The Ashen Kingdom
Corvus Crenshaw is an accomplished mage. Went to Spark College where he specialized in air magic. Has since branched out and become something of a generalist. Corvus made a name for himself serving in the military doing dangerous and dirty work. He was extremely lucky to have survived for several years serving on military work without any major losses. On his last mission in the forest, however, his squad was nearly annihilated. They had been sent on a mission to tear down a faerie fort which was menacing the wall. Halfway through their work, Corvus and another mage found themselves alone amongst the ruins of the fort. The rest of their companions had been drawn out through the charms of a particularly powerful fae, a faerie queen. Corvus and the other mage, an earth mage, erected a protective circle to attempt to hold off the fae and the influence of the faerie queen. For (what felt like) two weeks they held in their sanctum all the while surrounded by the chittering of the fae and the song of their queen. Gradually the fae rebuilt the fortress around their circle. The mages held in darkness until the fort was obliterated around them by a firestorm. The army had come, one week later, to finish the work their party had failed to accompish. Corvus survived the firestorm, just barely, due to the strength of the protective circle. His cohort, unfortunately, did not survive, sacrificing himself to pour all of his remaining strength into the circle. Scouts were shocked to discover the living mage at the heart of the fort. Initially the priests wanted to destroy him, but Corvus regained consciousness in time to shake off his rescuers and dispel any doubt that he was a creature of the forest.
Corvus has since retired from active duty and devotes his time to magical and alchemical research in support of the military. He has lived through four wars, and come up with several minor alchemical improvements to weapons and supply support in his time researching at Spark College. His most promising invention, termed the Scintillatrix argentum, is a fine mesh alchemically coated in silver which can be used to swiftly purify water without having to devote time to boiling it. Though drinking tepid water is unpopular with the rank and file, despite the insistence by mages that the water is safe to consume, the invention has allowed for swifter forays into the forest when the need arises.
Corvus is getting old and feels like he hasn’t accomplished his masterwork yet. He has ideas for applying his techniques in coating other metals in silver to broader use, notably coating weapons with silver for use against resistant forest creatures. This has presented great difficulties, however, as the silver coating wears off very quickly, so he is currently obsessed with figuring out some way to magically enhance the durability of such weapons, or alloy the silver with some other metal. This has led to his research into metallurgy with rare ores that have only turned up in minute quantities and which no metallurgists have bothered to spend time working with. Costs are getting out of hand, and Corvus desperately needs patronage to support his research efforts.