An Empire was brought low by the vile astrologer Magnus Magisterius, but that was only the beginning of his evil.
The power of the runes comes with a price, one the apprentice Tamford wasn’t ready to pay
An alchemist enchanted his equipment to produce even more powerful alchemical compounds, potions and the like. Unfortunately, it is not well-known that he had different sets of equipment for different processes: If the wrong set of gear is used, the result will invariably fail to function. It's not a cursed item, just something that's hard to figure out.