Arcana is carefully guarded by the Church. People who learn this without the Church’s express permission are considered heretics, a crime which is punishable by death. Those classes with Arcana can still take it as a skill, but only with the DM’s permission, as it represents access to forbidden knowledge gained with the consent of the Inquisition.
In lieu of Arcana, players can take Sygaldry—the study of runes and their application. The Keepers record and teach the known runes. The University’s Artificers in Wintersholm not only teach the known runes, but apply their power through metallurgy, alchemy, and other practices. A character trained in Sygaldry allows him to recognize runes, understand which combinations of runes lead to which functions, and to discover new runes. Training can either represent formal academic study of runes, or the hands-on application of them through artificing.
Since Arcane rituals and spells are dangerous and forbidden, many magical effects or items are created through artificing and using runes rather than with magical energy. In addition, practical items such as double-thick windows and ever-burning lamps are created through artificing, even though many things are impractical. For example, holding bricks together without mortar using runes is possible, but the balancing of these runes makes doing this very tricky, so it’s just easier to use mortar.
Artificers and their skills are only appreciated in Scardova’s few large cities. Outside of that, many smaller communities regard such folks with suspicion, given that artificing seems very close to magic. In Scardova, artificing is based on Runes, which have their source in the divine (Runes are the True Names of things), so there’s no chance of corruption, but few folks know this.