In the days of old, when the angels walked the earth and the nephilim declared themselves kings, mages were easy to find. The universe was perfect, ordered. The old magick had not slipped through the cracks of the firmament and leaked away. Each village had a resident mage, and each mage rivaled a god. Many mages were gods, in fact, and many gods mages. Eventually, the angels departed from the earth, the gods guttered out and died, and the nephilim were slaughtered by lesser men who dreaded contending to dishonorable graves. All the magic in the world could not save the mages of old; they lived long, but as the centuries passed, even they slowly flickered out. Tragic, but inevitable. Mortal gods fall like mortal men.
The universe has fallen to disorder and chaos. The angels hide behind high-walls, far beyond the furthest reaches of the firmament. Not even the greatest of the mages of old could reach that far.
Mages are no longer gods, but there is some magick left, residual magick, magick that has not departed the firmament.
Novice mages can be found at the gravel crossroads at night, summoning lesser spirits, creating servitors, channelling their energy to manipulate the world around them. Most do not make the next step; they do know how to harness their energy, only how to manipulate it.
A more advanced mage draws from the energy around them, integrating it with their own. They do not manipulate their energy; they are their energy. Freed of the bondage of normativity, they drift up and outward. Dynamic, pulsating, expanding, contracting. Their presence mingles with the energy around them; they can feel beyond their body. They can feel everything around them.
A powerful mage, however, does not need to harness their energy at all. Their presence permeates the psychic aether. Those more sensitive to it can feel it; a prickle in passing, a feeling of being watched. You are under the scrutiny of their psychic gaze.
You don't spot a mage, nor see a mage. The mage sees you, and you can do nothing but feel it.