2019 Overview

Happy New Year to everyone!  Here’s what’ll be coming in the Alex Verus world during 2019.  

First news is that the edits on Alex Verus #10, Fallen, are done.  This book’s had a nice easy edits stage, so I was able to get the edit/rewrite phase done without any trouble.  There are still copy-edits and proofreading changes to be done, but the version that you’ll be reading later this year is going to be 99% identical to the one I’ve got on my hard drive right now.  

With Fallen wrapped up, I can get to work on Alex Verus #11, which’ll be the penultimate book in the series.  I’m aiming to plan it out over the next month or two, and start work around the beginning of spring, with the hope of finishing around this autumn. 

And speaking of this autumn, that’s when Fallen will be coming out!  Current release date is 10 October 2019, and as usual I’ll try to put the first chapter online a month or two in advance (so say sometime in August).  

And hopefully by the time Fallen comes out, I’ll have finished book 11.  Which means that around this time next year, at the beginning of 2020, I’ll be starting the twelfth and final Alex Verus novel and bringing the series to a close.  

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Still out of the country, so my Internet access isn’t very reliable.  I’ll do a New Year’s post next week with a run down of what’s coming in the Alex Verus world in 2019.  Until then, enjoy the holiday!

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Ask Luna #120

From: Derek

Do you know if radiation, lightning sound, and light/darkness magic types can use gate magic? I know death mages can use it but for some reason life mages cannot so do you need range magic that you can create beams and shields of elemental energy in order to use it? Also do you know if Vihaela can use gate magic or not? Being a hybrid with one type that can but another that can’t, I don’t know how that would affect it one way or the other although she is scary enough even if she can’t use it.

Lightning and sound mages can. Radiation and light/darkness mages (which are basically the same thing) usually can too, but I think it’s a little more variable (you get a few who can’t). I might be misremembering though, they’re not one of the types I have much experience with.

I’m pretty sure Vihaela can use gate magic, but for obvious reasons I’ve never gotten close enough to check.

From: Kevin

So here’s one thing that has always baffled me, is when Richard imprisoned Alex after he tried to rescue Katherine is that right before Richard had Tobruk take him away, he said that giving her up was Alex’s last chance and when he didn’t Richard shook his head and said Alex wasn’t strong enough to be a Dark mage. But during his imprisonment apparently Richard and some of the others (I guess Shireen because I doubt Rachel or Onyx would make the effort) tried to convince him to come back and Richard seemed convinced that he was still a candidate for his Chosen when Alex looked back on Rachel’s memories. Now I know Richard is a master manipulator but what is up with all of this contradictory behavior? Maybe I misremember whether or not Richard visited him during that time but for someone who claims to want willing people under his employment telling them that they are to weak in body, mind, and soul to be his Chosen seems to be the worst way to do so.

To be honest, I’ve never known exactly what’s up with Richard and Alex. Sometimes it’s like you say, he seems like he’s just waiting for Alex to take up his old position as Chosen again. And sometimes it’s like Alex is his enemy and he’s just keeping him around until the time comes to settle things for good. Maybe the real answer is that he’s just holding his options open and he won’t make a final decision until he has to.

From: Mitchell

So I don’t know if this means anything in Light/Dark Council politics but do you think Morden and Richard resent who ended up as their Chosen? By that I mean do you think they are taking a hit politically for having, for lack of a better term, uncontrollable and overall inefficient Chosen. Onyx and Deleo may be strong battle mages, but Onyx is a brutal thug who’s proclivity towards violence prevents him thinking long term which is why Morden ended up imprisoned and Deleo is too erratic to know if she can do a job right without attacking Alex.

And a quick follow up to that, has Richard taken any flak for not succeeding in making Alex a Dark Mage? Even if he did not become his Chosen, Alex has publicly opposed and even prevented some of Richard’s plans from happening which in my humble opinion would indicate failure on the teacher’s part.

I think you’re probably onto something as far as that goes. I’m pretty sure that a big part of the reason that Onyx and Deleo hate Alex so much is that they’ve got the feeling that Richard and Morden would much rather have had Alex as their Chosen instead. Of course, like you say, the whole reason they got passed over is because they’re so damn psychotic they can’t be trusted to walk down the street without murdering someone, but it doesn’t seem like self-awareness is one of their strong suits.

As for the second question, no idea. Maybe he’s taken some sort of status hit among Dark mages, but I’m not plugged into that community so I wouldn’t know.

From: Kevin

So a few questions about universal magic since you and Alex are so awesome at using it.

1. I was curious if Chance and Divination magic are interconnected with each other? Alex was a really effective teacher for you until you met Chalice and was very proficient with the Fateweaver which seems be advanced/alternate Chance magic. I don’t if there is a hybrid type between diviners and chance mages but they seem to have a similar skillset.

2. On a similar note, I know that time magic can see the past and divination the future which makes sort of like mirror magic types. Do you think Chance and Space magic mirror each other as well? By that I mean Space magic can indirectly affect reality using by using one method, while Chance magic can in theory use an infinite amount of methods to indirectly affect reality. It would make for a nice duality/interconnected use for the main types of universal magic and it would be great to hear your thoughts this!

1. Kind of, yeah. I do feel that as far as magic goes, Alex and I get each other on some sort of instinctive level that other mages don’t. Back when he was my teacher and I was struggling with something he couldn’t always help, but when I tried to explain what that problem was, he always seemed to get it. It wasn’t until I joined the apprentice programme that I realised how rare that was – when I’d do the same thing with the average elemental or living mage, I’d just get a blank look. Obviously Chalice is best of all, but out of all the non-chance mage teachers I’ve had, Alex would come in at the top. And it works the same in reverse – it always seems kind of obvious to me how his divination works, when lots of other mages seem to find it really confusing.

2. No, not even close. I don’t have the first idea how space magic works, and space mages don’t seem to have a clue how I do things either. I actually feel like I’ve got less in common with them than I do with elementalists.

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Ask Luna #119

From: Alan

So I was wondering since Landis is rather eccentric do you think his mage name is actually one of his birth names? I could see him simply not bothering with one and everyone would just assume it was him being strange without realizing it was his actually his real name. Seems like something he would do, he may be odd but I think we need more people like Levistus or Sarque.

Good guess. It’s his family name, Vari told me a while ago. I’ve no idea why he picked it, but probably it’s the whole eccentricity thing.

From: William

1. What exactly is a xen? I read that they were some of the magical creatures you met but I could not find anything else about them.
2. I also read in an older Ask Luna about different types of elemental systems aside from the Western system, with the one in South America being a weird mix of elements and something else. Is that something else similar to being spirit based for lack of a better term or something else? I know it’s been awhile but I was curious about how other mages around the world use magic.

1. I don’t know much about them. They’re supposed to be named after the place they came from, which was some weird alternate reality that mages used to access a long long time ago. Never seen one, or heard of one still being around, so maybe they’re all gone now.

2. I think it’s vaguely spirit-based, yeah. I don’t know much about it, though, so that might be way off base. I get the impression that it’s a sort of hybrid of European traditions and some older ones.

From: Kevin

So Chalice seems to be a really effective Chance mage, do you know how she manages to not get used by Richard or Morden or stay off the notice of the Light Council? I know she mainly keeps to herself but everyone seems to want to use the services of rare magic types regardless of said mage feelings as Alex can attest to.

So just because a magic type is rare doesn’t mean it’s sought-after. Time magic is rare and sought-after, space magic is rare and sought after. Chance magic is . . . just rare. It comes down to how useful a magic type is, or to be more specific, how much certain powerful mages want wielders of that particular magic type around. The Council love space and time mages because they can move stuff around and they can turn up evidence. They’re fifty-fifty on diviners because when diviners turn up evidence they might turn up the wrong kind. And they don’t like chance mages at all, because chance magic is all about chaos and randomness, which are two things the Council hates.

So that’s why Chalice doesn’t get bothered by the Council. As for Richard and Morden, that’s a good question. Chalice doesn’t say anything about it, but I’ve got a feeling she probably takes quite a few precautions that she doesn’t tell other people about.

From: Sam

Okay I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question but I wondering how exactly you would discover the magic of a diviner if it is so hard to detect? In theory couldn’t Alex or other diviners claim that they are mind or enchanter mages and use divination to duplicate those effects? I only ask because Richard seemed to know Alex was a diviner but I thought that was just Richard using some advanced magic items or are there other methods?

Generally you don’t. Diviners get identified because they say they’re diviners and they do diviner things. So yes, there’s nothing actually stopping a diviner from pretending to be an enchanter, or a mind mage, or vice versa. The funny thing is, though, they would actually stand out. Diviners, enchanters, and mind mages all have really distinctive personalities. Not enough that you can guess it just from getting to know them – at least I can’t – but enough that once you find out what they can do, you go ‘oh, that makes sense’. I can’t imagine Alex being an enchanter, it just wouldn’t fit.

From: Charles

So what exactly going on with this Benedict Jacka character who writes the books and manages this website? Is he an adept, sensitive, or normal you guys made a deal with, or is it just a fictional pseudonym you guys use to throw of your enemies with?

Don’t know who you’re talking about.

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December Update

Hi all!  Here’s what’s going on in the Alex Verus world.  

First-round edits for Alex Verus #10, Fallen, are in.  I’m out of the country over the Christmas period but I’m aiming to get them done before I get back.  The good news is that these changes look to be minor – no major alterations or rewrites – so the book’s still well on schedule for its 2019 release.  

For those of you who are reading the German edition, Fated is going to be an Amazon Daily Deal on Amazon.de on January 12th.  In related news, the Alex Verus series is apparently doing quite well in Germany, so Blanvalet are going to continue to translate and publish the series.  Books #3 and #4, Taken and Chosen, are next in line, and the current plan is to release at six month intervals.  

Fated and Cursed are also going to be published in the Czech Republic by Fantom Print.  Current plans are to release around late 2019/early 2020.  

And with the edits for Book #10 established, I can start planning out Book #11.  That’s not going to be published until 2020, though, so we’re getting pretty far into the future!

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Ask Luna #118

From: Kevin

Hello Luna just a few clarifications on the Senior Council.
1. Do you know why Druss the Red and Levistus are at odds with each other? I know that Sonder said that there was some kinda of Isolationist-Director conflict but isn’t Levistus also tied to the Directors?
2. I was also kinda of surprised to see that Universalist mages were on the Senior/Junior Council, I thought they were mainly Chance, Diviners, Space and Time mages. Is that what you meant or did I misunderstand what Universal mages consist of?
3. One thing that I am curious about is the Weissian faction I have barely heard about them in the series and I was wondering what they are doing during all of this Light vs Dark Mage conflict? Thanks for answering these questions you are awesome!

1. No clue. These guys have years and years worth of histories with each other and unless you pay seriously close attention to Light politics you’ll never keep track of who hates who and for what reason. I don’t even bother to try.

2. Those are the most common types of universalist, yeah. They’re less common on the Council, but you do get the odd one.

3. As I understand it they’re at a low ebb at the moment. They were a lot more influential when the mood was “Dark and Light mages are at peace, everything’s great, let’s paper over the cracks”. Now that the cracks have turned into all-out war not many people are interested in buying what they’re selling.

From: Craig

So after reading some responses from “Morden” and “Alex Verus” (that punctuation line was great by the way) do you think that it may be possible that it could be resentful Light or Dark Mages might be the ones who are trolling you aside from the regular variety? For some weird reason I could imagine Lyle sending you some just to vent off stress, he seems the type.

I really would have thought that Lyle’s grammar is better than that, but who knows.

From: John

So I know there have been many questions about Levistus being a mind mage but I was wondering if you knew what type of mind magic he is most proficient in? Is it it possible by pure skill or magical enhancements he could do more than what one mind mage could usually do?

The answer to the second question is a definite yes, because master mages can always do more than a mage of their type is “supposed” to be able to do. Either it’s skill, or it’s additional talents that they’ve trained up, or it’s super-powerful imbued items that they keep secret. They always have an edge, and they’re super paranoid about keeping their edge hidden from everyone else. It’s one of the reasons that master mages don’t generally get into fights with one another. Everyone wants to keep their trump cards a secret.

From: Callum

1. So I am have a few questions about hybrid mages. We have seen them from the Elementalist and Living families is it possible for Universalist as well? Could Divination, Chance, Space, and Time overlap with each other in any combination?
2. Have you ever seen or heard of the three magic families overlapping with other like an Fire mage with Divination or Mind magic with Space or is that even possible
3. Do you know what type of mage Solace is?

1. They can . . . sort of. For whatever reason, those types seem a lot more discrete than the elemental ones. You get elemental hybrids in every flavour you can dream up, but I’ve never heard of a mage who can use both precognition and timesight.

2. That’s a lot more common, though still unusual. They often don’t really get considered hybrids at all, though I’m not really sure why. I know one mage whose magic’s a sort of mix of fire and space, but for whatever reason he gets referred to as a fire mage who just happens to be really good at gating, even though it doesn’t make much sense.

3. Water mage. Though I get the impression she’s not all that good a one.

From: Michael

So not looking for an exact number but do you have an rough estimate of how many diviners are in Great Britain? By that I mean is it around a hundred or between the single digits and the teens. Also have you met any other diviners? It would be interesting to see how similar or different they are compared to Alex.

I think if you narrow it down to actually capable diviners, you can count them on your fingers. It’s definitely less than a dozen. Though there might be a handful more independents who manage to keep a low enough profile that no-one really knows about them. I think I’ve met about three. They’re all very different from Alex in different ways, but they each had odd little things that reminded me of him.  

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Ask Luna #117

From: Kevin

So my last question for awhile I just have been having trouble forming them all at once and not writing them down ahead of time. But I have a theory on why Richard and Morden want Alex in a position of power despite his repeated rejections of being a Dark Mage. Every since he was an apprentice Alex has been shaped by Richard even though he was not aware of it at the time. Alex punishment for rescuing Catherine by being imprisoned in a cell with nothing but his magic made him very effective in combat and he has taken down top battle mages like Tobruk, Onyx and Belthas, albeit it indirectly but battles are rarely won straight up or fairly. When Alex saw Richard in Rachel’s memories in Chosen he seemed to view Alex as a viable candidate for being his Chosen, not exactly giving him up like he implied to Alex in Fated, and while this may be Dark Mage apprentice politics this clearly shows that Richard thought Alex would be potentially useful regardless of what had happened during the process. Next, Morden coerced Alex into becoming his aide, but with that appointment Alex has learned/enhanced his political skills and is now forming a base of power that mages like Spire have noticed. He has opposed and weakened Levistus and the Crusaders the two biggest threats to the Dark Mages and if that was not enough Alex has also helped those with less influence and power, from adepts, sensitives, and independant mages, which is something the rest of the Council and Dark Mages have not ever done in a meaningful way. So why would Richard and Morden care about this? Because despite all of their power they are still Dark Mages and suffer from the limitations of the might makes right mentality. In other words they have no way of controlling other Dark Mages, Onyx and his cabal being prime examples, at least without descending into infighting which would leave them defenseless against their enemies and that is where the Council as the institution comes in. They do not want to usurp/destroy the Council they actually want to integrate the Light and the Dark, and the Guardians and Directors are in the way of that. Plus in order to get everyone else on board they need to have someone the magical public can trust, who does not have a lack of morals and pendence for destruction which is where Alex comes in. In spite of his past he still has support from the magical world as being an Independent something that no Dark Mage similar to Alex’s skillset could ever achieve. Granted this might only be temporary to gain power over the Light Council but that is my best guess of why Richard wants Alex despite all of the setbacks he has inflicted upon him. Sorry for the ramble but do you think this is plausible? Also you have two cool names both regular and magical which is what none of the Light Council has. Another theory, Levistus’s real name is actually Boris or Barry and he adopted a pretentious name to compensate for it. Perhaps Alex can ask him to find out?

It’s possible, I guess. It’s really hard to figure out what Morden and Richard’s long-term plans are since they’re not exactly the type to give interviews, and most of the time we have other things to worry about anyway.

(I think there’s a bit of a disconnect between us and most of the people who ask us these sorts of questions – they seem really fascinated with Richard, while we’re more worried about the Council. If someone tried to kill us tomorrow, it’s be much more likely to be Levistus. And no, I don’t know his real name, though that idea’s kind of funny.)

From: Kurt Von Bosse

Hello Luna, I have a couple of questions for you today.

Anne told Alex that she couldn’t initiate a mental conversation with Alex through the connection they have using the dreamstone unless Alex holds the link open. If Alex fails to do this Anne finds she is talking to herself, unless Alex reopens their mental link.

I’m wondering if you have the same problem using mental communication with Alex or can you initiate mental conversations with Alex without him having to establish the mental link first? Also, can you hold mental conversations with Varium or Anne without Alex’s help?

My second question is about the latest incident at the Tiger’s Palace. You were invited to that gathering by an adept. I’m wondering if he or anyone else you may have met before hand who was also there that night has dropped by the Arcana Emporium to see you. Perhaps they wanted to make sure you were OK and, or perhaps they wanted to talk about what happened. I’m curious what the adepts you know have said about that night. Do they blame the Council, Richard or perhaps both sides, or perhaps there’s a mix of opinions. Then again, perhaps none of the magic adepts you know want to talk openly about what happened because they fear the Council might come after them. What have you heard that you can share with us?

Yeah, same problem. It’s like having a mobile phone that can’t make calls. If Alex calls me I can pick up, but I can’t ring him back, and I can’t talk to anyone else at all. It’s pretty much the same way that mind mages’ telepathy works. If they don’t set up the link, you can’t talk.

Generally, from what I can tell, the attitude among the adepts about the Tiger’s Palace mess-up is negative, but not outright violent. It made the ones who disliked the Council dislike them more, but it wasn’t a flashpoint like what happened last year. Which I’m calling a success, more or less, since I’m pretty sure it would have been a lot worse if Alex and I hadn’t been there.

Oh, and they do talk to me, more or less. I’m still seen as kind of an intermediary. The shop probably helps.

From: Jake

Hi Luna hope you are holding up okay just have a few questions about the Dark Mages that you have to deal with hopefully for not too long.
1. Is there a reason Richard hasn’t dealt with Onyx yet? It seems that being connected to Morden along with being a powerful Dark Mage in his own right would be enough for Richard to want to check that challenge to his power. What else could Richard be doing that would be more important then that?
2. Do you that Morden and Richard fear/respect Alex? By that I mean that when they were coercing him in Bound they never seemed to push him too far, show disrespect, or even threaten him like they did at the end of Burned. To me it appeared that they treated him like he was a Dark Mage who worked for them, even when Alex said he did not want anything to do with them repeatedly. Do you they were trying to avoid blowback by being relatively respectful?
3. Has anyone tried to find out the history of Richard or Morden? I mean I doubt it will come up with much but it might explain how they came to power. Perhaps they were in a situation like Alex was when he was in high school. Not that Alex is like them at all but being abused by those with power might make them want power in return.
4. This might be a long shot but is it possible that Richard and Morden were fellow apprentices together? It would explain why they are close because you would think Dark Mages would not share power like they seem to do.

1. Apparently Onyx isn’t high enough on his priority list to merit a visit. I think most of Richard’s time these days goes on keeping his new Dark-mage coalition in line.

2. Fear him, no. Respect him, yes. But it’s probably more a matter of their management style than anything else. I’ve met plenty of Dark mages that will threaten you with brute force at the drop of a hat. Richard and Morden both seem to prefer to use persuasion first.

3 & 4. I don’t think Richard and Morden were at school together or anything (that’s the kind of thing someone would probably have found out by now) and they definitely weren’t apprentices together. They might have gotten to know each other when they were younger, though. It’s pretty weird to think of them as teenagers.

From: Luke

So is there a reason that Richard or Morden have not recruited a Dark Diviner? Alex is great at what he does but I would think even a lesser skilled one would be good to have staff. I mean I know diviners are rare but you would think with their resources they could get at least one.

Diviners are really rare and they’re pretty good at not being recruited if they don’t want to be. So that’s half of it. The other half is that Richard and Morden seem a lot more interested in Alex than they would be if it was only his magic they were looking for.

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Ask Luna #116

From: Richard Lee

Hi Luna,
Why can’t anyone see that Richard is a diviner? A while ago when Alex was debating whether to grab a knife off himself table and stab Richard … Richard just sat there – I think henwasndoingbexactkynwhatbLaex does and diving the situation.

I had to squint and read that last sentence about three times before I figured out what you were saying. I’m guessing it was meant to be “he was doing exactly what Alex does”.

From: Kevin

So I have a few questions about diviners other than Alex such as..
1. Why did Helikon teach Alex when he seems so focused on survival? I don’t see him as the helping someone for nothing kinda of guy, nor as a teacher but I have only seen him a few times so maybe he has a softer side? Unlikely but that is all I can come up with.
2. Do you know anything about Alaundo, who seems to be the premier Light Council diviner? Alex seems to be the exception when it comes to active diviners in politics so why does Alaundo seem to take a greater interest in them when all the other diviners seem to hide out and work on a case to case basis?
3. Is Alex also an exception when it comes to short term divination? It seems the diviners we have met seem to work better with mid-to long term, while Alex seems to do better with short term futures?
4. Also are Helikon and Alaundo similar in that they work better with long term divinations, or do they specialize in a different sort of divination. It could be that the Council just wanted a second opinion in Burned and that they are long term specialists I just thought I would ask to be certain.

1. It’s more common than you’d think. There are a lot of mages out there, and from personal experience, very few of them are the ‘something for nothing’ sort. But despite that, most mages take apprentices at some point or other. As to why, your guess is as good as mine. Either they do actually care about the next generation, or it’s about ego.

2. Don’t really know anything about him. For whatever reason he works with the Council when the others don’t.

3. Yeah, pretty much. Your magic isn’t just based off your personality, it also grows with you, and the more you practice something, the more your abilities develop in that direction. Alex spends way more time getting himself into dangerous situations than most diviners, so he’s gotten really good at short-term precognition.

4. Again, this really isn’t my speciality. Sorry.

From: Kevin

So I wanted to break my questions off and to wanted offer a theory on Richard and his potential magic type. Now this question has been asked so many times and all we can do is speculate, but have you ever thought that Richard using that strange universal magic for lack of a better term, is also shielding others from detecting his magic by way of deflection? He also seems to want people to think he is a mind or enchanter mage, but what if the source of his power grants him other abilities we have not seen such as enhanced mental abilities that go with manipulation as some mind mages can do. He is already physically enhanced so why wouldn’t he enhance his mind as well. As for his true magic type I think he is a diviner but unlike the others he is only good at path walking and not short or long term predictions. He seemed quite surprised when Alex rejected his offer in Hidden, along with Rachel attacking Alex, Onyx’s presence during the break in at the Vault and Alex striking him in Bound and I don’t think he predicted Alex helping Anne get away from the jinn in Marked. Perhaps a side effect of that power he has gained is that only certain types of divinations can be granted towards him, power does have a price as Arachne points out. Plus free will can be hard to sort out in general
as people can make split decisions and it seems to be harder for long term diviners judging by what we have seen thus far. Plus awhile ago someone pointed out that Alex being confined in the mansion was a great way to hone his combat divination perhaps he wanted a resourceful diviner who could do the types of short term divination that he could not? This is just speculation but every mystery is solved little by little and this seems to be viable what do you think?

Sure, I guess. I have a bit of trouble figuring out how to answer all these ‘I think Richard’s magic type is X’ questions. I mean, yes, it could make sense. But we’ve spent a long time talking and thinking about it and we’ve basically all decided that the answer comes down to ‘don’t know enough, have to wait and see’.

From: Grey

How big is the Light Council in Britain? And how does it compare to the other Light Councils based in other countries? Thanks.

Depends. If you mean “how many mages sit on the Junior and Senior Council” then it’s thirteen. If you mean “how many mages are involved in the Light Council in some position of power or other” then it’s hundreds, maybe as many as a thousand. If you mean “how many people does the Council employ or can call on” then it’s easily ten times that number, since the Council has way, way more sensitives and adepts than it has mages.

Councils in other countries are pretty similar, and their sizes are more or less proportional to the size of the country as I understand it.

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Back from holiday, and while I’m waiting for my edits, I’ve put together a FAQ covering some of the most common questions I get regarding Alex Verus and my books in general.  You can see it up on the top menu bar, so go take a look!

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Ask Luna #115

From: zane ferraioli

What does Arachne eat?

Meat. Some of it is cows. At least, I’m pretty sure they’re cows. The rest is . . . other stuff. I asked about it once, and Arachne was just vague enough to make me feel that I probably didn’t want to know.

From: selendra

Hello Luna,

Landis has been very helpful. What is the balance of favours between Alex and Landis? Did Landis ever ask something from Alex?

What is Talisid’s magic type? Does he have any apprentices? Did he ascend the ranks since Alex first met him?

How do communication devices work? Can you dial a number/name of mage like a phone or do you need to connect devices?

Is it possible to shield your thoughts from a mind mage? How? Are there any passive foci to do it for you?

How does a shroud work? How are shrouds created? Are they difficult to create? How common are they? Do they work against divination too?

Alex has helped Landis out once or twice, but I’m pretty sure the balance of favours is heavily in Landis’s credit. Landis is a bit weird by mage standards, though (okay, more than a bit) – he doesn’t seem super concerned about collecting on debts. I’m kind of curious as to what he is concerned about.

Talisid’s a mind mage. He doesn’t have any apprentices or family that I know about – seems to be one of those married-to-the-job types. Don’t know whether his rank/influence has gone up but it feels like it might have done.

Comms devices vary. The Council have an integrated system, other mages use home-made sets. You can’t dial a number or anything like that – you need to have the right frequency/be on the same circuit, which honestly means that for casual use, a phone is a lot more convenient.

Yes, you can shield your thoughts from a mind mage, and yes, there are foci that help. It’s a big complicated subject.

Shrouds are specifically designed to prevent against time and space detection magic (so, timesight and scrying). Apparently the two magic types are linked in some way so that if you’re shielding against one it’s really easy to shield against both. The mechanisms vary – lower-end ones are active, higher-end ones are passive, really high-grade ones can do both. Shrouds don’t work well against divination at all – I don’t really understand the theory behind it, but for whatever reason blocking divination is a totally different thing from blocking timesight (even though you’d think they’d be similar).

From: Alex Verus

Luna be a good girl and admit I am at least a nine out of ten you think Anne would go for anything that is not above average? Also how would you rate Vari and Sonder I know the answer, I just want to know if you do.

I could give you at least five reasons why I know you’re not Alex, but I’ll just stick with the fact that Alex is a lot better at punctuation.

From: Erin

Hey Luna!

You are now running Arcana Emporium Mark 2 (Alex likes to call it that, fyi) and I think it’s awesome. For the 1%!

I have read quite a few questions about Mage Drakh and personally, I agree with Alex that he might also be a Diviner.

I was looking for clues regarding his magic type, and maybe I wasn’t really paying attention but all I got was that in the past, Richard never did overt magic and always knew when an apprentice is planning something. Of course, we can say that it might be because he is perceptive but I don’t really buy that.

As Archon, he used this unidentified magic type during the battle at the Vault. Also, he never got hit in the Vault Battle; he tried bluster first against Jarnaff instead of just overpowering him immediately like any other Dark mage (maybe because he wants to keep his magic type a secret but he’s going to kill everyone anyway); his laser thing had four different types of magic interwoven and it bypassed Jarnaff’s shield (first time I learned it can be done! Honestly, Richard is unbelievably intelligent.); he came from another world just before he returned to London, and maybe, that’s where he picked up his magic.

Or maybe (Occam’s Razor haha I’m full of guesses) as a Diviner, he can use his divination to full effect and, like Alex in Marked, divined what he needed (imbued items etc) and how to use them to full extent.

Anyway, oh my this is getting long, weren’t Landis wondering how had Alex got inside his head (like a mind mage) to warn him off? (It’s amazing how Diviners can have weird powers when they have mastered an imbued item.) ^__^

Thank you and take care!

P.S. I love Hermes, please give him a rasher of bacon from me pretty please…

Yeah, the diviner theory is still the one I personally think makes the most sense. Alex seems dubious about it, though – he just doesn’t think that Richard’s way of acting feels very diviner-like. And, well, he’d know.

I doubt Landis wondered much about how Alex could talk to him mentally – there are a lot of weird specific foci out there, so I guess he just assumed Alex had picked up a telepathy focus from somewhere? Though Landis does seem to pick up on a lot more than he lets on, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d guessed it was more than that.

And yeah, I like Hermes too, but honestly, I think he’s the last creature on Earth who needs help getting food. I think he just likes being fed for the attention as much as anything.

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