Ask Luna #2

From: Alette

Dear Luna,
How long does a mage’s apprenticeship usually last, and at what age do they usually start learning?

They start learning whenever they get taken on by a mage, whether that’s at 13 or at 23. Though I guess really they start learning whenever they start using their magic. A full apprenticeship is supposed to last seven years, but only the really traditional mages do it that long. Four to five years is more common, for Light apprentices anyway. Dark apprenticeships are supposed to be shorter.

From: Joanne G.

Dear Luna,
What kinds of magical creatures/nonhumans have you seen? How do they conceal themselves from the general public? Can they cast spells of their own, like human mages, or do various tricks, like adepts? Also, are there sound/music mages who can learn to cast spells through song?

From: Agent J

Dear Luna,
Are there a lot of nonhuman magical beings living among us, and how do they conceal their presence? Are any of them dangerous to humans?

I’ll put these two together, I guess.

Magical creatures I’ve met – Arachne, obviously, as well as a blink fox, a xen, and quite a few elementals. There was a rakshasa too – I only saw him once, but he left an impression. They do have magic, but not in the same way that mages do. It’s not so much something they use, it’s more like a part of them.

From what Arachne’s told me there are still a few magical creatures out there, but a lot less than there used to be. Mages have wiped out most of them, or at least the ones they could find. The ones that are left are either really good at defending themselves or really good at hiding. Sometimes you hear a story about a monster being discovered that’s been preying on people, but usually by the time you hear about it a bunch of mages have hunted it down and killed it.

And yep, there are sound mages, have a look at the last bunch of answers. Didn’t realise they were so popular.

From: W.B.

Dear Luna,
How is it that mages have been able to conceal the existence of magic from the general public for so long? Also, is it true that there is at least one wizard in Chicago who is completely open about practicing magic for a living?

This is actually something I’ve wondered about. Obviously there are the Keepers, but I think the really big reason is the difference between normals and sensitives – normals have some kind of mental block about believing in magic and sensitives don’t. They won’t take any explanation seriously if it’s got “it’s magic” in it. I think it works differently with adults than with children, though – I’ve seen times where something happens, the children say it was someone’s fault, and the adults decide it was an accident even though the children were right.

I haven’t heard about a wizard in Chicago, but it would be easy enough. Everyone would just assume he was crazy or conning people or something. I mean, Alex doesn’t hide that he’s running a magic shop, and that’s what happens with him.

From: Redbird

Dear Luna,
Does magical ability run in families, or can you have a mage born to two nonmagical parents?

Both. A kid born to two mages is a lot more likely to be a mage herself, but you can get mages born into families with no magical history at all.

From: Agatha H.

Dear Luna,
There seem to be so many different kinds of magic, each with its own theme depending on the individual’s personality. Are there any techno-mages whose magic interfaces with technology, or mages/adepts who can control machines or build magic-powered devices that defy the laws of physics?

There definitely are techno-mages, though I haven’t seen one (at least not that I know about). I think they’re a relatively new type – there have always been mages who can affect machines one way or another, but these guys are different. Our classes don’t cover them, so I think they haven’t made it into the textbooks yet. Other apprentices talk about them, but they have pretty wild ideas about what they’re supposed to do and I’m pretty sure most of it is just guessing. I think Sonder knows a few, but I’ve never asked him.

From: Peter

Dear Luna,
A lot of mages seem to be portrayed as self-serving. Are there any mages who try to use their abilities to help others, like a fire mage saving people from burning buildings or healing/life mages working in hospitals?

Some do. I don’t know any who make a habit of rescuing people from burning buildings, but there are definitely some mages who have a reputation for being willing to help other people, or being willing to listen anyway. Though I think they get taken advantage of a lot.

I was curious about the life mages and hospitals thing, so I asked Anne. She said she’d like to do it, but it’s illegal. Apparently medical professionals in the UK have really tight controls on them and you can’t work on patients without a lot of qualifications which most mages don’t have. She treats anyone who comes to her, but she has to do it unofficially.

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