Ask Luna #66

From: Toniaraem

For magic that requires touch, like Ann’s, does it have to be skin to skin or can it be done through clothing?

It works just fine through clothing, and through armour too. Anne says she prefers skin to skin, though, especially for delicate work.

From: Kurt Von Bosse

Hi Luna, thank you for answering my previous questions.

I know we will learn the specific new job responsibilities that Alex has in the next book, but I was wondering if you could answer a minor question in regard to his new official status, if not his true position. I feel certain you must be aware of it by now.

Even though Council member Levistus and the Crusaders don’t consider Alex to be a Light mage, technically he is now a full member of the Keepers and no longer just a Keeper Auxiliary.

Do you know if Alex is considered to be a Journeyman Keeper or is his official position higher than that?

I know his new status has little or nothing to do with how Alex will interact with or oppose Richard Drakh or Council member Morden, but after Alex’s last conversation/confrontation with Keeper Caldera, it might make future interactions and conversations with her even more difficult then they will already be if Alex now outranks her. In fact, I think it would really, REALLY get her goat. (I have no idea where that expression comes from, but somehow it feels appropriate.)

Well, there’s official and there’s unofficial.

Official position is that Alex is now a journeyman Keeper of the Order of the Star. So he has the same status as a newly-promoted Keeper. Which puts him at the same rank as Caldera, and as you’ve correctly guessed, she really does not like that. I’m guessing she sees it as something to do with ‘paying your dues’.

Unofficially, it’s more complicated. The way I understand it, a Keeper who’s also a Council aide would usually rank higher than a regular journeyman Keeper. Because Alex is aide to Morden, though, it’s the other way around – on paper he’s a Keeper, but as far as the rest of the Keepers are concerned, he’s definitely not. The Keepers really weren’t fans of the whole ‘bring a Dark Mage onto the Council’ plan, and they’re even less keen that a Dark mage gets to promote aides into their ranks, so they’re doing all they can to get rid of him.

From: Max

Hi Luna,

What does the mage community think of the mundane stage-performance-variety of magician (Houdini, &c.)? Do they care? Do they find it offensive? Are there any stage magicians who have actually magical ability? (One would assume that a genuine adept or mage working in stage magic would also have to have a bizarre sense of humor…)

Mostly stage magicians are so far below their attention of mages that they don’t even notice. If they did, I think it’s about fifty-fifty whether they’d be insulted or just contemptuous.

There are a few adepts who make a living as performers. Not a huge amount, but some. Usually they try to stay off the radar – small audiences, unofficial gigs, that kind of thing, so as not to draw the wrong sort of attention. The big headline stage magicians that people have heard of are pretty much all normals. A real mage wouldn’t take the job, and an adept would end up getting a visit from the Council unless he was very careful.

From: Kurt Von Bosse

Hi Luna, this may be a touchy subject to ask about.
When Alex told you, Vari, Anne and Sonder about his escape from Richard, no one asked him what I thought was an obvious question. Why didn’t Alex try to rescue Catherine Traviss the second time he tried to leave Richard? If he divined there was no way to accomplish this without dying, or it was somehow impossible to divine the outcome, those would have been reasonable answers. However, I wonder if Alex was just too afraid of Richard to even try. I know you can’t answer this question for Alex, but I’m wondering why you didn’t ask him. (Also, I know you can’t answer why none of Alex’s other close friends didn’t ask him the same question.)

We didn’t ask that question because asking would basically have been the same as saying “so, this really WAS all your fault, wasn’t it”. (Yes, we could have put it differently, but that’s how he would have heard it, and he wouldn’t really have been wrong.) Given the state Alex was in, that didn’t seem like the most helpful thing to be doing.

The other reason I didn’t ask was that it wasn’t that hard to read between the lines. The first time Alex tried to leave, he did try divining a way to rescue that girl, and it went really really badly. By the time he got the chance for the second break, he wasn’t in much of a state to think about anything except getting away. So he just ran, and he’s been remembering that for years.

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3 Responses to Ask Luna #66

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    Love this one!Just my two cents on the gloves issue…when I was a kid, docs washed their hands before and after something like this; gloves were not used often in the offices of GPs. Now gloves are everywhere and staph infections contracted in medical facilities are more rampant than ever. Connection? I dunno, but thought it worth mentioning.