Ask Luna #135

From: Riley

Is it common knowledge that Alex has is at odds with Richard and Morden? I remember Chalice talking to Alex about it so wouldn’t that mean that the Light Council would at the very least use Alex to get to them instead of trying to kill him irregularly? I get the manipulation or using force, but I don’t know why Richard and Morden still think Alex would be an willing ally, but Dark Mages seem to have a strange view of the world.

That depends on what you mean by ‘common knowledge’. It’s there if anyone wants to find it out, but that doesn’t mean that they see Alex as having changed sides. They just think of it as one Dark mage having an argument with another Dark mage.

As for whether Richard and Morden think Alex would be a willing ally, I’m not sure they do. They’ve spent enough time manipulating people that the ‘willing’ part probably isn’t a big deal for them.

From: Jack

Hi Luna, just had a thought about Richard’s plan and wonder what you think of it.

I think the general theory is that Richard went to another world to aquire more power somehow. But what if we’ve been looking at it wrong?

Since getting back, Richard hasn’t displayed any unbelievable new abilities. Now, I get subtle is his style, but for years of effort, you would think he would have a lot to show for it. The guy managed to get Morden on the council and successfully raid the Light Council in a much shorter period of time. Why wait to use a trump card that was worth far more of his time? It should be unbeatable.

So, if he didn’t get overt power from his absence, why did he leave?

And I could only come up with 2 reasons:

For his plans to work, he needed to remove himself from the equation. Maybe his absence made the council complacent. Or maybe he needed a chance to observe our reality uninterrupted for years to plot things out.

Or, and this is a bit of a stretch, he wasn’t going after something. He was getting away from something. If Richard is in another reality, could a long-view diviner still predict his plans and warn anyone? Dragons seem to be protective of other magical creatures. Could his plan for the Jinn have been something a dragon could see coming if he didn’t leave? Dragons see all time, but can they see into other worlds as well?

It’s . . . possible. We’ve talked about it, but the trouble with this kind of thing is we’re really working in an information vacuum. I know a lot of people were after Richard when he left, but I’m not sure that was the reason for it.

There’s probably something to the ‘waiting for them to get complacent’ idea, though. From what I can see, the Council’s only been getting weaker over the last ten years or so. Too disunited, too little support from outsiders.

From: Chen Lukai

Which would be faster for Alex Versus? Simply calculating the best move when playing chess or using divination to find the best move? I’m assuming using divination is more accurate, but I was wondering if there would be reasons for him to NOT USE divination (other than moral implications) i.e more tiring, takes more time

For something like chess, skill is way better. You can use divination for that kind of thing, but it’s really inefficient since you have to explore the pathways one by one. Just knowing how to make a good move is a lot faster. It’s kind of like being in a battle – you could theoretically win a fight with just divination if you had enough time to plan out every possible move, but it would be horrendously slow and by the time you’d done it the guy would probably have either beaten you up or just finished what he was there to do and left.

From: Jack

Hi Luna, I have a few miscellaneous questions if it isn’t too much trouble. Thanks!

1. Is it typical for dark mages to have a chosen of a different magic type? It seems like the Light mages go for apprentices of the same kind, but they don’t seem as interested in maintaining a relationship after the apprenticeship. Alex’s mentor after Richard doesn’t seem to interested in what happens to Alex, for example. Who your master was seems to be more important to dark mages. Do you think dark mages see Chosen more as a long-term asset so they want a skillset that covers their limitations?

2. Are any subjects besides harvesting considered taboo by the light mages? Do Alex or Chalice talk about subjects light mages generally don’t?

3. Have imbued items been created sporadically throughout history, or has their creation declined as those able to make them have died out. Were ancient mages better at creating them than modern ones?

4. Can a focus, something like your whip, become an imbued item under the right circumstances? Like if they were used for decades or centuries and passed down from mage to mage, or if they eventually become “attuned” to the original owner’s personality?

5. Could harvesting have arisen from the techniques used to imprison the Jinn? The impact on the victim seems similar (the victim is left connected to the vessel/harvester and also is connected to elsewhere). It also seems unlikely people would have risked madness when they could use a Jinn to steal a rival’s powers without the same consequences and do more besides.

1. It’s more common than with Light mages, yeah. Not completely sure why, but it’s probably less to do with them seeing Chosen as a long-term asset and more to do with the fact that Dark mages are more interested in teaching ‘extracurricular activities’ than magic theory.

2. Lots of things are considered taboo. Dangerous techniques, stuff that makes the mage look bad, stuff that makes the Council look bad, stuff that the Council has classified as falling under national security (which includes most of the fights and wars of the past fifty years), which mage is sleeping with who, etc. It sometimes feels like Light mages have more subjects that are taboo than ones that aren’t. At least with other mages you can have a normal conversation.

3. They’ve been created fairly steadily but they’re a huge pain in the ass to make, and not many mages are keen on spending the months or years it takes to do it right. I don’t know if modern mages are any better than older ones.

4. I don’t think so, no. Otherwise there’d be millions of the things.

5. No clue. From what I’ve seen, both seem to have pretty big downsides.

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