She was just another Roman citizen, a theater actress, nothing very special, just living her life day to day. Then, three years ago, word started to spread throughout the empire, barbarian hordes were overrunning the frontiers like the Huns and Vandals of old.
Dowsabel feared that the legions would not be assembled in time and she would fall victim to the excesses that accompany the sacking of a city. Word arrived that the bulk of the Roman legions were shattered by the Horde of the Nine Clans and panic gripped the citizenry.
Then, a great pillar of light appeared in the east, a spear of sickly blue green fire stabbing the heavens. Dowsabel stared at the fire and her eyes began to water and burn. She could see waves of energy emanating from the Spear of Fire. Her blood began to boil and the actress could feel a new, alien energy coursing through her veins.
Over the next few weeks Dowsabel discovered that she could tap into this new energy to affect the world around her. Dowsabel initially had little control over her power and the effects were frequently wildly different from what she intended.
Dowsabel was also afraid that this power was some sort of magic that had been outlawed for centuries. She was right to be afraid. A few months after the Spear of Fire a Praetorian Inquisitor arrived at her home and demanded that she come with him.
Months of indoctrination followed as Dwosabel was initiated into the Praetorian Hand. She learned to control her powers and swore loyalty to the grand inquisitor and the Emperor. Dowsabel was marked with a symbol representing her role in the inquisition (Dragonmark of Scribing). Precocious, she quickly earned the rank Speculator Magus in the Praetorian Inquisition.
The Hand (the inquisitors) are concerned about the failings of magic throughout the empire and it’s neighbors since the Spear of Fire. Dowsabel was dispatched to track down a wizard who was believed to have made a breakthrough in understanding the changes in the fabric of magic. She learned that the wizard was taken by vengeful witch hunters of the Frankish Inquisition.
The wizard was burned alive (the witch hunters go in for that sort of thing). However, Dowsabel learned that the Wizard had an apprentice named Olivia who escaped the witch-hunters. Dowsabel made it her mission to track Olivia down.