Ask Luna #144

From: Sheryl Mason

Maybe this has been asked but I’m curious.

Richard’s blood sacrifice and move to another world has to have some significance on his magic. I’m just trying to figure out what that change might be.

We’ll probably never know the details, but given recent developments, he apparently spent at least some of that time getting really knowledgeable about jinn.

From: Lucas

1. Alex mentioned that the black threads Richard used in the Vault had counter magic that could get through an elemental mage shield depending on its frequency. Is this limited to only that or can other elemental mages do the same thing?

2. Have you heard of mind or charm magic being paired with space, time, chance, divination, or other universal magic for a hybrid? I heard some of the Senior/Junior Council were one of them but I don’t know what it could be.

3. Do you know if dreamstones can work on or against one another? I remember Arachne saying that the dreamstones you guy found in the Shadow Realm could both be used for compulsion but the one Alex chose could also form connections with others. Do you think he could use it against Richard’s, it could be the edge Alex needs against him.

1. ‘Frequency’ isn’t exactly the right word, but yeah, it’s a technique you learn about in duelling. It’s not very common because it requires a ton of precision. Most mages find it’s easier to just smash through a shield than find exactly the right type of countermagic to go through it, so it’s generally only used by mages with a lot more skill than power.

2. I’ve heard of mind/time hybrids and charm/chance ones, I think.

3. I don’t know if they work on one another exactly, but it turns out they’re pretty good counter tools, yes.

From: Thomas

Is Rachel officially Richard’s Chosen? This might not turn out to be anything but I remember Richard telling Alex he wasn’t his Chosen at the beginning of Bound, but the way he said it made me wonder if the position still wasn’t filled and that the contest over it was never finished. Think of what has happened over the last ten years while he was gone.

1. Deleo spent her time watching over Richard’s mansion and doing little else, while Alex was forging his own path as a mage, getting his own shop, allies an apprentice and honing his skills. And during his dealings with Rachel, Alex has always come out ahead.

2. During the business with the fateweaver Rachel lost in combat to Onyx, while Alex defeated him and also overcame Abithriax.

3. When Rachel and Alex were captured by Belthas, Alex broke free, rescued Rachel and ended up causing Belthas’s demise.

4. When the Nightstalkers attacked Alex he turned it to his advantage and used Rachel to take most of them out.

5. And ever since Richard returned, Rachel has followed him unquestionably and has been demoted and sidelined. Alex on the other hand has not, even when he was forced to work for Richard, he eventually broke out of it and has since become a Junior Council Member with enough power that most of the mages in Great Britain fear/respect/are aware of him, something I don’t think Rachel can come close to claiming.

Again this could just be me overthinking this, titles seem to matter little to Dark Mages, but if I had to choose a Chosen who would follow in my footsteps and was strong enough to do I would pick Alex. Perhaps that is another reason why Richard wants Alex on his side so badly, if he wants to leave a legacy and Rachel was the only alternative, no wonder he seems to overlook Alex’s actions that are against him.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

I still don’t know exactly what Richard’s attitude towards Alex is, but I’m pretty sure he’s disappointed in Deleo, since whatever it was he was hoping she’d grow into, she apparently hasn’t done it. God knows why he thought she would, but whatever the test was, she seems to have failed.

I’m not sure that has anything to do with the contest for Chosen, though. I’d always assumed that Rachel won, and now Richard’s not happy about how it turned out. Hadn’t considered the possibility that he might not have seen it as having ended, that’s a weird one. Though I suppose it’s not as if he ever made an announcement . . .

From: Phillip

Why the heck did Richard make Rachel use the crystal to steal her friend’s powers, knowing it would drive Rachel insane (we have evidence he’s seen reports of the effects of this magic on past users)? I mean, who wants an INSANE chosen?! It seems self-defeating! Is this just a weird experiment he did on Rachel, and he used the promise of a “chosen” to manipulate someone into doing it to see what would happen for himself? Might this point to some plan he has to increase his own powers/steal someone else’s power?

I don’t know, some of Richard and Morden’s process in developing a “chosen” seem to be silly to me. Is there a stage we haven’t seen where these powerful bullies get smart or die, and only the bullies who smarten up last?

So based on some recent developments, I think your middle guess is the right one. Deleo being insane isn’t some master plan of Richard’s where he’s playing some elaborate chess game years in advance and having a crazy super-powerful water mage is Step 11 or whatever. He just wanted a super-powerful and super-loyal Chosen, and the process had some issues. Deleo isn’t that way because Richard wanted her to be, she’s a (mostly) failed experiment.

And yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happens with Dark mages. The powerful bully types cause a lot of trouble for a few years, then they piss off the wrong person and they die. The ones who last are the ones like Richard and Morden and Chalice.

From: Kurt Von Bosse

Hi Luna, just a few quick questions today. The first ones are about Dreamstones.

Is it your’s and Alex’s understanding that Richard used his dreamstone to compel the jinn to offer a deal; a partnership of sorts, with Anne? Now that I think about it, not with Anne, but with Anne’s hidden alter-ego, or maybe alter-id is a better description.

Has Alex tested his dreamstone under different conditions to find its limits? For example, has he asked you, Anne or Vari go to the Hollow and try to contact you there or vice versa? Alex went to the shadowrealm and tried to contact you in London?

Has Alex tried to contact Starbreeze with his dreamstone?

My last questions aren’t about dreamstones, it’s about mage ranking. Technically, you could be described as a journeyman mage, even though you don’t work directly with the Light Council. Caldera is a journeyman mage, and her former partner; I can’t remember his name at the moment, told Alex that Caldera is stuck at her current level because she doesn’t know how to play the political game (of sucking up to higher ups in one the factions within the Council.) I could be wrong, but it seemed that getting promoted means more than getting a new job title. What I’m trying to ask is what is the next level beyond journeyman? If, in a more just world Caldera was promoted to Rain’s position; assuming the position became open, aside from being being called Captain Caldera, is there a mage ranking she would be called, or would she just be referred to as a full mage?

Finally, there have been a few times when Alex has used the term master mage when referring to a mage with great ability in a given area. Is that just an honorific, acknowledging someone’s experience and abilities but not a title, or is it an actual title that is earned through experience or tests?

‘Quick’?

Richard understands jinn a lot better than we do, and he can do things with his dreamstone that tie into that. Somehow he can exercise a lot of control/influence over Anne’s jinn. I don’t think it’s complete control, though: the jinn can make separate deals with Anne, and I don’t think Richard gets a say in that.

Yes, Alex has done some testing of his dreamstone’s limits, and what it can do. More on that soon.

‘Journeyman mage’ just means ‘mage’. As in, you’re not an apprentice any more. Within the Keepers, it’s also a rank, but it’s a rank because mages use it to mean an ordinary mage, if you see what I mean. I think the next Keeper rank after journeyman is lieutenant or something, but that’s only if you’re a Keeper.

There’s no test for master rank, probably because most mages who are that high ranked have way too big an ego to follow the rules of anyone else’s test. It’s mostly to do with respect.

From: Bob O`Bob

Now that Alex has the Dreamstone, has he considered whether it might help him contact Starbreeze?

Turns out he has.

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One Response to Ask Luna #144

  1. Locnil says:

    Aww yes! Been wondering when Starbreeze would get back in the game.