Ask Luna #81

From: Casey

Hi Luna,

I was wondering why Alex gave himself the name Verus. In your response to this same question asked previously, it seems that Alex did a vision quest. What was that process like?

I’m also curious about some of the other mages. I know some mages choose a name based on their mage type. For examples, Cinder and Caldera. Cinder is a fire mage, and his name means partly burned coal or wood. Caldera is an earth mage, and her name means a large volcanic crater. But why did Sonder, Talisid, Landis, Deleo, and Drakh choose their name? Did any of them choose to take the name of a historical mage, or did they just like the way it sounded?

Also, will you and/or Variam choose a new name after passing the journeyman tests? I apologize if you have already answered this somewhere.

Since a mage’s name is supposed to say a lot about them, I’m really curious to why each chose their ‘Mage’ name. Thanks!

Alex has told me a little bit about how he got his name. It sounded fairly weird. There was a castle or something, and some thing that looked like a woman but wasn’t. I had trouble following it, to be honest, but that’s kind of what you expect with Elsewhere. The place doesn’t translate well.

A lot of the mage names are historical ones. Landis was some famous guy back in the 19th century or something, and Talisid is from a myth. Sonder isn’t, funnily enough – he told me once that was actually a word, just an obscure one. Deleo is Latin. Don’t know about Drakh.

And yes, Vari and I both have our new names, though I still prefer going by my birth name with anyone I know.

From: Jeffrey

Is Alex, like okay, hormonally? It seems like he has 0 libido. I know he was on the run, but you’d think the man would have SOME inclinations, if you catch my drift.

A Concerned Fan

Given my own issues, I’m not going to start throwing stones when it comes to other people’s sex lives.

From: Hrok

Hello Luna!
I was wondering how powerful djinn/genie are in comparison to the dragon beneath Arachne’s home. Hypothetically if a mage ever got control over one would they be able to defeat it? How powerful would one be in comparison with the Monkey’s Paw?

I think that’s kind of like asking who’d win in a fight between an eagle and a whale. They’re completely different playing fields. But I have the feeling that if a fight did somehow happen, it’d be extremely one-sided.

From: AcrossThePond

Hey Luna,

Quick Question– just wondering if Light Council political boundaries always line up with mortal nations? Seems like the case in Great Britain, but do they typically cover more or less area than your average country?

They don’t exactly line up in Great Britain – the magical boundary doesn’t include Northern Ireland, so it’s just Britain and Ireland. That’s why mages never say ‘Great Britain’.

In most cases magical nations are a bit bigger than mundane ones. There aren’t many tiny magical nations, because they wouldn’t have enough mages to make enough of a population. So there’s no independent magical government of Luxembourg – they’re grouped up with Belgium. The US and Canada were meant to merge some time in the past, I think, but there was some sort of argument and now they stick to the national borders.

From: Natter Volo

Dear Alex,

I have a few questions regarding the peculiarities of prescience.

Firstly, is it possible to be influenced negatively by the perception of alternate futures? For example, forseeing the paralyzing gaze of a medusa, or the transfixing beauty of a nymph? Can these sorts of “dangerous sensation” pose a risk to the present self?

Secondly, does the world ever retaliate against blatant and egregious changes to the future? For example, winning the lottery by cheating, but then suffering a series of expensive, disastrous coincidences which gradually strip away the ill-gotten gains.

Lastly,can a person ever see past a choice he does not understand?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read these!

With sincere curiosity, your good stranger,
Natter Volo

You probably should be sending these to Alex, not me, but oh well.

First, yes, but not in the way that you’re thinking. You don’t get actually hit with the consequences, but Alex has mentioned more than once that it’s a bit stressful to see yourself getting killed or maimed in possible futures over and over again. The effects add up.

Second one, kind of. There’s no magical balancing mechanism or anything like that, but there are a whole lot of non-magical ones. For one thing, the police and the Inland Revenue start asking awkward questions once they notice that you’re spending ten times as much money as you’re legitimately earning. And if you do stuff too blatantly or visibly, the Keepers tend to come calling, too. The Order of the Cloak can clean that kind of stuff up easily enough, but it annoys them enough that they’re likely to do something about it.

Third one, no idea. Probably not.

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