Ask Luna #52

From: Beagle

Hi Luna, long time reader, first time caller (or typer?). Just a few questions on clearing up a few things I have heard about:
I’ve heard stories about their being ‘creatures’ inhabiting the waterways of the UK, ranging from goddesses to even a dragon living in the Thames. Is that a bit too preposterous?
I have also heard tales of a ‘wizard’ or two within the Met, would you happen to know anything about that at all?
Would drug use affect the use of magic? Say, would taking a hallucinogenic change the effect of something like Alex’s magic, or a stimulant amplify the power/accuracy?
Finally, have you ever considered expanding your magical studies? I hear there is a fairly big magic ‘college’ somewhere in New York state….

There are definitely creatures in the UK waterways. As far as I know, none are dragons. As for goddesses, well, that depends on your point of view.

The Met Police doesn’t hold any officially recognised Light mages as far as I know, but they’ve got a special unit that deals with magic-related cases. I’m pretty sure most of the members are adepts or sensitives. Suppose there could be a mage in there too, it’s not like there’s a hard-and-fast dividing line.

Drug use is fairly popular with sensitives, and there are a few adepts who go in for it too, but it’s rare among mages. The Keepers come down pretty hard on mages who break laws while ‘under the influence’.

And I suppose I could go to a US college, but honestly, I’m not sure how much they’d have to teach me. I’d rather graduate and do my own thing.

From: Wodden

Dear Luna,

As always you have my profound thanks for responding to my question and I appreciate the detail provided. I feel much clearer on “spell lists” now.

Another question(s), if you would indulge me…

I was wondering about wards. There are evidently a number of types described in the stories thus far – gate wards, shrouding of various types, alarm wards etc.

My questions this time are about wards. What sort of wards can be cast by a given mage? For example, if a mage does not have access to gates can they create a gate ward or must they contract with another mage who does have the ability? If so, would this not leave the contracting mage vulnerable should the hired caster choose to circumvent the ward? How would Dark mages accomplish a comprehensive multi-layering of wards given the distrust inherent in that affiliation?

I could go into more nuance and specific, but I think you will see where my curiosity is aimed – any enlightenment on the whole ward question would be most welcome and greatly appreciated.

As ever, gratefully yours, Wodden.

The basic ward spell is a general spell, meaning that it can be learnt by pretty much all mages (though not adepts – sucks to be me). However, the ward spell is only a carrier. You still have to tie in a ‘payload’ spell if you want the ward to do anything, and that spell has to be supplied the regular way. So if you want a gate ward, you’ll need a space mage to supply that part of it. And yes, this means you have to trust the guy who’s casting the payload spell, and yes, that brings all the problems you’d expect. Light mages have a bunch of certified ward experts who’ll do the whole thing as a package deal (both the carrier framework and the payload to go with it) – the standard setup is some combination of a gate ward, a shroud, and an alarm. They don’t come cheap, though. As for how Dark mages do it, god knows. That’s their problem, thankfully.

From: Fade

What, if any, repercussions did Natasha face after what she pulled during your duel at Fountain Reach? Have you all determined the magic types of Talisid or Levistus? Have you gotten enough control over your curse that you can touch someone without assistance from an item?

Natasha got away with a slap on the wrist. Alex went and had a talk with her mistress afterwards, and the outcome was that Natasha got pulled out of all my classes and hasn’t shared one with me since. For a while I wanted to get my own back, but I guess Anne kind of took care of that.

Levistus is a mind mage, as well as probably having some other tricks. Think Talisid might be too.

And yes, I have. Takes work, but I’m getting there.

From: Jason

Hey, Luna!

First, I want to congratulate you on the amazing progress you’ve made in controlling your curse. Us non-magic users really appreciate it.

I do have a question. I came across an accounting of an experience you had after a duel with some girl named Natasha. You beat her soundly in the duel, but then she struck you while your back was turned. The report said that Anne healed you, but had to get close. I was under the impression that your curse at that range was fatal, yet the account I read wasn’t very clear on how the curses affect took hold of Anne.

I know you were kind of out of it when this went down, but I’m sure you, Alex, and Anne must have talked about it at some point.

Can you shed some light on the subject?

PS I might be a non-magic user, but I have my sources of information.

The thing about my curse is that it works with what’s in the environment. If you’re up on a rooftop, it’ll try and make you go over the edge. If you’re in a car, it’ll crash the car. If there’s someone in the area with a loaded gun, it’ll make him take a shot at you (and you can guess how lucky that shot’ll be).

Now, I don’t know exactly what happened with my curse in Fountain Reach, but within an hour of Anne touching me, she got snatched by Vitus. My best guess – and this is only a guess – is that the curse somehow managed to set things up so as to convince Crystal and Vitus that Anne was the missing link for their immortality formula. How it did that, I don’t know. But Crystal’s been after Anne ever since, and I think she still thinks that she can drain Anne to make her life forever. Which means that there’s a good chance that as a result of healing me, Anne’s going to have that psycho after her for the rest of her life.

. . . Christ. When I write it down like that, it’s really depressing. I wonder if there’s some way we can stop her?

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