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Mageworlds Frequently Asked Questions

Discuss the Mageworlds with the authors.

Taking the questions in no particular order. . . .

What's all this syn- and sus- in the Mageworlders' names?

Those prefixes indicate if the family is from the upper nobility (sus-) or from the lower nobility (syn-).

How old is Jos Metadi in The Gathering Flame?

It's hard to say exactly. He was twelve years old by Gyfferan reckoning when he was abducted by the crew of the free-spacer Quorum, but he's lied about his age -- presumably adjusting it upward -- at least twice by the time he meets the Domina Perada in Waycross. The Domina herself is barely past the age of majority on Entibor, and guesses that Metadi is no more than ten years her senior, so it's a fairly safe bet he's a couple of years under thirty, and maybe a bit younger than that if you allow for mileage and hard use.
As a matter of peripheral interest, Jos Metadi in Flame is about the same age, give or take a year, as his daughter Beka Rosselin-Metadi is in The Price of the Stars. Perada Rosselin is about the same age as Beka was when (with Owen's help) she ran off to be a free-spacer.

So what is the age of majority on Entibor, anyhow?

Seventeen, local reckoning. While Entiboran years and Galcenian (later, Standard) years are close enough to be roughly equivalent; the same can't be said for Gyfferan or Pleyveran or . . . you get the idea.

Why didn't Jos Metadi and Perada Rosselin try to stop Beka from running away to space?

For one thing, thanks to Owen, she was off planet and into hyperspace before they could stop her. For another, she was of age and had the papers. And for a third, Jos undoubtedly held Perada back until she got used to the idea -- eventually the Domina would realize that letting a Domina-in-Waiting hang around Galcen with nothing to do besides play politics and get into trouble was a whole lot more dangerous than letting her drive starships for a living. (Neither Jos nor Perada could reasonably argue that Beka was too young for the work, considering that at her age Jos was captain of an armed ship during a shooting war, and Perada was the absolute ruler of an entire planet and all of its colonies . . . .)

If Jos Metadi isn't Ari Rosselin-Metadi's gene-sire, then who is?

Perada never names anyone officially (Domina's privilege when she doesn't want to give the gene-sire a political edge over the Consort, if the two are different); however, the honor in fact belongs to Nivome do'Evaan of Rolny. When Perada accedes to the throne of Entibor, she has not one but two pressing problems that she has to deal with: the increasing threat from the Mageworlds raiders, and the political instability and public loss of confidence caused by the Old Domina's barrenness. Perada takes active measures on both fronts during the interval between leaving Galcen and arriving on Entibor.

Isn't that a bit cold-blooded?

Well, yes. As Jos reminds himself the first time he sees Perada, "She's been training to sign death warrants since the first day her pudgy little fist could hold a stylus." Perada is a politican down to the marrow of her bones, and she'll do whatever it takes to reach her goals -- even if that means using Nivome for breeding purposes and then kicking him out of her bed to make room for somebody who can build her a fleet to fight the Mages.

What about Owen's gene-sire?

Again, nobody is officially named. But it was Errec Ransome, at Perada's request, who kept Perada from having to bend to political necessity and give in to Nivome's not-too-subtle pressure for a return engagement.

So how about Beka?

Beka is Jos Metadi's kid, all right. No question about that one.

Do the three children know about any of this?

No. Jos and Perada and Errec never spoke of it, and all the records on Entibor perished in the planetwide geothermal disaster, along with most of the witnesses. Any survivors who might have been in a position to know the score had other, more important things to worry about for the next few years. Besides, from an Entiboran point of view, Jos as Consort really is the father of all three -- the language distinguishes between the roles of "father" and "gene-sire" in a way that Standard Galcenian, for example, does not. (This was one of the secrets that Tarveet of Pleyver was willing to trade for his life. Beka, as we know from By Honor Betray'd, wasn't interested.)

How did Nyls Jessan manage to knock himself out of the running for Highest of Khesat?

Mostly by joining the Republic's Space Force. Nobody raised a fuss at the time, since Khesat had been enjoying political stability for some decades by then. There were, if anything, too many young eligibles hanging around on-planet as it was.

So what did Jens Metadi-Jessan do to make the Khesatans send him back to Maraghai?

Fun to speculate, isn't it?

Where are Jos and Perada during The Long Hunt?

Off someplace in a quiet corner of the civilized galaxy enjoying a well-earned retirement. Bindweed and Blossom specifically refer to Jos as being alive, and nobody says that Perada is dead, but they aren't active politically or anything like that.

Where are Beka and Nyls during The Long Hunt?

Hiding from Khesatan politics. Nyls Jessan is still working with Space Force Intelligence (better that, than letting his name get put onto the list of eligibles again!) and so, by extension, is Beka. When the political factions on Khesat started making overtures towards Nyls anyway, some months before the start of The Long Hunt, he and Beka decided it was time to go away, a long way away, and do some serious deep-cover investigative work in the Accardi sector until things settled down.

Why do Jens and Faral ditch Chaka the Selvaur during The Long Hunt?

From Faral's point of view, they didn't ditch Chaka, they inadvertently became separated from her. Jens, on the other hand, was trying to ditch both of his travelling companions, but had only partial success.

Is the Professor really dead?

That's a good question. What do you mean by "really"? For that matter, what do you mean by "dead"? His corporeal and time-bound existence terminated in The Price of the Stars, but physical matter and linear time don't matter as much to some people in the Mageworlds universe as they do to others.

Do the Mageworlds books take place in our universe at all?

No. Strictly speaking, they take place two universes over from this one. There's an unpublished Doyle&Macdonald novel (unpublished because it's a very early work, and artistically speaking more than a bit of a mishmash) called The Ladder of Worlds which sets forth the cosmology in some detail.

Is there ever going to be another book about Jos and Perada?

We don't have any plans to write one at the moment; on the other hand, we don't have any plans not to write one, either. If it turns out that a another story about Jos and Perada and the rest of the First Magewar needs to be written, we'll probably do it. But not for a while.

How do you pronounce Llannat Hyfid's first name?

It depends. Some people pronounce the Ll as an aspirated consonant, sort of like the Anglo-Saxon hl or the Welsh ll, making her first name come out something like HLAHnat. Other people give the Ll a more Hispanic flavor, making the name into something more like YAHnat. As long as the a is a broad vowel (as it would be in Spanish or Latin, for example), she's an easygoing soul and doesn't worry about people's regional accents.

What about those funny-looking Mageworlds names?

Oh. Those. Two general rules: most of the vowels have continental (Latin or Spanish), values rather than Modern English ones, and in sequences of two or more vowels all the vowels are pronounced separately (sus-Airaalin, for example, has six syllables.)

Well, that's the FAQ as it stands to date. If you have more questions, or different ones, you can e-mail us at ddoyle1@moose.ncia.net or jmacdon4@moose.ncia.net -- not all questions have answers, but if yours do, we'll try to get them into the FAQ.

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