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- See also: mage
Mages are not demons or monsters. They are men and women like any other, except for their skill with a weapon few are given. I say this to be clear that I do not think all mages should be put to the sword, as some believe. However, every mage walks through life with a blade drawn and ready, whether they wish it or not. Those who insist that mages are harmless must ask how the apostates who fling fire when the Templars attack learned how to kill so well. We in the Academie know well that no skill comes without practice.
If you fight a mage, you must close with him, regardless of the danger, or risk being overwhelmed. A mage's strike rarely hits with the force of a trained chevalier's blade, but often carries unnatural energies: fire that boils a man inside his armor, lightning that steals the strength from his limbs, and so forth. To hold back is to give him time to alter the battlefield to his advantage in some fashion, whether he summons a wall of ice, a demonic ally, or magical flames to strengthen the blades of his guards. We know that the warrior who controls the battlefield is most often the victor. You must keep him reacting to you and continue your attack.
Mages rarely wear heavy armor, but their magic can shield them as effectively as our own plate. I have said many times to watch the hips and arms of your opponent instead of the hands, but with the mage, the hands and arms may be your only clue. If his body is protected from your blade, attempt to tangle his arms or bear him to the ground. It is not elegant or honorable, but there is no honor when fighting a mage. There is only survival.
—An excerpt from A Meditation upon the Use of Blades by Swordmaster Massache de Jean-mien, required reading at the Academie des Chevaliers