Ask Luna #50

From: Ivar

Hi Luna,

I hope you are doing well and progressing nicely with your training! I’ve read through all of the previous questions and I see that most people treat you like a knowledge repository for the magic world, but few ever ask about you and everyone else. So, I’d like to ask a bunch of those types of questions!

What genres of music do you like? Tv Shows? Movies? Books?

Music – pretty much the usual stuff. TV and movie-wise, I used to watch anime and stuff like Game of Thrones, but these days I just don’t have the time. As for reading, I used to do it a lot at school, stopped for a while, then recently I’ve gotten into it again, but now it’s mostly programme-related, books on spells and magic theory and things like that.

Has your curse ever given any inanimate objects “bad luck?” Ex. You need a new mobile phone every couple months because your curse shorts it out.

Yes, and it was INCREDIBLY annoying. For the longest time I had to only have the cheapest, crappiest brick-type mobiles because the damn things never lasted more than a month or two.

Now that your curse is more in control can you do things like go to amusement parks or go to the movies? I hope you guys do more than play board games in Alex’s flat!

Amusement parks – oh god no. With what I can do, you really think I want to be around something like a roller-coaster?

We do go to the movies sometimes though. Usually it’s me, Vari, and Anne, and sometimes Alex as well.

Why doesn’t Alex use his divination to win the lottery a little while before it’s drawn and become super rich?

Because his divination wouldn’t work on lotteries that far in advance, and he’s got enough money already.

Do you or any of the others have middle names?

Sure.

Are you a fan of puns?

No, they’re annoying.

Finally, and I apologize for this, but I couldn’t resist asking one of those knowledge repository questions out of curiosity. (Feel free to ignore it)

Do gravity mages have enough control over objects affected by their power to do something crazy like rip a satellite out of orbit to strike their foes? I would think you’d need a lot of control to make sure it landed in the place you wanted it to be.

In theory, yeah. But I’m almost sure it’d be well outside their range, so unless they had some way of getting up into orbit too . . .

Thank you very much for doing this and I hope I didn’t cause you too much trouble.

All the best,
Ivar

That was kind of fun, actually. Makes a change from all the technical stuff.

P.S. I envy your patience and ability to deal with all the truly horrendous grammar in the past.

Appreciate it.

From: Wodden

Dear Luna,

I hope you have been well in the months since I last communicated with you. I have recently readdressed the stories and am once more enthralled – I await the next volume with a great deal of anticipation.

Only the one question (or questions on a single theme) for now:

You have mentioned “spell lists” a number of times. The impression that I get is that, when it comes to the number of spells known, the “list” would actually be quite short for the vast majority of mages, certainly so for elementalists or elementalist hybrids. Clearly the “spell list” for a diviner like Alex is very short (2-3 “spells) whereas for a mage of a type with lots of possible nuance (Life or Mind for example) it may be far longer. Are “spell lists” as much a reflection of mage rank/title as raw power?

From my position as a non-mage outsider, I have thrown together a theoretical “spell list” that I imagine might be reflective of a theoretical “storm mage” (a type of hybrid that you have previously dealt with briefly).

With my best guesswork, I thought a “blade” spell (lightning bolt), a defensive shield (electricity/air combo, about as effective as a fire shield against physical attacks), flight (air movement spell, limitation outside only), a couple of “wind rush/whirwind” type utility spells, the ability to influence storms (weather magic – size, duration, ferocity, direction of travel etc) and possibly a “weather prediction” sense. Does that sound about right as an example of a “spell list” or am I being reductionist?

Sorry for the long winded enquiry and once again you have my eternal gratitude for answering not only my own questions but those of us all.

Spell lists are kind of complicated, and mostly they come down to experience more than power. New mages don’t know much about how to manipulate their magic, so they use it in really crude ways – dump a lot of energy somewhere and call it a day, that kind of thing. The more time and practice they put in, the more they refine it and the more different uses they come up with.

But it also depends on what you consider a different spell (which mages don’t agree on, by the way). Take divination – Alex can protect himself by looking ahead into the short-term futures to dodge attacks, and he can also guarantee he hits a target by picking out the futures in which a shot lands. So are those two different spells, or not? Some people would say they’re both precognition, it’s just that one’s defensive and one’s offensive. But according to Alex they’re pretty different skills: you can be good at one without being good at the other. The type of magic they’re drawing on is the same, but you get a really different result. Then you get the opposite, where the type of magic is different, but the end result is really similar, like a fireball as opposed to an incineration burst. Are those different spells? Most mages would say they are, but maybe not.

So the example spell list you came up with for storm magic could work, and if someone told me they could do that, I’d buy it. But other mages might structure those spells totally differently – they might think of the blade spell as being totally different from a lightning bolt spell, but consider their flight and wind blast effects to be basically the same thing.

Anyway, hope that made some kind of sense. Like I said, it’s complicated.

From: Jeffrey

Dear Ms. Mancuso,

Have you ever visited Italy?

-Jeff

I used to go for holidays as a kid. Went again on my own one last time after I left school. Haven’t gone back.

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