Interestingly enough, the first documented example of the spark is also the source of most of the scien-tific information on the subject. The story of the first spark begins with Kalinda Little, the daughter of a prominent watch captain in the city of Malsoct. At the tender age of 15, Kalinda was invited by the Uni-versity of Vidava to become an assistant to Professor Elvarithon. Elvarithon was a leading researcher in the field of applied physics, and Kalinda learned a great deal about elven technology under his tutelage.
In 97 AH she met Markand Shuttlesworth, an aspir-ing young wizard whose theories would later shape the study of the arcane. Markand and Kalinda had very conflicting views, and they quite often had heated arguments over the legitimacy of “magic” as an actual science. In an effort to disprove Markand’s argument that magic was a quantitative field of research, Kalinda took up the study of the arcane and almost immedi-ately became fascinated with it. In 102 AH she and Markand co-published a paper that fully explored the way in which the arcane interacted with other, more traditional sciences. This paper, entitled “Arcana: The Science of the Mystic Realm,” would later become the cornerstone of arcane academic study.
However, not all was well in Kalinda’s family during this time. In 101 AH she heard secondhand accounts of an argument brewing between her father and her oldest brother. In the summer of that same year, her father announced that he was disowning Kalinda’s brother, though he would not explain his reasons for doing so. The brother disappeared for several years afterward, only to suddenly appear at the University of Vidava in 105 AH. Kalinda’s journals recount the meeting:
“My brother suddenly arrived at my lodgings today, though were it not for his ring I might have failed to recognize him. He was bedraggled, his face unshaven and his clothing worn and muddy. He was beside himself with anxiety, completely frantic with worry, and when I tried to inquire into the reason for his discomfort he replied with what I could only describe as the ravings of a madman! He said, “The flame of a new threat is coming” and that soon “all shall know the madness that lurks behind the face of men.” He then pressed upon me a book, small and battered with strange writings on the cover.
“Concerned for my brother’s health, I insisted that he take a seat, and I went to procure some nourish-ment. However, when I returned there was no trace of my brother, excepting the strange book which he had given me. Intrigued—and more than a little worried—I began searching through the book in the hopes it could better explain my brother’s curious situation. Unfortunately, I could not understand the book at first. It seemed to be little more than other-worldly sketches and nonsense mathematical equa-tions. However, as I continued to read I realized that this book was nothing less than the very deepest inner workings of my brother’s mind, committed to paper! As I read I marveled at the wondrous things that were within, and my brother’s genius leapt from the paper into my mind’s eye, like some spark which jumped from my brother into me, igniting a fire of creative passion which I cannot quite describe. Even now, a piece of enchanted jewelry—wrought by my own hand with the powers of the arcane and physical sci-ences—rests upon my wrist as a reminder of the furor which this book caused me to experience.”
Kalinda’s immediate efforts to locate her brother led her to discover that her family’s home had been ran-sacked and burned by some mysterious force. Hoping to discover where her brother had gone or who had killed her family, Kalinda studied the strange tome exhaustively for a year afterwards. In the process, she took meticulous notes from her brother’s book and every day created magnificent pieces of jewelry the likes of which Terah had never seen. She was hailed as a genius, the most talented inventor ever to grace humanity. Her own notes included extensive research into the subject of her brother’s mysterious book and the other examples of the spark that began to spring up after her brother’s disappearance. Almost all that is known about the science and psychology behind the spark comes directly from Kalinda’s notebooks. Unfortunately, even this knowledge is fairly limited, as Kalinda disappeared in 109 AH while on an expe-dition to discover her brother’s whereabouts.