Artenius "Arty" Crow
Flame-haired, short-statured arcanist with jade eyes full of mischief
Born the second son of a prominent wizard turned Technic League Guildsman, Artenius Crow spent the majority of his youth surrounded by magic, servants, and little love. His father had traveled to Numeria in his time as an ambassador for his small mage’s guild, attempting to forge an alliance with the Technic League and earn himself and his guildmates the privilege of technology.
Aside from faint memories and brief discussions, Artenius (preferring to simply go by Arty) knows little of his mother, having lost her shortly after his birth to unknown circumstances. From there, his father became obsessed with his work, leaving both Arty and his older brother Davus in the hands of Chelish and Numerian servants alike.
Growing up under the apathy of his father and the nigh-cruelty of his brother, Arty learned to value freedom wherever he could find it, often sneaking out to the cliffs of Numeria to enjoy the mountains, the weather, and to watch the sun rise and set. While there was some concern that his lackadasical attitude would lead to poor discipline when studying magic, he quickly found from the young age of six that magic leapt to his fingers as quickly as it was called; especially light and fire magic. He was assigned tutors in his study, as his brother before him, but quickly found that they had wildly different methods of learning: while Davus had a love of both destructive magic and swordplay, Arty found that magic came to him in simple, instinctual terms, and struggled to replicate the methods and gestures of his father’s apprentice guildmates. It wasn’t until he could more easily describe that magic “never left him” that his teachers began to suspect more than absentmindedness holding back his progress.
As he grew, he spent more and more time evading his tutors, and experiencing magic as he saw fit, and how it interacted with the world around him. Many times the day would begin with a riveting round of hide-and-seek, with Arty finding cliffsides and canyons to enjoy nature, learn more of the ancient and foreign culture around him, and engage in spellcasting outside of his father’s dull parlor. It was on one such expedition that he learned a hard lesson in the dangers and limitations of the arcane arts.
Growing bored with the repetitive wizardry lessons being fed him, he opted to break into his father’s study and engage himself with the difficult and finicky art of interacting with magic items. He knew his father kept a small horde of wands and scrolls available for niche circumstances, and he swore he’d learn to further his mastery over magic; especially since his damnable brother refused to shut up about the ancient Numerian Black Blade that called and connected with him on one of his father’s expeditions with the Technic League.
Finding his scroll library, Arty grabbed a handful of the more complex looking, and set off to learn to transcribe them. A great many, he managed to decipher, calling lightning to his hand or gaining sight beyond his normal human senses. But one misspoken syllable changed his life forever, as an explosion of fire prematurely rocked his fragile frame, leaving him badly burned and sans the arm holding the scroll.
Fortunately, many of the staff under his father’s command heard the commotion, and rushed to his aid. While no healer was present to mend him, a representative from the Technic League gladly offered his services in exchange for… experimentation. When Arty awoke, he was in horror as burns covered his body, and he found a cold, metal limb grafted where his flesh and bone had been burned to oblivion. With time and careful observation, he was able to heal over time, and began to adapt to the metal monstrosity that had been fused to his body.
From there, he became every more determined to gain mastery over his talent, remembering the way his father dismissively shook his head and waved him away upon seeing him. For all the pride he took in Davus’ blending of swordsmanship and the arcane, he felt constantly underrated and swept under the rug. Eventually he grew disgruntled with the state of his existence, growing ever more aware of the atrocities inflicted on the Numerian people by the Technic League as well as his father’s contribution, and left one day under the cover of night, assisted by members of the service staff whom he’d taken the time to befriend and show kindness towards during his upbringing.
From there, he wandered town to down, practicing his art where he could, pulling magic from libraries and the teachings of wandering casters alike, eventually discovering that his power lay not only in the study of the arcane, nor the manipulation of the magic deep in his blood, but the odd point at which they intersected, manipulating magic like a toy rather than studying it like a book or willing it to be from nothing.
And it was from there that he journeyed to the fabled town of Torch, curious at the whispers of rumor emerging about the town, its mysterious namesake, the Black Hill that held it.