Ask Luna #26

From: Cyberjaeger

Hey luna I liked the way you took out the night stalkers in the casino very fine work 

I have some more questions

1. what other worlds were accessible back in the precursor society you mention alata as one

2. What ever happened to syriathis

3. and finally what has your teachers told you about dragons are there any othe breeds of them like sea dragons

Thanks.  Feels like a while ago now. 

Answers for your questions: 

1. Alata’s the only one I can remember.  Well, I guess there were the usual bubbles and shadow realms and stuff.  And I think there might have been other ones accessible from Alata, but I’m not sure.  

2. Got destroyed, I think.  Or abandoned, or something . . . look, this is really old stuff we’re talking here, and I might not have been paying that much attention when we covered it.  I mean, it’s not like you guys are expected to know what happened to every ancient city from thousands of years back, right?

3. I think there’s supposed to be this big split between dracoforms and true dragons.  The lesser ones are just ordinary magical creatures, fairly strong but nothing all that special.  The true dragons are something else and no-one seems to know much about them.  All we get taught in the classes is variants on ‘stay away’.  I’d kind of like to see one one day – Alex and Vari both have, but when they try to describe what they saw it never makes much sense.  

From: Jack.

Could we get an Encyclopaedia article on Ice magic? Thanks, Luna. 

Yeah, I think there’s one around.  I’ll go dig it up.  

From: Nightsbridge

Do you know if there are any methods of longevity that do not involve regular appointments with life mages or horrid ritual magic?

Not that I know about, nope.  It’s one of those subjects that our programme teachers won’t tell us much about.  Well, okay, they’ll tell us SOME things, but they don’t seem all that useful.  You don’t have to listen that long to figure out that it’s not something that mages like spreading around.  

From what Alex has told me low-level life extension isn’t that hard, you just need a life mage.  It’s when you get into the long-term stuff that it gets serious.  There are a bunch of different ways, none of them are public knowledge, and all of them are supposed to have major problems.  Apparently accidents or side effects to longevity magic are how quite a lot of mages end up dying, which seems weirdly backwards.

From: Nightsbridge

Hello again. Hope you don’t mind me sending in another question. I’d like to ask about your magic now.

During your books, we’ve seen you deflect water blasts with your curse-whip. I’m curious about how this works, since usually your curse seems to manifest as things that could have happened anyway, but the spontaneous failure of the magic it contacts makes me scratch my head a bit. Do you know how this works?

Yep, it’s something I’ve talked over with Alex.  It’s a combination of two things.  

Firstly, pretty much all magic types have some limited counterspelling ability.  Basically, if you stick a lot of your own magic into the middle of someone else’s spell, it’s likely to mess it up, even if the spells aren’t directly opposed to each other.  That’s how fire mages and air mages can block each other’s attacks, even though the products of their magic don’t really interact with each other much.  So if I focus my curse, it acts sort of like a shield.  

The second reason (and I think this is the bigger one) is that active spells are actually really fragile.  From what Vari’s told me, a spell you’re directly projecting is always right on the edge of losing cohesion and collapsing in on itself, especially if it’s a combat spell.  So if you take something that specialises in causing concentrated bad luck and pour it into an active spell, then all my curse has to do is find a tiny flaw somewhere to break the spell wide open.   

So putting those two things together, I can mess up almost any spell as long as I hit it right as it’s being cast.  Which is pretty cool.  

From: Claudia

Hi Luna! 

Maybe I’m missing something, but Alex’s power only allows him to see into the future, right? And the difference between a mage and an adept is that an adept can only do one thing with their power whereas a mage can do multiple things sort of all related to a basic power over air, heat, space, time, whatever. So why is Alex a mage and not an adept? If time mages like Sonder can actually manipulate time to some degree, why can’t Alex?

I think I did this question a way back.  

Yeah, Alex’s powers all basically come down to ‘seeing into the future’, in the same way that all Vari’s powers come down to ‘moving heat around’ and all Anne’s powers involve ‘controlling things that are alive’.  No-one calls THEM adepts, though.  I mean, my curse does two things, not one, it produces good luck AND bad luck, so that should mean I’m not an adept either, right?  Or you would have thought.  Not like anyone seems to listen, though.  Well, I suppose Alex and Anne do, but . . .

. . . what were you asking?  Oh, right, why Alex can’t manipulate time.  Beats me.  Life’s not fair, I guess.  Not that he’s got any right to complain given how useful his power is.  If anyone needs extra abilities, it’s those adepts who get something useless like “can see through magical concealment” and nothing else.

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