For years, the Hermetic Masters of Witwick College have feared the day Artemis Grimm would graduate. Not only does the boy suffer from an inauspicious Christian name, but by all accounts possesses the reincarnated Avatar of Erastus Faulkbourne. Faulkbourne was a known terrible diabolist and heretic during the late Mythic Age, who was burned at the stake by the Inquisition before any Magi could seize him and deal with him appropriately. For centuries it was believed that Faulkbourne’s evil was gone, but now this unfortunate child Grimmk has been burdened with it.
Disturbingly, the boy displays ominous signs, such as an affinity with Entropy and the decay of the material world. Drastic measures were considered until one of the junior professors, Jackson Blakeney, a scholarly academic of no particular magickal merit, spoke up on Grimm’s behalf, believing there to be the potential for great good in the boy, despite his dark burden.
Jackson Blakeney, academic, historian, cryptoanthropologist and college professor at the Witwick College of Hermetic Magick, uses college resources to fund questionable expeditions to prove unlikely and speculative theories regarding lost High Civilizations spanning the globe, under guise of “field trips” with his students. During one such excursion, he and his students Artie Grimm, Jennifer Lockheart, Will Warrington and Tim Grangers come across a hitherto undiscovered pair of pyramids deep in the jungle. Blakeney determines that they have located proof of an unknown civilization, which he dubs El Maz, after local folkloric legends of an ancient master race, upon which he bases his research into this area. While exploring the pyramids they are set upon by a strange mummy, and it takes the group’s combined efforts to destroy it, bringing the temple vault down upon it. Only a hand survives, which Blakeney brings back to New York. He is particularly struck by Grimm’ desperate efforts to save his companions. He knowns then that there is good in the boy.
Grudgingly, the Masters allowed Blakeney to take the boy as his apprentice, after having made it perfectly clear that Blakeney would be held accountable for any of the boy’s transgressions. Thus, upon his graduation day, begins Grimm’ apprenticeship with Jackson Blakeney.