The fine art of making good things even better
First off the Imbuing skill is a racial skill exclusive to the Elven Race and secondly it is a custom skill so it follows the servers lore, and not the UO general lore or function.
The ancient Elves of the world have kept the mystic art of imbuing to themselves, maybe beacuse they like it this way or maybe because it would be a daring endeavor for any other race of teh world. Imbuing works by via magic applying random attunements into items, theese attunements can be skill increases, stats increases or other increases.
However the attunements do not need to be random, they can be controlled and selected via harnessing the power of ancient artifact fragments and holding this power within a new vessel: the Elven body.
The power of a relic fragment is deadly, unless you are of the ancient immortal race Elf.
Once the power is absorbed into your body, you must seek out a Soulforge and stand near it, the soulforge is an ancient and mystic devise created long before man wandered the world, it radiates pure magic and can only be controlled by the Elves. The Soulforge will strengthen the elven magical powers and therefore help bind the Relic power harnessed to an item of the Elf’s choosing, but most importantly it will assure that the Elf walks away unharmed.
Should an elf try to imbue an item while not near a soulforge, then the Elf has a high chance of dying in the attempt or at least loosing the entire manapool.
Once the power of an artifact fragment is absorbed, the Elf can try to imbue an item with the power. The power resides indefinetly within the Elf or until he/she imbues an item or releases the power via the Imbuing menu.
All Artifact Fragments are attuned to different powers, and not all powers fit it all items. Some powers are only fit for clothing, others for armors and some for weapons. Which fits where is up for you to figure out, but the Imbuing menu will indicate if it is a mismatch. If you choose to proceed with a mismatch attunement, then a random attyunement will be used for the item, potentially rendering it undesired.
Once an item is imbued, it cannot be re-imbued, so make sure you get the right Artifact Fragments with the right attunements for the right items.
The higher the Imbuing skill, the better are the chances of succesfully imbuing the item. However if unsuccesfull the item will merely get some durability damage.
No matter if you have a relic fragment attuned or you wish to imbue with random stats/attunements, imbuing always costs some Gold Dust and Crystal Shards (Talk to any miner, they should be happy to sell you some, or grab a pickaxe yourself)