The Broken Pillar
Towards the end of the Dark Ages, a young Ardenti noble by the name of Ondar Fend discovered by accident that a child’s book passed down by his family was a primer on the very basics of magic. At this time magic was still forbidden in the kingdom, and even the possession of such a book carried a death sentence. As Ondar studied the book in secret, he began to notice magical information hidden in the most common books and stories – all with his primer as the cipher.
Notes: the Fend family should be analagous to the Medici family; they disown Ondar when they discover his obsession with magic, prompting him to found the Order.