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 #10: Time Magic

Time is one of the more common types of universal magic, though given the rarity of universal mages time mages are still vastly outnumbered by elementalists.  It’s a notoriously difficult type to master:  many time adepts give up in frustration … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #11: Introduction to Spells

The powers of a novice mage manifest in weird and unpredictable ways.  The magical energy is channelled into effects, but since the mage has no real idea what he’s doing it’s anyone’s guess what the result will be – they’re … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #12: Spell Components

It’s possible for a mage to cast a spell with only their mind and will, but most don’t.  Instead they add extra ingredients to a spells formula, and these are referred to as components. In theory just about anything that … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #13: Learning Spells

Before a mage can practise a spell he has to learn it, which is easier said than done.  There are two main ways for a mage to learn a new spell – they can be taught it by another mage, … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #14: Council Factions (Part One)

Mages are an individualistic lot and the Light Council is divided into many political factions.  The two big questions in Light politics are: • How should the Council deal with Dark mages? • What sort of relationship should mages have … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #15: Council Factions (Part Two)

Part One of this article introduced the Isolationist and Guardian factions:  this part will cover Crusaders, Centrists, and Directors. Crusaders The Crusaders are the most militaristic amongst the Light Council.  Very few Light mages are completely comfortable with Dark ones, … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #16: Council Factions (Part Three)

This entry finishes up our guide to the political factions of the Light Council by looking at the Weissians and the Unity Bloc. Weissians The Weissian movement takes its name from the writings of the nineteenth-century mage Kolman Weiss.  Weiss … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #17: A Mage’s Name

Newcomers to the magical world have a lot of questions.  One question that everyone asks sooner or later is “How come mages have such weird names?” It’s a fair point.  For every mage who calls themselves Alex or Anne, there … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #18: Fire Magic (Part One)

Fire magic is probably the most iconic type of magic out there.  It’s common, widely known, and very very noticeable. Playing with Fire At a basic level, fire magic gives control over heat:  creating it, manipulating it, and moving it.  … Continue reading

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Encyclopaedia Arcana #19: Fire Magic (Part Two)

Part One of this article described the powers of fire magic:  this part will look at the nature of fire mages, and their place in the magical world. Why So Much Fire? Elemental magic is the most common family of … Continue reading

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