The world that Tyler and his friends find themselves in is actually the same that we live in. The time is roughly modern times. The differences lay the crusades. A small town named Duray, houses a small academy of magic users. Scouting group leads by Rose discovers and prepares the town for the invading forces of the Crusaders. The small town has limited supplies so they outreach to neighboring towns offering protection from the abuse of the crusader scouting groups. When the crusaders ransack the towns including Duray, the Academy becomes a symbol of protection to the other towns, slowly the influence of magic spreads. For the most part the crusades remained the same, after the Crusader loss at Duray they continued unhindered. Eventually magic began to spread like wildfire.
Currently no other inhabital worlds have been discovered, although science has found that magic is significatly weaker in space, Mars shows a weak magic fields. Other planets show no such signs, further examination into these fields in Mars have led to nothing.
Tyler had a nice quiet life until his youngest daughter was killed in an accident, he snapped and was no longer to keep his job. Shortly there after his wife left him for his second cousin once removed. Tyler began to spiral into depression and drinking. He was saved when the bartender Marcus suggested taking up fighting. Tyler quickly regained his skill as a long bladesmen from his schooling years. Even so he was only barely able to sustain himself. Now he faces losing his house and what is left of his visitation rights. When the "tournament's" season came to a close. Unbeknown to him his fighting skills have won him the interest of his district company.
Marcus is the local bartender he is relatively knowledgeable of the local community's activities he has known Tyler for a great deal of time. He has recommended to Tyler to pick back up his blade to compete in the tournaments. He is a kind person that prefers to be single, but he is always willing to have some fun.
Magic changed the fighting field quite dramatically. Since people could heal almost instantly, people would heal right after a bullet hit them this left now time for the brain to register the pain. If the enemy can inflict a lot of pain for a longer time, or a massive amount for just long enough the body can process it They can cause the person to enter shock and then a killing blow can be inflicted. Since guns are often shot from a larger distance people could use magic to deflect the bullets significantly easier. To explain arrows since people inherently imbue magic into weapons the bow is far more capable of carrying more magic, and well honestly bows are cool.
The fabled blade that Marget weilded. This blade was one of the few enchanted weapons to still exist. This blade prevents the victim from healing, although Margret rarely pulled this blade out of her arsenal as she felt it took the fun out of fighting. Since Margret's disappearance nobody knows where this weapon is located. Many are searching for this blade in an effort to become extremely powerful.