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The Crystal Circle

The Crystal Circle was a small collective of six Mages who wielded the power of the Elemental Crystals. Anyone in their employ or being trained by these so-called Guardian Mages were also considered part of the overall Circle "family", though only the six aforementioned Mages were actually in the official Circle.
This, along with many articles are still Works-in-Progress, so details may be tweaked and added over time.

Their Role Within Qal'ath

The Crystal Circle based at the Crystal Tower (which was not, for the avoidance of confusion, made of crystal) worked from the geographical centre of the Realm of Qal'ath.
They were tasked with watching the borders from afar, for threats unseen or to act as a warning mechanism of natural forces the Qalathii would soon need to content with.   They also served as advisors to the current ruler, along with The Four, with it often being debated as to which of those organisations was more important.   You can find out more about this topic on the Guardian Mage article.  

Formation of the Crystal Circle at Avigna 553AFD

The Guardian Mages of the Crystal Circle before the events of Avigna 553AFD were (individual pages linked here may not be active, nor populated, yet):
  1. Claris: Crystal of Light
  2. Frehghan: Crystal of Flame
  3. Hera'llyn: Crystal of Air
  4. Jakarrn: Crystal of Sky
  5. Polarnis: Crystal of Water
  6. Ty'qan: Crystal of Erdé
For more about the Crystals, see The Elemental Crystals.

Training Other Apprentices

In ages past the Crystal Circle trained many Sorcerer Apprentices, often putting citizens of the Realm through initial stages to bring to light if they had the aptitude, also known as Myst Sensitivity. The forbidding Crystal Circle Tower often put people off coming forward of their own accord, even those with knowledge and a sensitivity to enchanted Artifacts.  

An Order Depleted

In current times, however, authorised Mages were few in number. This was largely due to Carnael II's decision to limit the Circle's influence, choosing instead to "keep them busy" with mundane (or "ridiculous" as others said out of earshot) tasks. Carnael II had also decided that a new era of "reason and logic" meant that "magic and trickery" would eventually hold no place in the minds of those in Qal'ath.  

Training at 553 AFD

However, that did not mean training did not happen. However, there were no official Apprentices (or even Potentials) at 553 AFD. The reasons for this varied from Mage-to-Mage, as follows:
  • Claris: Guardian of the Crystal of Light had been searching for one worthy of bearing it. None yet found, she did not want to take on an apprentice merely for the sake of having one.
  • Hera'llyn and Ty'qan considered each other genuine sisters. Even though the word “Sister” was used for any female member of the Circle, theirs was a much closer bond. Thus they built each other up and performed most of their duties side by side.
  • Polarnis is highly distractable. Keeper of the Crystal of Water, he had been conducting research across most of the central Realm. But he could often be found at, or near, the Well, using it as a gauge of how the Element was faring more widely. His “studies” and “wanderings” gave him no thought of a successor. He would have likely made a poor teacher due to a general lack of focus when operating on his own.
  • Jakarrn had been busy doing what the officials in Bezélan were unwilling to do - repairing ties with allies long broken. This especially related to the Woodsmen. She effectively (in all senses of the word) served as an unofficial diplomat between nations.
  • Frehghan was the anomaly. While he did not have an official apprentice, he had been purposefully leaving certain books, or parchments out, knowing Farynna would have to either read them or tidy them away. He had to maintain some distance between Master and Servant, but was very fond of the Kyadd, wanting her to grow in the gift he knew she had. While he suffered being called “Master” by Farynna, he did not exert control over her, reasoning that free creatures develop into what they should, rather than what their masters may desire. Farynna just accepted Frehghan was a messy but kind master, never suspecting his true intentions.

Structure

It must be stressed here that the Crystal Circle had no leader of their own. Decisions were taken collectively, and any consequences of their actions were borne collectively too. If you were to ask who was head of the Circle, you would likely have "the King of Qal'ath" as a response. Though in practice, that was a legal status, rather than a day-to-day reality.

Public Agenda

The work of the Guardian Mages was altruistic by nature. They undertook tasks for the betterment or protection of the Realm of Qal'ath. Sometimes this meant going against the King's commands and at other times, backing them. In all things they were only to act to benefit others.

Assets

All the Guardian Mages owned few items of monetary worth. The Elemental Crystals were beyond valuation and even the lesser crystals that formed parts of circlets, branches, brands and the like, could only be given a value if they were stolen to be sold in secret.   The greatest "Asset" was the knowledge accumulated and stored in the Crystal Circle Tower. The incantations, research and potion recipes were not solely related to the Elemental Crystals. As such, if they were to fall into the wrong hands, anyone with Myst aptitude may attempt many of the spells contained in the tower's library.   While two members of the Crystal Circle had servants (the Kyadii Farynna and Klor'asq were those servants), they were not deemed monetary assets by them.

History

More to follow on this... In past Civil Wars, unofficial Sorcerers would emerge to defend their allies, before either being slain or retreating once more into obscurity. And in past United Wars, the relatively small number of Mystyrii (a title only given to official Mages) had been a source of increased casualty rates among enemy Warriors - and occasionally into all-out defeats and deaths of Kings and Queens. Despite this obvious impact on the Military’s effectiveness, past Crystal Circles remained untrusting of new Potentials and thus remained small in number. The reasons the current (553AFD) Circle was so small has already been outlined above.
Discover More:

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Still To Do

( to do, priority, done, started
  Brief Overview
Brief History
Why there were no apprentices (See gDoc)
Put something in each of the Mage's Pages
Servants Whys and Wherefores
Check against gDoc version

Type
Guild, Mages
Alternative Names
Circle Mages, The Circle
Parent Organization
Official Languages
Related Ranks & Titles
Controlled Territories
Neighboring Nations

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Cover image: by F J Brodie
Character flag image: Crystal Circle Emblem by F J Brodie

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