Tuesday Tales, Part V: High General Mage Kayton Geary

The Order of the Silver Fern was founded many centuries ago, and has since represented the premiere order of magehood in Braelin.  The Order is led by a single mage known as the High General Mage.  In 1208, the previous High General Mage, Richard Geary of Stemma, retired to his family’s estate after forty-one years of dedicated service to the Crown.  In his stead, King Darien Odell appointed Richard’s son, Brigadier General Mage Kayton Geary, to the position of High General Mage.  The following is what is commonly known of his life and lineage.

Kayton Geary was born to Richard and Helen Geary, a well-to-do Stemman couple.  Geary was the younger of two children; his older sister Irene was set to inherit the family manor, which her mother maintained.  This left Geary to forge his own path in the world, and it just so happened that, as a young boy, he showed an incredible knack for magic.  His father, Richard, often boasted that, at eight years of age, his son could cast circles around many of the royal mages he knew.

Geary’s magical studies benefited from the fact that his father was then serving as the High General Mage of the Order of the Silver Fern.  Being exposed to the Order at such a young age continued to foster Geary’s growth as a mage, and by the age of thirteen the boy had been accepted as a royal mage.  Continuing to study and to shame his peers with his outrageously fast progress, Geary had become an obvious candidate for the Order by age fifteen—he was already far ahead of many of his father’s pupils.  Within five years after his promotion to the Order, he was made a Brigadier General Mage, a position he occupied from ages twenty to twenty-three.  Shortly after Kayton’s twenty-third birthday, Richard—a remarkably long-lived mage now approaching his sixty-fifth birthday—retired as the High General Mage.  Upon the announcement of his intent to retire, Richard suggested to King Darien that his son act as his successor.  Darien decided to follow his wise and proven advisor’s counsel and appointed Kayton Geary as the new High General Mage.

Geary has served King Darien for three years now, and has seen his share of battle.  When he was first promoted to his positions, many scholars, advisors, and fellow Brigadier General Mages questioned the young man’s capabilities as a leader—his life had been too comfortable up to this point, these elements argued, making him into nothing more than a sheltered and privileged noble with an unusual flair for magic.  However, one legendary display of magic was enough to silence these malcontents, if not forever, than at least for the time being.

Nine months after accepting the position of High General Mage, Geary was paying a routine visit to the Caxton Wall with a few of his trusted bodyguards when a particularly bloody fight flared up between the local Braelinese forces and an exceptionally large and well-organized army of Serenite raiders.  Seeing many of the foot soldiers falling in battle, Geary ordered that great gate be opened just wide enough to allow him—and him alone—to pass across.  The sentries did as he said, and then proceeded to watch in awe as the High General Mage petrified the entire two-hundred person Serenite force and then struck each of them down simultaneously with a rain of solar blasts.

News of Geary’s remarkable deed spread like wildfire across Braelin, and respect for the new High General Mage tripled practically overnight.  Since that battle, Geary has put on several displays of wide-reaching and impressive magic, but none of these have come even close to matching his performance during the so-called “Battle of the Sun.”

Richard and Helen Geary have retired to a beautiful manor in western Southlight; Irene Geary, now married, still oversees the maintenance of the Geary family manor in Stemma.  While nobody questions Kayton’s power and skill as a mage anymore, his detractors still exist, watching him from the fringes at Court or murmuring about him in the back-rooms of certain Esos taverns.   He was given an unfair advantage, these people say, due to his father’s influence and situation.  Among some of the royal mages, too, there is sometimes a certain sense of jealousy and gentle anger in considering all that he has accomplished.  Yet most people find it very difficult to hate him, for his friendly and relatively casual—some fans say “charming”—demeanor.