Ask Luna #35

From: Regulas1

Luna,

First off I am a major fan of yours and how far you’ve come as an apprentice.

I want to ask your thoughts on Alex as a Mage. He seems guided by self preservation, but if you had to classify him based on his actions would you say he is light or dark?

Cheers,
Regulas

Always nice to meet a fan.

I’d say he’s independent. Remember, just because the Light and Dark mages get all the press doesn’t mean they’re the only ones out there. Loads of mages just go about their lives without aligning with any of the factions. Though it’s true that that’s getting harder and harder these days . . . don’t know how much longer it’s going to last.

From: Geli

Hi Luna,

great to read that all of you are alright.
I’ve read that magic is a reflection of the personality of the mage.
Easy enough to understand.

But then I started to think about Alex. He’s a diviner. Here is what I know so far abour the personality of divners:
– They’re curious.
Now Alex is that, no doubt.
But also:
– Most diviners are hiding themselves away from fights.
Now, that is a sensible choice when you have no real raw power. But that’s on the first glance, the second is: Diviners are great at runnind and avoiding conflict – terrible at fighting. Maybe the diviners are not just hiding away, because they are “weak”, but because they genuinely do not want to play the games for power. So far there has not even been hinted at a “dark” diviner besides Alex. In short, they all seem to be pacifists and their magic supports this.

Now, Alex is on the first glance no pacifist at all. Second glance: he does not want power, takes no joy in politics too. He never attacks. He is essentially a very peaceful person – who just becomes were deadly when attacked. Also, there is this hint that Alex’ father his a pacifist… difficult to bury such things if you grew up with them.

So here is my question: Did Richard “change” Alex a lot more than Alex himself realises? So much, that he became different from the person his magic says he is?

Wish you a great day!

I had to think about this one. I guess the truth is I never really thought about Alex changing. Okay, he’s gotten a bit different since I met him, but I kind of assumed that before I did, he was always the way he was when we first met.

One thing you’re right about – Alex is WAY more of a fighter than most diviners. There are supposed to be some Dark diviners (though I’ve never met one) but there aren’t many, and apart from Alex, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a diviner getting into a fight at all. They’re researchers and investigators. I hadn’t really considered that that might have been from Richard, but . . . I guess you might be right. Kind of a worrying thought, to be honest.

From: Waddon

Hi Luna,

Just getting into the stories and loving them so far. Some linked/related questions for now about Earth magic. Doubtless more questions will be forthcoming, but I promise not to be as prolific as Orion.

The Encyclopaedia entry on Earth Magic mentions that Earth Mages tend to short-range solutions in combat, such as supernatural strength. However, Griff Blackstone uses “hammers of Earth magic” against Sonder and Yourself. Is this something unusual?

I also assumed that a connection to the elemental source of power was necessary, such as “touching” the element in someway or investing a high amount of personal energy in creating it. Griff seems to do neither.

In fact, the manifestations Griff uses seem more like they would rationally fit in with use of hard-Air magic – slamming attacks, suffocation etc.

So, please can you elaborate on Earth magic a bit more? The Encyclopaedia entry is a bit obscure and as portrayed thus far the manifestations of Earth are less intuitive than I assumed they would be (supernatural strength drawn from the earth, stone-like skin as a protective measure etc).

Your elaboration/explanation would be most gratefully received.

Earth magic tends towards short-range strength and reinforcement, but it doesn’t have to directly involve the ground. While I’ve seen a few earth users who do the Incredible Hulk thing of tearing up the floor and chucking it at people, most of them don’t – they just channel earth energy through whatever they’re holding or using. Also, remember there’s a lot of variation in each magic type. So while all earth spells are in a circle labelled ‘earth magic’, there might not be any overlap between the spells one earth mage can use and the ones another earth mage can use.

In Griff’s case, he was an earth mage with some tendencies towards force magic. He was still an earth mage, so he had the same short-range focus, but he used a traditional shield instead of skin reinforcement and conjured up an elemental melee weapon and similar effects. All of the elemental types have a ‘blade’ spell – usually earth hammers are made out of something physical, but in Griff’s case it was just pure energy. Bit unusual, but nothing you won’t see if you spend a while duelling. The flip side is that he probably couldn’t use stone skin or stone shaping the way that someone like Caldera can. Or maybe he had some sort of substitute. I didn’t exactly have the chance to ask him about his spell list, and it’s not like it matters much now.

From: Katy

How does someone actually become a dark mage? Presumably it doesn’t depend on council recognition like light mages do. Is it a case of if you say you’re one and no-one can stop you, it counts, or a dead man’s shoes thing? The apprentices have to go somewhere. And in the same veins what about independent mages? Thanks

For Dark mages, it’s pretty much a case of whatever you can pull off. If you say you’re a Dark mage, and enough people take you seriously, then you’re a Dark mage. Simple as that. No tests. (Or the test comes afterwards, depending how you look at it.)

As for independents, being an independent isn’t some sort of special club, it’s just the default. If you’re not Light and not Dark, then you’re an independent. They tend to get less respect than Lights and Darks do, so it’s more likely that they’d treat you like an overgrown apprentice until you’d been around a while.

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3 Responses to Ask Luna #35

  1. Serack says:

    Excellent installment.

  2. renee says:

    Hey Luna!First let me say I’m a Big fan of yours and alex’s. Cannot wait to hear about your next adventure. My questions are about alex’s precog ability. One, is it me or is this ability getting stronger or he just talking more about it? Also, do you know if it’s hard for him to tell the difference between vision and nightmare, or do you feel these visions are so disturbing he dismisses them,not wanting them to be true? Oh and one more thing, did Natasha/Natalie whatever that horrible girls name was that cheated and attacked you when your back was turned, did she ever get her comeuppance? Thank you for your time

  3. Geli says:

    Thank you for answering. I just read the answer now as I seem to have overlooked it. 🙂 It’s really worrying to consider that Richard changed Alex too – but if one looks at what happened to his fellow apprentices, especially Rachel, I can’t help and think that he did.
    So, Alex is a “battle diviner”. 😉