Sage is the God of Green and Growing Things and is one of the original Twelve members of the Pantheon. He's peaceful and passive at heart but, once provoked, is a vengeful force of nature. The Green Man is a patient, humble, and level-headed soul, having to endure the hotheaded and temperamental natures of the Lightgiver and the Stormbringer since the beginning of creation, but even he has his limits.
It it his preference to avoid conflict rather than confront it, unless it's a matter he can't ignore. Until that point, he'll use other methods of expressing his displeasure, typically in the form of creating a new variant of plant life with malicious properties. He is an honest God, however, valuing truth, prosperity, generosity, and honor above all else. It is this mindset that has led him to mingle among humans, taking on various roles as required throughout the past 2000 years, such as but not limited to: farmer, herbalist/healer, priest, mercenary, and knight.
Early Life Edit
As the gods declared their domains before the Source, the god who would later be known as Sage chose the role of the Green Man. He aimed to fill the world with beautiful wonders, viewing Ga'leah as an empty canvas and himself the painter. One with the land itself, Sage took great pride in the connection he had with the earth and every sprig of plant life that had emerged from its soils. His pride has always been more focused on the development of his creations for what they became, as opposed to claiming glory for giving them life.
Very few of his original creations had any properties beyond aesthetics and endurance against the elements. Once the sturdier plant life had taken root, then the Green Man focused more on the intricacies of their properties, adapting and adjusting them to the needs of the living beings they supported. His first forest was at the base of the Hyadies on the Calladahn side and would later be called Stonehedge.
It was this desire to nurture the young land of Ga'leah that made Sage conceive of the idea of Seasons. He had yet to decide how to implement the changes of the land but when the Forebearer brought Jack Frost into their timeline from the future, Sage knew what to do. The Source used Jack Frost as a template for the Fae, creating the Elementals first before Sage followed suit with creating three additional Fae Spring, Summer, and Autumn to serve as his Seasons. It was then that Jack Frost was gifted with the Spirit of Winter, upon request from the Forebearer.
The Elementals became his to train and mentor, with assistance from other members of the Pantheon whose domains more closely coincided with the different elements. Gaia, the daughter of Earth, shared the love of the land with him, and it did not take long for that love to encompass what they felt for one another. Their affection for one another was kept subtle as they did not wish to draw attention to themselves or their union, but the delight they brought one another was difficult to keep hidden. One need only witness the meadows that stayed in bloom all year to presume the two had met in that spot recently.
While the Seasons had set personalities from their creation that set them apart from one another, endearing them to their individual spirits, they and their powers remained a part of the Green Man himself. He aided and nurtured them like the saplings he tended to prior to their creation, answering their questions and providing guidance as they asked. Once they were strong and independent enough to assert themselves as the Seasons he envisioned them to be, he took a step back to allow them the freedom to do as they pleased, such as he would with any forest he raised. To further aid in curbing the Fae from mistreating his domain, he created the Treants as mentors of natural and elemental magic.
His attentions turned back to the land itself. He embraced the art of collaboration and sought to foster positive relationships with his siblings however he could. Some of these relationships grew physical, but it was all in the nature of how they expressed their love and affection for one another. One such engagement with the Matchmaker and the Death Dealer led to the conception of Raukus. Although he was born of the Goddess of War, he took after the Green Man in temperament and declared the domain of celebration and revelry as his own, finding it a nice balance between his parents' domains. It was he who created alcohol with his father's fruits for his mother's armies.
The Seasons Edit
Occasionally, his attentions turned back to the Seasons, as necessary. It wasn't until well after the first 1000 years of their existence that he began to become disappointed with each of them for their poor choices, but he embraced the fact that they were choices, even if these choices caused him to turn from them.
The first Season to cause him to turn his back was Summer for she seduced and then bore him the daughter Nemesis. Frustrated that their union had only been for his seed, he turned from Summer from then on out, but not before agreeing that the child would have his protection from the Forebearer. It was not in his nature to fault the child for the mother's actions, and he did not wish to see harm fall to an innocent soul of unfortunate parentage. In exchange for his protection, he ruled that Nemesis' diet must consist solely of the crops and fruits that were of his creation. Only in this way could he protect her from the God of Time.
The second Season to cause him to turn his back was Autumn for his wily ways and fascination with the Hunt, primarily when it came to hunting demigods alongside the Forebearer. Autumn spoke in tongues and riddles, both of which caused the Green Man much grief and headache. As Sage grew more attached to the daughter he was forbidden to see except through the flowers he made for her, his resentment towards Autumn grew.
The third Season to cause him to turn his back was Winter for his reckless and unruly nature. What he initially deemed as playful and harmless, he later came to see as unfortunate and devious. Wherever Winter went, he made a mess of things and remained an ever-constant thorn in the Green Man's side. Anytime he pulled back to let Winter sort out his own troubles, he found himself pulled in until he finally decided he had had enough of his troubles.
The final Season to cause him to turn his back was Spring for she did what should have been impossible for the Fae and created three full Fae out of blooming flowers. Had Sage been there for their creation or had she called to him to show him, perhaps he would have seen the beauty in it. But finding out about them on his own accord during a visit to one of his favorite daughters shocked and disturbed him. With the tensions between Gods and Fae rising on the brink of rebellion, Sage became afraid for his daughter, that another god might see her innocent act of creation as an act of defiance so he took the girls from her and bound their memories. He still carries her tears and pleadings to him to not separate her from her daughters with him to this very day, but he does not regret his choice to bring them to the Moon Maiden.
Gaia learned she was pregnant with his child just before Sage learned of the girls Spring had created, which may have contributed in his rash decision to relocate the girls from their mother for their safety. The event inadvertently took eyes off Gaia, and Sage was careful to keep from spending too much time around the young demigod they named Willow, even as it pained him to keep his distance.
The Great War Edit
The Green Man failed to consider the nature of the Fae rivaled the Gods' more than anyone could have expected, with how complex their thoughts and relationships were compared to other life he had nurtured. While he had not trained or expected the Elementals or Seasons to be his servants, he had not treated them with the respect they felt they deserved. To him, they were children. Petulant children at times but still his children and so his love for them blinded him to the Seasons' misdeeds and participation in turning the rest of the Fae against the Pantheon.
His denial regarding their involvement led him to avoid getting involved or confronting them, not wishing to face the truth they were responsible. His growing anger from repressed hurt and betrayal ended up channeling elsewhere, leading to rather violent episodes that were uncharacteristic of the Green Man as he attempted to right the balance of nature. His anger was not entirely misdirected, focusing on the Fae causing the most trouble and destruction, such as Cerberus. In the aftermath of Cerberus, the Destroyer convinced Sage to help her create a guardian so this needless brutality might not occur against innocent lives again. Their collaboration created Lamia and, thus, the Naga.
From then on, he joined the Great War in greater force to ensure needless bloodshed did not occur, and he was pleased to see the Elementals do the same, even if they were on the opposite side. Although the War pitted their sides against one another, Sage and Gaia retained their love for one another through the trees Gaia planted. Sage breathed life into them whenever he found her trees, thus creating Dryads.
Once the war had concluded, he was tasked with hunting down the Elementals and Seasons to strip their powers and reduce them to power levels of the average Fae. Although he had avoided them for so long, he felt partially responsible for the war and thus responsible for doling out their punishments. Plus, it prevented the more bloodthirsty members of the Pantheon from hunting them down and dealing out their own version of punishment. Of the Elementals, he was only able to claim one: Etain of Water. Of the Seasons, he claimed Spring, Summer, and Autumn. With each Fae he caught, he grew more hurt and hardened by the personal betrayal and the loss of potential. This was not what he had envisioned for his Seasons when he created them; they had far exceeded all expectations he had for them and it was a bittersweet pride he felt. But it was loss and guilt he felt harder for not having been a better mentor, a better father-figure.
After the Fae were banished to Allutheria, and Ga'leah began preparations for the arrival of the first humans, a new forest was created by the Source. The Yarrow, as it would be known, was meant to be a memorial to the Fae. The care of it was given to the Green Man to reassure him that the war, despite whom its instigators were, was not his fault or his blame to shoulder.
The Green Man paid little attention to humans as he was still reeling over the betrayal of the the Seasons. The phrase "Nature isn't cruel; it just doesn't care" would have fit him very well in this early period. He continued to create other green things, but his disgruntled mindset caused him to create harsher landscapes such as the Forgotten Swamp until he eventually settled back into his passive nature by having the Yarrow to distract him. The Matchmaker also had a hand in allowing him to express the betrayal and guilt he had so he could better move on. He entrusted his human priests and priestesses with the powers he had taken from Spring, Summer, and Autumn to guide the seasons once they had proven themselves and pledged their loyalty to them. The powers of these Seasons were too much for humans to handle, however, so Sage modified their bodies, thus creating Nymphs.
With or without Spirits of seasons, the seasons themselves still existed since he had trained his brothers well to actually follow the guidelines of the calendar year. Mostly. Sometimes mishaps happened, but Sage remained unperturbed unless a blatant disregard for the progression of the year itself was at hand. His green creations would suffer the brunt of sudden and prolonged deviations of weather after all.
There were still two Fae who continued to evade him even after the banishment of the rest: Gaia and Winter. Winter remained elusive, but Sage eventually stopped looking for him. Sage always had an idea of where Gaia and Willow were, but he purposefully never pursued them until he caught wind that the Lightgiver had found them in the far reaches of Solhara. The moment he felt her fear through the land, he was there, placing himself between them as he prepared to fight his brother for the right to allow Gaia and Willow to stay in Ga'leah. The fight never occurred as Gaia took it upon herself to turn her and Willow both into Willow trees as a sign of surrender.
Gaia and Willow Edit
The Lightgiver refused to believe Gaia's dedication to her word so Sage compromised with binding Gaia's life and magic into the land around them, giving some of his magic as well to create an Oasis around her. She was free to move about in the Oasis itself but if she tried to leave it, then the land would drain her essence, and she'd become fully one with the Oasis. The Lightgiver was not completely sated, but the show of dedication between the two and the realization of who Willow was to Sage made him realize he had acted out of jealousy. Thus, he fled before more damage could be wrought or they could see his guilt. Sage knew his brother better than anyone, however, and pursued him until he caught a broken version of him who relayed the story of an unrequited love interest he then inadvertently tortured with a curse. Sage found it difficult to fault him for his actions against Gaia, but he let it be so long as the Lightgiver never sought her out again or allowed anyone else to try and harm her.
Out of favor to Gaia and to the Yarrow he was tasked with maintaining, Sage took the daughters of Gaia, the dryads for he named them after her, under his wing and taught them about the life of the land, the nature of the Yarrow, and whatever else they could benefit from his guidance. He was their guardian, their storyteller, their protector, whatever they needed him to be until they had taken root in the Deepwood. He stayed out of the formation of their practices, not wishing to pressure them into seeing him as their God, merely as a guardian they could turn to in times of need. As the dryads took human lovers and produced Druids, Sage retained a presence in their lives as well.
Visits to Gaia's Oasis were few and far between over the first couple hundred years after the War for Sage did not want to draw unwanted attention to her after what had happened with the Lightgiver. The moment he felt her fear through the land, however, he went to her once more. It did not take long for him to determine what was the matter as he saw his daughter's tree had disappeared and saw her dead body on the other side of the Oasis. Not since the punishment of Cerberus had Sage felt such rage as he demanded to know what had happened and who had done that to their little girl. Gaia was in tears as she claimed she hadn't seen them, only that Willow had left while she was sleeping, and Gaia had woken to hearing Willow talk to someone before crossing the threshold. The Green Man sought the one who had 'dragged' his daughter across the barrier, but he never found him. Once more, he found himself in the Forgotten Swamp, adding more dangerous and toxic plant life as well as a garden of poison as he came to terms with the gentle daughter he had lost.
Once more, he was dragged from his solitude by the Matchmaker and began to distract himself with humanity.He started walking among them to test them directly but didn't present himself as the Green Man, merely as a common farmer or herbalist. Among these visitations to his followers, he learned of the troubles of the Powhatan tribe. Due to their reverence for him as their God and the nagging guilt he had for stranding Gaia alone in the desert, he led the Powhatans to the Oasis. The talking tree was introduced as his conduit, giving her the name of Willow, so that even when he was not presently there, they would have a source of wisdom to turn to for guidance.
Eventually, he decided to check in on the Spirit of Winter, having previously ignored the pull he felt to his Season. What he found was not what he had expected. Instead of Jack Frost, there was Elsa.
When he didn't appear as a farmer or a herbalist to other humans, he appeared as a mercenary or a knight. He enjoyed picking up the sword again and wearing his goddess-blessed armor from his sister the Death Dealer. It started as a hobby, and he didn't often remain among humans for too long at a time. For his knightly deeds, he eventually came to be known as the Green Knight for the green armor that he wore. However, 'The Green Knight' remained elusive for many years until after the fall of Caelum and appearance of the Blight caused him to appear more often.
Fall of Caelum Edit
Sage had generally avoided being on Caelum for he preferred being able to roam Ga'leah at his leisure. The loss of power and diminished connection with green things, as well as the news of so many lost deities, caused him much grief but gave him renewed purpose to spend time among the humans. He pressed onward though and traveled more often as the Green Knight than as the Green Man in order to collect information and help humanity from the ground.
During the Ocean Blight, spiders made their way to the Oasis when Sage had been there to visit Gaia and check on the Powhatans, but Sage fought them off alongside the Powhatans and the High King and Queen of Caerleon.
Although news of the Huntress' and the Coming Tide's deaths weighed on him, he still maintained hope of finding other deities. His spirits were lifted when he found the Starmaker amidst a forest that had yet to be affected by the Blight. The talk of god deaths and the era of the gods being at the end also weighed heavily on him, but not as heavily as it did on the Soul Reaper.
Amidst a fight alongside the Death Dealer against Blighted creatures, Sage received a summons from Allutheria by a voice he never expected to hear call his name. Since the fight was greatly in favor of the Death Dealer alone, Sage had no problem leaving the rest of the fight to her and answering the call made by his daughter Nemesis. Having his daughter embrace him for the first time in their lives was a feeling unlike which he could describe. Unfortunately, their reunion had to end sometime, and he traveled back to Ga'leah, ending up at an inn where the Death Dealer found him once more before inquiring where he had disappeared to. With the events fresh on his mind and his tongue unable to twist a lie, he revealed his daughter's existence to the Death Dealer.
While in Caerleon, he witnessed the High Queen strike the Forebearer, a feat few would dare and even fewer would survive past. Seeing his father cowed, Sage had renewed sense of confidence that he had backed the right human. It was during this trip to Caerleon that he learned of the King's return and revealed his identity as the Green Man to him. He sought an audience with the Queen a day later, commending her for her strength and inquiring what she knew of the Queen of Xehacora, whom he had seen manipulate Blight from Yarrow trees.
After the death of the Huntress, Sage's attention had turned away from the Yarrow to ignore the presence of the Lycans, but his attention was caught when he learned the Moon Maiden had taken residence among them. Concerned about her priestesses' well-being--for before they had been hers, they had been his for a short amount of time--he visited the temple. Then, he visited the Moon Maiden to inquire why she had left them alone before agreeing with her that the chances of the temple being attacked were slim. He offered to station a guardian there, just in case, unaware that Lamia had already been given a task by the Destroyer. There, he learned the Moon Maiden was pregnant, with the Lightgiver's child. She also told him about the existence of a knight in Caerleon with a prosperous future, should he accept it. When he visited Lamia to inquire why she was in Thrine, he learned of her mission and sought to station a Treant at the temple the next day, but his efforts came too late.
Flora was killed at the Moon Maiden temple, but the Moon Maiden bartered with the Soul Reaper for her soul before giving the soul to Sage for him to replant in the Yarrow. Seeing a chance to make amends with his lost long Spring, he sought her out so she could be present for the rebirth of her daughter. Once this feat had been conducted, he placed the protection of the flower bud with a Druid. Later, a god gathering occurred at another temple for an impromptu council about the Blight.
The Yarrow continued to keep his attention with the various plant-based entities becoming alive with Blight. Sage challenged a dendroll before putting it out of its misery, unaware he had an audience in the Huntsman.
On the third day of the Yarrow Arc, Sage was present for a Necator attack on Caerleon where he held the giant worm in the air with his god-magic to allow the mortals a better chance of killing the it. A few hours later, the Horseman of Conquest attacked.