Hestia Bygate

A.k.a Mad Magus Hestia, Hestia of Yamato, Mt. Tarkaal's Witch, Destroyer of Estverde


Hestia Bygate was a historically influential magus of fire, who was raised in the Bonfire Shrine near what would later become Lumina Aka. She had an impressive career as a court magus of the Yamato Kingdom before falling out of favor for incinerating a large city called “Estverde”. After that incident, she became a dark chapter in the history books of Aqualon and is to this day better known as "the Mad Magus Hestia" or sometimes "the Witch of Mt. Tarkaal".
Hestia Bygate was born in the Byren Domain located around and to the north of Mount Tarkaal as the daughter of Lauren and Reginald Bygate, a shrine maiden and priest of the Bonfire Shrine respectively, in 21 AA (Age of Awakening). The family name Bygate originated, just as the same-named village Bygate, from the Angel Gate that was erected in Littlewood in the 4th century AID (Age of the Iron Divide) after the Angel Saxons traded the secrets of fire magic for the placement of these gates around the areas ruled by the men of Mt. Tarkaal.
Shown on the map section is Mt. Tarkaal and Littlewood below the Vastroad. Bygate and the Angel Gate are both marked there, and a small path connects to the Vastroad from Bygate, allowing for travel and trade with Lord Byren's castle and its hamlet Lichterland, which would later become Lumina Aka, one of the capitals of the Middle Lands.
Initially expected to follow in her parents footsteps, she slowly grew alienated from the mages of the Bonfire Shrine, and finally, after her banishment from the order, decided to take her education and unparalleled talent for fire magic elsewhere, traveling the Middle Lands and, after several years, arriving at the Yamato Kingdom, where she offered an impressive map of the Middle Lands she had created as part of an surveyor group that had climbed Mt. Tarkaal for this purpose. After a brief run-in with the bureaucracy of the kingdom, she managed to convince the right people of her immeasurable value to Yamato, and the emperor himself furnished her with gifts and an initial position as assistant to the royal cartographer.

- Hestia's journey from the Bonfire Shrine to Yamaseki (marked by the red line)

Her skill and power as a magus was quickly recognized, and it took only two campaigns to the North for her to be instated as a special advisor on fire magic, ultimately gaining control of a special platoon of fire mages she handpicked and trained, called the Ryûga Order. After several decades with the Yamato Kingdom, she had amassed wealth, lands, and favors and had a key consultant position with the highest military brass, being herself a special general in charge of her magus platoon. She waged many bloody campaigns against the Nordmen and established several posts meant to defend against possible Middlish aggression, ultimately gaining governorship of the outer eastern provinces bordering the lands of Estverde, the largest city in the east of the Great Land that didn't belong to the Yamato Kingdom.
In the 100s of the Age of Awakening, tensions with Estverde began to rise due to a number of trade embargoes and arguments over landownership largely based on Yamato expansion policy. Hestia, now in charge of the provinces most affected and in danger, decided to push for a preemptive annexing of Estverde, promising the beginning of a great empire to the Emperor and his generals, who were all too eager to employ her and her deadly mages as well as commit large contingents to an all out assault on the Estverdians.
All of this culminated in one of history's greatest tragedies when the Estverdians disposed of the first and second infantry division of the Yamato Kingdom at the beginning of the battle and then made the mistake of provoking Hestia during the negotiations that followed the ensuing siege. The words that general Sun Ieyasu used to describe what happened next have been engraved at a monument erected in front of the black blight that scars the Untamed Meadows to this day:
When the representative had spoken, I knew it would be bad. General Hestia had often displayed her tendency for bold action in the face of ridicule. She was one who took the respect she deserved indiscriminately. But I would have never guessed what happened next.

The death of her fellow men had affected her more than I thought, and in one instant she gave way to the evil Yasha inside of her, letting it eat her soul! Her hair turned paper white, her eyes gleaming blue, and the all-consuming rage I thought she would turn against the representative, she turned against the city instead. A strange crackling popped through the air and pillar of flame as high as the clouds and as wide as the city walls rose in front of us with a boom and a roar. The city of Estverde, wood and stone and people, all reduced to ash in an instant. And the flame would burn still for many days to come.

At that moment, a few people there cried, a few people laughed, the representative collapsed in terror, and I could not help but remember a line from the Gokenja Scripture; the book of Inyô.

In it the sage Inyô crosses paths with a hooded figure and strikes up a conversation when the two share a fire for the night. He boasts to the stranger that he has retrieved the legendary blade Aalandra and conquered it despite its eternal allegiance to the Lord of Water and no one else, claiming he would use its power to travel the newly discovered ocean beyond the Iron Belt. The figure says it was unwise to bend the sword against its will, for it had a soul, just as any man. The sage asks who he is to call him, the great sage Inyô, unwise, and the hooded figure reveals his face that is many and none, glowing with a peaceful and beautiful light, and it speaks:
"Now I am Sanatana, creator of man and all that is good, and I say to you: No soul should be bent or broken, save by its own will!" And suddenly the light changes, and he becomes terrifying to behold. "If you do not heed me, this is the face you shall behold before your end, for now I am Rakvali, destroyer of worlds."

I heard that line over and over as I saw the emotions of the people around me, and I felt that we all thought ourselves Rakvali in that moment, for one reason or another, for we had unleashed Hestia onto the world, allowing her to bend our souls to her command.
— General Sun Ieyasu recounting what he had witnessed at Estverde to the Emperor's court, 108 AA.
After this, the political backlash against the Yamato Kingdom was severe. The place where Estverde once had stood had been turned into a blemish on the land and on the mind of the people, for it forever marked the spot where over twenty thousand people had been incinerated by the folly of magic. Many mages of the Middle Lands and Hestia's former platoon went into seclusion at the Eastern Walls of Weltenend, pilgrimaging past the place where Estverde had stood. They would later become the Brotherhood of the Null, enforcing the Null Concord in 156 AA.
Hestia herself was taken back to the Kingdom with a severe case of final stage spellblight but still not stricken with nullsickness, meaning she remained dangerous. With the stigma of spellblight in the Yamato Kingdom, she was now thought of as a yasha and only her high station and distinguished record had kept general Sun from executing her himself on the spot.
The sentence that was passed onto her was death, and she was to be executed at the former premises of Estverde to appease the souls of those that had been lost there. This was meant to appease the outrage of the neighboring nations that had arisen from the excessive use of magic against another sovereign nation as an aggressor. Executing Hestia was a cheap cop-out for the Emperor: for one, she had defied his orders and leveled Estverde instead of annexing it, making it easy for him to distance the kingdom from her actions, on the other hand she was now a yasha, meaning she was worth less than the lowest human, a blemished existence that should be eradicated.
One day before she was to be moved, she burned the tower where she was being held to the ground and escaped.
She was found one year later by the Lord of Fire Horvath Innsrai, who located her on the blighted spot where Estverde had stood and where her execution should have been carried out.
Horvath had been tasked with finding and eliminating Hestia after a meeting of the margraves of the Middle Lands, supported by the Yamato emperor, who wished for the resolution of the situation. He found her blackened in the ashes, sitting on a mound, carving a little statue of Inyô. Hundreds of such statues stood behind her, all carved from wood she must had foraged from the surrounding lands.
  "I have heard much about you, Hestia Bygate," he had said then, carefully measuring her with his eyes. Indeed before him seemed to crouch a broken woman, dressed in blackened garbs that had once been made of fine silks.
She looked up. "You killed my pet flame," she noted with an empty, emotionless voice.
"The 'Shôri no Reibi' was it? I am afraid there is no more fire here that will listen to you, no matter how loudly you call for it, Hestia."
"Rude," she noted casually and kept carving, her eyes transfixed on the tiny statue.
"So you know who I am? I ask because I would not want you to die at the hand of some unknown stranger."
"Oh, yap yap yap! Go on then, before I do it myself out of boredom. But before I go, here is a piece of advice from one weapon to another: My time has come, and so will yours. Our end is decided when we become too powerful for the hand that wields us."
"Just so," he said and then burned her, her ashes gently floating down to meet the rest.

A Legacy of Null

While the Yamato Kingdom was more annoyed by the loss of valuable asset, the reaction in the Middle Lands to the whole Estverde incident was far more severe. Having developed sophisticated war magic and already employing it here and there, the populous grew concerned with the looming threat of mass-annihilation at a whim. The use of war magic was increasingly regulated in the following years, a policy furthered by the Five Keepers and the margraves of the Middle Lands, using trade politics and diplomacy to make their neighbors compliant. This was easier than one might think, since the Middle Lands themselves had the highest sophistication of magic, and was were affecting themselves the most, making it more attractive to their neighboring nations to follow suit.

In that time several mages of high station left their homes and went on a pilgrimage to Estverde, meeting there in a loose congregation. They moved to the Eastern Walls of Weltenend and began carving out a secluded home for themselves to live and study in. Less than fifty years after Hestia's death, they returned to the Great Land, clad in black and with a new power and vision for the world: The Brotherhood of the Null.
The Brotherhood of the Null
Organization | Dec 26, 2018

"What Comes to Be Will Come to Naught." - A black wave washes over the land and all magic ends. (5033 Words)

  Born form the horror of Estverde, they had learned to suppress and nullify all magic within reach, becoming guardians of the Great Land, ever ready to step in. Using their power and knowledge, accumulated by the influential initial members, they quickly leveraged their way into the courts of the most influential Nations of Aqualon at the time: The Middle Lands, the Yamato Kingdom, the sovereign city of Altonar and the United Ocean Belt Technocracy. Only the Old Gods and Angel Saxons were too difficult to reach and influence.

After much campaigning, they got the leadership of these great nations to join the negotiating table, and an international contract was hammered out, making them commit to halt and discourage the proliferation of high-tier destructive magic, as well as technologies designed to destroy indiscriminately; basically the creation and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was banned. Additional clauses gave the Null diplomat status, allowing them to travel the world freely, overseeing the nations as neutral advisors. The so-called 'balance of repercussions', meaning one nation breaking the Null Concord (as was the name of this contract) would immediately force the others to retaliate, lead to a successful suppression of dangerous magic and technology - to a degree - that was instrumental in keeping the planet from blowing up during the following age, which was called the Great War at the time. And thereafter, a more and more stable peace and prosperity was built on top of the Null Concord, ultimately making Hestia's contribution to the world a positive one, though no historian would ever praise her for this.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Having spent the entire first half of her life traveling and training, Hestia was at peak physical condition and a terrifying enemy to face in combat when she reached the Yamato Kingdom. While training and commanding the Ryûga Order, she often joined the practice to serve as an example and stay in peak physical condition to serve as a field general.

Body Features

Hestia was said to have been incredibly healthy, not getting sick once in her entire life. Her skin was fair and tended to freckle in the summer as can be discerned from different ukiyo-e paintings from the Yamato Kingdom, showing her with and without freckles.

Facial Features

While having a relatively small nose for a westerner, it was still slightly above average in the Yamato Kingdom, and some documents of the daily lives at Court show that people liked to touch it for good luck, though she suffered the practice less readily in her 50s and 60s at the height of her career, then caring less in her 70s. Her hair was reported to be long, golden, and luxurious for a westerner and she was known to often braid it like a Kaltani. She has a keyhole in the left one of her jade-green eyes and never dissuaded the belief of the Yamato folk that it was due to her having defeated and eaten a powerful Yasha to gain its strength.

Identifying Characteristics

The combination of her iris keyhole, braided, golden hair, and traditional Yamato clothing made her easily identifiable in her prime, and more than anything, there was always a little, bright blue flame dancing over her left shoulder. When riding into battle on her bayô, she was also well known to carry a great flamberge on her back, a spoil of war from the treasury of the emperor she had shown a liking for, later receiving it as a gift during a great ceremony.

Physical quirks

Many historians and people of her time believed Hestia to be left-handed because she flashily lifted her left hand before performing great feats of fire magic, but in fact she did so to keep her right hand free to draw and wield a weapon if needed. She also pretended to be left-handed at court as well as she could because being left-handed was the more usual thing in the Yamato Kingdom and right-handedness was seen as uncouth. She was also well known for laughing brightly when seeing great plumes of flame, regardless of who or what produced them, and her laugh become feared by her enemies.

Special abilities

Other than her staggering talent for fire magic and her extensive training in the same, she also attained basic military training during her time in the Yamato Kingdom. On an expedition to the North, she defeated a small Gallian tribe, holed up in a remote, slightly fortified village, recovering a small number of old Gallian treasures, including three Angel Saxon artifacts later to be known as the Three Treasures of Yamato.

One of these she was allowed to keep for herself: the Shôri no Reibi 勝利の霊火 ("Ghost Fire of Conquest"), a tiny, actually eternal flame that danced about the shoulder of the treasure's wielder. Known to few, the actual treasure was a silver bracelet that had to be worn. The Shôri no Reibi eternally produced the tiny blue flame dancing above her left shoulder, which she liked to expand into great plumes of flame using her magic. When walking the Court, she quelled the flame though, thinking it would be disrespectful to present one's weapon here, no matter the kind.

Apparel & Accessories

During her time in the Yamato Kingdom, she was most commonly depicted as wearing common, purple Yamato garbs when walking on the streets or training the troops. But whenever she was at Court, she would don expensive indigo silks, gifted to her by the emperor.

Mental characteristics


Hestia never took a mate during her life, but some historical sources suggest that she might have been attracted to women. This, however, could have been an attempt at discrediting gossip. One entry of the Kyûteishô 宮廷囁 ("Whispers at the Court") reads as follows:
Though long of marrying age, the lady Hestia has refused many offers to marry into influential clans of the Court. Why, Taira and Tenshin themselves offered high ranking heirs to be her husband, all rejected. Such an honor has never before been bestowed upon an outsider, but not to this one's surprise, for the Lady holds great magic in her palm and commands the loyalty of the imperial mages of fire, a good get to say the least. But why refuse entering one of the great ruling houses, I wonder? It is said that she is always surrounded by chamber maids and prefers the company of her female disciples. Why, when accompanying her male colleagues and betters, she has often preferred to do so to Rakubara, reportedly enjoying the entertainment 'no less than her fellows'. This one is left to wonder if a simple explanation may not fit all this strange behavior, but indeed conjecture is the sport of the uncouth.
— Hôgen Ryûtarô, 79 AA


In the Bonfire Shrine at Mt. Tarkaal, she received an extensive basic education, learning reading and writing, arithmetic, and the Scrolls of the Fire Priests. She also learned the history of the Keepers of Fire and the history of the Middle Lands, trade and barter with outside forces, and the politics of the surrounding lands.

When she was 15 years old, she was instructed in the ways of fire magic, and due to her unprecedented talent was the youngest shrine maiden to ever be appointed to the Fire Watchers, tasked to travel the Middle Lands and quell fires in villages and ever growing cities that were at prime risk for such catastrophes.

While visiting Lord Timothy Byren of Mt. Tarkaal, ruler of the domain that would later make up the heart lands of Lumina Aka, she spent some time with his son Frederick Byren and his daughter Clâvia Byren, learning about surveying from them, a passion of their father they shared. Together they decided to plan an expedition to Mt. Tarkaal in the future, and Hestia furthered her education by reading scrolls and books on the subject matter at the Bonfire Shrine.

After her flight from the lands of Lord Byren towards the east, she visited many towns of the Middle Lands, working day labor or as a tutor if she could get a position as such to pay for her expenses, often trying to absorb the local culture.

In the Yamato Kingdom she took to reading again, and with her position she now had access to all the writings available in the Kingdom, including the famous Yamato philosophers of the time, much contributing to her education in philosophy, statesmanship, and the art of war.

Accomplishments & Achievements

A pioneer since childhood, Hestia was the youngest member of the Fire Watchers and the first person to climb Mt. Tarkaal. There wasn't anything of value on top of the mountain, but she took a group of surveyors with her, and together they created one of the most impressive maps of the Middle Lands at the time. Before this information could be delivered to Lord Byren, master of the lands around the Charwoods and the men of Mt. Tarkaal, Hestia stole them and ran away with the map, departing on a long journey through the Middle Lands, finally presenting it as a gift to the emperor of the Yamato Kingdom.

After being granted citizenship and a position as a consultant by imperial decree, she was also employed as a military consultant and later general, creating the Ryûga Order, a platoon of elite fire mages meant to elevate the Yamato Kingdom's military capabilities as a response to rising military magic might in the Middle Lands.

Failures & Embarrassments

Unable to cope with the esoteric and restrictive life style of a shrine maiden, Hestia failed to conform with several of the rules of the Bonfire Shrine where the Eternal Flame, bestowed upon the men of Mt. Tarkaal during the Age of the Iron Divide, was maintained and was ultimately banished from the order, much to the disappointment of her parents, who both were high-ranking members. Her banishment was in large parts due to her unhealthy obsession with fire itself, which she deemed not dangerous in the least, just misunderstood, until she caused a large forest fire in the Charwoods. There are even some historians that claim that it was this fire that gave the woods their name, rather than the charcoal burners that had started establishing a business there after the Eternal Flame was lit and the art of fire magic taught to the men of Mt. Tarkaal. Undeterred, she kept on practicing her magic but felt limited by disapproving betters, prompting her to seek out the Yamato Kingdom after a long and arduous journey.

While living there, a number of public embarrassments on her account have been recorded in Yamato history, most of them related to her lack of understanding for the rich and complicated customs and traditions of the Yamato people, getting used to which took her well over a decade.

In the end, no failure or embarrassment could have ever outshone her most infamous act: The brutal incineration of the great City of Estverde, which destroyed her status and reputation and ultimately lead to her death one year later.

Mental Trauma

No trauma ever shook Hestia as much as the disapproval of her parents and her peers during her childhood at the Bonfire Shrine. Her unquellable enthusiasm for fire in all its forms could not be tempered by the wisdoms of her fellow priests and shrine maidens, who cautioned her about the dangers of uncontrolled fires.

As preventing fires from spreading in villages was one of the chief occupations of shrine maidens of the Bonfire Shrine, she often had to travel the Middle Lands, keeping people save from fires breaking out. But among the ranks of the Fire Watchers she grew more and more restless, passionately arguing for letting fires run their course; a position that was met with shock and horror. It was said that something snapped in her when she was banished from the shrine, and she would do all in her power to prove the supremacy and beauty of fire to her peers thereafter.

Intellectual Characteristics

Hestia was reported to be highly inquisitive and bright as a child, prone to exploration and discovery. Doubtless her ascent of Mt. Tarkaal is owed to this particular characteristic. Her creative mind and talent for spatial thinking have always made magic come easy to her, and under the guidance of the Bonfire Shrine, she quickly attained a high level of mastery in fire magic, displaying terrifying skill and soul power.

Her mind for tactics and military matters was also praised by her peers in the Yamato Kingdom at a later age, and for this reason the position afforded to her there included not just teaching the principles of fire magic but also applying them in combat and in war.

Morality & Philosophy

While retaining many of the esoteric and ethical teachings afforded to her as a child at the Bonfire Shrine, she never fully assimilated the peaceful, reclusive mindset that was intended to her by her betters.

In her mind, finding new horizons in the real world, spiritually and philosophically, and pushing the limits of the possible always took precedent over most things.

While doing many good deeds in her early life and later within the Yamato Kingdom, many seemed to be motivated by some sort of lofty, but ultimately hollow ideal or just by political or other gain. It always seemed more important to her to please others with her deeds than to actually be a morally superior person, and her unfortunate fascination with fire and destruction often further hindered her in that regard.

Personality Characteristics

Virtues & Personality perks

After a decade with the Yamato folk, Hestia had become so used to faking her left-handedness that she had become more or less ambidextrous. Her keen intellect and proactive nature propelled her successful career for her entire time with the Yamato Kingdom.

Vices & Personality flaws

Hestia was very set in her views, generally resisting people trying to change her mind. She also tended to get angry quickly when not taken seriously or faced with adversity. It was her unfortunate temper that ultimately led to her downfall.


Social Aptitude

Hestia was said to be an extremely charismatic leader, capturing the hearts of her peers with her openly expressed joy for life and passion. Her love for fire in all its form, however, was often off-putting, and only her bright, positive attitude, which in her 40s and upward became tempered with experience and self-control, kept her peers from becoming too alarmed by it.

Hobbies & Pets

According to Court records, Hestia was an avid Age of Heroes (Deck of Cards) and Mahôgi player and could best even the male generals of the Court, earning their respect.


Though living with the Yamato folk for many decades, she reportedly never fully overcame her western accent.


Hinamoto Kanna


Towards Hestia



Clan Founder

Towards Hinamoto Kanna



Hestia Bygate was the founder of the Jô'oo clan and she arranged the founding of the Hinamoto dynasty through one of the sisters of Yayoi Kennosuke. Though not personally acquainted due to living in different periods, Hestia was directly responsible for the founding of Hinamoto Kanna's family line.

Wealth & Financial state

While entering the Yamato Kingdom with very few possessions and coins to her name, the map she delivered to the emperor as a gift was so well received that she quickly acquired status and, in the tradition of the monarchy's inner workings, received lavish gifts during the course of her service, including a large residence, servants, and later even lands and a province to rule over.
- A restyled painting of Hestia based on ancient portraits by Yanosh Purati 1372 GE

The Crest of Bygate, created and employed by Hestia during her service to the emperor of the Yamato Kingdom. Though many felt the symbol was problematic due to the flame overlaid on the imperial fortress looking as though the hallowed hall was burning, the emperor himself approved it, and so it was drawn on many banners and stamps were created for it.   In 72 AA, it became the crest of Hestia's clan, the Jô'oo Clan (Jô'oo meaning "by the gate").
The Jô'oo Clan
Organization | Feb 10, 2019

The Jô'oo Clan is one of the Clans of Yamato. It exists since its founding in the Age of Awakening by the notorious Hestia Bygate, destroyer of Estverde. And both feared and respected, the clan has carved out an impresive name all of its own. ~ 3018 Word

The Bonfire Shrine, surrounded by small shrine villages, in one of which Hestia grew up.
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Shrine Maiden of the Bonfire Shrine (31 AA - 52 AA)
Magus of the Fire Watch (36 AA - 52 AA)
Tutor of Lord Hildebrandt (53 AA)
Consultant of the Imperial Cartographer (58 AA - 59 AA)
Special Advisor on the Art of Magic (58 AA - 108 AA)
General of the Ryûga Order (63 AA - 108 AA)
Special Advisor to the Imperial Military Council (65 AA - 108 AA)
Daikan (Governor) of the Easternmost Provinces (72 AA - 108 AA)
5721 ARe 5809 ARe 88 years old
The Bonfire Shrine by Mount Tarkaal
Jade-green with a keyhole in the left eye.
Bright golden
Quotes & Catchphrases
I am not going to live my life as a prison guard for a great flame such as this! You do not approve of my passion? Well, I do not approve of your lack thereof!
— Hestia Bygate to the Disciplinary Council of the Bonfire Shrine, 48 AA (age 27)
I claim this mountain for Lord Byren and mark the Middle Lands for his taking! Just kidding.
— Hestia Bygate to Frederick Byren on top of Mt. Tarkaal, 52 AA (age 31)
If you think you are too far south to fear the Nordmen, you are an idiot. It took me one look into your town's records and I already know they raided you thrice in the past.
— Hestia Bygate to the Karl Hildebrandt, son of Lord Hildebrandt of Lake Rahn, 54 AA (age 33)
How did I, a woman, draw this map? I didn't. Three colleague surveyors and a historian joined me on my expedition, thus the map has been a joint effort of us all. But if you feel my gender makes me weak or stupid, you should know three things: One, I got here all the way from the other side of the Middle Lands never selling my body once, only my skill as a teacher; two, the aforementioned expedition would not have happened without me calling for and organizing it start to finish; three, it would take me all of five seconds to burn this entire tower to ashes.
— Hestia Bygate to the governor of Shinmon as he inspects her gift to the emperor, 58 AA (age 37)
You feel uneasy serving a woman general, I understand. So in front of all of you I am saying: He who steps forward and kills me now, prepared to die himself, may have my title and the home given to me by his highness the Emperor by imperial decree.
— Hestia Bygate before she incinerated the former captain of the seventh division, 63 AA (age 42)
The time for words has passed. Now there will be fire.
— Hestia Bygate before the march on Estverde, 108 AA (age 87)
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations
The Shôri no Reibi 勝利の霊火 ("Ghost Fire of Conquest") is one of the Three Treasures of Yamato that were recovered by general Hestia Bygate in 68 AA (Age of Awakening). It is a tiny, actually eternal flame that dances about the shoulder of the treasure's wielder and can be manipulated easily using soul power and fire magic. It was one of the most recognizable features of Hestia, who was gifted the treasure back by the emperor after presenting it to him.
— From "A History of the Ages - Vol. 4, The Age of Awakening"

- A female bayô, much like the one Hestia rode into battle (sans the mount armor).

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Age of the Iron Divide

5000 ARe 5700 ARe

At the end of the First Age, the Seventeen Yonder Islands had been settled and the Iron Belt put a firm geographical divide between them and the Great Land. The pursuers of magic and science were still on good terms, both referring to themselves and each other as scholars, and the Manifesto of Technocracy had not been written yet. The Men of Midgard had settled what would become the Middle Lands, the Saltplains, and the Yamato Kingdom, and some of them set out to settle the Wilderplains, founding the city of Estwerde. The Nordmen were regularly rallied by the Old Gods to raid the Great Land. It was towards the end of this age and the beginning of the next that the mages began to accrue considerable power, leading to ever greater wars, further instigated by the Old Gods that were always hungry for conflict.

Age of Awakening

5700 ARe 5900 ARe

During this age, the mages began to realize the scope of their power, and they helped the populus of the Middle Lands to construct fortified positions that would slowly grow into the five cities of Aquaris, Lumina Aka, Fulgrath, Arda, and Aerialis. They did so to resist the regular raids of the Nordmen and to create a bulwark between the North and the Saltplains, which had always been extremely fertile and were largely responsible for the wealth in the center of the Great Land. The Yamato Kingdom also attempted to create a more militarized force of mages, even though their location atop the Yamato Mountain Range was significantly safer from the Nordmen than the Middle Lands; still, they feared the rising power of the Middle Lands as well. During these attempts they employed the mad magus Hestia (at the time still a respected master of fire magic) to train and lead their forces. She held this position until the anexxing of Estverde, which was planned by the Yamato Kingdom but went horribly wrong, and the lands of Aqualon held their breath in terror for a year or two after the city had gone up in flames. In that time, the technocrats arrived from the Seventeen Yonder Islands, having completed their manifesto, trying to spread the benefits of science, and having scholars in positions of power rather than nobles or city councils. They found a land still in shock and turned to accuse the mages of reckless abuse of power, and for a time, political power shifted away from the mages of the Middle Lands and towards the technocrats, who founded the great city of Altonar in the west. While the people of the Great Land had believed that the Nordmen had stayed off their relentless raids for the same reason the mages had stopped hostilities, this proved to be wrong, for the Old Gods had made plans to take over the Great Land, arming the Nordmen with powerful magic weapons, forged by their most beloved servants, the Angel Saxons. This invasion, accompanied by the rise of the Brotherhood of the Null, which had quietly arrisen out of the figurative ashes of Estverde, ultimately lead to what is now called the Age of Heroes.

  • 21 AA

    Hestia Bygate is Born
    Life, Birth

    Though her birth is uneventful, high expectations are already placed on Hestia when she comes into the world since her parents are both high-ranking members of the Mages of the Bonfire Shrine.

    More reading
    Additional timelines
  • 31 AA

    Hestia Joins the Mages of the Bonfire Shrine
    Life, Education

    At the age of 10, Hestia Bygate is anointed a shrine maiden of the Bonfire Shrine, expected to follow in the footsteps of her parents. This marks the beginning of her magic education.

    More reading
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  • 36 AA

    Hestia Becomes the Youngest Member of the Fire Watchers
    Life, Career

    At the age of 15, Hestia Bygate is the youngest person to ever be titled a Magus of the Fire Watchers, a sub-order of the Mages of the Bonfire Shrine. As such, she begins to travel the Middle Lands, working to handle fires before they can cause serious damage.

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  • 52 AA


    Expedition to Mt. Tarkaal

    Together with Frederick Byren, two surveyors, and a historian, Hestia mounts an expedition to climb Mount Tarkaal and survey the Middle Lands in order to create the most accurate map of the land of that time.

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  • 52 AA


    Hestia is Banished from the Bonfire Shrine
    Life, Failure / Mishap

    After causing a major fire in the Charwoods that gets out of control, the elders of the Mages of the Bonfire Shrine can no longer ignore her destructive tendencies that go against doctrine. She has her title revoked and is forbidden from ever coming near the Bonfire Shrine again.

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  • 53 AA

    56 AA

    Hestia Becomes a Tutor to the Hildebrandt Household
    Life, Organisation Association

    Traveling to Lake Rahn following her banishment, Hestia joins the household of Lord Hildebrandt, master of the Lake Rahn domain. Here she spends most of her time tutoring the children of the household, sometimes counseling the Lord on decisions.


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  • 58 AA

    Hestia Joins the Yamato Court
    Life, Organisation Association

    After delivering her famous map of the Middle Lands to the Emperor of the Yamato Kingdom, Hestia is afforded citizenship in the Yamato Kingdom and appointed Consultant of the Imperial Cartographer. Later that year she also receives the newly created title Special Advisor on the Art of Magic and begins teaching the fire magic she has learned at the Bonfire Shrine to Yamato mages.

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  • 63 AA

    The Ryûga Order is Founded

    In the Yamato Kingdom, the art of war magic is being perfected largely thanks to Hestia Bygate, who has been employed by the Emperor as a special advisor for military magical education. On her behest a special platoon of mage warriors is founded by imperial decree, and she is declared general of this new force trained by her.

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  • 65 AA

    Hestia's Influence Grows
    Life, Milestone

    Though already a special general, Hestia was initially still kept out of war councils. After several successful campaigns with her new Ryûga Order, the Emperor grants her the new title Special Advisor to the Imperial Military Council, allowing her to join all military council meetings and participate as a full member.

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  • 72 AA

    Hestia is Appointed Daikan of the Easternmost Provinces of the Yamato Kingdom
    Life, Career

    In recognition of her years of service and contributions to the state, Hestia Bygate is appointed Daikan (governor) of the Easternmost Provinces of the Yamato Kingdom. These border on the lands of Estverde.

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  • 100 AA

    107 AA

    Tensions Between the Yamato Kingdom and Estverde Rise
    Political event

    Estverde is growing uncomfortable with Yamamoto expansion policies and tries to fortify its borders, claiming that the Yamato Kingdom is encroaching on their territory. The negotiations and threats are met especially harshly by Hestia Bygate, Daikan of the Easternmost Provinces.

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  • 108 AA

    2 /6
    108 AA

    4 /6

    Estverde is Burned to Ashes
    Disaster / Destruction

    On the second day of the six month 108 AA, Hestia Bygate, the Ryûga Order, and several army divisions of the Yamato Kingdom arrive at the walls of Estverde, trying to annex the great city. The first and second infantry divisions are mowed down by archers and tar pits dug around the city. After the siege has been set up on the third day of the six month, a representative of the city arrives in the encampment to find out the terms of the Yamato Kindom on the fourth day of the six month. He mocks Hestia to the peril of his people, and the general, still shaken by the loss of two divisions and enraged by the representatives, uses all the magical power she can bring to bear to engulf the city in a great pillar of flame, carbonizing every man, woman, child, stick, and stone. This day will forever change the world's stance on war magic and may have, ironically, prevented the end of civilization during the Age of Heroes.

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  • 108 AA

    12 /7

    Hestia Escapes
    Life, Crime

    After her Spellblight-stricken body is carried back to the Yamato Kingdom, Hestia Bygate is accused of defying imperial orders by destroying Estverde instead of annexing it, and in light of the massive loss of life, she is sentenced to death despite her extensive contributions to the kingdom. However, when she is supposed to be carried back to Estverde to be executed there, she burns the tower she has been imprisoned in down and flees.

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  • 109 AA

    The Death of the Mad Magus Hestia
    Life, Death

    Hestia Bygate is executed by the Lord of Fire Horvath Innsrai in the ruins of Estverde, but the aftermath of her most infamous deed will have consequences reaching far beyond her death.

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  • 155 AA

    2 /1
    156 AA

    24 /3

    The Null Concord
    Political event

    Near the end of the Age of Awakening, just after announcing themselves to the world, the Brotherhood of the Null forced the nations of the Great Land to the negotiation table, hammering out that any wars involving large scale magic must be waged on the Untamed Meadows on the ruins of Estverde, creating a 'balance of repercussions' that woud force all other signing nations to act immediately against offenders who broke the concord. The Null Concord additionally severely limits or forbids the development and deployment of high tier desctructive magic and technologocal weapons of mass destruction, counteracting a potential arms race between mages and technocrats to break out and a second Estverde to occur.


Please Login in order to comment!
15 Mar, 2018 06:06

This was such an enjoyable read! I feel like I have a complete understanding of her motives, personality, and choices that she has made. The details tying her involvement in your world were extremely well woven throughout this whole article. My favorite part of this article is the way you described her mental characteristics in paragraph form that explained more in-depth the series of events that occurred in Hestia's life.

15 Mar, 2018 10:26

Wow, thank you! It is always nice to get a more detailed feedback on articles, so I am very greatful you took the time to write so much ^-^ While I was writing the era entries for my world, I came up with the idea of the Mad Magus Hestia, using fire magic to incinerate a major city of the Great Land. She was supposed to be a catalyst for the founding of the Null and the regulation of war magic, so I had a fairly good idea of where I wanted to go with the article. Since the article interested you, is there a part of it you would like to read another article on? A person, location, item, or such?

19 Mar, 2018 04:56

I think I would want to know more about the Bonfire Shrine. :)

19 Mar, 2018 11:47

Ahh, an interesting choice for the first Mage Academy to go into with more detail. Until I have written that article, there is already a short description in my Mage Academies article: https://worldanvil.com/w/aqualon-IsaNite/a/mage-academies-article

16 Mar, 2018 17:34

Wow, what a meaty article. Though Hestia's execution is the last thing to occur? Did she leave any lasting legacy on the populace, or were her ashes the last thing she left behind.

Check out my worldbuilding in the Ethnis Universe!
17 Mar, 2018 11:01

Hm, perhaps I should copy the entire entry for the Age of Awakening into the timeline after all. Her burning of Estverde lead to the formation of the Brotherhood of the Null and subsequently to the Null Concord that limited the proliferation of magic and weapons of mass destruction just in time to prevent their widespread applicatoin during the Great War (The Age of Heroes), which could have potentially ended humanity. Her legacy of terror had a comparable effect to the detonation of nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after this everyone knew the reality of abusing magic on too large a scale (not to speak of the technocrats who had their own stuff cooking at the time.)

17 Mar, 2018 11:41

Alright, since you were not the first to ask in this general subject area, I now added an additional segment to the main text called "A Legacy of Null" and also pasted the full era texts into the timeline. This should give a better idea of the consequences of Hestia's actions. Thank you for your feedback!

17 Mar, 2018 05:01

I like the content a lot. I do feel that the font and shadow choices do make things a bit tough on the eyes. Especially that large quote/text by General Ieyaso.

17 Mar, 2018 11:02

Thank you! Could you be more specific? Is the contrast between background and black text not strong enough? Do you mean the link shadows when you say shadow choices?

17 Mar, 2018 12:24

An impressive article! Very enjoyable read and fantastic layout with good use of timeline to give further information on the events. You really clearly conveyed the importance of this character and the impact they had!

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
TJ's Summer Camp 2023 Pledge - including an interactive whiteboard and my plans for a new region in Melior this year!
17 Mar, 2018 12:35

Thanks TJ, I'm glad I managed to do that ^-^ I do love the possibility of attaching timelines and sharing events between different timelines, it really is an amazing way to organize your world and the things and people in it.

17 Mar, 2018 14:29

From a technical standpoint this article is amazing, it really shows off what you can do with World Anvil in terms of formatting and features so thank you for that, as for the content what a thoroughly interesting read, definitely in the spirit of the challenge.

GorgeFodder - Former Forge Father & Former Community Director of World Anvil
17 Mar, 2018 15:18

Thank you for the high praise! Personally I am very happy about the marriage of features, writing crutches, and styling freedoms the WA project provides at the moment, and using it to the fullest is my absolute pleasure. In fact, the way the templates and linking works has made it the vehicle of my story, since I only got into doing the final editing on my Aqualon manuscript after I started out on World Anvil, seeing it as the kick in the pants and the organizing tool I needed to get the job done. If in my zealous crusade to catalogue and expand the world of Aqualon I provide a good example to other world smiths, well that's gravy indeed!

17 Mar, 2018 15:58

The combination of the formatting, the art, and the story really bring out this articles strong points. Well done! I really like this article!

Please check out my article for the Tavern Challenge! The Black Haired Dog!
16 Jul, 2018 14:41

The Timeline for this article is really well done, I also really enjoyed reading about the character.

16 Jul, 2018 15:16

This was a lot of text. I hope you understand that I haven't read it all. And I actually have no critique for what I have read. This is a lot and it is awesome! I will store the link and maybe I will come back here later to read it all.

16 Jul, 2018 15:37

Totally understandable, thanks for being honest and not faking it ^-^ I'm glad you enjoyed what you read so far!

16 Jul, 2018 16:45

Holy *crap* that was a lengthy read, but very good!   Maybe I missed it, but you mentioned she became alienated but don't seem to elaborate on why in that piece. Also, it's a bit confusing that in the time line, the piece where she is banished is after the household tutor piece, where she is mentioned as being banished.   As an aside, it's tricky to know what to say about the discrediting rumor: it does work in the way that it makes her enemies look more like wankers, at least to me.

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
16 Jul, 2018 16:53

Wow, great catch on the timeline, I accidentally dated the beginning of that tutoring career one year too early ^-^   as for her alienation, I try to go more into that in the "Failures" section:

Unable to cope with the esoteric and restrictive life style of a shrine maiden, Hestia failed to conform with several of the rules of the Bonfire Shrine where the Eternal Flame, bestowed upon the men of Mt. Tarkaal during the Age of the Iron Divide, was maintained and was ultimately banished from the order, much to the disappointment of her parents, who both were high-ranking members. Her banishment was in large parts due to her unhealthy obsession with fire itself, which she deemed not dangerous in the least, just misunderstood, until she caused a large forest fire in the Charwoods.
  I also provide some insights in the 3rd issue of the Gates of Aqualon Magazine where I present several entries from her Journal during her time as a member of the Firewatch:
Gates of Aqualon Magazine Issue #3
Generic article | Jun 2, 2018

The third issue of the Gates of Aqualon Magazine! All about Hestia Bygate, tales of the Lord of Wind, assorted Facts, a map, and more.

  Thanks for taking the time to read the article and provide some constructive feedback!   As for the rumor: I wanted to give a little insight into court intrigue in the time period she lived in ^-^ Also I wanted to leave it up to the reader's imagination and preference what her sexual orientation was.

16 Jul, 2018 16:55

More awesome representation in that regard is always good in the fantasy-writing-world. Great article. :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
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