Chance Oskew was the only child of the Duke of Oskew’s beloved daughter, and a wealthy merchant prince. As his mother’s family frowned heavily on her marriage, they chose to give their child her surname as an appeasement to the powerful Duke.
At a young age, he showed an unusual gift for the magical arts, and became the youngest mage to earn a patent from the Collegium Arcanum. His family wealth and connections enabled him to remain in Strahd and eventually he became the youngest member of the Collegium to be named Colleague, teaching courses in meta-magic at the Priori school of Ontology as he continued in a series of increasingly dangerous experiments to explore the fundamental underpinnings of the universe.
By 842, Chance had created a special magical laboratory inside a dimensional subspace similar to a bag of holding. With the help of an assistant, he then proceeded in the traditional construction of a bag of holding to create a dimensional subspace from within a dimensional subspace. An explosion destroyed both the subspace laboratory as well as the surrounding facilities of the Collegium. Chance was found amid the wreckage, although his assistant was never located. In her absence, a dimnuative demonic imp was used to transcribe Chance’s subsequent explorations in magic.
As he returned to health, his ability to work magic was found to be significantly impaired, and he was placed on sabbatical from the Collegium. Stubbornly refusing to give up, a year later, Chance discovered a way to access a new sort of magic, manipulating the metaphysical underpinnings of reality to create magical effects of pure energy. By 844 he decided he was ready to begin testing this new methodology in the field while resuming broader avenues of research.