The Vermillion Queen. The Blue Man. The Thurible of the Oubliette.
These are just a few of the beings calling themselves Lords, who appeared twenty years ago and granted the Powers Miraculous to those who would pledge their service. They themselves are little more powerful than normal humans, being incapable of taking full advantage in this world of the powers which they possess, but they can allow specially chosen humans, called Conduits, to make a greater use of their powers. On behalf of the Lords do they act, and always with the knowledge that their powers exist only at their Lord's sufferance: none of them could use their powers to betray their Lord, for that Lord would cut them off from their powers without even the need to think about it.
All Lords are made equal, or so it appears, and the more Conduits they have, the less power each one has. Some Lords give full access to the Powers Miraculous to only a single prophet, or to a collection of apostles or councilors, while others give smaller doses to the priests of large congregations, and even the missionaries who go out to declare spread the faith of their Lord. Still others, whose reach is limited and who wish to reach for no more than what they have, empower each one who has faith in them. These faithful ones have few and small powers, but they cherish them as proof of their Lord's love for them and as a testimony to their Lord's very existence.
Regardless, it does not seem that there is any Lord who can empower more than a hundred thousand people to any degree.
There are conflicts between congregations, and there are assassinations and mobs on both sides of the ongoing war between those who worship the Lords and those who still follow the Old Faiths. National boundaries are beginning to waver as the question increasingly becomes a matter of nothing so much as to which master one pledges loyalty. As secessionist Toledo suffers siege at the hands of the United States, the Manse Crow demands that its followers not waver, and continue to execute any who will not lend hand in the resistance, and secessionist movements in other countries gain momentum.
What they want can vary as much as it does among humans. There are cruel Lords and benevolent Lords both. Some wish nothing so much as to be a boot on the face of humanity forever. Others are seeking, through means devilish or lily-white or both, to uplift their people to levels not yet dreamed of before these days.