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 did Harbour Town, the Monastery, and various locations throughout the island. Originally, members were added to the Order on a volunteer basis, after rigorous training, such as the novices on farms not far away. With the takeover of the Inquisition, however, many were "recruited" by force, including citizens of Harbour Town, those wandering the island while not already dedicated to a particular faction, etc.
Risen 3 Edit
By the time of Risen 3, the crystal mages had established themselves on the island of Taranis. They had a falling out with the Inquisition, although they were generally not in direct conflict. (Commandant Sebastiano's hunting of Horas was evidence of the Commandant's insanity, arguably justified, and not faction-wide opposition.)
Upon the island, the Crystal Mages set up a somewhat centralised community, sheltered by three layers of protection: by staying indoors unless running a specific errand, they prevented easy location of any individual; by training many of their order in the arts of martial as well as magical combat they established a Guardian class among their ranks (read further down for more info); and finally, they produced a giant shield over most of the island, preventing the encroachment of Nekroloth or his minions.
Organizational Structure Edit
The Crystal Mage structure is divided into classes, with various rankings within those groups.
Sages are those who seek power and enlightenment through magic only. They may have varied titles from one community to the next (such as "Novice"), but the most advanced are typically referred to as "Masters". They focus on study — both practical and theoretical — to learn about the world around them. A sage is very interested in the application of principles of natural law and how those may be applied, manipulated, and controlled to the benefit of humanity. Generally a sage will specialise in a particular area, such as learning about elemental manipulation or understanding techniques of growth in nature. As far as has been seen, this class also fills the rolls of leadership among their communities, with others assisting or protecting them.
Paladins are members of the Crystal Mages who strive for power by pairing magic with martial skill. As with the sages, paladins are named differently from one community to the next (such as "Warriors of the Order" on Faranga vs. "Guardians" on Taranis). The highest ranking members of this class are generally referred to as "Generals". It is important to note that by the time the Castaway comes upon the Order of the Holy Flame on Faranga, the Inquisition had already taken over operations of the community. As a result, either existing paladins of the Order were conscripted as Inquisition soldiers (eliminating this class from the community), or they were slain when the Inquisition arrived, which could explain the alliance between the two factions on the island.
Servants are those who assist the Crystal Mages without becoming a part of their community directly. For instance, some merchants and farmers in Harbour Town offered help to the Order, whether by desire or fear. In a much less intimidated manner, the gnomes on Taranis entered into a beneficial arrangement with the community there. In every case, unless otherwise influenced by the Inquisition, the servants provided assistance voluntarily and without binding commitments.
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.