The founding of the Order of the Silver Fern. In the earliest days of the year 81, High General Knight Victoria Raynsford approached Queen Abbigale Robbins to request the chartering of an order that could provide magical support for the White Lotus’ operations. At first, Queen Abbigale was hesitant; although she agreed that it made sense to assign mages to help the knights in battle, particularly powerful mages could—and often did, at that time—pose a very specific and dangerous kind of threat to society. After several long discussions with Raynsford, however, she finally granted her permission to create a “trial” organization of mages.
At the queen’s command, criers throughout Braelin carried the announcement to the furthest corners of the country: The Crown was seeking talented, respectable mages to serve and support its interests as part of the new Order of the Silver Fern. Interested persons were to report to Esos in order to participate in a weeklong tournament taking place from the 10th through the 17th of Springrise. (This, of course, is where the Carnival of Magic originated.) The victor of the competition would be appointed to the position of High General Mage, while the individuals taking second and third place would become Brigadier General Mages. After this point, Queen Abbigale decreed, it would be up to these three mages to prove that the investment of time and money had been worthwhile.
Records from that time indicate that a grand total of 479 mages flooded into Esos in order to participate. After seven days of fierce competition—including melees, tests of knowledge, strategy games, sample battles both with and without non-mages, and tests of magical endurance, among other contests—three winners were crowned: Desmond Neilson in first place, closely followed by Lita Saunders and Alyssa Grey.
Over the course of the next two decades, these three worked together and with the aid of the White Lotus to establish laws against illegal casting, to bring dangerous magical practitioners to justice, and to contain unstable magical experiments. They did their job well and faithfully; and it became increasingly clearer to everyone that the Order of the Silver Fern had become essential to the continuation of Braelin’s growth and security. As a symbol of the Silver Fern’s success and to commemorate the issuing of the order’s permanent charter, Queen Abbigale ordered the construction of Glasscourt in western Stemma, declaring that henceforth it would serve as the headquarters of the Silver Fern. At the same time, Brigadier General Mages Grey and Saunders were given leave to recruit five additional mages into the organization as Brigadier Mages; Halvard Fane of Blacknall, Sancia Caxton of Stemma, Shayne Spicer of Stemma, Eva Corby of Hawksworth, and Frances Quintin of Southlight. In turn, those five recruited still other mages, who became known in common parlance as “royal mages.”