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Guardian Mage

The term Guardian Mage was used exclusively for those members of The Crystal Circle who had influence over one of the six Elemental Crystals.   They were so called, because their primary duty was to guard their Crystal, with their life if it came to that. Once a Guardian knew their time had come, the Crystal would pass, ideally, to an apprentice. If there was no apprentice, then the remaining members of the Circle would set to and find one worthy to become a Guardian. The only exception was the Ormàkai, the Crystal of Light, which had to be guarded by the remaining Mages until it signalled a worthy Mage was in the vicinity.   Each Guardian Mage could only hold one Elemental Crystal. That is not to say that they could not use incantations relating to the other Elements, but that was not their primary role or strength.   ^ Sections

Foyiitùn Terms

  "Guardian Mage" is the Common Tongue term for members of the Crystal Circle. However, originally there were two interchangeable Foyiitùn titles: (note)  
  • Sénakyl(ii): from Sénaqai (meaning "Elemental Crystal") and kyl meaning "Shield".
    Prononounced: say-na-keel(-ee)

  • Myskyl(ii): from myst (meaning "sorcery" or "Elemental Sensitivity" - see Myst Sensitivity) and kyl meaning "Shield".
    Prononounced: mee-skeel(-ee)
"Guardian Mage" therefore stems from the second of these two translations, which was already the most frequent term used.  

Singular Forms

As Guardian Mage is both a title and a noun, it takes the following forms:
  • Myskyl: a Guardian Mage with no revealed gender, or where it is unknown, or simply desired by the Mage themselves.
  • Myskylà: a female Guardian Mage
  • Myskylé: a male Guardian Mage
  • Myskylii: Guardian Mages
  ^ Sections

Duties

Maintaining Natural Balance

The primary role of each Guardian Mage was to maintain the natural balance of the Elements from the perspective of their Elemental Crystal. If a forest fire took hold, the Guardian of the Crystal of Fire (along with other Guardian Mages) would work to halt it. If drought appeared a threat, the combination of the Crystal of Water (to bring rain) and the Crystal of Air (to transport it) would endeavour to prevent it.   Guardian Mages never fully controlled an Element. They simply influenced it - sometimes strongly, at other times subtly. In all things they were to be selfless, taking seriously the responsibility of guarding the Crystal for the benefit of nature and all the peoples within it.  

Advising the King

While much of their work they could do independently, without royal consent, nevertheless the King needed to be informed on-and-off as to the Crystal Circle's activities. Sometimes this was to ensure the King took appropriate actions such as troop assignment, sending a scout or an envoy and the like. Oftentimes it was simply to remind the King of the Realm of the work they were doing and (most critically) that it was in the Realm's best interests that they acted. While it could be argued that their funding was reason enough to report regularly, the Circle's requirements on the Treasury were not all that great.  

Liaising with The Four

Further to their direct contact with the King of Qal'ath, the Guardian Mages also liased with The Four, which were advisors in all four of the non-mystical "pillars" of Qalathian society. Oftentimes, it was more expedient to meet with One of more of The Four, than the King himself - and almost always more effective.   ^ Sections

Responsibilities

Policy Influence

Being sensitive, as a collective, to all Elements, The Crystal Circle saw the "bigger picture" of the goings on in the Realm of Qal'ath. This allowed them to advise the rulers of the Realm as to policies or actions they needed to take to better the conditions of its citizens.  

Border Vigilance

With the invention of The Lens, the "Guardian" part of the title became more literal: watching the borders of Qal'ath for threats to the nation's security. Couple this with their learning and sensitivities, the Guardian Mages were usually the first to report potential threats to the King.   ^ Sections
Article Sections
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Key Information
Type
Magical, Professional
Status
Technically the title still exists, but in practice they're just referred to as "one of the Crystal Circle" or simply by name.
Alternative Naming
Crystal Mage, Sénakyl(ii), Myskyl(ii)
Length of Term
From Inheritance (or Bestowal) until Death (or Bestowal)
Reports directly to
Related Locations
Related Organizations

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Cover image: by F J Brodie

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