We've spent the last 3 and a half weeks talking about magic and all it's uses, but there is nothing else to say on the topic. With one last teaser post promised, I turned to my beta reader on discord and asked him to come up with 3 questions for each of the main characters. He sent me some real brain teasers. I've dug deep into my creative mind to bring you these answers.

Q. What is watching death in your own experience like? Is there a uniqueness to every death or do you feel they are more or less similar? Why?

Lettie: Lettie sits in silence for a moment, the only sound is the steady drum beat on her legs, bum bum bum-bum bum bum bum-bum. Death...it's this... horrible thing. It doesn't matter who is dying, whether they are friends or enemies, whether they are trying to kill you or save you, none of that matters. Every life that is taken from this world... we are all important to someone. Someone loves us, someone is going to miss us when we are gone. To be there for that moment, when a light blinks out of this world, it's the same every time. It doesn't get any easier. And I know that sometimes people have to die so that others may live, I will always fight to protect those I care for, even if it means killing my enemies, but when that light blinks out, they're no longer my enemy. They are someones friend, their lover, their father, their son. They have loved ones who will miss them, who will wonder how they died, why they died. It never gets easier, and that's a good thing. Because if killing was ever easy, then what would stop us from killing each other?

Q. With the concept of death in the discussion, what of life? Is life the most important stage of existence?

Lettie: The Goddess teaches us that all stages of life are important, and that death is not the end, but rather the start of a new adventure. I grew up being told this, but I find it difficult to comprehend when faced with death. Lettie pauses for a moment, seemingly lost in thought. I suppose, in the end, the teachings are true. Reincarnation means that death is but the start of a new life, but are you still the same person? If you take away someones memories, their experiences, are they still the same person you know and love? I don't know. All I know is that this life is what we have. Take that away, and what's left?

Q. What do you find is difficult about life? Does anything bore you?

Lettie: I found life to be the most simple before setting out on an adventure with my sister and Hyam. It was...peaceful. In the end it was my decision to leave, I knew that the village wasn't where we were meant to be, and with our parents gone, there was nothing left to hold us there. Sometimes, when I think about everything that has happened in the last few weeks since leaving the village, I wonder if I would have made a different choice. To answer your question, for the average person life is quite simple. You get up, you greet your family, you do your chores, and you spend time with your friends. It's all so mundane. I sometimes wish I could go back to that, but I know that life is not for me. I was not meant for an easy life, and after all that I've been through, I don't think I could ever go back even if I wanted to. Life is most difficult when you have no control over it.

Q. In the heat of battle lots of things can happen at once. What is the most surprising thing that has ever happened in combat for you? Why?

Alyson: That would be the day I discovered my fire magic. It was a lot like discovering my earth magic but was activated very differently. The blinding rage I felt when I thought I had lost my sister, it brought out this primal force inside of me. I'm ashamed to admit it but... I lost control. It scared me that this power was hiding inside of me, waiting for me to lose control before coming out.

Q. The odds stacked against you and your allies, with inevitable defeat on the horizon, do you surrender and fight another day, or die a hero?

Alyson:I think that depends on the situation. Hyam has been teaching me the basics of tactics while we travel and if you have allies who will come to your rescue, then it's better to surrender than to die, but if nobody is going to come and rescue you then surrender is about as bad an option as there is, because they will likely kill you but only after they've extracted everything you know from your mind.

Q. Do you believe the love of one's family can defeat hate? Why or why not?

Alyson:Family is the most important thing in the world, and it can absolutely defeat hate. I have to believe that, otherwise what is the point of it all? And it's not just the family your born with. I love my sister absolutely, but I don't know where I would be without Hyam. He's the big brother I never knew I needed. We may not have been born family, but he is every bit the family that my sister, my mother, and my father are. As long as Hyam and Lettie are at my side, there's absolutely nothing we can't do.

Q. What aspect of spiritual magic is your favorite? Why?

Hyam: That would have to be the ability to summon the spirits of animals to enhance yourself or others. It's not an ability I use often in combat, as I have more powerful combat magic, but when I was growing up I would use it to enhance my speed and run around the palace at speeds that left me little more than a blur to the people watching. Or I might take up enhanced hearing and listen to people from far away. Once I even used it to take on the camouflage of a chameleon so I sneak around undetected.

Q. What are some limiting factors concerning how powerful a mage can be? Are these factors simple limiters that can be broken, or are they permanent barriers?

Hyam: There are both limiters and permanent barriers to how powerful a mage can become. It's rare for a self-taught mage to become as powerful as a natural mage because a natural mage is born with a much larger mana pool. It's like two people racing a 10 km race and one of them is given a 5km headstart. Each of the elements is only capable of so much power on it's own, and once you've reached that limit of power there's nowhere else to go. Beyond that, the only thing limiting any mage is their own will and creativity. You can do a lot with a little if you just open your mind to it.

Q. What connects you to the world in a unique way?

Hyam: I wandered the world for years after leaving my home. I was truly lost during those years, there was no one and nothing holding me to this world. When I met Alyson and Lettie, I think that's when my life truly began. I went to Lisedan because I had heard rumor of a reclusive prophet and I was hoping to find some purpose in life, a destiny perhaps. What I found was even more important, I found a family. You want to know what connects me to the world? They do. Alyson and Lettie.

Well folks, that's it. I promised two teaser posts a week for the entire month and this is the last one. Twin Mages (Life Mage Trilogy, Book 1) will be released on February 8th, 2020. Just 9 days to go.

The image for todays post is fanart created by one of my beta readers, BillyFlynt, on Discord. It depicts Hyam talking to Alyson and Lettie about golems.

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