This page is the index for the Encyclopaedia Arcana, a series of articles about the background and setting of the world of the Alex Verus novels. A new Encyclopaedia entry will be posted at 9:00 AM most Fridays.

Encyclopaedia Arcana: Introduction

This is the intro to what’s going to be a long-running series of posts, the Encyclopaedia Arcana.  I’ll post a new entry most Fridays.  Sometimes the Friday slot may be taken up by something else, but usually it’ll be an … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #1: Introduction to Magic

Beginning apprentices and other newcomers to the magical world tend to have two big questions about magic.  The first is the why – what it is, where it comes from, and why some people can use it when others can’t. … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #2: The Three Families

Mages divide the types of magic into three broad families:  elemental, living, and universal. Elemental Magic Elemental magic is the magic of the physical world.  The most well-known types of elemental magic are air, fire, earth, and water, but lightning … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #3: Types of Magic

Mages usually categorise each other in one of three ways.  The first is by affiliation – whether they’re Dark, Light, or independent.  The second is how trained and experienced they are – apprentice, master, or somewhere in between.  Finally they … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #4: Normals, Sensitives, and Adepts

So far this Encyclopaedia has mainly dealt with mages.  There’s a good reason for this – mages represent the greatest concentration of power in the magical world.  They don’t rule every corner of it, but it’s very much built in … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #5: Light Mages

There are two main power blocs within mage society – Light mages and Dark mages.  Mages who don’t side with either are called independent or unaligned.  Of the two factions, the Light mages are by far the more organised. Dark … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #6: Dark Mages

Dark mages are the counterpart to Light mages.  At various points the two factions have fought against each other, most recently in the Gate Rune War of the twentieth century, but at present Light and Dark mages share an uneasy … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #7: Divination Magic (Part One)

The first type of magic this Encyclopaedia will look at is divination, a type of universal magic.  A mage who can use divination magic is called a diviner, a seer, a probability mage, or (if you want to annoy them) … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #8: Divination Magic (Part Two)

The first part of this entry explained that divination magic allows its user to see the probability of future events.  This second part will take a look at what that means in practice. A Hundred and One Uses for Seeing … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #9: Chance Magic

Chance magic is also called luck or fortune magic, and just like divination it’s a type of universal magic.  A mage who can use it is called a chance mage, a luck mage, or sometimes (especially if the mage is … Continue reading

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