Fallen Chapter 1 online!

Chapter 1 of Fallen is online!  You can read it here.  

I tried a slightly different formatting method this time, so the chapter should look a little nicer.  Should probably go back and do the other extracts in the same style, but I’m never sure how many people read these things once the book’s come out.  

As promised, I’ll be posting chapter 2 of Fallen online as well, since this one isn’t entirely representative of the rest of the book.  It’ll go live next week.  

Fallen will be out in the US in five and a half weeks, on September 24, and will be out in the UK in eight weeks, on October 10.  

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Ask Luna #141

From: Kurt Von Bosse

Hi Luna!

This may be an odd question, but have you or Alex; as far as you know, thought about how Richard Drakh originally found Alex and his other apprentices?

Even when Alex got in Rachel/Deleo’s head, her memory had Shireen telling Rachel that Richard found her first and starting asking Shireen what she wanted. (By the way, that seems to be a question both Richard Drakh and Mage Mordan like to ask, but perhaps it’s a topic best left for another time.)

You have stated in an answer to someone else’s question that diviners can’t really be spotted using Mage Sight. I’m trying to think of other ways Richard might have used and I can only come up with two and both are questionable.

I suppose Richard may have built a database of every known mage; whether Light, Dark or Independent, who lived within the UK in the past few hundred years and then tracked down all their descendants and then narrowed down that list to those descendants within the UK who were teenagers and had them watched for signs of magical ability. Morden once told Alex that Richard had expended a considerable effort to recruit him and doing what I described would take a considerable effort, but it doesn’t feel right to me. It is too mundane a solution. I suppose Richard could have also used a chance mage or several chance mages to help him search for the kind of budding young mages who would serve his purposes, or perhaps Richard Drakh is a chance mage. That feels to me like a better solution, but still a questionable one. What do you think, or has Alex had any ideas on this question?

If I had to guess, I’d put my money on it being less about magic and more about psychology. Alex has told me about what his magic was like for him in the early days, and from the sounds of it, divination’s the most traumatic magic to learn on your own by a LONG way. You’re constantly getting flashes of future sight at the worst times and with no control at all. It takes years to learn how to manage it properly, and quite a few diviners just go raving mad and never manage it at all.

So if you want to find a diviner, you just need to look for the kid who’s switching between being creepily prescient and totally insane. Still a tall order, but if you’re willing to comb through enough schools . . .

From: Kevin

1. Do you know if summoning magic was an advanced form of space magic sort of like how Fate magic is a specific form of divination?

2. Do you think Wish magic and Fate magic overlap in some way? They both seem to grant it’s bearer whatever they want, or am I just overthinking it?

3. Do you think chance magic is a lesser form of wish magic? Or do you think it has more in common with Fate magic?

1. I know there’s an overlap, though I don’t know much more than that. Summoning’s its own thing and it tends to be done via ritual magic instead of with on-the-fly spells.

2. Kinda. From what I understand, fate magic is still limited by possibility – it’s more like divination or chance in that it works with what’s already there, while wish magic can just make stuff out of nowhere. Wish magic seems a lot more powerful in theory, though I’m not sure how it works out in practice.

3. Chance is a lot closer to fate, though from what I understand the mindsets are really different. Chance is all about riding luck and steering it, fate is about directing and making orders. Or something like that. It doesn’t translate very well into words.

From: Warren

Has Arachne ever met Richard? She seems to know a lot about how he operates, what his worldview is, and possibly what makes him tick so to speak. Have they ever worked together or does she have a really good intelligence network?

Good spot. Yeah, they’ve met. Arachne didn’t seem keen on talking about the specifics. Richard would probably be willing to say more, but for obvious reasons I’m not going to ask.

From: Eric

1. Is there a reason the Light Council has not attacked Richard at his mansion? Or even Onyx at Morden’s mansion, seems like it is too tempting to pass up or am I missing something?

2. How has Onyx been handling Morden’s escape? I don’t think it is going to be good considering how bad his has been as a Chosen.

3. How has the rest of the magical world been reacting to this conflict? Do you think the British Light Council might call on the other Light Councils for help if things get worse?

1. You’re assuming they haven’t.

2. Stayed put in his mansion, basically daring Morden to come take it back. He hasn’t yet.

3. I don’t know how the rest of the world’s been reacting, though a few individuals have gotten involved. The British Council might call on the other Councils, but they’d have to be REALLY desperate. They’d be massively humiliated, and whichever Council they asked would want major concessions. They’d basically have to be facing total annihilation before they’d do it.

From: Izzy

Have you guys ever thought about Richard invading your shadow realm? I know it is supposed to be really difficult but he had no problem getting into Sagash’s realm or out of the Vault. Are there any precautions Alex could take like alarms, constructs or mines? Kinda of awful I have to think that but whatever helps right?

Oh, trust me, we’ve thought about it. We’ve got some pretty thorough defence plans, but for security reasons I don’t really want to talk about the details. Basically, you can assume that if it’s something that’s happened before, or something we’ve got good reason to think is likely to happen soon, we’ve probably planned for it.

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Dates

A few announcements and dates:

My Reddit AMA will be on October 17th, one week after Fallen’s UK release.  

The Audible audiobook edition of Fallen will be out on October 10th, the same day as its UK release, while the US audio CD edition will be out on September 24th, along with the US release.  This is, however, only based on what I can find on Amazon.  I regularly get asked when the audio editions for my books are due to be released, and unfortunately I can’t give much of an answer.  Neither my audiobook publisher nor Audible communicate with me, which means the only information I have is what’s publicly available online.  

With the release date of Fallen drawing closer, I’ll be putting up the first chapter online, probably in mid-August.  In this case, though, just reading the first chapter may feel a little more incomplete than usual, for reasons that’ll become clear once you read it, so I’m planning to put up the second chapter as well a little while after.  

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Ask Luna #140

From: Phillip Taylor

When I read and think about the dramatic differences between mages like Rachel and Onyx and Richard and Morden, and even some of the other, older dark mages, I see a big difference. I wonder how that influences this concept of “chosen”.

It seems like there are two different kinds of dark mages: “True” dark mages and “tag-along” dark mages. The “True” dark mages seem to be highly independent, have their own moral conceptions and are driven by a sense of purpose, Richard, Morden, Chalise and – sorry, but I think it fits the model – Alex. Then you have the “tag-along” dark mages: Rachel, Onyx, Cinder.

The concept of “chosen” doesn’t seem to fit for these “true” dark mages… they just don’t strike me as the type to be someone else’s tool for very long like Onyx and Rachel. I have difficulty believing that Richard and Morden were willing to put up with being part of someone else’s designs for very long. So, I wonder is the concept of “chosen” is more a psychological manipulation to get a powerful mage under the master’s power than a real method to convey “authority”?

I wonder if, in practice, what the “chosen” concept is REALLY about in a world where “might makes right”? I mean, if you kill your master and take his stuff, that’s pretty definitive…?

I mean, I’m pretty sure the ‘chosen’ concept comes down to ‘we have to come up with some way to teach the next generation of apprentices without everyone killing each other’. Dunno how good a solution it is.

But yeah, it’s hard to imagine someone like Morden or Richard as an apprentice. Everyone has to start somewhere, I suppose. Maybe they weren’t like that when they were younger?

From: Fade

Hi Luna, or would you prefer Vesta now? I remember reading at one point that spell components are unique to the mage using them, and that generally there is a word and accompanying hand motion at their most basic level. I read that with practice a mage can eliminate the vocal or physical requirements, and that it was often a mark of power or respect to be able to do so. Meanwhile, it seems like even most of the more combat capable mages (who are elementalists, at least) such as Landis and Vihaela (is Landis considered a Master Mage?) seem to still use hand gestures. My questions are:

1)Do magic types like Mind, Time, and Divination still start out with the same components? Did Alex, Sonder, and just about every mind mage you’ve seen simply move past the need to use these components?
2) Is it for some reason easier to remove components from spells that don’t effect the physical world than it is to remove components from spells that do, like elemental spells?
3) Have you ever encountered a mage who can use combat spells without speaking or gesturing? Someone who can just stand there with their arms crossed and mouth shut in the middle of a duel? Thanks!

1) For whatever reason, the more non-physical magic types (like all the universalists) don’t use components anywhere near as much. I think it’s a psychological thing. If you’re doing something that you can see right there in front of you, you feel like you ‘need’ to move your hand or something. If you’re just seeing into the future, well, it’s not like there’s some muscle that corresponds with that.

2) No, I think it’s more to do with mindset. It’s not that they remove them, they just never learned them that way in the first place. It might be tradition at this point too – all the fire mages teach their apprentices with components, all the time mages don’t, so it’s just become a habit.

3) Weirdly enough, no. You’d think it would be an advantage, but no-one seems to do it. Maybe the extra concentration isn’t worth the effort?

Oh, and I still go by Luna in the shop. I just use Vesta with mages.

From: Faragorn

So, if the fire gauntlett Cinder now has was in with the dont-use collection, what is the drawback to wearing/using it?

I asked Alex a while back. Apparently when you put the gauntlet on for the first time there’s some sort of test of strength. If you lose it eats your hand. Possibly the rest of you as well.

Oh, and it’s not a fire gauntlet. Cinder does the fire part.

From: Bill

Having read the series, I am now convinced that the films should be choreographed by the team from John Wick. How do I make this happen?

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to like those films when I went in, but they were actually really cool.

From: Laz

Hi Luna, 2 questions you might know the answer to.

How is the English version of pizza express pizza?

Richards fighting “style” at the end of Bound seems very similar to Alex’s “style” against the gun wielding thralls of the splinter crown. So light/(most) diviners are “twitchy”, are dark diviners less twitchy? And more like Alex and Richard?

I know you where not around for either incident mentioned but I assume you may have been at other similar incidents and gone out for pizza with Vari.

Thanks -laz

Pizza Express when I was growing up was this sort of not-fancy semi-fancy place that was just expensive enough to be special. The other girls would go there for birthdays and stuff. The pizza’s decent by English standards I guess, but it’s pretty bad compared to what you’d get in Italy or Sicily.

Light diviners are ‘twitchy’ in that they generally don’t want to get anywhere near combat at all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Council diviner fight.

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Reddit AMA Update

After listening to the feedback from you guys, I’ve decided to do the Reddit AMA after the UK release date of Fallen, ie after 10th October.  Unfortunately it’ll mean the US readers will have a little longer to wait, but hopefully that won’t be too troublesome.  

Book 11 is still gradually coming along.  

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Ask Luna #139

From: John

Okay so I am not looking for an in depth analysis on the Light Council bureaucracy no one should be that cruel, but I am curious if you know the basics of how they are structured? Specifically….

1. Are the Keepers/Order of the Star structured like the British police? Are there any specific ranks systems? I remember that Caldera was a Journeyman Keeper and Rain was a Captain of a section, and Nimbus is the Director of Operations but do you know of any other ranks?

2. Do you the basics of how the Light Council is structured, as far as I can tell are they do is plot against each other and mess with Alex. Do you know what the main branches are and what they do?

1. The main ranks go Journeyman, Lieutenant, Captain. Then there are a handful of posts above that (like Director) but I don’t know exactly how they work.

2. That’s WAY more complicated. There’s the Senior Council, and the Junior Council, and their aides, and that’s all fairly straightforward, but once you get past that there’s this huge bureaucracy with different departments with mages in the top slots and adepts/sensitives filling up the rest. I think that the only branches which are mostly staffed with mages are the Keepers and the judiciary – there are just too many posts to be filled for all the others.

From: Brian

1. Do you know how many mages Richard has in his cabal? I believe that there are around 1000 Dark Mages in Great Britain, does he control a sizable percentage of them?

2. Do you think those magical items Richard use as Archon in the Vault are different/advanced versions of Alex’s own force walls and disrupters? They seemed almost like they were multi purpose focuses items but is that even possible? And on a side note do you know what type of magic that disrupters are created from?

3. Okay so this might be a bit of a stretch but do you think Richard’s strange universal magic may be blocking Alex’s divination like the wards in Fountain Reach? There were several times when Alex could not sense Richard when he Archon but only when he was not fully focusing on him and that seemed to be similar to the dampening wards did to Alex’s divination when he was there.

Thanks again and I hope the shop is running well!

1. Actually not that many. I don’t think it was more than 100 at the very most, and that was using a REALLY generous definition. If we’re only counting ones that were seriously committed, it was more like 50, and if we’re only counting ones that wouldn’t desert as soon as things went south, it was more like 20. Honestly, if it weren’t for certain things that will remain nameless, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t need to worry about Richard at all – he’s nearly always way too busy keeping his own troops in line to go after people like us.

2. They sounded pretty similar, yeah. I didn’t get a look at them, so no idea if they were multi-purpose or single-use, but multi-purpose focuses are generally a pain in the ass to craft and use so I doubt it.

3. No, I’ve got my own theory as to that.

From: Sarah

Hi Luna!

I had a question about Alex’s visit to Vihaela’s shadow realm in Bound and I was wondering if you had any insight. When Alex arrived at Vihaela’s place, a voice called out to him saying “Mage Verus.” Was that someone who we’ve already met/who we’ve already heard of? I only ask because Vihaela helped make people into sex-slave doppelgangers when she was a part of White Rose and now I’m felling paranoid.

Thanks!

I wasn’t there, but wasn’t it that kid that Alex met there? Which is already creepy enough.

From: Phillip Taylor

I don’t understand this concept of a “chosen” among dark mages. I mean, the whole practice sounds more like some weird co-dependent long-term servitude which is opposed to this Neitzchean ideal of forming one’s own reality through power. It seems like more dark mages would complete their apprenticeship the way Alex did to remain true to the dark mage ideal – or kill their masters. “Winning” a long-term, co-dependent extended servitude to some, admittedly powerful master who basically controls you for the rest of your life sound like a really sucky deal to me, and I’m not even a dark mage?! True, “chosen” dark mages seem like they’d be the ones who said, at some point, “Thanks for the help, but I’m leaving…” “No, you’re not!” Says the master. “Really?! Ha! Can’t stop me, I’m too powerful!” Apprenticeship over.

Well, there’s a really obvious reason why Dark mages wouldn’t be too keen on the ‘kill your master’ approach to graduating if they’re the master.

But generally, this is one of the big issues Dark mages have. They suck at working together and their retention rate for new recruits is horrible. For all the things I hate about it, the Light apprenticeship programme does at least work. There’s a reason there are more than twice as many Light mages as Dark ones.

From: Kevin

1. Do you think Morden and Richard had a hand in the death order on Alex? I know it seems like it was all Levistus doing, but making him an enemy of the Light Council would fit right into Richard’s plans. Plus they are always trying to convince Alex that the True path is the only way forward for him for whatever reason. I know they most definitely got Anne on the list so why wouldn’t they try with Alex?

2. Do you know anything about how the game Spheres are played? It was the game during the mage event when your adventure with the Fateweaver happened.

1. There’s no way to know for sure, but my bet is that they didn’t bother to get the death order passed because they knew Levistus would do it for them. All they had to do was wait.

2. I’ve never played, but I think it’s basically a more complicated version of Go.

From: Ivyene

Have you ever read a weird fanfiction and thought, “Is THAT what people think about us?” Like when they’re super out of character or acting weird? What do you think of the fanfiction in general?

Not yet. I’ve been tempted, but I’m always afraid the writer’s going to ship me with Alex. Or worse.

From: Dakota

Richard was pretty upset with Onyx for showing up at the raid on the Vault, and the given reason is that it implicated Morden. Why, then, was Alex allowed (and forced) to go? From the Light Council’s perspective, this would also implicate Morden, perhaps even more than Onyx would.

Because of Anne. If Alex hadn’t been there, Anne could have made a break for it once things started going wrong. Having Alex there tied her down.

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Fallen Review – Publishers Weekly

The PW review for Fallen is out!  Here’s an edited version:  

The exciting 10th novel featuring British mage Alex Verus blows apart the series’ underpinnings and releases Alex’s power as well as his rage. Until now, Alex, a diviner who can see many possible futures, has tried to play it safe during the escalating war between the supposedly moral Light Council and scheming, enigmatic dark mage Richard Drakh, focusing on trying to protect his friends and especially his lover, Anne . . . Alex realizes that he must stop reacting to outside pressures. Rather than just seeing the future as it might be, he must start seizing the future he wants . . . Considering how much lore has accumulated in the series, this isn’t an ideal place to begin reading about Alex’s adventures, but returning readers will be satisfied by how the story keeps building momentum and excitement. This remains a superior urban fantasy series that’s worth any reader’s time.

You can find the full review at the PW website, but I don’t recommend reading it, since it contains MAJOR spoilers.  (For this reason, I’m not providing a direct link, since I don’t want people clicking on it automatically.)  

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Ask Luna #138

From: William

With the disclaimer that this is Rachel we are talking about, when she was yelling to Alex about how he betrayed Richard in Marked, how exactly was he being selfish or in it for himself when he tried to rescue Catherine? How could that action be anything but attempting to help someone out, something a Dark Mage would never do? If he did not like taking orders from Richard like she said why didn’t Alex just leave without Catherine? Now Alex gaining power and the actions needed to get it might be less than scrupulous but that does not make like Richard since he is trying to protect you guys. And considering she needed Richard’s encouragement to become Deleo I don’t think she is in a position to talk about paying dues but what do you think?

Yeah, like you said, I think expecting Deleo to be consistent is a bit of a stretch. Honestly, I think Deleo couldn’t care less about what Alex does with one girl or another, or who he tries to protect. What really grinds her gears is that Alex keeps on disobeying Richard without anything happening, while she keeps on doing what she’s told and gets ignored for it. So far she mostly seems to take that out on Alex but you have to wonder how long it’ll take before it spills over.

From: Katie

Hey Luna how you doing! I just a few questions about Radiation magic and it subsets if it is not too much trouble!

1. Does Radiation magic consist of radioactive energy being thrown around or it just pure energy like fire or light magic?

2. Does Darkness/Shadow magic have elemental energy or it just used for concealment?

3. I remember Lightbringer (may he suffer for eternity) had light and force magic, but can light magic use elemental beams as well or would it be just blinding light that just stun?

4. And was Griff the earth mage (may he also suffer for eternity) in your first adventure actually a hybrid mage with force magic?

Thanks again you rock and are a real inspiration with your perseverance keep at it!

You’re welcome!

1. Electromagnetic radiation, as far as I know. So visible light, electrical discharges, lasers, stuff like that.

2. Both or neither, depending on the mage, but pretty much all of them have some kind of concealment effect.

3. Again, it depends. The more combat-oriented ones can use direct elemental blasts, others can’t do anything but dazzle or blind.

4. Wow, that’s a blast from the past. He was a pretty standard earth mage as far as I can remember. He could do the elemental-weapon thing, but that’s common enough that it doesn’t really qualify as force magic.

From: Ian

How have the Isolationist faction been handling this conflict with Drakh’s cabal? I can’t imagine they are happy with magic being in the open.

And before this open warfare what did they think about Dark Mages in general? If I recall Druss the Red was an Isolationist and he seems like he was against them but I get the feeling he is an outlier since he is heavily involved in the day to day of things unless this faction has changed? Mage factions are confusing.

The Order of the Cloak have a lot of practice at covering stuff up, so the fights haven’t been as much in the open as you might think. They just get their contacts in the police or the Home Office to cordon off the area or declare a military exercise or something. Only way it’ll start spilling out is if the Council start losing heavily enough that they can’t spare Keepers for cleanup duty any more.

Isolationist attitude towards Dark mages tends to be ‘we don’t want to deal with this’. Basically they want to do as little as possible and wait for things to blow over, since they think that fighting a war is going to cause more problems than it solves.

From: Waldo Butters

Hello, I was told that this was the address for one Mage Vesta also known as Luna Mancuso? My name is Waldo Butters, Knight of the Cross, and I am speaking on behalf of Harry Dresden who would like to get in contact with Alex Verus.

He has been having some serious problems with the Fomor, Mab, and the White Council not necessarily in that order, and since we hear Verus is a great at divination maybe they could help one another? Harry is quite adept at problem solving and with his unique style of negotiation he could do wonders with the British White Council, he has the Merlin’s number at least that is what he says, and those warlocks Drakh and Morden should be no trouble at all. He took out his own mentor in a fiery fashion and would be happy to show Alex some pointers. Anyways if you are interested I have more details that are better discussed in a more secure line via the Paranet, let me know what you think and I will get in contact with you that way. You used to be able to reach Harry in the Yellow Pages but times sure change don’t they? I was once an underpaid mortician and now I am the first Jewish Knight of the Cross! If that could happen imagine what the result would be if Harry Dresden and Alex Verus crossed paths!

Uh . . . that was different. Okay, send me a DM and I’ll see what I can do, though if you’re talking to Alex you’ll get pretty weird reactions if you tell him that Drakh and Morden are ‘warlocks who won’t be any trouble at all’. Also, I have no idea what a Knight of the Cross is, unless it’s the US equivalent of the Council or something.

From: Stanley

1. How is Vari’s relationship with the other members of the Order of the Shield now that he is a more active member? I think there are only about twenty of them so they have to work in some close proximity to each other, do they get along better now that he has shown he can pull his own weight so to speak?

2. Do you know if any of the other Order of the Shield’s members eccentric like Landis? Have you met any of them, and if so were than any different from the usual Guardian/Crusader Keepers you have had to deal with?

3. Does Vari have an official rank in the Order of the Shield? For that matter is Landis the Order of the Shield’s leader/Captain or some other senior role? I can’t imagine there would be too much bureaucracy since they are so small but there must be some form of command structure.

1. They’re starting to warm up to him, though it took a while. According to Vari they kind of treat you like a kid until they’ve seen you in a few battles.

2. They do tend to be a lot weirder than the Keepers from the other orders. Eccentric isn’t a bad description. There’s one who wears a cowboy hat all the time, and another who’s obsessed with tea.

3. Vari’s a journeyman. Landis is also a journeyman, in theory, but he gets treated with a lot more respect than that. Vari seems to think that Landis would be a Captain if he hadn’t pissed off the wrong people.

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General Update

Some odd bits and pieces of news for this week:  

Alex Verus #11, after a slow start, has managed to build up a bit of momentum.  It’s at around the 30% mark and moving along much more comfortably.  If all goes to plan, I’ll finish the first draft some time in the autumn and the completed book will come out during the second half of next year.  

The release date of Fallen (Alex Verus #10) is unchanged – it’ll be coming out in about three months, on September 24th 2019 in the US and October 10th 2019 in the UK.  Yeah, I know, this isn’t really news, but I try to repeat release dates at intervals since I know that ‘when’s the next book coming out?’ is the number one question people come to this website to answer.  

Finally, a question:  I’m planning to do another Reddit AMA around the release of Fallen, and I’m currently deciding when would be the best time.  Usually I try to do them about a week or so after release, but the release dates for the US and UK being more than two weeks apart makes that trickier.  Given that Reddit is mostly populated by people from the US, I might go for around the beginning of October, but it’s a bit inconvenient for my British readers.  Let me know if you have any opinion either way!

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Ask Luna #137

From: Seth

Not a question per se; although I love the books and your running answers. Just a comment about your response to ask Luna #124. My daughter proudly thinks of herself as a Hufflepuff. As she explains, every other house had at least one person who went traitor. Not Hufflepuff, who were decent to the core. Keep up the flow of great stuff!!!

Heh, fair point.  I should have guessed when I wrote that, really – just because one house has got a ‘protogonist’ label on it doesn’t mean that people won’t identify with the other ones.  Which I did when I was younger, too, come to think of it.  I guess that’s what fanfiction is for.  

From: Sam

Hey Luna ,these questions have to with the three magic types that Richard may be, divination, mind and enchantment, unless there are other likely types I am missing. 

1. Can enchanters/charm mages make themselves less attractive or less noticeable to others? I remember Richard seeming exactly average in terms of age and appearance and that would be a great way to throw people off, but at the same time the charm mages we have seen so far are good looking and well dressed so is this even possible since personality drives magic?

2. Regarding mind mages can they influence people as effectively as enchanters or is it more of different approach but similar goals kind of thing? Honestly they are hard to tell apart from each other at times. 

3. Do other diviners use magic items or manipulate Elsewhere like Alex as well as Alex does or is that just because he is for lack of a better term unique/awesome mage in general?. (You and the others are too an awesome mage he could not have run the mage shop or survive for so long without you Anne and Vari looking after him!) Are there other magic types that have more of an affinity for Elsewhere or is it more just based on individual mages who use it over time?

1. Yes, though it’s not as well known because they always get pigeonholed as the seductive/femme-fatale types.  The mage who goes out of their way to look as un-special as possible isn’t going to get as much press.  Though all the charm mages I’ve met have been pretty far on the extrovert side, so it’s hard to imagine them keeping it up for long.  

2. Charm mages and mind mages are like ice and fire mages in that they can accomplish very similar things but do it in different ways.  Charm magic tends to be subtle and persuasive, mind magic is blatant and brute-force – a mind mage will command you to do something whether you like it or not, a charm mage will make you think that you want to do something because they asked you so nicely and they’re such a great person that you just want to make them happy.  

3. No, those just happen to be Alex’s specialities.  And thanks!

(I don’t think there are any magic types that have an affinity for Elsewhere.  It’s a very obscure/rare thing to specialise in.)

From: Dakota

Hi Luna,

It was implied that some of the more… unique focuses and one-shots were moved to storage, and probably not lost when the shop burned down. You’ve probably accumulated some more of these items since then as well.

Have you managed to sell any of these curiosities? If so, do you remember any amusing examples?

Actually, I pretty much had to start from scratch as far as that goes.  A bunch of the really dangerous and powerful items from the safe room got saved from the fire, but Alex took those with him and hid them afterwards.  He didn’t hand them over to me, and I didn’t ask, mostly because they were the kind of stuff you really shouldn’t be putting up for sale.  

So when I opened up, the magic item section of the Arcana Emporium Mk II was pretty much completely empty, and it stayed that way for a while.  It took me a long time to build it up again, and it’s still pretty meagre compared to what it used to be.  I used to feel self-conscious about it, but on the other hand, it’s kind of nice to look at the modest selection I’ve got now and know that it was all my own work.  

From: Kevin

1. Is there a reason why time mages are more trusted than diviners on the Light Council? I believe in a previous Ask Luna you said that Diviners could bring up the wrong evidence which is why the Council was 50/50 on them but would time mages be any different wouldn’t their timesight also pickup evidence/unwanted events even if they did not intend to see it?

2. Is there a reason why Chance Mages would want to be on the Light Council? The Council does not like chance or disorder so why would Change mages want to join a place they would feel unwelcome?

On a side note I understand why you did so because they would have killed you otherwise and in fact tried to do afterwards which makes me wonder how many mages will be on the Council when this is all over?

3. Do time and chance magic have any similarities to each other? I remember how you said you felt Alex understood your magic better than others, did you get something similar with Sonder or at least better than other magic types?

1. It’s a good question.  I think it’s because time mages can be pointed at a target a lot more easily than diviners can – if you meet a time mage and a diviner on some random street corner then the time mage can’t see anything special about you, but the diviner can.  So the Council can use them to find out other people’s secrets without having to be so worried about their own.  

2. They don’t.  The Council doesn’t like chance mages much (you hear the word ‘witch’ a lot) and the feeling’s mutual.  Back when I was looking for a teacher I went looking for a Light chance mage who might fit the bill, and it was slim pickings.  

3. With Sonder, it was actually the opposite.  He was nice enough, but I didn’t really get him at all, and every time he tried to figure out what I was thinking, he seemed to get it wrong.  I haven’t got on with any other time mages I’ve met, either.  

From: Isaac

Has Levistus been losing any influence/power with all that has happened since he crossed paths with Alex? Losing the Fateweaver, the incident with Belthas, White Rose, the failed death order on Alex and general assassination attempts, the conflict with Richard’s Cabal escalating, and Alex’s rise to a Junior Council seat, I can’t see how anyone would think well this guy is the winning horse.

The thing about those incidents you’ve listed is that the only one where Levistus lost out publicly was White Rose.  The rest of the time, it was either his personal beef with Alex, or stuff that no-one on the Council was happy about (Richard and Morden).  I don’t think Levistus having his personal grudge with Alex has helped his image much, but most people on the Council don’t seem to care enough to pay much attention.  

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