Ask Luna #101

From: Nicholas

I was just wondering if mind magic can be used for real-time communication when talking to someone when you don’t have a language in common or a translator around, like can you mimic someones ability to speak mandarin or something if you really needed to or can you combo mind reading with mind enhancement magic and jury-rig an understanding of the language. Also are there focuses for language translation?

Mind mages do have a way to talk to someone if they don’t have a shared language. I don’t understand exactly how it works, but it has something to do with fundamentals of communication and using shared ideas rather than words. I’ve never heard of that spell being used in a focus though, probably because it’s too complicated – focuses and one-shots work best for really simple spells of the ‘point and pull the trigger’ type.

From: Blackmass

this a hard question for me to ask but if Alex had asked you to help him with “dealing” with The Nightstalkers would you have agreed? Do you think in battle like that you could’ve actually killed them?

That’s . . . a hard one, and it’s one where my answer’s different now from what it would have been. Back then, if he’d have asked, I’d have said yes. I saw things as a lot more black and white back then, and I had a lot of aggression to work out. But Alex didn’t ask me, and with hindsight, I’m glad. I’ve been through a lot of fights by now, and I guess one way or another I’ve been involved in a few deaths, but I’ve never actually gone in and just cold-bloodedly used my curse to kill someone, and I think it’s better that way. I’m happier knowing that I’ve never gone over that line.

I’ve become a lot warier about violence and use of force in general over the last few years. Back when I was starting out I saw it as ‘wow, I can do all this stuff, look how awesome I am’. But the more fights you go through, the more you realise how bad the consequences are and how arbitrary it all is. Honestly, I think I prefer running a shop.

From: Jay

Hi Luna,

Do you (or Alex) think you were set up to get the key to the fateweaver relic? I think you went to the house where you found it twice and it was only there the second time. Seemed fishy to me. If you do think it was a set up, maybe to draw Alex back into mage politics, who do you suspect? My money is on Morden. Thanks and good luck with everything!

I’ve wondered sometimes, yeah. It’s one of those things that’s so far back now that it’d be really hard to dig it up again, but it does make you think. If it was someone like Morden, he’d have been playing a super long game.

From: Hazel

Hey Luna! Thanks for taking time to answer my questions, I appreciate it.
How come the mundane have never noticed what’s going on? Or even clued in the tiniest bit? Are the Keepers Of The Cloak that good?
Is the magic trait genetic?
What is the likelihood that Alex’s father is a diviner as well? Could Alex tell if his Father had magic?
How can you tell if others have magic? Is it a sense of a sort or just a general knowing?
What do they do with mages who develop mental disorders or addiction issues?
How come there aren’t more fire mages in the fire-fighter business? Is it hard to get a job as a mage or does the council not let mages get jobs?
Thanks for answering my questions Luna!

Normals don’t notice magic stuff because they’ve got a kind of mental block about it. If they can explain it without magic, they will. The Order of the Cloak do quite a lot of work, but it’s more a matter of smoothing things over.

Magic’s partially genetic. The child of two mages/adepts is a lot more likely to be a mage or an adept themselves, but most mages and adepts come from parents with no magical ability at all.

Alex’s father being a diviner . . . ha! No chance in hell.

You can’t actually tell if someone else can use magic, not easily. It’s like if someone knows how to play a musical instrument – there might be a few clues, but they’re subtle, so until they actually pick it up and start using it, you just have to guess.

Mages with mental disorders/addictions are a menace. The Order of the Star deal with them, and they’re not gentle about it.

And most mages don’t get jobs in the firefighting business because regular firemen are pretty good at it already. Yeah, a fire mage could do it better, but it’d be a matter of two minutes versus ten minutes. It’s one area where technology’s mostly caught up.

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