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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Ask Luna #114

From: Alec Cole

Hey.Do you think you could post some official pictures of you, Alex, Anne, Vari, or any of the other keepers, council members, dark mages, etc.? I need them for cosplay purposes.I did that wizard from Chicago Alex mentioned in his first book this year and want to emulate Alex next year

I mean, I’m flattered you want to know what I look like, but I’ve kind of got a rule against posting pictures of myself or my friends. You’re better off looking for fanart or going by descriptions.

From: Kristen

Dear Luna,

I’ve been playing with this idea for a while and a particular scene between Alex and Morden in Marked made a curious. Even as Alex fears him, he can’t help but respect him. Morden also seems to have a healthy respect for Alex since he never underestimates him and seems genuinely interested what Alex has to say during their conversations. With their respect-fear dynamic, it’s made me wonder… Has Morden ever wished that Alex were his apprentice instead of Onyx?

It’s funny you should ask that, because it was something that eventually occurred to me as well and Alex and I had a discussion about it. Alex seems to think that Morden wants Onyx to use him as a role model. I know, I know, it seems ridiculous given how their encounters usually go, but that’s the vibe that Alex got off their conversations. My takeaway was that Onyx might have picked up that Morden feels that way, and that’s the reason he especially dislikes Alex (as in, more so than he would already).

From: Kevin

So I have a few questions about Richard, I know you have never talked to him but I was wondering if you and Alex ever discussed why he would think Alex would ever join up with him again of his own free will. He may not have any empathy but I find it hard to believe that after every thing he did to Alex, that he thought they could just pick up like everything was normal. Does Richard not understand why Alex would not feel vengeful towards him or am I not understanding how Dark Mages work? Also do you think Arachne was on to something about Richard being resentful about Alex leaving him? I mean I get the feeling Richard would not hesitate to kill Alex if it was absolutely necessary but at the same time it also feels like he puts up with a lot more grief then you would think a Dark Mage would tolerate.

It’s a good question, and to be honest I don’t have a good answer. You’d think it’d be really damn obvious that Alex would have no intention of going back, but Richard seems like he’s still set on leaving the door open. So is he oblivious, or does he know something we don’t? Or maybe a bit of both? I dunno. Maybe it comes down to mindset. From what Alex has told me, Richard always tried to teach him and his other apprentices not to hold grudges and not to take things personally. So maybe it’s a case that he actually genuinely does think like that and he figures Alex will come around.

From: proviso

p.s. another oddity with richard is that Alex’s divinations told him a hand to hand fight with richard would be close. Many explanations are possible, and I don’t consider this strong evidence, but it’s one more light-red flag.

Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that either. I mean, Alex is good, but Richard is on a level where Senior Council members are scared of him. It shouldn’t be an even match.

From: Gerald

What is the funny story behind Lyle’s name.
Thanks for reading this

No idea.

From: Minke

Hi Luna!

I recently came across a mention of Lyle and how’s there’s a story behind his mage name. Has Alex ever told you the story? I’d love to hear it as well, if you’re willing to share.

I didn’t expect so many people to be curious about this one.

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Ask Luna #113

From: BlackMass

I have been wondering, back during the Nightstalker affair someone mentioned that Talsid was in Russia for Guardian business what exactly was said Business?

Another concern is know that Alex knows That Guardians and The Crusaders are really one faction does mean Talsid cannot be fully trusted?

Dunno what the business was. It was a while ago and I don’t think I ever asked.

For the second question, well . . . yeah. That’s something I’ve wondered about, too. The problem is that the two factions are allied pretty much all the time, and one of them we get on fine with while the other we definitely don’t. Talisid’s always been on our side (more or less) but I don’t know if it’ll always be that way.

From: Nick

1. Do you know what factions that the Senior and Junior Council members represent? I know Leviticus is affiliated with the Isolationists and Directors and Sarque and Bahamus with the Crusaders/Guardians but the others are harder to pin down.
2. Even though Leviticus and Sal Sarque are the biggest threats on the Senior Council to you guys right now how about the Junior Council? It seems the most dangerous threats can be the ones you overlook and it is possible that some of them could be looking to gain favor by opposing Alex.
3. Have you considered a group name for you Alex, Anne, and Variam? Might be a good way to gain more fans among the adepts, Light and Independent mages.

1. I don’t really, no. Undaaris is with the Centrists and Alma is Directors, I think, but that’s just gossip and I’ve never really looked into it. There was a reason I never wanted to be Alex’s aide.

2. Probably, but we have so many active enemies there doesn’t seem much point in worrying about potential ones.

3. We did talk about it back in the old days. Someone suggested ‘Arcana Evolved’ but I’m pretty sure that was a joke. It kind of got dropped once Sonder left.

From: Dan

Hi Luna.
I was wondering how much do you know about the Fate Weaver. It seems more than just an imbued item since a mage is trapped inside?

Could you explain it to me?

Does it have any limitations or is Alex pretty much untouchedable while using it?

Also is there any way Alex can bond to it himself? Possibly using the dreamstone.

On a completely different note how do you feel about Alex and Anne getting together? Do you have any gossip about them?

When are you and Vari going to get together?

The fateweaver’s got two parts – it’s a symbiotic imbued item (which is the fate part) which also has a mind mage living inside it. So if you’re carrying it you effectively get access to two whole extra types of magic at once, which is why it’s so powerful. The downside is that both are being controlled by a guy who’d love to possess you and take your body for his own, so yeah, not the best idea.

In theory any other mage could bond themselves to it, assuming they knew how (the ritual would have been lost thousands of years ago). Though the mage already bonded to it might have something to say about it if you tried.

Re: Alex and Anne getting together – about bloody time. Don’t have any gossip, but Vari and I have had some amusing conversations about how things would work.

Re: me and Vari, you’re acting like we haven’t already done it.

From: Mark

1. So one thing that has me confused is the use and creation of gate magic. Can Alex create one or is it just limited to certain mages?
2. How would diviner adepts be different from what Alex usually does? Would they have a lesser skill of all his abilities or only certain abilities like short term precognition or path walking?
3. Is there a limit to how far Alex can look into the future? Does he have a record of how far he looked into the future just to test his abilities?

1. Alex can’t, I can’t, Anne can’t. Only one of us who can make them is Vari, the rest of us have to rely on gate stones. It’s a pain in the neck.

2. Usually they have the ability to see the future, but only in a really specific window. I met one who could see ahead up to exactly thirty seconds. Another could make long-term predictions, but only by doing tarot readings. Others get prophetic dreams and stuff like that.

3. You’d have to ask him for the details, but as I understand it it’s limited by how predictable his environment is. I think he can get up to days, maybe a week, if he’s in a super stable environment like a sealed room with no-one bugging him. Doubt he’d be able to do that any more with the way things are these days.

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Ask Luna #112

From: Fade

Hi Luna, as always thanks for answering these, and sorry again for the long post! The first few are about magical combat and interactions.

1) In regard to Disintegration magic, does it seem to effect the entirety of an object it hits? or distance from a point of origin? For example, Deleo fired at a bed Alex had rolled off of, and apparently disintegrated it. The entire bed? All of it within a few feet of the point of origin? If distance from point of contact, would the magic pass through the air under the bed to the floor if it were within range of the magnitude of the spell?

2) Are certain magic types poor matches for each other? E.g. will a water or ice mage generally beat a fire mage? For something like Fire magic that creates heat, can a force shield block it, or does the heat osmos through it? I seem to recall Variam generating heat at a ranged point, between two constructs, during the events of Fountain Reach. Could this be done to generate heat on the other side of a shield? Would there need to be un-shielded line of site between the mage and the point? or would it take a 360 degree shield to prevent the magic from reaching a location?

3) Can Time mages use their power for combat directly? Or only for support, as you have seen Sonder do? For example could a time mage simply slow or stop someone’s heart from beating?

4) What exactly does the artifact that Cinder was given do? What are the risks/downsides? They must be present, or why would the council have locked the thing up instead of used it? Does Cinder know the risks involved? Did Kyle get a reward for his participation, or was he considered an extension of Cinder?

5) What would happen if Alex or Anne tried to use a focus item like your whip? Could Anne get range? Could Alex’s magic be used to fuel a magical attack of a different sort? (After all, he can fuel the force discs, despite not being a force mage)

6) In what ways has Alex’s armor grown with him? I recall Arachne stating that it would happen as he used it, so I was wondering if it had become more effective over time. Would the type of magic it’s encountered become easier to block as it became “familiar” with it, for example?

7) Ok, done with the combat questions. Next I was wondering if you’ve had any interesting interactions since you’ve taken over the shop. Alex mentioned the 1 in 1000. Have you found anyone like that yet?
Have you been able to help somebody?
Wow, that was a lot, sorry if I’m getting a little greedy for your time. Thanks again!

1) It depends on volume I think. Usually a disintegration spell affects everything within a certain radius of the point of impact. The exact radius depends on the amount of power in the spell.

2) There’s a whole complicated rock-paper-scissors thing with all the different battle-magic types, but it’s not as simple as ‘water beats fire’. For instance, ice mages and fire mages can both control heat, so both of them can theoretically cancel out each other’s tricks – it comes down to which of them’s better. Re: heat control, the whole point of a shield is that it stops spells affecting stuff on the other side. Shields would be pretty useless otherwise.

3) Time magic doesn’t generally have enough fine control to affect a part of a creature like that. There might be the odd specialist time mage who’s figured out a way to use battle-magic, but I’ve never met one.

4) No clue. It’s not like Cinder and I are on a first-name basis.

5) My whip was designed specifically for me. It’d work really badly for another chance magic user, and wouldn’t work at all for anyone else.

6) I don’t know the details, but I’ve noticed that it looks different now from when he first got it. The armour plates seem to have thickened and I think they cover different places.

7) Yeah, there’ve been a few (though I’m starting to think that Alex might have been being a bit optimistic when he told me the 1/1000 number). But that’s another story.

From: Mary Carter

Will we find out where Richard went for the ten years ?

How should I know?

From: Kevin

Hey Luna hope you are doing well I just have a few questions about elementals.
1. Have you ever seen or heard of other types of elementals in the other classical elements like Earth Fire and Water? For that matter are there official names/classification for elementals in general and based on their element?
2. Would a Jinn be considered a form of air elementals or is more of a same genus different species kind of thing.
3. Are there other elementals like Spirit, Lava, Lightning, Plants or others that are not in the traditional four?
Thank you for your time and I wish you a prosperous future

1) Yeah, there are a few different types. The Council has various classification systems for them depending on power/controllability.

2) No, jinn are something very different. The lesser jinn are a lot less powerful than an elemental.

3) I think so, though I don’t know all of the types. You definitely get lightning and magma elementals, but I’ve never heard of a spirit or plant one. Doesn’t mean they’re not out there, though.

From: Kevin

1.So I was wondering if you knew the magic types of the Senior Council? One thing that stuck me is that very few of them seemed combat types like Undaaris, Alma, and Spire, they seem to be more manipulators then anything else. Does not mean they are not a threat but compared to Drakh they seem in the minor leagues.
2. Does Alex get along with the Junior Council or any better then the Senior. By that I mean are they at least cordial compared to the fear/hostility/disrespect the Senior Council seems to have for him.

1) Most of them are either mind/charm types, universalists, or a hybrid of the two. The exceptions are Undaaris and Sal Sarque, who are water and fire respectively. At least I think so, I might be forgetting one.

2) No, he gets on pretty badly with them as well from what I’ve heard. Most of them are suspicious of him, and the few that aren’t don’t want to be seen getting too friendly with him in case it hurts their chances of promotion.

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Fallen Is Finished!

And we’re done!  The first draft of Alex Verus #10, aka Fallen, is finished and sent off to my publishers.  

I wrote a breakdown of the writing process for one of my Alex Verus novels a while ago, and at this point we’re officially out of stage 3 (first draft) and into stage 4 (waiting for edits).  I don’t know how long stages 4-5 will take, but I don’t anticipate it causing any delay.  

There are going to be a total of 12 Alex Verus novels, which means that with the completion of Fallen, I’m 5/6ths of the way through the series.  So I’m only going to be at this moment (namely, finishing an Alex Verus book) two more times.  Odd feeling.  

For now, I’m going to take a break and catch up on my email – I tend to get really behind with my website email when I’m midway through a book, and I have emails in my inbox from the spring and summer that I still haven’t answered.  Soon enough I’ll hear back from my editors and I’ll figure out what changes and rewrites Fallen needs, but for now, I get to rest.

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Really Nearly Home Stretch

Writing the final scene of the final chapter.  Will update next week when I’m done.

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