To illustrate the point about Mages vs. Sages.

It was a bear. Not just any bear, but an eight foot tall bear that looked quite angry that its territory was disturbed. They all began to back away, slowly. The bear lumbered forward, heading toward Tirk, whose bow was held uselessly at his side. He pulled a short sword from its sheath, but it did little to deter the beast. “Mirrek!” He called, and fell backward.

Mirrek began to charge the bear, but Seth was closer. He made a series of movements, and his body began to emanate white light. He then charged the bear, moving many times his normal speed. He drew a sword and struck the bear again and again, all the while running around it to keep just out of its reach. He moved so quickly that Mirrek could barely track him with his eyes. After a few futile and un-swordsmanlike strokes, Seth finally sliced at the bears neck, and brought the thing down.

Tirk, on the ground, finally had an arrow nocked and drawn by the time the bear was already dead.

“Seth… Remember that spell,” he said breathlessly.

Seth stared at him and his forehead wrinkled, concentrating hard.

“Nope, it’s gone.”


~from Book Three of The Grey Chronicles by Adrian Sud

The Grey Chronicles, Book Three

They continued walking for several hours, and Mirrek wished fervently that his grandfather had thought to give him a map to the nearest town before sending them off. He had given them vague directions, but those directions had turned out to be very vague indeed. So vague, in fact, that the directions completely overlooked the chasm that Mirrek and his friends were now standing on the edge of, which surely had not been there when his grandfather last passed this way. Of course, Grandpa Storm was a wizard, the chasm would pose no problem for him.

Fortunately enough, Mirrek had a wizard friend of his own. “Seth, do you have a spell that’ll help us across this?”

Seth pondered for a moment. “Well,” he said, “I don’t really have spells… You know how an archeologist is different from an inventor?”

Mirrek eyed him, slightly irritated. “A what?”

Seth smirked, then continued. “Well, an archeologist tries to understand how societies work by studying the tools that were used in the past, and recreating them and using them, while an inventor changes how societies work by studying what today’s society needs, and making his own tools.”

“And this has to do with a chasm how?”

“All i’m saying is that your grandfather is a sage, an archeologist. He learns magic that’s already been used, and because he’s a good sage, he knows a lot of magic and can get himself out of a lot of sticky situations. I on the other hand, am a mage. I’m an inventor.”

“So you make stuff up.”

“Essentially, yes.”

“So you can’t help us get across.”

There was a long silence. “Coincidentally… no.”


~from Book Three of The Grey Chronicles by Adrian Sud

In the chronicles, btw, there is no difference in the power of a mage and a sage, only their magic styles. One knows a lot of cookbook recipes, the other one throws a buncha stuff into the pot and hopes it tastes good. Both have their merit.