Ask Luna #9

From: Eric

You said previously that mages have the same lifespan as normals. With modern knowledge of genetics, free radicals, and telomeres shouldn’t a life mage or shapeshifter be able to repair or undo the damage that causes aging? This would give him an extended lifespan at the least.

I’m not a geneticist so I don’t know what modern knowledge of genetics is like (and I’ve got no idea what telomeres are supposed to be) but the way it was explained to me last time is that life magic basically does rebuilding/enhancing rather than modifying.  It’s easy for a life mage to heal someone, because they’re just helping the body to do what it does anyway, but when it comes to ageing they’re fixing the symptoms, not fixing what causes it.  

But yeah, you’re pretty much right, older mages go to life mages for exactly that.  I think quite a lot of life mages make a career out of it, though they all try to keep it quiet since mages are so paranoid about looking vulnerable.  I’ve seen a few mages who are supposed to be in their nineties and they look healthy enough.  

Shapeshifters are another story – they really do modify their entire bodies into something else.  There are rumours that they can use that to become functionally immortal but I don’t know if they’re true or not.  

From: Ste

Hello Luna, What was Alex’ birth name and why did he change it?

His first name was always Alex, as far as I know – at least, that’s what everyone who knew him from back then still calls him.  I’m pretty sure his surname wasn’t Verus, though.  I think Verus is his mage name, and he took it in place of his surname once he graduated from apprentice, but he hasn’t told me what his full birth name was.  I think there were some issues with his parents, but I don’t know what they were.

From: Petal

Dear Luna,

I was wondering how your training has been progressing with your focus whip? Have you learnt any new tricks with it? Would that be giving information to your enemies? Surely they don’t use the Internet that much!?

Also Alex mentioned that Emotion/Charm magic is stereotypically female. I was wondering if there were other branches of magic with a gender stereotype.

Sincerely,

Petal.

P.S. Could you ask Alex if we could have a Encyclopaedia Arcana in magi history? The Dark War or Gate Rune War maybe?

Yup, lots!  I can use it to parry spells (if I focus it right it acts as a sort of counterspell on a stick) and I’m working on applying it for nonlethal attacks, though that’s harder – getting my curse NOT to kill whatever it hits takes a ton of effort.  

There are lots of gender stereotypes with the magic types, though a lot of them are really vague and I think half the time people have different ideas about them anyway.  Chance tends to be thought of as female (and used by witches, which is kind of ironic).  Water and air usually get thought of as female, earth and fire and death are associated with men, mind is kind of in between.  Divination’s especially funny, because it always seems to get used by female mages in the stories – I think it’s because the elementalists don’t think it’s ‘active’ enough!

On the PS, I’ll see what I can dig up.  Fair warning, though, mage history is REALLY long.  Alex and Sonder have been giving me books on it for what seems like forever.

From: Orion

Dear Luna,

can divination be used to learn skills more quickly than normal? for instance learning to right with your non preferred hand?or would a diviner have to look into the future for as long as it would take learn normally?

P.s I was thinking of using an alias any suggestions?

Asked Alex and he said no.  Divination only shows you how to make something happen, it doesn’t actually stamp in the habits and muscle memory to teach you a skill.  (He also asked why the hell anyone would want to use their magic to learn to write with their off hand, but I’m guessing you’ve got your reasons.)

As for aliases, I always liked the name Zarine, though I guess that might not fit you so well.  

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