The Crystal Mages are an order committed to good works and the advancement of magic. They existed prior to the Dark Wave and continue to experiment and increase in knowledge after the catastrophe. At various times religious and agnostic, the basic principles of magic and the power man can wield have continued to be their focus.
Before Risen Edit
One of their own (whose identity is unknown) was responsible for the Dark Wave and the release of most titans into the world. Most likely, this was done without the knowledge or approval of the rest of the order, as the risk would probably have been judged beforehand as too dangerous. It is possible that even the other crystal mages could not have realized just how devastating the release of such power would be to the world.
Risen EditOne faction of the crystal mages located on the island of Faranga called themselves The Order of the Holy Flame, taking its name from the Holy Flame, the source of all magical power on the island. They specialised in Staff combat and both rune and crystal magic.
Originally, they were led by Master Ignatius and lived peacefully with the other inhabitants of the island. However, with the arrival of the Inquisition, Inquisitor Mendoza took control of them, just as he also did of Harbour City, the Monastery, and various villages. Members of the order once were volunteers only, as evidenced by novices on a farm not far from the Monastery. After with the Inquisition's takeover, any caught by Inquisition soldiers known as Warriors of the Order are recruited by force, including some "bandits", hunters, etc.
Risen 3 Edit
By the time of Risen 3, the crystal mages have established themselves on the island of Taranis. They have had a falling out with the Inquisition, although they are generally not in direct conflict. (Commandant Sebastiano's hunting of Horas was due to the Commandant's insanity and not to faction-wide opposition.)
Unless running a specific errand, the mages generally stay inside, protected by the ranks of the guardians, warriors who have been trained to include crystal magic in their fighting. These have training in the same way Warriors of the Order did in the first game, with a primary difference being that they are of the same faction, rather than allies. In fact, the guardians are subservient, with their generals answering directly to the mages.
Joining the Faction Edit
To become a mage you must first complete all of the Habour Town missions by siding with the Order and helping the mage Belschwur with the quest Medicine for Everyone. The mage will give you his recommendation, and Commandant Carlos will write a letter for you after you have completed all of the quests in support of the Order. When you then go to the Monastery, you will have the option of choosing to train as a mage, rather than as a Warrior of the Order.
Mages fight with staves and magic. When joining the Monastery as a novice, players are given training in fighting with a staff. While Warriors of the Order also are trained in using crystal magic, only mages can use rune magic as well. Limitations on skill points make learning Staff, Rune Magic, and Crystal Magic difficult. Since a mage's true power comes from the magic he wields, it may therefore be beneficial to only train staff fighting to level 3 or 4 to allow for more points to be used in training both types of magic.
Risen 3 Edit
Just as in the first game, the crystal mages can be joined after completing certain quests for them, proving your value to their faction. Unlike in Risen, though, you cannot become a "pure" mage; you can only become a guardian. That said, you can wield the full power of crystal magic through the use of elemental hands, magical gloves given after certain quests. These allow you not only to cast any crystal magic spell, but they also give you a magical mêlée attack, elementally based on whichever glove you currently wear.