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  • The concept of binding the energies of the Cosmic Mesh into inanimate objects is an ancient one, almost as old as the history of magic usage itself. Powerful mages from the Winnowing who desired a less ephemeral control over magic would separate a part of their own energies and imbue a weapon or artifact with magical power. This ancient process is typically associated with rituals of a darker sort, considering the age in which the practice was birthed, and is frowned upon in many circles of modern A'therys. An artificed object generates its own magic in regards to its bound nature, with no mage or outside source of power required, but comes at a terrible price.

    To understand artificing as a practice, one must first look at human control of magic itself. The plane of A'therys, and the Cosmic Mesh in which it floats, ebbs and flows with magical currents. Before recorded history, during the Winnowing, select few humans were aware of this arcane tide; even the firstmen of legend little understood the forces with which they played. Over time however, an interest in studying the magic of A'therys came about in the minds of those that wielded it on an individual level, long before the founding of the first Mage's Guild. As mages began to understand their control of magic at a more academic level, experimentation began; if the mortal frame could be used as a vessel and conduit for the magical energies of the plane, why then could not an inanimate object do the same?

    It was quickly realized among the aspiring artificers that objects could indeed carry a magic charge, though the new problem of enchanting these items became apparent. No alchemical machine was realized to pull magic from the air, no spell cast upon the objects seemed to bind them for longer than brief minutes. Even binding crystals charged within a locus would only last for so long before the magic charging the object expired. Eventually, it was discovered that through special ritual, a shred of one's own soul could be fragmented and bound to an object, allowing it to access the cosmic mesh and generate magic on its own. Of course, no mage at the time was interested in experimenting upon themselves, so many turned to abduction to gain the necessary human resources. Initial prospects were grim, more often than not resulting in the violent deaths of the test subjects. But over time, the process was refined; it was discovered that weapons and armor fared much better in the process if they were custom-forged with this enchanting in mind. As the Age of Balance dawned and more mortals began experimenting with magic, the label of "artificer" became synonymous with mages who forged metal as well as practiced magic.

    As one can imagine, the practice of artificing is not looked upon well by most mortals. Stories passed down of the atrocities committed by the ancients continue to circle in modern memory, and the side-effect of lost sanity that affects those who practice contributes heavily to this view. The Mages' Guild officially denounces artificing in a way that not even the gray area of necromancy is subject to. Policy is to expel without recompense any student practicing this art upon the grounds of the college. While there are those who argue, even from within the Guild, that much could be learned in the careful regulation and study of such potent rituals, the institution itself has too much to lose for this to occur. The centuries spent separating their craft from the Old Ways in public understanding would be all but undone if policy was to be changed, and the controlling Mages' Guild is on far too unstable ground to allow it. Perhaps due to his own slightly occult beginnings, the present Archmage, Ravas av-Haresh, can see a day when artificing might indeed be allowed within the halls of the college. He sees that many enrolled and prospective students are lost to the allure of artificing, but for now it remains a necessary trade to keep stability intact. Once the guild is on more secure footing, perhaps limited study of the dark art will be allowed.

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