Ask Luna #28

From: Groundhoggoth

Hi Luna, thanks for the taking the time to deal with some correspondence.

It’s been clear on every occasion when your curse is active (sorry to bring that up) that Alex can see it with his mage’s senses… but is he the only one? There are a couple of occasions where the curse reaches out to other mages & adepts, yet they take no action to steer clear, as if they can’t see it. What gives?

From what I’ve been able to figure out, it’s a combination of sensitivity and practice. Magesight’s kind of like a skill or a spell, and if you aren’t good enough at it, then you can’t spot my curse at all, no matter how hard you try. So Alex can do it because his magesight’s really good and we’ve been hanging out for years, but Anne still can’t, even though I spend as much time with her as I do with him. Vari can sort of vaguely see it, but not clearly, though he’s getting better. But then you get some mages whose magesight is great but who just don’t spot it at all, because they don’t know what they should be looking for.

Oh, and Arachne saw it the instant she first met me without Alex telling her anything. But then she kind of plays by different rules.

And don’t worry about bringing my curse up. I’ve pretty much accepted it nowadays.

From: Anton

Hey Luna, four quick questions:

1. How well versed is Alex in ritual magic?
2. How come Alex doesn’t have a Shadow Realm? Seems like it could be invaluable to a Mage like him.
3. Have you and Alex ever considered combining magic to make a focus? I suspect you could create a solid counter spell focus for Alex maybe even an extremely underpowered version of a fateweaver (sans crazy mind Mage ).
4. Does Alex make his own gate stones?

Thanks for your time.

1. He knows the basics, but he’s not an expert. I don’t think it comes up much in his line of work.

2. Because there are a lot more people who want shadow realms than there are shadow realms going spare. Besides, why would you want one? All they’re good for is cutting yourself off from the rest of the world, and just being able to use magic does enough of that already.

3. I suppose we could try it, but firstly, I’d have to learn how to make focuses, and secondly, a counterspell item that you need to concentrate on to make work isn’t as useful as you’d think. There’s probably something we could do with it, but it’s not likely to happen any time soon unless Alex decides to set it for me as a homework project. (PS, Alex, if you’re reading this, I’m busy enough already.)

4. No, you have to be able to cast gate spells yourself to make a gate stone.

From: Fade

Hi, Luna. I think my question hits on kind of a touchy subject, but has Alex ever shared what kind of mage his old master Richard was? And, followup question, why didn’t Richard take up a fancy single word name like every other Dark mage seems to pride him/herself on? (I’m assuming that, similar to Verus, Drakh isn’t the name on his birth certificate.)

Funny you should ask that – we asked Alex the same thing one Wednesday a few weeks back. He told us that Richard was ‘passing’ – he kept his magic type hidden. It pretty much never happens with Council mages, but more Dark mages do it than you’d think. Obviously it’s really hard, but it’s really useful if they can manage it. Even if they only manage to keep part of their magic a secret, if someone attacks them without knowing about it, it gives them a huge advantage.

As for why he uses a double name rather than a single-word one, I’ve no idea, and you’re right that it’s unusual. Most Dark mages use their mage names and nothing else, and they really don’t like getting called by their birth names.

From: John

Hi, Luna. I’m a fan of you and Alex from the Philippines. I have some questions, if you don’t mind:

1. Do some mortal cultures tend to produce certain types of mages more than they do other types? For example, is there a nation somewhere on Earth that produces a lot of fire mages?

2. Am I correct in suspecting that most Dark mages who successfully graduate from the apprentice stage have conducted the Harvesting ritual? It seems to be the logical outcome when one considers the True Way. And Morden’s Chosen, Onyx was on the verge of defeating Deleo, who had Harvested. I figure the only way he could do that was if he had also Harvested.

For the first question, yep, definitely . . . not always the way you’d think, though. A lot of apprentices seem to think that you get fire mages from hot climates and ice mages from cold climates, but it’s more complicated than that. I think it’s more to do with the culture than the nation.

The Harvesting question is harder, because it’s a taboo subject with mages. You’re literally not even supposed to mention it, and if you do mention it, people start looking at you sideways – it’s a major no-no. So it’s hard to figure out which Dark mages have done it and which haven’t, because Light mages won’t talk about it and Dark mages won’t tell you, at least not in public.

That said . . . people still talk, and there are still rumours. I once got told that Harvesting is supposed to always drive the one who does it insane, it’s just that some of them are really good at hiding it. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I remember when dealing with Deleo that there was something really wrong about her. I had the same feeling the few times I’ve seen Onyx. It’s like there’s some part of you that’s yelling at you to stay away from them.

So weird as it sounds, I’d actually guess that for most Dark mages, they haven’t done it. I’ve met a few other Dark mages who are like that, but most weren’t. They might have been ruthless, but they weren’t crazy. Maybe it’s that given the side effects you’re risking with Harvesting, you have to be more than halfway crazy to do it in the first place.

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One Response to Ask Luna #28

  1. Serack says:

    “And don’t worry about bringing my curse up. I’ve pretty much accepted it nowadays.”

    This makes me chuckle.

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