For a present I made my wife some Harry Potter Spell Tokens, which are just little wooden disks with spells from the Harry Potter books on one side and the wand motions (according to the internet) on the other side.
I used round disks from a hobby shop and a wood burning kit to carve the spell name and wand motions. This left a nice dark outline that I foolishly thought would last through the staining process. It did not.
I stained the discs with a Cherry and an Oak stain/varnish combo and..wasn't super excited with the results. The Cherry discs were still OK, but the Oak stain was much too dark and you could no longer appreciate the words or spells.
I decided to adjust the overly dark Oak tokens by painting the indented text and spells gold. I used an acrylic gold paint and lightly painted as close to in the indents as I could. I then wiped off the token, and all the paint not in the grooves was wiped away (though it did leave a metallic gold sheen on the tokens).
For the Cherry tokens, the text was much easier to read after staining, but still not perfect. I used a black acrylic paint to darken the letters and spells for the Cherry tokens, and it turned out nicely. It looks as though the original wood burning is what you see, but it's actually black paint coating the carved letters.
That's it! I put them all in a little black satchel so they are easy to carry around (in case you need to throw one at your enemies, I guess). If you chose to do this project I'd recommend using lighter stains, or really carve the letters deep so you can paint them well afterward.