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Anti-Magical Faction

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"We don't cast spells and you're not gonna do it either!"

"I see, at long last, what is wrong with the world — too many sorcerers."
Karl Mordo, Doctor Strange (2016)

A specific kind of empire or organization in a world where magic is possible and/or the supernatural exists, whose agenda is against said magic and supernatural things. It forbids practicing magic, prosecutes mages and supernatural creatures, and so on.

The Anti-Magical Faction comes in two flavors:

Both versions of the Anti-Magical Faction are likely to wield some form of Anti-Magic or kryptonite. Their goal is often to impose a total Ban on Magic. Their ideology often contains a notion that Magic Is Evil, but even if they're right, their extreme methods often make for Black-and-Gray Morality or Evil Versus Evil. If the faction employs technology, the result is likely to be The Magic Versus Technology War. Such a faction is the group equivalent of Does Not Like Magic.

May also be combined with Muggle Power and overlap with Cape Busters. The Classical verions tends to overlap with The Fundamentalist and Corrupt Church, especially in more modern works.

See also Mage Killer, Demon Slaying, Occult Detective, and The Witch Hunter. Any of these may be the founders/main members of an anti-magical faction.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Anti Magic Academy The 35th Test Platoon is all about this, with the focus being on the Inquisition which aims to regulate and minimize the use of magic. Some of its members want it to go further and outright wipe out magic. On the other hand, some of its members make use of Relic Eaters, magical weapons with Anti-Magic properties.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Necessarius, who wants to get rid of all magic, due to their beliefs. They were created by the Anglican Church to rid the world of magic. However, their answer to this is to make a girl with a photographic memory memorize over 100,000 tomes on magic, and have all of their members become magicians. Their reasoning is that it takes magic to beat magic; Necessarius is also known as The Church of Necessary Evil.
    • The creator of the science side of the series' Magic Versus Science battle is also an evil mage who hates magic due to it causing his daughter's death.
  • Cross Ange actually has both an inverse and good guy version of this trope.
    • For the inverse, about all of the world persecutes Norma, who are either shot or exiled to an inland Penal Colony known as Arzenal. It turns out the Norma not only can not use magic but canceled it directly. This was not a foreseen outcome by the world's creator, who wants a world without war or conflict (or so he says), and found it best to have said Norma removed as the rest of the people got arrogantly complacent and treated Norma as evil monsters.
    • Then, said Norma are the good guys' version of the trope. Not only are they fighting against Mana users for their racism, but they're getting their power by reaping the DRAGONs they kill for a living as livestock, fueling a machine that holds their leader captive. And they succeed in the end, taking away the Mana users' magic and leaving them in a world of violence and turmoil.
  • The anti-esper organization called "Normal People" from Psychic Squad is probably one of the most shamelessly blatant examples of this.
  • Tweeny Witches: The military dictatorship of the warlocks excludes magic from Wizard Kingdom out of a belief in the superiority of technology over it, which is likely why those who marry into the warlocks can no longer use magic. Consequently, they oppress the wizards as the remnants of the old magical order, forcing them to live in Miche Village since the establishment of Wizard Kingdom and having turned them into a Dying Race in the present. Even discussing anything magical in Wizard Kingdom arouses the suspicion not only of the civilians but also of the warlock police, as shown when Arusu loudly asks Sigma about magic and the fairies captured by the military.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange:
    • The Doc runs afoul of these from time to time, though in the Marvel Universe they tend to be lone fanatics who've amassed a following. In World War Hulk his primary accuser was a wild-eyed woman who claimed he "dances with the Devil" (not true; they're just acquaintances) and had nearly killed civilians (which was true).
    • The 2015 series has the Empirikul, an alien inquisition that views magic as a "corruption" and have some way of counteracting it. They've already killed several of Strange's counterparts in other dimensions, and are coming for him next.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: When Thunder, a far-future member of the Shazam! family, joined the reboot Legion of Super-Heroes, her first enemy was a guy named Dr Savant, leader of the Objective Order, fanatical scientists who destroyed the Rock of Eternity because magic "just doesn't make sense".
  • Pathfinder: Worldscape: the Holy Therns are priests of the Martian goddess Issus and employed in the Worldscape as servants to Empress Camilla, who allows them to persecute anyone who practices magic, believing it to be a blasphemy against their goddess' divine power (ironically, Issus was just a mad crone with no powers worshiped as a goddess). Kyra nearly gets arrested and sentenced to the arena for using her power as a Cleric of Sarenrae to heal someone. With that said, Camilla employs an Evil Sorcerer as her chancellor and he is presumably left off-limits from their zealotry. Ironically, said chancellor is revealed to be The Starscream who actually succeeds in backstabbing Camilla, with the Therns being unable to protect her from him.

    Fan Works 
  • Equestria Divided has House Earthborn.
  • Halloween Unspectacular: The main antagonists of the third edition's Story Arc are the Witchfinders, a group of Knight Templars created by King James I to eradicate all magic users in first Britain, and then the rest of the world, along with everyone who supports them.
  • This comes up rather often in Harry Potter fanfics, particularly those who don't want to simply rehash the Death Eaters.
  • The Faith of the Seven in A Song of Ice, Fire and Heart staunchly believes magic is not for humans to wield and ought to stay with the gods. Because of that, when Ventus and later Roxas visit Westeros and use spells in order to fight the Unversed and Heartless, a few septons and septas claim their powers are a result of Divine Intervention but the majority considers them heretics and wants for them to disappear — even if it would deprive Westeros of its best defenders against the rising Darkness.
  • The New Athenians from TCB: A Beacon Of Hope are a weird case. They're an entire city of Newfoals who hate ponykind and everything it stands for because the "Species Loyalty toward ponies" and "Fantastic Racism toward humans" parts of the formula got switched around. When Twilight tries to point out that they are ponies who use magic (presumably they had to do so to build the prosthetic hands they use now) it turns out not only are they aware of the irony, they take pleasure in how offensive their behavior must be to someone who enjoys being a pony and casting spells. Their entire hatred of magic is a backlash to the Equestrians' Condescending Compassion more than anything else.
  • In Multiverse of Madness... Clea Cut, Mordo is so fixated by his new crusade that he steals America Chavez’s dimension-jumping powers with the goal of using them to destroy all magic in the multiverse, even if that means his own death.
  • In Webwork, Captain Black's superiors eventually decide to wean out Section 13's reliance on civilian "contractors" (namely, Jackie and company) by creating a new agency called Section 0 designed specifically to deal with magical threats. However, this group currently consists of three agents working out of a repurposed closet space in Section 13's base, so for the time being, they're mostly reliant on the J-Team for help.
  • In With Strings Attached, the law in Ketafa is that magic is forbidden; those accused are, at the very least, publicly flogged. Not that it stops a lively magical underground, the Hiddenwizards. (We never see them, but Lyndess mentions them a few times, as do Terdan and Remlar.) And the “Favorites of the Gods”—Baravadans—are exempt from this law.

    Film — Animated 
  • Implied with Lord Farquaad in Shrek. Farquaad banishes all magical creatures from his kingdom, apparently finding them to be disgusting all for the sake of making his kingdom perfect. However, his possible anti-magic beliefs were never looked into or discussed, so it's a little unclear. A bit of hypocrisy to that is that he keeps the Magic Mirror with him.

    Film – Live Action 
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The New Salem Philanthropic Society wishes to expose and eliminate witches and wizards. They are actually Scourers, descendants of the first magical rulers of the Colonies who were ousted in the American Revolution and have hated the US magical government ever since. They are such a source of paranoia that American wizards can't associate with no-maj's out of fear they and their whole world could be exposed and destroyed.
  • The East India Trading Company in Pirates of the Caribbean wants to take over the British Empire and wipe out everything they can't control, which includes all pirates and all supernatural elements. That said, they're more than willing to use Davy Jones' Flying Dutchman and the Kraken to achieve those ends.
    Lord Cutler Beckett: This is no longer your world, Jones. The immaterial has become... immaterial.

  • The kingdoms of the Aldabreshin archipelago in Juliet E. McKenna's Aldabreshin Compass tetralogy. The collected warlords ban magic on pain of having your skin ripped off while still alive and then nailed to a post. Since magical dragons and wizards exist on the mainland, it's a little unclear why. And of course Astrology is seen as perfectly okay and non-magical.
  • In The Arts of Dark and Light, the Amorran Republic and The Church maintain a rigorous Ban on Magic, which is (rightly or not) feared as the exclusive tool of the dark powers. The ban is enforced by both religious and secular authorities, but in particular by a special order of Templar-like church knights, the Order of Saint Michael.
  • In Born Wicked, the Brotherhood, who are in charge of everything, are anti-magic. They oppress women, and their strongest enemies are female witches, so they kill them wherever they can.
  • In Children of the Black Sun, the whole nation of Ricalan (where the trilogy is set) is generally against all kinds of magic, believing it to be inherently evil. People with minor abilities are tolerated if they wear a magic suppressor, and very limited magic is tolerated for the purpose of detecting such people and constructing the suppressors, but that's it. However, Ricalan is currently being invaded by a country that routinely uses magic in war, causing the Ricalani monarch to hypocritically ally with an Evil Sorcerer to counter that advantage. The protagonist, who is potentially even more powerful, later provides a non-evil alternative once people have reconsidered their hostility enough to trust her.
  • In the Deryni works, the coalition of human spiritual and temporal lords who became regents for King Alroy Haldane installed one of their own as Primate of Gwynedd (at sword's point), passed the Laws of Ramos, and started persecutions of Deryni that lasted for over two centuries. This was a complete effort, with civil liabilities, harsh punishments, and a book of anti-Deryni propaganda authored by a cleric and promulgated throughout the kingdom.
  • Discworld:
    • The Baron in The Wee Free Men has ordered witches on the Chalk burnt since he (wrongly) believes a witch took his son.
    • A theme in I Shall Wear Midnight, with Tiffany dealing with the spirit of an overzealous witch hunter who has become some sort of Anthropomorphic Personification of the hate and mistrust people have for witches and other outsiders.
    • The Star People from The Light Fantastic are this, although they're also pretty much anti-everything that's human. Of course, since the star they worship is literally sucking the magic away, it makes sense.
    • Arguably the wizards themselves in Discworld are the anti-magic faction; their role is not to use magic, but to regulate magic and ensure it is not used very much, because the last time magic was used a lot, the world was almost destroyed.
  • Dragonlance:
    • Groups like the Minotaurs and the Gnomes disdain magic for various reasons, though they (generally) don't actively hunt magic-users down — they just don't do it themselves and look down on anyone who does.
    • The empire of Istar, however, played this trope very straight as an example of divine vs. arcane magic. It didn't end well.
  • In the Doctor Who expanded universe novels, it's shown that the Time Lords under Rassilon were this, to the point where Rassilon even used the Eye of Harmony to rewrite the laws of physics to make magic impossible in the universe. Of course this didn't do anything to stop other magic - like phenomena such as psychic energy, block transfer computations, and Transcendental Beings. Also, sometimes beings from other universes show up, who can use legit magic.
  • In the Dresden Files, Michael, a Christian, is quite fond of giving Harry Dresden (a wise-cracking wizard and the titular character) what Harry calls the "Cast aside your dark powers before they consume you" speech. Apparently the Church is against magic in general whenever their God's not involved. This is supposedly due to a mistranslation from the Latin the Bible was originally written in—from hating Warlocks (black magic users), to hating all magic users. But they're pretty lax on it these days and Michael himself even more so due to a close wizard friend (Harry) and his wife (who is a lapsed magic-user), and his daughter is a very powerful wizard.
  • The Saypuri from The Divine Cities are an unusually sympathetic (though still morally gray) example, thanks to spending eight centuries colonized and brutally enslaved by an empire with some very active gods on their side. Said pantheon spread miracles around like water, giving their followers Divine weapons, spells, super-soldiers, cities, and even a different climate. Then one of the Saypuri figured out how to kill a god, breaking everything they created. The Saypuri proceeded to wipe out the pantheon, invade the devastated empire, confiscate or destroy anything connected to the Divine (including various demigods), and banned even mentioning the dead gods by name. The series proper starts 75 years after the last god died, and they're only starting to lose their paranoia about anything Divine.
  • The Red Monks from Tim Lebbon's Dusk and Dawn are an especially murderous and hate-filled variant. They are also tremendous hypocrites in that they use powers that, while technically not magic (according to the Red Monks), are pretty damn hard to distinguish from it.
  • The Federation Seekers from The Heritage of Shannara are a hypocritical example. They viciously hunt down all practitioners of magic but are secretly controlled by the vampiric sorcerers known as the Shadowen. Their magic-hunting serves the triple purpose of removing rivals, getting "food" for the Shadowen (who feed off magic), and recruiting (since Shadowen are The Virus). However, as far as most people are aware, the Seekers just persecute magic because it's illegal in the Federation.
  • Galbatorix in Inheritance has the ultimate goal of restricting all magic use, though he doesn't wish to wipe it out entirely. He claims that magic is the great unfairness in the world, as someone either can or cannot use it; there is no learning to use magic.
  • Clan Righteous in The Fires of Merlin from The Lost Years of Merlin series, who use Anti-Magic called Negatus Mysterium, which is found in magic-eating creatures called Kreelixes (though it didn't seem to phase the god of evil when he supercharged one, probably because it only works if you believe in it).
  • Of Fire and Stars: Most people in Mynaria believe that Magic Is Evil, and forbid it. The fundamentalists especially are vehement about this.
  • Rivers of London has a variation: Against Spiritual Usurpation, once you get past the differing terminology and paranoid ranting in their manifesto, believe that Wild Magic is a good and natural force, and that the Fae are its trusted guardians, chosen by God. People who learn magic, on the other hand, are "leeches" whose betrayal of the natural order is responsible for literally everything wrong with the world.
  • The Order in Runemarks is devoted to the elimination of the Firefolk (read: demons, gods, people, and animals born with glam). They are type 2 on the description above, since the 'Good Book' lists cantrips that Magisters are allowed to use, and their deity is actually Mimir
  • The Heresy of Galla in V. Panov's Secret City. Their battle cry goes "The Sleeper wasn't a mage!". Galla's Heresy mostly takes male Lyud' who are generally incapable of magic, but also has a significant fraction of Chud', as the Chud' society carries a strong bias against those unable to live up to the Magic Knight ideal. Mages will forfeit their and their children's magic upon joining the Heresy, and the Heresy's temples serve as Power Nullifiers.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the Maesters of the Citadel are an organization of monk-like scholars who study a variety of subjects, including magic, but are very skeptical. In A Dance With Dragons, Maester Marwyn reveals that there is a faction of the Citadel who want to actively extinguish magic from the world.
  • Inverted in Terry Mancour's The Spellmonger Series, in that the Royal Censorate of Magic is itself run by mages, and they don't ban all magic. They only make studying all but a few avenues of magical study illegal to practice, and they also hunt down magi who are not officially registered as part of their system.
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Phase II has the Path of the Open Hand, first introduced in Path of Deceit. They are a religious cult that preaches that the Force should only be appreciated from a distance, that using it only hurts it, and that they seek to free the Force from those that would abuse it. This naturally puts them at odds with all Force-users, including the Jedi, despite the fact that their head religious figure, the Mother, is using her own Force-sensitivity to prop herself up as a prophet for the Force. By the end of Path of Deceit, it's made apparent that the Mother is actually just using the cult and the Nameless to eliminate all other Force users for her own self-centered reasons. In Path of Vengeance, it's revealed that the Mother shifted the Path to extremism out of jealousy and spite towards the Jedi Order for choosing her sister Oliviah Zeveron for training over her.
  • In the Star Wars Legends novel The Truce at Bakura, the primary religion of the planet Bakura known as the "Cosmic Balance" looks down on Force-users, claiming that by making themselves stronger in the Force they weakened others and blaming the decline of the Republic solely on the Jedi Order. Luke Skywalker's short-term Love Interest Senator Gaeriel Captison was a staunch adherent and was horrified to learn that The Emperor was a Sith Lord all along.
  • The Blood of the Fold in Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth is a classical example (though its leader makes use of his sister's magic against other users'), while the Imperial Order from the Old World is a hypocritical example. Ultra-powerful wizards and various magical weapons are used for the Order's cause of Magic Is Bad (one wizard in the Order even says when questioned on his hypocrisy that yes, eventually he will be killed too after they succeed in destroying all magic). At the same time, the Order's leaders are conferring Immortality upon themselves with it. One Imperial Order member later explains they use magic to eliminate it.
  • The squirrel species in Tasakeru forbids the use of magic, seeing it as an affront to their revered Goddess of Life.
  • In The Traitor Son Cycle, the clergy under the command of the Patriarch of Rhum is convinced that to do magic is to make a pact with the devil, and when they get their hands on Alba, they excommunicate the local order of Magic Knights and try to have the "witch" Queen burned at stake. The kicker being, of course, that the Patriarch of Rhum and his lackey, the archbishop of Alba, are (independently) making deals with two of this world's most Satan-like figures.
  • One exists in the Whipper Kingdom in Trash of the Count's Family. Before the civil war, The Whipper Kingdom was a Magocracy that heavily discriminated against people who couldn't use magic. After the magic ruling class is kicked out, the kingdom itself is the Antimagical Faction. Their leader is one of many who can't use magic but also isn't affected by magic.
  • Karse in the Valdemar series has a habit of killing magic users when and where it finds them, although as it turns out if the magic-user is caught young enough they're actually recruited into the priesthood, so they're a hypocritical example.
  • The thinly-veiled Church of the One God in the works of V. Ivashchenko is most often of the "divine vs. arcane" variety.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The Whitecloak Knight Templar organization, and therefore the country of which they're de facto rulers, execute anyone they find who can channel the One Power. Their rationalization is that since channelers caused the World Sundering end of the Age of Legends 3000 years ago, they're all evil. The Aes Sedai Magical Society quite firmly disagrees.
    • The Seanchan Empire is a variant, believing channelers to be dangerous sub-humans who need to be enslaved with Restraining Bolt collars and their powers harnessed by the Empire. They don't react well to learning that the only people who can control the collars are those with latent channeling abilities.
    • The country of Tear is an odd variation: channeling is illegal, but channelers aren't actively hunted so long as they keep it to themselves, and the Tairens actually send more daughters to the White Tower Wizarding School than anyone, if only because it's the handiest way to quietly get rid of a channeling relative.
  • Witch & Wizard's New Order takes this a notch further and condemns all arts, not just the arcane/mystic ones — although the two persecuted protagonists do have powers. Turns out to be hypocritical, as the Big Bad, "The One Who Is the One" uses magic BIG TIME, sometimes to kill children—out of sheer boredom!
  • The Purists from The Witchlands are a quasi-religious group convinced that all witches are evil and should be eradicated. They're not very good at their job, though, seeing how they unknowingly have a Cursewitch among their clergy.
  • In the Dreamblood Duology, the nation of Kisua profoundly distrusts its neighbour city-state Gujaareh's use of dream magic, forbids it on pain of death, and exiles any Kisuati who receives magical healing in Gujaareh. Although this deprives them of the miraculous life-saving Psychic Surgery that narcomancy can provide, it is implied to have its roots in Gujaareh's historic war of independence, where it was discovered that a narcomancer gone Drunk on the Dark Side can become a Soul Eating Person of Mass Destruction.
  • In The Grishaverse, the Drüskelle are an organization that tries to purge the world of all people with magical powers, known as Grisha, seeing them as less than human, leading to Dehumanization.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, an "Anti-Magus cult" is mentioned from about "nine, ten centuries ago". Magus, being the Latin word for "mage".
  • Quarters: The people in Cemandia, the hostile neighboring country of Shkoder, believe that the kigh are demons. Bards, who Sing to the kigh (and do magic this way) are banned in Cemandia since they deem them "demon-kin" as a result. All who live there are hunted down if found out. Most people with bardic gifts hide it there as a result, which often causes them poor mental health at the least, if not using the gifts in a covert and criminal way, only stoking Cemandian prejudice against them. Any they catch are tortured to "exorcise" such demons (this naturally does not help) or killed assuming they already have control over the bardic gifts.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Monster of the Week in "Gingerbread" brainwashes people into becoming this, (and has apparently been doing so for a long time). Buffy nearly gets burnt at the stake by her own mother before managing to kill it.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Uther Pendragon tries to ban magic. At the time it's set, he has largely succeeded in destroying a culture (through unknown methods, as his elite knights have proven inept at defeating even a lone sorcerer, except by dumb luck - though given that many of the casualties were implied to be civilians, the sorcerers that did survive Uther's wrath could just have been the toughest and smartest). Most of the conflict in the story comes from people hating him for the various repressions and executions involved in this, usually with Arthur stuck squarely in the crossfire, and from Merlin trying to do his thing without getting outed and killed as a traitorous sorcerer.
    • Ironically, though, with the exception of Merlin, the series is rather vague on how justified Uther's crusade was. Gaius, himself a magic user, seems to be of the opinion that there was a significant fraction of evil wizards and witches back then. At the same time, however, we're treated to stories of the brutal slaughter of the relatively benign druids. The magic users left now aren't really unethical in killing their version of Hitler.
    • As time goes on, it's clear that the magical faction wasn't that innocent either. Apparently, the High Priestesses had a magical tower where they sent people to be brainwashed, a serpent they'd summon from the depths of the underworld if they needed to do it quickly would tear the veil between life and death every solstice (although the summer one was quite tame if done right, the winter solstice set hundreds of depraved souls loose on innocents), and had extremely harsh methods of keeping the non-magical in line. Of course, the remaining high priestess who does all this is pretty far off the deep end, so we're left to draw our own conclusions about how much of this was actually done when Uther declared war.
  • The "Home Office" in Once Upon a Time is thought to be a classical example by its Muggle agents like Greg and Tamara, but is really a hypocritical example as Peter Pan is actually the guy in charge!
  • The Shannara Chronicles: The second season gives us the Crimson, an elven group that wants to wipe out all magic and magic users. While they have a point that the ancient druids have a disturbing tendency to turn evil and start summoning demons, they blame all magic users. The last good druid is seen as no different from the Warlock Lord, and people with minor talents are crucified as a warning to others. The common people support the Crimson to a disturbing degree due to the recent invasion by the demons from the Forbidding, and their numbers grow daily. When the Warlock Lord returns, he kills most of them, including their leader, with only the slightest amount of effort. The kingdom of Leah offers clemency to the survivors if they help fight the Warlock Lord, which most of them accept.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: In Season 2, a movement has arisen among muggles that is vocally anti-witch, due to the Spree's terrorist attacks (despite there being witches on the opposite side too). One is wearing a Nazi-like armband too. Both the Army and Spree know this bodes ill. Scylla (a Spree member) and Anacostia (from the Army) team up to investigate them, believing the Camarilla are behind it (a pre-existing example).

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Chronicles of Aeres: The Imperium was a human kingdom that came to utterly despise magic and launched a series of bloody pogroms to wipe out magic-users and the magical races of the world. Ironically, they were actually being manipulated behind the scenes by a Sorcerous Overlord known as the Witch Lord, who was actually using the harvested aether from their efforts to revive the Dragon of Darkness, one of the Big Bads of the setting.
  • The Dark Eye: The church of Praios, the highest of the Twelve Gods, is opposed to magic at varying decrees. While white mages are teeth-gnashingly accepted, the policy towards other magic users ranges from demands for tight restrictions to witch-burnings by the inquisition. Being archetype Knight Templars in many settings does not help.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: These can be found on occasion, though it's more usually a faction enforcing a "nobody in this town/country is allowed to use magic but us" rule.
    • Eberron:
      • The Inspired crack down viciously on wielders of arcane magic. However, this is only true of arcane magic; priests in their service are allowed to use divine magic (since they get it by having true faith in the divinity of the Inspired), and the Inspired themselves use psionic magic (though they persecute anyone else use uses psionics). Their hatred for arcane magic mostly boils down to it being a force they can't use themselves and have only a limited understanding of — it's not something they risk keeping around.
      • The Druids of the Ashbound sect vehemently persecute arcane spellcasters, whilst themselves happily using their own druidic spells, because they believe arcane magic damages nature. The problem is, the setting runs on magitek in the form of industrialized arcane spellcasting.
    • Forgotten Realms: The Cult of Entropy considers all use of arcane magic an abomination punishable by death.
    • Greyhawk: A Dragon article about secret societies in the setting includes the Fratern Minniblis, a group of barbarians and fighters whose primary activities are killing wizards and destroying all magical items except weapons. (That last detail arguably puts them in the hypocritical category, since it's not clear what makes magical weapons acceptable beyond the fact that warrior classes find them useful.)
    • Mystara: The Principalities of Glantri are an actual magocracy where the use of clerical magic is harshly punished on principle.
    • Generally speaking (it does show up in other locations as well), D&D anti-magical factions tend to go for being against specific kinds of magic — the Cult of Entropy is anti-arcane magic, but have absolutely nothing against clerical magic (psionics is rare enough in the Realms that the issue hasn't really come up), Glantri, as mentioned, is fond of arcane magic but opposed to clerical magic, the Inspired persecute arcanists but see divine magic received from worshipping the Inspired as a good thing, and so on. This tends to limit the hypocrisy issue (they aren't using the kind of magic their public ideology says is bad) while allowing a measure of balance and an explanation for why they aren't out-competed by the powerful magic of other factions (because they do have magic on their side, just not that specific kind of magic).
    • Grim Hollow: The Arcanist Inquisition is based out of the Castinellan Provinces, a militaristic theocracy, and dedicated to hunting down and exterminating all magic users, both on their home peninsula and eventually across all of Etharis. Interestingly, their most ardent supporters are the Dragonborn, because human invaders used arcane magic to devastate their homeland.
  • Feng Shui: The Ascended are a classical example since the only thing that can revert them back to their original animal forms is magic and they are not very willing to undergo that.
  • Magic: The Gathering: During the Dark, a long age of crumbling civilization and cooling temperatures following the Brothers' War, the Church of Tal was a sun-worshipping religion that held that all Magic Is Evil — as a consequence of the War, fought between the two master wizards Urza and Mishra, that devastated the setting and instilled a deep mistrust of magic and artifice in most people's minds. The Church formed into a militant, paranoid witch-hunting inquisition that exterminated any magicians it came across. Eventually, they were outed as hypocrites, whose litanies and "miracles" were actually White Magic spells, and gradually the religion lost political power and faded.
  • Rifts: The Coalition States are anti-magic in the same way they're anti-nonhuman. They weren't always this way. The Coalition was actually starting a nascent special-ops program using mages, then they got into a bloody war with the one magic-using faction that eventually became nearly as bad as they are. They turned anti-magic after that, but a few surviving ex-Coalition mages (and their descendants/students) formed a group called the Vanguard and chose to continue helping the Coalition from the shadows.
  • Shadowrun: In the backstory, several religious groups came out against the rise of magic (including the return of metahumans and the Awakened to the world) without actually being or becoming Anti-Magical Factions.
  • Warhammer:
    • Across all settings, the War God Khorne and his followers despise magic and magicians — or, in science fiction settings such as Warhammer 40,000, Psychic Powers and psykers. In Khorne's view, magic is inherently cowardly because it allows its users to kill without risking themselves instead of participating in honest face-to-face carnage. Magic weapons, however, are allowed and used fairly commonly, as they simply make their users better warriors but still require them to risk their own blood while shedding others'.
    • Mordheim: The Witch Hunters embody this trope. Sure, given the setting, they focus on fighting the malevolent chaotic mages, but their backstory leaves little doubt about their general anti-magic beliefs.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Battle:
      • The Dwarfs are a fairly straightforward example. They can't use magic directly, instead using a system of Runic Magic to manipulate magical energies and enhance objects in a controlled, indirect manner. In their view, channeling the winds of magic directly through your body is insanely dangerous and unreliable, and the wizards of other races are suicidally reckless.
      • The Bretonnians have a mistrust of magic due to any of their children with magic-potential being taken away by the servants of the Lady of the Lake. The girls come back as Prophetesses, the boys don't come back at all. They are willing to use the Prophetesses in battle, having them cast "prayers" that look suspiciously like the spells used by other factions.
      • Strictly speaking, the Empire's religion is opposed to magic and demands that its citizens Burn the Witch!. However, the Empire has a College system to allow wizards to be properly trained and given "Please do not burn by order of the Emperor" letters.
      • The cult of Solkan deeply distrusts magic, prophecy and their practitioners, as these ultimately draw their power from Chaos, and sees them as inherently corrupting the world and strengthening the footholds of the Dark Gods.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The Imperium is an example that varies Depending on the Writer. In some novels Psykers are hated everywhere with Psykers trained and sanctioned by the Imperium barely tolerated with all non-Imperial Psykers killed on sight as "Witches" (and in some cases not even sanctioning is enough to stop the mob), while in other books sanctioned Psykers are given the same respect as tax collectors; they are viewed as government officials and given the appropriate respect, but nobody really likes them. It should be noted that not only is the Imperium so massive both examples can be true at the same time, the setting being what it is, uncontrolled use of psychic powers often causes insanity, and other side-effects can include: mutation, possession, death and uncontrolled psychic phenomena, getting your soul eaten, or otherwise drawing the attention of Chaos. The more dramatic effects (and thankfully much rarer) effects include a chance of getting your entire planet eaten by demons or inadvertently drawing the attention of your friendly neighborhood Chaos Cult or Chaos Space Marines. The Imperium, though it often considers it a professional requirement to be overzealous, is Properly Paranoid when it comes to Psykers.

        It should also be noted that Imperium is incredibly hypocritical when it comes to this. They often hunt down and kill any psyker not aligned with them, and have been known to treat those who are with contempt and paranoid hatred. On the other hand, psykers who appear "holy" to the Imperium are valued. The "miracles" brought about by the Sisters of Battle are seen as sacred, despite being in all likelihood a manifestation of psychic power on a grand scale (the setting tends to "bend" to faith). And the founder of the Imperium, the Emperor, was the most powerful psyker of all time. Ironically, these abilities caused people to worship him as a god, despite his not wanting people to believe in ''any'' gods, and punishing one of his sons for spreading a religion about him.
      • Within the Imperium, the Ecclesiarchy fits the trope much more solidly, as they are often concerned with the physical and spiritual purity of Humanity and thus hate psykers on principle. They're the ones most responsible for keeping people afraid of psykers. Also note that they are the same folks mentioned above who tend to praise Saints and miracles brought about by the Sisters of Battle. Within the context of the setting, the Saints may actually have divine powers, or may just have "regular" psychic powers.
      • The Dark Eldar are descended from a naturally psychic species, but psychic powers are one of their few taboos. As it stands, their only psychic talents are using psychic artifacts and "drinking" the suffering of others. Any psykers found are immediately considered a plaything, and also a potential hazard. Since psykers do tend to draw Chaos towards themselves, and the Dark Eldar have a vested interest in keeping it at bay at all costs this is somewhat justifiable.
      • The Tau have practically no psychic presence. While they don't necessarily hunt down or encourage psykers, they don't have much actual understanding of them beyond what they find in other species (their FTL doesn't use the Warp, unlike the other factions, and thus they believe daemons to be another hostile species of alien). They are the faction that puts the most trust in science and technological advance as opposed to the dogma found in most other species, and consider the Warp to be something that can be studied and mastered. (What they're only starting to realize is that the Warp is antithetical to that attitude.) Also, the Tau are culturally inclined to be sympathetic, so the Tau are much nicer to psykers. A species of psykers called the Nicassar are allied with the Tau, and the Tau try to keep them a secret from the Imperium, knowing what they do to psykers. Finally, what they do exactly with psykers that arise in their human populations within their protectorate domains, is a question yet unanswered.

        The survivors of the Fourth Sphere of Expansion is a particularly extreme branch of this — after being saved by a being of the warp that is thought to be a psychic manifestation of the tau philosophy of "the greater good", they have taken to killing any non-Tau they are around because Tau have too weak a psychic presence to create such a being, which they view as an abomination created through misinterpretation and psychic powers.
      • Necrons are diametrically opposed to the Chaos Gods and the Warp. Pre-Retcon, their solution to this was to exterminate all life, destroying the emotions that empower the Warp. Even after the overhaul when they are a tiny bit nicer, the Necrons are explicitly not using warp powers, instead they use Space Egyptian SkeleBot 9000 Super Science, which is just as strong while far less dangerous with the side effects, though it's often hard to tell that it's not magic.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Hunter: The Vigil: A number of Hunter groups have ideological axes to grind with magic-users in particular, and care about removing the practice of magic much more than they do about hunting other supernatural beings; often, this brings them into conflict with other Hunter Conspiracies whose Endowments are, for all practical purposes, magic. Notable examples include the Keepers of the Source, who believe the magic use is done by essentially raping Mother Earth, and the Knights of St. George, who believe that magic attracts the attention of Eldritch Abominations.
    • Mage: The Ascension: The Technocracy are an interesting case as they consider themselves a Classic example, but are in fact a hypocritical example who (for the most part) don't realize they are doing magic. Other antagonist factions are more straightforwardly anti-magic, such as hunters (who see anything weird and immediately feel compelled to smite it) and banishers (who are essentially insane even by mage standards and strike out at consensus violators instinctively, often because alterations to reality cause them physical or mental pain or because their brain is re-written to run on hate even in lucid moments to make planning murders easier).
    • Mage: The Awakening: A few of these exist. The Seers of the Throne are pretty much the "Hypocrite" variant: they want to make sure that the only people who get to Awaken are the ones who will throw their will behind their ascended masters. Though at least they're honest enough to admit outright that they're not so much "anti-magic" as "anti-people other than Seers using magic". The Banishers, on the other hand, are mages who had their Awakenings go horribly wrong, and now hunt other mages out of a desire to cleanse the earth of their "sins." The Lucid, meanwhile, are Sleepwalkers who went wrong, kind of like Banishers, and so are driven insane when they sense magic, causing them to instinctively and unquestioningly kill any mage or destroy a magic item they encounter.

    Video Games 
  • The Inquisitors of the Citadel in AdventureQuest Worlds are out to eradicate all magic. Only it turns out that they're actually sucking the magic out of people to create powerful Mana Vacuums because the Grand Inquisitor wants all that magic for himself so that he can summon a magic-devouring demon by the name of Belrot to hunt down and drain all magic from the land. So they're basically a mixed example.
  • In Age of Wonders II: Shadow Magic, the aptly named Phobian Empire is on a crusade against magic... or so they say, since their commanders actively use magic, which makes it a hypocritical example.
  • In Choice of Magics, The Church of Abraxas forbids the use of magic. It's hypocritical. They just re-christen loyal mages as Saints and call their powers divine miracles.
  • The Overseers of the Abbey of the Everyman from Dishonored are a Church Militant not devoted to a deity, but rather formed to (as they see it) protect humanity against the Outsider, the only source of actual magic in the world and in their eyes a vile and demonic entity, but in truth a mostly neutral being who empowers mortals out of curiosity. They have developed Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane music boxes that disrupt an individual's ability to use magic, and are known to treat even suspected witches with absolute ruthlessness.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin II, the Magisters are really determined to rub Source magic off the face of Rivellon. They blame the recent Voidwoken attacks on it. Mundane magic spells don't bother them though.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Qunari. They use technology instead of magic and kill or silence any mages they come across (by removing their tongues). The Qun, their religion, has no place for mages, and the Qunari's ultimate goal is conversion of all races to the Qun and therefore removal of all mages. This places them in contrast to the human religious institution, the Chantry, which teaches that magic was made to serve man. The Chantry permit mages and even use them against the Qunari (in fact, it is the reason why the Qunari haven't overrun most of the world yet), although they don't really trust them and practically monopolize the training of mages; non-Chantry trained mages are called apostates and are hunted down by the Templars.
    • Not that the Qunari are above using the mages as living weapons, either, with each saarebas (dangerous thing) being handled by another Qunari as their keeper. Any saarebas that goes unsupervised is automatically assumed to be possessed by a demon, so the Qunari come across as fearing mages even more than the humans though, it's more like their philosophy doesn't allow them to act any other way.
    • Indeed, their dislike of saarebas seems to be rooted in the Qunari philosophy basing itself around achieving total control of one's self. Mages, on the other hand, have access to incredible power, yet require no discipline to use it. Such abilities are open to abuse and given that Demons seek to possess Mages to do just that, the Qunari do not believe anyone can safely wield it.
    • There's also the original Inquisition, an ancient group of mage-hunters that was absorbed by the Chantry and turned into the Templars. The new Inquisition in the third game can be guided into either supporting or opposing mages depending on your decisions. However, the new Inquisitor can learn that the last Inquisitor of the original Inquisition, and close friend of the founder of the Chantry, was in fact a mage, suggesting that that the rigid boundaries mages are currently subject to was not part of the original plan.
  • Quite a bit more prominent in AdventureQuest Worlds' sister game, Dragonfable. The Big Bad of chapter 3, Jaania, was Driven to Madness by being magically sealed in ice for several centuries as the end result of a Love Triangle that went out of control. The abuse of magic by the Big Bads for the first two chapters almost succeeded in destroying the entire world. Between that, the elementals' never-ending wars, and frequent dragon attacks, Jaania becomes convinced that magic is an inherently evil force. One of her first acts is to seal away the Hero in an icy prison much like her own. After a Time Skip, the Hero finally breaks free, only to enter a world where most people have come to despise magic, and magic-using beings like him/herself are being hunted down by Jaania's organization, The Rose.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series' backstory, the Alessian Order was a rabidly anti-Elven religious sect which established a Theocracy that wielded nearly as much power as the Emperor at its height. The Order was hostile to "unsanctioned" magic users and actively hunted them down in the Burn the Witch! fashion. However, the Order itself has no qualms about using magic, up to and including the type of reality warping divine magic they used in an attempt to purge the Elven aspects from the Eight Divines themselves. Doing so caused what is known as the "Middle Dawn", the first and longest Dragon Break on record, with a heaping dose of Reality-Breaking Paradox and Reality Is Out to Lunch. The Order would eventually be overthrown and destroyed during the War of Righteousness, but their influences on Imperial religion and law can still be felt in the Empires that have followed.
  • In Exile/Avernum III: Ruined World:
    • Part of the game takes place on an island that's become the epicenter of a religion whose followers reject the use of magic. They aren't particularly sinister, but trying to complete the game as one of them definitely qualifies as a Self-Imposed Challenge.
    • The Anama only reject arcane magic and find the use of priestly magic perfectly acceptable. Since divine magic can fill some of the functions of arcane magic and has exclusive access to healing, the trade-off is really whether cheap and early access to the best priest spells is worth giving up magery.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • While the five other factions in Heroes of Might and Magic IV are heavily inspired by Magic: The Gathering and use corresponding styles of magic, the Might faction are True Neutral, in the center of the magic wheel. Instead of magic, they prefer brute force combined with the magic resistance skill.
    • Orcs in Heroes of Might and Magic V are similar, using magic dampening and war cries.
    • The Krewlod branch of the Barbarian/Stronghold faction had a bias against magical things, though it wasn't very strong (their king arranges for a powerful artifact to be destroyed as a test of someone having left magic behind forever, but they also have respected Battle Mages), or reflected in the game mechanics.
  • League of Legends has the kingdom of Demacia, whose hatred and denial of magic contrasts greatly to its otherwise proud, if militaristic veneer. This stems from its very origins; originally a refugee camp during the cataclysmic Rune Wars, the land Demacia would be built on was home to its mysterious Anti-Magic forests (by modern times, Demacians would learn to develop them into a refined Anti-Magic "petricite" found all over the nation's architecture), and its shunning of magic is as old a value to them as honor and justice. Anyone found to have magic in Demacia is exiled or forced to undergo treatments to kill their magic.... or quietly inducted into Demacia's clandestine mage corps as border patrol.
  • In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, the Azadi Empire is of that variety with an added flavor of religious fervor, what with repressing and committing genocide against 'magicals'. They put up a lot of various Steampunk-esque machinery everywhere instead, the purpose of which is only revealed in the sequel. Despite their vehement persecution of magic, their Prophet seems to employ it and command magical creatures, and there are indications that they employ magic-by-any-other-name thaumaturgy, and that some of the things they use are relying on magic as well as technology.
  • In Overlord II the Glorious Empire hunts down magical creatures and magic in general. The creatures that are not killed outright are drained of their magical energies and then put into the Arena. All the energy is accumulated in a vat in the palace for Emperor Solarius' ascension to godhood. A textbook hypocritical example.
  • In the backstory of Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, the peoples of Sarkoris hated and feared magic. They went so far as to persecute magic users in witch hunts. This bit them in the ass when one of their witch hunts ended up slaying the child of Areelu Vorlesh. Areelu's desperate attempts to restore her child's soul to life created the Worldwound. Among other things, this ended Sarkoris. "The Last Sarkorians" DLC introduces as a new party member Ulbrig, a survivor of Old Sarkoris who was turned to stone before the Worldwound was opened. He still retains the prejudice towards magic his people had and thus is one of the most suspicious of the Mythic Power you have gained. And rightly so since said Mythic Power is one of Areelu Vorlesh's experiments.
  • Team Plasma serves this role in Pokémon Black and White, with a dosage of Fantasy Gun Control. The goal of their leader is to stop the use of Pokemon and have them all released. The organization itself does not agree, and is being manipulated by Ghetsis to leave him the only one left with Pokemon, rendering the rest of the population completely powerless.
  • In Quest for Glory, the scientists are Flat Earth Atheists to a man, and while Dr. Cranium is a nice if dismissive fruit cake, the scientists in QFG 5 try to assassinate your mage allies on this principle (they attempt to do you in too, but for different reasons).
  • The Star Cabal in Star Wars: The Old Republic wants a galaxy purged of all Force wielders. Seeing as how the constant warfare between the Empire and Republic can usually be interpreted as a proxy for a cyclical, genocidal religious Forever War between two equally matched groups of powerful fanatics with the Muggles getting slaughtered by the trillions, the Cabal might have a point and the Imperial Agent is able to agree with them to a certain extent. However, it's established that while it was initially a Well-Intentioned Extremist faction, their current inheritors are fanatics with delusions of grandeur no better than the Sith.
  • In Super Ledgehop Double Laser, the government has outlawed magic use due to thugs making use of it. This forces Yuuto to live in hiding.
  • The Ziguranth from Tales of Maj'Eyal are opposed to arcane magic. Specifically, this means magic that relies on mana, Vim, Paradox, Positive or Negative energy. They themselves use Anti-Magic drawn from nature, and freely recruit psionics and the Afflicted. They're extremely ruthless and merciless about hunting down and murdering mages, mage sympathizers, and anyone who might even look like a mage, but with magic still uncommon in the Age of Ascendancy, they're one of the only functional checks against Evil Sorcerers in all of Maj'Eyal.
  • Used interestingly in Total Annihilation: Kingdoms. The world was broken in the past by a civilization of Precursors, the Kandrans, whose use of magic resulted in their own annihilation. For thousands of years magic was banned until a mage emperor, Garacaius, arose to unite the world. He vanished after the death of his wife, leaving his empire to his four children—two of them keep the magic ban and only use it sparingly for military purposes, while the other two use it freely. In the expansion pack, a fifth Steampunk faction, Creon, invades with a more fundamentalist anti-magic policy; it turns out that they were founded by Garacaius after he fled into exile.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has King Radovid of Redania, who is violently opposed to magic - and the Lodge of Sorceresses in particular - and he brutally tortures and executes any and all magic users he can lay his hands on. This all stems from his boyhood when his father King Vizimir II was assassinated by his sorceress advisor Philippa Eilhart, who then proceeded to assume the regency of Redania and domineer and humiliate young Radovid until he reached maturity. He's been taking revenge on mages ever since.
  • Zork: Grand Inquisitor: The Inquisitor himself turns out to be a classic hypocrite when he eagerly tries to claim the Coconut of Quendor's magic for himself near the end.

  • The dominant religion in the setting of Crystal Heroes frowns specifically upon black magic (in the vein of RPG-style elemental spells), while practicing healing magic among their clergy. So they're not so much an Antimagical Faction as much as an Antiblackmagical Faction.
  • A faction mentioned in the backstory of Dominic Deegan was the "Cult of the Blind Eye", a group that aimed to wipe out seers due to believing that the use of second sight was a disruption in God's plans. Magic itself wasn't the problem as the group utilized magic items themselves in their goals. It was just second sight they had a problem with. The cult ended up committing mass suicide years ago, but their weapons still played a role in one arc.
  • Thoria from The Dragon Doctors was founded by a faction of human purists following a war in which magic was used to transform people into "beast-men". Mori has no last name because her parents gave her the magic equivalent of gene therapy to save her life and the Thorian government "erased" them and banished her. However, when Mori discovered the Fountain of Youth and reverse-engineered it 70 years ago Thoria began to repeal many of their racist and anti-magic laws so they could have rejuvenation.
  • Drowtales: The Kyorls believe their magic is sanctioned by their goddess and wish to purge the other schools of magic, especially the Nidra'chals and other demon summoners. To be fair, nether demons love to find innocent victims to possess, dominate, and mutate into eldritch horrors. In truth, the high templars want to attain elite mastery over the demon-summoning arts while preventing hedge witches from constantly screwing it up.
  • Othar of Girl Genius is this, all by himself (if by "mages" you mean "reality-warping mad-scientist Sparks"). His goal is to kill them all. And yes, he's aware of the irony that he himself is a Spark! He plans to kill himself after killing off all of the other Sparks.

    Web Original 
  • The Crimson Order from The Gungan Council vowed to kill all Force-users, Jedi and Sith included.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • The titular Foundation's mission is to capture and contain anomalies, or "SCPs", both to study them and keep them from disrupting or destroying the world. That said, the Foundation also frequently uses anomalies for their own ends, fitting them nicely in the "Hypocritical" category. Also worth noting is that they rarely choose to destroy anomalies, only doing so if one poses an unacceptable risk to human civilization (such as SCP-682 or SCP-096).
    • The Global Occult Coalition, one of The Usual Adversaries to the Foundation, is the "Classical" type: they believe that destroying anomalies outright is necessary to preserve humanity. They don't necessarily want to destroy all anomalies, even having some magic-users on their staff. The Foundation vehemently opposes this for reasons both practical and moral, leading to plenty of feuding between the two groups. Overall, Both Sides Have a Point: while the GOC's trigger-happy agents have made plenty of damaging mistakes, such as their botched attempt to kill SCP-1609, they're not wrong in their assertion that the Foundation's habit of hoarding Artifacts of Doom and Eldritch Abominations for study is incredibly dangerous and prone to backfiring.
  • The Anti-Magic Faction, the Big Bad of Universal Lady Justice Aya, is Classical example that hunts magic users with Anti-Magic infused with advanced weaponry.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Abrahamic religions are very big into this, even unto modern ages. The stated reason being that any supernatural powers not granted by God must have come from demons, and therefore are evil by default. Historically, said religions have always had rivalries with religions that embraced the use of 'magic', such as Zoroastrianism or Ancient Egyptian polytheism. In fact, Zoroastrian priests were the origin of the word 'mage'.
    • Which isn't to say that it's an exclusively monotheist thing — before Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, magicians perceived as dangerous (particularly those making poisons and love potions, regardless of if they worked) were already persecuted by the government, and they were even thrown to the lions just like early Christians were. It was only later that more kinds of magic, and eventually all magic (the last to go was divination) was completely forbidden.
  • Pre-modern witch hunts, as well as the Salem witch trials of 1692. Both of these were based on biblical literalism in the interpretation of one passage in Exodus, 22:18: "Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live."
  • Saudi Arabia has an anti-witchcraft unit that hunts down any person suspected of witchcraft or sorcery of any sort. The punishment is usually death by beheading.
  • Subverted with The Spanish Inquisition, who did not consider witchcraft to be real, instead regarding the belief in it to be heretical. Which meant they also frowned upon witch-hunters of the classical sort, for believing that said suspected witches were actually practicing witchcraft. This was true generally for most of the medieval era—the Church officially declared that magic did not exist, as God didn't permit rival powers of that kind. So people who claimed to have magic were frauds or deluded. This only started to change with the very end of the Renaissance, witch hunts took off in the early modern period. Prior to this, witch hunters were condemned by the Church, and killing people for "witchcraft" was punished as murder. Sadly the Malleus Maleficarum, among other things, was to alter that attitude.