risk his life to save someone when he has so much at stake for the family.
The Hartt's are no ordinary family.
They are a new line of Sorcerers that consist of 3 generations, a young and rising power in the world. They pledged themselves to the Academy of [Blank] where all their children attend to learn the craft and to further the families' interests. The boy whose name is uttered with the least bit of care is called Foster.
Foster stares blankly at a sea of familiar but cold faces that doesn't spark a single warmth of care. The only one by his side is a young girl sobbing into the blankets that have been thrown over him. Her mess of dark hair is strewn over his arms while quiet sobs rack into the blankets.
His mind begins to slowly turn as he finally recognizes his sister Faith. His parents yes where are his parents. As he scans the room of white hospital walls and cold faces. He spots his mother and father grieving for a son too young to lose. He feels invisible to them as he calls out for his parents but he is only ignored in a room full of people. As he sits there numbly, with a mind too broken for him to understand his own thoughts he feels a slight squeeze. His gaze drifts down his arm to the other hand lightly squeezing his. His sister is looking up at him with her blue eyes with tears rolling down. She whispers to him and asks him to come back.
His parents couldn't stand the sight of him so he was sent to the mental hospital where all the other broken awakeners are sent after their "accident". They are kept there until they are deemed safe to enter back into society. However, if they slip up they'll be sent straight back to the rooms of white and sedation. When Foster emerges he is no longer a young boy now but a youth just hitting the tide of puberty. He is required by law to attend weekly therapy sessions and is assigned courses to keep his mental health in check. He spends his time alone avoided and ignored by his family.
His life is kept in check and he weakly obeys the rules and commands of his family. As he grows older he begins to understand the magic and spirits around him. He is forbidden to practice magic because he is a danger to the family and they don't want their reputation hurt any further. He practices in secret as it is one of the few past times that keeps him company. He spends his days reading books to escape the world he lives in. His one friend staves off the loneliness he feels. His mind slowly begins to heal and does become stable. However, he'll always bear the scars of that day.
Those broken awakeners are given very few chances to live normal lives.
The knowledge they possess causes a different outlook on life and it's hard to ignore the things they see. Those who can't live normal lives are given a choice. Either they stop resisting and sink into the sedation of the mental wards or they become useful to a society that doesn't want them. The horde of problems that comes with the supernatural, myths and magic is massive. There are problems all over the states: big and small. The ones that are desirous to the renowned and educated mages are handled by them. However, the smaller messier problems that would cause harm and strife to those unwilling. Are reserved for the broken. Who answers the call when a demon of envy pollutes a small town. Not the mages out of its jurisdiction, it isn't their responsibility to help out those people. The risk outweighs the reward and the thought of the damages it would cause deters the big name. So they send in the broken.
These many are thrown at these problems head to quench the blaze that is the tide of supernatural problems the world deals with. Only those who learn and overcome these obstacles are the ones who can live a semblance of life. However, the big names don't like it when these broken amass power, they see it as a challenge and potential threat. Great care is used to stifle those who might one day oppose them. Bands form in these broken forming groups of people desperate to survive. They are kept relatively small to keep out of the eye of the big powers.
These groups are run in secret and attempt to remain unknown to the outside. However, rumors come out of the Saxet team that fights not for survival but for a brotherhood. Small bands form families together held together by unordinary individuals. A broken awakener's first trial is to overcome the Hunt they are forced to fight in. If they manage to survive their next goal is to find a group to join to better their survival or form one of their own.