When I first took up membership with the Cowled Wizards, I anticipated the reputation I’d be bringing with me. It wasn’t bad enough that I was inexperienced and self-taught, no; I was also a murderer, and while my benefactors had done an admirable job of obfuscating that fact, what little integrity that I’d retained allowed me to defend myself no more than what was sufficient to keep my place. Needless to say, I quickly got used to working alone.
I had books, of course. Years upon years of research, conducted and documented by other, more accomplished colleagues provided me some much-needed guidance. Even then, I really only knew the theory; the practical applications were not fit for the hands of a slave such as myself, though I only harbor the shallowest of regrets about that since I saw a good many proper apprentices go up in the smoke of failed experiments.
Like I said, I was inexperienced. It was only a matter of time I stumbled into one of these unfortunate situations myself, but when I did… well, imagine my surprise when I was not shuffled off this mortal coil by the flames of folly, but rather invigorated by the results of my mistake. You see, Hellovias was a devotee to the martial aspect of magic; if it could not be used to muddle or incinerate his foes, then he had a tendency to not be interested. I honestly didn’t know such a thing was possible.
Now that I knew what to look for, I found ample records of this phenomenon in the libraries, and began to delve further. In the same way that the power of the divine can both sear and soothe, the arcane floes that drift around us can be tooled to the same purpose. Naturally, the problem is how intuitive it is, or I suppose how intuitive it isn’t. This energy can be shaped into a form that is remarkably similar to the vigor that keeps us moving and upright, but it requires heavy modification in the manner of formulae, catalysts, and so on.
It took a great deal of time and study to align these magics with the biological pathways of a living body, but I was eventually able to adapt them for applications of immediate urgency, such as tendering a surge of adrenaline or mending severe wounds. One can even tune them to infuse a piece of armor to increase its resilience, or flavor the release of power from other magical artifacts so that their users can receive the physiological benefits as well.
It is an incredibly diverse and adaptable field of study. That I found upon it by accident only reaffirms my belief that this is work that I was meant to do… and with time, I hope, work that will absolve my greatest sins.