The world of A Tale of Snakes and Rats is inundated with magic.
As one of the five fundamental forces of the universe, it can be found entwined through every manmade object, every living thing, floating in the air, and pooling invisibly on the ground. Magic is used for construction, mining, communications, and all manner of other tasks.
But that has not stopped human innovation.
Technology is advancing and the world is on the cusp of technological revolution. Electricity powers simple lights and small appliances. Tall buildings are held firm by elaborate enchantments. Turbines generate power from magically heated boilers. Advanced automatons are found with no explanation, then spirited away just as quickly.
Advancing though humanity is, there are still those who would use these advancements for personal gain or as tools to push their misguided beliefs on others. Crime groups and law enforcement are in a constant magical and technological arms race.
For every new type of rifle invented by back alley mechanics, a better type of armor is created. For every memory erasure spell written by corrupt mages, a new memory recovery spell is generated by indignant university spellcasters.
The world is one of an infinite number of parallel, nearly identical realities. And outside of those exist multitudes of realities that are entirely alien, full of creatures brimming with mild curiosity, mindless hunger, and bitter malevolence toward humans and the physical realms they inhabit.
When these creatures cross into physical universes, their simple presence can infect reality or affect time.
Simpler creatures can wreak havoc among regular city folk. Humans, fragile though they are, are innovative and creative. With the skills and abilities at your disposal, you can put an end to the nefarious schemes of criminals (or join them) and hold back the tide of inhuman creatures that would invade your world.