Ask Luna #173

From: Kevin

So awhile back you mentioned that seeing your curse was hazy because you struggled with mage vision and couldn’t analyze spells like Alex does. Another time you said that you could now activate focus items but that you did it differently from Alex.

My question is do you think Chance magic in general relies less on mage vision and more on “feeling out”/sensing instead of the more visual effects other mages use?

And to clarify you activate focus items and gate stones by using your curse and that is how you do it differently from Alex?

I activate everything using my curse.  My curse is my magic, that’s how I do stuff.  When all you’ve got is a hammer, you get really creative solving problems with a hammer.  As for visual effects, that’s very personal depending on the mage, I think. 

From: Kevin

Hey Luna I just wanted to say sorry if I frustrated you about my questions about Deleo and her jinn and various other things. I have a disability that makes it difficult to understand things that aren’t clearly spelled out to me and it takes me awhile to process it like everyone else seems to.

But I took your advice that you said in a previous question about keeping you mind open, assume you don’t know everything, and learning the big things by picking up the smaller things.

Like with Deleo pulling off things other powerful mages could not do, the most obvious one was her surviving a blast from Anne that took out Sal Sarque presumably one of the toughest Fire mages in the country.

And putting things together from previous events a likely reason why Morden let himself be imprisoned for so long, was because he knew the Light Council would take forever to decide on his fate and by that time Richard would get Anne to bust him out which would cause the Light Council look incompetent and further weakened.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I took you advice to heart and hopefully am on the right track to understanding things so you don’t have to keep going over things again and again. But to put all of this in a question do you think with my two examples I am on the right path? Sorry in advance if I am off the mark but if I am not thank you for your input it really helps not just with you and Alex’s adventures but in real life as well.

P.S. Is there a chance magic skill that only you can do and other chance mages could not? Just wanted to ask something new that I don’t think anyone else hasn’t asked yet.

You’re more on the mark, yeah. 

One of the things that’s been frustrating me this year is the number of people asking me stuff that’s just completely impossible to answer.  “Why did Morden/Richard do X two years ago when I think they should have done Y because Z?”  Now stop and think about it for a second – how am I POSSIBLY supposed to know the answer to that?  They’re asking for someone’s internal thoughts/reasoning (which I don’t know), about something that happened years ago (which would make it even harder to find out), and then comparing it to their idea of how this person is supposed to act (which is probably wrong). 

I suppose what’s going on is that people have their own idea of how things are “supposed” to work, and they get confused when it doesn’t happen, and then they write in to ask me.  But the problem is that a lot of the time their idea about how things are supposed to work assumes stuff that’s not true. 

Like, take Morden.  I’ve lost count of how many questions I’ve had about “why did/didn’t Morden do this?”  And usually the implication is that Morden was supposed to do something else instead because that’d be better for gaining more power and taking over the country.  But here’s the thing – I’m pretty sure at this point that Morden doesn’t WANT to take over the country.  Maybe Richard does, but Morden doesn’t.  He’s not just after power, he’s got his own weird set of principles that might not make sense to most people, but he genuinely believes in them.  So it makes him really hard for most people to predict, because they don’t understand where he’s coming from. 

This is what I was getting at with the “don’t assume you know everything” thing – you’re never going to be able to predict how someone like that will act, because you don’t understand them.  The most you can do is keep watching and keep learning.

From: Celia

Hi, Luna! Thanks for taking over the shop from Alex. He seems like a nice chap. Do you ever worry he might end up like Richard, though? Both diviners, it seems, both like their cool toys, both not that reluctant to kill. Alex may be one monkey’s paw away from being just. like. Richard.

You’re not the first person to ask, but my answer’s always the same.  I’ve known Alex for a long time, and he trusts me, and I trust him.  He’s done a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t, but even at his worst, I always feel like I can understand where he’s coming from.  So no, I don’t think he’ll end up like Richard.  I’ve got faith in him, even if we end up going different ways. 

From: bibliosopher

Hi Luna,

I’ve really enjoyed your answers to these questions over the years. I was wondering if it’s possible for a chance mage to accomplish something like divination by using her power in conjunction with a tool like Tarot cards? She could cause the cards to fall out so that they are lucky/useful for her? thanks,


Completely possible, yeah.  Wouldn’t work for me, though.  I’ve spent too long learning to use my magic differently.  Sometimes I wonder if I might have copied some things from Alex subconsciously – he doesn’t like tarot cards/fortune telling, so at some level I don’t think it’s useful either.  He never directly taught me the way Chalice did, but I feel like I picked up a lot of his ways of thinking. 

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