Ask Luna #40

From: Tom

Hi Luna,

Alex said Onyx is one of the most deadly battle mages he’d ever seen. Does this mean that Morden is stronger, as Onyx is his Chosen? And if not, why does he stay as his Chosen? Finally, staying with the Chosen theme, when would someone stop being a Dark Chosen and become someone’s master?

Thanks Luna, Tom.

I’ve never actually seen Morden in action, but if what I’ve heard is true, he could wipe the floor with Onyx any time he felt like it.  From what I’ve been told Morden’s one of the most powerful Dark mages in the country, and Alex agrees.

The idea of Dark Chosen is that they’re kind of successors-in-waiting.  So at some point, they take over their master’s business.  Or that’s the plan, anyway.  Sometimes they get sick of waiting and leave, sometimes things get nasty.  Not all Dark apprentices get made Chosen, and not all Dark mages with apprentices name Chosen at all.  

From: Geli

Dear Luna,

thank you, that you’re answering all of our questions. Also congratulations on getting more popular. It seems that you’re getting more and more letters.

Back to the purpose of my letter, I’m still thinking about Alex. In my first letter, we both agreed that there was a distinct possibility of Richard changing Alex to a harder, more battle-orientated person. (I said all diviners are naturally pacifists, but I guess we can’t know that until we meet some more.) In my second letter, I asked if Alex was kind of inexperienced outside of battle divination and you pointed me towards the different kinds of divinition and that Alex is following the Appolonian one, while his dreams / warning about the far future belong to the Dionysian one. I read both up by now and found it an interesting topic.

Having recapped our conversation so far, I wondered what methods Richard used to change Alex. The environment was of course a major part, as was the deadly race between the apprentices. But what stood out for me, was the matter of punishment for Alex’s attempted rescue of the girl.

First: A room with nothing but a diviner in it has been described several times as the “ideal” environment for a diviner. Even Alex admits that it was here he learned to throw things with 100% accuracy, and I’m sure he picked up some other tricks in there too. Second, the labyrinth and Tobruk: If I had to design a training course for a diviner to force him to adapt to battle conditions this would be it. Alex had the advantage of only one enemy, a labyrinth and the

future – and as he has proved against our unfortunate teenage Avenger group he excels now in this. Excels to a degree that a Dark Mage looked at him with respect.

So in short: Could it be that Richard had never really punished Alex, but simply created an enviroment that forced Alex to become better? Because if all mages so far agree on one thing, it is that Richard is a master manipulator. And it would fit neatly with why Richard isn’t at all angry at Alex… 

Hope you have a nice day!

Um.  

I’ve read that a few times and each time, it makes more sense.  Tried to find holes in it, but I can’t.  

I think I remember Alex telling me once that the one restriction Tobruk was under was that he wasn’t allowed to do anything permanent.  Looked at another way . . . training environment.  Which means that Alex might have been doing exactly what Richard wanted.  

So yeah.  I think you might be right.  That’s worrying to say the least.  

From: Little Watchmaker

Hi Luna,

firstly I would like to say congratulations on the huge progression with controlling your powers.

Secondly, I’d like to throw a theory at you, see what you think. I hope you don’t mind.

Say I was a mage, I knew another mage and we were friends, we shared similar goals we both respected each other. And I was dying. With my death, my power would be gone. It would be a useless waste. Couldn’t I elect to be harvested by my fellow mage? If the process was mutual and I was willing the process wouldn’t be as traumatic for me. I’d feel much better knowing my power and spirit had been given to someone else and a part of me would live on within him or her. Or perhaps my mind is too complex. What if a loyal magical beasts last wishes were to pass on a final gift of power. What would happen if a blink fox wished to be harvested?

My first reaction is ‘hell no’.  It sounds a lot like asking someone else to murder you.  Thinking about it some more . . . it’s possible, I guess, but it seems really unlikely.  I mean, if you were dying, and you had enough time to set up a Harvesting ritual, wouldn’t you have enough time to find a life mage and get yourself healed instead?  

I’m also not sure how much of the insanity-inducing side effects from Harvesting come from the target being unwilling, and how much just come from the fact that you’re trying to rip out a piece of them and graft it inside your head.  I suppose if you’ve thought of it, it’s a good bet that someone has tried it, but they’d have to be pretty crazy to be willing to give it a go.

Oh, and as far as I know, all attempts to Harvest magical creatures have resulted in permanent insanity and a fifty-percent-plus mortality rate.  For the mage, that is.  Obviously, one hundred percent if you’re the magical creature in question.

From: Royd Burgoyne

Hi Luna!

Dedicated fan from Downunder here! Thoroughly enjoying your (and Alex’s) (mis)adventures but I’d love to know if we’ll be seeing more of the Blink Fox in future instalments?

He (?) seems like an intriguing character who will likely cause Alex some grief (eg. emptying the fridge) and we’d love to know more about him 🙂 Bottom line, I hope he features in future adventures! Thanks for any info! Warm regards,

Royd Burgoyne

Perth, Australia

Yeah, he’s around.  Mostly he begs food off whoever’s home and leaves hairs all over the armchair.  He’s started showing up at Anne’s flat and nagging her for food, too.  I suppose he’s friendly, more or less, but he’s kind of annoying.  All he seems to want to do is eat and sleep.  

I wish Alex had let me name him.  I was going to call him Vulpix but thinking about it, Garfield would probably have been better.  Oh well, he seems attached to Alex at least.

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2 Responses to Ask Luna #40

  1. Geli says:

    Always interesting to see the answers. Thank you!

  2. Kathy Snow says:

    Glad that the Blink Fox is staying around. He adds a nice dimension to Alex’s life. Tried to convince Santa to get me one for Christmas, but I don’t think I’ve had much luck. 🙂

    Merry Christmas from Southern California