Re: magic item. Prior to becoming a Mysterious Wanderertm, he was a member of the Dragon Kingdom military, of sufficient rank to have a standard issue 'badge of station.' After a non-disclosed incident, he decided to become a deserter. Either from the kingdoms, and jumping on a ship of some kind to the Steam Kingdoms figuring it'd be the best place to hide out, or he might've jumped ship during the last assault on the Steam Kingdoms, either way works.
I was thinking Class Enhancement: Channeler and either Spell Point Bonus or Accuracy Bonus. Greater, since I can afford it, unless you think it'll be too much.