Ask Luna #136

From: Alec

When Alex was imprisoned for trying to rescue Catherine did Richard try to bring him back into the fold during that time? I only ask because even though Richard told Alex he wasn’t Dark Mage material in Fated, he seemed to think that he was in the running for Chosen in Rachel’s memories and to this day. I also remember Morden telling Alex that disagreements like his were normal, so do you think that was just Dark Mage training to the extreme. I also remember Richard saying that he was really upset with Alex so do you think that statement about not being strong enough was him being angry in the moment? He is human after all and seeing his favorite student go against him could of made him lose his composure. I mean out all of his potential apprentices Alex became the most accomplished and well known and while rejecting the True path which must cause some resentment/regret about how things went down, all Richard got was Deleo who is semi reliable on the best days.

I don’t think he did, or if he did, Alex never told me. But then, he isn’t exactly keen on talking about that particular episode of his life, for obvious reasons. Might have been one of the reasons we got on in the early days – we both didn’t ask those sorts of questions.

I do wonder sometimes whether Richard might have some regrets about his pick, but I’m just as happy if he doesn’t pay any more attention to us than he does already.

From: Brutus

Luna how do you feel about alexs stunt at the mordens mansion when he was negotiating for the counsel? Are u aware what went down?

That whole thing with Onyx? I thought it went off without a hitch for a change.

From: Michael

Hey Luna thanks for getting back to me on the diviners I just have a few follow ups.

1. In what ways are the diviners you met similar to Alex? I only ask because since we hear from Alex’s perspective so much it is kind of hard to see the diviner traits from his regular personality if that makes sense.

2. In what ways were they different? I don’t want to get bogged down in details but we have not seen a lot of diviners and it would be interesting to see how they differ from the one we know. And were the diviners you met on the Light Council or independent for some reason I have not heard of them being affiliated with Light or Dark Mages. Is there a reason for this? Thanks for answering these you are great at what you do!

1. They’re always sort of watchful. Different guys, different mannerisms, but you always have the feeling that they’re constantly scanning around them. It’s not the kind you get from paranoia, it’s more some kind of automatic reflex, like they’re just wired that way. It’s not obvious, but once you see it, it’s a big giveaway.

2. Colder, mostly. Alex can be harsh, but no matter what, I was always sure he cared about me. With most of the others, Light or Dark or independent, I kind of had the feeling that they saw me like an insect on a bit of cardboard. It got uncomfortable after a while. Having someone around who cares that little about you is bad enough without them being able to find out all the things you don’t want them to know.

From: Kevin

1. I don’t know if anyone has asked you this before but has the Light Council required you do anything to stay on? If not why don’t more independent mages join just to stay on the good side of the most powerful mage institution in the country? For that matter has there been any consequences for Levistus trying to kill you? I mean I know he’s very influential but I cannot imagine the others liking the idea that members of the Light Council can be killed with impunity, precedent and all that.

2. There have been some talk about a lack of female representation in the leading roles of the Light Council and I recall you went to some meetings discussing this and were not impressed with what you saw. What weren’t you impressed by and what do you think some of the main reasons women aren’t in positions of power in the Light Council?

3. I hope this does not happen but are you worried about Richard and his cabal trying to recruit you to get leverage over Alex and Anne? Plus you are really good at what you do and Richard’s cabal seem to value competence over biases on what a mage is supposed to be, and as we have seen with Onyx power does not trump being intelligent or effective. Even it is a lesser role and without the connection to Alex and Anne do you think they would want you on staff regardless?

4. I also just realized that since you were Alex’s apprentice wouldn’t that make Richard, your grandmaster? Sorry for that image but my question is are there such things as an apprentice being connected with their teacher’s master?

1. Nope. Once you’ve passed the entrance exam, you’re in for life. As for why all the independent mages don’t do it . . . you have any idea just how much of a pain it is to go through the apprentice programme? It nearly drove me nuts some days, and I had Alex to help out. No way I could have done it on my own, I wouldn’t have known who to ask. And no, zero consequences for Levistus. Some members are more equal than others.

2. I don’t like the Council much, but honestly, from what I’ve seen of the women who join it, I don’t think promoting them up the ranks would help very much.

3. That doesn’t seem to be going to happen, which I’m personally very thankful for. I’m just getting settled in to having the shop to myself, and one of the things I’m super wary of is the Council deciding to shut me down. Having my name connected to Richard would be really bad news.

4. Stop giving them ideas! Having your master’s name following you around is bad enough without them pinning that on you too!

From: Luisa

Dear Luna,
Thank you so much for taking the time answering questions!

My first question is something rather personal to me as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. You said a while ago that since mages don’t talk about their relationships in general, someone’s sexuality rarely gets known, but how is the acceptance in mage society when it does? And what about transgender or nonbinary people? I imagine that life mages might be very helpful for people seeking gender reassignment surgery, do you know whether they do that?

Lastly something more silly, does it happen often that mages accidentally choose the same name?

Thank you so much again!
Sending lots of love from Germany,
Luisa

I get the ‘acceptance’ question now and again when I’m talking to adepts and I always have trouble figuring out how to answer, because going into magical society hoping to be liked and loved and accepted for pretty much any reason is likely to end badly. It’s not that they hate you, it’s that for the most part they don’t care about you at all. Going into the serious parts of mage society is like walking into the middle of some 4-D chess match that’s been running for longer than you’ve been alive. When you realise you’re in the middle of that kind of situation, ‘what do these people think of my gender identity?’ is not the question you should be asking!

Shaper life mages can definitely change your sex, along with everything else about you, but the kinds who are willing to do those kinds of drastic changes tend to be the more morally flexible types, which comes with drawbacks.

And yes, mages do sometimes choose the same name. They can get really touchy about it, too. Apparently there have been quite a few duels fought over who gets the right to call themselves some Prestigious Name X.

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