Ask Luna #140

From: Phillip Taylor

When I read and think about the dramatic differences between mages like Rachel and Onyx and Richard and Morden, and even some of the other, older dark mages, I see a big difference. I wonder how that influences this concept of “chosen”.

It seems like there are two different kinds of dark mages: “True” dark mages and “tag-along” dark mages. The “True” dark mages seem to be highly independent, have their own moral conceptions and are driven by a sense of purpose, Richard, Morden, Chalise and – sorry, but I think it fits the model – Alex. Then you have the “tag-along” dark mages: Rachel, Onyx, Cinder.

The concept of “chosen” doesn’t seem to fit for these “true” dark mages… they just don’t strike me as the type to be someone else’s tool for very long like Onyx and Rachel. I have difficulty believing that Richard and Morden were willing to put up with being part of someone else’s designs for very long. So, I wonder is the concept of “chosen” is more a psychological manipulation to get a powerful mage under the master’s power than a real method to convey “authority”?

I wonder if, in practice, what the “chosen” concept is REALLY about in a world where “might makes right”? I mean, if you kill your master and take his stuff, that’s pretty definitive…?

I mean, I’m pretty sure the ‘chosen’ concept comes down to ‘we have to come up with some way to teach the next generation of apprentices without everyone killing each other’. Dunno how good a solution it is.

But yeah, it’s hard to imagine someone like Morden or Richard as an apprentice. Everyone has to start somewhere, I suppose. Maybe they weren’t like that when they were younger?

From: Fade

Hi Luna, or would you prefer Vesta now? I remember reading at one point that spell components are unique to the mage using them, and that generally there is a word and accompanying hand motion at their most basic level. I read that with practice a mage can eliminate the vocal or physical requirements, and that it was often a mark of power or respect to be able to do so. Meanwhile, it seems like even most of the more combat capable mages (who are elementalists, at least) such as Landis and Vihaela (is Landis considered a Master Mage?) seem to still use hand gestures. My questions are:

1)Do magic types like Mind, Time, and Divination still start out with the same components? Did Alex, Sonder, and just about every mind mage you’ve seen simply move past the need to use these components?
2) Is it for some reason easier to remove components from spells that don’t effect the physical world than it is to remove components from spells that do, like elemental spells?
3) Have you ever encountered a mage who can use combat spells without speaking or gesturing? Someone who can just stand there with their arms crossed and mouth shut in the middle of a duel? Thanks!

1) For whatever reason, the more non-physical magic types (like all the universalists) don’t use components anywhere near as much. I think it’s a psychological thing. If you’re doing something that you can see right there in front of you, you feel like you ‘need’ to move your hand or something. If you’re just seeing into the future, well, it’s not like there’s some muscle that corresponds with that.

2) No, I think it’s more to do with mindset. It’s not that they remove them, they just never learned them that way in the first place. It might be tradition at this point too – all the fire mages teach their apprentices with components, all the time mages don’t, so it’s just become a habit.

3) Weirdly enough, no. You’d think it would be an advantage, but no-one seems to do it. Maybe the extra concentration isn’t worth the effort?

Oh, and I still go by Luna in the shop. I just use Vesta with mages.

From: Faragorn

So, if the fire gauntlett Cinder now has was in with the dont-use collection, what is the drawback to wearing/using it?

I asked Alex a while back. Apparently when you put the gauntlet on for the first time there’s some sort of test of strength. If you lose it eats your hand. Possibly the rest of you as well.

Oh, and it’s not a fire gauntlet. Cinder does the fire part.

From: Bill

Having read the series, I am now convinced that the films should be choreographed by the team from John Wick. How do I make this happen?

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to like those films when I went in, but they were actually really cool.

From: Laz

Hi Luna, 2 questions you might know the answer to.

How is the English version of pizza express pizza?

Richards fighting “style” at the end of Bound seems very similar to Alex’s “style” against the gun wielding thralls of the splinter crown. So light/(most) diviners are “twitchy”, are dark diviners less twitchy? And more like Alex and Richard?

I know you where not around for either incident mentioned but I assume you may have been at other similar incidents and gone out for pizza with Vari.

Thanks -laz

Pizza Express when I was growing up was this sort of not-fancy semi-fancy place that was just expensive enough to be special. The other girls would go there for birthdays and stuff. The pizza’s decent by English standards I guess, but it’s pretty bad compared to what you’d get in Italy or Sicily.

Light diviners are ‘twitchy’ in that they generally don’t want to get anywhere near combat at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Council diviner fight.

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