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Sages are sacred artists who have manifested an Icon of Authority and are able access The Way. This rank is a distinction and can be achieved during any stage of the Lord realm but is usually only achieved by peak Archlords. It is also one of the necessary steps to advance to Monarch.
Becoming a Sage requires deep insight, vast reserves of willpower and embodying a concept thoroughly enough to be recognized for it by something greater. Sage rank is usually achieved by those who forge their own Paths.
The Abidan are said to prefer Sages for ascension because they are already able to access the Way.
"To become a Sage, you have to contact a greater power, a symbol of a greater concept of reality. We call that symbol an Icon.” (Wintersteel, ch 7, Min Shuei the Winter Sage, speaking to Yerin)
“In the past, the concept of a Sage was much more. . .fluid. . .than it is today. When manifesting an Icon, it is very important to understand the significance of your madra and to sense it deeply. Equally important is some kind of technique to regularly train your willpower. For years. An exercise that pushes your focus and concentration ever further, and that most people would give up or abandon for easier trails…. . . “Now, the specific Icon you manifest depends not only on the nature of your madra currently, but on a concept that has always been core to your identity. Even in childhood." (Wintersteel, ch 27, Eithan speaking to Lindon)