Arcanist Profession in Cairne | World Anvil


The arcanist is a studious adept with limited knowledge. The political climate of Cairne and general attitude towards magic does not allow for any public form of magical training, as such, the arcanist is a secret collector of any old world manuscripts and tomes that they can find, ending up with a unique spread of information and ability based upon luck and determinable scavenging skill. They are a cross between scholar and tomb raider, allowing them to thrive and survive in both the library university and the lost places of the old world.



The places that house the lost arcane secrets of the world are often deep within the blighted wastes of the world, and only the most cunning and quick are able to succeed when it comes to their recovery. An Arcanist relies heavily on their intelligence and skill at avoiding the dangers inherent in this line of work.



The Arcanist seeks to not only gather, but to preserve the secrets of the old world. They are archaeologists and explorers, historians and scholars, and preservationists. A great deal of Cairne's history has been lost and even more has been obscured intentionally. These seekers of the hidden mysteries and occluded truths serve a very important role, not letting the world forget where it came from.

Social Status

Mostly considered thieves and dangerous criminals by most societies, there are still a few places where they can work and operate with little trouble. The Outlands and the Wastes that surround the fringes of the Eastern Blight are fairly accepting of the trade, though it is still generally frowned upon for the potential danger it presents.


While there was a widespread interest in the profession for a time, it was mainly a romanticized view of the role that was enticing people to follow it. Once the actual dangers and amount of study and work that is required to make one successful at this profession became apparent, a great many of the interested parties fell by the wayside, either discouraged, arrested, or due to professional mishap.


Ever since the banning of magical practices in Carine as agreed upon in the Pact of Erindall, most of standard magical practices and methodology has been eradicated. No longer are the schools of arcane studies allowed to thrive, and there are no more friendly wizards taking apprentices. Instead, all that remains are tattered tomes and scrolls dug out of ruins and lost places, and a thriving underground black market for arcane knowledge known as the Hall of Fireflies to the initiated. The Hall of Fireflies is not a place so much as a network of traders and Arcanists who move in secret, bartering arcane writings back and forth between them. Because of this practice, common magic still exists, albeit in a much more scattered way. In the interim, many practitioners have either found in the ancient places or developed, on their own, new spells in an attempt to supplement the loss. The following is a partial list of these magical works, and more are researched and brought to light every day thanks to the tireless efforts of Arcanists across Cairne. The nature of how magic is found, researched, and distributed creates a unique place for every practitioner within the art, as each wielder must now rely upon what they find and barter for rather than a college or mentor providing new arcane works for them to study.



Many arcanists will keep and maintain a base of operations for their wares and trade. While many will form smaller groups in order to better protect and keep found objects safe, there is a level of mistrust among Arcanists as well that can tend to move them in more solitary directions. Workspaces often include private libraries, stashes of delving equipment, arcane and alchemical laboratories, and even private vaults.

Provided Services

In the Outlands, it is not uncommon for an Arcanist to be hired as a guide or a scout for parties looking to delve ruins or search for lost treasures. Their skills are next to none when it comes to the secret and forbidden places of Cairne. While these services are entirely illegal, it does not stop people from utilizing them if the need arises.

Dangers & Hazards

There are a great many dangers in plumbing the depths of the lost and forgotten places in Cairne. The Blight-Born and infected are only the obvious troubles, but the places the arcanist is drawn to are often ruins that have sat unattended for decades and various and dangerous states of disrepair, laden with security measures, and filled with deterrents against thieves and intruders such as traps and various left over arcane defenses as well.
Alternative Names
Defilers, Tomb Robbers, Heretics
This is an illegal profession.
Within most of the civilized sectors of the world, this profession is outlawed. The Bechtlarite, Culvarkt, Fouveinian, Hiversteadian, and Ongommu Tae actively seek out and punish practitioners with often extreme sentences depending on the severeity of the knowledge and artifacts found

Articles under Arcanist

Cover image: Arcanist by Midjourney


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