Gervase was a hertasi living in a tree, as hertasi did long ago. Surrounded by magic, enough to make his tree-home glow, Gervase dreamed of being a wizard. Being kind-hearted, he thought of all the good he could do in the world, all the people he could help if he was a mage.
One day a mage, tattered and bloody stumbled into the clearing in front of Gervase's home. He was being pursued by men with hounds. Gervase hid the man in his tree, then returned to sunning on a nearby rock. Whe the dogs and hunters burst into the clearing, Gervase pretended startlement, rushed around, then darted into his tree. He stuck his head back out and hissed at the dogs whenever they came too close. Thinking the dogs had lost the trail, the lord whipped the hounds and his huntsman before leading them away.
The mage he had rescued, Cinsley of White Winds, gave Gervase a choice of reward. With the magic stored in Gervase's tree, the mage could work one great spell. He could make Gervase human or he could unlock Gervase's potential and make him a mage, but their wasn't enough power for both. After some careful thought, Gervase chose to become a mage. Cinsley took him on as an apprentice.
Gervase eventually rose to the rank of Adept in the White Winds School. Because he was a changeling hertasi, he lived three times the normal span for a mage, who are already very long-lived. He eventually became the High Adept, in charge of the entire order, and guided the school into the form it became.
The song "Lizard Dreams" was written about him.