Ask Luna #134

From: Warren

Are there any Junior Council members who have a significant role on the Council? I only ask because it seems that Alex is the only one on his branch who is helping out with the recent Light/Dark crisis, and before that Morden and Levistus seemed to be the only ones on the Junior Council who were actively engaged in events. Are they and Alex just exceptions to the rule or is there something else that is going on that I am missing?

They do things, just not things that you’ll see. Alex is really unusual in that he still kept going on on missions and raids even after being raised to the Council. Usually Junior and Senior Council are politicians and managers. They make decisions, but they don’t actually go into the field and carry them out.

Alex actually gets a lot of criticism from the rest of the Council for doing field work like this – they think it’s a distraction from running things (not that they want him running things). Though personally I think it’d do the Council good to go out and get their hands dirty a bit more.

From: Curtis

Okay so do you remember when Morden told Alex he would resume being Richard’s assistance or else? Well right after that Richard told Alex to become Morden’s aide, which seems to indicate there is some miscommunication going on. Now do you think could mean something or am I just splitting hairs here?

I had to read this question three times to figure out what you were trying to say.

Morden sent Alex to Richard, Richard sent Alex back to Morden. Kind of annoying, but not super significant as far as I can tell.

From: James

Hey Luna thanks for answering my question about Alex and Richard I just have a few follow ups.

1. Are the things Richard can do that pure diviners cannot the weird gating and black shield/ energy projections? Sorry if that was obvious but those were the only things I can think off that would be powers that diviners would not have unless I am missing something.

2. What are some other magic types that are a similar power set to diviners? I doubt this will help out with discovering what Richard’s is, I am just curious about skillsets that overlap with diviners.

3. Lastly do you think that the weird black shield Richard uses is an imbued item? For some reason it reminded me of Alex’s shield and mist cloak at the same time, if that makes sense.

Thanks for answering these have a great rest of your day!

1. Gating, shields, and energy projection are things that diviners are very definitely not supposed to be able to do, and they’re really good arguments against Richard being a diviner, full stop. Divination magic can’t directly affect the physical world at all.

2. Not many! Almost every magic type has some way of affecting the physical world around them. Chance and time both have overlaps, but they can do a lot more than just gather information. Honestly, the only other ones who are that limited are generally adepts.

3. It could be, but it’d have to be something really special. There are defensive imbued items out there, but they usually aren’t that powerful or versatile.

From: Michael

Do you think one of the reasons why Richard and Morden want Alex on their side is because he can do what goes against what his magic type is supposed to? Morden is a death mage but we rarely see him use it, most of the time he uses his mind/will or other non magical measures seems just as good at politics, if not better what mind mages on the council are. And since Richard is most likely not an Elementalist he most likely has adapted from whatever else his non-combat type is to be powerful enough to take down several Keeper strike teams. I am sure there are other more important reasons but do you think this could be one of them?

Indirectly . . . yeah, I do feel like that’s part of it. I think Richard and Morden seem to care a lot about resourcefulness, and that’s part of the reason that they’ve both sidelined their Chosen. They aren’t just looking for brute power, they want people who can do stuff that you wouldn’t expect from just looking at their magic type.

From: Thomas

1. Do you know what Dark Mage philosophy Chalice follows? She is hard to pin down I would almost say almost a Centrist but would that even make sense for Dark Mages?

2. If you had to guess what Dark Mage faction do you Alex would follow? Granted I think he is ultimately a Light Guardian/ Independent mage wants to be left alone, but I think what makes Alex unique is that he has a foothold in all of mage society even with the Dark mages.

3. So this is bizarre but do you think Richard follows what all of the Dark Mage factions believe in? I remember Alex saying something similar about it, and aside from the obvious unite the Light and Dark/control the Dark Mages and everyone else, he also seems to follow some code of honor since he rewards loyalty and seems to not hold grudges; be pretty accepting of other paths, and of course have no concern for others or who is hurt in his path for power. His mage name does have Dark with a H in it and while I don’t know what that letter stands for, he does seem to think he is a visionary/egomaniac.

1. She’s a Dark Independent. They’re the pure personal freedom, leave-me-alone type. Difference from actual Independents is that they don’t recognise the Council’s authority either, though the line between the two gets blurry.

2. Probably none of them. I think he got burned too hard to go down that route again. Though who knows . . .

3. From what Alex has told me, I think he’s the ‘pure’ Dark type – believes in power as the only objective reality. They vary a lot, but they all tend to not care very much about small stuff and they’re not super bothered about other paths or belief systems so long as they don’t conflict.

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Ask Luna #133

From: Randy

1. Do you know what the most common hybrid types that come from the different magical families?
2. Are there adept hybrids as well? If there are do you what the more common ones are?
3. Is the magic type illusion considered to be part of the Elemental Living or Universal families? For some reason I think it could be any of them. Can they use gate magic or does it vary mage to mage?
4. Are there any magic types that belong to all three families or is it just a matter of perspective? Do you know what the more controversial ones that defy easy classification?

1. Elemental mixes tend to be the most common. Storm (air/lightning), volcanic (fire/earth), weather (air/water), etc etc. You can’t really pick a most common type since no-one can agree on what the types are.

2. Kind of. If the type of magic you can use is an overlapping spell, you can call yourself a hybrid adept if you want. Actually, you can call yourself a hybrid adept anyway.

3. It gets classified as living, but some people would say it’s more of a universal type. They can’t use gate magic, in any case.

4. There aren’t any, but that’s really just because mages say there aren’t. You could say that illusion is sort of all three, and death mages have a lot of overlap too.

From: Brian

Do you know why Morden had Alex and Anne appointed to the Keepers and Healers Corps when for the most part they did nothing while they were there? It seems to me Morden could of had them do other things that were more effective, otherwise why would you waste highly competent mages?

Also when Morden was discussing Light Council politics he mentioned something called the Downs Stones do you know anything about what they are and what powers they might have?

Because they had to be appointed somewhere to justify their new positions as Morden’s aides. Yeah, the appointments made no sense, and yeah, they did nothing while they were there, but technically Morden had the authority and no-one could say anything because that was one of his rights as a sitting Council member. I suppose Morden could have appointed them somewhere more useful, but why would he care about making the Council run more efficiently? If he wanted them to do something he ordered them personally, he didn’t go through the Council.

And no, I have no clue about what the Downs Stones are or what they can do, due to not caring one way or the other. Sorry.

From: Sean

Hey Luna these are just a few loose end questions that I have been curious about and are unlikely to be brought up again.
1. How do you think Richard would of reacted when he came back, if Alex had joined up with Morden as an intelligence officer? Sorry if this is a foolish question, but do you think this would have affected his offer of Alex joining him again if he took up employment with another Dark Mage?
2. Do you know who the male and female that Rachel was talking about in Burned when she attacked Alex? I kinda of thought it would be Morden and Vihaela but I do not know why she would think that since Alex has had no ties with them at that point.
3. Do you know anything about the Birkstead position that Undaaris was being pressured about? It must of been important if it caused him to vote for Alex’s death sentence.

1. He’d probably have told him ‘congratulations’. I get the feeling Richard’s been wanting Alex back on his team for a while, so he’d have been just fine with getting back to find out Morden had done it already. Don’t know if it would have affected the details of the offer, but I’d guess he’d have done something similar sooner or later.

2. Which attack are we talking about again? Sorry, but Rachel’s tried to kill Alex so many times that I can’t keep track of which attack you’re talking about, much less any comments she made at the time. Given how nuts she is I’m not sure trying to make sense of what she says is the best of ideas anyway.

3. No. It was some political doodad that someone traded to Undaaris or for Undaaris or whatever. Honestly, we never had a reason to care.

From: Sam Richards

Hey Luna,

When Alex was working as an Aide on his first day he was pressured into influencing Morden’s vote for for a cushy ambassador position that had a lot of opportunity for corruption and every faction wanted their guy to get the job. They agreed on ceding the rights to the Downs Stones or something.

Anyway, recently Alex has been discussing the duties and rights of junior council members and says the that the main difference between the Junior and Senior members is that Senior members are voting members and Junior members are not.

Has Alex clarified the duties at all now that he has learned more about the sorts of things Morden was expected to do?

What’s with everyone’s fascination with the Downs Stones . . .

So there’s a big difference between how important your Council rank says you are, and how important you actually are. Officially, Morden was a relatively low-ranking member of the Council who, like you said, didn’t even get a vote. Unofficially, he was the only Dark mage on the Council, with a file stuffed with blackmail material and a bunch of contacts and allies that no-one else had. That made him way, way more important than just another Junior Councillor – he was probably more powerful than the rest of the Junior Council put together. The whole reason Alex has had so many problems since stepping into the job is that he has the notoriety that Morden had, but without the clout to back it up.

From: Sam

Luna, do you think its possible that one of the Senior Council is a figurehead for Talisid?

More interestingly, do you believe Talisid and Spire are actually the same person? As far as we know not many people have seen spire and he habitually abstains from voting.

First question: very very unlikely.

Second question: no chance at all. I don’t keep up with Light politics and even I’m sure of that.

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Ask Luna #132

From: Gavin

After everything that has happened regarding Alex thwarting their plans, is it somehow in the realm of possibility that Alex would join up with Richard and Morden and become a Dark Mage? Obviously Alex would never do so but for some reason it seems like they think he would in spite of the fact that they coerced him for so long. Do you think they might be so ingrained in Dark Mage ideals that they can not see why he would not join up with them willingly? I get that Alex is very important to their plans and they need him but the fact that he told them to their faces no he does not want to be one of them makes me think that cognitive dissonance is going on.

Short answer would be hell no. He might do the allies of convenience thing, but genuinely sign up with them? Not in a million years.

As for why they don’t understand that, well, there are two answers we’ve tossed around. One is that they’re so blind that they just can’t understand what his problem is. The other is that they don’t need him to sign up to get him to do what they want. Both are potentially bad, but in different ways – if it’s the second, it means they’ve got something planned, and if it’s the first, things are going to get nasty once they eventually wise up.

From: Jack

Hi Luna, I have some questions about Dream Stones and Shadow Realms if you’ve got the time. If you’ve covered any of these questions, or just don’t have the time to deal with them, please feel free to ignore them.

Do you think Dream Stones contain their “sentient tendencies” or that they get them from a connection to Elsewhere? For lack of a better analogy, are they like the Fateweaver which was self-contained or like the focus Alex used to contact Starbreeze, a channel to an outside force? I ask because Alex’s account seemed to indicate he was being guided to the stones by an intelligent force. If so, do you think they derive their personalities and abilities from the portion of Elsewhere they are connected to?

Are Shadow Realms connected in anyway to Elsewhere? Is there a definite link or are Deep Shadow Realms so unstable that something as abstract as Elsewhere can influence them?

I got the impression that any mage with the time and resources could create a Shadow Realm. Do you need a sort of “seed” or “starter kit” focus from a space mage to do that, or is it considered general magic?

Also, assuming that Dream Stones were connected to a specific part of Elsewhere(ignore the following if not the case), would the fact that they need to be handled for years to become stable imply that that part of Elsewhere is growing or being shaped by the mage using it? That would make an interesting parallel with Shadow Realms: a personal pocket of metaphysical space instead of actual space.

Thanks!

These ones are kind of stretching the limits of what I know, but oh well . . .

With dreamstones, your guess is as good as mine. If I had to make a bet, I’d say they’re low-level imbued items, more alive than a focus but less alive than something like the fateweaver. But I’ve heard other theories too, including your Elsewhere one.

I think shadow realms have got some kind of connection to Elsewhere, yeah, but this is REALLY advanced stuff. I tried looking at a book that’s supposed to describe it once and got lost within one page. It’s sort of like nuclear physics – you can read Wikipedia on how it works, but that doesn’t mean you understand it.

As for the last one, honestly, I’m completely out of my depth at this point. Sorry. You’re really looking for an academic mage or something, the kind who gives lectures in the apprentice program. I’ve learned a lot since I met Alex, but I’ve always focused more on the hands-on stuff. There’s just not much call for knowing the theory of how to build a shadow realm.

From: Dustin

Hello Luna, I hope this year is going well for you I just have a few questions about the relationship between Richard, Morden, and Vihaela.
1. How would you describe the power structure between Richard and Morden? I can’t tell if they are partners or if Morden is just a high ranking subordinate and the same goes for Vihaela.
2. Do you know if Morden and Vihaela are of equal rank or if one outranks the other? For that matter what does Vihaela do for Richard, I know Morden was the public face but does she have a specific role in his organization?
3. Lastly being Dark Mages and powerful ones do you think it is sustainable that this Dark Mage triumvirate will last? Morden and especially Vihaela do not seem to be ones to follow orders. How do you think Richard got them to fall in line in the first place?

1. It’s a really good question. It seems like Richard’s in charge, but a lot of the time they seem to be so much on the same page that it doesn’t matter. I don’t think we’ve ever heard any real evidence of any conflict between them, which is kind of weird in itself.
2. It doesn’t seem like either Morden or Vihaela gives orders to the other. Best guess is that they have a ‘you have your territory, I have mine’ agreement. As for Vihaela’s role, she does combat and interrogation.
3. Good question. Morden and Richard seem to get on weirdly smoothly, like I said. Vihaela’s another story – if one of them’s going to turn on the others, I’d expect it to be her.

From: Xavier

Do you think Rachel/Deleo bonded Cinder like he did with Kyle? It could have happened just like when the Nightstalkers attacked, and she chose to do the same after he attacked the mansion for whatever the reason. I believe Cinder had a bad relationship with his former master so maybe she took whoever it was out and he joined up with her, and did the same with Kyle. Makes a kinda of poetic sense at least for Dark Mages but what do you think about this?

I dunno, that whole scenario just kind of feels off. From what I’ve seen, Cinder and Deleo don’t seem to have that kind of relationship – she doesn’t really act like his senior. Also, they’re either a similar age or Cinder’s a bit older, so it’s hard to see how she could have been that much more experienced than he was.

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Ask Luna #131

From: Wangus

Hi,

I was wondering, is divination visible to magesight?

No. Generally, none of the sensory effects are magesight-visible – if all you’re doing is directly boosting your passive senses, there’s no easy way for anyone else to tell. There are some complicated ways of figuring out if someone’s using those kinds of spells, but basic magesight doesn’t cut it.

From: Oscar

How is the Unity Bloc doing during this Light Council-Dark Mage crisis, is there even one after all this has happened?

Haven’t heard anything about them. Which probably says all you need to know, thinking about it.

From: Silas

Hey Luna just have a few questions about Landis.
1. Do you know what Landis’s rank/role is in the Order of the Shield? I don’t see him as just a soldier but nor do I see him as a leader if that makes sense.
2. Do you happen to know how old Landis is? I remember Caldera saying they were in the Apprentice program but for some reason I always pictured him as older than that, Alex being older is kind of strange if Landis is around Caldera’s age .
3. How you rank him as a battle mage? Do you think he is on the level of the late Belthas and Vihaela or is he just below them? And Vihaela is up there right? Sorry if that is obvious, I know she is dangerous enough because of her connections and intelligence, but is she also one of the more dangerous battle mages?

1. The Order of the Shield’s got a flatter rank structure than the other orders. You’re an apprentice or a journeyman, and apart from the commanders, that’s about it as far as formal rank goes. Informally, you get listened to based on how experienced or respected you are, so even though Landis doesn’t have any official rank, people tend to listen to him when he talks.
2. Somewhere in his forties. He’d definitely a good few years older than Caldera.
3. He’s very good. On Vihaela’s level, probably. There are supposed to be mages who can match them, but I don’t know any who are better.

From: Jim

Is there anything from stopping Morden and Richard from threatening Alex and Anne’s families in order to get them to work for their side again? I don’t want to be myopic but even without the death sentence that is pretty scary to have over you.

We’ve had time to put a few contingency plans in place, so we’ll have a much better chance if anyone tries something like that again (don’t really want to go into details for obvious reasons). If Morden and Richard really wanted to push something like that, though, I don’t like our chances. They have a lot of resources.

From: Amy

1.) Does Viheala accept volunteer slaves?
2.) If so, where does one sign up?

What.

Okay, I’m done for the day.

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France and Germany

A break from Ask Lunas this week (I’ve got a giant backlog that I’m still working through) for some news on the European front!

I haven’t been posting each time there’s a new release, but the Alex Verus books have been coming out in France at a steady pace.  Fated, Cursed, and Taken came out in 2018, Chosen came out February 2019, and book 5, Hidden, has been contracted for (release date hasn’t been set, but it’s definitely going to come out by next year at the very latest).  

The German edition got started a little slower than the French one – the German Fated was released in 2018, while Cursed is coming out three days from now, on April 15th.  However, the books have already been doing very well, with a lot more orders and pre-orders than usual for a translated series.  As a result, the publishers are very interested in continuing – Taken is coming out later in 2019, Chosen is scheduled for spring 2020, and it’s currently looking as though books 5 and 6, Hidden and Veiled, will be following.  

It’s an odd feeling to have my books out in so many languages.  Since I don’t speak nearly enough French or German to read a novel in them, I really have no idea how good or bad the translations are.  If there are any French or German readers out there who’ve had a chance to look at the books in both languages, drop me a message and let me know what you think!

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Ask Luna #130

From: Benjamin

Hey Luna just finished reading Chosen and have a few questions.

1. Do you know what kind of magic Lee used, the Nightstalker that survived? I know he used tracking magic of some kind but I have do not know what magic type that falls under.

2. Do you know how tracers work like how they are created and what magic type are used to create them?

3. Lastly, and this is an just observation, but remember when Richard was talking to Rachel, he said that Tobruk was quite certain he would succeed in killing Alex, but he conveniently did not say what he thought would happen when they fought each other. Giving what we know about how he never directly lies along with his high opinion of Alex’s abilities I believe he thought Alex would prevail and that letting Tobruk torturing Alex was a way to get him to use his divination for lethal means. Also, by having Rachel harvest Shireen he gained an empowered and loyal Chosen by having the weaker apprentice harvesting the stronger one who tried to betray him. My question is do you think he wanted Alex and Rachel to take on their stronger counterparts in order to develop them into stronger mages so that he could use them in the future? Tobruk seemed too crazy and bloodthirsty to fully trust and Shireen was never going to follow orders like Rachel has done. Sorry for the length of this final question thanks for answering these you are great source of information keep it up!

1. Some sort of life magic, I think. Once he saw someone’s pattern he could track it at a distance.

2. It’s just a general term for tracking spells and effects. Usually they’re life or death, but there are space variants as well. Lots of ways to produce a similar result.

3. It could be, but I always assumed it was just the typical Dark mage thing. Set your apprentices against one another, see who wins. If one of them dies, well, he obviously couldn’t have been that good. I wouldn’t put it past him to have rigged the constest, though.

From: Grant

Hey Luna how are you doing today?

Do you know what the abilities of some of the imbued items Alex kept in the store? One is the infamous Monkey Paw but a few others keep coming up as well specifically the ones in his safe room. Do you know what the pale green egg that can defy gravity, and the metal holder with three darts and a lock, abilities are? He also mentioned some of what the Bloodsword uses were but did not say what else it could do, has he ever told you the other powers it has?

On a similar note when he was going to go all out against Levistus’s thugs he wanted to use some really powerful magic, do you know if these specific items the ones he was referring too?

Answers to the questions in the first and second paragraphs: 1) good, 2) yes, 3) yes, 4) yes.

For the last question, I think I know what you mean, and I don’t think it was anything to do with powerful magic, I think it was to do with lethality. It’s not obvious to most people, but Alex usually holds back quite a bit in fights since he doesn’t want to escalate things more than he has to.

From: Rick

Has Alex taken precautions to protects his friends and family from what Morden threatened to do to if he did not go along with his plans, along with potential attacks from his other enemies?

Yes. For obvious reasons, he’s keeping the details a secret.

From: Samuel

Hi Luna hope you are holding up okay just have a couple of questions about Spire and Alex’s council seats.
1. Is Spire a Light Mage or an Independent one? I know he is supposed to represent them but can independent mages even be on the Senior/Junior Council or even the Council in general?
2. Has Spire ever actually voted on anything? How does he maintain power without taking a stand on anything and not being delegated to the sidelines like Undarris.
3. For that matter what is Alex mage status? He is on the Light Council but on the seat for Dark Mages and was an independent before that. Is he somehow all three? That is quite the accomplishment.

1. Light, but out of all the Senior Council, he’s supposed to be the most weakly aligned to the Light Council as a whole. That’s part of the reason why independent mages are more likely to go to him.

2. I’m not that up on the Council’s political history, but from what Alex has said Spire does vote sometimes, just very carefully and making sure not to align himself with any of the blocs.

3. It’s really unclear. He used to be considered an independent mage, by joining the Keepers he became a de facto Light mage, and by filling Morden’s seat he’s kind of assumed to be a Dark mage. So yeah, in a way he’s kind of all three. I don’t think that’s going to last for much longer, though, he’s going to have to pick a side.

From: Timothy

Is there a placeholder name for the black threads of magic that Richard used as Archon? I am trying to figure out what to call it without being to broad of a name.

I just call it ‘that weird magic that Richard uses’. Coming up with names for things is very low on the priority list these days.

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Ask Luna #129

From: Tony

Okay I am not one for conspiracy theories, really I am not, but is it possible that Richard, Morden and the other Dark Mages are also affecting normal society along with the magical one? I am only asking because, and I am not going into details, but politics have been pretty crazy in Great Britain right now, and I believe that the Gate Rune War also coincided with World War 2 if they were connected that is. Is this just a crazy coincidence and I am just wildly off the mark, or do you think there is something to this even if it is less magical conspiracy and more chaos feeds off chaos. The only good news is that if this is true than the United States Council is clearing having more problems than you guys are.

I hate to break this to you, but normal people don’t need any help from mages to cause political chaos. They’re more than capable of handling that all on their own.

You wouldn’t believe how often I get people asking some variant of this question in the shop, by the way. It seems like a lot of people really, really want to believe that their current political problems are caused by a villainous conspiracy, instead of by a bunch of ordinary people who don’t agree with them.

From: Nathan

I remember when Alex was talking to Morden in Fated that some of the more infamous Light and Dark Mages were the ones who switched to the other side. My question is have you ever heard about any Dark Mages who quit to join up with the Light Council in modern times? Not joining as a Dark, Mage like Morden eventually did but by becoming a full Light Mages.

Yeah, that’s never going to happen in a million years. The only reason Morden got in was by strong-arming that Council vote that basically forced him on. No way Light mages would ever vote for someone ex-Dark. Wouldn’t matter how many years ago it was, they’d never forget it.

From: Alaric

Do you know what Druss the Red’s magic type is? I only ask because while I initially thought he was a mind mage like the others on the Senior Council but apparently he has led some of the Order of the Shield into action on retrieval missions for the imbued items and they only accept elementalists. This could be because of his rank but even then I doubt they would let him he lead a field mission unless he had some combat magic he could use.

Also do you why he has the epithet “The Red”? I know some mages have first and last names in their mage name but I never heard one with a title in it.

He’s a fire mage. It’s not as unusual as you might think – mind mages usually show up on the Council but they’re not a majority and there are usually at least a couple of elementalists on there too. Elemental mages are really common and they have a lot of status in the Council, so they can leverage that into votes even if their magic type isn’t much use in politics.

He got the epithet by some battle he won when he was young, I think. You’re right, there aren’t many mages who have titles like that, but for whatever reason his one’s stuck.

From: Anthony

1. Are there any official Light Divination Mages? I remember that Alaundo and Helikon were employed by the Council, but Morden said he used Helikon before but this could mean little considering how similar the Council and Dark mages are to each other at least nowadays.
2. So there are supposed to be Dark Diviners and I am wondering if you knew if they are more aggressive with their divination and have similar abilities to Alex or do they just want less restrictions on how they use their magic?
3. So Alex apparently once went up against a diviner do you know if it was a Dark, Light or independent mage or anything else about this event? I am curious how diviners would fight each other it seems like it would be headache inducing.
4. Ironically Alex has never faced that many diviners in the series, but do you know how this might affect his abilities against another diviner when they could each see the others actions? Has he ever described the effect and could he tell he if others are diviners from how they reacted to his use of divination?

1. Alaundo is a Light mage, and Helikaon might not be officially one but he works for them often enough. Guess Alex qualifies too, more or less. They tend to end up as ‘employed consultants’ more often than actually joining.

2. I’m assuming they’re basically the same as independent diviners, just with a different attitude. Being a Dark mage doesn’t give you access to special abilities or anything, it’s just a mindset.

3. I don’t, actually. Might get around to asking, but I have less time to chat with him than I once did.

4. I don’t know the details, but someone else once told me that there’s supposed to be some kind of ability some diviners have that can block the visions of other diviners, kind of the same way that space or time mages can shroud an area to block scrying or timesight. I’d guess that would come into it a lot.

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Ask Luna #128

From: Robert

So I am sorry if this is a stupid set of questions but do you know what dispersion dust and a revivfy are supposed to do? That latter one seems to be some sort of healing item but I wanted to be ask and be sure.

It’s basically a healing item, yeah. There are a bunch of variants but all are one-shots that inject a life magic boost into the target. Decent amount of power but they’re ‘dumb’ healing effects, which makes them much much less effective than having a life mage to guide the spell.

Dispersion dust’s similar to trail dust, it’s designed to hide your passage. Not sure exactly what it does – Alex carried it for a while but then stopped, presumably because he didn’t find it useful enough to be worth the slot.

From: Victor

I know that the Light Council and even the Dark Mages have different factions among their ranks, do the Independent mages have them as well?

And another question, I heard that Merlin was supposed to be a diviner, do you know what Morgan Le Fay’s alleged magic type was? I know that they might be myths I just wanted to check if there were some truth to them from an actual mage.

Independents have much looser factions than Dark or Light mages do. Just less inclined to form clubs, I guess. I’m not so familiar with their politics, though I know it’s supposed to be fairly complicated.

Morgan Le Fay was supposed to be an enchantress. Who knows if she really was.

From: Jo

Hi Luna,
Just a simple question, and sorry if it’s already been covered! What starsigns are you/Alex/the gang? Or when are your birthdays? I read Alex as a Virgo and you an Aquarius but I’m wondering what signs you actually are!
Thanks!

Well, you were right with the sign as far as the gang goes, but wrong with the person. Anne’s the Virgo, Alex is a Scorpio. I’m Leo and Vari is Aries.

From: Kevin

So have you noticed that quite a few people seem to be forming a Richard fan club? I have seen a few posts about how adorable he is, whether or not he is single, how he is misunderstood, and my own reaction is of bemused terror, what do you and the gang think of this?

Yeah, this is one of those things that kind of makes my jaw drop. It reminds me of how serial killers get fan mail. I guess some people are just really attracted to people who are strong and dangerous, no matter what else comes packaged with it.

From: Callum

Hey Luna how are you doing? Just have a few questions about magic types.

1. Have you heard of any mages who had more than two magic types, a tribrid for lack of a better term? Have you ever heard of mage with even more or is there a limit to how much magic one mage can use normally?

2. Is it more likely for a Time or Space mage to ascend to the Senior/Junior Council? I heard that a few universal mages were on there but I can’t figure out which type it would be because they both seem to be supporting roles in Council politics if that makes sense.

3. Regarding potential universal hybrid magic types the only ones I could come up with that makes any sense are divination/chance who “predict the future” and time/space magic for manipulating reality. (Also I can just imagine Sonder saying “Affecting the spacetime continuum is impossible!) My question is have you heard of any other universal hybrid types, and if I am on base with the combinations earlier?

1. Oh, c’mon, I’ve answered this one like a million times already. I don’t know why so many people have so much trouble with the discrete/continuous thing. Yeah, the words are kind of obscure, but the idea isn’t that complicated, is it?

2. Time mages are way more likely. They’re very good at finding out secrets and the more politically minded ones don’t share most of what they learn.

3. I’m not actually sure how a divination/chance hybrid would work, but I guess it’s possible. Time/space seems like it’d make more sense. I think there are some varieties of radiation/light/darkness/illusion mage that you’d probably call hybrids, though they might not agree.

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Ask Luna #127

From: Colin

Do you think that if Alex chose to bond with the Jinn he would have gained similar abilities to Anne, or would it be a more case by case basis? I don’t think that weird life magic she used, was like the wish magic that the Monkey’s Paw did but maybe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

I think the whole point of wish magic is that it can do anything, so what it ends up being used for is 100% based off the wielder. In Anne’s case it worked with her life magic to make it a lot more deadly and boost its range. No idea what it’d do with Alex, and it’s very unlikely we’ll ever find out.

From: Kevin

1. Has Alex ever used path walking to see what would happen if he joined Richard to learn more about his plans? Or use it to scout out his mansion and discover more about what mages, constructs, and wards that are there, along with the overall layout?

2. Have you or Alex ever heard or met someone using the Dionysian branch of divination magic?

3. Has Alex considered getting a combat focus item like, a sword or that force staff he used against Onyx in Taken? Or perhaps a traditional shield for more protection?

1. Yes to the second, no to the first. He found out a few things but nothing we could really take advantage of on our own (it’s not like we’re going to storm the place).

2. Alex says he’s met a handful. I never have, though. I think they’re much less likely to get involved with the Council.

3. He’s got several. Trouble is, they’re all the kind that are just powerful enough to get you into trouble. This is one of those things that newbies tend not to get – I didn’t, at first – but going up against a battle-mage with a weapon can actually be worse than having nothing at all, because it tricks you into thinking that you’ll have a chance to use it. Most of the time, trying to use a sword or staff against someone like Onyx is going to get you killed. You’re better off not getting close in the first place.

From: Andrew

How has the fallout from Morden’s escape been? Was it just as bad as the others or are people just shrugging it off and waiting for the next event?

It kicked off an all-out war. Turned out both sides had been gearing up, and that was the trigger for them to cut loose. As of now, it’s still going.

From: Brian

Is the color of one’s magic fixed or can they change it? Deleo uses green water magic while others have blue, and fire mages seem to run the range of red, orange, and black is this just personality or something else?
Speaking of Fire Mages can they use a form of flight I think Ares was doing so during that adept gathering, do you think Landis or Vari could fly as well?

Magic colours tend to set fairly early, and once they’re set they stay the same, unless some major change happens to the mage or his magic (which in this context are more or less the same thing). It’s supposed to be based off personality but there isn’t a colour chart or anything like that.

Fire mages do have a form of flight, and Vari knows how to do it already. It’s not so much flying as jumping really, really far – they lighten their body (sort of a semi-elemental transformation) and create an updraft. Tends to be better at going up than along, but they can still get quite a bit or distance on the glide. Looks really impressive, kind of like a phoenix.

From: Nick

Did the Precursor mages originate in one region on earth or were they just mages from all over the planet? Did they have their own language or did they just use the languages at the time?

All over. ‘Precursor’ refers to a bunch of different mage civilisations. They used the languages of the time but they tended to have their own secret dialects and there was one particular language that got used as a kind of universal mage speech and spread a long way.

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Ask Luna #126

From: Leo

Have you heard any theories from the Light Council or any other mages about where and why Richard had been missing for over a decade? I doubt it is correct but I was just curious how someone of Richard’s status leaving the mage world would effect the political landscape and the reasons they might give for it.

On a separate note do you think Richard had contact with Morden or other associates during this time? It seems a bit odd that he would come back and become a major player like nothing had changed unless he prepared for it somehow.

Current theory is that he travelled to another world. Conventional wisdom is that that’s not supposed to be possible anymore, but there have always been a few theories saying the opposite.

The Light Council doesn’t think that Richard and Morden had any significant contact before Richard’s return. Both Alex and I are pretty much one hundred percent sure that that’s wrong – they work WAY too closely together for them to be new acquaintances. My personal theory is that they go way back, but it’s much harder to get that kind of info about Dark mages than it is about Light ones.

From: Jesse

1. Has Alex ever seen Richard use magic during his time as an apprentice? By using magic I mean stuff like ritual magic, magesight, using magical items such as gate-stones, condensers, or other forms of battle magic. I only ask because he must of done something to be a top Dark Mage and keep Elementalists like Onyx under control.

2. Also just a thought but I noticed that Richard’s tactics of being persuasive over the use of force is similar to the mannerisms of how the Jinn gain control over their human hosts. Do you think when researching the Jinn he became inspired by that? I don’t think he uses mind or charm magic because I think Alex would of noticed especially in their more recent encounters.

1. I think so, but it was always items or trivial stuff that could be easily duplicated by just about anyone. His reputation was always dangerous enough that no-one was willing to pick a fight to see what he could do.

2. Could be? Not really any way for me to know one way or another.

From: Lance

Hey Luna, I hope you and the gang are holding up okay just few questions about the Council.

1. Does the secretary in the Senior Council meetings have similar privileges to the Junior Council? Even though they are just recording the notes it seems like an important job if they have access to classified information.

2. Is there a reason why mages like Levistus, Morden or other similar in stature mages have not had assassination attempts? It’s a morbid thought but they seem too dangerous to each other, wouldn’t there be some effort to try too?

3. What do you think Lyle’s and Sonder’s end goals are at the Council? Are they trying to be on the Senior Council or something else entirely?

1. Kind of, I think. The admin people in the Council don’t count as actual Council, and in fact most of them aren’t even mages at all, but Council status isn’t everything – they have way more special perks and privileges than your regular guy on the street. Knowing the right person in the Council bureaucracy goes a long way.

2. They do. You just don’t generally hear about them. Also, mages don’t get to those positions by being easy to assassinate.

3. I’m pretty sure they both just want to climb the ladder. More status/rank in the Council, which they’ll use to gain more status/rank in the Council. I’m not sure what they’d do if they ever got to the top. I’ve got the feeling they don’t really know either.

From: Darren

Have you, Anne, or Vari ever thought about getting an imbued item? Alex has a dreamstone and armor, it would only be fair if you and the others got some as well. I remember that Pyre was after Cinder’s Dragon’s Claw gauntlet and it was supposed to be good at defensive magic something fire mages are not typically good at. Do you think that it could help Vari out if he somehow got hold of it? Is there any specific item you would want to have if you could get one?

I’ve thought about it, but imbued items are kind of double-edged swords. Sure, they’re really powerful, but as soon as it gets out that you have one, all the Dark mages and half the Light and independent ones are going to be wondering if they can take it off you. One of the bits of advice that Alex gave me when I took over the Arcana Emporium was that if I did pick up any imbued items, I should make absolutely damn sure to keep them secret. I think I’d rather have an imbued item that worked as a last-resort trump card than something that you use all the time like that combat gauntlet of Cinder’s. I’m not in a hurry to pick them up, in either case.

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