The Sage: Beryth Character in TAHARJIN'S FLAME | World Anvil
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The Sage: Beryth

The seeds of the most widespread and popular magical Tradition that survives are planted with the sorceror, Beryth. An Elementalist, Beryth's work deals strictly with the The Four Forces (Fire, Air, Water, Earth) and is philosophically Physicalist – the belief that nothing aside from matter exists. Beryth grew up during preliterate times but directly on the cusp of alphabetic innovation. He dismayed the idea of writing things down because up until then, the secrets of magic had been passed down orally. He feared that writing things down could only weaken the mind of the sorceror (no longer would they have to commit their material to memory), and also enable one's work to fall into undeserving and potentially dangerous hands. Luckily for historians everywhere, The Twenty Disciples which signed up for the first school for arcane study ever, which he opened -The Loraeus– recorded much of what he taught, as well as more casual Dialogues between the Master and his students.  
by Midjourney
Above: Beryth teaches the Twenty and their apprentices at Eol Ghala.
  Few of Beryth's personal details are known. He appears to have hailed from a small town, typically referred to as Dasha, although extant manuscripts hold different names for it. While Beryth's timeline clearly predates that of the The Kingdom of Khyr, it is not known by how long, since the variations of the name of his hometown indicate multiple potential countries of origin for him: Dasha, for instance, was situated within the Duchy of Svelchiric, in the Sovereign Realm of Maldor, only 200 years before Khyr emerged within the same territorial expanse; however, Dashoren, one variant town name, was located in the Talburneen Dominion, a full 370 years earlier and 100 miles further north. Beyond this, the Master's legendary humility would seem to indicate equally humble origins, and in the Dialogues, Beryth makes mention of a family farm, although he speaks little in general of himself in surviving texts. His twin foci remained the practice of magic, and ethical codes of conduct to which the wizard must devote herself.   Although he never mentions the name of his own Master, it is held as a matter of tradition that Beryth learned from Ruha himself. He certainly emphasized Fire among the Four Forces - very much a Ruhic move – and, though he makes no mention of Taharjin by name, 'The Dragon' is a common symbol in the Master's discussions.   Community is a major theme of Beryth's work, and his founding of the Loraeus was done fully in the open at a time where Mages were terribly persecuted. The gesture was not brashly intended as a challenge to these politics, but rather to invite discussion and friendly debate in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Ultimately this proved to stem from a grace absent on the other side: Beryth's foes came to call for his death, on the accusation that he dared to produce “dangerous citizens” through his form of education. Beryth taught that Mages should live in harmony with the laws of the land, and his commitment to abide by this truth was finally exemplified in his willing sacrifice to the state. Mirroring the subject of his life's work, his death sentence was carried out through torture by each of the four elements, a burning stake lastly. His sacrifice is regarded with enduring reverence by those in modern times who hold to mainstream traditions.  
by Midjourney
Above: Beryth awaits trial.
  No wizard before or since is said to have had such equal command over each of the Four Forces, as it is far more typical for a Mage to lean towards one or another in their Gift. Beryth contended that mastering the Forces was the straightest path to understanding the Universe and the principles of creation, and that this one should do with great humility in the service of one's fellow beings. He spelled out the relationship of all the Elements to each other and is credited as the first to formalize 'Levels' of spells, as well as spell techniques. Correspondingly, he also laid out the proper order one should learn certain information in, which in the record of his Disciples lays the foundation for later models of Apprenticeship.   Beryth's emphasis on a new model of education had contemporary Mage critics accusing him of publicizing their secrets, and he had virtually as many enemies of arcane stripe as in the world at large. Up until Beryth, it was common for Masters to bind Apprentices through a Blood Oath, to prevent students from betraying them (the time before this practice originated is said to be a dark one, where Masters were routinely slain after their usefulness was outlived). Beryth denounced this practice as unduly manipulative, and held that trust was essential to the growth of both teacher and pupil. But while his arguments for expanded freedom were certainly radical, Beryth remained a highly cautious type, and advocated for a symbolic cant which would be impenetrable by those without the right training and oversight. He also outlined a rigorous set of expectations for Masters to impose upon their students, to ensure that virtue, and not intelligence nor any other quality, be cultivated above all. The pupil, according to Beryth, remains the responsibility of the teacher for the course of her natural lifetime. It was a very unpopular notion to begin with, because traditionally, the student was wholly indebted to the Master. Those that trace their roots to the Loraeic Tradition continue to honour Beryth's view, vetting their Apprentices carefully so as to ensure the best quality of relationship.   For more information, read The Berythian Tradition.
Original crest of the Berythian Tradition


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