We know magic is real. We have next to complete proof it is not; but still, on some basic level we know it to be real. This knowledge is so fundamental to us that no amount of disproof can dislodge it. People always have, and always will, believe in magic and it's ability to shape our lives.
We know that we are not alone. Since earliest times almost every society has stories of people from a world beyond ours. These stories merely disagree on the nature of these persons and the nature of where they come from. Right now we primarily look to the stars for our neighbors, and perhaps we will find them there some day. That is not where I would look though.
Magic is real, and we are not alone. Magic can not be found by a journey of feet however, it must be found where it lives. Magical forces, and those who wield them, live in the first place we should look for them; Dream.
Our universe is a bubble of stability in the roiling chaos of dream. Outside of our safe predictable world is where magic dwells. There are some other pockets of stability, places that are stable and safe enough to support societies, but they are rarely as stable as ours. These bubbles of stability are where elves, dvergar, goblins, wizards, unicorns, and dragons live. Most are tiny pockets, drifting from place to place through dreams and nightmares. Others are larger; towns, valleys, cities, or even mountain ranges that are stable enough to hold together.
One of the brightest jewels of these bubbles is more of a strewn web called Imsalan. It is named for the massive pyramid city at it's center, but it spreads much farther afield than could ever be seen from the city gates. Long ago a great empress had the vision to try catching the small pockets drifting through dream and build a vast network of roads connecting them; thus building a world stable enough to live in, but bordered on all sides and intertwined with Dream.
Imsalan has many peoples, but most are divided into four groups. The elves and other fey are the people of fire, the goblinoids are the people of water, the giants and dvergar are the people of stone, and the humans are the people of air.
People can pass from Imsalan to our world, and they bring with them a spark of the magic from their world. People can pass from our world to Imsalan, but that requires passing physically into Dream.
Come with me.
(Repost from 5/15/2012; written "in universe" about the Epic of Imsalan setting of which Born and Reborn is the first book.)